Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Some Vampire Counts Info

Taken from Hero's Gaming Blog, here is some info from latest White Dwarf:

Lore of the Vampires

Signature Spell is definitely Invocation of Nehek - on the most fundamental level it can restore "D6 + caster's Wizard level" of Wounds to friendly Undead unit within 6". Boosted version has 12" range, as well as 18" ones.

Other spells includes Raise Dead, Vanhel's Danse Macabre, Curse of Years, Gaze of Nagash, and Wind of Death

Lore attribute: When the spell from the Lore of the Vampires is succefully casted, the wizard or any undead models within 12" restores 1 wound.

Rules tidbits:

All Vampire has rule called "Hunger" - You get to roll a D6 when the vampire kills one or more models in combat, on a 6 you recovers one wound. (Vlad with Blood Drinker pass the roll on 4+)

Also Vampire, including vampiric creatures "such as" Varghulf and Vargheist, can march. So Vargheist will be able to move 20" per turn almost all the time. (not sure if Varghulf can also fly)

Vampiric Powers: (not all of them, just those mentioned in WD)

Flying Horror - give the vampire ability to fly (unsure)
Dread Knight - ability to boost WS (don't know how - but a Vampire Llord with Dread Knight has WS of 9)
Quickblood - gains ASF
Master of the Black Arts - get to re-roll one D6 for the Winds of Magic.
Dark Acolyte - add D3 to the total number of models raised by Nehek.
Red Fury - should be about the same. (unsure)

New units:

Coven Throne

  • Basically a chariot mount for your Lord.
  • Is a Large target with S5 T5 5W and 5+ save.
  • has Spectral Steed rules (can move 8"), Undead, Vampiric, ASF (only for Handmaiden who has 2 S5 Attacks)
  • has Random Attacks (2D6) at S3 from the spirit horde.
  • Has Ward Save of 4+
  • Battle of Wills (before the first enemy rolls to hit against the character or the Throne, both player roll a D6 and add their LD value. Has effects based on the difference of the score) * no effect (0 or less)
    * suffer -1WS/BS
    * the enemy must re-roll successful To Hits
    * each model in the enemy unit strike each other (only 1 attack per model)
  • Has Bound Spell (lvl3) allowing the Throne (and all of its crew) to re-roll either To Hit or To Wound rolls.

Mortis Engine
  • Is a Rare Choice
  • Same stats as for the Throne (S5 T5 W5 Sv5+)
  • has 2D6 attacks at S3 from the spirit horde
  • Undead, Terror, Spectral Steed, and Regeneration
  • can make Ghostly Howl attack.
  • can take upgrade, allowing any wizards casting spell from the Lore of the Vampires to get +2 to their casting attempt. (ANY) miscast wizards rolls twice on the table and have the opponent choose the result)
  • The Reliquary (at the start of your turn, roll 2D6 and add the current turn number - until the start of its next turn, all friendly Undead units within this number of range gains +1 bonus to their Regeneration, 6+ if they don't have any, to a maximum of 4+. Also, all enemy units within this range suffers D6 hits at the strength equal to the turn number.
    • Also has some penalties if removed from play - by damaging every units within a random range at the strength equal to the current turn number)

Master Necromancer 
- New Lord choice (ie. better Necromancer)

Banshees and Cairn Wraith are now Hero

Hexwraiths (Special) - Fast Cavalry with Ethereal (yes!) that can inflict automatic S5 hits on unit that it moved through.

Vargheist (Special) - Flying Monstrous Infantry that has Fly, Frenzy, and 3A.

Crypt Horrors (Special) - Monstrous Infantry unit with M6 S4 T5 I2 W3 A3, has Poisoned Attacks, Regeneration 5+, and Undead.

Monday, December 26, 2011

New Vampire Counts Sighted

So Vampires confirmed for January 2012. Here are the White Dwarf picture:










There's some interesting stuff here. Not sure on some of it but likely the fact there is variety.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Brickbats & Bouquets

The other day I gave a runthrough of Games Workshop's individual products this year focusing on models and the like. Today I want to focus on three specific releases and give my opinion of whether they worked or didn't work (for me).

So I have two brickbats and one bouquet to give out. I'll start with the negatives and finish with the positive.

Miss #1 - Dreadfleet 

This was 2011's mystery box - though to be fair everything is a mystery these days. The models included in the game were lovely although I wonder how many sets will actually get painted. However I believe that this missed on two fronts.

Firstly, it was a different scale game so that there was little chance for cross over into the wider Warhammer world. But more importantly it was a closed-in system with set scenarios and GW clearly stating that they planned no expansions. This really limited its appeal for the wider Warhammer audience. If it had been designed for expansions for race-specific fleets like Man O'War then I'm sure it would have had wider appeal.

 As it is I walked into my local GW the other day and was not surprised to see at least a dozen copies still on the shelves. I'm sure there are plenty more in the warehouses. The price point didn't help but the release was a clear miss on a number of levels.

Miss #2 - Storm of Magic 

Well I called this early and I was so right. The whole concept was a marketing ploy from the outset. Purely designed to sell some random monster kits the expansion for Warhammer crashed and burned on release. I am actually yet to met a single person who I am aware of having played the game.

The game reeked of "Apocalypse - for - Warhammer" and was aimed squarely at the GW Shop market. Big spells, big monsters, little thought.

For all that I don't think GW actually dedicated a lot of resources at the game so not much wasted. If I'm wrong and they did then it certainly doesn't show. If it isn't already it will be a distant memory in six months a bit like Planetary Strike for 40k.

Hit #1 - 8th Edition Warhammer Army Books

It is almost scary how successfully GW have hit the nail on the head with their three army books released in 2011. There was a seven month wait from the release of the new edition until Orcs & Goblins was released but it was well worth the wait.

Followed up by Tomb Kings and Ogre Kingdoms the new books have leveled the playing field in the Warhammer World, building on the work done by the base rules. The power level of the various armies has flattened considerably. I'm desperately keen for this to continue with the upcoming VC book. The other thing is the increased number of viable options in each list means that there is greater variety in the lists we are seeing on the table. More than anything this has continued to enhance the game.

I have regularly espoused my few that the new balance is a factor of the move to an extensive list of Common Magic Items backed up by a small list of race-specific items. This has introduced increased balance into the game. So for me this HIT more than offsets any negatives. It is a significant enhancement to a CORE game so is more far-reaching in its influence than the other two which are frankly, sideshows. 

Whatever you do GW, don't blow this new balance in 2012.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Last Day of "Work"

Today is my last day of work for the year. I’m hoping to get some significant hobby done over the sixteen days I have off.

