Monday, October 31, 2011

Finally....A Way Forward

The Necrons are now confirmed and I must say that I do like the new models. However my biggest hope is that the Codex continues at the same power level of the recent books. Given that it is going to be around for at least 5-6 years it is important that it is competitive through to at least 7th edition.

The word is that post Necrons the next Codex is Tau Empire. The rumours are that the fluff story has progressed and that the Tau are now looked in a major conflict with the forces of Chaos. Their greatest strength in this conflict is that they have not embraced the Warp and act as a null zone to the whispers of the Chaos Gds. In this I expect they are a little like “gingas” in that they have no soul! However this is all in keeping with their role over the past 3-4 years as GW’s red-headed stepchild getting no love. A least they will now have a “jobbing” role for the rediscovered poster boys “Chaos Legions”.

Now you are probably all unaware of this but I have been a little bit disappointed by GW’s treatment of Chaos over the past five years. To say that I think that Gav Thorpe’s Codex: Chaos Space Marines is a soulless piece of crap, seriously undervalues my hatred for that particular document. All the life, character and development work Pete Haines did was largely obliterated in Thorpe’s “work”. Suddenly the Legions ceased to exist and we were relegated to playing Codex: Liquorice Allsorts. I decried it at the time and I stand by every derogatory comment I’ve ever made about it. Chaos Space marines went from being characterful and diverse to Lash Prince(s) + Plague Marines + obliterators.

So how did that work out GW? I’m guessing not very well. You release the Horus Heresy books and then rip the heart out of Chaos.

This Ginger is Pretty Happy Gav Thorpe Will Be Nowhere Near Chaos Legions

CSM went from one of the two biggest sellers to a complete also-ran (based on tournament attendance). Some will put this down to performance but I believe that the largest part was mindnumbing boredom. Seriously who could get excited by Gav Thorpe’s “vision”.

Spot quiz – How many Red Corsair armies have you seen?

I pretty much gave up playing 40k when that codex was released. Therefore I pretty excited by the news solidifying around June 2012 when we will see the return of the Legions. The word is this will be the last 5th Ed Codex but written with 6th Ed in mind. Can’t wait! I’m hoping that either Phil Kelly or Jeremy Vetock get the gig because then at least it will have a soul.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Conquest This Weekend

Good luck to everyone playing at Conquest in Christchurch this weekend.

This is the last tournament of the New Zealand ranking "season" and has attracted strong competitions in both Fantasy and 40k.

Without seeing the full field, I'm aware Mal Patel and Locky Reid who finished 1st and 2nd at Guardcon are there and I expect both to place in the Top 5. Expect also to see some real tight results as another 6 South Island players are in the current Top 20 - Basil Moskovis, Raymond Wallace, Damon Quaid, Darren Urquhart and Tim Joss.

This competition is going to have areal impact on the make up of the Masters field as people try to force their way into the Top 10.

Here's my take on the situation (I believe 200 points from 3 events is need to qualify Top 10):

Mal Patel (Lizards) - Safely ensconced as #1 and nothing here can change it.

Locky Reid (Skaven) - Protecting 46 points. Needs to finish in the Top 12 here to hold his place for Masters qualification.

Basil Moskovis (Vamps) - Protecting 1.5 points. Safe as houses for the Masters.

Raymond Wallace (Skaven) - Not protecting points but depending on other players needs to finish at least 8th or 9th to cement a Masters place.

Damon Quaid (WoC) - Again not defending points but needs to finish no lower than 7th to guarantee a place at the Masters table.

Darren Urquhart (Dark Elves) - Protecting 59 points. A near podium finish is required to muscle him into the Masters.

Tim Joss (O&G) - The man with the bullet. A finish in the top half of the field will likely see him qualify for the Masters. to date only has two results so all the points he scores are gravy.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Yesterday the site broke the 1000 daily hits threshold for the first time.

Thanks to all the regular and new readers of “Fields of Blood”.

I’m busy raicking up Charlie and Jack to post more but currently Charlie is working 80 hour weeks and Jack as Uni exams. In the meantime you’ll just have to make do with me.

Promise to get some photos up this weekend of my recent Skaven and Tomb King painting.

Urban Myth - Chessex Dice

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away……an urban myth was born.
On Dakka Dakka the US-based wargames forum this myth has persisted and is treated as fact.
The myth is that if you use Chessex dice or any round cornered pip indented then you will roll “1” 29% of the time. You can read all about it here.

Twenty-nine percent…..when the expectation is 16.6%. Determined after thousands and thousands of rolls. Any idea how improbable that is. Well statistically it starting to get into the realms of “A Room Full of Monkeys Typing Shakespeare”!

