Monday, January 12, 2009

The Vermhr Rouge - A Skaven Horde (2250 point list)

Over the past 4-5 years I have been building a Skaven army without ever getting it finished. It got onto the table a couple of times in its semi-painted state but it was always down the priority list.

Well it is finally finished!!

Below is my initial list and I'll post up the results of games plus any thoughts I have on the list and how it evolves as I go.

Warlord - Great Weapon, Heavy Armour, Enchanted Shield (112)

Chieftain - BSB, War Banner (95)

Warlock Engineer - Full kit less pistol, Dispel Scroll, Storm Daemon (135)

Warlock Engineer - Full kit less pistol, Dispel Scroll, Warpstone Charm (135)

28 Stormvermin - Std, Muso, Banner of the Swarm (BSB here)(287)

24 Clanrats - Full Command + Ratling Gun (Engineer here)(205)

25 Clanrats - Std, Muso + Ratling Gun (200)

24 Clanrats - Full Command (Engineer here)(145)

20 Clanrats - Std, Muso (Warlord here)(115)

4x 21 Clanrat Slaves (42 for total 168)

2x 2 Poisoned Wind Globadiers (20 for total 40)

2x 5 Gutter Runner Tunneling Team - Extra Weapon, Poison)(85 for total 170)

10 Plague Monks (60)

9 Jezzails (180)

6 Plague Censer Bearers (102)

Warp Lightning Cannon (100)

So that's my starting point. It is all painted and based and ready to go. I'll update my progress through the year

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Fields of Blood 2009 Scoring Criteria

With the New Year, I know a lot of people are planning/building new armies and so I thought I would give you a “heads-up” on scoring criteria prior to the Players’ Pack being released next month.

Army Size/Restrictions

The army size will definitely be 1750 points… can bank that!!!

All current codexes released up to a month before Fields will be valid. That means if it is released before 19 August it is fair game. After that e.g. September 2009 release – no way.

Codexes that have been superseded with the release of new contributing codexes are not valid. This means no “Eye of Terror” lists because new codexes have been released.

I will entertain White Dwarf lists and units on a case by case basis. However the decision rests with me and once made it will be final. If you are considering a WD list/unit it is probably best that you ask early – so I can shatter your dreams early :-)

Special Characters may be used (but beware – I hate them….see below)


My underlying philosophy with Fields is that I want it to be an event that tests a player’s generalship but also has threshold levels in sportsmanship and painting that I view are an integral part of the hobby. The scoring criteria below are designed to reflect that philosophy

Gameplay - this will be 40% of total score. It will also be a “real” 40% in that you will need to earn all your Gameplay Points. As with last year a win will be worth 10 points, a draw 5 points and a loss 0 points. There will also be a potential 5 bonus points on offer giving a raw score of 0-90.

The “Bloodthirster” award will be on offer this year for the person with the highest Gameplay score however in 2009 there will be one important difference. To qualify for the Bloodthirster your army must score more than 12/30 for Composition.

Composition – this will be 30% of total score. In a departure from last year this will be entirely panel judged and will use a scale of 0-5. The panel will be made up of eight judges and each will grade your army from 0 (truly awful) to 5 (wonderful). The highest and lowest scores will be disregarded giving you a score out of 30. This translates exactly to 30% of your overall score. The possible range is 0-30 and remember at least two judges need to grade your army as a “3” for you to possibly make the threshold to qualify for the “Bloodthirster”.

The aim of this system is to encourage people to bring a list that their opponents’ will not despise playing. Fields of Blood is meant to be an enjoyable event and for a lot of people this extends to the army their opponent brings. It is also because at Fields I want to reward generalship more than list design. We are all able to copy some egregious combo we’ve seen on the net but that isn’t the aim of Fields.

This brings me to Special Characters. I hate them. A lot. Therefore if you are looking to bring a Special Character then make sure it fits the fluff of the 40k world and is not there to exploit some loophole. By way of an example, a list comprised of the Space Marine character Vulkan combined with lots of Sisters of Battle will score poorly :-(, as will any list that puts together a United Nations of SM characters. If in doubt err on the side of conservatism.

