Wayland Games Southend is Open!

At exactly 9am on the 28th of March, Wayland Games Southend first opened its doors to the general public. Though I didn’t manage to make it down in time to see the shutters rise, I did manage to visit later in the day just to see what it was all about… and part with some cash, naturally!

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Arriving at the storefront (a short walk from the bus station), I was welcomed by the sight of the words “Wayland Games” depicted in blue and orange and on a white background. A simple sign, certainly nothing too flashy, but friendly and somehow inclusive. This doesn’t seem like your average tabletop gaming store. It genuinely seems like it’s open for everyone.

I admit I’m still a novice to wargaming, but I’ve often felt that some gaming stores come across as cliquey and even unwelcoming to potential new players. I suppose it comes with the territory when it’s such a niche market and one that’s so often misunderstood.

That’s not the impression I got from Wayland Games Southend when I first walked inside. The atmosphere was friendly, warm and just the right amount of geeky.

Products line the walls, placed neatly into individual alcoves. I love to see things in their proper places (yeah, I’m weird), so it was truly joyful to see everything laid out so neatly with everything easy to find.

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Down one side, Warmachine, Malifaux, Infinity and products from Mantic Games. Down the other, Games Workshop (Warhammer Fantasy, 40K and Lord of the Rings), Magic: The Gathering and a section for clippers, paints and basing materials.

In the centre are three tables, decked out and ready for gaming. In the back, there’s a small, well lit alcove, perfect for sitting and painting. I’m told both will be available to book in advance.

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It really is a nice layout and there’s plenty of room to manoeuvre comfortably without treading on toes or getting in people’s way.

But, like a ship without its crew, a store is nothing without its staff and from my experience, Wayland Games has some of the best.

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I’ll admit here that I’m biased. I know the guys personally and they really are lots of fun to talk to and very dedicated to the hobby. These are people who have been playing for years and can even teach veterans a trick or two.

Of course, no open day is complete without a few special offers and Wayland Games Southend had those in droves.

Vouchers were sent to anyone that’s made a purchase from the website with three very tempting offers: buy two blisters and get a third for free, buy a starter pack and get a free blister and 10% off of purchases exceeding £100.

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I personally fell for the first one and came away with some great new miniatures for Warmachine.

They also had 20% off of Games Workshop products for the day (which I hear is extended until tomorrow as well).

I also heard rumour of a raffle with money prizes, but I wasn’t able to stick around for that.

collage

Overall, I was incredibly impressed with Wayland Games Southend. It really is a very welcoming place (I cannot stress that enough!) that I hope will draw in a new generation of tabletop gamers. It’s also a place I could easily see myself visiting again, maybe even frequenting, though the Hockley centre remains much closer to me personally.

I’m excited to see how things will go with the store and what developments might follow it, should it prove successful. Whatever the outcome, I wish them the best of luck and look forward to visiting again.

One final note, for those who don’t know, Wayland Games Southend now inhabits the site of the previous Games Workshop which is now located across the street. It’s a strange sight, seeing both Wayland Games and Games Workshop opposite one another. It would be great to see the two flourish together.

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Many thanks to the staff of Wayland Games Southend for letting me take and use these pictures on the blog!

 

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No Quarter Presents: Forces of Distinction

Forces of Distinction Cover

Just a quick update regarding Privateer Press’s newest reveal, No Quarter presents: Forces of Distinction – A Theme Force collection.

When I first saw this on my Facebook feed, I have to admit, I almost jumped for joy. There are now quite a few alternative theme forces out there and the thought of having to buy each issue of No Quarter just to have access to them was fairly daunting.

Now Privateer Press will be offering a brilliant alternative and has even sweetened the pot with the announcement of an additional two, new and exclusive, theme forces only available with the book.

This is something I’m really looking forward to. Finally, I’ll be able to run that Force Wall list I’ve been dreaming of!

I haven’t managed to find any information regarding what format the book will take, but my hope is that it won’t be purely digital like the Cephalyx army book. Fingers crossed!

