Friday, July 1, 2016

Painting At Future FOB Events

Over the past 12 months there have been relaxed painting criteria at Fields of Blood run events. This is largely because Kings of War issued a new edition and indeed for most people was a new game.

The intention was to allow people time to transition to the new game, build new armies or rebase if necessary.

Well a year has past and I'm of the opinion that those that intended doing so, probably have. And so for future events I'll be insisting on painted armies and utilising paint scoring.

As in the past, this will be a checklist system whereby there will be 45-50 points on offer but you only need to get 35 points to get full painting marks. The infamous "checklist" will return.

All the reasons of why I have used this in the past still hold true. For me - and let's not forget it is all about me - Wargaming is a visual hobby. If I am organising an event I go to a lot of effort to create nice tabletops with high quality, functional terrain. Therefore I want those boards to be complemented by painted armies.

I can hear the groans already but as with WHFB in the past the outcome is worth the noise.

This doesn't mean that you have to rebase your figures on multibases. Quite happy for people to use individually mounted figures in the appropriate trays. These are cheap (try Sarissa Precision) or you can easily make them yourself.

However your army will have to be painted to a minimum tabletop standard. Given that that covers everyone at the past two events that shouldn't cause too many waves.

Winterdale Turret - Six Piece 3D Tower

On Monday and Tuesday I printed off the Winterdale Turret that came as part of the Indigogo crowd funding campaign run in April/May.

The turret is a modular tower that you can make as high as you want. You can also use it to put on the towers for the Winterdale Castle.

These are the six modular pieces straight from the printer. There are two of the window floor but effectively five unique.

  • Roof Section
  • Ring Support for Roof
  • Window Floor
  • Door Floor
  • Base

You can do without the base if you need to.

The pieces fit together flawlessly. The interiors are all detailed. I will likely put plastic pins in to help in game use (don't want floors falling off).

All together the six pieces took 48 hours of printing time. However my direct interaction was only about an hour. This included ten minutes using Cura (free software programme that converts STL files to Gcode) and loading them on SD card.

From the web I have found out about a product called XTC-3D which is a resin coating for PLA (the plastic filament) prints. I am going to use that tomorrow to seal the pieces and see if it improves finish as much as it promotes.

My tower stands 12" high. I intend painting it up over next week and will post it once it is finished.


"Winter is Coming" - WSS Winter Tomorrow

Unrolling one of the most used cliches of the past five years "Winter is Coming"

Well tomorrow it is here.

The third of the Warlords Super Series "Winter" is on this Saturday at the Warlords venue in Khandallah.

All visitors welcome. If you are interested at all in Kings of War wander along and have a look. Warlords is on Ganges Road in Khandallah. Battle kicks off at 8.15am and continues through to 5.00pm

Monday, June 27, 2016

WSS "Winter" Army Lists Released

The lists for Warlords Super series "Winter" are available for download here

Breakdown is as follows:

  • Elves x 3
  • Goblins x2
  • Ogres x 2
  • Empire of Dust
  • Twilight Kin
  • Undead
  • Dwarfs
  • Abyssal Dwarfs
One Goblin and the Undead have brought Allies. 

All the lists are in the 10-13 drop range, except for the two Goblins who have 18 and 22 drops (God help us!!!)

Weekend Hobby Update

No gaming this weekend. I had a game lined up versus Lliam's Empire of Dust but I was informed that I'd rather help my in-laws organise their garage.

However all was not doom and gloom. Lists for this weekend's tournament were due and I have been checking them. Only error in those received was that someone forgot that you can't give Living Legends Artifacts. I'm still waiting for two lists - hurry up Higgins and Ryan Lister.

Received a package of new filament for the 3D printer last week and have been printing off a new building over the weekend. Hopefully I'll have some pictures up tomorrow. These are some of the biggest prints I've done so keen to see how they fall.

Last week was my last at work and things got quiet as I'd transitioned most work over to people in the last month - amazing what a motivated departee can achieve. I had free time so spent it converting all my Winterdale files into Gcode so they are ready to print. Amazing how much the Printable Scenery Kickstarters gave you.

Also snapped up a Trade Me bargain on some NIB Morghasts - the start of a Night Stalkers army. And with Brexit pushing the NZD to 52 pence I bought a Forgeworld Morghoul - a model I've wanted ever since I saw it first.

Finally I've continued reading War of the Roses histories. I'm now about eight books in for 2016 and starting to get a real feel for the period. The big problem is resisting buying figures until I get through the backlog. I'm lucky in that I've got a local who has available painting slots I can contract. This means my Herd will see tables this year.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Mantic's New Empire of Dust

Mantic are about to release their new Empire of Dust models and they have got GMM Studios' Brandon Palmer to paint it.

Brandon has done a fantastic job bringing the army to life - pun intended - and rather than post all the photos (some 51 here) I'll direct you to his site

With GW having withdrawn their Tomb King, I am sure these are going to be very popular. Not only because of the price point but also because in a lot of cases they are a marked improvement on what was the GW equivalent (especially core archers and spear).

Monday, June 20, 2016

Weekend Hobby Update

Over the weekend I fired up the 3-D printer and printed off some battlement sections from the Winterdale castle. The intention here is for a friend to make some multi bases for his new KoW army. The piece I printed was the biggest piece I've done to date. The footprint is 180mm by 80mm which means it takes about 5 hours to print.