I’m willing to say that you could look at the dice and clearly see the imperfections.

Dice are never perfect. However the chance of picking up a block of Chessex dice and rolling them 28 times then coming up with 29% “1”s or indeed any single number is about as likely as finding intelligent life in Newcastle.

I call “Bullshit”.

Vermintide III

Just a reminder to all that Vermintide III, the last NZ Fantasy tournament of 2011, is coming up soon.

Here are the details:

Tournament Officials: Neil Williamson (Umpire), Hagen Kerr (Registrar)

When: Sunday 11 December

Where: Cashmere Primary School, Khandallah, Wellington

Start Time: 8.15am for 8.30 start

Finish Time: 6.00pm (latest)

Army lists due: 3 December to

Cost: $20.00

General Format

Army Size: 1200 points

Table Size: 5 ft x 4 ft

Rounds: 5 scenarios (no Battle of the pass)

Game length: 1 ½ hours each game

Composition: Light hardcaps

The Players' Pack is available from Neil Williamson (

The event promises to be enormous fun for both new and experienced players.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Necrons Confirmed for November

Overnight GW posted on their Voxcaster blog a thinly veiled reference to the upcoming release of Necrons.

The 40 second Youtube video contains no pictures but largely confirms November as release month. More information to be released on October 29.

You can click on our previous post here to see the new Necrons and info on where further pictures can be found.

The Role of the Stubborn Character

One character that has become more prevalent recently is the fast moving character (typically a flyer) with the Crown of Command (making him Stubborn). The premise here is that the character has a good armour save plus a passable ward and he can go into the enemy and kill them or at worst hold them there.

There are numerous variations depending on Army Book and access to the Stubborn ability. One popular variation is the Bret with Heroic Killing Blow on a Pegasus, the Dreadlord with the Pendant of Khaleth or the Chaos Character on a Disk.
Personally I think that while they can be very useful they are not without potential pitfalls. The most obvious of these is that you choose the wrong target for his charge. For me the most profitable targets are small units of skirmishers, lone characters, warmachines and possibly monsters – basically anything that lacks ranks.

On this basis I prefer Hero level rather than Lord level characters in the role?

Why? Well a number of reasons.

Firstly, a Lord level character is likely to be your Army General and you run a greater risk of him getting killed or at best being drawn away from where his Leadership bubble is most needed.

Secondly, the whole strategy is surrounded by an assumption that you will lose combat (otherwise why the need for the Stubborn crown) and are going to be testing Leadership at some stage.

If you test often enough you will eventually fail the Stubborn test and therefore I believe it is good practice to minimise this risk. For me this means picking your fights rather than chucking the character into any unit. I advocate “clubbing baby seals” (i.e. being a bully by picking unfair fights) and therefore only having to rely on the Stubborn crutch if something untoward happens. Personally I’d avoid engaging units with high static Combat Resolution unless it was absolutely unavoidable.

Stubborn “9” means a 1/6 chance of failing – reduced to 1/36 if the BSB is always there. Now a canny opponent will lure you away from or look to assassinate your BSB. If he’s very clever he’ll look to wait until you are looked in combat before doing it. Suddenly that Stubborn “9” doesn’t look so good.

Far better to my mind to get in and out of combats where you don’t start at a major disadvantage, killing the vulnerable and moving on. The Stubborn trait is your backstop not a weapon.

As always after your thoughts.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

GW's New Terrain Piece

How great is this?

I want one!!!!!

This is so going to be Seerlord Morskitta's Lair!!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Golden Age of the Wireless

So this week is the first of Charlie's regular spots on 40kUK podcast. It can be downloaded on iTunes or from here

New From Across the Pond – Charles St Clair (a new addition to the podcast) reports from New Zealand and the tournament scene there – 02:11:37.

You can click on Charlie at 2 hours 11 minutes into the show where he goes through his Ork army. given his success with them it's worth a listen.....especially those of you who are 0-7 against them!


A few of the guys I follow on Twitter have come up with a way of boosting painting output. They have labelled it #Brushtime and effectively it is a weekly target of ten hours painting.

They tweet their progress against the target through the week and it acts as an incentive/prompt to those participating. Coupled with attached pictures of their models it seems to be working for them.

I’m one of those people who likes to have targets and find that they do work as an incentive. Having no deadline means I’m likely to just let painting drift and suddenly a month or two has gone by with little or no output. The target of ten hours a week isn’t too onerous either – less than 1.5 hours a day average. In reality it means three evenings a week.

I’ll let you know my progress.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Plague Banner

One Skaven question I’ve never been able to reconcile to my satisfaction concerns the question of which banner is the best choice for a unit of Plague Monks.

