Saturday, August 31, 2019

40K Terrain - Lavaland

Another week working on terrain for the upcoming FOB NZ Grand Tournament and I have finished my Lavaland table.

This uses a Frontline Gaming mat sourced from Mighty Ape, TH Miniatures Volcanic Terrain, Games Workshop old school extruded foam pieces (temple and emplacement) and old WHFB pieces - Watchtower and Summoning Stairs. On top of this I created some large themed LOS blocking hills to provide the necessary cover.

Coming to a table near you.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

40K Terrain - Valley of the Kings

Continuing the work of creating some new tables for the upcoming Fields of Blood NZGT and NZ Open, this morning I finished repairing some old WHFB pieces and adding in new hills to create a themed table - "Valley of the Kings".

This table has a lot of large LOS blocking pieces on it. From the Sphinxes to the Pyramids to the hills there are a lot of places to hide.

The Sphinxes are about 10" high and 12" long while the Pyramid is approximately 8" tall.

You can get an idea of scale from the Harlequin Skyweaver who is parked at the Pyramid entrance.

The Pyramid is the ultimate Enclosed Ruin - only able to be entered from the front and big enough for 5 Primaris Marines. I have a cool image in my mind of a group of Marines trying to kill a Necron Lord who has retreated back to his Tomb.

Hopefully this will be both a functional and thematic battlefield. Definitely home field advantage for Necrons or Thousand Sons.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

40K - Tournament Terrain - Buildings

A few weeks ago I contacted a local manufacturer of MDF buildings and asked him to design a building for me that I could use as tournament terrain.

The brief was that it had to block line of sight, be accessible and flexible, sturdy and easy to construct and store. Last week he sent me photos of the building and on the weekend a sample arrived.

Last night I timed myself to see how fast I could turn them around from pack to ready for table. The answer is 75 minutes and I am very hopeful that with practice I can get it down to around 50 minutes per unit.

Here is the finished building, painted ready for the table. I spray the parts before assembly then use brush to add the detail before gluing it together.

The building arrives in 15 parts - 3 floors, 8 walls and 4 crenulations. The floors I spray black, the walls grey on outside, neutral colour inside and crenulations grey both sides.

Window detail is picked out in metal as are some of the decorations. Other wall detail in alternative grey and roof floor in red. I haven't painted internal floors (plain black)

Really happy with how they have come up after painting. Obviously you can detail more if necessary - and I'll add posters to some.

The important thing for me is that the building hits all the boxes in my brief. It is sturdy, easy to construct and paint, it is practical in that the floors are separate and it blocks line of sight.

I have ordered 50 of these buildings for delivery over the next three months, meaning they will be ready in time for the FOB NZ Open in March.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

40k Terrain - The Airfield

Starting to organise my new mats and terrain for FOB NZGT and this morning put together "The Airfield".

This uses the FLG Battlemat "Airstrip" as the base and adds on some of the various elements I've put together over the years.

It has some of my new LOS blocking hills, the crashed Imperial Aquila, a Bastion, craters and the Warehouse, lifter and containers from Titan Terrain.

Surveying the carnage is a lone Soaring Spite Skyweaver (obviously he rolled well for his haywire bringing the Aquila down). You can get an idea of how even the small hills block a lot of LOS.

I now just have to weather craters, Aquila and bastion in line with the mat and another table is ready.

Check back over the next few days to see further tables for NZGT (and NZ Open).

As with all my tables this will pack up into its own tub for easy storage.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Terrain - LOS Blocking Hills for 40k

Over the past month I've been working on and off on some hills that block line of sight. I had some hills for Fantasy made of bluefoam that were just basic steps. I decided to re-purpose them for 40k.

Here is the end result. The observant among you  might be able to see an Iron Warriors Forgefiend lurking on one of the hills. This should give you an idea of the scale of these "hills".

These are no small mounds and should be able to block line of sight of any vehicle up to a Knight and most monsters.

Most pieces are at least 12" across and 6"+ high. The hills have been gritted so you can stand things on them.

Here you get an idea of just how much cover they can provide. 

I've created 14 hills which will be used on 3-4 desert tables with buildings and scatter terrain.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

40K - Name Plates

Recently while putting together my Adeptus Titanicus models I looked into getting some name plates to attach to the base.

