Wednesday, June 30, 2010

List Composition at the Birth of 8th Edn

Reading the new rules over the past few days I'm of the opinion that we'll see three extreme builds being trialled in the first few months of 8th Edn.

The first is the "big infantry block" build. This will comprise one of two builds. Either taking advantage of the new "Horde" rule - the best two being Chaos Marauders with Great Weapons or Dark Elf Spearmen - or adding more bodies to elite infantry units. The key with the bigger infantry builds is that they must have a degree of offense to be successful. Work the numbers on a block of Khorne Marauders and you'll see numbers plus a high number of Str 5 attacks makes them very potent.

The second build will concentrate on the new Magic rules. It will be focused on getting off one of the new mega-spells. So we'll see cheap suicidal casters throwing 6 dice in the hope that they'll get a game changer off. Hopefully tournaments will enforce selection of lore at the time of list submission otherwise the ability to tailor is too strong.

The final "extreme" build will be the warmachine build. With the shift to percentages I think that we'll see people who can trying to max out on warmachine. Dwarfs already do but Orcs and Goblins can now run 6 cheap chukkas, 2 Doom Divers and 2 Lobbas. With the removal of partials I think that this will prove too attractive to some - so expect to see more warmachines.

So what does this mean?

In the interim you'll need to build your lists to counter/neutralise these threats. However I do think over the next 3-4 months we will see a move back to the combined arms approach as people's "8th Ed" tactics develop. The rock/scissors/paper nature of the extreme builds will see them fall by the wayside. At that point the real 8th Edn meta-game will begin.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Maelstrom VII Warhammer 40k Tournament

The first weekend in July I am running Maelstrom VII for Warhammer 40k.

The purpose of the tournament is twofold; Firstly, it is to offer the local gaming community another year of what has been a very popular gaming event. This year the event has sold out attracting the full 30 participants. There are a mix of local and out of town gamers but of real note is the quality of the field. Around 80% of last year's NZ Masters field will be there so the event will be very competitive. The second reason is to trial a number of the scoring mechanisms, missions etc that I will be using for this year's Fields of Blood in September.

I am trialling a couple of new missions at the event. This gives me the opportunity to get feedback and iron out any flaws for future tournaments. The guys playing are very savvy and I know I'll get a heads-up should there be any conflicts, contradictions or anything that just plain doesn't work. In addition, I have introduced some new Special Rules into missions I've used before to mix things up a bit.

I have overhauled the Bonus Point scheme that I have been using for the past two-three years. My Gameplay scoring is 10 points for a win, 5 points for a draw and 0 points for a loss. On top of this there have been 5 standard actions that earn bonus points e.g. kill most expensive unit etc. I've done away with this and introduced Secret Mission cards (my inspiration being GWUK's Fantasy GT). Each player is issued with six Secret Mission cards at the beginning of the event. Each has a specific task on it e.g. Kill opposing HQ; Hold Terrain Feature in Deployment Zone etc. At the start of each game you select a mission as does your opponent. Neither of you know what the other's mission is. At the end of the game you reveal your secret mission. If you achieve yours while denying your opponent his then you get 5 bonus points; If you get yours and your opponent gets his then you get 2 bonus points each; and if you fail to achieve yours then you receive no bonus points.

The twist is that you surrender each card after it is played so you have a reducing number of options as the tournament progresses. This ups the meta-game somewhat. You can use easy to achieve missions to deny specific opponents/armies etc bonus points for instance or you can choose Special Missions that complement the main missions. I'm fascinated to see how it turns out and how the players utilise another tool in their arsenal.

For the first time I am allowing Grudge Matches in the First Round. But again there is a twist. Usually these are used to bunny hunt but at Maelstrom you can only challenge a player who is "better" than you. This is determined by utilising the rankings on

Looking forward to the event and seeing how the players enjoy it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Where to the Ratmen?

So what is the way forward for the Skaven, given the introduction of 8th Edition?

Well I'm not sure. Not very helpful but at least honest. I don't think Skaven will suffer much under the new rules but I do think that quite a few of the weaker armies will be strengthened - especially Orcs and Goblins, Ogres and Dwarfs. Empire and High Elves are being tipped as new stars - we'll see.

Initially my list won't change markedly from what I'm currently running:

Priest on Furnace

2x Clanrats
4x Slaves
3x Giant Rats
2 Swarms

1x Plague Monks
2x PCBs
1x Gutter Runners

Warp Lightning Cannon

With greater freedom in choices I can see myself adding at least one more Rare. This will be a Plague Claw Catapult given my lack of shooting and the likelihood of big infantry blocks.

The Giant Rats may go - a lot depends on the deployment rules for 8th. Also one unit of PCBs may be for the chop. We'll see.

I'm thinking games will be going to 2400 points as standard, so that may give some scope for new units.

In the next few days I'll post some pictures of the new units I've been painting.

8th Edition Advances

So 8th Edition is almost here. I've ordered my copy from GW UK and I'm hoping that it arrives on or before the 10th of July.

Two months ago I was totally unexcited about the new edition. I guess this was due in part to the fact that I've got to a stage whereby I think I'm competent in 7th Ed and didn't want all the effort that went into that to be for naught. The early oil on the new rules didn't really inspire me either - I was dreading the dumbing-down that I felt 5th Ed 40k had experienced.

However about a month ago my feelings turned 180 degrees. Why? Well I think I realised that the new edition is the opportunity to have some new fun! Things will change. Certainly what worked well in 7th won't necessarily work the same in 8th but that's the nature of progress. Will Warhammer 8th be an evolutionary blind alley? Perhaps...but I don't think so.

The skill set changes from one where spatial awareness was paramount to one where risk management is the new king. There is less certainty in the game - due to variable charges, the removal of US, the magic system etc. But because of this you'll need to plan a bit differently. The good players will be those who can assess risks and make decisions based on that assessment. However they will need to factor in the randomness that has been introduced into the mechanics and have some form of Plan B, mitigation strategy, backup - call it what you will.

I haven't played a game yet but I am looking forward to the journey*

* To quote disgraced All Black coach John Mitchell

Friday, June 11, 2010


So this blog has been dead for the past year. Now's the time for some necromancy!!!!

It is an exciting time in the hobby. Warhammer 8th Edition is just around the corner - less than a month away. A new edition of Warhammer Ancient Battles has been released and the rulebook arrived on my doorstep yesterday.

I'm running Fields of Blood Warhammer 40k again this year and it has retained its spot as NZ's premier 40k event.

There is an increasing number of podcasts on the scene, some good, some not so good and I am a pretty avid listener - kills the time painting and modeling.

I've been involved in RankingsHQ as the New Zealand administrator for the site.

So there is heaps to discuss - and I'm keen to record my opinion on all these things. If you find my musings interesting then please let me know by posting a comment.