Wednesday, June 29, 2011

First spacewolf list, curious on your thoughts?

Hi all,

so the first space wolf list I knocked up is what I've started (and nearly finished) painting. I'm curious on peoples input, because while it has done well in its initial games, they havent really been tested yet, and I have a million different changes and additions swimming around in my head.

Space Huskywolfthingeys - 1750

Wolf Lord - Runic Armour, Wolf Tooth Necklace, Storm Shield, Thunderhammer, Saga of the Bear, Thunderwolf Mount, Wolf Tail Talisman 270
Rune Priest - Jaws of the World Wolf, Murderous Hurricane 100

5 Wolf Guard, Combi Melta, Powerfist 215
5 Wolf Scouts, Melta 85

8 Grey Hunters, Melta, Wolf Standard 135
Rhino, Dozerblades 40

8 Grey Hunters, Melta, Wolf Standard 135
Rhino, Dozerblades 40

7 Grey Hunters, Melta, Wolf Standard 120
Rhino, Dozerblades 40

7 Grey Hunters, Melta, Wolf Standard 120
Rhino, Dozerblades 40

8 Fenrisian Wolves 64

5 Longfangs, 4 Missile Launchers 115
5 Longfangs, 4 Missile Launchers 115
5 Longfangs, 4 Missile Launchers 115

The wolfguard split and go with the wolfscouts + 4 grey hunters squad. The runepriest goes with one of the squads in their rhino, and the wolf lord treats the fenrisian wolves as ablative wounds from shooting while trucking through cover.

Some of my thoughts for chopping and changing; swapping Jaws of the World Wolf for Living Lightning.
Changing the rhinos to razorbacks, removing the wolf lord and fenrisian cavalry for more razorbacks.
Switching the runepriest for Njal Nomates, running without the wolf lord, and in 1750 points probably without the wolf scouts as well while I rock along more razorbacks (probably ~6 or 7).

While the wolf lord has been fantastic in most games, sometimes 3 wounds just isnt enough, and I wonder whether I really need to have a counter to the threats he's there to counter? Yes, with the dogs absorbing wounds he wrecks a unit of meganobs on his own, but is he ever actually going to need to do this?

Food for thought, and would love to hear others opinions.

- Charlie

Path? More Like Corridor of the Seer

Back in the day – 2006 to be precise – I had a bit of a flirtation with Craftworld Eldar. I had played a bit of Iyanden previously (and I think I was responsible for the death of more Wraithlords than Hivefleet Kraken) but for me 2006 was the Year of Ulthwe.

I put together and painted a list which I used at one tournament, Liber Animus. There, I was lucky enough to win the “Bloodthirster” award for Best General and I fell half a point short of the “Warmaster” (Best Overall) – I was pipped by White dwarf Editor Brian Cook and his beautiful Vostroyan army.

The list I used had a Seer Council in it and over time this unit has received more notoriety than just about any unit I’ve seen. I have had people swear to me that the unit was 24 strong and local hyperbole has had it breaching the 100 mark when people want to wind me up. In reality the unit was 14 strong – 3 Farseers and 11 Warlocks. The unit grew from my experience facing John Tailby’s eight man Wave Sepent-riding Council. Mine was all on foot and I loved the way they could get across the table and deal with both Mech and infantry.

However, this unit was part of an Ulthwe army. An integral part was the 60 Guardian Defenders (36 BS4 Black Guardians) that filled out my Troop choices along with two units of Pathfinders.

This is a roundabout way of me getting to my point. Bear with me I am ancient like my Farseers!

The other night I started mucking about on Army Builder building an Eldar list. I wanted to run the Seer Council again as I really like the unit and love my painted models. The interesting thing was when I got to my Troop choices. In 5th Edition the landscape has changed markedly compared to that when my Seer council last roamed free. Now the onus is on efficiency and your Troop choices are less frontline troops and more “sofa” units sitting on an objective near the back of the board or very fast units that can jump to contest/control objective on the last turn. From what I’ve seen/read/heard the 60 Guardian Defender army has gone the way of the Dodo.
When I put together my Troop choices – and remember I’m looking at making a competitive build – my choices were three units of three Eldar jetbikes (Shuriken Cannon on one) @ 76 points each and 5 Dire Avengers @ 60 points. Four Troop choices – none designed to fight – taking up the grand total of 288 points.

Paint me an old romantic but this just doesn’t feel right to me. There is no feeling of an army just a cynical exercise in rules exploitation.
And that to me is the point. I hope that when 6th Edition comes around that the rules mechanisms they include make such armies an anachronism. I think Troops should be the bedrock of any army and while I appreciate that Eldar are a dying race, I’m hoping things are so bad that the total number of Troops is most efficient at 14.

One of the things I like about 8th Edition Fantasy is that armies look like armies. There is a solid block of core and quantity is its own quality. I would love to see something that rewarded you for taking solid numbers of core in any 6th Edn 40k list.

Burn notice issued.

Monday, June 27, 2011

White Dwarf - July Issue

The July White Dwarf arrived today.

Flicked through it in ten minutes. Worst. Issue. Ever.

Seriously it is very poor. Essentially fluff piece for selling Storm of Magic products. Unless you intend getting into SoM I'd give it a wide steer.


Fields of Blood 2012 - Venue Announced

The venue for the 2012 New Zealand Warhammer 40k Grand Tournament can now be confirmed. The venue was booked over the weekend and a deposit paid.