So what are the priorities?
1. Finish basing for Tomb Kings

2. Tidy up rest of TK army

3. Paint Tomb Herald

4. Paint Ironblasters, Thundertusk and Stonehorn

5. More movement trays for the Ogres

6. Turn Conflix buildings into terrain

Now if I get those done I’ll be very happy.

I’m also hoping to get a few games in. Jack is back from Auckland tomorrow and Tom is showing renewed interest in his Wood Elves. Hopefully we can disappear downstairs for a few hours every now and then for a game.

Tane is bringing his Dwarfs around earlier next week so my Ogres can have some fun stomping them. If any other gamers are around over the period drop me a line and we can organise some games.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My take on GW's 2011

Here's my review of the GW year, in exactly the same format: 40k model, Fantasy Model, Scenery and Product

40k Model

Well, not too hard to pick here, given my bias.  The new range of Dark Eldar we saw earlier this year was fantastic, and by far the standout piece was the Dark Eldar Razorwing Jetfighter.  In my opinion one of the best vehicle kits GW have ever produced.  It's beautiful, sleek look really captures the feel of the army, and actually makes taking three Ravagers a hard choice, as good as they are!  I'm absolutely itching to paint mine.

Runner up here is the Venom (sense the theme?), which is just as beautiful as the Razorwing

In terms of the worst model, I have to give it to the dreadknight as well.  Just ridiculous.  Nothing more needs to be said.  Closely behind are the Stormraven, which looks just as silly (although the Chapterhouse kit makes it look much better than a flying brick), and the Grotesques, only because there is a single pose, and it's a bad one.

Fantasy Model

I too found this one hard to pick.  There were a lot of solid models put out this year, but nothing too draw-doppingly amazing.  In the end, I went for the plastic Vampire Counts Necromancer released as part of the Storm of Magic.  Partly because I love the model, in no small part due to the slayer sword-winning entry at GDUK this year (shown below), and also because I think the plastic character releases are a fantastic idea, and I hope they continue.

Not far behind is the Arachnarok, which I loved painting, and it looks really good on the table.  The Firebelly might also have been up there, but Charlie's now ruined that model for me forever ;)

I have three picks for the bottom.  The first is the finecast Cold One, released for SOM.  Seriously GW, $33 for something we already have in plastic?  Next up is the Necropolis Knights, just because I find the snake-surfing concept ridiculous.  It's a real shame the Stalkers are no good, because they look far, far better.  And my actual pick for the worst model is the SOM Manticore, which is just poor all around.


Having not seen any of the kits released this year, I'm just going to have to go on pictures and hearsay, in which case the Skullvane Mansk is by far the most impressive.  It also looks like it will do a fair bit of LoS blocking too, which is awesome.

The Garden of Moor is the other headline piece, but not having seen it yet in person, it doesn't have the same wow factor as the Mansk.

Not any really poor pieces, bu the Fulcrums copped a bit of flak for big skulls everywhere, which I can understand.


I'm going to go with Liquid Green Stuff here.  It really reduces the hassle of gap filling and allows the salvaging of awful finecast models with a bit of effort.  Also, when you're filing it back, it seems to stick to the model more than regular Green Stuff, which again saves hassle.

I also love the hardback books, but I want to see them for 40k too.  Also, I'm one of the monkeys that skips straight to the rules, so some of the beauty is lost on me.

Worst product of the year is Finecast, hands down.  I only needed a couple of hours to decide that it's far worse than metal or plastic. The detail may be slightly crisper, but that comes at the expense of overall quality and structural strength.  I hope they get their act together and start producing some models without flaws, because otherwise you're paying more for a lesser product made of cheaper material.

Reading the Tea Leaves

I received an email yesterday from Maelstrom Games announcing that they were once again stocking Battlefront’s Flames of War range.

If you remember there was a rather public bust-up earlier in the year where a series of communications showed up on the net that demonstrated the acrimony between the parties.

Now a number of Battlefront’s senior managers are friends of mine so I’m not exactly an impartial observer. To be clear I haven’t communicated with them at all on this matter. However I thought the email from Maelstrom was magnanimous in that they indicated they had apologised and hoped that the whole incident could be put behind the parties.

This is great news for the hobby. Maelstrom are/were one of the biggest internet retailers in the world while Battlefront produce the premier WW2 game and models.

It did get me thinking though. I started wondering whether the change in attitude by Maelstrom was a consequence of the move by Games Workshop to prohibit export of their product by them (and others) outside the EU. They would have now had six months of the new regime and you can’t help but feel that their business has been significantly impacted by the change in their supply arrangements. Speak to any tournament gamer in the Southern Hemisphere and all were sourcing their GW minis from Maelstrom (or equivalent).

Having invested in a new venue, warehouse etc you can’t help but draw the conclusion that not stocking Battlefront followed by the introduction of GW’s “Prohibition Era” may have been a bridge too far for the company.

All supposition but I can’t help thinking that 2011 wasn’t as stellar on the sales front for Maelstrom as they had initially planned.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My First Finecast Experience

Over the Masters weekend, Dad brought me up the Finecast Haemonculus that I ordered it 6 months ago, and which had only just shown up (thanks Maelstrom...).  Looking over the clampack, I was very impressed.  The model itself is fantastic, and there appeared to be a very high level of detail in the cast with no visible faults.

I cracked it open the day after the weekend, and found I was sorely mistaken.  There were air bubbles all over the model, some of them quite large.  Luckily, none of the front of the model (what I had been seeing through the clear plastic) was damaged.  Having already used some of Dad's about a month ago, I quickly rushed to the FLGS and picked up some Liquid Green Stuff to help me fix up the model.

Here's some pictures of the faults.  It's mostly just air bubbles, which required multiple layers of Liquid Green Stuff to fill up, but using this was much easier than regular Green Stuff.  Big thumbs up to GW for an amazing product!

A couple of big bubbles here
Plenty of bubbles on this bit too

By far the worst bit was how the model sat on its base.  It had been cast badly, and was on a massive lean.  I had to cut and re-pin the bottom part back on, and sculpt to fill the resulting gap.  The model stands straight up now though!

The gap after reattaching
A bad photo of the resculpting needed

And here's a blurry pic of some of the filling I had to do on the back half of the model.

Luckily, the finished model had little to no flaws on the front half

One labour of love later: the assembled Haemonculus

Here's the sad bit.  As good as the Liquid Green Stuff was at filling the bubbles and other faults, it still took me three nights to clean and assemble this one figure.  I'm not looking forward to repeating this when my Wracks eventually arrive (7 months and counting, thanks again Maelstrom!).  Despite this, I'm very happy with the how the model has turned out, and can't wait to paint him.  I'm just disappointed it was so much extra effort over a plastic or metal model, and costs a lot more too.