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Battle Report: Kaelyssa Vs. Primal Lylyth [Take 2]

Hi everyone!

I met up with my friend yesterday and it was time for a battle box rematch. Once again, my friend was drawing on the draconic strength of the Legion of Everblight, while I was championing the enigmatic Retribution of Scyrah.

My opponent won the dice roll, but decided to let me go first.

 ROUND ONE

Turn one: Retribution

Using the default battle box for Retribution, my list consisted of:

Kaelyssa
A chimera
A griffon
A manticore

I gave each warjack one focus each and placed the chimera via [apparation] two inches further up the field.

All three warjacks then ran, while Kaelyssa cast Phantom Hunter and chose to move to cover.

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Turn two: Legion

Once again using Legion’s default battle box, my opponent’s list consisted of:

Primal Lylyth
A carnivean
Four shredders

As with the previous game, my opponent decided to play it safe, walking up the field rather than running.

The carnivean cast its animus, Spiny Growth, on itself.

Lylyth went on the offensive, firing twice at my manticore. Both hit, needing only a five, and did a respectable thirteen damage overall, knocking out the force field and creeping into column three.

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 ROUND TWO

Turn one: Retribution

Kaelyssa upkeeps Phantom Hunter and allocates one focus to the chimera, one focus to the griffon and two to the manticore. The chimera is once again placed due to apparation, closer to the enemy forces.

The griffon charged the shredder in the centre, easily hitting and apparently killing it outright. It then attacked the shredder to its right with the shield, knocking out its mind. This also managed to catch all the remaining shredders, the carnivean and Lylyth in combat.

Next, the chimera charged the carnivean. Its apparition brought it just close enough to get into melee. I went for a [combo strike], adding the power of its second fist to the first, but only managed to knock off four points before taking two in the force field from Spiny Growth.

At this point I realised I’d made a mistake in my order of activation. I’d given the manticore two focus so it could aim and fire three times, utilising its full rate of fire, but having caught the shredders in combat with the griffon, my options were limited. I boosted to hit on one visible shredder, which sadly missed and ended up hitting my griffon instead.

As the shot was in the back arc, the griffon received no protection from its shield as well as being slightly easier to hit. Fortunately the attack only did two points of damage which went straight into the force field.

The remaining focus point I used to regenerate the force field.

Lastly, Kaelyssa activated and moved to safety, beside the manticore.

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Turn two: Legion

Lylyth leeched two fury from the carnivean and cut herself for one to put her back to full.

The carnivean activated first and cast Spiny Growth on itself as before. It then proceeded to attack the chimera, missing with its bite, but causing massive damage with its talons.

With the chimera somehow hanging on to dear life, my opponent chose to activate the nearest shredder, which she forced to become rabid. The shredders one attack was enough to hit the light warjack and turn it into a wreck.

The remaining two shredders swarmed the griffon. The first went rabid, but failed to damage. After a second attack was bought, it managed to knock off some points from the force field. The second shredder did the same, but caused no damage. With a lot of fury on the table, my opponent decided not to buy another attack.

MISTAKE: One of the shredders was lacking its mind by this point, but we didn’t notice and three dice were rolled instead. It didn’t really alter the outcome though.

Having inadvertently blocked line of sight to Lylyth, my opponent’s warlock was suddenly out of combat. She decided to capitalise on this by boosting attack and damage rolls from two shots at the griffon. Both hit and caused respectable damage, knocking out the griffon’s shield and effectively lowering its armour.

With just a fury left, Lylyth used [bushwhack], allowing her to move after her action. She used this to move further away from danger.

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ROUND THREE

Turn one: Retribution

Once more, I had Kaelyssa upkeep Phantom Hunter, then allocated three focus to the griffon and two to the manticore.

At this point the griffon had an abundance of targets. Its initial attack went onto the damaged shredder, which did enough to leave it with just one box. I bought an attack that killed it and then the remainder went onto the shredder directly in front, knocking out body and spirit but failing to kill.

I had to ignore the shield attack, as it was impossible to hit any of the shredders on one dice.

