Friday, March 30, 2012

Bits & Bobs

Over the weekend I’ve got a few things on before next week’s NatCon in Hamilton. I have a game one afternoon versus Dark elves trying out the NatCon list again. Unfortunately I’ve hat to cancel a game on Saturday morning due to domestic concerns – leaky pipe in the garden.

The other thing I am hoping to do is to make start on two new pieces of GW terrain – Fortified Manor and the Fortress of Redemption. I’m going to try my airbrush on these as I figure that given the size it will let me develop the necessary skills and techniques on larger items before I venture onto figures.

As far as upcoming events go both The Horned Rat/Gobbo and Fields of Blood are starting to fill. There are still tickets available so contact me if you are interested. I’ve signed up to play NiCon Fantasy and Jack and Charlie (and now Tom) are playing in the 40k event.

There are a number of upcoming events that I’d like to give a shout out to. The Wandering Orc – No holds barred Fantasy – is on in Tauranga on the weekend 19/20 May and the aforementioned NiCon is being run by the City Guard in Auckland on the English Queen’s Birthday Weekend. Current NZ Master Antony Kitson is umpiring the Fantasy event and Doug Sainsbury is running 40k. Details on all of them can be found on the City Guard Forum including the mission pack for 40k. Check under “Events”.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Impressions of 2000 Points after 18 Months of 2400 Points

Last night Mike and I tried out our lists for NatCon. As previously mentioned NatCon is 2000 points and the reduction from the normal 2400 points was a real eyeopenner.

The key thing I took from the game is that units are less expendable than under 2400 points. Losing one really opens up a hole in your lines. The potential impact makes magic missiles, in particular, more viable as units are either smaller or more important.

The next thing I noticed is that your characters aren’t quite as formidable because you need the points elsewhere – typically to try and maintain the required size of units. Mike had to make choices around his Slaan while I ran only 4 characters whereas my Skaven at 2400 points would generally have six.

It also gave me an insight into my Lore choice. I suspect that I’ll be switching between Ruin and Plague a lot more than I necessarily would at 2400 points.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

NatCon Numbers

I contacted the Registrar the other day and he indicated that Natcon Warhammer Fantasy has fourteen players including the Umpire. On that basis, eight games mean that players will end up playing over half the field.

It is unlikely there will be any late entries as I understand that registration since mid March has been $100. While I appreciate that late entries can be a pain I can’t see this building the field….and surely for NatCon you want the biggest field possible especially when space at the venue is not a limiting consideration.

One of the key attractions of out of town events is that you get to play people you otherwise wouldn’t and a bigger field enhances this. Disappointing that more aren’t going as it is the only three dayer on the calendar.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Empire Range Pictures

From Warseer, what April holds for The Empire:

Warhammer: The Empire (Army Book)

 Karl Franz, on Deathclaw - plastic

 Empire Celestial Hurricanum / Luminark of Hysh - plastic kit

Empire Demigryph Knights - plastic

Volkmar the Grim on The War Altar of Sigmar - plastic
 Empire Witch Hunter - Finecast, Markus Wolfhart - Finecast, Empire Amber Battle Wizard - Finecast, Empire Warrior Priest - Finecast

Captain of the Empire - plastic

Empire Master Engineer - plastic

Here's the "teaser" GW have produced:

It gives a date of 31 March.

Event Promotion

One of the things I always try to do is promote any local tournaments that I am running through the local wargaming stores. I see this as symbiotic in that it provides information for the shops' customers - and may generate some further sales - and gives events potential new participants. over the pas few years this has work quite well, I thought from both viewpoints.

I will create a full colour poster for each event - usually A4 - and take it into the shop and ask if I can display it. Just recently I did this for the upcoming Horned Rat V (Fantasy) and Fields of Blood (40k).

Over the weekend I dropped into the local Games Workshop Hobby Centre and saw that the two posters that I had had printed and had put on their noticeboard a fortnight ago were no longer there. Curious I sent the shop an email and got the following response:

 Due to the new layout of the store and the increased shelving area we have had to adjust the space left and prioritise any additional display material accordingly.