Of course, maybe if I'd used the Flash Brush and Mouldline Scraping Tool from the Citadel Clean-up Kit I wouldn't have had so much trouble... ;)

2012 - The Year of Ratties, Fatties and Boners

With 2011 coming to a close I’m about to end my self-imposed hiatus from the tournament game. Moving into 2012 I’m looking to start playing events again having already signed up for Equinox and intending to play both Runefang and NatCon.

With this in mind I’ve been (slowly) painting up the various pieces I have outstanding for a number of armies.

First love, Skaven have seen some new Clanrats added and also two new Abominations purchased (Bane Legion’s Flint-Fang and Forgeworld’s Brood Horror). I’ve also purchased a swathe of Rat Ogres and I have some Weapons Teams. Over the next few months I hope to finish them giving me 6000+ points of tournament ready rats.

Second off the rank are my Ogres. I’ve added all the new characters, the new Monsters, new artillery and have just purchased three new Forgeworld Rhinox Riders. Once finished this again will give me about 6000 points of Ogres.

Finally, the Tomb Kings. As regular readers will be aware I have finished two Sphinxes, heaps of Archers and the Necropolis Knights over the last few months. I’m looking to tidy up the rest of the existing army and finish the Herald I need.

So the upshot of this is that I intend having three ready to use armies for next year which I can tailor to particular situations. Hard to see the skaven being replaced as main army but sure it will help to mix it up. On top of this I have a long term project to add more units to my Empire and add the new Vampire Count units as they are released in support of the book.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Venom-Spam at the Masters - Day 2

Game 4: Hagen Kerr.  Seize Ground (5), Pitched Battle.

I was not at all confident going into this game, seeing as Hagen had one of the two armies at the event that was the rock to my scissors.  I should mention that at this point the TO’s decided everyone should in fact be playing the same mission (although they were still being decided randomly), and fortunately they didn’t roll up Kill Points, which would have left me to sink without a trace.

Also luckily for me is that Hagen’s list was far from an optimal carpark guard list, with a lack of Hydras and Vendettas when compared to the normal stuff that you only see overseas (and in Charlie’s house too I might add!).

Hagen had:

Company Command, Lascannon, Kitchen Sink in Chimera
Company Command, 3x Meltaguns

10x Psykers in Chimera

Platoon Command, 4x Flamer in Chimera
Infantry Squad, Flamer, Autocannon in Chimera
Infantry Squad, Flamer, Autocannon in Chimera
Infantry Squad, Flamer, Autocannon, Commissar
Heavy Weapons Squad, Autocannons
Penal Legion Squad
Veteran Squad, 3x Meltaguns, Demolitions

Valkyrie, Rocket Pods
Vendetta, Heavy Bolter sponsons


With the mission being objectives, I decided right from the get go that my only goal would be to kill his scoring units, since if I could get all of them, my worst result would be a draw.  Again, I won the roll for first turn, and set up for a very focussed round of shooting, getting a lot of the units out of Venoms for some blaster action.  I needed to get rid of the psykers, as they could deal with the beasts, but could only immobilise their ride.  I was also able to shake both flyers and the Venoms wiped out the HWS. 

GW 2012 - The Anticipation Builds

Having reviewed the Best and Worst of Games Workshop in 2011, I thought I’d give you my take on what I view are the most anticipated releases of 2012.

Codex: Chaos Legions

Now it may come as a surprise but I’m not the biggest fan of the piece of crap that Gav Thorpe wrote and called the “Codex: Chaos Space Marines - 4th Edition”. This “codex” was singularly the main reason I stepped back from playing 40k. it is a classic case of letting loose a giant vampire squid to wrap itself around a large part of the hobby and then allow it to relentlessly jam its blood funnel into anything that smells like fun or depth. “Hey, let’s take your nine Legions and make them Chaos Liquorice Allsorts Renegades! These nine separate armies, each with their own unique characteristics are soooooo confusing!”

So for me the news that May/June sees the release of a rumoured Chaos Legions book is the most exciting news since the Codex:CSM Third Printing (the one that let Power Fists strike at Initiative if you had a Doom Siren). I personally couldn’t give a rat’s arse if the army is roadkill as long as they give the nine Legions back their unique characteristics. Hell, I’d even be “the” Baby Seal.

However I don’t think the book will be roadkill. There was a time that CSM were GW’s biggest seller after Space Marines – and almost as big as the entirety of Warhammer Fantasy. The market is there to be tapped and hopefully the current restraining order on Thorpe continues. Let Phil Kelly write it. Hell, let Jeremy Vetock! But whatever you do make sure it has character.

Given its release date it will give an early loom at 6th Edition thinking as well.

Warhammer Armies: Vampire Counts

The first of the Big Three (Daemons, Dark Elves and VC) to get the 8th Edition treatment. These three books were the pinnacle of power creep in 7th Edition and nothing afterwards had anything like the power AND consistency to dominate podiums.

The first three 8th Edition books have seen a new balance return to the game – though Ogres have changed the meta. They appear more internally balanced as well as balanced against each other. I previously said that I believe that the major reason for this is the reduction in the number of unique Magic Items. To date the three books have gone 8-8-10. I hope the VC stay in single figures even if they are the more powerful items. My view it has been far easier to balance the books without having to factor in a multitude of specific items. It also reduces the need for multipage FAQs.

I’d like to see both zombies and skeletons get a role in the new book. Ghouls are default Core and you rarely see anything else. Other than that anything that makes the choice of optimal army a crapshoot i.e. there is no one or two netlists.

This is the first release of 2012, out in January. Rumours are that Empire and Dwarfs (Yawn) are to follow.

Warhammer 40k 6th Edition

To me there is a massive gap back to here. Most people who play 5th Edition like it. I’m sure I’d be happy to play it if my Legions were back. However the rumours are that July/August sees the new edition. So what would I like to see – other than the banning of Imperial Guard?

The first thing would be pre-measuring of everything. It has been a huge success in 8th Edition Fantasy removing 90% of all conflict. I’d hate to go back to a game where the ability to tell the difference between 11.9” and 12.1” was a defining skill.

Secondly, do something with the victory conditions so that the premise is not that “elite” troops fight to defend “core” troops. It is just wrong. Yes, make Troops important but not to the point whereby in some armies they are issued with deckchairs.

Sort out the missions and if possible give a mechanism in the book to define degree of victory. It might not be Victory Points but for those who like to keep score there should be some mechanism.

For me the first two releases are head and shoulders more important to my gaming than the third. Other people’s mileage may vary.

The Best and Worst of Games Workshop

With 2011 rapidly coming to an end I thought I’d give out my awards for the best Games Workshop models/products this year. I’m going to put Finecast models to one side as the jury is still out on whether the venture has been a success….for hobbyists.

I will split into four categories – 40k Model, Fantasy Model, Scenery and Product.