The manticore once more spent a focus to regenerate its shield, then ran in front of a nearby wall.

Kaelyssa then activated and ran behind the wall and also behind the manticore. My hope was to block Lylyth’s line of sight, and giving Kaelyssa a fighting chance at retaliation. The wall also provided cover, one of the few things that [eyeless sight], a rule very prevalent in Legion of Everblight, fortunately does not ignore.

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Turn two: Legion

Lylyth leached back four fury from the shredders and one from the carnivean, forcing it to do a threshold check, which it passed.

With the carnivean still firmly under her control, my opponent had it wander over to my griffon, which it managed easily to destroy.

This left the shredders free to move and engage my manticore. The first used rabid, not only for boosted attack and damage rolls, but for the additional speed and pathfinder which were integral for passing over the wreckage of the griffon.

The shredder ultimately failed to damage the manticore, though its partner, which did the same, managed to knock three points off the shield.

MISTAKE: Both shredders moved outside of Lylyth’s control area, meaning neither could have been legally forced for additional attacks.

MISTAKE: The second shredder had already lost both body and spirit. Neither of us noticed this, but it would have prevented rabid and saved the manticore those three points.

With the shredders ensuring that the manticore cannot easily attack Lylyth, my opponent chose to risk moving forward and went for the assassination.

Lylyth moved up to another wall and popped her feat, Field of Slaughter, granting an additional die to her attack rolls (no other models could benefit from this as she was the last to activate). She then made a ranged attack against Kaelyssa, needing a surprising thirteen to hit.

This is where the wording of Field of Slaughter becomes very important. Lylyth’s feat gave her an additional die, but it wasn’t a boost. This meant that she could boost the roll and effectively roll four dice to hit. This is what she did and she was successful. She then boosted the damage, knocking five points off of Kaelyssa.

My opponent then bought another ranged attack and similarly boosted to hit. This attack also hit and even though the odds were against her, she managed to do just enough damage to assassinate Kaelyssa, resulting in a…

LEGION VICTORY!

 This was another very enjoyable game, in spite of a few mistakes along the way. None of them impacted greatly on the outcome of the game, however and as I pointed out at the time, had she chosen to ignore the manticore entirely and activated Lylyth first, she would still have won and in the same way.

As last time, it’s impressive to see how my friend has picked up the game, in particular working to Lylyth’s strengths. She does a good job in keeping her out of danger and saving the feat for the assassination.

The Retribution battle box is far from my favourite. Kaelyssa is my favourite Retribution warcaster, but none of my lists make use of the included warjacks. I find they stretch her focus too thin and force her into dangerous positions that warlocks like Lylyth (who specifically ignore most of Kaelyssa’s advantages) are very capable of exploiting.

For the next game we’ve decided to try something different. We’ll be doing a 15 point game, using different models. It will be very interesting to see how this changes the dynamic as well as a chance for my friend to try something new.

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Speculating on the New Colossals: The Helios

Helios Helios_image

The helios is, in my most humble opinion, the most bizarre of the new colossals. Its function appears to involve buffing, by something called a “force gate” and movement antics via its ranged attack. If I had to take a guess, I’d say the force abilities will be something akin to polarity field or Discordia‘s kinetic field. Both of which having uses in denying the enemy.

As with all colossals and gargantuans, the helios has two big and dangerous looking fists. This will very likely give it access to all the usual power attacks as well as being enough to crush any heavy it can reach.

As a Retribution warjack, the helios is also a myrmidon and given that it’s based on the hyperion’s design it’ll doubtless have a force generator. This will again most likely be tied to its sole ranged attack, the tractor beam. As the name suggests, this attack will be all about moving the model it hits. It causes no damage, but can move a hit model up to 3” in any direction. Rahn, a unit of battle mages and a magister solo would have great fun with this model, allowing for all manner of crazy movement hijinks, particularly on a feat turn or with a sphinx thrown in to lower defences to magic. Other casters might enjoy this as a way to pull models into range or force them into awkward positions.

