Tuesday, March 11, 2014

US Masters Review and Some Pink Horrors

After a year of build-up, I have returned from the US Masters.  Although I didn’t do particularly well (finished 49th out of 50), I did have a great time, and it was fantastic to have the opportunity to participate in the first ever US Masters.  The work that Jerry and the regional organizers have done is amazing, and it looks to me that they have established one of the premier events in the country.  I can tell there is a lot of excitement in the community, and it seems to have really created a lot of hype for all of the qualifying tournaments.  For example, Coastal Carnage sold out in 48 hours, and Brawler Bash is already sitting at 110 players.  Just a few years ago in the Mid-Atlantic region, we thought we were doing well to get 35 to a tournament.  Now, we get 50 with pretty much no problem.

As far as gaming at the Masters, I went 0-4-1.  However, I got a chance to play several very well-known Warhammer players, including three from the West Coast and one from the Northeast.  A testament to the level of play at the event was that in the last round on the next to last table, I played a fellow who is a multi-time GT winner and one of the Mid-Atlantic’s best players.  Even though the stakes might have been higher than other tournaments, the games were, for the most part, friendly, and it was great to finally meet folks that I only know from the internet.

Next year, the Master’s plans to add two more regions, a new Southeast region (which will include my new home of TN) and a Mountain region.  I’m making it one of my hobby goals for the year to qualify again; however, I think it will be much more difficult this year as the tournament scene has really exploded.  We’ll see how it goes.

I’m planning on attending two tournaments in the near future: Nashcon and Brawler Bash.  Both of these are Masters qualifiers albeit in different regions.  I’ve heard really good things about Nashcon, and Brawler Bash is going to be a spectacle this year.  If you are free the weekend of May 31, you should definitely come down just to participate in a 100+ player tournament.

Right now, I am finalizing lists for the two tournaments.  Brawler Bash is uncomped and is allowing special characters, so I’m thinking about building a Teclis list.  I think the ability to choose spells will be fun, and I haven’t played an infantry-heavy list since last year’s Nova. 

I’d like to debut my Daemon army at Nashcon, so I’m making a big push to get the army together.  I’m starting with the infantry first because they can be such a grind.  I’ve finished some plaguebearers and horrors.  Here’s a picture of my pink horror unit:


They are purple because of a bit of fluff concerning the Elvish kingdom of Yvresse, which is my second favorite elf kingdom.  As the story goes, Yvresse is a land of heavy mists, and these mists sometimes herald an incursion of daemons.  One short story that I read dealing with one such infestation described the mists as purple, so I decided to paint the whole army purple to mimic that (I like a uniform look rather than the multi-colored daemon armies I see a lot).  I’m basin them on the ruins of the elvish cities that they are destroying, and my plan for their display board is a ruined elvish temple. 

One problem that I am having is that I’m not sure what color to paint the side of the base.  I did the one in black, but I haven’t tried the others yet as I’m not sure I like black.  Any ideas on that?

So far this year, I have painted five dragon princes, five shadow warriors, two skycutter chariots, a frost phoenix conversion, five plaguebearers, and three horrors.  Not terrible, but I definitely need to pick up the pace to finish my hobby goals for the year.

Finally, don’t forget my tournament this Saturday (March 15, 2014) at Dicehead in Cleveland, TN.  This is the first tournament I have every organized, so I am hoping it goes well.  Right now, I have 16 signed up, so if you can make it down, it should be a good time.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Brawler Bash Warm-Up Tournament on March 15 in Cleveland, TN

This is just a quick post to let everyone know about my tournament on March 15.  I know several TN folks look in at this from time to time, so maybe some of you can make it down for this event.  Here's a quick blurb about it:

On March 15, 2014, Dicehead Games in Cleveland, TN will host a Brawler Bash Warm-up Tournament. For those of you who do not know, Brawler Bash is a 2-day, 3,000 point tournament held every year in Durham, NC. This year's event, which will be held in May, has over 100 people signed up, making it one of the largest Warhammer Fantasy Battle tournaments ever to be held in the South. Dicehead's warm-up tournament gives everyone a taste of the event and the chance to win free admission to the nearly sold-out event. If you are planning on going to the Bash, it's a great chance to practice. If you couldn't get a ticket, you'll have a chance to win one. If you are not interested or not able to go to Brawler Bash, it's a great chance to experience some very interesting rules and have a great day of wargaming fun.

