Thursday, September 30, 2010

Scenarios in Tournaments

Over the past month one of the hot topics on Warhammer forums has been the so-called "Rage-Quitting" by veteran players. If you believe the posts this is in part because the game now requires less sophisticated tactics, is prone to big spell-itis and has generally been "dumbed down".

Now I don't prescribe to those theories (with the exception that a big spell can hurt you and completely disrupt your battleplan) as I think the game has moved on, evolved, what-have-you.

At Pilgrimage in August, three scenarios were played - Battleline, Meeting Engagement and Battle for the Pass. Post-event you should have heard the gnashing of teeth as various people catalogued how the scenarios neutered their armis. For goodness sake people read the Players Pack. You knew where playing them. Construct your army to deal with them!

Which brings me to the point of this post - The Scenarios.

I was always a nay-sayer re scenarios in 7th Edition. However in 8th Edition I believe that GW have hit a winner. The scenarios are varied and if you play all six of them, internally balanced. What sort of army can win Battleline? An extreme army - be it in terms of magic, points denial or hitting power. What type of army will dominate tournaments where the full gambit of scenarios are played - a balanced army.

Only want ghouls as your Core Infantry? Good luck for "Blood and Glory". Only want to take big blocks in Battleline? Good luck when you meet a bigger dog (read deathstar) and can't deal with it - I'll bet then you wished you had spent 100 points on three cheap throwaway units rather than the "uber-mega-combo of doom" sword on your Lord. Playing "Watchtower" - well you better have something in your list that can claim the tower (20 or less core infantry) or shift the incumbents. Put 1000 points in your Deathstar? Hope you don't roll a "1" in "Meeting Engagement" or it gets separated from your main force in "Dawn Attack".

The scenarios provide a balance that acts as a form of comp over the course of a tournament. Yes you might compete well in "Battleline" but let's see you across the full gambit.

This of course is predicated on the fact that you are playing the scenarios. Already I have seen events where scenarios like "Watchtower" or "Blood & Glory" have their objective reduced to 400-500VPs. This isn't playing scenarios (nor do I believe is it giving the game a fair chance). This is playing "Battleline - with a Twist of Lemon". In a lot of cases I think this is the influence of compromise to appease the Rage-Quitters. These guys don't want to give up their 7th Ed paradigm.

At Skitterleap III this weekend, the scenarios are......the scenarios. If you don't control the Watchtower you don't win the game. If your Fortitude level is breached you don't win the game. Yes there is an opportunity to score points/lose points but the scenario is sacrosanct.

I see the ability to adapt, evolve, amend your battleplan and list as the key in 8th Ed.

The game has moved on from the ability to judge distances and know with near absolute certainty the outcome of particular combat. It is now about risk management, risk mitigation, having a balanced army to cover various scenarios and contingencies.......and especially having a Plan B when shit happens.

To mix historical references - "It's a Brave New World out there, evolve or die".

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Magic Defense - Lore of Life (Rethink)

On an earlier post I indicated that when I played against Lore of Life I typically let my opponent get off "Throne of Vines" and then dispelled it in my next phase at its given casting value.

In retrospect, my thinking was coloured by the fact that the most common LoL caster was a Slaan and typically they backed it up with Cupped Hands (allowing them to bounce a miscast on a 2+). I still think that this is the way to go against such a beastie but have changed my view when they don't have Cupped Hands.


Well purely down to the Miscast defense that "Throne of Vines" has on the rest of the magic phase. When there is no other Miscast defense, the successful throwing of Throne of Vines stacks the cards in the favour of the caster for the rest of the phase. It gives them 80%+ impunity from a miscast meaning that they can quite happily pick up 5-6 dice for that important "Flesh to Stone", "Regrowth" or offensively "Dwellers Below".

So now if I see no Cupped Hands, I'll shut down "Throne of Vines" as a priority with the downside that I may have to where one or other spells (but probably not "Dwellers Below" at its lower casting effect.

It took me awhile - but I got there!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Skitterleap Lists

Here are the lists for Skitterleap.

A very mixed field:

3 Warriors of Chaos
2 Beastmen
2 Dwarfs
2 Lizardmen
2 Daemons of Chaos
2 High Elves
2 Skaven
1 Vampire Counts
1 Ogre Kingdoms
1 Bretonnian
1 Orcs & Goblins

So no Empire, Wood Elves, Tomb Kings or Dark Elves.

