Friday, September 30, 2011

If The Rumours Are True.......

The news reported here yesterday (and now more widely reported on the net) is that 2012 will see the release of Empire, Dwarfs and Vampire Counts rather than Brets and Wood Elves.

This would seem to make a lot of sense for GW from a commercial viewpoint as I’d be willing to wager that any of the three armies would sell more than the Brets and Wood Elves combined. Each of those armies are seminal Warhammer Armies fundamental to the history of the Old World. Without wishing to offend anybody, both Brets and Wood Elves are sideshows, similar to the recent Ogre Kingdoms and (perhaps) Tomb Kings.

However there are other reasons why Brets and Woodies may be delayed. Basically their plastic kits are not in desperate need of updating. The key Core choices Glade Guard and Dryads (in Woodies) and Knights of the Realm and Men At Arms (Brets) are all kits that were new at last release and have stood the test of time. I suppose the same argument could be extended to their “replacements” but I wonder why GW would have bothered creating Finecast Treekin.

From a rules point of view there’s not much that I’d like to see in terms of Empire. Cut back the number of magic items in line with the other recent book. Perhaps include some of the wider Empire e.g. Kislev units and variants for different gods. A plastic War Alter seems likely but unfortunately the word is no new Empire Knights.

I’m not sure what they can do to make Dwarfs less boring. Apart from removing that hard-wired piece of the brain that requires Dwarf players to seek out any hill – preferably in a corner – stress if they don’t have 4 more Dispel Dice than opponent’s Power Dice, the ability to take 3+ Scroll equivalents, 1+ re-rollable saves coupled with Immune to Killing Blow and 3+ re-rollable Ward Save etc. Short of making a 12-8 a massacre victory to try and encourage them to live a little and risk going for a 300 point win there’s not much I can see that will save the rest of us further hours of mind-numbing boredom! There’s no point giving them cavalry etc as they may prove difficult deploying behind the hill with the rest of their troops (they have a Gyro already and its use is shunned by any “serious” Dwarf player). Perhaps a new Dwarf Special rule that adjusts any variation (however rare) from 10-10, back to 10-10 so as not to induce stress in Dwarf players.

As for VCs, the figures aren’t the problem, the current list is the real problem. At present there are two builds for VC – the Grave Guard Bus backed by Ghouls or the Black Knight Bus backed by Ghouls. Skeletons and Zombies have fallen out of the game. So anything that expands the viability of different Core choices is good. There is scope for some new figures too. The f-ugly Zombies are a shoo-in for a new kit, particularly in light of the Mantic offering. And Black Knights too. The current figures are incredibly dated and would benefit from an overhaul. My real hope is to see the VC power level clicked back to bring them in line with the recent book. Restricting the number of Magic Items is a start. However I would like to see the development of the various Vampiric lines as in the previous book.

So what are you looking for?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fantasy Rumours

Hat Tip to Tronhammer for the following rumours:
  • Next few army releases will not be Bretonnia and Wood Elves as it has been assumed, but Empire, Vampire Counts and Dwarves.
  • Empire model releases include Warrior Priests for most of the Empire's gods, a War Altar/War Wagon set, and Monstrous Cavarly in the form of Demigryph riders.


Guardcon This Weekend

This weekend is Guardcon in Auckland run by the City guard. Traditionally this is the biggest Fantasy event of the year, and I suspect it will go close to being so again this year. I’ve been lucky enough to finish 2nd at this event twice in the past four years but I’m not attending this year – in fact I don’t think any of last year’s Top 3 are playing in 2011.

Being the largest event, Guardcon has a big effect on the final rankings and I expect this year to be no different. It’s very hard to gauge how things will go as the Comp system being employed will undoubtedly have some influence. The TO listed a series of guidelines for Comp which I understand was based off the ETC pack (but with further constraints). This resulted in some confusion as a lot of people (quite rightly in my opinion) read the guidelines as hard caps and submitted their lists accordingly.

Unfortunately that was not the intent of the TO and as a result 75% of lists were rejected first time around. It therefore makes it hard to determine what races will do well.

I’m going to go out on a limb and predict who I think will do well. Looking at the list of players it is hard to go past either Mal Patel (Lizards) – current #1 and NZ ETC Player – or Reid Pittams (I suspect Dark Elves) fighting out the top spot. I would have put Peter Williamson there as a change but given how poorly he (his list) performed a Home-Con it’s hard to see a dramatic turnaround. It’s hard to see a smokey coming through to beat both Mal and Reid.