We currently have no room to put up event posters or club information in store but as always, are more than happy to direct customers interested to appropriate activity and venues to take part in the greater hobby experience. The first point of contact for this information is the White Dwarf magazine and the Community and Events section of the Main Games Workshop website.

I would suggest getting in contact with the White Dwarf or webservice team and getting the events advertised in both of these locations, as they will have a much wider coverage than just the store.

I thought other NZ TOs might be interested in the change of priorities and the need to to plan further in advance to get details into White Dwarf or up on the GW website. I'm a little bit surprised with the change but understand that they have to prioritise their resource. I had thought that displaying events was a win-win as not only did it potentially generate sales but it also demonstrated to customers that there was a wider community.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Undead Will Rise Again, Again.

Thanks to the efforts of UK exile Dave Meachen a box of plastic turned up at my place yesterday afternoon. All nicely removed from the sprue and in bags.

This is the expansion of my Vampire Counts army - used throughout 2009 - and includes:
  • Tomb Banshee
  • Cairn Wraith
  • Master Necromancer
  • Wight King
  • Mortis Engine/Coven Throne
  • 3 Boxes of Black Knights/Hexwraiths
  • Box of Crypt Horrors/Varghiests
  • Terrorghiest/Zombie Dragon
I ordered when the book was released and in hindsight suspect a single box of Crypt Horrors/Vargiests is unworkable. They will therefore likely find a role as unit fillers unless I can source others more cheaply - $108 per box locally is a joke.

In addition to this I have ordered 90 Mantic Zombies to complement the list.

Wraith Alternatives

Keen to start a Necron army?

Gutted that you can't buy wraiths at all, because the metal ones are waiting to get either made into finecast or a new plastic kit, leaving no alternative in the mean time?

A little bit skint, and not particularly good at converting?

Those lads over at Puppetswar have bailed you out again, aieeeee!

For 28nz you can get 3 of these bad boys, so generally for an army at most you're going to need to spend somewhere up to 112nz for 12 wraiths!

Introducing the "Cyber Arthropod Squad".


On Sunday I wandered into Games Workshop to pick up one of the new colour charts they had advertised.

For those unaware, GW have relaunched their paint range. In the throes they have expanded it to 145 different paint products ranging from base (Foundation), layer (normal), shade (wash), glaze (glaze), dry (drybrush) and textured (like their old roughcoat). As part of this process all the existing colours have been renamed and new colours established with GW name-centric monikers. The reason for this is so that the range is covered under their copyright of IP so other companies will find it difficult to create a parallel range. You may be aware that Vallejo’s Game Colour range is a copy of GW’s with colours like Bloody Red (Blood Red) and Sick Green (Snot Green).

You can’t blame GW for wanting to protect their IP. I use Vallejo’s Game Colour by preference as I prefer the dropper bottle containers over GW. I’m sure I’m not the only one so I understand the driver.

What never ceases to amaze me is the fact that ‘Haters got to hate”. Both local forums and overseas boards have people who see this expanded paint range as a bad thing. You have the guys who bought a pot 10 years ago who believe that GW has a lifelong obligation to continue to provide that shade. You have the guys who have mixed their own colours complaining that it will be difficult to get a colour match. You even have people moaning that it disadvantages the colourblind by changing the colour names.

The Conversion Chart GW Have Produced To Quell The Hate

Well guess what? I think it’s great we have new colours. A white foundation paint – fantastic! More browns – wonderful! Greater selection of washes – excellent!

Seriously in a world where there is a lot to bitch about, this really isn’t a target.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

New Empire Definitely Next!

From Beasts of War:

That’s right guys, all you WHFB Empire players will be stoked to know that the next army update will belong to you!
The next White Dwarf has a new Karl Franz model and a Empire Wizard mounted on a two-headed griffon.
There’s a War Altar and new knightly orders too… does that make you go weak at the knees?
What do you think?
UPDATE: We’re hearing that an Glass Lens Weapon (Ala Archimedes) is on the cards as well. – If so will this include some kind of clear perspex component like in the Necron kits
Pictures as they come available

Friday, March 23, 2012

Terrain & Natcon List

No games planned for this weekend. However no play makes Pete a dull(er) boy.

