New Years Party Tonight!

BK Celebration

Party at Black Knight?  That sounds pretty cool.

As we’ve posted a few times and mentioned in the Calendar, tonight BKG is open past 12am to let us ring in 2013 together.  We’re all expecting 2013 to be a very exciting year for Black Knight Gamers.  Why not stop by and play a couple of games tonight?

Journeyman League Begins Today!

6pm until the store closes tonight has been set aside for Black Knight Games’s Warmachine and Hordes Journeyman League.  Are you ready?

Let’s review a few things.

  • For anyone who has not yet joined, the cost is $25.  Just for signing up you get that $25 back in store credit toward expanding your Warmachine army.  If you were already planning on picking up some Warmachine with post holiday cash, signing up probably costs you nothing.
  • Games should be played with official Battleboxes or 11 point mangled metal lists (all jack or beast) until January 3rd.  Each new week’s point level officially starts on Thursday night.
  • Report all models painted and games played to a staff member.  We’ll be sure to record it for you.
  • Have fun!

Legion of OverpoweredI’m excited to personally bring out some of the Legion warlocks I really want to master.  Really developing the basics of this game is one of my favourite aspects of the game. I’m going to be here playing all evening.  The first person to beat me gets a $15 BKG gift certificate if, before our game starts, he says “let’s throw down.”

Boxing Day Bundle Deals

Hopefully everyone had a great Christmas, and got all kinds of fun games!  However, since no gamer is ever done collecting, if you are feeling the urge for more games, or want to spend those BKG Gift Cards that are burning a hole in your pocket we have got some great deals this week to help you out!  Our Boxing Day Bundle Deals replace the normal Holiday Bundles that we have been offering all December with even better savings!

Boxing Day Bundle Deals are available from WED December 26th, to FRI December 28th.

BK Shipping

Any purchase of $50.00 or more (before tax) qualifies you for a Boxing Day Bundle Deal and will earn you some store credit, as well as a number of ballots for our Holidays Draws (there will be four winners of $50.00 Gift Cards – drawn on January 2nd!).  Here are the details:

When you spend $50.00-$99.99 you get: $5.00 + 1 Ballot!
When you spend $100.00-$149.99 you get: $10.00+ 2 Ballots!
When you spend $150.00-$199.99 you get: $15.00 + 3 Ballots!
When you spend $200.00-$249.99 you get: $20.00 + 4 Ballots!
When you spend $250.00-$299.99 you get: $25.00 + 5 Ballots!
When you spend $300.00+ you get: $35.00 + 6 Ballots!

And as always Stronghold Members get an additional ballot whenever they qualify for a deal!

Merry Christmas!

BK Christmas

All of us at Black Knight Games hope that you and your loved ones have a very Merry Christmas, and a safe and fulfilling holiday season.

We hope you have some relaxing down-time with your friends and family, fill up on tasty food, and get to play some reindeer games (regardless of the colour of your nose).

Just a reminder that we have some modified Holdiay hours this week:

Monday, Dec 24th: 12:00pm – 5:00pm – CHRISTMAS EVE

Tuesday, Dec 25th: CLOSED – CHRISTMAS

Wednesday, Dec 26th: 11:00am – 10:00pm – BOXING DAY

Thursday, Dec 27th: 12:00pm – 10:00pm

Friday, Dec 28th: 12:00pm – 10:00pm

Saturday, Dec 29th: 10:00am – 10:00pm (Normal Hours)

Sunday, Dec 30th: 12:00pm – 5:00pm (Normal Hours)

Monday. Dec 31st: 12:00pm – 1:00am – NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY

Tuesday, January 1st: CLOSED – NEW YEAR’S DAY

Calendar: January 2013

A little Teaser for Saturday’s Event

X Wing Kessel Run

Slave 1, the Millennium Falcon, a couple of A Wings, and a pair of Tie Interceptors.  They’re here and ready to be awarded to some lucky winners at this weekend’s Kessel Run Tournament.