Look forward to seeing the results Sunday evening while I’m holed up on my couch watching the Mighty Vodafone Warriors do battle versus Manly in the NRL Final.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Common Magic Items for Skaven - Revisited

In December last year I blogged on what I thought the best Common Magic Items were for a Skaven army. The Top 6 were (in reverse order):

6. Ironcurse Iron

5. Obsidian Amulet

4. Banner of Eternal Flame

3. Earthing Rod

2. Talisman of Preservation

1. Dispel Scroll

Looking back at them I think I got it pretty right and certainly wouldn’t change too much. The Banner of Eternal Flame is a great item but there are only three possible carriers – BSB, Stormvermin and Plague Monks. Placed in this context it is normally virtually impossible to fit in, given the Storm Banner and a Monk-specific banner (Underempire or Plague). I have never had the opportunity to include it and find that if I can have a third Magic Banner I’m likely to opt for the Standard of Discipline. To a very real extent this reflects the Skaven way….you don’t necessarily want to be fighting things you need the flaming banner for, and also with the advent of the cheap 10 point flaming attacks, a lot of regeneration has disappeared (to be replaced by fire resistant armour it seems). So for me it is too situational.

The Ironcurse Icon costs 5 points and I try to fit it in if I can. While a 6+ Ward Save is not wonderful it is value for the cost. I used to include the Amulet when I was worried about Death Magic but again it seems to have fallen by the way a bit with the rush to Shadow, Light and Fire. Still worth considering but a nice to have rather than essential.

Numbers 2 and 3 remain in the Top 3 if you are running a Grey Seer. There is a case to not use them with no Level 4 but I’ll leave those shenanigans to Clan Mors and Clan Skrye. A Seer needs the best possible Ward he can get, given his importance to the army and the Earthing Rod gives him the ability to at least partially control his future.

The Dispel Scroll is a non-negotiable for me. No list is better for its omission.

Of the other items that are commonly seen in lists, there are a few potential inclusions. The Armour of Destiny is a good choice however I generally don’t use fighty characters in my lists. However for a non-BSB Chieftain I can see it being useful (with potential for a BSB if you have other avenues for the Storm Banner). The Charmed Shield is also a very good option but is restricted to non-Magic using Skaven.

One item I have started to use is the Opal Amulet which gives you a one-off 4+ Ward. At 15 points it is very good value reducing the chance of taking damage from miscast by half on a two wound character.

So given this, how do I rate the Common Magic Items for Skaven now? Well not too different:

6. Ironcurse Iron

5. Opal Amulet

4. Standard of Discipline

3. Earthing Rod

2. Talisman of Preservation

1. Dispel Scroll

However it is good to revisit these things from time to time to challenge your reasoning.

What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Level Playing Field

We are now 14 months into the brave new world that is 8th Edition. Now I've drunk the Kool-Aid and I enjoy Warhammer far more under the current rules than I did under 7th Edition. When I look back now those rules look more and more like a poor man's DBM - trigonometry and spatial estimation being the key skills.

However today I want to blog not on the rules but on the Army Books. Games Workshop released the new rules in July 2010 and there was a seven month wait before the first of the army books was released. During this time there was considerable disquiet in the Warhammer "press" (read forums and podcasts) that this gap was too long - some even used it as a reason why people were quitting the game. I never subscribed to this view. My take was GW had done a reasonably clever thing in allowing the new edition to bed down probablt (supported by frequent FAQs) before new content was released.


In the seven months since February, GW has released three new Army Books and what a breath of fresh air they have been. In a hobby that makes an industry of whinging, the reception to these three books has been overwhelmingly positive. Click on any forum or blog and you'll struggle to find any comment that suggests that the power creep of books evident under 7th Edition hasn't been arrested.

Most comment centres around how all three books are at a similar power level - less than that of the Daemons, Dark Elves, Lizards, VC and Skaven - and how wonderful the playing field will be once all the 6th/7th Edition books have all been revised.

So where has this new balance come from?

Monday, September 26, 2011

No Game But Plenty of Hobby

So I got a few hobby related things done over the weekend.