Here's a summary of the event:

  • 3 games of Warhammer Fantasy Battles
  • 3,000 point armies; no grand armies
  • Carnage scoring system
  • Brawler Bash tournament scoring for the following store-credit prizes: Best Overall, Best General, Best Painting, and Best Sports
  • An additional prize for Best Club (certificate only)
  • A raffle of all tournament participants interested in attending Brawler Bash VII. The winner will receive a free Brawler Bash VII tournament entry.
All of this is covered in your $20 entry fee (payable the day of the tournament). You download the player's pack (which mimics the Brawler Bash pack exactly) and sign up at the following link:


Hope to see some of you there.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Coastal Carnage Review

Back in January, I had the opportunity to attend CoastalCarnage, and although I am a bit tardy in my response, I did want to review this excellent event.  This was a new GT, organized by internet wargaming superstar, Lord Inquisitor, along with another local player (Ron).  It was held in Chesapeake, VA at The Tower of Gaming, which proved to be a hospitable, if a bit small, venue.  After having some time to reflect, here are my reactions to the Mid-Atlantic’s newest GT:

·         They decided to go with a W-L-D scoring system, which was a welcomed change of pace from the 20-0 systems that have become very popular in the area.  Obviously, some armies are more effective at claiming huge victories than are other armies.  I, myself, tend to favor avoidance type lists that seek to hit weak spots in the opposition while avoiding their heavy hitters, and this play style tends to lead to close games.  I’m all for variety in our GT formats, and this system did seem to encourage a different type of play.  With the influx of tournaments in the region, I think players will begin being more selective about the types of events that they attend, so I’m of the opinion that organizers will need to consider carefully things like scoring and comp (I’m only planning to attend one Swedish event this year besides the Masters).  I believe part of the reason that the Fowl Intentions GT filled up so quickly is that it chose the ETC format, which is pretty rare in this region. 

·         The organizers chose to go with a fairly light comp, and I didn’t really see much difference in the lists.  The only comp at Coastal Carnage was a prohibition in taking three of the same specials and two of the same rares and an elimination of special characters.  This affected a few builds (triple chimera, double steam tank, double hellcannon); however, I’d imagine this amounted to no comp for most people.  Honestly, I couldn’t tell a huge difference in the power of the list here compared to most Southern Swedish Comp tournaments (although I think actually applying the victory points bonuses for comp gaps greatly affected the lists at the Masters; hopefully, TOs planning to use this particular system will apply it in this manner in the future).  I’m at a place right now where the only thing that I can see creating truly unfriendly lists are a handful of special characters (Everqueen and  Epidemius mainly.  Maybe Teclis and Morathi as well).  In this regard, I think CC proved that it we don’t need giant spreadsheets to keep the lists manageable but that a ban on some special characters might be wise.

·         Competitive Warhammer Fantasy is growing stronger in the Mid-Atlantic.  This tournament filled up in 24 hours.  The next tournament on the schedule, Fowl Intentions, saw huge demand which forced them to seek ways to increase their capacity.  Brawler Bash reached 70 players in two days and will probably end up making it to 100.  When the new tournament schedule was released, some people were worrying about diluting the player pool.  If anything, all of these options have energized the crowd (and the Masters undoubtedly have something to do with this as well).

Overall, I had a great time at the event.  Everything went smoothly.  I loved the terrain maps, which standardized the boards each round (and I’m hoping this is something that other events may start employing).  Due to space limitations, the event was a bit small (only about 36 people); they’ll probably need to consider their options if it is to be part of the Masters circuit next year.  I liked their paint scoring system, which like their battle scoring system, seemed designed to maintain a tighter spread on the scoring.  Basically, a player would get a 5/10/15 as a holistic army score and a handful of bonus points could then be added.  The top score was 21 while most people clustered together in the 12-15 range.  I have heard some talk that there will be a universal scoring system for Master’s qualifiers in the future, but I hope this is not true.  I would prefer that we have as much variety in paint scoring as we do in battle scoring and comp and think it would be nice to have an event like this one that focuses on holistic army appearance, another that reward truly technical skill, another that benefits heavily converted/themed armies, and so-on.