Fantasy Model

This was quite a tough choice as the general standard has been both high and even. In the end I have plumbed for the Tomb King Warsphinx. This is a beautiful model, easy to put together and a real pleasure to paint. I made one standard and another as a Warsphinx/Necrosphinx hybrid. The crew and howdah are wonderfully sculpted and the monster while static completely achieves the premise of a living statue.

Runners-up for me would be the Tomb Guard and the Ogre Kingdoms Thundertusk.

Worst model of the year from my point of view is a tie between the Hell Pit Abomination and the TK Liche Priest who looks like he has just wet himself.

40K Model

A hands-down winner for me here. I love the new Necron Ghost Ark. To me this is a fantastic looking model which when it was released I thought looked very Cyberman-y. It really captures the Necron fluff as it portrays the relentless trudge of a Necron army, once awakened.

The runner up is the Dark Eldar Venom (a beautiful and elegant model) followed by the Necron Catacomb Barge.

The worst model was an easy pick as well. The Grey Knight Dreadknight reminds me of Hagen Kerr when he strode around the streets of Ngaio with his infant son in a frontpack. When I see that fugly figure that image comes to mind. Seriously what were GW thinking? Runner up would be the GK Jokaero….awful, just awful.


Landslide winner here – Skullvane Manse. Mine arrived last week and it is a beautiful kit. There has been some moaning regarding the skulls but seriously what did people expect? It’s called SKULLvane Manse and it is set in the Warhammer World.

In terms of runners up, one other piece stands head and shoulders above the rest – Garden of Morr. I can see these flying out the door once the new VC book is released in January. For the worst scenery models, nothing was truly bad. However the Storm of Magic fulcrums were definitely a couple of notches below the Manse and Garden.


I was going to give this to Liquid Green Stuff but it will have to be satisfied with Runner Up. For me the best new product was the Hardback Warhammer Army Books that started with the first new edition book, Orcs & Goblins. This solved one of the main gripes people had with GW, pages falling out.

Worst product, again easy. The Finecast brush and mould line scraper. Really GW, really?

Now I'm sure that Jack and Charlie will have different opinions so I look forward to their blog posts on the subject (HINT)

Monday, December 19, 2011

"We'll be in Moscow by Xmas" (and Other Bold Claims)

The Games Workshop embargo of the southern hemisphere has been in place now for almost seven months and as I previously noted this has really changed my GW buying habits.

I reckon I’d be lucky to buy 40% of what I previously used to buy from the company and of that only 25% (10% of previous spend) comes from the local shop. So from what they were getting from me it looks like GW is a loser – and Maelstrom Games and Wayland Games are the big losers. I’m struggling to see it as anything but a “lose-lose” situation – manufacturer/retailer/customer.

What I was thinking about was Wayland’s boast at or about the time of the boycott that they had a workaround that would take a matter of weeks to implement. I think that we can confidently say that that was at best false hope on their part. Seven months on I think if they had a solution it would have been in place by now.

So, in effect, this is our reality - along with Australia the most expensive GW prices in the world. I am waiting with baited breath to see GW financials for the region when they come out in a couple of months – as it feels that Australia especially has taken a body blow.

Here in New Zealand we are maintaining tourney numbers but there is the constant trickle of the “disaffected” away from GW’s product to that of other companies.

I wander into GW only rarely these days, normally to pick up a new army book and magic cards. Today I ventured in and picked up the latest Horus Heresy novel and the Fantasy novel “Age of Legend”. What really struck me was the lack of blisters on the shelves (in part a function of FineCast) and the number of “Dreadfleet” boxes on show.

The next set of financials are going to be a very interesting read.

The Weekend's Hobby

Over the weekend I based all my new Tomb King models and now all I have to do is add static grass and the army is largely finished.

I do have a Hierotitan and Herald to paint but then that’s it for the Tomb Kings. I’ll try and get them done over the holiday break.

The other thing I did over the weekend was to sort out what I want in my Ogres. I managed to sell off two boxes of Mournfang Cavalry and replaced them with an order for three Forgeworld Rhinox Riders. I already have three painted so this will give me more options.

I have made up one Ironblaster and have undercoated it ready to paint. I have a second Ironblaster but this is pretty much surplus to requirements as I can’t see too many events let you run two. So if you want a cheap Ironblaster still on the sprue let me know and I’ll work out a cheap price.

A quick reckoning shows that I now have about 5000 points of Ogres so some time in 2012 I’m looking to get them all on the table in some form of mega battle.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Mournfang Cavalry Looking For Friendly Home

One for the NZ locals:

I have two brand new sealed boxes of Ogre Kingdoms Mournfang Cavalry

$120 including postage  NZ Retail $146

If interested drop me a line on

EDIT: Sold to a man from Tauranga

Venom-Spam at the Masters - Day 1

Game 1: Charlie St Clair.  Capture and Control, Quarters

In what I’m sure was an un-tampered and in no way altered draw by Phil, I wound up playing against Charlie in the first round.  Nothing like the guy going for the Masters hat trick for a challenging start!  Luckily, both of the games I’d played in the past year had been this exact match-up, my Dark Eldar against his Wolves.  Not so good was that both of them had been losses.

Charlie’s list was:

Nigel Stormcaller (not nyal!)
5 Scouts, Melta, Wolf Guard, Combi-Melta
2 x 9 Grey Hunters, Wolf Standard, Melta, Wolf Guard, Combi-Melta in Rhino
2 x 8 Grey Hunters, Wolf Standard, Melta, Wolf Guard, Combi-Melta in Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Flamer in Las/Plas Razorback
2 x 5 Long Fangs, 4 Missiles
5 Long Fangs, 4 Missiles, HB Razorback

Obviously, I’m a much better player than Charlie, so naturally I put my superior ability to use and outplayed him to win the roll for first turn :D 

I was able to force him into a quarter with a building roughly in the middle.  This meant that he could either put the Long Fangs into the building, losing most or all in the first turn, or as he did, keep them safe behind the building, but limit their line of sight and give cover to most of their shooting, both situations I was happy with.

In my first turn I was able to take out three of his tanks, and take the weapon off of a razorback, meaning the only shooting coming back at me would be the Long Fangs and a Living Lightning.  I also cleaned up the squad of Grey Hunters that had their rhino destroyed.  Charlie returned the favour by promptly rolling a perils with Nigel, and didn’t achieve much with the Long Fangs.

A nice picture just before the fun started

In the second turn, I finished off the rest of the tanks, and most of the grey hunters in this turn and the next.  Nigel rolled a 1 for the first save he was given, and died in turn 2, after adding nothing to the game.  From here it was clean-up, and getting to Charlie’s objective to kill the 5 Grey Hunters holding it.  There was a dicey moment at the end of turn 5 where the scouts were left with one model after a torrent of shooting, and he was contesting the objective which would have made it a draw if the game ended.  Luckily it didn’t, and I was able to kill all bar one Long Fang by the end of the game.

