Wednesday, January 17, 2018

40K - New Emperor's Children 1750 Point List

Over the past few months I have been playing with a themed Emperor's Children list. Integral in this has been a big block of Terminators that costs between 450-550 points. In it drops and the game effectively hinges on whether it does its job or not. Key is the use of Endless cacophony that allows them to shoot twice. 

The unit is very susceptible to Smite - though the beta rules in Chapter Approved have helped here. However overall I've been unhappy with the list for two very divergent reasons. first, I think Terminators - like a lot of elite infantry - are overpriced in the current game. Yes, they have 2 wounds and an invul save but that just doesn't cut it in a world of Mortal Wounds and multi-damage weapons. The second reason is that the tactic is a one-trick pony. On both sides of the table it gets old real quick. I don't see it as particularly tactical or skillful.

And it flies in the face of the IIIrd which are a rapier not a bludgeon.

"Killing with Style"

So I've been playing around with my list in order to make it much more multifaceted. Removing the huge points investment in the Termies has freed up my ability to run many more units in the 180-230 points range and create a wider synergy in the list. 

I've called in some Daemon reinforcements but their role is to support their masters. It's still not a huge army and I suspect I'll play around the edges. Interested in seeing what any CD FAQ puts out particularly in regard to stratagem use.

Emperor’s Children 1750 Points – 7 Command Points

Chaos Space Marine Battalion – Emperor’s Children Legion
  • Daemon Prince with Wings – Warlord (Unholy Fortitude), Intoxicating Elixir, Slaanesh, Malefic Talons, Warptime
  • Sorcerer with Jump Pack – Bolt Pistol, Force Sword, Slaanesh, Prescience, Death Hex
  • 12 Cultists – Slaanesh
  • 12 Cultists – Slaanesh
  • 10 Noise Marines – 2x Blastmaster, 8x Sonic Blaster
  • 10 Noise Marines – 2x Blastmaster, 8x Sonic blaster
  • 5 Noise Marines – 5x Sonic Blastmaster
  • 9 Noise Marines – 8x Chainsword, Champ with Power Sword, Icon of Excess
  • 3 Obliterators – Slaanesh
  • Rhino - Slaanesh
Chaos Daemons Vanguard – Slaanesh

  • Daemon Prince with Wings – Slaanesh, Malefic Talons, Symphony of Pain
  • The Masque of Slaanesh
  • Fiend
  • Fiend
  • Fiend
Appreciate any thoughts.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Help Wanted - Fields of Blood Warhammer 40k New Zealand Grand Tournament Flyer

I was hoping that a reader of the blog - with far more creative skills than myself - could help me produce a flyer for this year's FOB Warhammer 40k NZGT.

Given that I use MS Paint + Word for most of my image manipulation, I'm thinking that the world may have moved on from 1998.

Is there anybody out there with the necessary skills that can either create a flyer or direct me to an app or software that will let a philistine like myself do it easily.

Drop me an email

Monday, January 15, 2018

Hobby - One Hour A Night

So with the warm weather I have been in a real hobby procrastination rut.

I have plenty of things to do, I want to do them but nothing's happening.

The hobby area has been cleaned up, new brushes broken out, airbrushes stripped and cleaned....but.

I a great believer that you can train yourself to do something via repetition and so I decided to apply that to this hobby bump to get me over it.

One Hour A Night

Decided to commit myself to one hour of (physical) hobby per night. By physical, I mean making or painting something - not watching videos, reading blogs etc.

So every weekday evening between 7.00-8.00pm I am going to "hobby". My alarm is set to give me the extra prompt should I "forget".

The intention is to get into a "hobby habit". Some might view such an approach as too regimented or treating your relaxation as a job. For me I see it as a pathway to success. I like to hit milestones and want my hobby efforts to be directed rather than ramshackle. I see this has being a better methodology than "I'll paint this unit over the next two weeks" as that goal will be achieved if I make hobbying a habit.