Personally, I went 3-1-1 with my double dragon list.  I was using the star dragon, a dragon mage, a BSB on eagle, 2 units of reavers, 2 units of silver helms, a unit of archers, a unit of dragon princes with the banner of the world dragon, a skycutter with bolt thrower, and a frost phoenix.  I lost in the first round to a coven of light Empire build in the Battle for the Pass scenario.  The extra distance really hurt me, and that army is really the perfect counter to what I run.  I defeated a chariot/chimera Warriors army, a skaven army, and a beastman army and drew a Slannesh Warriors army (after Mr. Wiatt made some smooth moves in the final round to swing a ton of victory points into his favor).  This gave me enough to finish 8th in battle (I think) with my soft scores (2nd in painting, 1st in sports) I jumped up to 3rd overall, which I’m very happy with.  I’ve had some pretty good luck with sports scores lately, and I have some ideas about what goes into winning these types of awards.   I heard the Ohiohammer guys suggest that winning sports awards has to do with kissing up to or bribing opponents, but I don’t think those things have anything to do with it. Indeed, I think they can actually work against a person’s score. Maybe I’ll write up an essay on the subject for a future post (I think a lot of it comes down to the style of list a person plays).

That’s enough for now.  Right now, I’m gearing up for the Master’s on Feb. 21.  I apparently drew one of the Northeast Region’s top players and was picked to lose by the experts (I’m in the second matchup reviewed on this video – I really like the Sportscenter-style analysis they did with all of the matchups.  Kudos to Jerry, Once Bitten, and all of the guest hosts).  I’m really looking forward to this match-up because I think my opponent has a very unique build which will interact with mine in an interesting way.  I see him as having some counters to my stuff, but I also think that I have some counters to his.  Here's the preview video (there will be four of these, each with a different Warhammer internet personality):

As far as my hobby goals, I have completed 5 shadow warriors, converted a dragon into a frost phoenix, and finished skycutter since my last post.  I’m working on 5 more dragon princes, a mounted mage, and a skycutter, which all need to be finished before the Masters.  Wish me luck.  I’ll post some more pictures and go over my Masters list next time.  

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Gaming Resolutions for 2014 and An Ellyrian Reaver

I hope everyone had a great Christmas, and I wish everyone the best for the new year.

It's New Year's Eve, which means that it's resolution time.  Before committing myself to a bunch of goals, let's take a look at last year's goals:

1)  Take a Painting Lesson:  Check this one off as positive.  I had the chance to talk to and watch two really good painters at work, and I picked up a few tips that will hopefully improve my scores.

2)  Get Another Horde of White Lions Painted:  Check this one off as well.  I can now field two units of 30 lions.  With the new rule changes, however, I tend not to use two hordes. That said, I'm hoping to drop a unit of 50 on the table at some point.

3)  Get a Full Blown Caledor Army on the Table in Time for Brawler Bash: I got half of this one.  I've posted a shot and have since added a dragon themed skycutter.  The army looks sharp and has scored well at the tournaments in which I have used it.  I did not, however, get a new display board finished.

4)  Play Teclis at a 7th Edition Tournament:  Of course, Teclis was the ultimate 7th edition cheese, but I did take him to Scarab Con.  I probably didn't place as highly as I should have considering the list I was using.  I also didn't find tossing six dice at spells over and over again particularly fun or satisfying.  Alas.

5)  Construct an Alith Anar Army:  I struck out on this one.  I made a list with some proxies and played a practice game against Paul.  It was a fun army to play, but I got distracted by other projects.

If you are keeping score at home, I completed 3.5 out of 5 of my goals.  That's a much better success rate than those that I set for my general life (I was 0-2 there).  We shall see how I do with my 2014 goals, which I think are a bit more challenging than last years:

1)  Finish My Elf Army:  Every time I think I'm finished, they keep pulling me back in.  That said, once I finish the following, I think I'll be done:  an honest dragon to frost phoenix conversion, one more dragon skycutter, one more eagle dragon, 3 units of reavers (pictured below),10 sisters, and a Carmine dragon.  (The model tally sheet for goal 1:  4 large models, 15 cavalry, 10 infantry).

2)  Get a Daemon Army on the Table:  I really want to take my time and put together a well painted daemon army, complete with resin bases.  I don't have a specific list yet, but my vision involves getting the following finished:  great unclean one conversion, 2 heralds of tzeentch, a herald of nurgle, blue scribe conversion, 30 plaguebearers, 20 horrors, 12 bloodletters, 9 plague toads, 2 skull cannon conversions, 2 burning chariots, 3 plague drones, and resin bases for all of them. (The model tally here will be 1 large model, 65 infantry, 13 monstrous cav/infantry, 4 chariots).

3)  Complete a Display Board for Both Armies:  The display boards in the Mid-Atlantic tournaments have gotten crazy good.  I really need to upgrade mine.  I have two really good ideas, but I'm not sure if I have the skills to pull them off.