Managed to pick up my copy of “Thanquol’s Doom” from GW on Saturday morning but have only managed to read the first two chapters. Already there is enough back-biting and bullying to keep me happy!

On Saturday morning I dropped off the riders from my Ironblasters, Thundertusk and Stonehorn, along with three Finecast characters to Charlie to get the Stripy Pants treatment. Spiky Five Bellies’ Insane Clown Posse will soon be fitted out with the latest Ogre contraptions – however there is talk that Spiky himself may have been inducted into the Dark Arts of the Great Maw and so will take the field as a Level 4 Slaughtermaster.

Yesterday I put together the first Ironblaster and my Thundertusk. They are fantastic models and fit together with minimal fuss. I’ll need to do some slight filling on the big guy but nothing untoward. After putting it together I managed to convince Tim that it will make a great model for a Warshrine for his Warriors of Chaos.

I also put together the heads, torsos and legs for 24 Tomb King archers. The heads (sourced from Hoards O’Bits) are from the Tomb Guard and considerably more ornate. The plan is to paint these up and either include them mixed into existing units or to replace archers without headwear.

Finally I called in at the Warlords for the first time in a few months. It was good to see around 20 gamers participating in some 40k campaign action. Good on Hagen and John for persevering with this. They’ve obviously scratched an itch.

UK Games Day - Full Scale Drop Pod

Now we know where some of our NZ Dollars are going.

GW unveil full size Drop Pod at UK Games Day

Move Along, Nothing To See Here - UK Games Day 2011

UK Games Day has come and gone and it looks like GW has stuck with their new policy of no advance notice on upcoming releases.

From the pictures I’ve seen there was just a re-hash of material already released.

In keeping with this here is a shot of the new Storm of Magic Skaven-Lizardmen Pact.

Grey Seer Directs Slaan to Cast Flesh to Stone

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pretty Quiet Weekend Ahead

Hoping to get a game in with Tom this weekend – that’s if I can tear him away from “Gears of War – 3”.

He’s been quietly working away building a Wood Elf list and I am keen to try out the Tomb Kings. I have one final figure to paint – Tomb Herald – and the new Archers, Sphinxes and Necropolis Knights to base. No idea how the Tomb Kings will go but looking forward to find out.

I’m also going to break open the new Ogre kits and make them up. Decided to go one Stonehorn, one Thurndertusk and two Ironblasters (I already have Scraplauncher).

And finally, there is a real treat this weekend. The third Thanquol novel is out. I understand in this he crosses paths with Ikit Klaw.

The Joy of Nice Terrain

Okay, I think I spewed enough cynicism for the week. Let’s see what we can do from a positive point of view.

One of GW’s real winners over the past few years has been the release of their terrain. They constantly surprise me with the releases they make – and personally I find them some of their best value.

From a Fantasy point of view the kits they released have really improved the aesthetics of the game. At home I use a Realm of Battle Gameboard and find it a fantastic piece of kit. I was lucky enough to source it offshore (so knocked about 20% off the cost) but even at full price I think it is a worthwhile purchase if you want your games to look good. Recently a local was selling his and three of us bought it at a good price breaking it up to give us two extra tiles each.

I have one of their Citadel hills and that provides the extra variation. For woods I use the Citadel Woods, these plastic kits are excellent value, functional and look great. Two of these fit most requirements.

Finally the other must-have kit is the Fortified Manor. This gives you the Tower and the Chapel plus all the walls/fences you need to decorate the bases.

What Would You Rather Play On?



In terms of investment this runs to around NZ$900. Eyes may pop at that expense but think about how much you spend on building and painting your army. To me the army is only half of the equation the playing environment being the second part.

In the past terrain had to be largely scratchbuilt and never reached the heights of your army in terms of presentation but with the new Citadel kits there is no excuse (besides cost).

I know prefer to play games at home rather than the local club because of the quality of terrain. Indeed if I do go down I’ll generally take a crate of my own stuff as a piece of felt with plastic farmyard tree or stepped polystyrene hill just doesn’t do it for me anymore.

GW could have quite easily stopped at that point but in the past year have made even more offerings. The Ruined Tower, Wizard’s Tower and Garden of Morr are all fantastic models and provide even greater variation. I’m a sucker for these kits and have one of each ready to build. As I do I’ll post pictures.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Storm of Magic - How's That Working Out For You?