Over the week I have finished my Skullvane Manse and also one of Tabletop World’s Town Houses. These need to be based and fenced giving me two further pieces of terrain for my table. I’ll try to get some pictures up over the weekend.

I also have a range of other terrain pieces I’d like to assemble paint and base in time for Horned Rat V. These include two more Tabletop World houses, GW’s Gated Mansion, the GW Tower and a couple of Gardens of Morr (to use as impassable terrain). I’ve got about five weeks so I should be able to knock most of it on the head.

The next event is two weeks away – NatCon. This is 2000 points with moderately heavy comp. Army lists are due in today it will be interesting to put together a smaller list, with 2400 points having been the norm over the past eighteen months. I personally like 2000 points as I believe that it makes you make hard choices around troop selection. It generally takes out the dual Lord choices – especially 2x Level 4 – and the majority of the points you have to give up come out of Special/Rare/Characters. Suddenly your characters aren’t as well protected, your Special choices aren’t as big and you probably have to surrender one of your Rares. The other constraints we are dealing under are no triple Special choices or double Rares. As somebody who likes a simple plan with built-in redundancy these constraints certainly impact my build. However I think that they are good “checks” on army power.

Army Performance at Equinox

One of the things I like to do after an event is to see how certain armies performed. When we had the mammoth events in Australia 2-3 years ago you used to have a strong dataset which tended to isolate the impact of player skill (more than with a smaller event).

For NZ this has always been fraught with difficulty as our events lack the size required to draw too many conclusions. Equinox over the weekend gave us 43 participants. Of that set nine armies were used by three of more participants. Average Battle Points were 60/120 - given 20 points on offer for each game.

Here is how the different armies performed (average battle points):

Four armies scored above the average, and five below. What is instantly recognisable is the "poor" performance of the Vampire Counts and the Orcs & Goblins who both scored a long way from the average.

Now there can be all sorts of reasons for this. I'm sure Jack could tell me whether the results were statistically significant - I suspect the small dataset says no. However, these things could be down to luck, the draw, player skill or that the Vampires and O&G were disadvantaged by the comp system.

What is interesting is that normally a new book gets a boost at its first few events as opponents have less familiarity with the book. I know at Equinox Basil Moskovis was in the Top 4 at the end of Day One but had a horror Day Two.

The O&G result just looks awful.

I expected Empire to do well but the Bret (3 players) and Tomb Kings (4 players) results are more of a surprise. From the names I know that all three Bret players have experience with their armies - John Willenbruch winning the recent OTT. Two of the Tomb Kings finished in the Top 5 and both are in the top echelon of the rankings. What is particularly interesting is Tim Joss and Peter williamson took extemely different builds - this bodes well for TK longevity.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Equinox Warhammer Results

Here are the results for the Equinox Fantasy tournament played over the weekend. The final results haven't been sent out to players yet so I've reformatted a cut and paste from the City Guard forum. This didn't include the armies so I have filled them in where I have been able.

Edit: Final results now available

All participants scored maximum sports (a fantastic result). Tiebreakers are first Painting points and then most Sporting Opponent votes.

Some observations:
  • Seven different armies in the Top 10.
  • Non-Aucklanders fill 9 of the Top 10 - only Rob Sadler stopping the rout
  • Only 2 Battle Points split 3rd to 7th Place - very very tight
  • Only one Ogre in the Top 20!
  • Four of the five Empire armies in the Top 20
  • Two Khemri armies in the Top 5 - both very different builds (one with two SSC, one without any)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Equinox Ogre List

I was asked the other day to post the list I used at Equinox.

It is my take on what is a reasonably standard build you’ll see playing in most countries. I’ve tweaked certain parts to reflect my playstyle.


