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Author Topic: The Empire in T9A 2.0  (Read 1471 times)

Offline Konrad von Richtmark

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The Empire in T9A 2.0
« on: November 07, 2017, 08:58:09 PM »
It seems like the publicly available beta version of T9A 2.0 will be out in December. So far, a fair amount of information has already been released to the public. All the major changes to the army books, it seems, have been released, even if final details and points costs are still being worked out. Has anyone else been following the news on that? I recently took the time to catch up.

The thing that caught my eye the most was that detachments got buffed. Detachments (or "support units" in T9A terms) that are within range of a parent unit get to shoot and fight close combat in an extra rank! I can see that being a significant buff to a more "classical" 6th/7th edition infantry playstyle. Granted, static combat resolution is nowhere near what it used to be, but getting that extra fighting rank hitting a flank can be a nice force multiplier.

What's more, I'd say it means that, for the first time during any edition of Warhammer, halberdiers become the preferred melee detachment for hitting enemies with flanking countercharges. As support attacks can only be made to the front, those halberdiers would be fighting in three ranks against the enemy's one, giving them the ability to grind on favourable terms, in case the static CR they bring won't be enough. As for the other options, swordsmen would stick around for longer, but not contribute anywhere near as much in kills in case you'd need that, and spearmen would, due to fighting in an even extra rank and 20 being (assuming that point hasn't changed) the max size of a support unit, be losing damage output from the first casualty on.

Imagine an offensive close combat infantry army with an alternating line of parent units as anvils and 20-man halberdier support units as hammers, stretching far enough to envelop most enemies, give way before the enemy when needed and simply have enough units that some will inevitably get the desired combined charge. Empire detachment goodness, becoming more viable than it's been for ages. Opportunities, opportunities. Need to theorycraft.
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Offline zak

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Re: The Empire in T9A 2.0
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2017, 01:21:06 AM »
I really want to play 9th age thanks for the update  :::cheers:::
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Offline Zygmund

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Re: The Empire in T9A 2.0
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2017, 09:57:24 AM »
Looks like the Empire will be a tighter pack in this edition, and core State Troops shine.

Some changes in Empire cavalry and Militia. The very heavy-hitting cavalry is left for the Bretboys, and Empire goes back to the warchickens as their ripping factor. Militia is no longer a support unit (detachment), but I see it still playing its role. It got even cheaper if taken in numbers!

IIRC, they also narrowed the horde rule into 8 models wide. But it seems to lose the rank bonus, so is gamified as an offensive formation with that rank of extra attacks.

Likely won't have the time to really playtest this version in any kind of near future. But I must admit it got me a little bit excited. I might be painting a couple more Handgunners to make my two formations of twelve into two of 15. With an actual plan of taking them in a list! :)

-Z
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Offline Konrad von Richtmark

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Re: The Empire in T9A 2.0
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2017, 03:14:44 PM »
Another thing that has been revealed is that the Rocket Battery has been properly revised. It used to be Catapult(2), but now it's instead a Catapult(1) that shoots three shots, at Strength 5 AP3 and D3 wounds. So, essentially a weapon that uses catapult ballistics (for shooting over intervening models), and can do up to three (separately rolled to hit for) hits of D3 wounds each.

Looks to me like it could be a more versatile variant of the cannon - not quite so strong against high-toughness large targets, but more all-around useful against multi-wound models, and more consistent in damage output due to it being split over three shots per turn.

Word has it that it will be legal to take two cannons and two rocket batteries in a standard 4500 point game. I'm seriously theorycrafting an infantry offensive army led by an Imperial Prince on an Imperial Dragon for an 18'' Ld bubble and flexible reallocation of force, kept safe from enemy warmachines by massed counter-battery fire  :icon_smile:
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Offline Zygmund

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Re: The Empire in T9A 2.0
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2017, 03:52:52 PM »
Another thing that has been revealed is that the Rocket Battery has been properly revised. -- -- Looks to me like it could be a more versatile variant of the cannon - not quite so strong against high-toughness large targets, but more all-around useful against multi-wound models, and more consistent in damage output due to it being split over three shots per turn.

I think there are still problems with the utility of the Rocket Battery, and people who do the math will soon complain about its rules/point cost, if they aren't already. It's still in the same special niche it was before, and the rules/points modification might not help.

