Thursday, December 23, 2010

Skaven New Releases

Okay so it looks like the original source of the new release skaven figures may have blown its bandwidth for the moment. I'll leave the links up and see if they correct it.

As to the actual figures; I'm not a big fan of the HPA at all. While it's meant to be a moulder "creation" it just tries too hard for mine.

I really like the Doomflayer but am interested on how it is packaged. The pics have an old ratling gun (just below the WLC) so I guess it is not with that. Given we had WFT and PWM in the IoB set, i think that there must be a warpgrinder we havent seen.

The mixed WLC and catapult kit is okay though I'm not convinced by the mount on the WLC. I suspect we'll see a lot of catapults out of the box with the WLC having converted mounts. I understand that the counterweight on the catapult and the warpstone in the cannon are the same piece. So some juggling required.

For me though the best releases are the characters and the magic cards. Ikit Klaw will definitely be my new engineer and i found a gem tonight. If you look in the unit in front of the pink HPA you can see a character on a Dwarfen arch. I understand that it is Tretch Craventail. Looks a great figure for the skaben character with the best fluff. Check out the army book.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Skaven 2nd Wave Photos

Thanks to Warpmaster who found them. I like some, don't like others. Will buy all.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Coverage from the NZ Masters

Luke Brimblecombe (Vaul on a lot of forums) has made some Youtube battle reports for his games at the NZ Masters. I'm including them here for those that are interested.

Game #1 vs Lizards

Game #2 vs Daemons

Game #3 vs Dark Elves

Game #4 vs Skaven

Game #5 vs Warriors of Chaos

Game #6 vs Lizardmen

They make for a good watch.

On a side note all the terrain is mine. Spent the past year or so building up my Fantasy stocks

Friday, December 17, 2010

40K: A Golden Age?

You hear a lot hype around 40k 5th Edition. That it's the best version ever and that all the problem have been ironed out of the game.

I fell out of love with the game starting probably in 2007 and going on from there. A lot of the locals here have assigned my taking a back seat playing wise as a negative reaction to the 5th Ed rules. While I wasn't necessarily enamoured with the rules, 5 ed didn't come out until 12-18 months after I had given the game away.

The last three events I played were Liber Animus IV, V and VI - an invitational tournament held in Melbourne, Australia for Australasia's best players. At IV (2006) I played with an Ulthwe army, an Emperor's Children army at V (2007) and in 2008 I used a Space Marine army. TBH by 2008 I was well over 40k and it was a real chore to play.

So what was the turning point for me?

Well strangely it wasn't the rules or rumours of the new rules. It was pretty much entirely due to GW turning their back on the fluff they had created. Those who know me know I'm pretty much a Chaos player. I was inspired by the Index Astartes articles that appeared in White Dwarf (starting around #250). These gave army list tweaks that allowed you to build unique armies based on the Traitor Legions post-Heresy. This was expanded on by the 3rd Edition Chaos Codex which reinforced the variation between the various Legions. Over this period I built/acquired six of the Traitor Legions - Death Guard, Emperor's Children, World Eaters, Thousand Sons, Word Bearers and Iron Warriors. While all were Chaos all had their own distinct flavour.

GW had previously broadened the Eldar universe with Craftworld Eldar and the Orks with their Klan lists. I embraced this building Goffs, Ulthwe and Iyanden - in fact I think I was probably responsible for the death of more Wraithlords than Hivefleet Kraken.

This all changed in 2007 with the release of the new Eldar codex. Suddenly the craftworlds were gone. Yes you could still make a craftworld-ish list but it was a bastardised version that was totally unsatisfying. This was followed up by the new Chaos codex which GW was said was aimed at Chaos Renegade forces. Great. But it was a big F#@k You to all of us that had built disinct and unique armies. Instead of having six different forces now I had one big pick'n'mix bag of chaos units. Hey but don't worry, at least I can play Apocalypse games!!!!

So this was the tipping point for me. after dropping literally thousands of dollars building my armies, GW wiped them out in a 12 month period. Yes I could still play but it was a dilute, saccharine type of flavour.

So what would get me back to being enthused about the game - GW resurrecting the Craftworlds and the Traitor Legions. If I could have anything for Xmas it would be new codexes for both. It might not be 2011 but it will happen. I'm cynical enough to know these decisions are driven by marketing and the next cycle will see a return to both. So in the interim my 40k involvement will be focussed on painting my Iron Warriors.

