Tuesday, December 17, 2019

40k - Playing By "Intent"

One of the big things to come out of the Masters weekend was the concept of "Intent" in relation to gameplay. This is mostly with regard to model placement.

Intent is not a Get Out of Jail Free card. Intent NEEDS to be agreed by BOTH players. 

If it is important then it needs to be clearly spelled out and agreed. 

In some cases at the Masters I think that there were instances where people didn't want to signal their plan and then fell back on intent....and other cases where suddenly something became evident and then it was "But my intent....."

We all do this at times but with increasing competitive games I believe people need to be aware and precise re intent. It is also an easy excuse when things don't go your way.

The other situation is that what you "intend" has to be actually do-able. For instance, if you want to put three Aggressors in an enclosed ruin and not be charged by units that can't enter the feature then you need to place your models >1" from all inside walls. Mathematics says that the internal footprint of the building needs to be at least 91mm x 171mm to make you immune from a charge from any direction. You will still however be vulnerable to Infantry on 25mm bases. 

The key takeaway should be that if it's important, be explicit and to get agreement. Should your opponent be suggesting something you don't think is achievable, get them to place the models

Monday, December 16, 2019

40k - 12th Annual New Zealand Masters Results

Last weekend I ran the New Zealand Masters for 40k.

This was the 12th time the event has been run and we had a good turnout for the tournament with 15 of the Top 20 ranked players (plus NZ ETC member Aaron Wilson) battling it out on the tables.

For the first three rounds I had eight tables set up. As we moved into Rounds 4 & 5 I introduced two more so that players could avoid playing on the same table.

Also with the random first round draw I ensured that the out of towners avoided playing guys from their own area.

With the terrain, I tried to give a variety of tables that ranged from 'light medium' through to 'heavy' density. This was to reward an army that didn't have a single game plan and could be adaptable.

This also gave me to introduce some of my recent mat purchases (Frontline Gaming through Mighty Ape). I particularly like the Overgrown City which is ideal for my existing GW City terrain.

So onto the results:

 Well done to Sean for winning his third Masters crown. He went through undefeated, winning all five of his games. Effectively, the Top 8 armies were all Space Marines, IK/Ad Mech or Eldar.

Appreciate all the participants making the journey.

FOB Event Structure for 2020

With the 2019 tournament year over, I thought I would post a breakdown of the events that Fields of Blood will be running next year.

Fields of Blood NZ Open

  • 21/22 March
  • Cossie Club, Upper Hutt
  • Participants - 90 (87 tickets have been sold)
  • 2000 points
  • 5 Rounds
  • ITC format
  • Included: All codexes, Campaign books, Supplements, Forgeworld
  • Excluded: Legends
The Long War (in conjunction with Wellington Warlords) - Five Separate Events
  • 5 dates TBA
  • Warlords venue, Ganges Road, Khandallah
  • Participants - 20-24 (free for Warlords members, $25 each for casuals)
  • 2000 points
  • 3 Rounds
  • ETC format
  • Included: ETC acceptable books
  • Exclusion: FW, Legends
Fields of Blood Team Championship
  • 27/28 June
  • Cashmere Ave School, Khandallah
  • Six teams of five
  • Five Rounds
  • ETC format
  • Exclusions: FW, Legends
Fields of Blood NZ Grand Tournament
  • 26/27 September
  • Khandallah Town Hall
  • 72 participants
  • 1750 points
  • 6 Rounds
  • Hobby event - painting/selection/sportsmanship/battle
  • Inclusions: Pretty much all including Legends
Fields of Blood 13th Annual NZ Masters
  • 5/6 December
  • Cashmere Avenue School, Khandallah
  • Invitational
  • Top 20 players as per the FOB NZ 40k rankings for 2020 (31 Oct cutoff)
  • 2000 points
  • ITC format
  • 5 Rounds
  • Included: All codexes, Campaign books, Supplements, Forgeworld
  • Excluded: Legends

Hope to see you along for one or more of the events

Saturday, August 31, 2019

40K Terrain - Lavaland

Another week working on terrain for the upcoming FOB NZ Grand Tournament and I have finished my Lavaland table.

