Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Internet Tuesday - Secret Weapon Tablescapes Kickstarter

.......is finally about to deliver. I say finally as it is about 9 months late for my pledge and 4 months on the last goals.

Here are all the completed tiles waiting in the Chinese factory.

The printed boxes that have caused the latest delay....the box printer wasn't big enough and then order wasn't large enough.

The boxes with variety stickers - looks like Ruined Temple to me.

Local staff packing the boxes. Thirty six of the Urban Streets tiles have my name on them. Pack them safely!

The packaged product in its box ready for shipment and/or sale.

The tooling masters. As I understand it there are 56 separate tile dies.....what chance copies have been taken?

Team NZ ETC Dice

This one is especially for John Willenbruch....who throughout the year has been unusually interested in our dice.

Gaming Dice

All the team have ordered Tiki dice in some quantity. Stocks of Kiwi and Fern dice have also been replenished (secured). These are all the standard 16mm size.

Turn and Gift Dice

These dice are 30mm (Gifts) and Turn Counters (50mm).

They haven't come out too bad. Unfortunately they had been held up by UK Customs who demanded a ransom of GBP 130 to release the order. With lurks like that I'm surprised Scotland wants to leave.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Miniature Monday - Some Movement

Yesterday picked up a paintbrush for the first time in a few weeks and started base coating my Sisters of the Thorn.

I have previously base coated the stags and posted pictures a few weeks ago. I'm hoping to get them to tabletop standard before I leave for the ETC this Sunday.

My other hobby time was spent practising ETC Matchups with our coach James Milner ahead of the event which is now less than two weeks away. We've got this working really well - the only question is whether we perform as we have forecast.

I am very hopeful that we can improve on the previous couple of years' performances - and we are targeting 16th place or higher. A lot comes down to draw and a tough Round 5 or 6 matchup can push you down if you experience a blowout. Our aim is to limit the potential for those blowout results hence the prep on matchups.

I also picked up the latest White Dwarf Weekly. Great if you like Space Wolves (No) or 40k flyers (also No). Hopefully that's the end of the Sons of Fun-Loss.

Edit: Of course not - still have the Codex to come

Saturday, July 26, 2014

FOB NZRankings - Fantasy Updated for CavCon

CavCon was held recently in Christchurch.

Basil Moskovis continued his recent fine form and took it out with High Elves.

Results have been entered into the rankings and Basil is now firmly ensconced in the Top 10

Friday, July 25, 2014

ETC Preparation

Recently the updates have been a bit more spasmodic than usual. This is largely due to a month fighting a cold and prep for the upcoming ETC.

Finally got on top of the cold - fighting it involves handfuls of Codral tablets and sleep - just in time to head over to the ETC. Sure seasonal change will result in relapse when I return.

The ETC takes an enormous amount of time. I've been lucky in that I've been able to delegate out the various tasks to guys in the team. This means the load has been shared somewhat. As a result we have:
  • Hotels booked
  • NZ Dice
  • Templates
  • Team shirts
  • ETC registration and entry fees
  • Lists collated (and lodged)
all covered. Thanks very much to the guys for doing this. Sharing out the tasks has really helped.

We've also had a dedicated forum and with team members in four countries and three time zones this has been invaluable. Thanks to Jack for setting this up for us - giant leap over the old single forum on TWF.

In recent weeks my main focus (in addition to getting in 4-5 games a week - thanks to locals especially Sam, Ryan and Joel) is working on the matchup process. I'm a great believer in the "Moneyball" concept, essentially using stats/maths rather than gut feel. To this end Jack has built me a software programme that lets me take the emotion out of the matchup process. We've used it at the last two NZTCs and it works beautifully - the key is that the info that goes in is correct and that performance matches prediction.

So the last three-four weeks (since release of lists) has been on getting the best possible info to put in the system. This has meant constantly questioning assessments that players have given me and asking them to "justify" certain predictions. Over the past two weeks I've run the software and it definitely improves the matchup over gut feel. I appreciate the time James Brown has given up to act as my "opponent".