Win 20-1

Review - Battlefoam P.A.C.K. 720

For a couple of years I've been thinking about getting a Battlefoam bag for traveling with my Fantasy armies. I have the Sabol Motor Pool and Division but the first is limited in size and the second of these is always a lottery re air luggage regs. At various times I've checked out the range but haven't bit the bullet because I couldn't settle on size or new products were on the horizon.

A couple of months ago my Skaven buddy Locky picked up one of the new AIR pack bags and had it delivered to my place. When he picked it up I had a good look at it and was extremely impressed with the quality. However I decided it wasn't for me based on a few requirements I have.

With my Skaven I already have my troops on movement trays - who wants to rank up 250 models every time you take them out of the case. This means that I would like the trays to sit upright in the case even though I use rare earth magnets. Unfortunately the AIR would have them sitting at 90 degrees

The second requirement is easy and full access. My preference is for a case that zips right down so you can slide trays out rather than have to lift them out.

The final requirement was that I have no problem getting the case on planes. The general aviation rules are that you can have a combined 46" in Width + Height + Depth. The AIR is right up at that limit.

So based on seeing Locky's case and my own requirements I ordered a P.A.C.K. 720.

Friday, December 16, 2011

From Ratties to Fatties.......

On Wednesday night I had my first game with the new Ogre Book. I had to proxy my Ironblaster and sabretusks – mine are unpainted – but pretty much had the rest of the army.

The list I used was as approximately:

Slaughtermaster – Death, Greedy Fist, Armour of Destiny (Yes Jervois I am that evil)
BSB – Heavy Armour, Talisman of Preservation, Potion of Speed
Butcher – Level 2, Maw, Fencer’s Blades

9 Bulls – FC
8 Iroguts – FC, Std of Discipline
2x 3 Leadbelchers – Muso
3x 1 Sabretusks
3 Mournfang Cavalry – FC, Heavy Armour, IF
3 Maneaters – Stubborn, Scout, XHW

Played against Locky with his BT-led Daemons. The game ended with me up about 150 points. Locky picked up the Maneaters and the Ironblaster in the last turn to pull it back – I actually thought he was ahead.

However I thought I’d give some of my initial impressions:
  • Ironblaster looks an interesting variant on the war machine/monster hybrid
  • The internet rage is Death and Greedy Fist. I didn’t have Caress but after one game I can see myself swapping my Slaughtermaster to Great Maw.
  • Toothcracker is a killer spell. The ability to boost it is game-breaking especially when it can be stacked with other spells.
  • My Butcher will probably become a Firebelly. More versatile.
  • List needs Earthing Rod and scroll. 
  • Potential swap of unit of Leadbelchers for more Maneaters
Really enjoyed playing them as they are very different to the rats. How different? Well I had less models in my army than I had in a unit of Slaves last weekend.

Review of the Year in Fantasy Podcasting

Almost at the end of the year so I thought I'd give a review of the various Warhammer Fantasy Podcasts I've listened to over the course of the year.

Upfront it is important to acknowledge that these guys do this out of love rather than for financial gain. That said, most offer a "premium" service that you can sign-up for getting extra content but in reality it is really just a donation to their costs. I will generally always sign up if I regularly listen as I appreciate their efforts.

So let's see how they've gone:


The grand-daddy of the warhammer podcasts. These guys pretty much gave it away in mid-2010 (around the time 8th Edition came out). They continue spasmodically into this year with Jeff Carroll and a new co-host completing their trip to Adepticon.

The level of fantasy dwindled to pretty much non-existent and the show appears to be in hibernation. That's probably the best place for it as the hosts lost their enthusiasm for the game and the last few episodes appeared a chore.

Jeff deserves enormous credit for launching Fantasy podcasting to the masses back in 2007.

World's End Radio

Another podcast that has been going for a number of years. This year the release schedule slowed to a trickle and the focus changed more to alternative games.

I still listen but it is another one that is showing its age. I don't expect we'll see a much greater output in 2012.

Still a very prolific podcast that has its moments. This year I think that its output has suffered in comparison to previous years. The best episodes are where they go outside the three regular hosts for view on the game. In particular, I've found Bryan Carmichael brings a fresh perspective to armies and play that's not always evident from Wayne, Dan or Al.

Given that we had three new Army Books this year I probably expected more from the show than it delivered. While it's always a comfortable listen I believe it does need a refresh and I'd certainly like to hear more from Bryan and believe it would benefit from the return of Russ Veal.

Bad Dice

Still by far the most insightful of all the podcasts though it did suffer a body blow with the loss of one of the co-hosts, Ben Johnson mid-year. Ben Curry is clearly one of the top 2 or 3 players in the UK and has fresh and insightful comments on not only the game but also the tournament scene.

As noted the output is not as strong since Ben Johnson left but the show has added new regulars, Mark Wildman and Gareth Dicks. I think that it works best when Mark is there without Gareth (his partner) as there is more focus on Warhammer and less bickering between the two of them. At times it can sound like a cross between "Are You Being Served?" or "Carry On Camping".

However if you want strong wargaming analysis this is the best podcast to listen to. I hope Mr. Johnson returns soon.
The Black Sun

A new kid on the block, now up to its 15th episode. Irreverent, and at times pretty suspect, where it works is the breadth of its cast and the armies that they use. This means that there is less repetition and it is possible to get a broader perspective. Obviously the delivery might not be to everybody's taste, however I think that lurking beneath the "Jackass" showfront is some pretty good analysis of the game from a group that is progressing on the UK scene……e.g. Dom Hook's recent podium.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I'm Back! Masters Intro

I think it's about time I started posting again.  It's been an eternity since my last post, and with the Masters last weekend, what better time to start back up?

I was surprised to get a wildcard invite to the 40k competition, since I've pretty much been playing fantasy exclusively for the last year, but given the choice I think I would have picked 40k anyway.  It was a good motivator for me to get the Dark Eldar that I've been painting over the last year up to tabletop standard and out onto the table.  I figured out before the weekend that I'd played 2 games of 40k in the last 14 months, so I was going in well prepared ;)

With the event being no-comp, I decided to embrace it fully and came up with a list (during an exam no less!) that was simple, hard and in my mind good against Charlie.  It always surprises me when people wanting to be competitive take a list that is not equipped to deal with whatever Charlie brings, seeing as he's been at the top of the NZ scene for the last 2-3 years.  Especially since this was a small event, and you are going to have to beat him to win the tourney.  Of course, we could have just had a tourney to see who comes second, but would we really be competitive tournament players then?