And the area hit system in general has big problems with not separating models on big and small bases. The Rocket Battery, like the Mortar, should hit more models on 20mm square bases than models on 40/50mm square bases. So the Multiple Wounds (D3) should translate into additional hits for single-wound (Health) models. Which shouldn't be hard to configure into the rules of Catapults in general.

So the new design principles open up new design options, but I'm not sure if I'm seeing them used sensibly. Of course having a game niche for a game piece is good for gamers, but I'd like the models to feel right on the table. Still some way for T9A to placate my demands for a game... :wink:

I understand if you want to play the game in a tournament with two hours per 4500 game, you don't want the templates. Still, that was a good system in relaxed friendly games, combining game with a sort of realism, and utilising the general idea of miniature games that you measure things on the tabletop.

This said, T9A still presents a good semi-balanced micro-managing package (in the classic Warhammer spirit) for a casual gamer like me. You know it does when you get the itch to paint more models when you eye the rules.  :-)

-Z
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Offline Konrad von Richtmark

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Re: The Empire in T9A 2.0
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2017, 08:12:00 PM »
I disagree about the Rocket Battery still being in the same niche. Previously, it was a Catapult(2), meaning a potential 4 hits, but that'd require the target to be at least two ranks deep. Making use of both that and the D3 wounds per hit means pretty much just shooting at two ranks deep monstrous infantry and cavalry.

The new Rocket Battery at 3 shots at Catapult(1) is just 25% less hits in that very ideal situation, and more pretty much any other time. There's a great many multi-wound models in the game that are single-model units, and pretty much all those have now become viable targets. Monsters, monstrous mounts, warmachines, chariots.

Either way, the book is out on the website now. I'll go theorycraft some.
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Offline Zygmund

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Re: The Empire in T9A 2.0
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2017, 08:23:39 AM »
I disagree about the Rocket Battery -- -- There's a great many multi-wound models in the game that are single-model units, and pretty much all those have now become viable targets. Monsters, monstrous mounts, warmachines, chariots.

I don't fancy this sentiment. Quite obviously, many rockets hitting a big unit should hit many many more models on small bases. In general, you don't aim non-guided rockets at individuals.

So it's quite obviously purely a game mechanichal niche, and doesn't pay attention to what the weapon actually says it is.


My advice for the T9A team would be to drop the rockets from the Empire list entirely. It's a GW model that was introduced in the 7th ed because they wanted dual kits and wondered what to model with the Helblaster. Rules-wise, it has been a can of worms ever since it was introduced. So a fluff model mostly. Fluff models can be used with other weapons' rules.

With the current T9A rules, I'd probably use a Helstorm model as a Mortar. Then again, I sold mine years ago, so actually don't need to bother at all.  :lol:

-Z
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Offline Konrad von Richtmark

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Re: The Empire in T9A 2.0
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2017, 08:57:02 AM »
No disagreement there. I was speaking purely gamistically. Realism notwithstanding, it's something of an achievement of game design to have an army with four different artillery pieces that all manage to be distinct and worth fielding (in particular army compositions, at least).
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Offline Konrad von Richtmark

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Re: The Empire in T9A 2.0
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2017, 12:24:31 PM »
A little theorycrafting I did for my usual alternating line concept:

CHARACTERS:
Marshal [General]; Imperial Seal, Great Weapon, Great Tactician: 315 pts
Marshal [BSB]; The Black Plate, Shield, Death Warrant: 102 pts

INFANTRY CORE:
23 Imperial Guard; Command, Household Standard: 449 pts
30 Spearmen; Spears, Command: 310 pts
30 Spearmen; Spears, Command: 310 pts
15 Handgunners; Standard: 220 pts
15 Handgunners; Standard: 220 pts
15 Crossbowmen; Standard: 220 pts
15 Crossbowmen; Standard: 220 pts
10 State Militia; Pistols, Skirmishers: 130 pts
10 State Militia; Pistols, Skirmishers: 130 pts

CAVALRY SCREEN:
5 Electoral Cavalry; Standard, Musician, Shields: 240 pts
5 Electoral Cavalry; Standard, Musician, Shields: 240 pts
5 Reiters; Brace of Pistols: 180
5 Reiters; Brace of Pistols: 180