Other than that I was very quiet on the hobby front. I've got plenty ready to go but it is pushing the "Start" button. I'm hoping with finishing up in my current role this Friday that I should be able to get in 2-3 hours per day.

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Importance of Meta

One of the things I like most about Kings of War is that there are generally no bad choices in an army list. I think that the author and the Rules Committee have done a great job in balancing items. We might have small quibbles that a certain unit/item may be overpriced or underpriced but balance is one area where KoW gets a big tick.

This means that there are very few "must have" items and even fewer items that have no utility. There are no net lists that are all conquering regardless of jurisdiction. The reason for this is tactics and meta.

I'll deal with the second first. Some people had the word "meta", thinking it overused and mis understood. While not everybody who uses it necessarily understand, more than any game I've played KoW is affected by "meta". What do I mean by "meta"? Effectively the factors that influence your playing environment. These will generally be - in no particular order:

  • Points size
  • Player skill
  • Number of opponents
  • Opponents' army choices
  • Terrain density and variety
  • Scenario conditions
  • Frequency of interaction

The first couple are self-explanatory. Player skill is the most significant factor and needs to be considered in terms of average skill level and top player skill level. The higher the average skill level the better your chances to learn and the quick you get up the learning curve. The top dog skill level puts a cap on progress after which any gains are likely to be incremental.


Certain armies and unit choices can be more influential at different points' levels. For instance certain heavy hitters can dominate at lower points levels where army size does give the opponent capacity to soak up damage and retaliate.


The number of opponents is important too. Two or three people playing continually against one another will push the meta down a narrow avenue that is probably unique to those gamers. This is because they will react to one another's changes and adjustments will reflect those opponents. The term "big fish in small pond" describes the situation of a limited opponent pool We used to call them mudskippers. Introduce a new - similarly skilled - opponent and you run the risk of a "Black Swan" event (a situation that they had never envisaged). The rise of the Internet has seen the prevalence of Black Swan events diminish.


[I had a practical demonstration of "Black Swan" when I played 40k. While I was on holiday in the UK in 2005, I played in heat of the GW UKGT. In the second round I was drawn against an Italian player Simone Di Tomasu who had won the previous two UKGT (2003 & 2004). I was using my Emperor's Children army and had won 5 GW GTs with them in Australia and NZ. The setup was very different to what Simone had seen before as UK CSM armies were all based around Iron Warriors. I inflicted his first UK loss in 2.5 years - not due to player skill (though I'd obviously say it had some impact) but because it was a new and different challenge to what he was used to.]


Linked to the above are your opponents' army choices. At the outset of KoW v2 here in NZ the default option for a lot of players was the archer horde, sometimes multiple. This tended to define our local meta. People needed to adapt so we saw the rise of fast survivable individuals that could shut them down. As a Ratkin player I didn't have access to that option - without Allies - and so I adapted by splitting my Slave screen from Hordes to Regiments. This gave target saturation while decreasing the reward for my opponent. Over time we saw less reliance on Archer Hordes and now my armies have swung back to mixed in their Slave unit size.


Terrain density and variety is also important. Initially we played on WHFB tables. This saw fast Hordes with thunderous charge see a rise. As we increased density Caterpillar became the go to item as while terrain had increased the variety hadn't. In time more obstacles were introduced and this has shifted things again.


During 8th Ed WHFB we tended to play the full gambit of scenarios while the UK for instance only played Pitched Battle when you introduce scenarios with a variety of victory conditions then you shape armies - in effect it becomes its own form of comp where it rewards armies that can perform a multitude of functions. We tend to roll up scenario so Kill is in operation only 1/6 games. Needing to have the necessary tools to accomplish the various victory conditions you play will also affect your meta.


Finally there is the regularity of interaction. If your group only meets once a quarter for competition it will like evolve slower than a group that has a tournament a month. With my interaction you get greater fine tuning - assuming gamers are motivated and not laser - in both list and tactics.


Personally I love KoW because I believe it really rewards thought - be that in unit choice or tactics you employ. This is driven by the meta and the more this changes the more rewarding the playing experience for me. That doesn't necessarily mean you have to change everything all the time, rather it means you should take opportunities to try different units and situations - especially to play new people and army setups.


For me the most rewarding way to react to a changing meta is through evolution of tactics - as opposed to changing your army wholesale. I like to determine how I can play better with the choices dealt to address changing circumstances. I'll touch on this more next week.



WSS "Winter" - 2nd July - Final Call for Registrations

This is the final call for registrations for WSS "Winter" Kings of War tournament to be held on 2nd July at Warlords, Khandallah.

There are two weeks until the event and lists are due in next weekend.

If you are looking to attend can you please let me know. The Players pack can be downloaded from the Events Calendar tab on the top banner of this site.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Mierce Raven Arrives

Just over a year after due date my Kickstarter Raven arrived from Mierce.

As expected it is a very nice sculpt that fitted together easily.

Minimal filling was required - mainly around the wing joints.

I also filled in the saddle hole as I intend using it in my Herd army.

Looking forward to getting it painted up in the next couple of months.