I reckon this pic deserves a second run out

The list I used was:

Baron Sathonyx

3 Trueborn, 3 Blasters in Venom, extra SC
3 Trueborn, 3 Blasters in Venom, extra SC
3 Trueborn, 3 Blasters in Venom, extra SC

5 Warriors, Blaster in Venom, extra SC
5 Warriors, Blaster in Venom, extra SC
5 Warriors, Blaster in Venom, extra SC
5 Warriors, Blaster in Venom, extra SC
5 Warriors, Blaster in Venom, extra SC

5 Beastmasters, 9 Khymerae, 6 Razorwings

Ravager, Shock Prow

So not much subtlety really.  An excessive amount of poisoned shooting backed up by darklight weapons, and in theory, a heavy hitting combat unit in the Beasts.

Reports to follow

Sports at the Masters and Sports Scoring in General

I've just seen the full results for the Masters and it's a shame that last year's record of perfect sports in both Fantasy and 40k was not repeated this year,

Two people in 40k and one in Fantasy failed to score perfect sports over the event.

I can only speak for myself but it takes a lot for me to give out a Sports hit these days. The last one I gave out was two and a half years ago for deliberate slow play. On the weekend all my opponents received max Sports from me. In one game there was a few niggles but not enough to incur a penalty in my book.

So if you are playing at an event what does it take for you to give out a sports penalty?

Generally I'll tell someone if they are spoiling my enjoyment of the game. Typically it will be for moaning or deliberately slowing things down. I expect rules discussions because we all either have areas where we don't know, make mistakes or forget. Personally I'll ask the Umpire and in this role I prefer if the Umpire is proactive in providing guidance or a ruling. I'd never sports hit someone for questioning a rule or action but I do expect them to abide by Umpire's decision once made.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


This week has seen some notable milestones.
  • The site went through 150,000 visits
  • Today saw our 500th post; and
  • Yesterday was our biggest ever day with 1200 visits.
Thanks to you all for your support!

Skaven FAQ - Headline News

GW released an updated FAQ for the Skaven yesterday. Here are the highlights/lowlights as far as I’m concerned:

Characters in Slave Units

Q: If a character joins a unit of Skavenslaves, can you still shoot at enemy units in combat with the Skavenslave unit? (p36)

A: No.

That’s how I’ve been playing it for the last three months after it was pointed out to me. Nice to have it in black and white now. Makes the naked engineer less of a no-brainer (or alternatively makes the Skaven player think things through).

Template Versus Bell or Furnace

Q: If a template hits a Screaming Bell or Plague Furnace being ridden by a character, how is this resolved? (p42 & p48)

A: It is resolved as per the template rules in the Shooting at Ridden Monsters section on page 105 in the Warhammer rulebook.

For example: a Rock Lobber hits A Screaming Bell ridden by a Grey Seer. The central hole is over the base. As such a D6 is rolled to determine who takes the Strength 9 hit. A 4 is rolled and so the Screaming Bell takes the Strength 9 hit while the Grey Seer takes the Strength 3 hit.

In the past because Bell and Furnace are “Unique” their Army book rules for allocation of hits overruled the Rulebook. This FAQ changes this and means that the model now takes multiple hits.

Crack’s Call

Q: Is the 4D6” line from Crack’s Call a template? (p78)

A: Yes.

This is a mixed bag for Skaven. Characters will now get a “Look Out Sir” (negative) but ridden monsters will now test on every part at their own initiative rather than a single test at high character initiative (positive).

WLC and Multi-Wound Models

Q: If a shot from a Warp Lightning Cannon does not kill a Monstrous Infantry/Beast/Cavalry or Monster model does that shot stop? (p68)

A: No. All models are still hit.

This is a huge clarification that I argued based on wording, and feels good to get after the other changes Always thought this was the case but nice to have confirmation.

Plague Banner

Q. Do the Plague Monk crew on the Plague Furnace benefit from the effect of the Plague Banner? (p110)

A. Yes

Again I always thought they did. Other people had a different view.

So mixed for the Skaven. The biggest negative and positive is Crack’s Call ruling.

The Masters - Another View

Browsing the net you find other people's reports of your games. Here are three I lifted from the Masters:

Game Three – Daniel Butler (Daemons)

Yech, I didn't play well here, and by that I lost the game in the deployment phase.

This was a red flag match for me, and I would have been cheerful with a 9-11 loss, but due to a brainfart... in my head, I would march confidently into a nearby building with my flamers and herald, his HPA would be too scared to move, his WLC would misfire and kill his grey seer, and I would then Pit of Shades his Furnace till it was gone.

However, what actually happened was this. My herald would die to a hail of poisoned slingshots, my flamers turned into rats courtesy of the Dreaded 13th, and the HPA gleefully turned some fiends I had over that way into mush. The rest of my army deployed off to the far side, dug a trench and opted for trying to stop the haemorrhage,

Pete looked over at that end, decided he'd done more than enough and sat his boys down for some well earned Cheesy bites. We agreed that neither was going anywhere, called the game early, and wandered off to check out other peoples battles.

Game Five – Joe Dixon (Warriors)

Should I bother telling about the game or can we just leave it at "10-10"? Me and Pete must have gone 10-10 in our last four or so games, so we almost didn't bother playing it.

But we did.

I've always found it a really tight matchup, with my lists not anything that could stand the Furnace or HPA in combat, and the WLC is another acronym my Knights aren't pleased to see across the table. I decided to go into shooting-mode, like in the Empire game, and try and magic off the HPA and WLC. Depending on how early this happened and how many Knights had been blasted, I could then try and engage.

I rolled up first turn and my 10-wide lines of Knights shuffled awkwardly like no Knights should. Magic saw a Chain Lighting zap 2 wounds off the HPA, and kill the WLC outright. Nearby some slaves felt liberated by the removal of such an oppressive symbol, and ran off. Awesome start.

The game went on with me and Pete hurling magicks at each other, coming to a bit of a stand-off. Pete Plauged a unit of Knights down to 3 models, who decided it was time to see a doctor and "pulled back". Meanwhile, I got a huge Fireball off on his HPA and the oil-covered bait Marauder Horsemen (ooohhh... that's why they're black...) it had just eaten caught fire, obliterating it. Pete's alphabet now only had 18 letters, and I was feeling cosy for the win. But he had a plan and the gods of "10-10" were watching...

With balls of steel in the face of an Infernal Puppet with some impressive scalps, Pete unleashed a Thirteenth against the Warriors, melting half of them. And then did it again the next turn, melting the rest.

Game Six – Antony Kitson (Ogres)

Not having any real idea of how the standings were, but knowing Pete was top of the pops on day 1 and not likely to losing too many games on day 2, I knew that this was really the “danger” zone. Good stuff. Pete had beaten me pretty convincingly with his Skaven in the two (three??) other tourney encounters that we had played.