Well I said I was going to ask so here goes. Storm of Magic has been out for three months now

• Did you buy the book?

• If so, how many games have you had?

• When did you last play?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and use the word “damp squib”. I also reckon we are at best only three months from White Dwarf never mentioning it again.

Cynical? Yes. But you can only go to the fountain so many times.

Dreadfleet - My Musings

Last weekend Games Workshop released the online information for this year’s Mystery Box, “Dreadfleet”.

By all accounts the in-store promotion was appalling, consisting of GW staffers dressed as pirates but lacking the actual game, sprues for the models contained etc.

Like everyone who actually wanted information I was required to visit the GW website where they had prepared a ten minute video. I had heard that it was pretty crap but when I watched it, I thought Phil Kelly did a pretty good job explaining the game. The models look very nice and the playing mat etc look good.

So will I buy it? I don’t think so.

My reasoning is two-fold. The local price is NZD 220.00 which is not a small amount of cash. Now I’m sure I can access it cheaper offshore but even at $150-160 it is still a lot for what I perceive as a shelf-sitter i.e. you play it once or twice. This leads onto to the second reason – the game is close-ended. This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. An advantage in that you know what you are up for from the beginning but a disadvantage in repeat playability.

Far better for me if they had designed it as a new specialist game with 2-3 expansions. Then I could have used it in campaigns such as the Runefang and Horned Rat events. The ability to run a Skaven fleet has enormous appeal to me and would have given the game far greater utility.

Is it an opportunity missed? Yeah at one level, I guess but I’m sure they’ve done their numbers and this is a more economic model. We’ll see how it sells… pick is slowly, locally at least.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ambush Marketing

Two or three months ago Games Workshop changed their policy around White Dwarf. In the past subscribers had received their copies up to two weeks before the general release which was a great selling point for subscriptions.

This has now changed. Now the subscription White Dwarf is sent on the day of release so that most people get it at best 2-3 days after they are available in the shops.

Now this got me thinking, why would Games Workshop do this? Over time one of the clear advantages of having a subscription was gone. It was almost like GW doesn’t want people to subscribe.

As always the answer comes down to money. I suspect a lot of White Dwarf subscribers are like me. Happy to pay a reduced issue price and have the magazine delivered to their letterbox. They then do their purchases online circumventing the local Hobby Centre. This isn’t wonderful behaviour if GW want to maximise their revenues.

Far better to get these subscribers into the Hobby Centre to pick up their White Dwarf with the opportunity for staff to up-sell the latest release. Suddenly you have an influx of customers who weren’t coming to the shop now turning up monthly and at least they will buy their paints and who knows you might get the impulse purchase once they see the bright new shiny model.

You don’t have to make many extra sales to offset what would be a small percentage of reduced White Dwarf sales.

Smart marketing ploy GW!!!! But I’m onto you!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mainstream Media Picks Up GW's Pricing

Last week a letter appeared in The Listener (New Zealand’s equivalent of Radio Times) from John Murie. John is the face behind Stumpy’s Heaven blog. He was writing in response to an unfair pricing which highlighted how the New Zealand consumer is being screwed over in terms of local pricing.

Here’s John’s letter:

The article on the high price New Zealanders pay locally for products they can source more cheaply online is timely, but the problem goes to extremes not included in the story. Several months ago, American company Games Workshop (GW) banned all Northern Hemisphere retailers from selling and shipping its products to customers in the entire Southern Hemisphere. The company even threatened legal action against those who failed to comply.

The reason? New Zealanders were able to buy GW products online from the UK at prices 40-60% lower than were available locally – many UK retailers even offered free postage to New Zealand such was the size of the market here. GW argued its stance was meant to protect local retailers, but it has failed to justify its massive price gouging and antiquated exchange-rate mechanisms that set local prices at rates significantly higher than those overseas. Consequently, local retailers have not picked up sales and the company is suffering.

Apart from wrongly labeling GW as American, I think John’s letter captures a lot of the points that this blog and its readers have made.

"You Can't Always Get What You Want"

Some races allow you to build exactly what you want whereas others have you hitting against point limits very easily. In such circumstances you may have to compromise – but how should you go about it.

On Saturday I had a very interesting game against Tim Norling. We were both trying out 2400 point lists, his Warriors of Chaos and mine Skaven.

