Friday, July 16, 2010

Playing a dead game

by Chambers

Ever since the second round of 'Ard Boyz (oh how I hate the intentional butchering of language, but another rant for another day) I have been feeling burnt out on 40k.
That is not to say that I didn't have a great time, I did. I ended up shy of third place by five battle points with 23, 01, and 24 points respectively. More importantly I did not have a bad opponent nor did I have to face a Leaf Blower list.
The guys at Capital city games run a very nice operation. I fully intend to head back over there for one of their regular 40k tournaments. The place is clean, open, fully stocked and the staff is friendly and knowledgeable what more could a player ask for? Just not right now, and when I do I will bring my Necrons. After gearing up for the all competitive feel of 'Ard Boyz the last thing that I want to do right now is optimize a list or crush the guy standing across the table from me. Both of which are things that I felt that you had to do in order to be successful in the tournaments.

So enough emo mopping what is the upswing? The local game store has started up a Dogs of War league. For the unaware “Dogs of War” is/was the first expansion for Confrontation 3.5. Confrontation was a skirmish game pitting two war-bands against each other each with between 5 and 20 models apiece. Rather than the “you go, I go” style of 40k confrontation operates on “alternating activations”. This is accomplished through a system of reference cards and the management of said cards. What you end up with is a very dynamic game that is both tactical and narrative. Dogs of War takes this even further by introducing war-bands that start approximately 1/3 the size of traditional war-bands and grow from there using experience gained in the games. To relate it back to 40k, dogs of war is the Necromunda expansion for Confrontation 3.5.

So what makes Confrontation so much different that I am rereading the rule book cover to cover and dusting off my little lead men? First it has to be the models, before they went pre-painted plastic Rackham had some of the best sculpted ranges around. This made the travesty which is their current line all the worse. Secondly the alternating activation mechanic means that there is almost no down time during the game, it just doesn't take that long to move one to three miniatures a few centimeters across the board. Coupled with the low model count the rules are very prone to luck as there are comparatively few dice rolls, any of which can drastically swing the game. This last point in my opinion serves two functions, first it keeps all players involved in the game. Secondly I find it hard to categorize a game were a pair of sixes or a one will win you the game as competitive. As a result I don't see this as a win at all cost game but more about telling a narrative which has been much more my speed lately.

Am I giving up 40k? Not a chance, just taking a (very) short break to cleanse my palate before starting a new army.

Here is the list that I have been running lately, a classic mid-nor hoard list. There is not a lot of trickery in this list just lots of cheap bodies coupled up with the resurrection and healing abilities from the collector and the two worms.
Unlimited AP - Dwarves of Mid-Nor Army

1 Araqusalil the Skinner (2nd) @ 60 aP
1 Mid-Nor Gallows Bearer @ 12 aP
1 Organist of Mid-Nor @ 12 aP

1 Collector of Mid-Nor @ 30 aP (Resurrection of the Possessed; The Despot's Eviscerators)
1 Resurrection of the Possessed

2 Chthonian Larve @ 108 aP

3 Warrior of the Abyss @ 30 aP (Personal Guard)

3 Scourge Bearer @ 54 aP (The Scourges of Mid-Nor)

3 Scourge Bearer @ 54 aP (The Scourges of Mid-Nor)

3 Halberdier of Mid-Nor @ 24 aP

2 Halberdier of Mid-Nor @ 16 aP

Total Army Cost: 400
Total Cards: 8


  1. Whilst I never played Confrontation (I've heard a bit about it through Brent @ Strictlyaverage, amongst others) I am doing the same with Wyrd game Malifaux.
    It sounds pretty similar to Dogs/Conf. and serves a great purpose - namely, keeping me fresh on 40k.
    I've been playing for a few months now and love it....Hope resurrecting your Dogs does the same!!


  2. Sounds like you would like Vor: The Maelstrom by Fasa Corp (RIP). You can find the rules on Ebay for dirt cheap, and use any models you like due to their Custom Force Creation rules. I too have been burnt out on 40k and resorted to other, more social, games. More "beer-and-pretzel", if you will.

  3. Vor was a great game and I love playing it. Confrontation was another great game that I wish I could get enough figs to play it with. Acharon for the win.

    I am with everyone else on the getting burned out after 'Ard Boyz. It was just a little rough this year and I am not one for the overly competitive feel that 'Ard Boyz brings. I prefer friendly open games.

    Thankfully I have warhammer fantasy to break up the 40k business with, as well as a few other games.

    If anyone wants a Vor rulebook I have a few extra.

  4. Ya, I've got some Confrontation posts over on Strictly Average. It was a huge game in our local area, the only real competition 40K had. The fact is, the company made a huge mistake killing it in favor of pre-painted plastics, because the range of miniatures is literally the best every produced.

    We still play it from time to time but it's hard to find support for a dead game. You have to go far afield to find the miniatures you want.

    I know some great little spots that still keep back-orders if you're ever looking for something specific.


  5. I hear ya on the 'Ard Boyz burnout.

  6. At least back in CU confrontation was poised to take over GW's throne as top game. That is until they went to prepainted plastics and refused to support confrontation 3.5 instead focusing only on age of fail. That set of desisions was the best thing that had happened to 40k and Warmachine in years. It breathed new life into 40k and handed warmachine a group of players who were looking for something other than 40k.

    The local store also has a large stock of the old con figures, shoot me an email if you want anything.

    Any chance you know where to pick up a box set of the pirate goblins?

  7. I also was a little burnt on 40k and just played two games saturday. I have agreed to put down my guard and pull out the space wolves. After my "game from hell" at the ardz boys tournament, I havent really wanted to play again. But Saturday with my other army was refreshing and got my blood pumping again. Suprisingly I am also excited about running the tournament coming up instead of playing in it. I am sure the closer I get to it, I will wish I was playing, but it has been nice to take a break.

  8. Chambers:

    Which one? I know some places locally that have back stock of Pirate Gobos. I'll be happy to look through it if you're looking for something in particular.

    That's the best place to find some hard to find Con minis. The site's in France and he bought out all of Rackham's backstock. He's selling it out slowly but surely.

    I've ordered from him and he's great. Zero problems. My friends order all the time.

    Also check out Gator Games in Florida. They were great too.

    Keep in mind, I live in Texas, so there was shipping, but frankly it wasn't that much.

    Good hunting!


    Here's a better link. It can be hard to find the stock over there.

  10. Brent -
    Thanks for the links, I am looking for the Clan Box for the goblins.

  11. Chambers,

    I checked for you and he doesn't have any of the goblin boxes except the cannon.

    He does have plenty of blisters, including some Uraken, but mostly Gobo sailors and characters.

    Hit me back if you're interested and I'll get a list of available stuff for you.

  12. Thanks
    but at the moment the only goblins I am looking for is the clan box.


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