The helios seems, at least so far, to serve an entirely different role to the hyperion. Where the hyperion is all about infantry clearing, with critical consume and auto fire, the helios seems to be focused on battlefield control and support. The lack of a damaging ranged weapon seems an odd choice for a Retribution warjack, but it’s still far too early to judge.

In any case, being the most enigmatic of the revealed colossals, it will be very interesting to see just what the “force gate” ability offers as well as seeing exactly what the full might of the helios will bring the Retribution.

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Speculating on the New Colossals: The Revelator

RevelatorRevelator_imageThe revelator is apparently all about stealth, or more specifically overcoming it. It’s a strange addition to a faction that prides itself on an overabundance of sprays and aoes, but the ability to knock out stealth would certainly benefit our other shooting models like the beloved reckoner or a unit of errants. Additionally, being able to land an aoe where you need it rather than hoping it’ll scatter in the right direction could be incredibly useful, particularly when trying to pick off annoying solos that might otherwise be untouchable.

As with all colossals and gargantuans, the revelator boasts two big and dangerous looking fists. This will very likely give it access to all the usual power attacks as well as being enough to crush any heavy it can reach.

What interests me the most are the twin cannons on its shoulders. They look very similar to the vanquisher‘s flame belcher, and I could easily imagine that they act similarly, with perhaps a few alterations – additional range would be a godsend (Menothsend?). The fact that there’s two of them is already making me wonder if I can find room for this monstrosity in my epic Feora list, where it could easily end up replacing the two vanquishers I currently use.

Oh and the flamethrowers? Yeah, I guess they come as standard.

The real question though, is how it will compare with the judicator. Both warjacks offer a way to deal with stealth, with the revelator’s being more specific and the judicator’s being an abundance of aoes. Being able to see through stealth, the revelator would definitely be more accurate, but the judicator’s reliquary granting it a free focus each turn may mean the revelator is more costly to use.

Either way, the revelator looks amazing and it’ll be fun to see exactly what it brings to the game when the full rules are revealed. I’m already imagining how amazing it would be to have both colossals marching behind a unit or two of temple flameguard and blasting everything in sight.

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Battle Report: Kaelyssa Vs. Primal Lylyth

Hi everyone!

It’s been quite some time since I made one of these, but I’ve been having fun teaching a new friend to play the game and I thought now was a good time to shake off the cobwebs.

For these games we’ve been using only the starter boxes of our respective factions. My opponent has a fondness for dragons, so the corruption of the Legion of Everblight was too much for her to resist, while myself I’ve been getting some much needed practice with the so-called angry elves of the Retribution of Scyrah.

My opponent won the dice roll and decided to go first.

ROUND ONE

Turn one: Legion

Using the default battle box for Legion, my opponent had at her disposal:

Primal Lylyth
A carnivean
Three shredders

Playing it cautious, she chose to spend her first turn simply moving forward.

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Turn two: Retribution

Similarly, using the default battle box for Retribution, my army was comprised of:

Kaelyssa
A chimera
A griffon
A manticore

For my first turn, I gave each warjack one focus, allowing them to run ahead. With the chimera slightly further due to [apparition].

Kaelyssa activated last and cast Phantom Hunter on herself and popped her feat, The Vanishing, giving her and all friendly Faction models in her control area [stealth] and an immunity to charges. She then chose to charge a shredder for additional distance.

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ROUND TWO

Turn one: Legion

With my feat protecting my forces from immediate attack, my opponent decided to reposition instead. She cunningly used her shredders as meat shields, blocking Lylyth and the carnivean from direct attack.

To add insult to injury, her carnivean cast its animus, Spiny Growth, upon itself (upping its armour considerably), while Lylyth dropped two fury points to compensate.

Turn two: Retribution

Now I had to go on the offensive. I upkept Phantom Hunter and gave one focus to the chimera and griffon each and two to the manticore.

My chimera activated first, charging a shredder close to Lylyth. The charge attack failed to hit, as did its second attack, but on the plus side I managed to catch both shredders in combat.