Tim’s list was radically different from that he had used at HomeCon. The new list contained two Lord level characters, one a hitty guy on a disk and the second a Level 4. His Lore choice had also changed to Heavens. In addition he had a BSB on steed and a BoS wielding Exalted also on Steed.

After the game we had a brief talk about how we thought it went before I had to rush away to complete some plumbing repairs – after my wife had threatened the ultimate indignity…….she was going to get a tradesman in.

So later that evening – after successful completion of plumbing problem which involved stripping down and rebuilding the inner workings of our toilet cistern – I gave Tim’s character setup some thought.

I’m going to say here that with 600 points it is a very hard job to fit in two effective Lord characters in a WoC list. My general feeling was that if you try you get one that is pretty less than optimal. In Tim’s list he was left with neither the Puppet nor a Scroll (Tim and I have had numerous discussions over the past 18 months as to whether you need one – I’m in the “It’s Mandatory” camp). I believe that the Puppet lifts the WoC list from also-ran to one that is very competitive. Yes, I know I lost to Sam’s list last week when he didn’t have it but that was the exception that proves the rule (or some other cliché).

When I sat in front of Army Builder that evening I built an effective Level 4 based on Tim’s character – enter the Puppet and then set about building three characters – all exalteds – within the 600 points. This is a difficult exercise but you can do it. I was happy with what I came up with – obviously my Disk guy was not as strong as Tim’s BUT he had the ability to do the same job to 90% the Lord level, in my expectation.

However the specific makeup of the characters is not the key point I’m trying to make. To me the weak point in Tim’s list was his magic, particularly defense. As such that is the place where he should not compromise. However an Exalted while less than a Lord is still a very scary proposition for most lists and here is where there is opportunity to compromise.

Different lists have different constraints. For WoC it’s never reaching minimum core while for skaven it is. In WoC your chokepoint is your characters. So what’s your wxperience with your army?

"You find get what you need"
Mick Jagger

Friday, September 16, 2011

Channelling Kilgore

Worth mentioning that I open the door to go get the paper this morning and there was a nice big box of GW goodies.

Two Stonehorn/Thundertusks, two Scraplauncher/Ironblaster and two Gardens of Morr…..the recommended retail price is $518.

Thanks to my supplier they were delivered to my door for $322 or 62% of the local price.

“I love the smell of napalm in the morning… smells like VICTORY”

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Australian Masters - Thanks

An end of an era.

Andrew Galea and Gav Clarke (the guys behind Irresistible Force and RankingsHQ) have hung up their swords and shields and withdrawn from running the WHFB Australian Masters. This has caused some disquiet (mild description) in the Oz Fantasy scene, mainly it appears because they were less than 3 months out from the 2011 event. Thankfully, Good Games in Canberra have picked up the baton.

Andrew has run the event for 7 years and in that time legitimised the rankings system. The blueprint he used I shamelessly copied when I set up the NZ Masters in 2008. In recent years Andrew was joined by Gav and they provided the showcase event for the Australian Fantasy Community.

I was lucky enough to attend two of these events and I regard them as two of the highpoints of my wargaming experience. At those events I met a lot of people I regard as friends and got to test myself against them.

In the early years the guys had a sponsor who helped them out financially paying for the cost of flights and accommodation of those who attended. As one of the recipients of this I would like to acknowledge his efforts (thanks Baron!). However they also committed both financial and time resources to ensuring the event was a success.

I subscribe to the theory when it stops being fun it’s better to walk away.

So thanks Andrew and Gav. You made my hobby a better experience.

Good luck to the new organiser.

Deja Vu

I was sitting on Army Builder tapping away at yet another Skaven list and I thought “Jeez I really should be painting that Tomb Herald and Archers I need to finish my TK list”. New armies always instil a level of excitement but in this case not enough to postpone working on another Skaven list.

I started to question why was this and basically decided it comes done to certain armies you just “get”. Whether it be the imagery, the playstyle, the models, even your success with it, the army just retains its appeal. I’ve had this in every system I’ve played – Historical Ancients, Warhammer 40k and Fantasy. In each you develop a favourite army and while you might over time play different races you never stray far from your real love.