The three most obvious choices are:

• Plague Banner (30 points) – Re-roll To-Hit and To-Wound rolls for one round of combat

• Banner of the Underempire (25 points) – 2D6 Strength 2 hits on every unit in contact, every round

• Banner of the Eternal Flame (10 points) – All attacks are Flaming

Let’s dismiss the flaming banner as this is situational and concentrate on the other two.

Now to some extent I expect it comes down to how you run the Monks, what number you have and definitely what you are facing. The two situations I think are most common are 20-30 Monks with Furnace and 30-40 Monks with no Furnace.

Over the past 16 months I have run my Monks in the first setup. Typically I’ll have them in a five wide unit giving me a file either side of the Furnace. I have always felt that the Banner of the Underempire was the best choice as you have insufficient attacks to the front – typically nine from the Plague Monks, 7 from the Furnace crew and 4 from the Priest – to make the Plague Banner worthwhile. However perhaps I’ve been underselling it. To try and increase its potency I have started to go seven wide which increases the PM attacks to 17. Certainly without the Furnace the extra 12 attacks would seem to make the Plague Banner a no-brainer, particularly if you go in Horde formation and have sufficient numbers to soak up any attacks that strike before you. The ability to dish out 51 attacks once is scary but after that I suspect the unit is toast.

So how have others found the Plague Banner – either with or without the Furnace?

Monday, October 17, 2011

New Necrons

You can find lots of leaked photos of the new Necrons (November release) here

Here's a picyure of the new Ghost Ark

Very Cybermanny I reckon

Weekly Update

I didn’t get a game in over the weekend…..Grrrr. But I did get one last Thursday night against Joel’s Empire list.

Joel used a list modified from his HomeCon army, swapping out the second unit of Flagellants for a War Altar. I thought that this was a far better build and gave him a pretty awesome offensive magic phase with the full Light deck and 4 from Shadow. He charged my HPA with the flagellant unit and though I managed to stop Timewarp when he cast Mindrazor with IF that was more than enough to see my big rat off. As I remember I had to make 16 4+ saves.

Although I managed to grind out a victory I was quite lucky in that Joel’s Seal of Destruction failed to destroy Crack’s Call and the second casting did for the Steam Tank that had been clogged up by slaves.

Over the weekend I made up some new movement trays for the army to better accommodate the formations and size of units that I’m using. These were the Litko ones I purchased earlier in the year. My preference is still for the Gale Force Nine trays which I think are a little more robust. These are now painted, magnetised and ready to go.

The repairing of chips on metal models continued. The initial batch I did with two coats of gloss polyurethane and then one of matt. I haven’t sprayed Dullcote on them as the hand brushed Vallejo Matt does a good enough job. Just about to start on my fourteen Lustrian PCBs –which are probably my favourite Skaven models.

New painting to be done includes finishing the FW Vermin Lord and painting the Avatars of War Vermin Warlord. I received the latter model last week. For me the jury is still out on this model as it looks a little naff unpainted. Hopefully it’ll grow on me once I paint it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Today We'll Fight Waterloo........Again

One of the most interesting changes from 7th to 8th Edition was the introduction of scenarios into the game. I’ve been pretty vocal that their inclusion has not only made things more challenging but act as a comp leveller on the more extreme builds.

However I know that my view isn’t the only opinion. The ETC used “Battleline” as the only scenario though I can understand that given the match-up process they already go through.
More puzzling to me are those general tournaments that choose not to use scenarios. In some case they then introduce new rules and layers of army restrictions to control troublesome builds.
One of the usual reasons trotted out is that scenarios can reduce the game to a non-contest by introducing randomness (particularly in deployment) into the mix. Where forced to play these games the proponents – if you believe the podcasting glitterati – turtle up in their respective corners and take a 10-10 draw.

This to me is really a failure in list design and/or unwillingness to adapt to anything that forces their gameplan out of the ordinary. If your total gameplan is predicated on getting a certain deathstar into combat, I can understand the unwillingness to play a game that mightn’t let you do that. But is that the fault of the scenario? Your army build? Or your unwillingness to think on the fly?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Squig Hoppers - Local Fantasy Network

Last night (with Jack's help) I set up a new web-based forum for local gamers. The forum is aimed at Wellington-based Fantasy gamers as a place to interact and extend their network. One of the prime goals is to act as a posting board to organise games.

Squig Hoppers

So introducing Squig Hoppers......

The board is not associated with any club or playing group. Rather it is open to all gamers who are trying to expand their circle of opponents. A lot of people game at home and may only have a limited number of opponents. Hopefully this will give them some new options.

