Tuesday, September 2, 2014

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

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thoughts Ahead Of Nagash Release

So the End Times hit this Saturday.  I have pre-ordered the interactive version of the rule book on my iPad - $88 vs. $165 for the physical book.

And I'm excited. In fact I'm probably more excited about this release than any release since 8th Edition hit.

Why? Well this is the first time in almost a decade that GW have advanced the Warhammer Lore. I loved the Storm of Chaos campaign (even though I wasn't playing WHFB at the time) and the 40k Eye of Terror summer was a "golden time" for me as far as GW games go.

While I love the gaming aspect of WHFB I like the imagery and background more. One of the reasons I could never play X-Wing or Lord of the Rings/Hobbit is that regardless of how good the game the background does nothing for me. I found the LotR movies (and books) tedious and overblown and I haven't bothered with The Hobbit movies. Similarly while the original Star Wars movies were good I always found them (and the universe) overrated. The second set were just dire.

However with the Warhammer World I think GW has done a phenomenal job over 2-3 decades to create a fantastic backdrop for their game ( they have done similar for 40k though the current millennium lacks the majesty of the previous nine).

Therefore the opportunity to have the backdrop progress is very appealing for me. My reading - so far - of the "story" is that this is indeed epic. Powers are afoot and responses required. This draws in all theatres with the WW and that is exciting.

Now I appreciate that this is all an effort to sell more models and source material but the critical thing is that there is an "effort". Over recent years "effort" in Fantasy has been a rare commodity. A couple of limited campaign books, one expansion but generally just "treadmill" releases. By that I mean Army Books that from a lore point of view have been uninspiring.  When your biggest fluff advance of the past five years is the discovery of Demigryphs in Empire forests, well you do have problems.

Now don't get me wrong, the models and the rules are the best they have ever been (I've only played three editions). But that for me is only part of the story. This End Times storyline is the missing piece.

In fact I'd be a very happy gamer if GW delayed 9th for another two years (or issued it as v8.5), released the remaining three Army Books and then concentrated on these campaign style additions to add models, units, scenarios etc.

If they wanted to ice my cake they'd then only have to update the FAQs.

NZTC 2015 Players Pack Released

The 2015 NZTC Players Pack has been completed and can be downloaded here

Tickets for the event will go on sale Monday September 1 and as noted in the pack are restricted to sixteen teams.

If anybody would like to participate but doesn't have a team please contact me at pete@thefieldsofblood.com and I'll put you in touch with other gamers.

UPDATED: To include schedule. Sunday finish 6.00pm latest - you should book flights requiring airport check-in no earlier than 6:30pm

UPDATED: With NZ payment info - Australians contact me directly

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Let's Just All Stay Calm.........And Panic

The impending release of the Nagash campaign book seems to be causing all sorts of unease across the community, be it here in New Zealand or worldwide.

I've read numerous forums, blogs etc where there is much gnashing of teeth as to what the book means.

"It's the return of Herohammer "

"It's truly the End Times"

"The game just got massively more expensive"

"I'm going to be forced to play against these new uber lists"

"It's the end of tournaments as we know it"

Yes people, it truly is the End Times. You are all going to be forced on a weekly basis to play Nagash End Times games often against your will. Your wallet will be assaulted as you are forced to buy all this new material - rules and models - just to breathe.

Perhaps it's time to get a little perspective.

Your hobby is what YOU make it. If you want to play the new campaign then play the new campaign. If you don't, then don't. Nothing is compulsory. You choose to do what you want.

Life will go on...pretty much as it does now.

Tournament organisers will publish Players Pack that set out the specific considerations for their events and gamers will be able to choose to participate or not. Conscription is not being introduced.

Remember folks, it's a hobby and meant to be fun. It shouldn't be causing anxiety.