ARTILLERY TRAIN:
1 Cannon: 255 pts
1 Cannon: 255 pts
1 Imperial Rocketeer: 180 pts
1 Imperial Rocketeer: 180 pts

4496 pts
Characters: 577 pts, 12.82%
Core: 2240 pts, 49.78%
Special: 809 pts, 17.98%
Imperial Auxiliaries: 1500 pts, 33.33%
Imperial Armoury: 870 pts, 19.33%

The infantry core will deploy in alternating order, with the Imperial Guard in the middle with the general, projecting a 18'' Ld 10 Commanding Presence bubble and order range. The army deploys early to get a first turn of shooting, in a rather symmetric fashion across the whole table, with electoral cavalry on the wings. The mobile gunnery skirmishes with the enemy and delays its contact with the main infantry line. Electoral cavalry either sweeps away enemy chaff and light cavalry, raids the enemy backfield, or turns inward and flanks enemies that attack the infantry core.

I arrived at this lift after theorycrafting hard and thinking about weaknesses my previous lists had had (either perceived in theorycraftland or demonstrated in actual play). Only afterward did I realize what an utter fluffbunny it is, how it could almost be mistaken for a historical army  :icon_biggrin:
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Offline Zygmund

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Re: The Empire in T9A 2.0
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2017, 09:48:41 AM »
TVI in T9A. Nothing unnecessary, a lot of bodies, playing with the basic & best synenergies of Empire in T9A.

I'm personally troubled when I don't have reliable hard hitters in my list, like IG with GW or Flagellants. And the complete lack of magic is an interesting choice, now that magic is more reliable and allows better planning than in any previous WH incarnation.

The hard thing will be getting the killing/points supremacy where you want it. This means maneuvers and likely bying a little time offering a small unit or two. Tough, fast and hard-hitting enemy units will wreak havoc in the ranks, and opponent armies with smaller deployment frontage will initially leave some of your units a long way from the action. Are you able to wither the onslaught and grind them to death?

It's an art to play this kind of list - an art I don't personally master. Maybe you will put some battle reports online when you've actually tried this list?

-Z
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Offline Konrad von Richtmark

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Re: The Empire in T9A 2.0
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2017, 09:55:19 AM »
My experience so far with wizards in a list like that has been that the wizard is hard to bunker safely, without unduly constraining the unit that does the bunkering.
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Offline Konrad von Richtmark

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Re: The Empire in T9A 2.0
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2017, 11:36:01 AM »
To add to my previous post, since I was constrained for time when I wrote it. I see what you mean, and I've thought about all that, also in light of my as of yet scant experience with it. Thing is, with the battleline being as wide as it is, there is often not that much variance in how to deploy. I thought I might as well then go all in for dropping the army early and grab the first turn. That means being flexible. A previous variant of the concept had a war chicken unit instead of the two electoral cavalry units, but I figured deploying the chickens on a flank would just invite a refused flank deployment from the enemy. This way, if refused flank happens, the refused cavalry goes roaming while two or three units from the infantry core get the +4" March rate order and the line is turned to face the loaded flank. The Imperial Guard would go right in the middle of the line, with both characters starting there, for max bubbles covering as much as possible of the army. Afterward, either the BSB relocates into a spearman unit, or stays put to turn the unit into a super anvil.
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Offline Konrad von Richtmark

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Re: The Empire in T9A 2.0
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2017, 11:40:59 AM »
I also got thinking, maybe I should squeeze in some Imperial Rangers? Their ability to delay the enemy advance would synergize with the gunnery. Only thing I can think of to take out though without disrupting the concept of the army would be one of the pistol militia units.

Addit: I figured out I could get even two minimalist units of Imperial Rangers by dropping one of the pistol militia units, and shaving off the musicians of the electoral cavalry units, and yet one more Imperial Guardsman. Might be I won't need that second pistol militia unit I just made an effort to acquire. The dangers of being an obsessive-compulsive theorycrafter...
« Last Edit: December 22, 2017, 05:30:50 PM by Konrad von Richtmark »
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Offline Zygmund

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Re: The Empire in T9A 2.0
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2017, 10:14:13 PM »
The meta I have encountered in the competitive circles tends to have very killy units and delayers/distractors. My bet is that against an experienced player with a hard list the wheeling operation of the refused flank gets delayed, and your opponent will have points&kills supremacy on his chosen flank for much of the game.