I'll report back in a month on how I'm doing.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

40K - Keeper of Secrets

I have had a Forgeworld Keeper of Secrets in my grey plastic/resin "Drawer of Shame" since 2011. The model is so nice and finicky with large patches of flesh, I have always felt too intimidated to paint it.

Over the Xmas break I finally summoned the courage. Here's the result:

The model is very delicate for such a large piece. Each of those spikes has to have holes drilled and then is individually attached. Same with the "dreads" which have to be formed from straight resin.

The razor blades on the gauntlet have 0.3mm pins in them.

I found painting that much flesh intimidating. In the end I did several thin glazes to try and achieve the correct definition.

Now I just have to paint another 50+ Juan Diaz daemonettes!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Hobby Goals - Q1 2018

Start of the year, time to list hobby goals for 2018. Decided that rather than post for the full year I will do bite sized chunks quarter by quarter. The reason for this is that, like all gamers, I suffer from hobby attention deficit syndrome flipping from one thing to another.

So here are my Q1 one goals:

Kings of War

  • Get my Elves on the table. About 6-7 years ago I bought Phil Comins' beautifully painted Fire Elves. Since then they have languished in my cupboard, mostly because I hate the pompous PEGs as a race. However this year I have decided they need to see some table time. With the Varangur finished I'm going to get these guys "tabletop-ready". This means movement trays plus adding in a few extra models to get the necessary "KoW units". I may even talk nice to Phil and see if he can paint some units for me.

  • Elven terrain. I have some of the Battlefield in a Box Elven terrain which I intend to revamp to match the army. Also keen to investigate whether there are any 3D printable Elven scenery pieces I can produce.
  • Print some Aztec type ruins to create a new table for Kings of War based around jungle.
War of the Roses DBA

  • My club the Warlords has got together to have a club project for the year. About 8-9 have signed up and we will each created a 12 element DBA army (approx 60 figures) to play a series of multiplayer games and campaigns. I am doing the Nevilles, led by the Earl of Warrick. Hoping this gets done over the next three weeks.

Warhammer 40k
  • Slaanesh Daemons. New codex out in a fortnight. I have all the figures to build a metal Juan Diaz Daemonette army. Already have the chariots painted (sans crew) and a 23 daemonette unit for my EC. Hopefully there will be potential to cross over for a Forces of the Abyss Succubi army.

  • Adepticon! After attending in 2014 and 2015, this year I'm braving the 50 hour round trip to attend again. Jack is meeting me in Chicago and we are staying at the venue. We have signed up for a lot of the hobby classes rather than gaming events. We see so little practical tuition down here in New Zealand. Keen to meet any KoW or 40k gamers that are followers of the blog and intend to drop by and see some of the podcasters I follow.
Reasonably packed first three months. Follow the blog to see how much I achieve 😋

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Weekly Hobby Update

Busy week for me.

I painted my Forgeworld Keeper of Secrets I purchased in 2011. Just doing the last details and then I'll get pictures up. I also finished the unit of 23 Daemonettes I had been working on.

As I was base coating my KoS the regulator on my airbrush compressor seized. I was able to order one online (Xmas Day) and it turned up two days later. Regulator had been in use for 6.5 years so shouldn't complain.

I stripped down both my Patriot and Sotarr airbrushes and gave them a sonic clean. Put oil on the threads and reassembled. They are back to 100%. It is amazing the paint that builds up in them even with regular cleaning.

With Jack back we put some of the mods onto my 3D printer. It now has a Z-axis brace which should stop any wobble and thumbwheel bed level adjusters. Ready to print some 40k scatter terrain.

Finally put together my Perry WotR figures for the Warlords Project this year. Nice figures that are easy to put together. Looking to base coat this week if the weather cools down.

Had one game against Hagen's Imperial "Soup". My Noise Lord, the Daemon Prince Challis Drant collected the artefact we were fighting over and made off with it while the rest of the army distracted the lackeys of the Corpse-god. Superior intellect beats bright new tools every time 💀

KOW - Key Attractions: It's Not All About The List

Having the benefit of six months away from playing KOW, in part due to the release of 40k, I've had the opportunity to identify what parts of games I like.