4)  Get Five Tables of High Quality Terrain Completed:  I want to be able to better support some of my tournament organizers, and it seems when the tournaments get really large terrain seems to be a big issue.  I have some nice pieces, but I need to collect a bit more (looking at some river sets, some more GW hills, and some modular forests).  I also need to paint 4 of the GW building sets that I have. (The model tally here will be 4 GW buildings and 5 GW hills)

5)  Qualify for the Masters Again:  I think the Masters tournaments have great potential to unit the various scenes across our country, and it's really exciting to be part of that.  It's only going to get more difficult to qualify, and I'm not sure that my personal life will allow me to attend as many tournaments as last year.

6)  Organize a League and/or Tournament:  This is something that I've been thinking about for some time, and I'm hoping to try my hand at this aspect of the hobby.

7)  Blog More:  I like having a record of my gaming thoughts (it amuses me to see how excited I was about Tomb Kings, considering I sold the army before it ever really saw the table), and the occasional comment is nice as well (thanks to Da Masta Cheef for his frequent comments here!). I'd like to get at least two posts a month and maybe join a larger network.

Looking back over these, I think I will be pushed to get them all completed.  Hopefully, I'll keep my motivation high, get everything finished, and have a great time doing so.

I'm going to keep a running tally of everything I have to finish this year:

0/5 Large Models; 0/75 infantry; 0/15 cavalry; 0/13 monstrous stuff; 0/4 chariots; 0/4 buildings; 0/5 hills

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Holiday Brawl 2013 Review

I know that I still need to write up what happened at the SE Masters, but I'm just back from the Holiday Brawl in Cleveland, Tennessee and wanted to go ahead and discuss it while it is fresh in my mind.  I'm preparing to relocate to Cleveland, so I decided to head to the tournament in hopes of meeting some of the local gamers.  I'm glad that I did because I ended up meeting a lot of great people and having a very fun time.  The tournament was held in Dicehead Games, located in Cleveland's mall.  It was the first time that I had been to the shop, and I found it a great place to game.  They have a large space in the back for playing, you can walk to the food court for lunch, they have a nice selection of gaming stuff to spend your winnings on, and the owner is very helpful and friendly.

The tournament itself was well organized, and I'd recommend that folks within driving distance make the trip to future Brawls.  It was essentially a mini-GT: a one-day, three game affair with prizes for soft scores. The games were based around objectives which was a nice change of pace from the 20-0 systems that so many NC/VA tournaments are based on.  The organizer said that he uses objective instead of comp.  Basically, players can bring whatever they want because the games aren't built around smashing opponent's in the mouth.  The objective-focused play really changed the ways that the games went and in some cases weakened some of the power-builds.  For example, I played a chariot based Nurgle warriors army in the third game and felt like he was at a real disadvantage in the scenario.

Anyway, here's a quick review of my three games:

In the first round, I played John's Lizardmen.  I recognized him from Grail Quest, and he had an interesting list that featured an ethereal Slann, two stegadons, two salamander, 2 large saurus blocks, and some skinks.  The scenario was mainly about claiming objectives with smaller points given to preserving your largest block of troops while killing his.  I always enjoy scenarios like this because they force armies out of their normal blocks as players have to set up to get the objectives.  My reavers really shined in this game because they were able to vanguard up to the objectives, and when I got first turn, they used their speed to escape.  I was surprised that my opponent didn't use his heavens magic to nuke the reavers, but I think he was playing to kill stuff more than to claim the objectives.  For my part, I threw him stuff to kill but managed to complete all of the objectives, so while he racked up far more victory points, I won all but one objective, netting me almost maximum points.  John's big moment came when a unit of Saurus out-lasted my white lion horde, killing them to a man.  It was a pretty suspenseful combat and made for great gaming.

In the second round, I played Todd's Lizardmen.  He's the organizer of NasCon, which is one of the new tournaments in the Master's series.  Talking to him about his tournament really got me excited to go this year.  He's got some great ideas, and it sounds like an excellent event.  It's definitely made my calendar this year.  This scenario was basically a modified watchtower where the goal was to have control of a central hill.  There was also a secondary objective wherein the player who killed a giant turkey (holiday themed, of course) grabbed some objectives.  Todd had a pretty nasty looking gutstar backed up by two cannons and some shooty maneaters.  I didn't have enough chaff to keep him off the hill, and I didn't really have anything to face the gutstar directly. I figured there was no way to win that hill.  Therefore, I decided to throw everything at killing the turkey, which ended up being harder than it looked.  Todd said afterwards that the turkey was his MVP after it forced my lion horde to fail a rerollable leadership 10 test, took out my star dragon, and killed my BSB.  I didn't think I was going to get the job done until one of my reaver units made a suicidal charge and managed to take the last wound off.  I liked the scenario.  The turkey was defensive enough where it couldn't be claimed easily, but slow enough where players could choose to ignore it if they wanted.  I thought that made for a good tactical tradeoff.  I'd be interested to hear from Todd whether he had fun watching me fight a turkey the whole game though.  He got the hill which netted him 15 points, but I got the turkey for 10.  I don't think anyone at the tournament was able to do both, so I only lost 5 points on the leaders here.