It was the griffon’s turn next. It charged a shredder to the right of the carnivean and hit, causing enough damage to kill it outright while also getting into combat with the heavy warbeast.

I didn’t want to leave that last shredder free to roam, but it somehow proved resilient. It took all the focus of both my manticore and Kaelyssa to take it down.

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ROUND THREE

Turn one: Legion

My opponent leeched back the fury and wasted no time activating Lylyth, who then moved into the open.

Lylyth immediately popped her feat, Field of Slaughter, granting an additional die on all attack rolls to friendly Faction models in her control area and took a shot at Kaelyssa, needing only 9 on three dice (an average roll). The shot hit and she spent a fury to boost the damage, slicing through 10 points of health.

She then bought a second ranged attack, but surprisingly this missed.

Not yet finished with my severely wounded warcaster, my opponent had Lylyth cast Eruption of Spines upon her. This used up all of her remaining fury and being a spell, requiring an 11 this time. However, the dice were clearly on her side and the attack hit.

In order to finish off Kaelyssa, my opponent needed to roll 10 or more on only two dice. As luck would have it, she rolled exactly 10, ensuring that this game ended in a…

LEGION VICTORY!

Lylyth Victory

I had to admit being shocked by the speed of that assassination. Had the second shot hit, she could well have killed Kaelyssa with that alone. Of course, if she hadn’t, she would have left herself in a very vulnerable position, but this game is all about taking chances and the odds were very much in her favour.

If I’ve learned anything from this game though, it’s not to underestimate a Legion player, no matter their level of experience. Legion are deadly and the battle box exemplifies this.

I was impressed with how my opponent used her shredders to hide her most valuable models.

It’s great to see how well she’s picking up the game, but a little scary too. After all, no matter how small my part in it, I have helped unleash a new Legion player upon the tabletop and that could spell doom for us all!

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Road to Narakys – Part Eight

FRAID

The mood had changed in the camp. She could sense it in the aether, like a swelling of dark thoughts and the excitement that so often came with them. Even had she not been blessed with such a talent she could still see the tension written across their faces. News of death took its toll on them, no matter the cause, no matter the number, the reminder of their own mortality was an uncomfortable one. Any one of them could die at any time, for any reason.

Fraid pressed a hand to her wrist, then quickly removed it when she remember what she sought was no longer there, had not in fact been there for quite some time. The bracelet, a gift, and constant reminder of a life she no longer led, was gone now. She reminded herself that she no longer needed such things. Trinkets were for children, and she was not a child.

Now the floodgates opened on their own and memories she fought hard to repress came rushing back to her. She grimaced as she found herself surrounded by ghosts. They stared at her with such disappointment. She shook them from her head, but they were always there, like a shadow cast before her that only she could see.

Sleep alone freed her from them. She did not dream, instead her mind went blank, wholly empty like a starless sky. During the day she would long for that abyssal peace. At times like this, when she too was reminded of the linear nature of all things, such thoughts disturbed her all the more.

‘Wolves, they’re a menace. Smart and cunning. It’s unusual for them to attack so close to camp though, but I suppose it happens.’

Fraid heard the words spoken loudly by a soldier somewhere in front of her. Of course, listening to the conversations of the others in their group she had already pieced together that it was a watcher who had died, and that wolves were the explanation given. She wasn’t entirely convinced this was the whole story, but it didn’t matter. So long as it did not affect the mission.

She turned in the direction of the speakers and saw a tall nian chatting to none other than the damned troll that had pestered her the other night. She grimaced as she recalled the awkwardness of their meeting, but as her eyes fell upon him once more she caught the glimpse of something unusual, something she had not seen before.

For the briefest of moments it seemed as though an aura of light encircled his body. It was a soft light, imperceptible to those without the skill to see into the aether, and even then a novice might have passed it off as something meaningless. No, this was not meaningless, of that she was sure. She knew exactly what the aura indicated and suddenly things began to make an odd kind of sense.

So, the Summit had been bold indeed with their choice of ambassador. This “Heljak” was no mere troll. He had magic.

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