You soon realise that competitive 40k is heavily skewed to list building. By that I mean that potentially up to 70-80% of your success rate can be down to your specific list and how it matches up to that of your opponent. A key skill in 40k is to find an underpriced item and through the use of Stratagems, Aura effects, Psychic Powers etc create the "unintended". The second key skill is to understand when someone else has done that....or to give it its proper term "netlisting". From there the skill is to define target priority and know the basic mechanics. If you can do that you are probably in the Top 10% of players.

An example of this would be the use of Poxwalkers in a Death Guard army. Through judicious use of overlays you can turn your 6 point model into one that hits on a 3 and re-rolls one rather than on a 5+. This makes it far more points efficient than a Marine or Terminator and means that you are putting yourself at a disadvantage relatively to your peers if your DG army is not stacked with them. By drawing elements from three different books you can create a beast.

One aspect I like of Kings of War is that you can't do anything like the same extent. Yes, you can build an efficient list but the disparity between a good list and a bad list is much reduced. This is because Mantic have got both the internal balance and the external balance far more level. This, coupled with the inability to layer outside effects, is great. You get access to one Artefact per unit (max) and the effects are limited to that unit.

The downside is that people can point to a lack of variability but Mantic is now slowly introducing more artefacts and spells though keeping the inability to layer in place.

It is Force Multipliers that destroy a game. If you can add multiple effects - and draw effects probably never intended for a specific race - then you quickly escalate impact.

Some people like the ability to tinker to find these "Easter Eggs". However in this age of internet, the majority are followers who, for a variety of reasons, prefer to have others do at least the initial thinking.

I think KOW is pretty good at avoiding this.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

KOW - Battlefield Cards - Another Winner!

Over the last six months I have been playing a bit of Warhammer 40k. There are a couple of drivers for this; firstly, I love the well-developed 40k backstory (something KOW has yet to develop) and secondly, the ease of finding a game.

One thing I have stayed away from playing in is competitive 40k. I loathe what you have to do with lists to be competitive and being a hard-nosed pr%&k I can't play in a tournament without wanting to kick ass and take names (yes, my ego is that fragile 😎). As a result I play 40k with a single Battalion and one book rather than go down the "soup" route. This means the list is probably only 75/80% the power of the various Chaos 'soup" lists which are abhorrent from a fluff viewpoint. Competitive 40k is also focussed on a set type of mission where they is potential to graduate scoring to separate competitors.

GW released a set of cards called "Open War" which allow you to generate missions each time you play. They have Deployment, Objective, Twist, Ruse and Sudden Death criteria meaning that the pack has potential to generate 50,000+ unique missions. I have been using these to play and they have created hard fought games every time. I love them.

Now it looks like Mantic have gone down a similar path.

They are releasing Battlefield Cards which give you Objective, Strategy and Condition cards to generate your own missions. Again the drawcard is that you can increase playability by ensuring every game you play is different. This is particularly great for small communities or for narrative players where playing the same mission against the same opponent or army gets old quick.

I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on a set as having seen how it has helped my 40k gaming I can only see good outcomes from these.

Reading the blurb that comes with news of the release it seems that there might also be opportunities to develop these further by playing asymmetric missions.

Count me in!

Friday, December 29, 2017

KOW - COK 2018 Rules - Mantic hit it out of the Park

Note: There is no discussion of individual rules or their specifics. This post is on the broad approach that Mantic have undertaken in the COK 2018 Rules Pack.

First up, given recent controversy, no-one has sent me the rules pack so no-one has breached any NDAs. The internet is a big and scary place and this should be a lesson that once a genie is out of the bottle it is very hard to get it back in.

The rules changes in this pack are more extensive than last year's COK release. They fall into a number of categories.