This uses a Frontline Gaming mat sourced from Mighty Ape, TH Miniatures Volcanic Terrain, Games Workshop old school extruded foam pieces (temple and emplacement) and old WHFB pieces - Watchtower and Summoning Stairs. On top of this I created some large themed LOS blocking hills to provide the necessary cover.

Coming to a table near you.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

40K Terrain - Valley of the Kings

Continuing the work of creating some new tables for the upcoming Fields of Blood NZGT and NZ Open, this morning I finished repairing some old WHFB pieces and adding in new hills to create a themed table - "Valley of the Kings".

This table has a lot of large LOS blocking pieces on it. From the Sphinxes to the Pyramids to the hills there are a lot of places to hide.

The Sphinxes are about 10" high and 12" long while the Pyramid is approximately 8" tall.

You can get an idea of scale from the Harlequin Skyweaver who is parked at the Pyramid entrance.

The Pyramid is the ultimate Enclosed Ruin - only able to be entered from the front and big enough for 5 Primaris Marines. I have a cool image in my mind of a group of Marines trying to kill a Necron Lord who has retreated back to his Tomb.

Hopefully this will be both a functional and thematic battlefield. Definitely home field advantage for Necrons or Thousand Sons.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

40K - Tournament Terrain - Buildings

A few weeks ago I contacted a local manufacturer of MDF buildings and asked him to design a building for me that I could use as tournament terrain.

The brief was that it had to block line of sight, be accessible and flexible, sturdy and easy to construct and store. Last week he sent me photos of the building and on the weekend a sample arrived.

Last night I timed myself to see how fast I could turn them around from pack to ready for table. The answer is 75 minutes and I am very hopeful that with practice I can get it down to around 50 minutes per unit.

Here is the finished building, painted ready for the table. I spray the parts before assembly then use brush to add the detail before gluing it together.

The building arrives in 15 parts - 3 floors, 8 walls and 4 crenulations. The floors I spray black, the walls grey on outside, neutral colour inside and crenulations grey both sides.

Window detail is picked out in metal as are some of the decorations. Other wall detail in alternative grey and roof floor in red. I haven't painted internal floors (plain black)

Really happy with how they have come up after painting. Obviously you can detail more if necessary - and I'll add posters to some.

The important thing for me is that the building hits all the boxes in my brief. It is sturdy, easy to construct and paint, it is practical in that the floors are separate and it blocks line of sight.

I have ordered 50 of these buildings for delivery over the next three months, meaning they will be ready in time for the FOB NZ Open in March.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

40k Terrain - The Airfield

Starting to organise my new mats and terrain for FOB NZGT and this morning put together "The Airfield".

This uses the FLG Battlemat "Airstrip" as the base and adds on some of the various elements I've put together over the years.

It has some of my new LOS blocking hills, the crashed Imperial Aquila, a Bastion, craters and the Warehouse, lifter and containers from Titan Terrain.

Surveying the carnage is a lone Soaring Spite Skyweaver (obviously he rolled well for his haywire bringing the Aquila down). You can get an idea of how even the small hills block a lot of LOS.

I now just have to weather craters, Aquila and bastion in line with the mat and another table is ready.

Check back over the next few days to see further tables for NZGT (and NZ Open).

As with all my tables this will pack up into its own tub for easy storage.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Terrain - LOS Blocking Hills for 40k

Over the past month I've been working on and off on some hills that block line of sight. I had some hills for Fantasy made of bluefoam that were just basic steps. I decided to re-purpose them for 40k.

Here is the end result. The observant among you  might be able to see an Iron Warriors Forgefiend lurking on one of the hills. This should give you an idea of the scale of these "hills".

These are no small mounds and should be able to block line of sight of any vehicle up to a Knight and most monsters.

Most pieces are at least 12" across and 6"+ high. The hills have been gritted so you can stand things on them.

Here you get an idea of just how much cover they can provide. 

I've created 14 hills which will be used on 3-4 desert tables with buildings and scatter terrain.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

40K - Name Plates

Recently while putting together my Adeptus Titanicus models I looked into getting some name plates to attach to the base.

