Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Internet Tuesday - World's End Radio Podcast

One of the podcasts that tends to fly under the wire is Australia's "World's End Radio".

The name comes from the geographical location of its hosts - Perth, Western Australia - and their physical isolation from civilisation (Perth is the world's most isolated city).

The podcast has been going since 2008 and is now up to 80 episodes. In recent years episodes have become far more spasmodic but I'd say the quality of content has steadily increased (particularly after the change of co-host around episode 50).

What sets it apart is that it is a general miniature Wargaming podcast. As such the topics they cover are generally broader rather than game-specific. The main host Luke Retelleck is ex-GW but now plays mainly Warmachine. However though down particularly on WHFB since the Great Ozzie Rage Quit of 2010, he doesn't let if detract from his product.

One thing I particularly enjoy is their discussions on tournament organisation. Generally you get an insight into the trials and tribulations they've encountered.

The most recent episode focused on game room setup - and prodded me to start cleaning up my room.

As always you can find them on iTunes or search World's End Radio in the Goggle.

GNagashing of Teeth

And still it continues.

Click onto forums such as TWF and there is a multitude of threads on what End Times: Nagash means. You have a strong polarisation of views quickly evident once you read these threads.

First, you have the posters browbeating everyone that Nagash is the new Warhammer and that they will brook no argument whether they can use these rules in all games. Like the right to bear arms, they have the god-given (really it should be GW-given) to have 50% Lords, no crumble, the Lore of Undeath whenever they see fit. TOs must accept their new lists otherwise they are infringing what they view as their constitutional right of free choice. Amazingly other people's right to choose

And then at the other end of the spectrum you have the Posters who indicate that this is no more official canon than the "Blood in the Badlands" book. They will never play Warhammer Nagash and nor should its rules sully what they see as "pure" Warhammer.

And I am somewhere in between. But the key thing is that what I think doesn't matter.

People should play what they want. If Nagash doesn't sound fun for them then I'm not sure why you would play it. Alternatively if it sounds a fantastic new option, then embrace it. The only person you have to agree with is your opponent. Just as you discuss points level then also discuss whether your preference is to use/not use the Nagash rules.  Not is compulsory, nothing is banned. It's all part of the social contract of gaming.

And as for tournaments, surely that's up to the TO. It's his investment, both in time and money. Rather than demand one way or the other, you do have the right to "vote with your feet".

Yet still we have both sides try to "prove" there is only one true way. In a way they are correct, after all. It's called freedom of choice.

Just play people. And enjoy yourselves.

Last of Nagash: End Times Models

Pictures are floating around the net of next week's White Dwarf which includes the last of the Nagash models.

The first pic is of the Spirit Hosts. These are very reminiscent of the Wood Elf Dryads. I really like the models and think I will pick some up. 

Then we have the Morghast. There are two versions. The Archai which look like the have Great Weapons and the Harbingers which have two close combat weapons. 

GW has done a fantastic job with the models for this release - despite the shocking prices for NZ buyers. I'm really keen to see what we get in November for the second book.

He Needs Goblinz!

Having moved through Chaos Dwarfs, Warriors of Chaos and more recently on the Dark Elf Minibus of Doom, local gamer Sam Whitt is looking to build his next army. He's decided on Lizardmen but is going to use O&G as the models - so expect Gobbo-Eko etc.

For the Skinks he wants to use Forest Goblins and the best source of these is off the Araknarok Spider kit. Sam has indicated he neds about 70 of these little buggers to maximise his "double flee fun times".  That pretty much means he needs 7 sets of crew. I know Jack used Night Goblins as his crew so like us you may have some spare.

If you can help Sam out you can contact him here

Monday, September 1, 2014

Battle Report - Ogres vs. Warriors of Chaos

On Saturday Ryan and myself had a 2000 point game of Meeting Engagement. He used his Warriors while I used my Ogres.

You can see the deployment line Ryan chose with me in the near corner. He then started to set up - missing his BSB, second Gorebeast chariot and a unit of Hounds. I had everything except one Sabretusk. My deployment is below.

Being a jammy git I promptly stole the initiative and went first. I moved up using the building as a screen. The Maneaters jumped in.

The ironblaster blew up the Gorebeast chariot first turn.

In response Ryan brought his second chariot on in the corner to threaten my blaster. Taking the opportunity I promptly shot this one, taking off four wounds. But boy did I pay for not finishing it off.

ETC Match-up Software

The matchup process is critically important and can make the difference between success and failure. I say "can"  because the players still have to 1) have their assessment of the matchup correct and 2) deliver to that assessment.

A couple of years ago Jack wrote software that allowed us to manage the matchups at the 4 person per team NZTC. We've used it for the past two years and I'm happy to say that it adds considerable value. As long as your assessments are right and your team delivers to those assessments then you enhance your results.