On one flank my Mornfangs killed the Cannon, and the A Bomb killed my Leadbelchers. On the other flank the Bullstar was tied up by slaves.

The decisive moment of the game occurred in the centre when Petes’ Seer failed to Teleport out of his bunker that was in charge range of the Gutstar and without anywhere to run. This lead to the loss of the Seer and an overrun charge into the Skaven BSB bunker. Having boosted the Gutstars toughness they were also pretty invulnerable to the subsequent flank charge from the furnace, which lead to the eventual loss of that too. The eventual exchange of points was heavily in my favour.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Baby Seal Reprise

So following my post regarding the 40k Masters’ lists and the variance of opinion with most participants, was I right?

Were the lists taken the fabled “Baby Seals” I labelled them? Well as far as I saw, pretty much. Certainly I don’t think that there was a level playing field. The three lists I identified – Charlie’s Space Wolves, Doug’s Grey Knights and Jack’s Dark Eldar – were the three strongest lists there.

Jack and Charlie finished 1st and 2nd respectively, having played each other in Round One. I do think Charlie’s list was probably the better all-round list but Jack’s list was optimised to fight Charlie (who he correctly identified as the best player there) and was paper to Charlie’s rock. However Jack was clearly paper to Doug’s scissors. And that’s the meta that Jack needed to play to win – beat Charlie and hope he could get a result versus Doug.

For me the other thirteen lists (with the possible exception of Hagen’s IG) were all susceptible to these three lists. Obviously it is difficult to state that conclusively as luck and player skill comes into it.

I was surprised Doug didn’t do better but I’m sure he will have learned a lot and be back stronger (in terms of experience) next time.

I also suspect that we’ll see the Baby Seal lists start to show the vestiges of Walrus tusks and 4++ blubber saves.

With No-Comp lists will get tougher. However that doesn’t mean you have to take a net-list to win. It just means you’ll have to play better to tread water though.

And a big thumbs up to Daniel Hayden for his T-shirt “Club Sandwiches Not Seals”.

Skaven at NZ Masters - Day Two

Day Two dawns wet and bloody cold…..I thought this was meant to be the Tropical North. I’ve run the numbers and I reckon that I need to score at least 34 points to be in with a chance of winning. To date I’ve dodged the two armies I don’t want to play but I know that at least one of them is going to tap me on the shoulder and introduce itself.

I arrive at the venue and am greeted by a nice surprise….

Game Four – Henry Poor (Orcs & Goblins)

I’ve never played Henry but I was happy with the Orcs & Goblin draw. The key thing for me was to get Henry’s warmachines as they were the things that could really hurt my army, read HPA, WLC and Furnace. Unfortunately for me I didn’t get them fast enough and they started taking wounds off my Furnace and WLC. While I scorched his Black Orcs, Henry pushed his wolf heroes forward. I mananaged to gas one and the second wore a brass orb to the head. However then his Wolf Chariots charged the HPA and did 11 impact hits. Henry didn’t inflict too many wounds and the big guy had his way with them.

The funniest moment of the battle was when Henry got Foot of Gork off on my Furnace unit and then continued to hit it three more times. Somehow (Henry rolled 1s to wound twice on Furnace) I survived and the unit was charged by Night Goblins and the Wyvern. The rest of the Plague Monk unit was killed off and both Wyvern and NGs were separately charged by Slaves. The Slaves saw off the NG unit but Wyvern survived.

Win 12-8

Game Five – Joe Dixon (Warriors of Chaos)

Now the last four tournament games Joe and I have played have finished 10-10. So we were both expecting a tight game. Joe’s army was awful for me as it comprised 5 units – 2x 10 Knights, 1x 25 Warriors, 2x 5 Marauder Horse plus characters. I knew it was going to be hard to get more than 150 points out of him especially as he had the Puppet. For the only time in the event I took Plague Magic plus the 13th Spell on my Seer.

Game started badly as Joe Chain-Lightninged my WLC off which caused a unit of Slaves to panic off the board. Over the next few turns we very tentatively eyed each other – my HPA getting a unit of horse before dying while his other horse went down to Magic and Shooting.
In the middle turns I tried to reduce one of Joe’s Knight units with Plague but he managed to pull them back out of range while he killed a unit of Gutter Runners. Going into my last Magic phase I worked out Joe was 447 points ahead. So having reduced his Warrior unit in Turn 5 I picked up my Magic Dice and rolled 25 for 13th Spell. Joe’s four dice were not enough and I turned them into rats. I got to yell the immortal words “TAKE THEM OFF”.

This gave me a 3VP win.

Win 10-10

While all this was happening Dan was giving Henry a 20-0 bashing which meant he had leapfrogged me into 1st Place, 8 points in front. Now I knew that Joe and he would do the dance of delicate flowers so I need a big….18+….win to take out first. However, my opponent was Antony Kitson with his Ogres. We were both on the same points.
Game Six – Antony Kitson (Ogres)

I hated this match-up. One of Skaven’s best tools is removed from the mix. However I had a plan. I was going to deploy back and let Antony come to me and then look to reduce his characters and big blocks with a mix of WLC, Crack’s Call and the Brass Orb. The game started off well. In the first turn I managed to get off Skitterleap which drew out his ‘add a die to Dispel roll” toy. Going into Turn 2 I had survived his first Ironblaster shot and then it had blown off its cannon but as in all these situations I cauld pinpoint the actual point it started going wrong. My WLC landed a Str 10 shell on his Mournfang cavalry and I failed to wound one which subsequently cost me the warmachine and opened my flank.

Antony came forward and I saw he had a charge on my Furnace and potentially my Grey Seer. I then made a decision which cost me any chance of the game. I got greedy. I needed to get off Skitterleap – option Seer or Brass Orb Engineer – and instead of throwing six dice at it I threw three dice at Crack’s Call first. Antony let it go – lost one out of three Ogre Bulls and BSB – and held three dice against my three dice. He stopped the Skitterleap and that was the game. The brass orb engineer would have thrown his orb and diverted off the Iron guts while all my units hit the Bulls.

Twice in the last two years I’ve lost 20-0 and both times they were when I didn’t throw six dice at Skitterleap. To be fair it still needed to go off with IF as Ant was holding a scroll. From there I played catch-up and though I forced some flees etc Antony rallied three units on 7 and one on 4 to rub salt into the wound.
Loss 0-20

Wrap Up

So I had a shot at glory and I blew it. Henceforth I’ll be known as the stepladder that Antony climbed to Masters’ glory. The maximum win was enough for him to leapfrog Dan for 1st Place. I felt that Antony really deserved the win in our game because he got up in my grill. I had a plan but I couldn’t execute it and he took full advantage. Well done to him and to both Dan and Joe who finished 2nd and 3rd. Fourth Place was Mal.