If you’re not free this weekend all of these exciting new ships for the X Wing game are coming out early next year.  We’re taking pre-orders now, so get your order in while you can.

In case you missed it, here are the details of the event again:

When: Saturday, December 22nd, 11:00am – 6:00pm

Bring: A 100 point force, including all relevant tokens, measuring devices, pilots etc.

Entry Fee: $10.00 / $8.00 for Stronghold Members

Rounds: Between 2 and 4, based on attendance then a Final.  In the Final the two players will use the new ships (Slave 1 & 2 Tie Interceptors VS. the Millenium Falcon & 2 A-Wings)

Prizes: The top ace will get to choose any of the six ships used in the final to keep, followed by the runner-ups, until the top six players all get a ship!



Hordemachine Battleboxes: Minion and Merc Edition

Welcome to the last crack I get at these short faction evaluations.  First of all, thanks to everyone who provided feedback and kind comments about the last few posts.  If you have a specific comment to share with the community, don’t hesitate to post it in this thread I’ve set up for just that purpose.

The Blindwater Congregation (affectionately known as Gatormen) have a fantastic battlegroup option in Bloody Barnabas, a Blackhide Wrastler, and an Ironback Spitter.  Barnabas has good defense, that becomes great with Iron Flesh upkept on him.  His armor makes him very tough in melee, and he has a strong enough set of attacks to close out games by himself.  Add to all of these things to a solid feat, and Big Barny will win games solo.  Luckly, in this battlebox he doesn’t have to.  You have the Ironback Spitter, who gives the Gators what a much needed ranged game.   Don’t forget that all models hit by the AoE will suffer continuous corrosition You also have the Wrastler who is capable of some impressive power attacks and has the hitting power you’d expect of a heavy beast.  All three of these models will make you a happy gator collector for some time, appearing in most lists.

The first thing to add to the Blindwater is a posse (everyone needs a posse!).  The Gatorman posse is a fantastic unit that shines even more in a faction capable of supporting it.  After you’ve purchased the a unit of posse, Maelok is an excellent second Gatorman warlock.  He has an almost Cryx like set of abilities who plays the “dark voodoo magic” side of gators nicely.  Be careful playing him though; he’s not as tough in melee as Barnabas and can get killed if taken by surprise.  If you hunger for wins, the Congregation welcomes you.

Lord Carver, Bringer of Most Massive Destruction, Esquire, the Third also has a battlebox.  He’s another heavy hitting warlock with respectable amounts of support for his army, although when expending with Carver in mind you will want more infantry, especially farrow brigands to take advantage of him granting them Combined Ranged Attacks.  He gets a War Hog and two Gun Boars, who will get decent support from Mobility and Batten Down the Hatches.  His feat makes your beasts truly terrifying and should ideally be used on a turn you charge, getting great threat range with mobility and then 5d6 on you damage roll.  It’s hard to recover from a good Lord Carver feat turn.

For a second warcaster, Doctor Arkadius is a personal favourite.  He’ll run a huge battlegroup of massive beasts and literally force you to become acquainted with frenzying rules (an important thing for all hordes players to know well).  He’s also a bit more spell oriented than Lord Carver and will give you a new and different way to play out your big beasties.  If you’re keen to keep capitalizing on these beasts, getting a Road Hog is a purchase you will not regret; it’s a strong beast with a powerful set of attacks.  Farrow Brigands will work well with Carver and have a good toolbox of abilities, so I’d advise them as a first unit.  Everybody loves bacon, right?  Mutant bacon could only be better.

In Mercenaries the first battlegroup option is Magnus the Traitor with a Mangler a Renegade and a Talion as a part of the Four Star Syndicate.  Including two of Magnus’s signature warjacks, (one field-able with other casters, one only with him) forces players of this battlebox into a bit of a Magnus focused army.  As a caster, he offers great support to these warjacks, who all embody the rough and ready feel of mercenaries.  If this is your battlebox choice my second warcaster recommendation would be epic Magnus as he’ll give you a different set of supporting powers while still running these warjacks.  For the collector, this is a narrow battlegroup to choose and it would not be my first choice, although it is strong and will teach you the fundamentals of the game well.  Magnus lovers are advised to pick up Steelhead Halberdiers as a first unit.