1. Unit Changes

By my reckoning every army got some change to the units. Unlike GW who keep characteristics constant and adjust points, Mantic have adjusted characteristics rather than points. In the long run I think that this is a slightly coarser adjustment for players but will increase the internal balance more where a unit becomes more "useable". By this I mean, a 10 point adjustment means nothing if you  believe a unit's Nerve is too low to be reliable.

In a few cases, special rules have been removed to bring things into line. For us players, this means we will need to refine tactics to get a similar/approachable output from them.

There are winners and losers but taking a dispassionate eye to the list, Mantic have done a fantastic job in addressing some balance issues both internally and externally.

2. Artefacts

Here the approach has been a mix. Some items have had their abilities dialled back but stayed the same points while others have remained the same but had a points increase. By my reckoning there are four new items and the return of three old friends (albeit with toned down abilities).

This again is great in that it help keeps the game fresh. New items give new options to explore while the quantum does not overburden the game. Everyone should be able to deal with the introduction of this limited number of items while will eliminate the potential for "gotcha" moments that plague other games.

3. Spells

The third area of change is spells. Here we have the introduction of 3-4 new spells that anyone can access and one spell exclusive to each of the alignments. None of the spells appear overbearing at first glance and all offer the ability to bring something to the game.

However the most significant development is that Mantic are making Alignment mean something (other than use of Allies). I love that their are specific spells that some races access and others don' really helps the narrative. I would love to see this extended to a limited number of artefacts in future years.


I can't say anymore than this is the type of update I really wanted Mantic to write. It brings a balancing aspect after a year of COK 2017 which will bring some refresh in what we see on the table. One of the biggest criticisms in the past (from largely uninformed observers) is that there is a sameness about the races. I believe that the expansion in both Artefacts and Spells is the start along the path required to disabuse this notion. If this could be expanded in future years (preferably tied to the developing narrative) I would be a very happy camper.

Overall Mantic have done a fantastic job and I commend all those involved. I urge all of you to support this work by purchasing the book when it comes out. It is only through sales of this work that we can demonstrate to Mantic the importance that it is continued.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

40k - Rankings Revamp & 2017 Best Army Icon Holders

Over the past week we have done a revamp of the Fields of Blood 40k Rankings. This is most obvious for Warhammer 40k where the the armies players used has been rationalised to make results more meaningful.

Counting up the Best Army icons they had blown out to 61 😮 This was all kinds of ridiculous. I have cut them back to 20 and have retro-fitted the results to reflect that. The simple rule I applied was that they had to have one of the ten codexes released in 8th Ed so far, be an established army with multi-edition back history of standalone codex, or some other arbitrary decision.

So there are no White Scars, no Valhallans, no Eldar Corsairs etc. As Codexes are added we will add icons but the data will not be refitted.

What this does do is give us an opportunity to publish a list of the Iconholders for Best in Race for the 2017 Tournament Season (ended 31 October).

  • Eldar - Glen Burfield (56)
  • Chaos Daemons - Haydn Korach (24)
  • Space Marines - Dave Hodgetts (58)
  • Astra Militarum - Dave Hodgetts (24)
  • Chaos Space Marines - Vinnie Purcell (36)
  • Space Wolves - Glen Tibbles (12)
  • Blood Angels - Pascal Roggen (16)
  • Tau - Connor Gosnell (28)
  • Tyranids - Adam Thornton (19)
  • Imperium - Ben Foster (14)
  • Necrons - Cody Parlato (22)
  • Genestealer Cult - Aidan Corlett (9)
  • Adeptus Mechanicus - James Stott (14)
  • Orks - Glen Heaphy (13)
  • Dark Eldar - Sean Sullivan (9)
  • Dark Angels - Scott Nicholl (13)
  • Imperial Knights - Chris Ward (7)
  • Grey Kinghts - Chris Ward (15)
So well done to the players that rose supreme in their race. The number in brackets is the number of times each army was used during the year - Space Marines seeing off Eldar followed by Chaos Space Marines.

The new season has started and you can see how well you are doing for the tournament year by setting the filter to "Season starting 1 November 2017". This is where the battle for icons in 2018 begins.