We are playing all the scenarios sans Battleline so it will be intriguing to see who gets up.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Skitterleap Composition

Skitterleap III has no formal composition criteria. Instead I have sent guidelines to the participants and reminded them that there is a judge veto if a list is deemed too strong relative to the rest of the field.

Here's the guidelines:

As per the players Pack there is no formal comp for this tournament HOWEVER I am asking players to be mindful that we are in the early stages of 8th edition and to consider their opponent’s enjoyment as well as their own.

Some suggested guidelines when composing your list are:

No Power Scroll

If you are bringing Lizards you can choose only two of the following three on your Slaan – Focused Rumination, Focus of Mystery, Cupped Hands

No repeated Rare warmachines

Only one unit of Flamers (limited to six models)

Warmachine cap of 4 (Steam Tank counts as one). If you bring three of the same Special choice warmachines then the third counts as two (e.g. you can have 2 cannons + other warmachines but if you have three cannons that’s your lot).

One list has already been sent back - High Elves with 7 levels of Magic, Book of Hoeth and Banner of Sorcery - as it was felt that it would definitely dominate one phase of the game to the extent whereby other participants would not enjoy the game.

My stance remains the same. At this stage I prefer that the core rules remain intact. However that means players need to self-regulate to an extent re their lists. The comp guidelines are backed with a veto/resubmit for those that can't.

The day when there will be more formalised comp is coming - as people recognise those aspects that need addressing and the effects of any solutions imposed.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Skaven at Guardcon Part 3

So I hit my targets - made the Top 5 and the final of Players Choice.

How did the army perform?

Well the answer is......mixed.

Looking at the various parts of the army, here's my thoughts:


No problem.....did exactly what I wanted. Wouldn't change the kit.


Again performed as expected. Having the naked Engineer in the Slaves really worked, lifting them to Ld 8 outside the General's range.


The Plague Monks were mixed. Against the Lizards they suffered from a bad roll of dice with Steg doing 18 impact or thunderstomp hits in two rounds of combat. They got rolled by Nikola's Chosen but that is to be expected.

The Gutter Runners were excellent. They are critical for taking out warmachines, possibly characters etc. Their poison attacks are gold. The only thing is that I need to be patient and I need to protect them - Storm banner, Warpgale etc - as they only have the ninja save.


The Abomination was fine. He got Gatewayed and beaten up charging a building but generally he was always a thread. Opponents hate him and that's good enough for me.

The big disappointments in the list were the warmachines. They largely did nothing all weekend ...... or that's how it seemed. The Warp Lightning Cannon especially underperformed. Dropping from two to one after Pilgrimage was really noticeable as you take the redundancy out of the list. With two you know you'll probably get a job done but with one ....and two chances to misfire....efficiency drops.

The Furnace was good at this event as it can fire indirectly. However again it underperformed, misfiring and exploding twice on Turn 1 this event.


I wouldn't change the list but I will change some of my decision-making in future.

I love my Skaven and love their unpredictable nature.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Player Etiquette - Conceding Games

Over the weekend at Guardcon there were at least two instances of what I consider questionable etiquette by players. I'm sure this also happens around the world from time to time, be it Newcastle, Warrington or Baltimore.

On the two occasions at Guardcon, players conceded their games early, giving their opponents 20-0 ones. In at least one of these cases, it is likely that the game would have been far closer if played to conclusion - estimates were that it would have finished somewhere between 12-8 and 15-5.

As another player I have a real problem with this. Conceding a game and giving an opponent points that they did not earn distorts the event for all the other players. Basically I feel it betrays a lack of respect for the TO and for the other players as well as depriving your opponent of the opportunity to enjoy their win.

The only instance where I can see some leeway is if your opponent is engaging in seriously unsporting behaviour.

Essentially I don't care that:

a) you can't win;
b) you're not enjoying the game; or
c) your dice have deserted you.

In these instances you man up and give your opponent the opportunity to enjoy the victory.

Why do I think this? Well, courtesy. Courtesy to your opponent, courtesy to the TO and courtesy to the other players.

This after all was a six round tournament. People didn't pay (or travel) to play in a five and a half round event. They are there for a weekend of enjoyment and by conceding you are shortchanging them.

It impacts the other players. While it's a social event it is also a contest and I know I, for one, make my opponent fight for every point because that is what I expect others to do. To give up is a big finger to each and every player at the event indicating that your sensitivities are more important than their competition.