And woe betide when we get our new codex, cos we are totally pissed off!!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Top 5 Common Magic Items for Skaven

Okay, today the new Common Magic Item list. With 8th Ed 80+ CMI were available for purchase. So what are the best for Skaven.

I'll preface this by saying that there are two things every Skaven army needs and places must be found. They are both bloody obvious but I'm going to state them anyway:

Battle Standard Bearer Upgrade to Chieftain

Dispel Scroll

Nothing will ever convince me that these two things are not mandatory!

Of the rest here are my picks:

Number 5: Ironcurse Icon (5pts) - 6+ Wd vs. Warmachines - stick it on a Furnace unit or the General's bunker.

Number 4: Obsidian Amulet (30 pts) - MR2. Great on the General's bunker. Coupled with other items can give him a 2+ Wd Sv vs. Magic

Number 3: Banner of Eternal Flame (10 pts) - How I wish Clanrats could take magic banners. All CC and shooting attacks are Flaming. Unfortunately it competes with Storm Banner and Banner of the Underempire for slots in my army.

Number 2: Earthing Rod (25 points) - Re-roll one miscast result. Well if you're going to throw the big dice you better have protection. Now mandatory on my Seer.

Number 1: Talisman of Protection (45 points) - 4+ Wd American Express, your Seer should never leave home without it.

Honourable Mentions:

Charmed Shield
- so cheap for its effect. Ignore the first hit....yes please. Nice if your BSB doesn't have Magic Banner. Unfortunately mine always it doesn't make the Top 5.

Armour of Destiny - Heavy armour and a 4+ Wd. See Charmed Shield.

Sword of Swiftslaying - ASF. Great on Warlord or BSB. Same limitation, no magic banner for BSB if he has it. Good for Warlord though.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Top Five Skaven Magic Items

Okay, time for some Skaven goodness……

Having had the book now for 13 months (and two editions) there has been plenty of opportunity to look at the various Skaven Magic Items. This excludes the Common Magic Items list in the 8th Ed rulebook which does tend to complicate your choices.

Number Five: Shadow Magnet Trinket (30 points) – This item gives all shooting at the unit -1 to hit. I used this item extensively when the Skaven book was first released, putting on a Plague Priest riding a Furnace. Its value was gold. Unfortunately with 8th Ed it has had to go as my Priest needs to carry a Dispel Scroll. Underutilised and definitely something I revisit in larger games.

Number Four: Warplightning Condensor (20 points) – Channels a Power Dice on a 5+ and +2 on the number of Warplightning spell hits. Great kit on an Engineer Mage and useful on a Grey Seer if you have a slot. The extra channel is the cream, the real value is that +2 Str 5 hits. Worst case it acts as a draw for Dispel Dice.

Number Three: Banner of the Underempire (25 points)
– 2D6 Str 2 hits on every unit in combat with the carrying unit. Early on I was having trouble with elite Elf unit hitting into the flanks of my Furnace unit. This banner stopped that. It is fantastic at inflicting extra kills on T3 units like Elves and Bloodletters, reducing either attacks or ranks. I didn’t use it at one tournament and really missed it….straight back in.

Number 2: Doomrocket (30 points)
– One of the most hated items in the game….it generally is as about as popular as Cupped Hands, Pendant of Khaleth, Hail of Doom, Icon of Despair. Large Str 5 template 4-10D6 out from the carrier and you can Stand and Shoot with it. No LOS is required. Now it’s not going to matter to your opponents that you might have missed, fallen short or overshot in the past. When you tell them you have it you not going to get their vote for Favourite Opponent.

Number 1: Storm Banner (50 points) – For many the Doomrocket is the #1 Skaven item, but not for me. The Storm Banner stops all flying, adds +2 to rolls to hit from shooting and requires non-BS warmachines to shoot only on a 4+. You test each player turn and it runs out on a 4+. In the past it was potentially better/worse as it did not affect magical shooting. This meant most Skaven shooting was unaffected but so were things liked Runed-up Dwarf warmachines. So why do I rate it as #1? Well it is the one item out of the above list that you can build your gameplan around. You know that the turn it goes up that your chances of damage are likely to be reduced by at least 50%. This is great when you have units like the HPA, Furnace, Doomwheel and Gutter Runners in your list. It might be up for one turn, it might be up for seven – however regardless you know it’s going to pay for its points.

