Wednesday, October 14, 2015

KoW Ratkin Unit Review - Warriors

Warriors are the base troops in a Ratkin list.

They can be bought as a Regiment for 90 points (20 models) or as a Horde for 160 points (40 models). In both instances they "unlock" other choices.

Special Rules:

These guys have nothing other than access to the Ratkin Army Rule of "Pack Mentality" which gives a potential +2 boost to Nerve and, in the case of Hordes, Rallying!(1) which contributes to other unit's Pack Mentality boost.

So there are no "Vicious", "Elite", strength bonuses......nada.

However their lack of bonus is made up in their cost.


Speed: 6
Melee: 5
Defence: 4
Attacks: 12 (Regiment) or 25 (Horde)

The Statline shows that the unit has good speed but poor damage output. With a Me of 5 they hit no more often than Tunnel Slaves. Given they are likely to be typically purchased as a Horde then you are likely to be only doing 5, 4, 3 and 1 wound to De 3 to 6 respectively. Given the low expected damage there is far more upside potential for vagaries of luck.

Where they do score over the other base troops is in their De. Most people will scoff at 4+ De but when compared with Tunnel Slaves (De 2) there is a boost when fighting other light troops. This of course evaporates quickly when facing anyone with Strength modifiers.

Nerve: 12/14 (Regiment) or 19/21 (Horde) with potential to boost +2

For me, the Nerve stat means I will always be running them in Horde. These guys will Rout if looked at the wrong way and therefore you need to be ensuring their Nerve is boosted and backed by Inspiring. If you can get them to 23 then they need to be subjected to 11 wounds before they can Rout and likely substantially more if Inspired......And for me this is where the value is.


I can see their value.....but also the susceptibility. Their utility comes in whether or not you are facing an opponent devoid of Crushing Strength or Thunderous Charge. If not then you are probably better to go with Tunnel Slaves who have similar Nerve (no Rallying boost) or Spear warriors with Phalanx.

I can certainly see a role but I tend to view them as a halfway house choice that can probably be better replaced by another choice and the application of tactics.

Certainly I wouldn't be dropping Magic Artifacts into them with any regularity.

In summary, I see them as a Reserve line choice rather than frontline.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

"Kings of War for Dummies" Day

This Saturday I'm having a newbs' KoW day at my place.

Six of us are getting together to push 2000 point armies at one another to try and learn the rules. There will be a good mix of armies:
  • Ratkin
  • Empire of Dust
  • Twilight Kin
  • Dwarves
  • Undead
And whatever Neil feels like bringing.

By my reckoning we should be able to get through at least three games each on the day (yeah I may be optimistic). But with three tables up we should be able to rotate through pairings really quickly with limited downtime for those who want to pack in as many as possible.

I'll be looking to try out various units - hoping to get the Hackpaws finished - to get a sense of what different things do.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Hobby Update

I had a very productive hobby weekend.

All my Kings of War trays are now painted and magnetised. I intend purchasing stocks of regiment and troop trays to have spares for various other armies. The basing material I got has made it a very cost efficient exercise to build extra trays to slot my armies into as needed.

I also pulled out various packets of 40mm square bases I had left over from my Skaven army. I intend to use them for my Ratkin as the bigger 40mm is easier to handle than multiple 20mm singles. There were also some 100mm x 50mm bases so they will be good for my Hackpaws.

Speaking of which, on Saturday I sat down and used my airbrush to lay down the base colours on the seven Hackpaws I have to do. I was really happy with the results and should have them finished and based for this weekend.

On Saturday six of us are looking to have a KoW day at my place. This will give us an opportunity to get some games in with the new ruleset.

Yesterday I went to the Kapiti B&B. Unfortunately there was nothing for me this year but I had the opportunity to talk to some of the Kapiti guys and hear about their experiences with KoW.

FOB Rankings - Fantasy and FoW Updated

Both the Fantasy and FoW rankings have been updated for recent events. The Guardsman Trophy and Warbanner II have been entered for Fantasy while Rallypoint is in for Flames.

As we approach the end of the month the final Masters fields are coalescing. Click the Masters Mode and you'll have a good idea of current machinations.

If any TOs are sitting on results or have events prior to the end of the month please let me have the results asap so that rankings can be finalised and Isaac Henderson (Masters 2015 TO) can send out invites and confirm fields.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Kings of War Rules in Stock

Just a heads up for anybody planning the shift to Kings of War that local Mantic stockist Mighty Ape have just received new shipments of the rules - both versions.

I ordered a Gamers Edition last evening and have received notification that it is en route.

Given there is no Antipodean tax, it is nice to be able to support a local distributor - especially one with great customer service.

You can check out all their KoW wares at

Kapiti Wargaming Club Swap Meet

This Sunday - October 11 - the Kapiti Wargamers are having their annual swap meet.

It is at the Kapiti Community Centre in Ngahina Street, Paraparaumu, starting at 10.00am.

It's a good opportunity to pick up some bargains and fill holes in the ranks of your armies.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Conn Iggulden's War of the Roses Books

I have just finished reading the third of Conn Iggulden's War of the Roses saga. The books so far are "Stormbird", "Trinity" and "Bloodline" give a really good account of the battle between the Houses of Lancaster and York in late 15th Century England.