Fields of Blood will be held at Raroa Intermediate School in Johnsonville, Wellington on the weekend of 7/8 July 2012.

This venue has ample offstreet parking, is next to railway station and five minutes walk away from the Johnsonville Shopping Centre.

There you have access to the five major food groups:

Burger King
Hell's Pizza

For the adventurous among you there is a food court in the shopping centre that sells that wonder of the world "The Mixed Kebab", as well as a selection of Chinese and Indian food.

As per previous years there will be food available onsite for those that like their food bar-b-qued.

So Google Map Raroa Intermediate School and remember to mark your diaries now!

Product Review - Dulux Spraypak Quick Drying Spray "Flat Black"

I went into Games Workshop the other day to pick up some Chaos Black spray. Unfortunately the only salesperson was tied up on the phone so after browsing the shelves for about five minutes I left and walked around the corner to the local Bunnings (hardware store).

Over the years I’ve been pretty dubious of buying sprays from manufacturers other than GW, as I’ve always felt that they produce a good quality product fit for purpose. However, recently the price of a can has moved through $25 and I thought it might be the time to check out alternaives.

Wandering into Bunnings, I found their spraycan area (all locked up as per retail law) and started checking out the various products they had on offer. In the end I settled on a can of Dulux Spraypak Quick Dry “Flat Black” which came in 325 ml cans.

Took it home and sprayed some Mighty Empire tiles (plastic) for next weekend as well as the Sisters of Sigmar figures (metal) I got for my Empire army. The results were very good, especially on the plastics. The nozzle on the cans allowed for a more directed flow than the GW spraycan which I suspect means that you don’t use it up as quickly. The finish was very very matt which was exactly what I like. The can says it takes 20 minutes to dry which is slower than what I’ve found with GW spray but when I went back after 30 minutes everything was fine.

So I’m very happy about the quality of the product and certainly recommend it. This is especially true when you take both availability and price into consideration. Being Dulux brand you can get it locally at virtually every hardware or paint shop. This saves a special trip into GW – with attendant parking charges – just for spray paint. I have literally a dozen paint shops closer than the central city store. The second benefit, the price point, is also full of win. GW’s spray at $25 per 400 ml can works out to 6.25 cents per ml. The Dulux product retails at $10.73 per 325 ml can. This works out at 3.30 cents per ml (just under 50% cheaper).

If you go through spray as much as I do then I’m thinking you can quickly save yourself some money by subbing in Dulux. This will leave you more money to spend on actual product!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Something Wicked that way... went?


So a while back I posted a quick pic after putting some long fangs together. Well, I finished them, and also painted up a wolf lord, with the thunder wolf to look like one of my Siberian Huskies; Aska.

As usual, you can click the pictures to make them bigger.

Here's the wolf lord:
Front On

Side On

Reverse Side On

And the wee girl it's based off:

After that, I finished off my long fangs. I couldn't resist taking a comparative shot to the teaser shown last time:
A little group action on a wet pallet never hurt anybody...

The first squad

The second squad

The third squad

Next up I have another 2 squads of grey hunters to finish basing, and I need to photograph the 4 rhino's I finished the other day.

Keen for any feedback or comments, let me know what you think!

- Charlie

Saturday, June 25, 2011

6th Edn Warhammer 40k - Sneak Peek Round 2

Again Blood of Kittens has the scoop on what is supposedly we'll see. No claims as to veracity:


Pretty crisp and clean
on odd pages there is the normal rule text with examples, on even pages there are the usual diagrams and charts, and small boxes with definitions

Lots of rules that were formerly explained within the text, are now only summarized in the text, the full rules are given in these boxes, you can read the rules text very fast without much detail, there are some boxes that have a name of a rule, but are empty otherwise. I guess that there should be page references to later pages, for example in the terrain rules, there is Torrent of Fire mentioned, the rule is explained much later (in a box), there is an empty box in the terrain section that reads Torrent of Fire however

So you have both: clear rules veterans and easy reading for first-timers
But it seems that there is not much space left for pictures, though


characteristic tests as normal,
if unit must make test, it is made by squad leader
vehicles fail every test automatically if they don’t have the value
test on ld is made with single D6 on halved value, vehicles pass these tests automatically
Majority characteristic: characteristic-value with most wounds in unit, if draw, use the higher

Friday, June 24, 2011

Horned Rat IV Campaign Weekend

Next weekend is the second of the Fantasy Campaign Weekends that I am organising. Horned Rat IV has attracted 21 players split over seven teams. Most of the players were at the first event, Runefang IV, and I’m really happy that we’ve got such a strong returning coterie.

The teams that are participating are:

Resplendent – High Elves

Stunty – Dwarves

SAD – Skaven

Squigchompas – Orcs & Goblins

R.O.Man – Empire/Brets/Wood Elves

Dark Alliance – Chaos

Slippery - Lizardmen

Points’ value for the weekend is 2000 points with 100 point sideboard (one unit) in each of Core, Special and Rare. There is very light comp as per previous posts on this blog.

Based on GW’s Mighty Empires, this time there will be extra event cards and secret strategic objectives. There will also be the opportunity for the Races to horse trade amongst themselves based on simple Good/Evil lines:

Good – Resplendent, Stunty, ROMan, Slippery

Evil – SAD, Dark Alliance, Squigchompas

Of course that doesn’t stop a race acting independently.