Slaughtermaster – Level 4, Lore of Great Maw, Fencer’s Blades, Glittering Scales, Dispel Scroll, Opal Amulet (388)


Bruiser – BSB, Sword of Striking, Enchanted Shield (154)
Firebelly – Dragonbane Gem, XHW, Ironcurse Icon (132)


8 Bulls – Full Command (291)
8 Ironguts – Full Command, Standard of Discipline (394)


2 Mournfang Cavalry – Ironfist, Heavy Armour (140)
2 Mournfang Cavalry – Ironfist, Heavy Armour (140)
2 Mournfang Cavalry – Ironfist, Heavy Armour (140)
Sabretusk (23)
Sabretusk (23)
Sabretusk (23)
4 Maneaters – 3x XHW, 1x Great Weapon, Scout, Immune to Psychology


Ironblaster (170)
Ironblaster (170)

I sure others can come up with better and more efficient builds but after 30+ games I’ve found this is what works for me.

The Equinox Experience - 40k

As you can see from the previous post, Dunn Senior put up a post on the Equinox experience as a whole from the fantasy perspective, and I thought I would do one similar for 40k.

Here's my runthrough of observations.

What Worked:

Attendance - This was the third Equinox 40k event. The initial one had 27, the second sold out at 40, the third sold out at 40, however only 36 people seemed to have shown up.

Terrain - For the most part, terrain was adequate, which is more than you can usually say for any tournament ever. In half my games I was able to solidly block line of sight to my crucual units, meaning that not only was there enough terrain, but that it was suitable for 5th edition as well. So often terrain was never adapted from the abstract of 4th, and left LOS wide open, but that was less so here.
That being said, there were a couple of tables that seemed far more open, but these were by far the minority.

Table Numbers - I felt obliged to put this here purely because it was in Pete's 'what didn't work'... we had table numbers and they performed the required job perfectly adequately.

Primary Missions - While it would have been nice to have one or two primary kill-point missions, the primary missions in the pack were sufficiently different from the boring rulebook same ole hash to keep things interesting, while not going crazy or whacky and thus being random. They allowed for good solid competition and a way of determining the better in each game, which is what TO's should generally be aiming for.

Location - as mentioned by Pete, that side of town seems fairly optimal for the majority of participants.

Players Pack - for 40k, I was satisfied with the completeness of the pack, and the timing.

Weighting and Judging - Listen. Do you hear that? No? Neither do I. That is the sweet sweet sound of no one bitching. 108 games of 40k took place last weekend. In those 108 games, only 1 had a sports hit. The average painting mark was 37.39/40 - 38 was full marks for painting and another 2 marks on top of that for a display tray, so people I imagine are fairly happy there too. The impact this had was that it was almost entirely a battle point tournament, that happened to encourage people to make sure their models were painted and that noone threw their toys. That's a win in my book.

What could be improved:

Out of Towners - this is not for the event organisers to improve. This is for the community. TRAVEL TO EVENTS YOU LAZY BASTARDS :P! Unlike fantasy, the total number of out of towners was very, very low. While this is fantastic that Auckland has such a large and healthy 40k community, it would be fantastic to see more people coming from out of town.
If Haydn Korach can show up with 1 hours sleep, literally less than 6 hours after someone has made a literal attempt on his life, you can drag your latte sipping butt up the day before ;)!

Venue - While Pete thought it was fantastic, I feel that you are now reaching such a level of success with attendance that you are limiting yourself by the relatively low maximum cap of 40 per event. I am of course assuming you are striving to make the event bigger, better, and more prestigious in the future. Otherwise the venue itself was actually nice, even if I did destroy a toilet cubical both mornings.

Waiting List - With the event capped at 40, but only 36 showing up, it would have been great to have a list people could join to show up at late notice. I can think of a couple of people at least that were available and keen for that weekend, but their status was too unknown to commit early enough before sell out. The person I stayed with that weekend actively sacrificed his own attendence so his friend who wouldn't have been able to play otherwise could attend, so its always a little bit sad when you see that actually, they both could have played no problems.