For a lot of people this can be a financial consideration, wargaming armies cost money and the investment in dollars and time means that they don’t have the option to switch regularly. On a related note they may be trying to maximise their ”investment”. If you play a game a week and your army cost you $1000 then the cost per game is $20. However if you use it for two years, it drops to $10/game (scary numbers I know). It illustrates why some people stick with an army for a while – if finances are the motivating factor.

Personally I own – or have access to – all the Fantasy armies bar Brets and Dwarfs. Similar with 40k – all except the SM Variant Chapters and IG – so my choice to stick playing the majority of games with 1-2 armies is not lack of opportunity.

The single biggest reason I don’t play 40k much is that I don’t like the lack of love for Legions in the last Codex:Chaos Space Marines. Within 5 minutes of reading the codex I knew it was over for me and that meant I opted out of the back end of 4th Ed and all of 5th Ed. Every now and then I try to get back in but the game (or my game at least) just lacks soul. For me the rumoured Chaos Legions book is pretty much the best thing GW can do for me. I don’t care what the rules are like but give us back our soul!

And this I’m finding is flowing over to Fantasy. I love lots of races but when push comes to shove I prefer playing Skaven more than any other race. They were the first I bought to build and I’ve now been playing them pretty exclusively for two years – far more than with any previous race. Last year alone I played 130 games with them. Now this longevity has been helped by the release of a new army book and an edition change but I’m just as keen to play them today as I’ve been at any time in the past. They just “get” me and me them.

So I sat there last night tapping away on Army Builder and I was just as excited with what I came up with as if I was building my first list.

Boring but content!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Guest Post - T3 Fantasy Tournament - TO's Report from Hamish Forbes

Here is a tournament report from Hamish Forbes the TO of the T3 Fantasy event held in Tauranga over the weekend. I asked Hamish to flick me through how it went and he's penned the following:

Over the weekend (10/11 Sept) the Tauranga Club in association with the Tauranga Boys’ College club ran a 2400 ‘no comp’ tournament. The only restrictions were no named Special Characters and a max of 12 Power Dice/Dispel Dice per player per magic phase.

We had 12 players enter, and in general the lists were not excessive. I was expecting some very hard builds, but there weren’t any really. I think several armies would have failed the ‘Pete-Lite’ test, I know mine did (2 Pump wagons, 2 Mangler Squigs), despite this the end results were fairly close. There were a few big wins, a few close games, and several victories snatched from the jaws of defeat (and vice-versa).

Out With The Fire, In With The Sound System

After Home-Con I sat down and played around with the Skaven list I used and looked at what changes I would make for the next few games I play. I thought it might be interesting to drop the Furnace and replace it with a Screaming Bell. This changes the dynamic of the army. As I did this I found some of the items I wanted to include pushed me outside the boundaries of Pete-Lite Comp (stupid people and their stupid comp), so this required further adjustment. In the end I still use the same solid core I had - Slaves and Clanrats - backed up by the Skaven toys (sans Furnace).

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Finecast Experience

I put together my first Finecast models last night:
  • Braag the Slaughterer
  • Golgfag
  • Firebelly
An absolute breeze to put together, very little flash and no defects I could see apart from "bendy" weapons [No Charlie, I'm not talking about what Firebelly is swallowing].

It seems GW have addressed most of the previously identified problems.

Except the price - $73 NZ RRP is outrageous.

Thankfully I was able to source them from Gav at Irresistible Force so I got them 15% cheaper...arrived in three days, postage free.

Monday, September 12, 2011


Just wanted to thank all the readers of the blog.

Over the weekend "Fields of Blood" cracked 100,000 views!

Charlie, Jack and myself appreciate the support. Next target 250,000

Rat Droppings - Post HomeCon

As noted below we had HomeCon over the weekend and I took my standard 2400 point Skaven army:

Grey Seer with 4+ Wd, Skalm, Earthing Rod

BSB with Storm Banner

Lvl 1 Priest on Furnace with Scroll

Lvl 1 Warlock with Doomrocket and Condensor

2x Engineers

2x 25 Clanrats with Shields – Full Command

1x 20 Clanrats with Shields – Full Command

3x 39 Slaves with Muso

26 Plague Monks with Full Command and Banner of the Underempire

2x 6 Gutter Runners with Poison and Slings

HPA with Spikes



This army really suits my playstyle and lets me compete in all phases of the game. I’ll generally play an aggressive magic gamecentred around trying to either eliminate units or reduce them to numbers where first my slaves and then my clanrats can deal with them.