The Sundering - Warwhinger Rage (Guest Post)

Today I'm going to have a guest post from a friend of mine, Brad Morin (skabradisdead) who lives in Melbourne. Brad is an ex-GW US staffer and all round nice guy. He publishes a blog which I always find a good read.

Here he sums up a lot of frustration that is going on in the Australian scene....I like to call it "The Sundering"....which alone in the world has really struggled with the transition to 8th Edition. There's been a lot of tosh written about "how the veterans built the game" and it's disrespectful not to listen to them now as they know what they are talking about. Anyway I'll leave it to Brad:

Well the introduction of 8th edition in Warhammer Fantasy Battle shaken up an otherwise generally stable community of gamers. Yes there are some major game changes (6th to 7th was more of a rules tweek than a proper edition change) that need to be considered. The hardest ones to swallow it seems are steadfast and the “Over the Top” magic system.
I am here to say that this is not your Dad’s warhammer. It is a new system with rules that interact completely differently than they did before. There are groups of very vocal gamers in other parts of Australia that have been publishing page upon page of vitriol on for some time now. It started as whining. Then it turned to rage quitting and then it lead to a constant campaign to lure Warhammer players away from the scene to play warmachine. (Not everyone mind you truly fits this category and if you like warmachine God bless you that is fine with me). It has gotten to the point that people in other countries have contacted me and others I know to ask what the heck our problem is. It is an embarrassment within our hobby.
This madness has got to stop. It is pushing away new gamers and making “newcomers” to the scene (like me) want to rage quit. If you don’t want to play the game… Don’t! But leave me alone. I don’t like warmachine… sorry I just don’t like it. I want to play Warhammer.
I flew up to Orktoberfest earlier this year to play in a fantasy tourney and in the midst of the top tables a few of the (former) “Warhammer Elite” had set up a game of warmachine. Fine… They were friends with the TO. Whatever. Come game 5 though I get the draw and I am scheduled t play on that table. WTF? I walk up and politely inquire about using the table (that I have been assigned) only to get laughed at and told to find an empty table. While I should have caved someone’s skull in with my figure case at that point I did not. I played nice. I assure you next time I will not.
This just emphasises for me the arrogance of some people in the community. People think that they know better after a few games that the people that wrote the game system. I can safely say now with 6 8th ed tournies under my belt that IT WORKS THE WAY IT IS WRITTEN! Yes I have faced the endless horde. Yes I have had crazy magic work for and against me. If you play the missions as written it really does balance the game nicely.

People with huge hordes will have few banners and will loose that mission.

Hordes cannot start in buildings and they loose their ranks and other benefits when they are in a building.

That OTT magic… Well it houses large units as do war machines.

Leave 8th ed alone… Evolve or move on and most of all leave my player packs alone.

I like 8th the way it was written...

My thoughts are that 8th is a different game. Less about distance and angle micromanagement and more about risk management. The luck quotient has increased IMO from about 15% to 25%. Does this make it a lesser game? No, not at all. You now have to factor a series of likely, possible and potential events into your planning. A lot of people appear not to like that or not to want to do it. That's cool....I'm glad you like Warmachine. But please leave 8th alone...or more importantly keep your stooges/acolytes/whatever away from 8th Ed players pack.

As it stands I think there is only one item that is clearly brken in 8th - The Power Scroll. I have won and lost games to Big magic. When I win because of it I smile, when I lose I laugh - and I've a few games to Dweller's now. But shit happens. Deal with the fact you lost at toy soldiers and move on.

I like is far more fun. It takes different skills from v7....but then Rugby Union requires different skills from Rugby League - unless you are Sonny Bill Williams!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Work Ahead

Just to ensure that I enter the holiday season in the right frame of mind (depressed) I sat down last night and worked out what I have to paint.

4x 30 Clan Rats
Screaming Bell (half done)
6 Rat ogres
3 Warpfire Throwers
3 Poisoned Wind Moetar
Nurglitch on Pox Rat
Warlord on Bonebreaker
7 Plague Censer Bearers
20 plague Monks

As I said.....depressing


Tabletop World's new Merchant House and Well
Temple of Skulls
GW's new Ruined Tower
GW's Witchtower
Base a Conflix Village

Iron Warriors
50 assorted Marines
3 Obliterators
2 Dreadnaughts
2 Rhinos

McMourning set
Lady Justice set

Flames of War
88mm Flak
Recon Platoon

So there's 2011 gone.....well at least it will be cheap.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Vermintide II - One for the Good Guys

Last year Neil Williamson and I ran Vermintide which was a 1200 point one dayer to finish the year. It attracted 32 players and was a real highlight at the end of the year.