The board can be found here

If you'd like access to the board drop me an email on and I'll arrange access and activation. We are going through a registration and activation process to keep the spam bots away.

So if you're keen to join up drop me a line.

Also if other areas in New Zealand would like a forum added for their own networks I'm happy to do that.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New Tomb King FAQ Out

GW released an updated Tomb Kings FAQ last night. You can find it here

Nothing too stunning.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Protecting Models From Chips

One of the things in the hobby that really gives me the “shits” is the chipping of, in particular, metal models.

In the past I have used Games Workshop’s “Purity Seal” and their “Matt Varnish”. Both provide a satin finish to the models but have not proved strong enough to protect my models from constant gaming. I must have done remedial work on my Wood Elves wardancers five or six times, I reckon.

The other varnish I have used is Testors Dullcote. This gives a fantastic matt finish – perhaps almost too dull for metallic – but the one thing it is not is a varnish. Dullcote provides next to no protection.

Rule #1: Never Let Models Bathe In Chips

Looking at the chips on my Skaven recently I did some online research to come up with a permanent fix. Here’s what I have found out and now started to use:

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things - Redux

And at the Throne of Skulls at Warhammer World over the weekend, there was an effective demonstration of what you can get with no comp.

Bryan Carmichael (who from Twitter conversations I’ve had with him is a lovely bloke) took Tomb Kings and won the event.

The lynchpin of his army was Queen Khalida and a unit of 89 Archers. Khalida improves the archers shooting to a never modified BS3 i.e. always hit on 4s, and poisoned shots.

What that means is each turn on average 45 shots hit the target, 15 of them poisoned. Of the other 30 – 15 more wounds (T3), 10 more wounds (T4) and 5 more wounds (T5 or T6).

In one game, this saw a Bloodthirster deleted in one turn, most of 30 Bloodletters the next etc.

As I said before “This is why we can’t have nice things”.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

New BSB for my Skaven

I picked up Quickblade from Banelords this week and have painted him up as my new BSB.

He looks more brutish than most Skaven having a snout that is almost dog-like. I suspect it has been broken many times. He also has a scar/cut running from the top of his head through his eye. All in all he reminds me of "Mutley" from the old cartoons.

I've christened him "Thugly".

The banner still needs to be painted. I'm not sure whether to paint a huge raincloud on it for the "Storm Banner" or something more generic.

The only modification is that I've removed the halberd as it arrived partly broken

Friday, October 7, 2011

Product Review - Liquid Green Stuff

All the hype - see White Dwarf if you don't believe me - this month is on the release of Dreadfleet. I must say I am extremely impressed with the models but the price tag of $220 (NZD) puts me off purchasing what could be a game of limited re-playability.

Almost missed in the hype has been the release of some new hobby products under the Citadel banner. I'm not going to comment on the clean-up brush, flash scraper or emery boards except to say they fall in the same category as the paint palette and water pot.

However one new product that caught my eye was "Liquid Green Stuff" ans so I dutifully trotted off to GW on Tuesday and picked up a pot.

Last night I took the opportunity to try it out on an Ogre Thundertusk I put together last weekend.

What a great product, easy to use and it cleans up in water. Use an old brush, preferably one with harder bristles.

Left to dry overnight it is now ready to sand - damn I really should have picked up those emery boards. Oh wait! I can use the small bit of sandpaper I have handy. Saved!

What amazes me is the value for money of this product. I really don't understand the price point of $7.00 when compared to other offerings. I would have expect this to retail at 3x the price - I can only guess that other manufacturers must make a similar product which restricts GW pricing.

Anyway grab it. It is one useful product.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

ATC for Fantasy - The South Rises Again!

This year a group of Australian gamers created the first Australian Team Championship for 40k. Next year this will be extended to include Fantasy as well.

The format is based on the successful ETC format and will involve teams of 8 people from each of the Australian states. After an invitation to send a New Zealand team, I have lobbied to get two NZ teams admitted, splitting the country pretty much by population – NZ North (Taupo and above) and NZ South (below Taupo).

A couple of weeks ago I posted on various New Zealand forums to see who was interested in participating in the NZ South team and got a great response. We have certainly got enough for a team and I have gone ahead and confirmed NZ South’s involvement.

As it stands the following players have sent me emails indicating their interest to participate:

• Three Dunns (Jack, Tom and Yours Truly)

• Mal Patel

• Joe Dixon

• Tim Norling

• Basil Moskovis

• Locky Reid

There is also some interest mooted on the forums but not as yet followed up by email confirmation.