Play the game out. I've been on the losing side many times and in every situation there is something you can gain. It might be minor like keeping a certain unit alive or major like the satisfaction that you have respected your opponent by making them earn every point.

Skaven at Guardcon Part 2

So a big Day Two is needed.

Round 4 I was drawn against Paul Davison and his Skaven in the Dawn Attack scenario. I set up first put Paul stole the first turn from me. My deployment would have allowed me to attempt to assassinate his Grey Seer with Gutter Runners. When Paul failed to deal with the Gutter Runners my eyes lit up. In they went and duly killed the general. From here I thought things should have been relatively straightforward but for a variety of reasons I could just not finish units off and Paul was able to rally broken units even without the General's steadying influence. As the game went on Paul was reduced to no wizards yet my three guys continually failed to prosecute their magic dominance. The game finished in a very frustrating 11-9 win to Paul.

My fifth round opponent was Tim Norling who I had traveled up with. We play regularly and discuss lists to death. Therefore I knew his list and he knew mine. Unfortunately for me we were playing in the worst scenario for Skaven versus Warriors of Chaos, Watchtower. Tim won the roll and placed 18 Chaos Warriors with Banner of Rage in the building. I wasn't sure how I'd get them out. In the end the game came down to a few key decisions. Firstly, me putting my Abomination into the building. Wrong. Secondly, Tim bringing his Warriors out to threaten the flank of my Furnace unit. Wrong. Thirdly, me using a redirector to set up a multiple charge on his knights. Right. I was able to charge Tim's Warriors in the flank after they had seen off the HPA and ventured out, breaking them and turning the battle. I think if Tim hadn't pulled them out but instead moved his characters to join them then he would have won. Once I had the ascendancy I applied my foot to his throat and ground out an 18-2 win.

In the final round I played Luke Brimblecombe and his Warriors of Chaos. Luke had been leading the tournament early on and still on Table one in Round 5. Like all three of my WoC opponents over the weekend, he had a 45-50 model unit of Great Weapon wielding Marauders. I sensed early on that Luke was keen to get a good finish in the event and he mentioned that he didn't want to fall to 20th so I assumed (correctly) that he'd take a defensive stance. He had a Level 4 with Heavens and his offence over the course of the game was pretty much confined to bringing down the Comet. Over the middle turns he was able to bring down three of them but although of varying degrees of power they only accounted for my Ratapult. I was able to pick up a couple of units of Dogs, the Warshrine and a unit of knights (the other was reduced to one model) and I suspect Luke was pretty happy to concede a 12-8 win to me.

So I finished on 75 points and with full painting, sports and composition this was enough to give me Second Place (my son Jack incurred a comp hit that cost him second). I was also very pleased to pick up Players Choice for Best Painted Army.

The final instalment tomorrow where I'll give a wrap-up.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Skaven at Guardcon Part 1

Over the weekend I played at Guardcon in Auckland. The event attracted 36 players from across the North Island. I must admit I approached the event with some trepidation. The City Guard forums had been the scene of a fair amount of whinging leading into the event and I felt for the TO, Nick Irvine.

I took the Skaven list that I posted last week. It meet all the Composition guidelines set before the event so I wasn't surprised it was okayed without any drama. The list competes in all phases and I felt it was suited to the event where each of the rulebook scenarios sans "Battle for the Pass" would be used. So was I right? Well read on.

Over the course of the weekend I had six enjoyable games against six sporting opponents. My results ranged from 20-0 for to 13-7 against. My record was 3 wins and 3 losses. So what did I learn?

My first game versus Nicholas Ng was very one-sided. We were playing Meeting Engagement and Nic had an Empire army. I felt Nic deployed too far forward and this was magnified when I snatched the first turn. From here I was able to engineer the matchups I wanted and roll up Nic's army for very little cost.