Searforge Commission or Highborn Covenant players have the option of playing with the second mercenary battlegroup: Gorten Grundback with a Ghordson Driller and a trio of Grundback Gunners.  This is obviously a very dwarf oriented battlegroup, but it still has a lot going for it.  Dwarf jacks are cheap, hard to kill, and generally better than their human counterparts.  In exchange they can only be used by dwarves (who use no other jacks).  This means your second warcaster in this group really should be another dwarf for which I recommend General Ossrum.  With just the battlegroup Gorten has some great abilities, including armor 19!  His feat can make your opponent feel like the slow and cumbersome army, with a huge push back and a speed penalty.  If you’re building a Searforge Army, consider Horgenhold Forge Guard.  If you’re going to build your mercenary army as Highborn Covenant the Forge Guard are still a very good option, but I would purchase the one unit of Arcane Tempest Gun Mages allowed to the Highborn.

The last option for a battlebox is Captain Bartolo Montador who will serve as a member of the Highborn Covenant, Four Star Syndicate, or Talion Charter.  His battlebox also uses a Mariner, a Freebooter, and a Buccaneer.  This is the “pirate” box with the pirate warcaster who best supports an all jack list.  Bart will make these warjacks tough and let them deliver some respectable ranged punishment.  Hot Shot especially is a spell that will add a lot of extra damage to blasts, as even secondary damage is boosted.

If you’re using Bart as a pirate warcaster, you can’t go wrong by picking his rival Captain Phineas Shae.  With the latter caster’s amazing support for infantry, pick up a unit of Sea Dogs and maybe a few of the pirate solos who support them.

Well those are the mercenary and minion battlegroup options.  With mini-factions who are so flexible and have so many options, it’s hard to go wrong building a 11 point jack list with any of the casters.  If you have questions, comments, advice, or just want to disagree with me, feel free to post a comment in our forums.  And good luck to everyone in the journeyman league!

Evaluating Hordes Battleboxes

Well, if you are keen on starting up one of the best miniature games out there, there’s no better time than during a Journeyman league.  I took a few moments before to talk a little bit about the Warmachine Battlegroups and what is good about them and what isn’t.  Today, I thought I’d take a few moments to do the same for the Hordes options.  As a reminder, Warmachine and Hordes are completely compatible game systems balanced against each other.  For anyone who was sad that last time I didn’t get a chance to evaluate the Mercanary options, I’m going to talk about those in a post next week (stay tuned!).

In the Circle Orboros you have two very distinct kinds of beasts, and the battlebox offers a sample of the living ones (affectionately known as “furries”).  Let me just start by saying that this box contains a duplicate of a beast you may never use again, in the Argus.  The Arguses (plural, Argi?) have a short range, okay attack, but are dramatically outclassed by Circle’s favourite light beast, the Gorax.  If you want to play pKaya in our journeyman league an 11 point list that might be more fun could replace one of the Argus with a Winter Argus.  The Feral Warpwolf will be an excellent piece for your collection that you will play frequently.  Prime Kaya is a bit of a subtle warlock.  She’ll give you a really good taste of what Circle likes to do, which is play a very mobile teleporting hit-and-run game, but she might be a caster you move away from if you want to play more aggressively.  She has a good fury management tool, which will make learning Hordes a lot easier, so I’d still suggest her as a first warcaster.

The first unit purchase I recommend for any player wanting to understand Circle are the Shifting Stones.  A lot of Circle’s strategy relies on clever use of these stones.  They teleport, heal contruct beasts, and manage fury.  Learning how to use these stones well will quickly teach you a ton about the faction.  Also, as mentioned above, consider getting a Gorax.