Secondary Missions - This is an area we're all still looking at trying to improve, and I'm not sure any of us have it right. In this case however, the secondarys tended to be a bit too hand in hand with the primary, and the tale of "I either 20-0'd or got 20-0'd" seemed to be all too familiar over the weekend. You never want it to be counter intuitive so that it's almost impossible to 20-0, but ultimately what you strive for in your results is some sort of gradient between 10 and 20 for a win depending on how close the game was.

Round Draws - the same goes here as Petes feedback, something minor but from experience actually makes the life of the TO a lot easier.

Terrain - I mentioned that the terrain for the most part, was functional and great from a game perspective. Some of it needs a little love though, and is looking a bit tired. That being said, some of it is the same terrain that looked tired 5+ years ago when I eeked out a draw against Jack Dunn, so my expectations are low :D

All up, it's a pretty positive report card and hopefully I've not caused much offence for the first time in my life.

- Charlie

The Equinox Experience

As you are aware I attended Equinox over the weekend, playing in the Fantasy tournament. Given my activities as a Tournament Organiser, I’m always curious to see how others approach things and decide what I think worked and what I think could be improved.

So here’s my runthrough of observations.

What Worked:

 Attendance – the event attracted the largest field for a Fantasy tournament under 8th Edition. That it sold out three months in advance demonstrated that there was pent up demand for the tournament, which has to be a vote of confidence in the organisers.

 Out of Towners – the event attracted a lot of people from outside Auckland. This has to be good for the overall tournament scene as it means new opponents, exposure to new ideas etc. It also fosters the community aspect of wargaming which I think is important.

 Venue – I thought the venue was excellent. It was probably near capacity so that gives organisers a guide for next time. There were plenty of food outlets close by for people to source whatever they needed.

 Location – connected to the venue obviously but critical. Having the tournament on this side of town made it far better for travellers. This is in terms of both cost (e.g. taxis) and time. I was able to find a local motel that provided very comfortable accommodation for $50 per night per person.

 Terrain – I thought that there was plenty of terrain and that it was of good quality. In the past the City Guard events have had little terrain cards you could turn over for mysterious terrain. It would be great to see them back as it is an idea we have pinched locally.

 Local Players - what a great bunch of gamers and wonderful hosts. Friendly and helpful.

What Could Be Improved:

 Players Pack – This really needed to be out much earlier. There was a lot of angst around the composition system which “appeared” to be changing after registration was full. Personally believe the Players Pack needs to be out at or around the time registration opens so there are no misunderstandings/misconceptions.

 Table Numbers – the tables need to be numbered. Letting people choose tables was fraught with “fail”. Take that decision out of players hands by assigning tables – and help players by numbering them.

 Round Draws – these were a bit chaotic. I think a far better process – especially with large numbers – is to print off two copies of the draw and put them on the wall. Overlord allows this and has the benefit of posting players battle points on draw so they can identify any errors.

 Prizes – If you are going to have prizes – and I personally prefer trophies – then you should structure the allocation of those prizes. I don’t play for prizes but I suspect some other people finishing 1st Overall would be a little disgruntled to get a set of Magic Dice and a bag of wound counters while others walked away with “better” prizes. As I said I prefer trophies as it takes the value of prizes out of it.

 Results – These need to be posted within 24 hours. This is when there is most interest in the event and people are keen to see how they’ve done. It is also great publicity for the event as it continues the buzz. I know TOs are whacked at this time but 30 minutes spent here is really appreciated by the participant

I thought the event was good and appreciate the efforts of the TO, Phil Wu and his helpers. I think it is good to give considered constructive feedback. Hopefully others will add to this thread – in the same vein – and it would be great if Charlie and Jack provided their observations of the 40k event.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

All in a hard days work...

So several weeks ago I managed to win Over The Top, and for my efforts I managed to pick up a Skullvane Manse which I was most impressed with.

I decided to not spend too long painting it up however, and put my airbrush to hard work.

All up, I estimate it took somewhere between 7 and 8 hours, I am quite pleased with how it turned out. I'd like to make an interesting base for it, but will do all my terrain at once to ensure a consistent look.