HomeCon - Results

So over the weekend I ran HomeCon at our place in Wellington. We managed to fit in five tables and next time I think I can get a couple more in as well.

The event was six rounds 2400 points and used Pete Lite Comp (as per previous postings). We used all the scenarios except Watchtower, playing Battleline twice.

The result was thirty very hard fought games. While there were a few 20-0 most games had the winner with less than 15 points. Interestingly, everybody won at least one game while everybody lost at least one.

Results were as follows:

  1. Jack Dunn (Empire) - 88
  2. Pete Dunn (Skaven) - 83
  3. Sam Whitt (WoC) - 70
  4. Tom Dunn (Daemons) - 64
  5. Joel van de Ven-Long (Empire) - 64
  6. Ben Wadsworth (WoC) - 59
  7. Tim Norling (WoC) - 57
  8. Glen Burfield (WoC) - 48
  9. Neil Williamson (Brets) - 35
  10. Peter Williamson (High Elves) - 32
Well done to Jack on steering the Empire to the win. And to Sam for proving me wrong about his WoC.

I'm looking to run another one before year end - probably mid-late November - so let me know if you're interested.

Friday, September 9, 2011


This weekend is Homecon at Chez Dunn. Ten players, six games.

Interesting that there are four Warrior lists. Two of these have the Puppet, the other two no puppet. Now I hate the Puppet with a passion – but that because I play Skaven and it attempts to keep me honest…..or at least restrained. The two WoC players with no Puppet are playing at Guardcon in October and the TO there has banned it….go figure. It is one of the last things I’d ban as it acts as a restraint on all us “six-dice monkeys”.

Looking at the WoC lists that are on show I’m going to pick only Tim’s list to go Top 5. There, I’ve said it. Let’s see if I live to regret it.

Outside WoC, the three lists that I have most fear are the two Empire lists and the Daemons. In particular, I’m wondering how anyone will take down Tom’s Great Unclean One or go through either of the Empire’s three unbreakable units.

Of course I’ve left out the two Williamsons. Peter is excellent with his High Elves and I’m expecting an updated lesson at some point over the weekend. Neil’s Brets are a mystery to me….he seems to have packed a lot into his 2400 points.

So it could be a very difficult weekend being a rat but as they say in Skavenblight “Squeek weqk Eieee Skrit!”

2012 ETC Planning

I see various teams have started their planning for the 2012 ETC to be held in Poland. The English selection process is Olympic-like in its endeavour with what appears to be the full gambit from training camps to psychological profiling for Warhammer hopefuls.

The New Zealand preparation appears to be a little more low-key. From what I can gather three of the team – Dave Grant (UK), Chris Wilcox (Oz), John Matthews (US) – have indicated that they would definitely like to return. Mark Skilton (Oz) who went in 2010 is also keen for a start. From the rest of the 2011 team, the Dixons and Dave Meachen have indicated that they are interested but aren’t able to commit as yet while James Milner is likely to be back in New Zealand. The final member of the team, Mal Patel’s availability is uncertain.

So there are opportunities for other New Zealanders (here or overseas) to be part of the team – if they get off their backsides and get organised. Unfortunately that opportunity hasn’t been well-advertised with the only notice being put on the City Guard Forum (Dave Grant’s old club).

Therefore if you are interested and would like to get involved I’d suggest you contact Dave and let him know. In the past there has been a policy to favour NZ-domiciled players as long as they commit. I think this has been admirable from the NZ team organisers.

Be great to see another strong NZ team in 2011. And more importantly all those that have been in the past have indicated it is both a great experience and fun.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Homecon Lists

Here are the lists for Homecon this weekend:

Ben Wadsworth (Warriors)

Glen Burfield (Warriors)

Jack Dunn (Empire)

Joel van de Ven-Long (Empire)

Neil Williamson (Brets)

Pete Dunn (Skaven - Boo, where are the TK's?)

Peter Williamson (High Elves)

Sam Whitt (Warriors)

Tim Norling (Warriors)

Tom Dunn (Daemons)

So it's a real Warrior-fest, with an alliance of Empire, Brets and High Elves forming to fight the forces of Chaos. It also seems like the Skaven were lucky enough to get caught in the middle of the fighting!