Also, magic helps to create points&kills supremacy more flexibly than unit movement.

But this is theoretical, of course. An experienced Empire general with a TVI style list will perform well. As shown by Herminard on the T9A forum.

-Z
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Offline Konrad von Richtmark

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Re: The Empire in T9A 2.0
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2017, 01:14:30 PM »
Well, if I drop the army early to grab the first turn, I'll have a first turn of unobstructed wheeling, which is no small thing when up to three units can get a 12'' march.

But be that as it may, let's not digress into the specifics of list function, but keep this about Empire in 2.0. I theorycrafted another list, a more close combat based counterpart, based on some of the other opportunities I've noticed in 2.0.

CHARACTERS
Marshal [General]; Imperial Prince, Dragon: 810 pts
Marshal [BSB]; The Black Plate, Shield, Death Warrant: 265 pts
Wizard [Cosmology]; Adept, Magical Heirloom, Arcane Engine w. Arcane Shield: 460

INFANTRY CORE
22 Imperial Guard; Command: 381 pts
30 Spearmen; Command: 340 pts
30 Spearmen; Command: 340 pts
20 Halberdiers; Command: 230 pts
20 Halberdiers; Command: 230 pts
20 Halberdiers; Command: 230 pts
20 Halberdiers; Command: 230 pts

CAVALRY SCREEN
5 Reiters; Brace of Pistols: 180 pts
5 Reiters; Brace of Pistols: 180 pts

ARTILLERY TRAIN
1 Cannon: 255 pts
1 Imperial Rocketeers: 180 pts
1 Imperial Rocketeers: 180 pts

Total 4491 pts
Characters: 1535 pts, 34.11%
Core: 1600 pts, 35.56%
Special: 381 pts, 8.47%
Imperial Auxiliaries: 360 pts, 8.00%
Imperial Armoury: 615 pts, 13.67%
Sunna's Fury: 695 pts, 15.44%

The infantry line deploys in alternating order, as the halberdiers are support units and the three others parent units. The BSB is bodygyarded by the Imperial Guard in the middle of the line, projecting his bubble. General TVI tactics apply, except that the general and the arcane engine provide local force concentration and multiplication wherever the focal point of my attack is. The main job of the artillery is to provide counter-battery fire to help keep the dragon safe, then murder big nasties wherever relevant.
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Offline The Black Knight

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Re: The Empire in T9A 2.0
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2017, 03:57:35 PM »
What is your opinion on the new edition Konrad? I have yet to read it myself.

I was very excited about 9th age up until 1.2 hit. Then I got a bit disheartened, and then just lost interest with 1.3. I haven't played a game since. I greatly enjoyed the 1.0 - 1.1 version which I think was absolutely great (a balanced version of WH 8th edition basically). I wish they'd stuck with that ruleset, instead of endlessly tweaking it.

Also - even with 1.1 I was really missing some of the "fun" rules for armies like Orcs and Goblins or Skaven. They jsut felt flat and gutted of a lot of character. On the other hand, the Empire was much more interesting and fluffy with the whole concept of orders.
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Offline Konrad von Richtmark

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Re: The Empire in T9A 2.0
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2017, 07:09:47 PM »
Well, read the thread  :happy:

To distill things down a bit, I would say that they have deliberately tried to make the classical 6th/7th edition parent-detachment infantry paradigm viable again. I'm pleased with both the intent and the execution.
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Offline Konrad von Richtmark

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Re: The Empire in T9A 2.0
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2018, 09:27:07 AM »
Zygmund, I really think you should give T9A another go. Lots of people are loving how you can now play a fluffy Empire army that looks right on the table without shortchanging yourself. Or being an absolute prodigy like Herminard or TVI. The strengthening of support units seems to have really done that.

Anyways, I intend to keep on writing my battle diary, with conclusions drawn and lessons learned.