So I mightn’t be a Master but if you scroll down you’ll see I can pick them. My three picks for podium finished 1st, 2nd and 4th. Back to the Commentary Box for me.

An excellent event. I had six enjoyable games against strong opponents. Seriously what more can you ask for?

Skaven at NZ Masters - Day One

So I was lucky to get a wildcard to the 5th NZ Masters over the weekend. I’m not a big fan of wildcards but the words “gift horse” and “mouth” sprung to mind and I had had to forgo the first two Masters as I was umpiring, so……

I took a small but aggressive Skaven list as my intention from the outset was to win the event – having finished second last year – and I have the view at the Masters that 1st is everything!

It was a good weekend to catch up with Jack and also a lot of the friends I’ve made through the years in the hobby. However I did my best in the weeks leading up to the event to alienate most of the 40k gamers by declaring their lists “Baby Seals” who would spend the weekend being clubbed by the Orcas – specifically Jack, Charlie and Doug.

Hagen and I travelled up on the Friday night and were bright and bushy on Saturday morning. Reviewing the lists prior to the event I flagged two lists I’d have trouble winning against – Joe’s WoC and Antony’s Ogres. However I had a plan for each.

Game 1 – Basil Moskovis (Vampires)

Basil had the standard VC list with big Ghoul blocks and VC-led Grave Guard with Drakenhoff. I knew that 12/13 points was the most I could expect from this game and so set out with that target. My rats danced around, fled when they needed and pulled all sorts of ratty tricks. I managed to isolate and destroy two ghoul bunkers, a black coach, cairn wraith and corpse cart. Against that I lost a unit of slaves and a unit of gutter runners.

Win 12-8

Game 2 – James Page (Dark Elves)

James was very confident going into this game but likewise I have fought Dark Elves a lot with Skaven and view it as a good matchup for me. With the first shot of the game my WLC hit the Hydra and killed it. From there the result was heavily influenced by James failing a Leadership 10 test with a re-roll but I’ll contend that he put himself in such a position by giving me a Doomrocket shot that gave a target area of 12” – he turned horde formation corsairs flank on and had them anchored on his spearmen. Very juicy.

Once I was a few points up I initially maintained distance working over the Executioners with Scorch and Warp Lightning. James failed a 16” charge and a 14” charge which meant by the time they got to my lines they were severely depleted. I lost a unit of Gutter Runners while he had his archers, cauldron and a unit of Shades left.

Win 20-0

Game 3 - Dan Butler (Daemons)

Dan is a member of next year’s NZ ETC team and has been this year’s “Bright Young Thing”. He had a very strong list headed by a Bloodthirster backed up by usual suspects.

This game was won at deployment. A lot of people say that but here it really was true. I had the view going in that Dan would be happy with a 10-10 so I knew I had to throw out a tasty morsel. Enter Strategy “Tethered Goat”.

Early in the deployment phase I realised that Dan might bunker down so I deployed the Hell Pit Abomination away from his army to see if I could draw out his Flamers (which for me are a key target). And Dan bit! Down went the Flamers opposite and from there he effectively split his army with one flank having the flamers, three fiends, a unit of furies and the Tzeentch Herald. He also made a mistake by deploying his Nurglings rather than scouting which gave me the +1 to first turn roll.

Knowing I had +1 to go first, I scouted with my two units of Gutter Runners 12” from the Furies and the Herald. In my first turn I killed all but one Fury and the Herald. In the second the Flamers became rats and the HPA landed an inch from the Fiends. They were forced to charge and were wiped out in two rounds.

Dan pulled his army back while I didn’t fancy the chances of running across to fight him piecemeal. We totalled up the points and it was a good win to me.

Win 14-6

Day One Wrap

At the end of the day I had three wins and was on top of the table with 46/60 BPs. I was happy with the way I was travelling and felt I was playing well. However I hadn’t played either of the armies I feared.

FAQs for Ogres, Skaven and Tomb Kings

Big day for FAQs from GW.

They released the initial Ogre Kingdoms FAQ and then superseded it an hour later. In the amended version Jervois Johnson says that you can take armour on OK Mages but it is not in the spirit of his intentions!!!!!!

Seriously WTF does that mean!!!! What a pathetic answer.

As far as I'm concerned that means that you play by the rules - yes to magic armour - not some weasel words that portray a  lack of decision-making. How hard is it? Really?

Lot's of changes in the Skaven FAQ. I'll go through them later but you can read them here

5th Annual New Zealand Masters - December 2012

This is the heads-up for the 5th Annual New Zealand Masters to be held in Wellington. The tentative date is the first weekend in December 2012. I am waiting to hear back regarding the hall. If that date is not possible then it will likely be the week before (last weekend in November).

Here is the proposed format for the event:

Competitions – Flames of War, Warhammer 40k and Warhammer Fantasy

Competitors – 12 people maximum per competition

Umpires - TBA

Rounds – Six

The selection process will be as follows:

Automatic NZ Masters Champion Entry – 2011 Masters’ winners

Automatic Geographical Entry – Top two ranked 2012 South Island Flames of War players (as per RHQ)

The subsequent 11 (9 for Flames of War) places will go to the top ranked players in each system as per RankingsHQ after all tournaments to 31 October 2012 are entered. Selection will go down to and include the player ranked 20th in each system UNTIL the twelve places are filled. If the places are not filled but there is an even number then the event will run with at the reduced size. If there is an odd number the organiser will select a player to make the field an even number – this is likely to be the next ranked player but it is at the organiser’s discretion.

Therefore if you want to compete at the NZ Masters you should strive to attend enough tournaments to qualify in the Top 11 ranking places for each system (Top 9 for FoW if no South Island players in Top 9). There is a chance you will still qualify if you are ranked 12-20 put that will depend on dropouts.

I have set out this process upfront to provide clarity to tournament goers. Having clear criteria means that everybody knows what they have to do to achieve selection. Hopefully it will encourage tournament attendance as players strive to qualify.

This should in no way be perceived as a criticism of this year’s attendance list. Different TOs do things differently and that is their prerogative. This is my methodology after some discussion with the community. It might not be everybody’s preference but the criteria are there twelve months out from the event and are clear to all.

As I have previously flagged, the Sixth Annual New Zealand Masters will be held in December 2013 in the northern part of the North Island. I’d suggest interested parties from the clubs and gaming groups start talking to one another to who is looking to put their hand up to run the event. If there is more than one candidate then a mechanism will be put in place to resolve any impasse.

Finally I would like to give a big thank you to Phil Wu and all his helpers over the weekend. When I started the NZ Masters the intention was that it be an end of year celebration of tournament wargaming in New Zealand. Phil and his team did a fantastic job in furthering that aim. Thanks again.

Happy to answer any questions.