In the third round, I played Will's Warriors.  He was running Daemon prince, throgg, a bunch of trolls, a bunch of chariots, unkillable BSB, 2 units of crushers, and a chimera.  The problem for will was that the scenario was blood and glory, and he didn't have very many banners.  Basically, I knew that all I had to do was kill the daemon prince and not have my fortitude broken and I was fine.  In the end, the daemon prince died, and I was able to hide enough banners to take home the win.

In the end, I knew that I had a decent battle point score (ended up being third in battle), and I figured my painting score would be fine.  Because of that, I was thinking that best overall would come down to the sportsmanship vote.  It turns out that was true; I ended up with four more sports points than Todd which allowed me to slip by and win best overall by two points.  The other prizes were as follows: Todd Perkins took home best general, Chip King won best paint with his very nicely painted army, and William Sinclair (from game three) took home best sports.  I was very happy with the finish, and I loved the trophy.  My wife agrees that it is the coolest trophy that I have won thus far:

Overall, I really enjoyed myself, and I can tell that there are some great people to game with in Cleveland (which was one of my top ten moving fears -- check that one off).  I appreciate the work and care that Robbie put into the event and look forward to attending his next tournament.  I'll follow up with the results from the Master's in a few days.  Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

'Twas the Night Before the SE Masters (and a High Elf Skycutter Conversion)

The title is not exactly true. The Southeastern Masters are going to be held this Saturday (12/6).  The qualifiers of this event are the ten highest overall scorers from some of the largest tournaments in the region: Scarab Con, Brawler Bash, Southern Assault, NOVA, and Grail Quest.  The player list is very strong, and I feel fortunate to be included.

If you're curious, the lists for the events have been published at Wargamers USA (a relatively new website designed to unite the various US Warhammer communities: http://www.wargamersusa.com/showthread.php?tid=1803).  They've generated some interesting discussion for sure.  One thing to keep in mind when looking at the lists is that they were designed for a very small meta.  All of the players in this event know each other well, and we are well acquainted with the types of list that we prefer to bring.  Because of that, I don't think these are lists most would take in an all-comers environment.

Personally, I decided to go with a Star Dragon list.  Two of my better finishes this year came with a Star Dragon in the army.  I also felt that a highly maneuverable army would work well against what I was likely to see.  Because of the armies that these folks typically play, I also expected to see fewer cannons.  In actuality, people brought more warmachines than I expected (there are four cannons, two trebs (which I was not expecting), and a handful of bolt throwers among the ten armies). Still, I think the list is a good fit for my playstyle. Here's the list i will be rocking:

Prince on Star Dragon
Lvl 2 Life Mage on Steed
BSB on Great Eagle (set-up to catch cannonballs)

5 Reavers
5 Reavers
5 Silver Helms
5 Silver Helms
5 Silver Helms

Lion Chariot
Lion Chariot

Frost Phoenix
Frost Phoenix

That's pretty spammy, but I think it'll be fun to play and should be able to cover the board quickly.  In my last list, I had included some spearmen for ranks but found that there was really no way for them to keep up with flyers.  I've experimented some with larger units of silver helms, but I've not really been impressed by large units unless there are characters present.

Interestingly, I'm not the only one who thought a list like this would be effective because in round 1, I  am playing a very similar list.  He combined two of the silver helm units together,  he kitted out his characters a little differently, and he chose to include a noble on griffon instead of the chariots.  Otherwise, they are pretty similar. I'm expecting it to be a very atypical game of Warhammer.

If you are interested in following me in my quest to be the 2013 Southern Overlord (note: my real goal is not to finish last), you have a few options.  First, Atomic Empire will be streaming the top table all day:  http://www.twitch.tv/atomicempire/profile. Perhaps I'll be there. Some folks will probably also be covering it via Twitter. I'll try to post a few things myself, but I'm pretty much a Twitter amateur.  Here's a link to my page if you care to see how things are going: https://twitter.com/rotgutmanglers.  Wish me luck!