For a second warlock you have some really great options.  To use what’s included with the battlebox Prime or Epic Krueger gives you a more spell slinging warlock.  If you’re excited about Circle’s constructs and want to look at an all wold, or partly wold list, Baldur (prime or epic) is an excellent choice.  Circle is a powerful, subtle, diverse faction.

Legion of Everblight has a genuinely good Battlebox filled with models you will continue to use even after you are more experienced with the faction.  While Prime Lylyth is only an okay warlock by Legion standards, she is seeing more play now that colossals and gargantuans are a thing.  The Carnivian used to be “the beast” in Everblight’s army, but even with some of the new beasts taking center stage it still has a place.  The four Shredders included in this box will rarely disappoint.  They are truly amazing beasts who, for their points, pack a mean punch.

If the hit and run style of play makes pLylyth amazing, no caster in legion is more in-your-face than Thagrosh.  The Battlebox army supports either Epic or Prime Thagrosh very well.  I personally like Prime Thagrosh better and would take him to a tournament anywhere, but few warlocks get to have as much fun as Epic Thagrosh.  As a first unit choice the Spawning Vessel is a lot of fun, but I might take Legionnaires instead, as they’re easy to learn and offer support for either warlock.  Legion has a nasty habit of ignoring rules, so if you’re a fan of playing a little “unfair,” welcome to the blight.

Skorne might just have the best battlegroup in hordes.  Master Tormentor Morghoul has the highest unmodified defense in the game, respectable support for his beasts, and a game ending compliment of powers and abilities, especially against other Hordes players.  His box includes a pair of Cyclops Savages who have a strong threat range, a decent animus, and the future sight ability letting you boost after seeing a die roll.  Where the Savages are distinctly okay and may or may not see long term use in your collection, the Titan Gladiator is amazing and will always get taken out on the town by all the doting Skorne warlocks.  Rush as an animus is the secret to making the otherwise slow Skorne force get up the field.  Grand Slam paired with Follow Up means the Gladiator can end up a full 17″ up the table after a free slam attack, and still have fury to buy a few more attacks.

For a second warlock, epic Hexeris will give you an excellent taste of a most spell slinging side of Skorne, while supporting the beasts you have very well.  When you’re ready to include a unit in your list, check out the Paingiver Beast Handlers.  They’re the Skorne equivalent of the choir, and see an impressive amount of play.  If flaying, torture and maiming are your thing, check out the Skorne (and then some therapy).

Trolls have a great warlock in prime Madrak with a forgiving set of abilities that should give beginner trolls the opportunity for some smashing.  The Troll Axer might just be the best light beast in a faction of great light beasts.  His rush animus (as stated for Skorne) really adds an impressive amount of speed to the faction.  Add to that his armor 18, the power 14 reach attack, and his option to attack everything in his melee range with a thresher attack, and you really have a hard working beast.  The included Troll Impalers are not quite as exciting, although they offer a similarly powerful animus and can deliver the pain when required.  In terms of your collection, a fair number of troll lists use the impaler with a Dire Troll Bomber or a ranged warlock.  If the two impalers feels like a little much for our Journeyman league, consider replacing them with a Dire Troll Mauler.

If you kept the two impalers and want to see them shine a little more, consider Grim Angus.  He plays a nasty ranged game and his Bait the Line ability can let you get off some very long charges after shooting an enemy warlock.  If you’re a bit more keen of going big with trolls, no one loves Dire Trolls more than Hoarluk Doomshaper.  No matter which warlock you pick as your second, everyone in trolls is going to appreciate Fenblades who I would recommend as a first unit to pick up.  They’ll keep you safe behind a tough line of angry trollkin, and then get angry enough to hit back.  If that’s the sort of thing you might be interested in, check out the Trollbloods.

Snipe, Feat, Go?If you’re excited about putting together a minion force, the evaluation of Gators and Pigs is coming next week, along with Mercenary battlegroups.  Stay tuned, and as always if you disagree, have comments, questions, or just want to offer a offer a few words of advice to a new player, stop by our forums!