Also, I can testify so far that playing magicless is entirely viable. You don't lose out on magic defence as much as you'd have in previous versions. Somehow, paradoxically enough, 2.0 has made it feel like going magic-heavy, magic-light and no-magic have all become more viable than before, and less frustrating.
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Offline Warlord

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Re: The Empire in T9A 2.0
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2018, 01:12:24 AM »
I am reading your reports and find then interesting. Please keep updating.
I like the idea that your parent units dont need to be 40-50 big anymore to stand a chance.
I hate that deathstars are still a thing though, but love playing MSU and you make it seem viable. Have you played any chaos, orcs and goblins, ogres or skaven yet, because i would be curious how you would fair... i feel like each requires different strategies, and i wonder how ‘all comers’ your list really is. It seems more tailored to small elite armies.
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Offline Zygmund

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Re: The Empire in T9A 2.0
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2018, 06:47:39 AM »
Zygmund, I really think you should give T9A another go. Lots of people are loving how you can now play a fluffy Empire army that looks right on the table without shortchanging yourself. Or being an absolute prodigy like Herminard or TVI. The strengthening of support units seems to have really done that.

Oh, T9A is not out of my radar. There's no other game that really competes with the micro-managing heaviness and game-proven balance. Even KoW is a different game in this respect.

However, family usually means I don't have a full evening for gaming, and when I do, it's old friends and roleplaying instead of tabletop tactics. Also, I like painting more than gaming. I'm no gamer, and I find really taxing and unfun to play three 2-2.5 hour games in a one-day tournament (which there are plenty of over here), so that option is out. And it seems mostly tournament-oriented gamers prefer T9A, whereas others really care less about the system and more about the atmosphere and painted figures. That spirit is strongest among the Oldhammer people, so I'm a little bit leaning on that direction, even if WH 3rd edition definitely has its flaws. The preference is a social thing, less about any game system.

So nothing particular against T9A and the way Empire plays there. Just no time for the (semi-)competitive and tournament-oriented T9A gaming scene. But would love to arrange a game & chat with you, for example.  :wink:

-Z
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Offline Konrad von Richtmark

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Re: The Empire in T9A 2.0
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2018, 09:05:32 PM »
Warlord, MSU is certainly viable in T9A, always has been afaik. I wouldn't call my style MSU as much as MCU - multiple cheap unit. Classical MSU was afaik developed (or at least formulated in clear terms) during 6th edition for elite armies that had good damage output per frontage but for which amassing ranks for rank bonus was expensive. I actually think it was first formulated in clear terms over at Druchii.net, though I have a feeling I'll soon regret saying that.

The blood of those who wrecked face at Breitenfeld, bled at Nördlingen and sacked Prague runs through my veins! My units and battalions are the flexible and maneuverable formations of Gustav Adolf, my enemy's 50-man hordes are Tilly's silly tercios. The key to MCU is that any one of your units can flee rather than take a disadvantageous fight. Having more maneuver elements than the enemy means it's an advantageous exchange if one of yours is occupied fleeing and one of his fails a charge, while your others maneuver into position. The legs and the lungs of our soldiers are the greatest force multiplier available to them. A pint of sweat saves a gallon of blood.

I concur with your point about my composition being best against smaller elite armies, though that's a general property of anything with plentiful gunnery. I would definitely put Chaos in that category though, and looking at army lists out there, armies with plentiful bodies to effectively withstand shooting aren't that common. That said though, next thing I'll try will be more all-comers. I'll have a demigryph unit on each flank for a stronger counterpunch. That, in turn, gives me increased anti-monster capability, which in turn allows me to trade one of my two cannons for a mortar.
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Offline Konrad von Richtmark

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Re: The Empire in T9A 2.0
« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2018, 10:00:41 PM »
Zygmund, I know what you mean, I'm largely in the same life situation myself. I do hope to enter the national tournament scene, but I have no idea when it'll be feasible for me. A realistic, if optimistic, estimate might be Ropecon 2018. I don't particularly like having to play under time-pressure either, but it's something I'm trying to learn at the moment. Not just with future tournament gamings in mind, but also to be able to better fit gamings into my schedule.

Speaking of Ropecon, are you usually going there? Whether I'm tourneying or not, that might be a good time to meet for a game.
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Offline Zygmund

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Re: The Empire in T9A 2.0
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2018, 07:28:31 AM »
Speaking of Ropecon, are you usually going there? Whether I'm tourneying or not, that might be a good time to meet for a game.

Not usually. But never say never. :-)

-Z
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