In my second game I played Simon Kwok's Lizards in "Battleline". This game really reflected the vagaries of 8th. I felt I played extremely well and had Simon's army very much on the backfoot. Most units were at or below half strength after judicious use of magic, shooting and positioning of my combat units. As I moved in for the kill Simon's Slaan got off an IF Dwellers Below which killed my Grey Seer.From memory it was only on 3-4 dice so double grrrr. I resisted the urge to log onto Wargamerau and vent my anger in a thread about how bad 8th Ed was or to immediately rush over to the Warmachine Demo table and sign on with my local pressganger. Instead I smiled and remembered there were (probably) games that I had won through luck rather than skill. Simon brightened up immensely as prior to this he'd been rather shellshocked. I got the feeling he still thought he was down but I knew he was now at least a couple of hundred points up. He charged an Ancient Steg into the front of my Furnace and rolled 6 for both Impact and Thunderstomp. With my Seer gone he could raise back any wounds I did to the big lizard and with another 6 for Thunderstomp was able to eventually kill my Monks by the end of the game. This gave him a 13-7.

I didn't think I did much wrong in this game but sometimes luck just bites you in the arse. As the French say "That is Life".

My next game against Nikola's Warriors started in similar fashion with me cutting swathes through his army with some nice magic and shots. However in this case it wasn't Fate that came back to haunt me....rather it was poor play on my part. Well partly anyway. I took the option to use my Abomination to finish off the 50 man Marauder block rather than contact the Hellcannon. My Grey Seer back from last game's vacation decided to move his unit forward. As soon as I did it I saw my mistake. I had left my unit 14" from his Hellannon. Hoping Nikola hadn't seen it I thought I might still geet back from this. Unfortunately Nikola eagle-eyed the brave little rat flipping him the bird and of course rolled 8 on his two dice. No worries I thought, the Seerlord is a tough little bugger. He survived the first round left on a single wound and then I Skalmed them back. In my turn the HellPit turned to set up a charge versus the rear of the Chosen. My chance to get out of jail came in the Magic Phase but I was too cute. Rather than 6 dice Skitterleap, I tried to draw out Nikola's dice by talking up Plague, Skorch etc. He didn't fall for it and my Seer didn't survive a second round. Note to Self: Don't piss around in future! This was compounded in the next turn by Nikola "Gatewaying" my Abomination. His Chosen and lord made short work of the Furnace. A truly bloody battle 11-9 to the Warriors.

So end of Day One I'm on 36 points and with a 1-2 record.....need big Day Two...

The rest tomorrow

Friday, September 17, 2010

Skitterleap III

The last Wellington two day tournament of the year is Skitterleap III on the first weekend in October.

Numbers are starting to build and it looks like a final number of 24+.

The tournament is 2400 points with no comp (just an independent judge's veto option for any army deemed to be too strong in any one phase or out of whack with strength of other entrants).

All the rulebook scenarios will be used as will some random terrain aspects.

If you are in or around Wellington that weekend, drop me a note to sign up or feel free to drop in for a look.

Guardcon This Weekend

So I've got Guardcon in Auckland this weekend. Speaking to a couple of mates this morning I told them that I was pretty much over all the bitching and moaning that seems to coalesce around a lot of the Auckland events. The Comp whinging and campaigning gets very old, very fast.

I have a lot of respect for the TO and Umpire this year, Nick Irvine. If he wasn't running it (and if the flights to Auckland hadn't been purchased before the whinging started) then I probably would have opted out. That said, once there I'm sure it will be a good event and I'll have some great games.

In the first round I am playing Nicholas Ng who is running Empire. Guardcon allows first round grudge matches and I use it as an opportunity to play somebody I haven't played before. Empire certainly has the firepower to deal with Skaven so it should be a good matchup.

So what are my targets for the weekend? Last year I finished 29th out of 62 which I was really disappointed with given I won 5 out of 6 games and scored full Sports/Painting. This year there are 38 players. I'll be disappointed if I don't make the Top 10. My target is Top 6 and anything more than that will be an added bonus. Hoping too, to get my Skaven through to the final cut for Players' Choice.

Tune in Monday to find out how I did....Same Rat-time, Same Rat-Channel

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Spiral-Bound Mini-Rulebook = WIN!

There have been some internet postings suggesting that the binding on the mini-rulebook in "Island of Blood" is unlikely to stand up to repeated use. Ben Curry on a recent Bad Dice Podcast indicated that his was already falling apart - and that after minimal use.

Sine the release of Warhammer Armies: High Elves, Games Workshop's army books and 40k codexes have been plagued by pages falling out. About a year ago I took all my books in to the local printing firm and got them to spiral bind them for me.

Not only has this stopped the books suffering from pages falling out, but it also allows you to open the book flat on the table and have it stay open at that page.