Evaluating Warmachine Battleboxes

Whether you’re buying a Christmas gift for a friend looking to get into Warmachine, looking to get involved in our Journeyman League at the end of this month, or just want to start up one of the most popular miniature games out there, there’s no better place to start looking than the Battleboxes!  I’m going to take a moment to talk about what’s best about each starter product, what you might like to try as a first addition, and what a good second caster might be.

If you’re excited about starting Cryx, this is an extremely strong Battlegroup.  Prime Deneghra (pDenny) might be the best Warcaster in Warmachine (that’s a subject worthy of debate) and will make excellent use of the boxes included Arc Nodes.  She gives a good taste of what Cryx is all about, slinging spells, debuffing your opponents, while staying relatively safe thanks to her Stealth.  The Slayer Helljack you get in this box gives you a heavy hitter and while not every caster in Cryx will use it like your Arc nodes, you couldn’t ask for a better bargain than this box.

When you’re ready to expand your army there are a lot of directions one could go in Cryx, but not more infamous than adding a unit of Bane Thralls (with their Unit Attachment).  The Banes are a purchase you will not regret in growing your Cryx army and continue the theme of stealth and debuffing with giving you a taste of undeadly goodness.  For a second caster and to try another dimension of Cryx I would recommend prime Asphyxious (pGaspy).  He’s a little more physically intimidating than Denny, has another very Cryxian spell list and playstyle, and will teach you a lot about the faction while still being a very competitive caster.  A word to the wise: try to be a nice person while playing Cryx–they’re a viscous faction with a reputation for a reason!

In the Cygnar Battlebox you have another well tuned starting army.  The Lancer is an Arc Node, something many Cygnar casters will appreciate.  The Charger offers the other side of the “gun like faction” as a very focus efficient and powerful light warjack who packs a punch at range.  The Ironclad isn’t my favourite heavy warjack in Cygnar, but it certainly holds its own in this list.  Prime Stryker is a good toolbox caster with a good defensive feat and a solid spell list.  He’s an excellent caster to lean the basics of the game with, and one a lot of advanced players would benefit from going back and having a second look at.

For the first unit purchase, I can’t help but recommend the Arcane Tempest Gun Mages with Unit Attachment.  They’re a staple in many Cygnar lists and bring to the table the powerful ranged game for which Cygnarians are famous.  They also have a really fantastic sculpt.  As a second caster I would prime Haley plays a very different game from Stryker and will compliment what you have very well while being a bit more of a spell-caster.  Cygnar has done very well at major tournaments lately and has some very subtle, very powerful units and casters.

Prime Sorscha comes packaged with a Destroyer and a Juggernaut in the Khador battlebox.  While Sorscha is actually a fairly decent caster, I don’t love the jacks she comes with in this box.  This is a good box to learn the game with, but you might find yourself putting aside these jacks in favour of some of Khador’s truly excellent character jacks, or something like the Spriggan.

If you do pick up the battlebox, your second caster should really be prime Vlad.  He can make both of these warjacks really shine and has a feat that can catch an unprepared opponent completely off guard.  In terms of a first unit to pick up for Khador, both Winterguard infantry and Iron Fang Pikemen are excellent options.  Khador has no shortage of amazing infantry.  Vlad will like pikemen slightly more, while Sorscha may prefer Winterguard, but both will do well with either caster.

The Protectorate of Menoth sports a very strong Battlebox.  Prime Kreoss has a fantastic spell list with a great sample of all the support that makes the Protectorate of Denial so good.  Both the Repenter and the Revenger have their place in Menoth lists and offer you a sample of what Protectorate lights can do (hurt things).  The Crusader is a vanilla heavy, but it has a solid stat line and gives you a heavy hitter.

There is absolutely no debate that the first unit you should purchase is the Choir of Menoth.  The Choir is a starting place for most Menoth lists and turns your warjacks from “okay” to “down-right-good.”  It is very unlikely you’ll be upset with your purchase of the Menoth Choir.  As a second warcaster, the epic version of Feora will offer a little more fire and brimstone.  She’s also got a very forgiving stat line, letting you make mistakes with her and still sometime survive an assassination attempt (unless you’re Chris).  Don’t forget while playing Menoth that this is a game.  If you beat your opponent, it still isn’t okay to light them on fire.