Hopefully we’ll get lots of interesting battles and heaps of pictures.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Review - Hoard of Bits

For me, one of the best services for wargamers is offered by a US firm Hoard of Bits.

As you’ve probably guessed these guys supply specific parts broken down from plastic GW kits. They exist on eBay and have the advantage of offering both auctions and the options to buy immediately. This allows you to pick up some very good bargains where you are after specific parts – for instance I bought 32 Tomb King archer arms and quivers delivered to New Zealand for $10 (USD 8, GBP 5). This is the equivalent of buying two boxes of TK infantry.

So there is a real opportunity to save yourself money where you only require part of the box. Remember though, it is driven by supply and demand so you the price you pay reflects desirability. In 4th Edition, Terminator Assault Cannon arms were sought after, now you find you have to pay up for power armour combi-melta arms. In Fantasy there are similar dynamics Skaven Gas Mask heads are a sought after item. However you can buy in bulk e.g. if you want Skavenslaves in shackles or Pestilens clan rats etc. It is also a great way to get the same shield for your units.

There are other bits suppliers out there but where Hoard of Bits work for me is that everything in their shop is for sale. Nothing is advertised that is not in stock. So you can check out the Buy It Now price or if you have some patience you can bid on an auction. So many of the other sites seem to work on the basis of requiring a threshold of orders across a plastic box before it is purchased and broken down. By virtue of its size that’s not the case with Hoard of Bits!

Postage is very cheap and also very quick - typically a week at most.

So strongly advise checking them out (eBay ID: hoard_*_bits).

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New URL -

Today we purchased the URL

Hopefully this will make it easier to find us.

You can email Jack, Charlie and myself using

Monday, June 20, 2011

Warhammer 40k 6th Edition Sneak Peek

Taken from Dakka Dakka (initially Blood of Kittens)- can't vouch for any of the validity:

* first 6th edition codexes, but release before or with rulebook, small release with single or two waves: Black Templars (1 waves: 2x plactic, 2x Finecast), Tau (1 wave: 3x plastic boxes, 4x Finecast), Necrons (2 waves)

* first real 6th edition codex: Codex Chaos Legions, really big release in three waves, doesn’t invalidate Codex Chaos Space Marines which gets extensive White Dwarf update as Codex Renegade Space Marines

* two starter sets, each with rules, dices, movement markers, mission booklet, one with Dark Angels and fitting scenery, the other with Black Legion and Chaos scenery. You can combine both to play the campaign or use one set alone to play a selection of dumbed down scenarios against every other force, first starter set that comes with a model for a well established special character

* 6th edition is finished rulewise for some time now, the overall goal is to fix some of the long time problems of the game system. Expect a lot more fundamental improvements than last edition. The rules were even more ambitious at some stage of development, but didn’t get approved as they were too far away from the established rules. The main designer left company and his successors brought the rules back in line with the existing codexes. The rules are nonetheless a bigger step forward than from 4th to 5th. Changes are so big that the next edition relies partial on erratas to fix old codexes. Development relied heavily on feedback of veteran playtesters. You can see some results of this new approach by the way the FAQs were handled in the last months. All codexes since Codex Tyranids were written with the new rules in mind, especially the new mission and reserve structure.

Spread the Word

Just wanted to thank everybody for their support of “Fields of Blood”, it is greatly appreciated. At present the site is getting about 500 hits per day which is fantastic.

If you are enjoying the site and find the content useful (or at least moderately humorous) then we’d really appreciate it if you could spread the word. Chances are if you think its okay then your mates will as well.

Spreading the Brown Stuff - Vegemite not S#%t!

One way is to become a "Follower". That let's us see who's out there. There are also a number of “share” buttons on the site so you can send content to other gamers. If you’re a fellow blogger then it would be great if you could add Fields of Blood to the sites you follow. However word of mouth either directly or on forums is probably the best endorsement we can get.


Sports Scoring At Tournaments

Soft scores always generate angst in relation to tournaments. My feeling is that people feel that they lack control over this area and that they are likely at some time to get shafted.

From what I gather most of the Northern Hemisphere tournaments prefer a yellow card/red card system where players are ejected for only the most heinous of crime. As most people, competitors or TOs, hate outright confrontation this sanction is about as prevalent as individual accountability by a Hurricanes player (NZ rugby reference) – i.e. not very.

The biggest complaint I hear about Sports Scoring from jurisdictions that don’t use it, is that it represents an avenue a sore loser can utilise to “punish” someone who beat them fair and square.

I don’t buy this line of reasoning. If that is what is happening then the system you are using requires modification.

Shine on you crazy decal!

Hey hey hey, it's fat Charlesbert!

Decals are horrible. They're shiney, look cheap and nasty, ruin the effect of a paintjob, and you can always tell they're there. They're just the hallmark of a lazy hobbyist who can't paint freehand... right?


Decals can be a fantastic tool that saves time, are more uniform than freehand could ever be, and pretty much have none of the downsides often touted when they're talked about.

The key is in the preparation, so today I'm going to talk about the right way to decal.

Step 1: Give the surface a coat of Johnsons Klear, future finish floor polish, or what ever your country decided to call that same generic godsend of a product.

Step 2: Cut the decal from the sheet.

Step 3: Trim as close as you physically can to the decal - leave as little of the clear edging as physically possible. The closer you get, the easier it will be to get your decal to conform to irregular surfaces, and the easier it will be to make it look less noticable.