Also, since posts with pictures are cooler than those without, here's a picture of my new Skycutter conversion:

I'm very pleased with the way it came out.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Grail Quest 2013 Review, part 1

As you can see, it has been a while since I posted.  I have, however, a couple of things that I want to talk about, so you'll probably see three or four posts here over the next few weeks.  The first thing on my agenda is a quick review of Grail Quest, which ended last week.  I had a great time for three reasons:  the rules pack allowed me to take an interesting list, I played six really great opponents, and Ben, Tom, and the folks at Atomic Empire did a great job with the event.

First, let me talk about the list.  The rules pack allowed us to take a Storm of Magic monster in the rare slot. Of course, I took a Frost Dragon to go with my Star Dragon and Dragon Mage.  I backed that up with lots of cavalry, a small unit of spears, and a unit of dragon princes with the banner of world dragon.  The maneuverability and speed of the army made for some very interesting and tactical games, and I (and I think my opponents) had a lot more fun that when I was using my horde list at NOVA and Southern Assault.  The event used Swedish Comp, and according to their assessment, I had the second softest list at the tournament.  Despite that, I was able to pull down 23 out of 60 in battle points.  With my comp bonuses and soft scores, I ended up finishing 10th, which I was very pleased with.  I was also happy to win the award for 2nd best army.  I don't have any pictures of it right now, but I think it is the best army I have taken to a tournament.  If you want to see it, I played Shimmergloom in a practice game, and he has it on his YouTube channel.  Here's the video; you can find a link to his channel in my favorites:

Next, I want to give a shout out to my opponents.  Except for Power Posey, who is always I blast to play, everyone I played was a new opponent to me.  I'd love to have a rematch against any of them.  I thought all of the armies were reasonable, and they all played in a competitive but friendly fashion.

Finally, the tournament was very well run.  We had a great space, it was always on time, and there were tons of awards given out.  They had a very fun little Monster Mash battle royal where everyone took a monster and fought it out.  I managed to pull second place with a borrowed Terrorgheist.  Because the event was so close to Halloween, there was a costume contest which included one guy dressed up as a marauder (complete with long locks, no shirt, flail, and tattoos) and another dressed as an Ogre Irongut (imo this was the best costume ever.  His wife had sewn some striped pants.  He had an irongut breastplate, a banner that matched his army's, and fanged teeths).  Good stuff all around.

To close, I thought I'd make a couple of observations about my perceptions of the SE meta as it stands right now:

  • Despite there being a ton of warriors army (I think there were eleven or twelve), the warriors are not really dominating the battle point standings.  My guess is that people see them so much that most everyone knows what to do against them.  I also think that most people have Warriors in mind when building a list, so the Warrior players are probably getting tougher matchups than some of the other power armies.  For what it's worth, the top ten in battle went Daemons, Dark Elves, Chaos Dwarfs, Warriors, High Elves, Empire, Ogres, Wood Elves (!), High Elves, Ogres.
  • The above point made, I think the inclusion of the Storm of Magic monsters evened the playing field a little bit as it allowed some of the weaker armies to take units to cover their weaknesses.  This probably gives us a hint of the balancing effect that I believe allies will bring to the game when 9th hits.
  • Several of the top armies have moved to a coven of light build.  It seems to be very popular with Empire and High Elves right now.  
It'll be interesting to see how this develops over the next few months.  Anyway, I just want to reiterate how good a tournament that the Bull City Wargaming folks (Ben, Tom) and Atomic Empire put on.  If you have a Fantasy army and are in the SE do yourself a favor and get to Brawler Bash next year.  You will not be disappointed.

That's it for now.  Like I said, expect some more posts soon. I need to do a short game by game report of the tournament so that everyone can see how awesome Dragon Mages are (and how terrible skycutters are).  My High Elf army is all but finished (all I have unpainted is a unit of dragon princes and a handmaiden).  I want to put some shots of the whole army up as sort of a farewell to arms with them (even though I am still planning to make them a proper display base).  I also want to show of a couple of models from the new army on which I am working.  In addition, since I made all five of the mid-Atlantic GTs, I'd like to get up a review of the whole tournament season.  Finally, my finish at Grail Quest allowed me to qualify for the Master's, so I'm planning to do cover those events in some detail.  Those are big plans.  I heard Vegas has the over/under at two more posts.  Place your bets now.