This year we looked to do it again and although the 2009 event received great feedback we attracted less than a dozen. This was a real shame as the one day event was an effort to open things up to those that can't normally commit to a full weekend. Unfortunately it appeared that people were just too busy at this time of year.

A stuff up with hall bookings meant that it had to be moved from Saturday to Sunday and that dropped numbers again - down to 7!!!

Still the morning after I'm really glad that we had the event. The guys who played were fantastic and a pleasure to TO for. There was no gripes or grumbles they just got on with their games.

Rather than VPs I used the UK system of WDL of 3-1-0. This really changed the dynamic of the event as you only needed to be 100 points up to win. We played rulebook scenarios except Battle for the Pass.

Results were as follows:

1. Dave Meachen (Dark Elves) - 12 points
2. Tane Woodley (Dwarfs)/Tom Dunn (Daemons) - 10
3. Tim Norling (Warriors) - 9
4. Hugh Dixon ( High Elves) - 8
5. James Millington (Skaven) - 7
6. Paul Hassell (Beastmen) - 7
7. Matt Hassell (Dwarfs) - 4
8. Kent Jackson (Wood Elves) - 1

Tane played first three games and Tom played last two. This meant that we didn't have a bye.

It was a really fun event and I certainly enjoyed seeing the guys battling away.

Friday, December 10, 2010

More Regular Updates

The last few weeks have been pretty hectic and blog updates have fallen by the wayside.

Over the last month I been doing some consultancy work - shock to the system after a couple of years with my feet up - and that's stopped a lot of the daytime updates. Coupled with that, participating in the Oz Masters then running (and unexpectedly playing in) the NZ event has really chewed up the time.

With that over I was hoping to do some serious uopdating and then I got hit by food poisoning which laid me out for three days.

But now I'm back (well as back as my refound love for Panzer General II will allow me)!

Last night I got out my Iron Warriors and this morning promptly ordered 3 Rhinos. The army was built when the IW could have 4 Heavy Support and Oblits were Elite. So some reworking of the list will need to be done.

I've also made up 120 Island of Blood clanrats and once the mould lines are cleared they will be on the painting table. Three units of 40 rats I think!

Finally, my Abandonned Factory from Tabletop World is painted and pics ready to post. I've ordered their new merchant's house. Hope it's here for Xmas.

New Zealand Masters Results

Over the weekend I ran the 3rd New Zealand Masters here in Wellington. Invitations were based off the end of season rankings for NZ on Rankings HQ.

Unfortunately a couple of people dropped out of the 40k field in the final week reducing it to 10. The Fantasy field was the full 12, though one participant missed his flight and I stepped in to play on the morning of the event.

Here are the results of the Warhammer and Fantasy competitions:

So the NZ Masters for 2010 are:

Warhammer 40k - Charlie St. Clair (backing up his 2009 title)

Warhammer Fantasy - Raymond Dick

Charlie was a clear winner however Raymond suffered losses in the final two rounds that made his win a much closer thing. Certainly in the Fantasy event things went pretty much with Comp Score (Battle Points being adjusted by the difference in the two players scores) rewarding the players that brought the softer armies.

The whole weekend was played in great spirit and was an excellent way to finish the 2010 year.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Skaven at the Oz Masters

Sorry for the delay in posting how I did. Monday I spent traveling back from Sydney and I've been working the past two days.

So how did I do? Not as well as I hoped. My target was Top 10 preferably Top Half and I did neither. I finished 12th but that was a lot better than it was looking after Day One when I was someway distant the rest of the field.

So what happened? I went 2-1-3 for the weekend but was really hurt by the Comp Differential I had to give away (38 Battle Points). My army played three of the four armies that scored 10 for Comp and one that scored 8. It was a mountain I couldn't climb especially as for four and a half games I had little or no luck.

The big underperformer for me was the Furnace which disappeared 3 times on Turn 1 or 2 due to a single shot. Not much you can do about that!

Even though I felt I got the raw prawn I had a great time. Whereas 7th Ed was 10-15% luck, I feel 8th is about 25%. That said it is still far more fun than 7th which was very staid towards the end. The ravages of luck are very Skaven too and I love that aspect of the army.

When I get some time though I post a report from the game with the greatest comeback since Lazarus.......they will be telling the whelplings in the breeding nests about it for years.