The key thing is that it takes the emotion out of the matchup process reducing it to a math-based solution.

So with the ETC coming up I had Jack expand the programme to cater for eight person teams. Having produced the software the key thing was for me to get used to running it and understanding the way it worked.

Critical was ensuring that the input - assessment of matchups - was as solid as it could be. This process took a number of iterations - including a remedial five hour session the night before the event. This was the first time we had had our team all together in the same room.

As noted, the programme works to achieve the best mathematical solution it can. It plays no favourites and therefore there is little emotion in choices.

So how did it work? Well here is a breakdown of the results.

It gives a predicted score when you put up your first choice and then seeks through the process to improve that. The "blue" section is where we ended up and "red" the improvement achieved.

On average, the software enhanced our score by approximately 6 points between Choice #1 and Choice #8.  This is pretty significant in an ETC context when your opponents are trying to do the same. Generally we were left with 4-6 matchups that "promised" 11-13 points, 1-2 8-9 point matchups with the rest 10-10.

From a Captain's point of view it was fantastic. The whole process was straightforward and emotionless. Push the button - and apart from choice #3 that takes 60-90 seconds - instantly have your choice or your preferred opponent in front of you.

Of course it doesn't take in player ability to deliver the result but I always felt we were getting a head start each round. Against Scotland, Australia and Switzerland our performance delivered within 2 points of predicted score - suggesting that our matchups and play was good. In the game against the Czech Republic we were looking good to achieve the same but points slipped away in the last three games.

Our two big losses I think were more down to our play though against Norway at least one of the predicted matchup scores was well wrong.

In the end my thoughts were that our performance could have been improved with more preparedness. The opportunity to play and discuss the matchups to ensure the input into the model was even more "accurate" can't be understated. Our session the night before helped immeasurably. I would have loved two or three more of those informed by tournament play.

However as far as the software goes, it was an unqualified success. It really was our 10th Man.

Thanks to Jack for his time developing it.....and making sure I could drive it.

Weekend's Hobby

Managed to get some hobby in over the weekend.

Friday night saw some more cleaning up of the Dunn-geon - mainly as I had two games lined up for Saturday.

First up was a game of Ogres vs. Ryan Lister's Warriors (battle report to follow) and then the Ogres backed up against Alan Hughes' Skaven. In between them I packaged up some Wood Elf models to send to my contract painter in Sri Lanka (Otaki).

It was also Nagash weekend and the new book duly downloaded onto my iPad overnight Friday. I'm about 40 pages in - I started at the front - and am really enjoying it. The scale of the story is enormous yes, all races are involved. It is the End Times.

The Saturday post saw my Lore of Undeath cards arrive - yay! And also a bunch of new resin bases from Back2bas-ix.

On Sunday afternoon I unpacked my Skaven army having had it sit in its case for three weeks since the ETC. A few small repairs. Mmmmmm Skaven at 2000 points...intriguing.

NZTC 2015 Tickets Now On Sale

Tickets are now on sale. Just drop me an email but remember your ticket is not confirmed until payment is received.

Any people wanting to play but devoid of a team - let me know and I can put you in touch with others.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Lore of Undeath Cards???

Looks like GW might have missed a trick with the new Nagash release.

When the release was announced I checked with my local GW Hobby Centre to see whether they were getting in the associated magic cards. They were.

I then noticed a few threads on forums indicating that they had sold out immediately they went on pre-order on GW's web store. No problems, the shops are getting them.

Yesterday I dropped in to confirm that the cards would be on sale on Saturday and was told that none had arrived in.  The Manager checked with other NZ Hobby Centres and they had also received no Lore of Undeath cards.


I jumped on the NZ GW web store and yes, they had indeed sold out.

So it appears that GW has seriously underestimated the likely demand for these cards. The cynic might say that it's a ploy to make you buy the campaign book.....but I'll go with error over malice.

If you see the cards snap them up.....and if there is a spare set on offer then please help a brother out.

Bloodbowl for the iPad

Somehow I missed this......arrgh On the 30th June Bloodbowl was released on the iPad.

A few years ago I used to commandeer Tom's xBox to play the game but with his move to Auckland I lost that avenue. I never played the board game version but loved the electronic version.

So last Sunday I was in the iTunes Store and on a whim searched Bloodbowl. And lo and behold there it was. Once downloaded I paid the extra DLC fee for Skaven. And for the past week I've been playing the game. And what fun it remains.

Typically I manage to get in two games in an hour and a half.

Very reasonable cost too....$10 for the game and $3.79 to play additional teams. I bought Skaven meaning for less than $15 I'm a happy Stormvermin.

If you like Bloodbowl or just want a new game.....check it out