Each image can be clicked to be made bigger.

Ogres at Equinox (Part 3)

Game 5 – Ross Hillier-Jones (Warriors of Chaos) – Meeting Engagement

Ross’s army was on paper a horrible matchup for me. He had 2 Tzeentch Warriors, 10 Chaos Knights, characters (one sorcerer with Death) and two Shrines. It is extremely hard to get points out of and with two shrines the Knights have a strong likelihood of being invulnerable.

I set up a little back and to my surprise Ross set up even further back. Unfortunately for me my Firebelly dimensionally cascaded killing half the Ironguts. I took some shots at the shrines but didn’t kill them.

Ross decided he was happy with a small win and pulled back further. My option was to ping away with the Ironblasters but as the shrines retreated this became more dangerous if Ross decided to take a last turn character charge (two on disks). I decided not to risk the ironblasters and took a 180 point loss.

Loss 9-11

This left me still in the event 3 points behind Ross but 5 ahead of Tim.

Game 6 – Thomas van Roekel (Dwarfs) – Random Mission

Thomas is Dwarf player on the NZ ETC team and recently placed top 6 at Runefang. I fancied the matchup given I had more mobility than him and felt his army wasn’t matched well against my Ogres.

His list was big Hammerers, minimal Hammerers, 2x largish Quarrellers, minimal Miners, 2 Grudgethrowers, Cannon, Organ Gun plus Rune Lord, Dwarf Lord, 2 Slayers, BSB and Engineer.

Thomas offered to play Battleline but I politely declined thinking that in pretty much all the scenarios I had some advantage due to mobility (Watchtower/King of the Hill possibly excepted). In the end, Thomas rolled and we got what I hoped – Dawn Attack. My Ogres deploy well in this scenario (you have a 1 in 18 chance of having your Bulls and Guts on opposite flanks. The mobility of the rest of the list allows you to cover any other disparities.

Thomas also got good rolls but was banking on get at least one “2” to allow him to close the door on his warmachines. He didn’t get it and as a result I was able to scout my Maneaters into a threatening position. From the outset I was able to apply pressure on Thomas’ line and coupled with some good shooting and surviving a hit from a Grudgethrower on an Ironblaster by Turn 2 I was well on top. When I managed to bring in supporting charges from an Ironblaster and a second Mournfang unit on Quarrellers it was looking really bad for Thomas. This was compounded when his lord failed a LOS to an Ironblaster shot and died (taking with him the Master Rune of Challenge).

In the last 2-3 turns I pulled back to preserve points knowing I had a solid win. This strategy reflected my summation of the Ross-Tim game going on on the next table where Tim was clearly on top. When we totalled the points I had a 17-3.

Thomas had an uphill fight in this one and I felt that by compounding pressure I was always going to have the upper hand.

Win 17-3

Wrap Up

In terms of battle I finished with 5 wins and a loss. I was very happy that I had scored a total of 87 points which was enough to put me six points clear of Ross. So unless my opponents had had real problems with my Sports I felt I was in a good position to take out 1st Place. When the trophies were presented I was very happy to take the trophy home.

(or rather leave it in Auckland with Jack)

Ross finished 2nd in Battle on 81pts, four points ahead of Tim. I haven’t seen the rest of the results but suspect that Peter Williamson (Tomb Kings) and Raymond Dick were only a point or two adrift of Tim.

I had six very good opponents and enjoyed the games immensely. Having been pipped by two points for 1st at the only other Equinox I’ve attended, it was nice to go one better.

Ogres at Equinox (Part 2)

Jack and I headed out on Saturday night and had a fantastic Thai meal at "tusk" in Balmoral. best Pad Thai that I've ever had and I have a bit of a penchant for that dish.

When Neil and Peter Williamson got back from their fourth game of the day - a Team Challenge - they told us that it was an 8.00am start on Sunday. Yuck.

Game 4 - Tim Joss (Tomb Kings) - King of the Hill

I was a little surprised to see myself sitting equal 1st on 48 points going into Day 2. I put this down to the difficulty in getting very big wins due to the BP graduation.