Step 4: Paint a layer of Micro Sol (decal setting solution) on the surface where you will place the decal.

Step 5: Place the decal in water, very little time is needed, i give it about 15-20 seconds.

Step 6: Position the decal in place on your figure (i usually use my paint brush), and once you have it where you want, gently give it another coating of micro sol.
Step 7: Once it has dried, IF needed, give it an additional layer of micro sol.

Step 8: Protect this with another layer of Johnsons Klear, and then varnish your figure. I varnish mine with a heavy coat of gloss varnish for protection, followed by a coat of Testors Dull Coat, which takes out all the shine and leaves a finish I am very satisfied with.

I hope that helps, and in turn you are able to get more out of the decals you get each time you buy a shiney new box!

- Charlie

Saturday, June 18, 2011

First Tomb King List

So here is my first attempt at a 8th Edn Tomb King list.

High Liche Priest - Lvl 4, Earthing Rod, LoN

Liche Priest - Lvl 2, Scroll, LoN


3x 20 Archers - Muso, Std

1x 10 Warriors

2x 3 Chariots - Muso

4 Necropolis Knights - Muso, Std

Warsphinx - Fiery Roar

Warsphinx - Fiery Roar


Casket of Skulls

Screaming Skull Catapult

That's 2400 points on the button!



I'm already tinkering before it gets on the table. See comments for initial changes

Friday, June 17, 2011

Plastic Glue Bond - I Want to Jailbreak Them

Okay silly Peter has put together a kit of the new Necropolis Knights and one of the Sepulchral Stalkers. Conventional wisdom and a cursory reading of the army book suggests Peter has been very silly (sub-optimal for you 40kers.

So I need to deconstruct one unit and rebuild it as another. How do I break the plastic bond (GW model + Poly Cement + GW Model)?

I have heard:

a. Wet it and then put it in freezer

b. Simple Green it overnight

c. Use a scalpel to cut it

d. Another mystery solution that the readers of FOB will reveal

So what dear readers is the answer?

"Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope".

Free tournament points, part 2!

Greetings my fat feathered friends!

A bit of a smaller update for part 2. One of the easiest ways to make your army look a million times better (and thus, score significantly better for painting) - is to base them properly.

It doesn't take too much effort to add bits of detail, a rock here, some bullet casings there, patches of static grass etc - but if we're talking maximum result for minimum effort, after all this is aimed at the end of the spectrum that doesn't like painting but doesn't like dropping tournament places for it, so in which case the best solution would be resin bases.

Resin bases are a very competetive market, which to you, means its quite cheap. It will take you a single night to do an entire armys worth of bases, and another night to remove the old bases from your army, and put them onto the new bases.

Which ever bases you decide to go for, aim for a rule of 3. 3 colours, or 3 areas of interest on it, keeps it from lookings too crowded, whilst stopping it from looking dull. A tried and true combo I like to use a lot is brown mud/dirt, grey rock, and green static grass, but you can go with anything. Little bits of detail ontop of this is fine, just try not to have it looking too busy, it will detract from the look of the figure and take you more time.

The other tip that I can't stress enough, is to tidy up the edges! I prefer black - a lot of people either use graveyard earth or scorched brown, but when I see these I can't help but think they'd look even better black - it frames the base nicely, and just tidies everything up.

I can guaran-damn-tee you that with decent basing, you will ALWAYS get more painting marks than you would otherwise deserve, for 1 night of drybrushing and 1 night of gluing.

The only other lesson I'll pass on with resin bases, is that its never a good idea to look at your army and go "there's no way I'm going to pin these guys to the bases, theres 120 orks here, itll be fine, ill just be careful, they won't break!". They always break, and you're only fooling yourself. I'd hate to think how many times I've had to glue orks back to their bases because I was too lazy to pin them last time around!

- Charlie

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Revisting Initial 8th Edn Skaven Thoughts

It is a commonly known fact that in the Skaven calendar June 16th is a day of reflection.

In keeping with this tradition I thought I’d revisit my thoughts on Skaven under 8th edition made in August 2010. There were three articles that can be found here:

Part A

Part B

Part C

In the articles I identified what I thought were the key characteristics of Vetock’s book. These were:

 Cheap troops – quantity having its own quality
 Cheap characters – Grey Seer excepted
 Effective spell decks
 Weaponry potentially devastating but inconsistent/variable

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wayland's Announcement

Here's Waylands announcement about the new ROW category. It looks like we'll be fine after all (and with the dollar as it is now, the reduction is discount from 20% to 10% probably won't even be noticeable)

Edit: for those who can't/won't access facebook I've pasted it below

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Great Tournament Prep Guide

Follow the link to one of the best tournament preparation guides I've read.

Agree with virtually all of it EXCEPT the drinking alcohol at an event.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Guest Post - Building a Tervigon

Here's a guest post from local gamer Blaise St. Laurent on his journey to find the perfect tervigon!

Take it away Blaise

I had a tournament that's going to require 2 tervigons, yet sadly I only have the one. So when I set about to build another I got a few requests to document the process.

Here's a spoiler, what the first one looks like:

Hellions Finished

So I finished my first five Hellions this morning, and then fought with my camera in an attempt to get a half-decent photo. The end result was this shocking photo being the best of the 10 or so I took, so I'll post this here for now, and will definitely get a better one when I'm back home for the holidays.