The intention is to contact those interested with greater details and find out what armies they have available to play with. We’ll then look at confirming the team before Xmas. Over the early part of 2012 the team will look at working on their lists with the goal of having a couple of practise weekends before the event.

It’s not too late for others to be involved but it will involve a reasonable financial commitment. In 2012 the ATC is being held in Melbourne, most likely in September. The practice weekends will be at Chez Dunn. This means that out of towners will need to budget that into their decision. However, accommodation, transfer and food will be covered while they are here.

Looking forward to being involved in the event –and as John Mitchell would say “the journey”. Thje worst outcome is that it will develop a deeper base of NZ gamers with teams-experience for future ETCs.

Now hopefully the NZ North team will get up and running – potential for a North vs. South challenge looms!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Masters Comp - A Real Exercise in Balance

With Guardcon out of the way I am now waiting to see what Composition rules the TO, Phil Wu comes up with for the Fantasy Masters.

I know that there was a lot of confusion with the system employed at Guardcon, which was a series of guidelines but with the TO retaining a veto. My understanding was that around 75% of the lists were initially rejected. This suggests that the guidelines were largely pointless.

I understand one Wellington gamer ended up not taking Orcs and Goblins because of the restrictions (no doubles of any Rare choice) and then ran into an army toting two Doom Divers. He was a little bemused.

For something like a Masters event my own view is that a Hard Cap system published early is the best option. This gives people the chance to digest the system and either make adjustments to the army list for their chosen army or select a new army that they feels offers a better chance. By releasing any restrictions early any participants have the opportunity to get some practice in the knowledge their list won’t be rejected.

This type of system also tends to even out regional differences as right from the outset people know what the playing field is.

At past years’ Masters I used a system that allowed players to mark all the other lists. In retrospect it didn’t really work as I’m pretty sure most people marked lists on how they would perform against their list rather than the overall strength of the list. In one situation (40k) this led to a horde list being marked down because they were all power armour lists – a real case of the Meta being punished.

So it can be a real balancing act but I’m firmly of the opinion for a Masters event hard caps trumps subjective.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Big things on that horizon over there yonder...

Hi guys,

after a little bit of hiatus, I'm back, with a bang, faster than the speed of light like some crazy neutrino!

Things have until now been fairly quiet on the hobby front for me, as I've been racking up 80, 90, 100+ hour weeks at work. That being said, there's a bit coming up that has really upped my enthusiasm so I hope to achieve a fair bit going forward!

Tonight I have an interview/section with in a piece that will primarily focus on this end of the globe, the difference between the wargaming scenes in the hemispheres, and a few other things besides. If all goes well it could become a bit of a regular segment, so that would be quite interesting!

I've also been asked to captain a team of New Zealanders for the ATC, which is essentially very similar to the ETC but for people who are too cheap to sink the thirty plus thousand dollars it would take to send a team to Europe. I'd like to use 2012 as a springboard to show the lads they have what it takes, do a clean sweep on the event, and use this as motivation and push to get NZ to the ETC in 2013, but we'll focus on things one step at a time :)

Because the ATC is a state/regional thing, its important to maintain the perspective; that this is above the club level, but below the national level.

The best parallel I can draw, is Rugby League, where you have your clubs (Manly, Warriors, Storm, etc), State of Origin (Queensland vs NSW), and the Kiwi's embarassing the Kangaroo's on the national level.

I'm quite excited about this, and I can't think of a better way to prepare for the ETC, and really feel it could help build some depth in the New Zealand Scene.

I have a few other things cooking on the boiler also, but until they progress a bit further I'll stay mum on them.

- Charlie

Monday, October 3, 2011

Guardcon Results

Looks like my predictions for Guardcon were pretty spot on!

1st Mal Patel (Lizardmen)

2nd Locky Reid (Skaven)

3rd Reid Pittams (Skaven)

Cue renewed whining about how nasty Skaven are!!!


The scariest thing is that Peter Williamson can steer his High Elf list into 4th after finishing a distant 10th out of 10 at HomeCon.

Fantastic effort


It’s funny isn’t it how you can play the game very regularly and get the most straightforward rule wrong.

On Saturday I had a game against Tim’s latest WOC build with the Skaven and had just that thing happen. Tim charged a unit of Gutter Runners with first his Disk Rider, then his BSB and finally a unit of Marauders. I fled from the first charge and then subsequently from the other two, finally exiting the board. For the last 15 months I’ve played that you move the charging units in the order they charged, but as Tim showed me this is not correct. The owning player may move his chargers in any order he wishes. In our game it had no impact but I can see situations where it would.

Can’t believe I’ve missed or (perhaps, Alzheimers) forgotten that rule.