First Thoughts on Ogres

On Saturday morning, like a good little sheep, I dutifully picked up my copy of the new Ogre Book. The first thing I noticed was that GW had managed to sneak a little price increase in. When the hard covered books were released they were $73, the new book was $80. This 9.5% price rise since February is entirely justified by the rampant inflation gripping the Western world. I must remember to cite this inflationary pressure when I’m renegotiating salary next week. The book is nicely presented; full coloured and I must say I prefer the hard covered books to the 40k soft covers. I just hope that they manage to control their rapidly escalating costs :-)
So what about the army? Well there are a few things that can be ascertained from a cursory read.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Something a bit different for Homecon

So I'm heading back home next week, which happens to nicely coincide with the Homecon tournament being run by Dad (It's funny how the dates always seem to line up nicely!). Wanting to have a change and a bit of a laugh, I decided to use the Empire that have been sat on the shelf ever since Dad bought them a year or two ago.

Now, I don't pretend to be any sort of an expert with the army in the slightest, but after a bit of prowling the net mixed with theory-hammer, I've come up with the following list, which is open to all constructive criticism, as I would love to improve it, being the empire noob that I am!

Arch Lector of Sigmar, War Altar,Sword of Fate,Armor of Meteoric Iron,Van Horstman's Speculum
Wizard Lord ,Level 4, Luckstone, Shadow

Master Engineer
Captain (BSB), Full Plate Armor
Battle Wizard, Light, Seal of Destruction
Captain of the Empire, Full Plate Armor, Shield, Pegasus, Sword of Might, Dragonhelm, Dawnstone

30 Flagellants, Champ
40 Halberdiers, FC
Detachment - 5 Swordsmen
Detachment - 5 Archers
10 Crossbowmen, Banner
Detachment - 5 Archers
12 Swordsmen, Banner

Great Cannon
Great Cannon

Steam Tank
Helstorm Rocket Battery

Any and all thoughts welcome. Pictures will certainly be taken over the weekend as well, and I will let you all know how much I failed at using the army!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Local GW Hobby Centre - A Romance

This has been a post I’ve struggled to write for awhile – and I’m not sure if there is actually any point to it. Essentially it concerns the place of my local Games Workshop Hobby Centre in my hobby. I’m pretty sure that my position is reflected around the world – partly in response GW’s draconian pricing structure. I first got into the GW hobby in 2000, when I bought some transfers from the Wellington store in Mid-City. I liked the look of the Mordheim game so bought the intro set and a few of the add-ons. As a member of the local wargaming club I had exposure to the GW games.
You Could Fit a Baneblade in the Gap
At that time, GW were big supporters of the local hobby. They ran the New Zealand Grand Tournament as well as supporting other local events with prizes etc. They backed a local club – the Dragon’s Lair. The environment in which they sold GW’s product was also very good – NZ prices were between 0-5% the prices in the UK. Personally I purchased my entire product from the shop – and over the next few years that was extensive – as I built up 6-7 40k armies. The local GW’s input into my hobby grew as I started playing tournaments, first in 40k and then from 2007 on, in Fantasy. They initially set the groundwork for tournaments with their Rogue Trader system and provided enormous prize support. I spent a lot at the local shop and more at GWUK’s bits service as I customised my armies. I’m pretty sure I was a pretty lucrative customer. Then things started to change. Two things happened. Games Workshop stopped organising their local events – the Grand Tournament and Conflict – and the New Zealand dollar started to appreciate against the pound.

Would You Like Fourteen Big Macs with Your Ogre Character

I checked out GW’s Advance Orders yesterday to get my fix of eye-candy. I’m now wondering whether GW has finally “jumped the shark”. The new Ogre Kingdoms characters are great models but NZ$73 (US$62) each for a Finecast character may just be a price point too far for a lot of people.

The models are fantastic – I’m assuming the Finecast launch problems have been resolved – but $73 for a single Monstrous Infantry model. Really GW? Really?

Let’s put this in context shall we? That model pays the wages of a GW Redshirt here in New Zealand for over five and a half hours! Put another way you can buy yourself a Big Mac twelve fourteen days in a row.

Yes it’s always been a hobby with a certain entry cost but I can’t help thinking that Little Johnny just had the door slammed in his face.