The Pox vs. The Beef

On Sunday Tim and I had our 2000 point game where my Clan Pestilens list took on his 120 + Marauder list.

I was intending to write up a battle report but given how it played out I thought I'd leave you the time to check out the DVD "100 Great Offside Traps - Arsenal's 1990/91 Championship Season".

The battle saw two combats - when 8 Censer Bearers charged a unit of hounds with the expected outcome and in the last turn when a unit of Slaves charged the flank of a Marauder block (won but failed to break them resulting in ignominious death next phase).

The game ended in a low scoring draw after I removed a unit of Marauders with Magic but then in Turn 3 my Grey Seer blew himself up.

Given my lack of magic defense I was surprised that Tim wasn't more aggressive from his Turn 3 on as I felt his Marauder blocks would eventually where my Furnace unit (the point sink) down. He had put a unit of dogs in front which I was happy to leave there as I didn't think I could take on 3 blocks and 2 chariots with a single unbreakable unit.

So dear reader, you are spared having to read the battle report.....but remember you owe me 30 minutes!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Free tournament points... part one.

Hey fatties!

A while back I mentioned I would write a quick series of guides on how to milk the most out of painting points, for minimal effort. It will in fact be 5 easy steps, in 5 different articles.

Some people just don't enjoy the painting side of the hobby, and don't want to invest time here. I respect that there are so many different ways to enjoy this hobby, but thought I could help these people out in sneaking a few extra points so that for minimal time and effort, you can get close to, if not maximum painting points.

I thought I would start right at the beginning. When you first pick an army, one of the first decisions you are faced with is colour scheme. If you're Pete Dunn, this is easy, purple and green, NEXT!
If you're anyone else though, this can often be a choice of some agony. If you really enjoy the painting aspect, you probably really love this step, painting several test figures, experimenting etc.
If you're not a fan though, you normally just leap right in, often with something you know, to help speed it up.

Colour scheme is hugely important, the best painted army will look like ass if the colours don't work well together. The easiest way to come up with a scheme is to just go rip off someone who's already done all this hard work for you :D

The easiest way to do this is to jump over to to do a bit of a search. Click on "Search Images" at the top, type in something generic for the race you're looking for "e.g. 'eldar'" and hit the "search images" button below it.

When the next page loads, change the sort order to "descending", scroll past all the crazy people who freehanded a baby jesus into the ball sweat reflection of their blood thirster, and then just start scrolling back and forth until you find a few that you really like the look of.

Avoid colours like Yellow and White if you want good looking results for minimal efforts, and avoid black being the main colour (it's easy, but without a lot of effort it just looks like you never bothered to paint that bit), and then choose one to copy.

Sounds minor, but the right colour choice can make all the difference, and that's a step that will take you 5 minutes tops.

- Charlie

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Storm of Magic First Look

Just stumbled across these and thought I'd share:

Not sure what to make of them yet, I think I'll wait to see better pics/the model itself until I pass judgement.

In other news, I'm just finishing up some Hellions and they should be done in the next couple of days, which should coincide nicely with my new DE stuff arriving from Wayland

Friday, June 10, 2011

Mouse Droppings

This weekend I am hoping to finish off the last of the Skaven I will paint for a while. I’ve got the following left on my desk all very near completion:

• Nurglitch
• Ikit
• Trentch
• Spinetail
• Ratling Gun conversion
• Doomflayer
• Games Day Warlord
• 8 Plague Censer Bearers (including Nurglitch’s minion and a Chanter)

I do have a lot of Skaven figures left (three sets of Island of Blood) but they will be later in the year.

Hopefully I’ll have pictures up on Monday night.

On Sunday I am giving my Horned Rat list a run to see how it goes. It is getting a run out versus Warriors of Chaos so a tough match up I expect. The key things will be to get the right deployment, work out my magic and determine whether the character setup is right.

Expect a report next week.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Something Wicked this way comes...

A picture says a thousand words, but Tom Damin said it best when he said "PS, Comp is for suckas. Go the 3 Long Fangs."

Citadel Finecast

So Charlie was around the other evening and he indicated that he had just bought a Canis Wolfborn model. My obvious thought was “Great, just what the world needs….another Space Wolf player!” I’ll be spending the next few months asking “So what does the Thong of Russ do again?”

But my next thought was to ask what the quality was like. The internet was full of stories of how bad the quality was and I wondered whether his was a disappointment (other than the sculpt itself). Buddha (Tom Damin) had posted a review of the same model on WAU where there were some obvious deficiencies in the casting which resulted in gaps, pitting and mis-sculpts.

Charlie said he went in with some trepidation after reading Tom’s review. However the one he picked up – at the princely sum of $94 NZD = $75 USD – was in pristine condition. Some flash was evident apparently, but no major defects.

So the quality even among castings of the same model is patchy. My advice would be to wait, if you can (and I could wait a very long time for Canis Wolfborn), and let GW sort out their quality control problems. However, if you need to buy a model then you should take advantage of the new clampack packaging and check the model yourself. If, by chance, you get a miscasting I’m sure the good folks at GW will give you a replacement.

The internet being what it is though, stories must be exaggerated. From one UK blog last week, a story of the bending of one of three models in the sun rapidly developed into a model melting into a pile of goo. The blogger in question had to publish a disclaimer after being told by a stranger at a tournament how he had “heard” about the extent of the blogger’s problem. Given a week I’m sure GW would have been responsible for the Gulf oil spill.