Joint leader was Tim Joss with Tomb Kings. I knew he had blown away Mike King's Lizards with shooting on Day One. When I saw his list I realised why. He had 4 units of 10 archers, 2 units of 20 archers, a 40 man horde of Tomb Guard, 3 Necropolis Knights, 2 Sphinx, 2 SSC, Casket of Souls, 5 Horsemen, a Hierophant and Tomb Priest.

This was a very hard fought game. Tim went first and got off a 6 dice casket which I decided to let through. It destroyed a unit of Mournfang and then bounced twice doing nothing more. I hadn't realised it bounced but would have still let it through as I was keeping all my dice (and scroll) for stopping Smiting. With 85 shoots it was impossible to let that go off. Tim also destroyed an Ironblaster with the first SSC shot. Oh dear!

Over the next few turns I worked away at Tim's flanks killing his Horsemen with Sabretusks and a unit of bow with Maneaters. My remaining Ironblaster put two wounds on one Sphinx. Tim then had a charge on my Maneaters which was pretty importantant. He needed to roll "8" to get in but didn't get it and therefore had to pull archers back. In my next turn I charged the Maneaters into the Sphinx and mournfang into the flank of 10 archers which they blew away. They then had an overrun path into the flank of the Sphinx and rolled the required "5". Unfortunately for me this took them 1/2" out of both General and BSB range and they failed their Fear Test. I won the combat but Tim only lost one wound.

Tim failed a charge on Mournfang with his Knights - I fancied the matchup having fought it the day before - and this let me start to get into his centre with Sabretusks and the unit of Mournfang. I deliberately left a unit of archers in front of his Tomb Guard block alone as they were blocking their advance. The Sphinx went down and the Maneater retreated to the far board edge to protect his points. Later in the game Tim shot his SSC at it to get the remaining wound (and 217 points) and unluckily blew up the warmachine.

My Ironblaster destroyed the other Sphinx and then Tim tried a very very long charge with his Knights, again failing. Again I fancied this matchup. I knew that the Ironblaster was likely to survive - 5 wounds at To 6 - and I could then get something into the flank of the Knights. I pulled the Sphinx-beating Mournfang across and hear I made a critical mistake.

It gave the blocking archers a suicide charge into the flank of the Mournfang, freeing the path of the Tomb Guard into the Ogre Bulls. Again I thought I would survive this fight but I ended up losing by three. I failed both Ld 6 tests and ran. However the pursuit path was blocked by my Ironguts and the bulls got away and rallied.

I received the 400 Bonus Points for the hill and was 330-odd points in front on kills. This gave me a 13-7.

Win 13-7

On Table 2, Bail Moskovis' Vampires went down to Ross Hillier-Jones Warriors setting up a match versus Chaos in Round 5.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Ogres at Equinox (Part 1)

So back from Equinox and 6 games with the Ogres.

I flew up with Mike, Ray and Charlie on Friday evening and then caught up with Jack and the Williamsons. Thanks very much to Doug Sainsbury for dropping me at the motel. Much appreciated.

Bright an early on Saturday we arrived at the hall where not only was there Fantasy but also 40k, Warmachine and Flames of War. Nice to see so many of the Auckland gamers. As I was setting up my army on trays ex- 40ker, ex-Fantasy, now Warma-horders Dave Stent wandered past. I had to check and I can confirm that judging by his reaction, Dave does indeed "have a pair".

Game 1 - John Matthews (Empire) Battleline

John had a very small Empire army - that is the case when you take 6 characters - with a 20 something Flaggie block, 22 Crossbowmen, 10 Knights, Stank, 2 Cannons.

My Ironblaster destroyed the War Alter first shot of the game but Arch Lector jumped into crossbows where Level 4 and Level 2 were bunkered. My Maneaters threatened his warmachines having scouted forward. This forced the Flaggies to redeploy.