Sportsmanship – this will be 15% of total score. The system used will be the same as used at FOB 2008. This gives a score out of 30 which will be converted to a score out of 15. Given the expectation is a score at or near to 30, I reserve the right to disqualify anybody who continually impinges on his opponents’ enjoyment. I’m sure this would never happen as I would hope that Fields will only attract gamers who play in a pleasant and sporting manner.

Painting – 15% of Total Score. As per 2008 your army will be marked by a painting judge who will be using a checklist methodology. If you have a nicely painted and based army with some detailing and/or conversions etc then you will score close to maximum points. Twelve armies will be chosen for Players Choice and the votes given will decide the “harlequin” for best painted. Of course to qualify for this award the painting must all be your own work. Note however that your painting score is independent of Players Choice. Finally all armies at FOB must be painted to compete.

So those are the criteria. They are designed to reward the all-round hobbyist. While it might be possible to win the event while ignoring one of the criteria (except Sportsmanship) it is highly unlikely with the size of the field that you will place highly. This is intentional :-) . By giving you all early notice of the expectations and the criteria it allows you to make any adjustments you feel you might need be it in army design or regarding painting.

The Players’ Pack will be sent to you early February but please feel free to share this with your local gaming group/any potential attendees.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The 2008 New Zealand Masters

Over the weekend of 15/16 November I ran the inaugural NZ Masters in Wellington. There were three game systems - Fantasy, 40k and Field of Glory.

Like the Australian Fantasy Masters the system was designed to reward those players who had performed consistently at tournaments over the past 12 months.

Warhammer 40k

The NZ Rankings (thanks Mark Croxford)were used to determine invites - however only best three results used and only NZ tournaments.

The tournament attracted the nine top ranked NZ players and the player ranked 12th. I was extremely happy to have such a top flight field.

I deliberately designed the scoring to ensure that army selection could have an impact on overall result if there was a marked difference in army strength. The components were 60% Battle, 30% Comp and 10% Sports. Comp was marked by fellow competitors and a panel of judges from NZ and Australia.

Here are the results:

In the end the Comp difference between the top and bottom rated army was 10.9% or just over two games (each win was worth 10 points, a loss worth 0 points. There was also five bonus points on over each game).

Armies were 1500 points and the missions were from the 5ed rulebook. The rulebook victory conditions were used however when a draw eventuates I have a secondary filter. If one army has killed/destroyed 500 AP more than the other then they gain victory. There are no points for half units etc. You must have destroyed the unit/vehicle. This meant that only in the event of a very clear margin was a win achieved. At the Masters no draws were converted to wins.

Going into the 5th Round the top six competitors' combined Comp and Battle Scores were within 4 BPs of each other making it extraordinarily tight. Given a field of 10 people I think that reflected a very strong competition. Mark Buttle was leading the competition into the last round but his loss to Dave Lewy cost him first place.

Warhammer Fantasy

The invites were determined using the NZ Rankings which are based on the Irresistible Force algorithm - however only best three results used and only NZ tournaments.

Due to a variety of reasons there were a number of qualifiers who couldn't make it, however in the end ten of the top twenty ranked people attended.

I deliberately designed the scoring to ensure that army selection could have an impact on overall result if there was a marked difference in army strength. The components were 60% Battle, 30% Comp and 10% Sports. Comp was marked by fellow competitors who assessed all lists.

Here are the results:

One of the talking points was the lack of Vampire Counts and Daemon armies at the event. The two armies that scored lowest for Composition both had dragons while the Skaven army had 10 PD.

In the end the Comp difference between the top and bottom rated army was 10.8% or 21.6 Battle Points. This effectively meant the Ogre army had a over a game's advantage at the outset of the tournament.

The lower ranked Dark Elf army was able to make up 12 Battle Points while the High Elf army dropped a further 8 BPs in relation to the Ogres.

I'd be interested in comment as to how the competitors saw Battle vs. Comp - i.e. did the system work?

The only problem I ran into was trying to make a Swiss Chess draw in Round 6. Because there were only 10 players we got to the stage where in the final round there were two games where battle point rankings were 6-7 places from one another. To be fair to the highest ranked player the correct Swiss Chess draw was adhered to.