Love to hear your experiences of Finecast. Generally positive? Negative?

P.S. BTW you may have picked up that I don’t particularly like Space Wolves. Nothing to do with the codex – except that it was published – and more to with a strong distaste for the Powder Blue-ness of them. I also think it is very strange that a group of jacked guys hang out on Fenris covering themselves in animal pelts. I’m not sure the Chapter isn’t a front for a “Furry Convention”.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Balance in a No-Comp World

On a forum I belong to there has been a discussion about the lessons from NiCon over the weekend. Nicon 40k ran comp-free and was one of the few (only) major events to do so in the past few years.

The organiser sent me the participants’ lists and after reviewing them I feel pretty confident in saying that this is probably how No-Comp looks at the Special Olympics. In most cases it was pretty evident that people had either just stuck in a Special Character or duplicated a unit that they had already had.

Personally I hope the experiment continues as I can that for a lot of people it will take a complete re-think of how they approach the game and play their armies.

What will be interesting is whether a schism will develop. A lot of people in the past have podiumed from their ability to win sufficient games with a softer army and then ride the comp-boost up the table. In future it will be purely battle as those that are serious will ensure that they gain all possible painting and sports points.

I have some concerns as to whether this is necessarily good for the community, in a country of 4 million people. It is hard to deny that there has been significant power creep in codexes through the life of 5th which means that once a race is selected (and before the list is drawn up) it is not a level playing field. Yes, everybody can choose the strong book but economics and time issues don’t make this always viable.

So I was thinking how best to level the playing field in a No-Comp environment until, not to put it too bluntly, the training wheels are off. The idea is to make Little Johnny feels secure and less like a turkey at Thanksgiving.

Essentially given the book missions, what points level best balances the power differences between the different codexes?





Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Nicon 2011 Wrap Up!


I may have been a bit overly pessimistic when discounting my chances earlier when talking about Nicon 2011.

The dice have stopped clattering, the dust has settled, and in the end I managed to pull first by a healthy margin. It was by no means an easy run though, it felt like it was quite possibly one of the hardest runs I've had to do to date in terms of caliber of opponent.

I made a minor change to my list, switching out my 125 point warboss from my 1750 point list, to the 225 point Ghazghkull to round it out to 1850 points. This was the first no comp event I can remember in NZ in like... ever, and I was dead keen to use him as I'll probably never get another chance.

All up, I ran with: Ghaz, a KFF big mek, 8 meganobs in a battlewagon, 2x30 shoota boyz, 12 trukk boyz, 11 grots, 4 deffkoptas, and 2 squads of killa kans.

I won't go into too much detail for the games, but the rounds were as follows.

Round 1: James Dean, yes, the man with the coolest name ever. James used to work at GW, has fantastic military service stories, and paints like a red bull addicted daemon on crack; talk about an enjoyable mix to find in an opponent!
James had a pretty balanced Chaos list, a couple of squads in rhinos, a couple of 1k sons squads on foot, a lash sorcerer, 2 squads of daemons and a greater daemon, backed up by 2 oblits and a las/las pred.

The Disaffected (or Trolls 'R Us)

One of the more noticeable things on forums lately has been the hate for GW (well done Einstein I hear you say!). However what I have found more interesting is the source of a lot of this hate.

Click onto any thread re GW’s manoeuvres (e.g. WAU, even locals like City Guard) and the vitriol is not coming from just GW players. In a lot of cases it is coming from players that play other systems, and in particular Privateer Press. Now here I’m not looking at the guys that quit Warhammer Fantasy for Warmachine but rather guys who gave up any GW game and in some cases, years ago.

GW trade embargo, they spit tacks. GW price rice, again more vitriol. Introduction of Finecast, opinions on quality control. Etc, etc, etc…….

I GET IT! You don't like GW

Simple question – Why do you care?

You’ve given away the Company so none of it affects you. Yet you feel the need to troll GW threads and extol the virtues of your chosen game and chosen company. Generally this is in tones bordering on evangelism. Personally I’m glad you’ve found a game that you like, I’m glad the miniatures excite you and I’m glad you feel more grown-up with the branch of man-barbies that you play. But enough with the preaching. N, I don’t want to sip the Kool-Aid.

I wonder why it is that PP disciples need to post in threads on GW issues. You very really see the opposite. Yet the constant snipes, trolls etc are very tedious and to be honest are probably symptomatic of something that you’ve realised but don’t want face i.e. a coping mechanism.

The reality is that without GW and GW games the hobby would not exist in the form it does. You wouldn’t have the conventions/tournaments etc that are subsidised by the numbers that play Warhammer and 40k.

As I said I think it’s great you’ve found a game you like and enjoy. However I don’t understand why you feel the need to denigrate the hobby of others. I really don’t. The price rises and other issues not impact your enjoyment.

Why not just enjoy your chosen game for the fantastic hobby it is rather than waste your time trolling mine?

NB: I want to be clear that my snitch is not with Warmachine or Privateer Press,they provide a great game by all accounts. My beef if entirely with those who seem to take delight in trolling the world for anything negative about GW.

The People vs. Games Workshop

While everyone else was away playing at one of the two tournaments at either end of the country, I had the weekend for some hobby time. I managed to paint 8 Plague Censer Bearers and the Nurglitch figure.