The new mini-rulebook is the first A5 size book that I have had done.

There's the new rulebook all spiral bound and with a protective plastic cover but on the front and back.

And here it is opened flat on the floor.

The binding cost me $7 NZD (USD 4, GBP 3 or AUD 5) so is very cheap given the increased longevity you get.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Guardcon Skaven List

This weekend is Guardcon in Auckland. The event has attracted 37 players (and a lot of controversy). The mix of armies is interesting with a 20% of the field being Warriors of Chaos, another 15% are Lizards and the rest is split amongst the various races sans Bretonnians.

The points value is 2400 points. I have used the list that served me so well at Pilgrimage as the base for this event. I get an extra 100 points to spend.

You can check out my Pilgrimage list here

So for Guardcon I have:

Lords (340 points – 14.2%)

Grey Seer – General, Skalm (30), Dispel Scroll (25), Talisman of Preservation (45) – 340

Heroes (599 points – 25.0%)

Plague Priest – Furnace (150), Flail (4), Shadow Magnet Trinket (30), Scrying Stone (15), Ironcurse Icon (5) – 304
Warlock Engineer – Lvl 1 Wizard (50), Warp-Energy Condensor (20), Doomrocket (30) – 115
Engineer – Obsidian Amulet (30) – 45
Engineer - 15
Chieftain – Battle Standard Bearer (25), Storm Banner (50) - 120

Core (602 points – 25.1%)

20 Clanrats – Full Command, Shields – 110
24 Clanrats – Full Command, Shields – 128
24 Clanrats – Full Command, Shields – 128
35 Skavenslaves – Musician – 72
40 Skavenslaves – Musician – 82
40 Skavenslaves – Musician – 82

Special (434 points – 18.1%)

24 Plague Monks – Full Command, Banner of the Under-Empire (25) – 218
6 Gutter Runners – Slings, Poison – 108
6 Gutter Runners – Slings, Poison – 108

Rare (425 points – 17.7%)

Plagueclaw Catapult – 100
Warp-Lightning Cannon – 90
Hell Pit Abomination - 235

So what are the changes?

Guardcon issued guidelines, one of which was no double Rares. I dropped the second WLC and replaced it with a second unit of Gutter Runners. I believe that this doesn't weaken the list too much. Instead it gives me a series of new opportunities and tactics. I tried these out a couple of times and I'm very happy with the results.

I condensed the Slaves into three bigger units. This gives me a lot more opportunity in terms of deployment - especially with a naked Engineer boosting one of them to Ld 8 outside the General's 12" bubble.

My magic phase is far stronger than it was at Pilgrimage. I now have three channeling opportunities and the condensor. The Warlock gives me the ability to close out points which I didn't have before.

Overall I'm very happy with the list and think it is a Skaven list of averge strength. It is more of an all-round list than the Pilgrimage but does not overpower in any phase - Magic, Shooting or Combat.

I'm hoping that both me and my opponents have a fun weekend on the table

Monday, September 13, 2010

The "Rubber Ruler"

Over the weekend I ran Fields of Blood - The New Zealand Warhammer 40k Grand Tournament. The event went really well and from a TO's perspective I saw a lot of happy gamers.

For Sports, I use a 5 point checklist for the various aspects of gamer etiquette we want to encourage. The default position is 5/5. The tournament consisted of 174 games in total and I'd suggest from memory that around 10 games had one or both participants taking less than full sports - that's a pretty good strike rate, less than 3% of Sports Scores.

In 80% of cases the Sports hit was for Incorrect/inconsistent measurement of unit movement - be it move, run, fleet or assault. Everybody has the odd lapses - particularly where there is only finite time to complete the game. However it is important to be consistent and accurate in your movement so it's worth ensuring you do make the effort.

Obviously this also applies to Warhammer Fantasy. However, 8th Edition has made things easier with the ability to pre-measure. These days I ensure I measure everything before a dice is rolled and this eliminates 99% of the potential for disagreement.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Guardcon Comp - It's Getting Ugly

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Guardcon is on next weekend. Due to the recent release of 8th Edition composition was always going to be a vexed issue.

The TOs for Guardcon took a somewhat halfway house by issuing a set of guidelines on what would and would not be deemed acceptable and waved the "stick" by saying that a 10 point penalty would be imposed for those that they felt broke the guidelines and therefore their lists would need to be amended and resubmitted.