In the past I had read a lot of historical accounts - mainly focussed on the battles - but these "novels" give a very good account of the politics and motivations behind the key players.

Strangely, I've never been a big proponent of either of the Houses and these books have made it clear why. England basically bumbled into a civil war against the backdrop of a weak - read mentally incapacitated - king. The motivations of the key players do not seem particularly venal, rather they all were motivated by what they saw as the best course (with the possible exception of Lord Salisbury, the patriarch of the Neville clan).

Salisbury saw it as an opportunity to progress a long held grudge against the Percy family of Northumbria. What is staggering is how interrelated all these families were - one of the Percy wives was a Salisbury (Neville) daughter.

The books switch viewpoints throughout and you see the conflict through the eyes of each of the main players. In the end the feeling is one of tragedy and it is no wonder Shakespeare used it as backdrop to many of his great plays.

The battles are well handled - especially Towton (the biggest battle ever on UK soil) - and give a feel of the tactics of the time.

If you've read any of Iggulden's other series (Mongol Conquests, Republican Rome) then you should love this set. The series is still incomplete we still have to experience both Barnet (Richard "Kingmaker" Neville, Earl of Warwick's death) and Bosworth Field (the death of Richard III). I'm keen to see how he handles these, in particular the last one as there has been a major revisionism around Richard recently and Iggulden has portrayed him in a sympathetic light to date.

Well worth the read (or listen).

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Review - Ironheart Artisans KoW Token Set

I love my gaming aids and so when I switched to KoW I knew that I needed to get the appropriate tokens to "enhance" my gaming enjoyment.

From my first game it was clear that you need clear wound counters - we used dice and as there are no spaces on trays (because you don't remove casualties) I was constantly picking up "wound" dice.

Using a horde army I also am likely to need a full range of numbers to reflect the larger unit size.

My first port of call was Mantic but there were no tokens in stock. I didn't particularly like the set available with the Kickstarter although it has a great price point.

In my search I found a set produced by Ironheart Artisans. These are made from 2mm acrylic plastic and are generally two coloured. This set cost USD50.00 so not cheap but I thought I'm only ever going to need one so I'd make the investment. You can get a set made from mdf which is cheaper.

Here you can see what you get.

  • Wounds 1-10 x3
  • Wounds 11-20 x2
  • Wounds 21-25 x1
  • Wavered Markers x10
  • Disordered Markers x10
  • Eight numbered objective markers

To give you an idea of size the objective markers are similar in size to NZ $2 coin (a bit bigger than Oz $1 coin) and bigger than a US quarter.

The service turnaround from Ironheart was very good. The delivery took a week by tracked USPS post.

And as an added bonus when I opened my box they had included a LoS arc free.

Certainly recommend the company both for its product and its service.

You can access them on


FOB Blog Housekeeping

With change in the Fantasy Battles gaming scene and with the change in focus to this blog, I took the opportunity to tidy up some content.

Firstly, the FOB - Lite Comp has been taken down. Fantasy gaming is deviating away from the 8th ruleset and I am unlikely to run an 8th Ed event again. I believe that the system has been a good servant to the local community - allowing people to bring their toys but knocking the most egregious lists. I have left the four page Warhammer v8.1 game sheet as I believe for those who do still want to play 8th it addresses much of the outstanding rules queries.

The Calendar has also been changed to allow different types of events to be added - so Warhammer, KoW, 9th Age and Age of Sigmar. All you have to do is let me knock the details as per the Calendar and I am happy to publicise.

The tournament year ends 31 October. From 1 November rankings for Kings of War will be posted. This is in addition to Warhammer 8th rankings. I intend to continue these on the assumption that there is ongoing demand. If there isn't then I will revisit their continuation. I do not intend to post rankings for 9th Age or AoS until I see that there is sufficient critical mass. FOW and 40k will continue as normal.

The 2016 Fantasy Masters invites will be based on the new Kings of War rankings and that will be he gaming system used for the event. It is not my intention to run Warhammer Fantasy Masters in 2016 but I will revisit that if there is sufficient critical mass in the 8th gaming scene throughout 2016. That means that there would need to be 12+ ranking events (as a guide).

Hope that clarifies some of the changes made and upcoming changes.

New Unit for my Ratkin - Hackpaws

One thing the Ratkin list has that wasn't in my Skaven was a Fast Cavalry unit. Now. Can see that such a unit would be very useful in a predominantly infantry horde list so decided to build a couple.

Unfortunately Mantic don't really have a suitable unit off the shelf. I suspect that the Fleabag Cavalry in the Gobbo list could be converted but until I saw the unit in the "flesh" I wouldn't know how much work it would entail.

Thankfully Forgeworld have a ready made proxy that can be used straight out of the box. The Skaven Wolf Rats.

I've used these before - as Sabretusks in my Ogre army - so know that they will fit straight in.

Like all FW non monsters it comes in a Clampack, all nicely sealed. There are however these strange oval bases included.

And here are the little blighters. Nicely detailed resin models totally in keeping with the scrawny, vicious aesthetic of the Ratkin. They are a multipart model and as you see from the feet you'll likely need to build up your base (far safer than trying to cut around toes).

So I have 10 Hackpaws. This is enough to have 2x Troops or one Regiment. I'll get them painted over the next week.