This gave me a bit of time for rumination (perhaps even focused – see what I did there!) and I thought I’d give you the benefit of my machinations.

Like everyone I am disappointed with GW’s recent moves to limit sales from UK retailers and to mix that with a price rise. However I am also a realist. Over the past few weeks there have been people trying to form lynch mobs to storm Lenton. Actually they haven’t. They have been putting together online petitions, form letters people can cut and paste and most lately “An Open (Video) Letter to GW” where you are urged to distribute a You Tube video.

I can tell you that these will achieve absolutely nothing. I’m not sure if people feel embolden being part of the “Facebook Generation” but guys this is the real world and life’s not like that. The only thing that matters to corporations is the bottom line – the rest is just conversation.

So you can send your form letters, distribute your videos but it will achieve nothing.

If you want to bring about change you need to hit GW where it hurts….in the pocket. That means not buying their product. If sales dropped more than 20% they, or more likely their shareholders, would take notice. But you and I know that is not going to happen. Gamers have the attention span of a gnat and all the resolve of a goldfish. We all know that as soon as something new and shiny turns up the same people who have moaned and groaned will be lined up at 12.00am outside the store ready to sip the Kool-Aid.

So in the real world if you want to effect change you have two choices – Buy or Don’t Buy. It’s as simple as that. You can gripe all you want but it won’t achieve anything.

Yes, we are all unhappy but this is “Big Boy Pants” time. Either it has past your price point or it hasn’t. That’s up to the individual. For me it hasn’t but it has made me think as to whether I need more figures or whether I paint the mountain I currently have. I’ll buy their new books, magic cards etc but I’ll scale back new figure purchases until I see something that makes me want to open my wallet.

Real life is pretty simple. Stark choices. Facebook polls, online petitions and open letters aren’t choices.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Something Smells!!!

I'm looking at taking a Clan Pestilens themed list to Horned Rat IV at the start of July, with a view to maximum infection. At Runefang I tried the Skavenblight Panzer Division and I think that these campaigns are great opportunities to try out new lists.

The hardest thing is that it is very difficult to fill out your Core with Pestilens without using a Special Character. To that end I have decided to go with Slaves backed by a unit of Stormvermin

Here's the initial list I've come up with:

Seer - Earthing Rod, Talisman of Preservation, Skalm, Lore of Plague

Priest - Lvl 1, Flail, Plague Furnace

Priest - Lvl 1, Gold Sword of Sigil, 5+ Ward on Poxrat

Chieftain - BSB

40 Slaves - Muso

40 Slaves - Muso

35 Slaves - Muso

26 Stormvermin - Shields, Full Command, Storm Banner

33 Plague Monks - Full Command Plague Banner

8 Plague Censer Bearers

8 Plague Censer Bearers

Plagueclaw Catapult

So 2000 points of Pestilens.

I bet it's pox!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

So Have Any Ogre Kingdoms Models Been Finecast?

I mentioned the other day that this might be a signal they were next cab off the rank - given GW's new Iron Curtain.

When I went into the local GW the other day I didn't see any OK Finecast models on the shelf. So second wave Finecast? Or new book?

Friday, June 3, 2011

New Wellington Warhammer Club Launched

Some good news on the local scene with the launch of a new Warhammer 40k and Fantasy club in Wellington.

Here are details from its website,

Welcome to the new War Incorporate club website. Here you will find club news, including meeting dates and locations, and other useful tidbits.
The War Inc. club plays Monday nights 6:30pm to 10:30pm, Starting June 6th. Entry is $10 per night, however we're offering free entry at the Queen’s Birthday launch!!!

The club meets at Newtown Community Centre Theatre,1 Colombo Street, Newtown.

Bring a 1750pt Warhammer 40k force or a 2250pt Warhammer Fantasy force. (or bring a friend and play whatever you like).

Please bring game cloths or realm of battle boards if possible, and as much terrain as you can. Email questions to, or to make sure you have a space reserved.

Good luck to Chris and the War Inc team. I'm certainly going to look to get along for some games.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fantasy Release Schedule

Okay, there’s been far too much 40k over the last week. Time for some Fantasy.

It’s an interesting time in the Warhammer World right now. After the famine of army books post-8th Edition release, we had the launch of Orcs & Goblins and Tomb Kings virtually back to back.

The books were greeted with almost universal acceptance, the prevalent view being that they were balanced, with a lot of variety and would fit into the mid-tier of power levels. I think there were some players who felt that O&G might push themselves into the Top 5 armies but all anecdotal evidence suggests this hasn’t been the case. With Tomb Kings it is probably too early to be too definitive however again the net is awash with “The Warsphinx Took My Baby!” stories just yet anyway.

To me this is fantastically positive for the overall game. It appears that GW has arrested the power creep of mid-7th Edition and is levelling the playing field. Already 8th Edition has greater breadth in competitive armies than did 7th, something that should increase long-term popularity. As the Class of 2008 (VC, Daemons and Dark Elves) get reviewed – probably not until 2013 – the field will flatten further.

So what have we got to look forward to over the rest of the year? Well the only thing confirmed is Storm of Magic – which is billed as an explosion of Monsters and Magic (already I can hear the Dwarfs grumbling). I’m willing to bet that this will be another short run endeavour, much like Lustria (or Planetstrike in 40k). By September it will have faded from our memories.