This weekend I'm running three more "dummies" just to ensure I am happy with the operation.

I think we are travelling well to reach our target of Top Half and if we really perform we may push Top 10. That's the goal anyway.

So as you can see I've been busy. The lack of blog updates hasn't been laziness rather alternative focus. Looking forward to posting heaps of photos from the event to give readers a feel for the tourney.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

No Brets This Week

They say bad news comes in threes. I'm not sure about that but this week it comes in twos.

First there are no Brets (or indeed any WHFB). Second, there are Space Wolves.

Now back in the day, my two denzians of Chaos, Plaguelord Colthrax and Noiselord Challis Drant used to make much sport whipping the local dog that was Hagen Kerr's Hakkon Ironwolf. It's fair to say that the beatings he took were what drove Hagen to build his Imperial Guard - it must get depressing removing handfuls of Space Marines on a weekly roster. Still despite the aforementioned Hakkon Ironwolf being my bitch, I hate Space Wolves. Largely I guess because they display all the subtlety and ingenuity of a wounded cur and returned week after week to accept there punishment. That and their horrible powder blue power armour.

Hopefully some Fantasy soon.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Internet Tuesday - Google Trends

I was searching the net this morning and came across Google Trends and some analysis on Games Workshop

Check this out.

It charts Search Engine enquiries over time and I guess provides an idea as to how popular something is.

Pretty stark.

Here is the same for Privateer Press. You can see enquiries there peaked in 2011 - possibly in response to some disillusionment with 8th Ed Warhammer

However it is important to give some context. Here is a graph showing both the GW and PP data on the same graph.

Also interesting is Warmachine vs. Warhammer which is plotted here. I started later as there is a massive spike in Warhammer during 2008 (Release of Warhammer Online perhaps?)

Google Trends is really a fun tool.

Internet Tuesday - Universal Battlegrounds

Thought on today's Internet Tuesday I'd highlight a local company, Universal Battlegrounds.

You can access their website here

The site is run by local gamer Daryl Painter and they make a variety of laser cut terrain suitable for most skirmish games.

We had them make a set of WHFB templates for the NZ ETC team.

So you see UB can do custom jobs. 

Check out the website and if you do buy anything let them know Fields of Blood sent you!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Miniature Monday - Nada

Sorry, nothing this week.

Fighting a cold and playing ETC practice games.

However while huddled down on couch, I did watch the full 1968-1974 "Planet of the Apes" movie franchise.

I'm pretty sure they used to be a lot better.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Happy Birthday Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition

So this week represents four years since Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition hit the streets.


It's arrival saw much gnashing of teeth and running to the door as those who "disliked" the system (affectionately called Ragequitters) and their acolytes voted with their feet and decamped to other systems.

if I am brutally honest I think in a lot of cases - Australia for sure - those that left never intended to give it a chance and decided it was just time to try something different. A lot of these guys are mates of mine and I know that they have gone on to be just as successful and have just as much fun in their new gaming system.

However I remain convinced that there was never a problem with 8th Ed but rather with the shift in dominant skill base from resource to risk management. Other systems still emphasise resource management so I can understand the attraction in shifting.

But for me the current edition of Warhammer is the most fun (by a country mile) of the three I played. Much like Warhammer 40k v3.5 and v4, I could happily play all day 2-3 times a week. And the reason for this is twofold:
  • The game has random elements that you have to manage - scenarios, charge distances, variable PD; and
  • The books, as a set, are the most balanced I remember them - minimising the need for comp
The last 4-6 months I've been playing ETC hammer and I can't wait to get back to the full-blown game.

My biggest hope is that GW take this opportunity to finish off the three armies without 8th Ed books - Brets, Skaven and Beasts (and if they have a chance even pen a book for the "Not A Proper Army"). That has two big attractions. First, all armies are on same edition.......and secondly, it means we get another year of this great version of the game.

And as 9th drops what do I think we'll see? Well let's say I think we'll get quite a few returnees to the game even if the changes are cosmetic. Like me with my 40k and DBM armies, I'm betting deep down they really miss it.