I came across a UK company VERSATILE TERRAIN that makes them to order. You can visit their website here

Malys (Troupe Master) & N'jal (Solitaire)

I wanted to try them out before I had the big war engines' name plates made so decided to get them made for my Harlequins and Dark Eldar.

The plates are 3D printed and come in a light grey plastic. To the naked eye there is no evidence of striations.

You can order whatever names you want. They come in a variety of sizes, in different types of font and different plate options. I chose a recessed plate with a gothic font option.

I clipped them off their printing frames and then blutacked them to a stick to airbrush.

You can see that they have crisp detail

They were undercoated black with Badger Primer and then I sprayed them with Retributor Gold.

I then washed them with GW Nihilakh Oxide before a drybrush with Vallejo Old Gold. The final treatment was a light wash of the lettering with GW Seraphim Sepia to provide shadows.

Really happy with the way they came out. I think that they provide a way for your characters to be identified for you and your opponent.

Who Hasn't Wanted to Call Their Spiritseer "Moonsong"?

The Cat Lady Herself

And EVERYONE'S favourite, "Khloe" with her Vexator Mask.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

40k Addressing List Problems

One of the things I most like about wargaming is the problem solving aspect.

Earlier in the year I basepainted my Harlequins so I could take them to play in the doubles at Adepticon. I had a few practice games and found that they weren't really clicking.

The key reason for this was that the damage expectations I had for my infantry shooting were not meeting what I saw on the table.

One of my key philosophies when building a list is to keep things simple. Some people like to have a tool for every job....."cough" Biting Blade "cough"....just in case but the method I use is to build a unit, limiting variability, and then adapt tactics to maximise potential.

Each of my 3 Harlequin Troupes was kitted out the same - 2x Caress & Fusion Pistol, 3x Blade & Shuriken Pistol. Essays have been written online as to whether the Caress is better than the Kiss and the answer is, of course, it depends. Following my KISS model (no pun intended), I decided on using only one and that was the Caress.

So armed with 3 identical Troupes I ventured onto the table......and was disappointed 😢

My squads never did what they were supposed. You think two Fusions would wreak havoc....but it doesn't.

So I fell back on Mathhammer to find out why? If you check out the banner above you'll see a link to a Math Calculator for 40k. This was written by Jack Dunn. For those young ones among you, Jack of the similar surname terrorized local 40k players between 2001 and 2011. His last competitive games was the 2011 Masters where he came out of an 18 month 40k hiatus to win the event beating Charlie St. Clair 20-0 en route (even then Venom Spam was a thing). And he knows maths....and numbers....and things.

Shooting at a T5-7 target with a 3+ Save, two Fusion Pistols have a 50% chance of doing 3.98 wounds (3.42).

Given the target a 4++ and the 50% chance drops to 1.99 wounds (2.79)

So the numbers are good, yeah? No 4++ 4 wounds likely, 4++ then 2 wounds likely....I can live with that. But what are those numbers in the brackets? That is the standard deviation expressed in wounds....and standard deviation = variability.

These results are telling me that I don't have to move too far from average to have a really good result or a really bad result (zero wounds). Essentially it is saying when you have two Fusion Pistols it really is little more than a crap shoot.

So how do I insulate myself from that? Add more Fusion Pistols. By doubling the number to 4 Fusion in each unit, I double the expected wounds....seems right.

No 4++ then 50% chance of doing 3.95 wounds
4++ then 50% chance of doing 3.98 wounds.

However the big change is in the standard deviations (read variability). These are high than for 2 Fusions but not double - 3.95 and 4.83 respectively. While still variable, in relation to the number of expected wounds that variability has decreased markedly (relative to two Fusion).

Who would have thought? Roll more dice get less variability in's mathematics people!

But this increased certainty is great in wargaming when you are relying on units to do a specific job. I now have far greater confidence that I will get the outcome I want and/or a bad result won't be disastrous.

Armed with this I modified my list by adding two more Fusions to each Troupe. Across the army the cost was a Starweaver jetbike (itself very variable with a weapon that had D6 shots).

Since making the changes I have noticed far more certainty around the impact of their shooting which allows me to tailor strategy accordingly.

Far less Sad Panda face.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

40K - The 2020 Fields of Blood New Zealand Open

Here is the Players Pack for the 2020 FOB NZ Open

The event is being held 21/22 March 2020 at the Cossie Club, Upper Hutt in Wellington.