I came across a UK company VERSATILE TERRAIN that makes them to order. You can visit their website here

Malys (Troupe Master) & N'jal (Solitaire)

I wanted to try them out before I had the big war engines' name plates made so decided to get them made for my Harlequins and Dark Eldar.

The plates are 3D printed and come in a light grey plastic. To the naked eye there is no evidence of striations.

You can order whatever names you want. They come in a variety of sizes, in different types of font and different plate options. I chose a recessed plate with a gothic font option.

I clipped them off their printing frames and then blutacked them to a stick to airbrush.

You can see that they have crisp detail

They were undercoated black with Badger Primer and then I sprayed them with Retributor Gold.

I then washed them with GW Nihilakh Oxide before a drybrush with Vallejo Old Gold. The final treatment was a light wash of the lettering with GW Seraphim Sepia to provide shadows.

Really happy with the way they came out. I think that they provide a way for your characters to be identified for you and your opponent.

Who Hasn't Wanted to Call Their Spiritseer "Moonsong"?

The Cat Lady Herself

And EVERYONE'S favourite, "Khloe" with her Vexator Mask.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

40k Addressing List Problems

One of the things I most like about wargaming is the problem solving aspect.

Earlier in the year I basepainted my Harlequins so I could take them to play in the doubles at Adepticon. I had a few practice games and found that they weren't really clicking.

The key reason for this was that the damage expectations I had for my infantry shooting were not meeting what I saw on the table.

One of my key philosophies when building a list is to keep things simple. Some people like to have a tool for every job....."cough" Biting Blade "cough"....just in case but the method I use is to build a unit, limiting variability, and then adapt tactics to maximise potential.

Each of my 3 Harlequin Troupes was kitted out the same - 2x Caress & Fusion Pistol, 3x Blade & Shuriken Pistol. Essays have been written online as to whether the Caress is better than the Kiss and the answer is, of course, it depends. Following my KISS model (no pun intended), I decided on using only one and that was the Caress.

So armed with 3 identical Troupes I ventured onto the table......and was disappointed 😢

My squads never did what they were supposed. You think two Fusions would wreak havoc....but it doesn't.

So I fell back on Mathhammer to find out why? If you check out the banner above you'll see a link to a Math Calculator for 40k. This was written by Jack Dunn. For those young ones among you, Jack of the similar surname terrorized local 40k players between 2001 and 2011. His last competitive games was the 2011 Masters where he came out of an 18 month 40k hiatus to win the event beating Charlie St. Clair 20-0 en route (even then Venom Spam was a thing). And he knows maths....and numbers....and things.

Shooting at a T5-7 target with a 3+ Save, two Fusion Pistols have a 50% chance of doing 3.98 wounds (3.42).

Given the target a 4++ and the 50% chance drops to 1.99 wounds (2.79)

So the numbers are good, yeah? No 4++ 4 wounds likely, 4++ then 2 wounds likely....I can live with that. But what are those numbers in the brackets? That is the standard deviation expressed in wounds....and standard deviation = variability.

These results are telling me that I don't have to move too far from average to have a really good result or a really bad result (zero wounds). Essentially it is saying when you have two Fusion Pistols it really is little more than a crap shoot.

So how do I insulate myself from that? Add more Fusion Pistols. By doubling the number to 4 Fusion in each unit, I double the expected wounds....seems right.

No 4++ then 50% chance of doing 3.95 wounds
4++ then 50% chance of doing 3.98 wounds.

However the big change is in the standard deviations (read variability). These are high than for 2 Fusions but not double - 3.95 and 4.83 respectively. While still variable, in relation to the number of expected wounds that variability has decreased markedly (relative to two Fusion).

Who would have thought? Roll more dice get less variability in outcomes....it's mathematics people!

But this increased certainty is great in wargaming when you are relying on units to do a specific job. I now have far greater confidence that I will get the outcome I want and/or a bad result won't be disastrous.

Armed with this I modified my list by adding two more Fusions to each Troupe. Across the army the cost was a Starweaver jetbike (itself very variable with a weapon that had D6 shots).

Since making the changes I have noticed far more certainty around the impact of their shooting which allows me to tailor strategy accordingly.

Far less Sad Panda face.