Friday, September 27, 2013

Once again the Journeyman League at Clockwork Comics in Orange, CT is upon us.. lets jump in!

So first off as many of you know I've been taking a break from blogging for quite some time. I decided to get back into things by documenting my experiences at my local clubs Journeyman League. If you don't already know what the Journeyman is it's a beginner slow grow league for Privateer Press' Warmachine and Hordes systems. The idea is you start with a battle box and slowly add onto it until you hit 35 points. It's designed for new players and veterans looking to start a new faction. The journeyman can be quite refreshing as it allows you to get games in at 15, 25 and 35 point level brackets. A lot of players love to jump right into 35 points, or even 50, but personally I think you lose a lot if you don't go through these point brackets.

Clockwork's store front... come on down!

The battle box and 15 point level brackets, while not being balanced, offer a chance to play around with things like power attacks, blocking charges, the correct application of feats and piece trading. Often players lose out on the finer points of battle group interactions and going through these games can really open even a veteran players eyes to some nice little tricks that might help out in higher point games. More than once I've heard some of the local players say how they never really understood how important their battle groups could be, especially in Warmachine, and how these games make them rethink their 50 point lists a bit.

That being said I really wish they had a different scenario in play right from the beginning. Anyone that has been playing this game for an extended period of time knows the game simply breaks down without scenarios. It's something that newer players should be introduced to immediately as it can effect the way they learn and play the game. It also can really help balanced out the perspective of some of the battle boxes. Some of the boxes with more guns suddenly aren't shooting and backing up, rinsing, then repeating. That can leave a very negative play experience in newer players eyes.

 I remember at the beginning of MKII we almost never used scenarios and I almost quit because I was having such a hard time with Khador. Once we implemented even the simple scenarios I realized how powerful Khador can be in scenario play. Clever players can also utilize their forces to help cull some of the power casters down a bit by forcing them to play for scenario more. It's something I hope they take a look at in 2014, even if they add simple scenarios that fall inline with Steam Roller into the Journeyman packet itself.

One thing that the event organizer is trying differently this time around is a a raffle system. Earning league points equates to earning tickets at the end for a prize raffle. I love how this takes the competitive pressure off the players and just encourages them to learn the game, paint their models and have a good time. The difference between winning and losing a game is only 1 point. Hardly anything in the long run.

I'd love to see this system expanded to the seasonal leagues. I was a big fan of the Shattered Ground Leagues and the stamp system they had. While the league kits were a bit of a pain and it required a bit more work from the event organizer, the system translated nicely to a raffle. Each stamp earned you 1 ticket in the raffle. You can also add additional things to earn tickets to help shape your meta the way you want. Give away extra tickets for demo games to help bring in new players, give out tickets based off terrain donated to the shop, have a sportsman ship award at the end of the league that awards the winner a certain amount of extra tickets in the raffle. The options are endless and really up to the creativity of the event organizer.

A little taste of what's coming!

~Needless to say I love the JR leagues and am super excited for it! I'll be rocking the Trollbloods alternate battle box with Horluk Doomshaper, Shaman of the Gnarls. Look for more posts detailing my progress on the lists hobby wise and play wise.

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