It is a five round 2000 point ITC Mission/Scoring event with round times of three hours.

Tickets go on sale 1 August 2019 (details in the pack).

The venue is fully licenced with a multitude of food options both at the venue and in the immediate vicinity.

Hopefully it will scratch your competitive urge.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

40K - The Long War 3 Results

The Long War 3 was held yesterday at the Warlords. This was 1750 points ITC 3 Rounds and we played missions 2,3 and 6.

The results were as follows:

Rank Player Army Battle
1 Pete Dunn Harlequins 3101
2 Simon Smith Imperial Knights 3075
3 Dave Hodgetts Astra Militarum 2066
4 Nathaniel Pihama Orcs 2065
5 Cody Parlato Necrons 2054
6 Jordan Green Chaos 2047
7 Aaron Wilson Eldar 1065
8 Sean Sullivan Imperium 1065
9 Hagen Kerr Astra Militarum 1050
10 Paul Knieriem Imperium 1042
11 Alastair Helm Tau 53
12 Kent Jackson Space Marines 39

Best Sport went to Nathaniel with 3/3 Best Opponent votes while Best Army went to Aaron's Eldar.

The next The Long War is on the first Saturday in September.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

40K - Army Selection at FoB NZGT

The audience for this missive are the attendees at the upcoming FoB NZGT. 

This event is very much billed as a hobby event where the winner will be the best all round hobbyist. So what does that mean? 

To win the event you will need to score highly in each of the four categories - Battle, Army Presentation, Sportsmanship and Army Selection. Battle is scored on table, Presentation via a checklist, Sports has a default setting and then there is Army Selection. This will be scored by yep, purely subjective. 


I have said that to score well for Army Selection you need to bring an army that maximizes the enjoyment of both you and your opponent. The army should be themed - in line with what I expect an army in the 41st Millennium to be, representative of its faction’s distinctive traits - and should avoid spamming of the best units/load outs in the Codex. Notice, I said Codex...singular. Any army will always score better if it drawn from a single codex versus one from multiple sources. 

Army Selection scoring is not en vogue in these days of entitlement. However, FoB NZGT has been clearly positioned as a hobby event and given the size of the field it is unlikely that you will win the event without scoring well in all four categories. Is that fair? Hell Yeah! This event does what it says on the tin. 

Last year I think that there was some doubt that I would follow through on my directives on how to get a good Selection scores. Although I made it clear what my expectations were if you wanted to score high, I received lists that were very strong. In a number of cases, I contacted people and told them that they would score low. They opted not to change their lists but after the event one of those contacted complained that he had scored so low!

So be warned - The same Sheriff is in town in 2020. By all means bring a strong list but don’t be surprised if you score less than those that don’t. Also check the Players Pack, a good Selection score does make a difference. The event still provides a lovely trophy - “Bloodthirster” - for the person who scores highest in Battle Points. 

Now I am not going to provide indicative scoring for your lists prior to the event. However I will provide a guide by scoring the list I am taking to Call to Arms which is also 1500 points. 

Masque: Soaring Spite


Troupe Master - Warlord, Skystrider, Caress, Fusion Pistol

Solitaire - Cegorach’s Rose

Troupe- 5 Players, 4x Fusion, 3x Caress
Troupe - 5 Players, 4x Fusion, 3x Caress
Troupe - 5 Players, 4x Fusion, 2x Caress 
Troupe - 5 Players, 4x Fusion, 2x Caress

Fast Attack 
Skyweavers- 5x, Haywire & Glaive 
Skyweavers - 2x, 2x Haywire, 1x Glaive

Dedicated Transport 
4x Starweavers - 2x Shuriken Cannon

So the army scores well because:
• Harlequins
• Single Detachment
• Single Faction
• Single Masque
• Lots of Troops

Loses points because: 
• Lots of Fusion 
• Hard hitting Solitaire

Overall I would score this as probably a “6” on the “Crimes Against Pete Army Selection Scale” with the possibility of being a 7 depending on what else turns up. 

Remember the scale is 1-10 and I tend to use the lot! 

My final thought is that while last year there might have been gripes over specific individual scores, there was general acceptance that there weren’t many (any?) lists more than +/- 1 point from where they should be or deserving higher scores RELATIVE to their peers.