The Retribution of Scyrah doesn’t have a packaged battlebox yet, but they’re getting one next February.  In the mean time you can still pick up the battleforce in separate blisters.  The recommendation of a Griffon, a Chimera, and a Manticore is supported by Kaelyssa.  The Chimera is an Arc node, but retribution has the option of a heavy Arc Node in the Phoenix, which is preferred by most casters.  The griffon sees some play, but might not be a great starter jack.  Kaelyssa, however, is a great first caster and a first time Retribution player should consider her with a Phoenix and the Manticore as a decent 11 point list.  She has a good feat to protect her army, a great spell list, and really plays into the Retribution’s theme of anti-magic.

The first unit every Retribution player picks up is the Mage Hunter Strike Force, along with its unit attachment.  This high defense unit of crossbowers can quickly end games, killing casters who fully camp focus thanks to Arcane Assassin.  As a second warcaster, Rahn would be a great choice as he shows off the high magic side of the elves and will support any list that includes an Arc Node well.

Snipe, Feat, Go?

Stayed tuned for the Hordes version of this evaluation.  If you have comments, suggestions, or just want to set up Battlebox games with other players, feel free to post in our forums.

Warmachine Journeyman League starts December 27th

Beginning on the 27th and for six weeks following, BKG Warmachine and Hordes players will compete for prizes by earning league points.  There are three types of league points: Game Points, Hobby Points, and Journeyman Points.  Game Points are earned for playing against other players in the league using that week’s rules, Hobby Points are earned for painting models, and Journeyman Points are the total of Game Points and Hobby Points.

Each week, rules are set to restrict the size and style of players’ armies.  This helps to encourage an enjoyable environment for players getting used to the rules of the game.  While the league is aimed at that friend you’ve always wanted to teach warmachine to, it’s also perfect for a seasoned player to become an expert at the game essentials.

How does it work?  Each week the size of games played increases:

December 27th – January 2nd
Battlegroup box set (or 11 point army of only warcaster and jacks or warlock and beasts)

January 3rd – January 9th
15 point armies using the same caster as week one

January 10th – January 16th
25 point armies using the same caster as week one

January 17th – January 23rd
25 point armies

January 24th – January 30th
35 point armies

January 31st – February 7th (Finale Day)
35 point armies, and the list may be changed as much as you want all week

At the end of the six week league we’ll be giving out special Journeyman Badges to everyone achieving certain point levels, as well as badges for most hobby points, most game points, and top overall.

How do I earn Game Points?  Each win in a given week is worth 3 points, and a loss or a draw is worth 2 points.   You may play as many games in a week as you can fit in, but players may not score points for a game played against an opponent he just played.

How are Hobby Points earned?  Players earn Hobby Points for painting models from their faction in the league.  These models do not have to be used at any time during a league game.  For a painted model to score Hobby Points, it must primed, basecoated, painted with a reasonable diversity of colour, and based.  Models are worth differing points based painting requirements as follows:

  • Warcasters, warlocks, warbeasts, warjacks, and solos: 3 points for a large-based model, 2 points for medium-based model, and 1 point for small-based model
  • Battle engines: 5 points
  • Units of two models: 2 points
  • Units of three to six models: 3 points
  • Units of seven or more models: 4 points
  • Units of only medium-based models: 1 additional point
  • Units of only large-based models: 2 additional points

How much does this cost to play in?  $25, but just for signing up you get that $25 back in credit toward your battlebox or starting 11 point army.

I still have questions.  Who do I ask?  A lot of the details are listed on the Privateer Press Journeyman Document, but for anything not listed there, or any of our house rules (like the option of starting with a non-battlebox caster) feel free to email me:  Tim (at) BlackKnightGames (dot) com