After reviewing the lists it appears that a number or re-submit emails were issued. From posting on the City Guard forum it seems that the majority of those that received them are less than happy. In some cases this has led to people withdrawing from the tournament - presumably because they are annoyed at getting the resubmit email and/or they don't want to play with the 10 point penalty.

I felt from the start that we were likely to arrive at this point. Virtually every tournament held in Auckland is accompanied by a Comp whingefest. Prior to submission of lists there are a group of gamers who actively comp campaign either for their own lists or against other races. I'm not sure whether they realise it but they are turning a lot of people away from attending Auckland tournaments as people can't be bothered with the aggravation. This is putting enormous pressure on TOs in the area and I can see why many of them see it as a thankless task.

There seems to be a strong propensity to push the veto line at time with numerous re-submits until a list is seen as acceptable - under subjective comp. This has necessitated the TO for Guardcon imposing the 10 point penalty for the current event.Given the penalty was advertised it is important that it is followed through on - both in the short and long terms.

There was a clear instruction that the TO's door/inbox was always open for list discussion and an instruction that if in doubt err on the side of caution. I know I changed my list in light of this.

Do I expect the behaviour of the vocal comp crowd to change? No. Already I'm expecting a series of posts on who has beaten the system once the lists are released.

In the long run this is not going to help the local scene. People play at these events primarily for fun and the constant comp-sniping is tedious.

Last year I got the lowest comp at Guardcon with my Vampire Counts army. I didn't agree with the rating and spoke to the TO to understand the thinking behind it. While I still didn't agree with the scoring I realised there was nothing I could do about it and that the best thing to do was mark it down as a lesson and move on. This year I have consciously tried to avoid any kind of comp debate and accepted the scores I've been given. What I don't like is the constant niggle we see from the same vocal crowd who seem to live by the maxim "everybody else's army is so unreasonable". need to look after your TOs......they are a dying breed!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Product Review - Island of Blood (GW)

My first set of Island of Blood arrived from Maelstrom this morning. I ordered two copies (primarily for the mini rulebooks) but due to the vagaries of International Post one is still winging its way here.

GW introduced the Starter Box (mini rulebook edition) with the Battle for Macragge 4th Ed 40k launch in 2004. Since then we've had Battle for Skull Pass (7th Ed WHFB), Assault on Black Reach (5th Ed 40k) and now the Island of Blood.

It appears over time that GW have re-thought their strategy as when the previous three were released they were enormously good value. Mid last year both Black Reach and Skull Pass saw a 50% price hike and the release price of Island of Blood continues this higher pricing.

Looking at the figures included in the set, they are clearly a set forward compared to the previous start sets. The "figure snobs" among us would very rarely incude the starter figures in armies because they were of a lower sculpt quality than the main release figures. This is certainly not the case for the Island of Blood figures. Having just built a new Skaven army not of the figures in this set would be out of place once they were painted up. This also holds true for the High Elves as well.

That's not so say that all the figures are good. The Rat Ogres, for instance look like they are suffering from shunken head syndrome whereas with the High Elf Griffon, well I don't know what they were thinking.

The mini-rulebook is....well, the mini-rulebook. All you need to play the game is in there. There are already reports of it falling apart after very little use. I'll be getting mine spiral bound as I do with all new Army Books and Codexes.

So what do I think re value? Well I think it is fair value without being the must-buy it was previously. A lot of people will want the mini-rulebook rather than the figures so I expect to see the forums awash with sets of Skaven and High Elf figures for the next few months. That is unlikely to change over time (though the rulebook may get cheaper on the 2nd Hand market in 6-9 months) as I think that a lot of people will find the commitment to painting either a Skaven or Elf army too much. In the Skaven case the number of models will put them off - well I hope so anyway :-) - and with High Elves, well let's say white isn't the easiest colour to paint.

For me, I'll be painting the weapons teams, converting the Rat Ogres and painting up the Engineer (who is my favourite model). From the High Elves, I'm looking to add a unit of 20-30 Lothern Seaguard, some Reavers and Swordmasters to an existing army I bought.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Plagueclaw Catapult

At Pilgrimage I used the Plagueclaw Catapult for the first time. Here are a couple of photos of my model:

My "Ratapult" is based on the Orc Rock Lobba and parts of the Furnace kit.

Word is that GW are about to release a plastic kit later in 2010.