However that leaves the opportunity for at least one more book this year. Everyone’s favourite is Ogre Kingdoms and it would be great if this was the case. The Ogres probably need more of a boost than anyone else. Personally I’d love to see rhinox brought into the main list and a wider range of options as a whole. As the owner of 4000 points of the Fatties, it would be excellent though apart from converting models to finecast I can’t see a lot of the existing range that need changing.

If they could fit another book in it is likely to be Brets, though Woodies could be a dark horse. I think there is more scope for better models with Woodies as I personally would love to see a plastic kit for Treekin, Treeman and Wild Riders.

In all cases a guide is likely to be what happens with finecast. If a range is not getting a lot of finecast love then it is likely that it is up for a revamp. I know I’ll be checking which models of OKs, Brets and Wes make an early transition to see if I can determine what we are going to get next.


Following on from yesterday’s post about spam in 40k, I thought I’d expand on any idea I touched on in my diatribe.

I called it “Duality”, picking up a term that has become popular, but I actually think in the very top lists it is even more.

Effectively what it means is that when you look at building a list you need units that can have multi-roles depending on the circumstances. For instance for me in 40k the three key roles are:

1. Anti-infantry
2. Anti-mech
3. Scoring

In my list I have Plague Marine units that fulfil this role. They are 7 strong with two melta, a Champ with Combi weapon and Fist in a Rhino with pintle combi-weapon. For me this fulfils all three of the roles above. However it comes at a price, my Plague Marines come at a cost of 23 points.

When I look at Space Wolves I see the same type of unit – Grey Hunters – who can do the job far cheaper. They are so good at this role that they form the backbone of any SW army.

So when digesting a codex I look for units that can do all three of these roles – or failing that do at least two of them very well.

This can come down to weapon choice in individual units. For example, missile launchers are the new black. And so they should be. They have the ability to fulfil both the first two functions at the flick of a switch. In the very best units, e.g. Long Fangs, you get a further force multiplier of this duality with the ability to split fire. Win-win. Compare that to say a SM Devastator Squad or a Chaos Havoc squad. Back in the day, the success of the Emperor’s Children was very much a consequence of the duality of the 3rd/4th Ed Blastmaster (and its Assault/Heavy option).

Looking at my Death Guard my Oblits are a far better option than Havocs. Why? Because of the weapon options that I can tailor to situation and the ability to move and fire (and Deep Strike at a pinch). They are therefore tactically far more flexible.

A key aspect of the new codexes is the flexibility in the list to create units that achieve the third aspect above, Scoring. This transforms a unit that may normally have a single function and deliver to it a dual role e.g. Minimum sized Wrack unit in Venom. Another of these is the ability to combat-squad for instance in Grey Knights especially when combined with Deep Strike.

For me the day of the single purpose unit is very much in the past. Now you need multipurpose units and the tactical nous to maximise their potential.

"I Don't Want A Holiday In the Sun"

Big day yesterday……..the NZD/GBP exchange rate hit 0.5. That means that 1 GBP = 2 NZD.

Given the assumption that GWUK has moved its prices to reflect increasing costs, then over the past five years we have seen a windfall currency gain on products sold in New Zealand of 50%.

Sure would have been nice to see some of that passed back to the consumer over the time.

Ironic that the target was hit on the first day of GW erecting their equivalent of the “Berlin Wall” on product movement.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Unit Duplication

Over the year’s one of the biggest “alarm bells” in Australasian 40k composition scoring systems (be they math, peer, TO or panel) has been duplication of units. In some parts of Australia – notably South Australia and Victoria – it has been close to a lynching offence.

New Zealand has always been a lot more relaxed regarding it – and I hope being one of the more prolific TOs in this part of the world that I have been a champion of that attitude.

My attitude to what is seen as “spam” by some is dictated by my own approach to army building. In 40k I have always preferred less breadth in the number of different unit types I take, and more of a focus on the tactics to maximise the use of those units. Other people have a different view that only sees merit when achieve the nirvana of replicating a Space Marine “Half-Company” in your 1500 point list. I only partly joke.

I generally don’t see replication as “spam”, I see it as redundancy. In 40k I like to have units that can do a job and I’m realistic enough to know that if I have only one unit that can do that job then I am at risk if that unit is neutralised. By having units that can perform dual purposes I can alleviate some of the risk but not to the extent that I can with duplication.

All my tournament-winning armies have been built with that in mind. For instance my Drop Pod army had nine pods with three CCW Marine Squads, three shooty squads and three Assaualt Cannon Dreads (remember 4th Ed.). Each group of three was exactly the same. The Emperor’s Children was built around three unit types (all in multiples) – Noise Marines, Daemonettes and Noise Havocs.

For me, at least, I see building in redundancy as good army design and something I strive to achieve. It reflects my reliance on maths and normal distribution patterns rather than faith and hope.

So what do you think? Is duplication (spam) bad?

Fields of Blood - The New Zealand Grand Tournament 2012

The New Zealand Grand Tournament "FIELDS OF BLOOD" will be held on the weekend of 7/8 July 2012 in Wellington.

That is just over 12 months away so mark it in your diaries now!

Places will be limited to 100 participants (and I am hoping at least 25 of those will be from across the Tasman).

The Battle of the Ditch, the international between Australia and New Zealand will occur on the saturday evening. It will be limited to teams of eight from each country. Australia will be attempting to win it for the first time since its inception in 2003.

Please watch the blog for more details.