Orktoberfest - Special Rules & Composition

The next Australian tournament I will be attending is Orktoberfest in Brisbane in late October. This is the last event of the Warhammer season and so always draws a highly competitive field.

The Players Pack was released yesterday and the points limit has been set at 2000 points. They have also introduced a series of Special Rules and Composition criteria:


The following rules and interpretation will be used for the tournament:

1. Figures in your army must be representative of the troops. The "What You See is
What You Get" (WYSIWYG) guide will be used. Please ensure that you make clear
to your opponent before each game what your units are and what standard equipment they have – this is especially true if you are using converted models
that are different from the usual figures for that type. If you are in doubt, please
seek guidance from the Tournament Organiser prior to the tournament.

2. Hills in game are considered of infinite height and block the sight for everything.

3. Fleeing units at the end of the game are worth full victory points rounding up.
Such craven cowardice will not be rewarded!

4. Characters may benefit from a look out sir against direct damage spells
that target a unit, and not the character himself, like as to the hit from a

5. No more than 12 power dice may be used in your turn. This number is
calculated after the addition of abilities and items that add dice to your pool in the
magic phase, but before those which would reduce it.


The following ten commands of composition must be obeyed. Please note there is no
composition score contributing to your results for this event:

1. No more than 2000 points can be in your army;

2. No more than 3 of the same unit type, including characters, can be in your army;

3. No more than 2 scouting units can be in army;

4. No more than 4 warmachines and no more than 2 of the same kind. Lizardmen Stegadons count as warmachines. Empire Steam Tanks count as 2 warmachines.

5. No more than 1 of the following selections in your army - Arch Lectors, Hellpit Abominations, Plague Furnace OR Screaming Bell, Hellcannons, War Hydras, Black Coaches, Wraiths, and Flamers.

6. All armies must be created from the latest published Games Workshop Warhammer Fantasy Battle Army Book, published before 25 September 2010;

7. No 'Back of the Book' alternate lists allowed;

8. No special characters or ‘named characters’ or champions from the army books. You may use the special character miniatures if you like as normal characters;

9. No Chaos Dwarf armies;

10. No Dogs of War Armies (armies cannot use Dogs of War or Regiments of Renown.

Personally I am disappointed that they have seen fit to change the core rules of the game with regard to True Line of Sight, Victory Points and Look Out Sir. As regular readers know I believe that these create ripple effects and will likely lead to even more restrictions to constrain unforeseen consequences.

At least they haven't gone for outright banning of spells as was originally slated at MOAB, among other tournaments.

I can't help but feel people are not willing to adapt to the new ruleset and instead want to create a hybrid they feel "comfortable" with.

The Orktoberfest TOs are playing 4 scenarios - Battleline (x3), Dawn Attack, Blood & Glory and one of their own Messengers. Again I would have preferred that Battle for the Pass and Watchtower got a run. They have cited logistics as the reason why BftP has been dropped but having played it at Pilgrimage I don't see that as a compelling argument. People adapt. Rather I see it has a sap to those...vocal....players who have critised the scenario as favouring shooty armies. Of course it does, and other scenarios favour close combat forces.

List building should take different situations faced in the CORE rules into account....Evolve or Die!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cauldron of Pox

There haven't been many updates over the past few days as I think I got too close to Clan Pestilens' Cauldron of Pox (I have lousy head cold).

The plague Priests are working away on a new set of tricks for the army to take to Guardcon in just over two weeks.

Guardcon is generally the biggest tournament on the NZ calendar though numbers seem to be down this year. I'm not sure why this is - possibly the recent arrival of 8th, perhaps the constant comp campaigning that characterises a lot of the northern tournament, perhaps just gamer malaise. However it is sad that numbers are less than 2/3rd last year's event. The TO, Nick Irvine, is one of the hobby's gentleman and has put a lot of time into running the event. He deserves the community's support.

Nick has issued a set of guidelines that will filter out any overly abusive armies and retains the veto on any he believes slip through those rules. Doing so was a very brave move so early in 8th Edition, particularly given the limited gaming that has occurred to date. However as TO he has the right to run the event as he sees fit and if you sign up you play by those rules.

It is interesting watching the Cityguard (host club) forums and see some of the comments. It reinforces to me why a lot of players now don't bother posting lists as it is invariably not worth the grief.

As I am increasingly pointing out "Other people's lists are so unfair".