John pushed his Knights with Warrior Priest and BSB to threaten my Mournfangs. This proved critical. On the second turn I fireballed John's bunker and inflicted 7 wounds. This caused a failed Panic Test and the crossbow and three characters (Arch Lector, Level 4 and Level 2) fled off the board. The knights moving forward early robbed the bunker of its reroll.

From there it was a case of mopping up points. I decided the knights were too tough a nut to crack so left them to their own devices. They moved forward into my far corner where I would have to approach them with a reduced frontage. I lost an Ironblaster to a misfire as well as two of my sabretusks for a 17-3.

Win 17-3

 My reward for seeing off John was to be drawn against Raymond Dick's Beastmen army and the first sighting of what appeared to be a re-emergence of Death Magic.

Game 2 - Raymond Dick (Beastmen) - Blood & Glory

The story of this game was my re-acquaintance with that darling of early 8th Edition, the Lore of death. Largely forgotten for 18 months it was out in force on the tables I played at Equinox. 

In this game Raymond had a Level 3 Shadow, Level 1 Death and Level 1 Beasts all backed by the Herdstone. He also ran lots of chaff units (5 man Raiders, Harpies), 2 Chariots, 2 Razagor, 3 Minotaurs with Doombull, a biggish Bestigor unit and a larger Gor unit.

Early on Ray got off a Purple Sun that ran through my Ironguts and an Ironblaster killing all but two of the Ironguts. Thankfully the Gnobblar driver saw it coming! From there I decided it would be hard to fight his blocks so worked over his chaff units getting Razagor, harpies, a chariot and a couple of Raiders (in part due to some poor rolling on Ray's part. I withdrew the Ironguts to the rear board edge knowing that Ray had no shooting or Magic Missiles that could get them and their 394 points.

In the last couple of turns I got Ray's Doombull with Ironblaster shooting, in the process blowing the other up. Ray picked up a Mournfang unit and the Maneaters before getting his Bestigors into my Bulls. I survived a squeaky last turn Leadership test to sneak an 11-9.

Win 11-9

Game 3 - Paul Clarke (Tomb Kings) - Dawn Attack

The last game of Day One was against Paul Clarke with Tomb Kings. We had played at Runefang a fortnight ago where he had Lizards versus my Skaven. Strangely that scenario was also Dawn Attack.

Paul ended up stretched across the table whereas my army was keep quite compact. Particularly unfortunate for Paul was that he had to deploy his Skeleton Warriors with characters, one of his SSC and his chariot unit behind a building on his far right.

I was able to scout my Maneaters forward so that they could occupy the building Turn One. The rest of the army trundled forward and I was soon into his lines. I had great luck with my shooting rolling 5+ every time for wounds. That removed two sphinxes and a catapult in the first three turns. My Maneaters emerged from the building to take out the other SSC.

A unit of Mournfang, supported by Bulls fought the Necropolis Knights over 4 rounds before eventually killing them. Paul's Chariots charged an Ironblaster and the combat eventually went the way of the Ogres.
In the last turns I cleaned up the rest of Paul's army to get a 20-0 win. 

Clearly the scenario didn't help Paul at all and once I was able to get an advantage it was always going to be difficult for him.

Win 20-0

So I ended Day One on 48 points - ahead of target - so I was pretty happy. Big points were always going to be hard to get as the VP table went up in 250 point blocks after the first two (10-10: 0-99, 11-9: 100-249). I thought that there were probably 3-4 ahead of me going into Day Two

New Draft Of ETC Army Restrictions Released

One word.....


Equinox 40k Results

So the Equinox 40k event has been run and won, and the results are in.

In terms of Army Breakdown, in order it was:
Dark Eldar - 6
Chaos Space Marines - 5
Grey Knights - 4
Space Marines - 4
Imperial Guard - 3
Necrons - 3
Tyranids - 2
Blood Angels - 2
Orks - 2
Daemons - 1
Eldar - 1
Black Templars - 1
Space Wolves - 1
Sisters of Battle - 1

So 18/36 power armour (including the sisters).

In terms of average battle points (do keep in mind that averages are misleading at best, but fun none the less), the list was as follows:

Necrons - 90.67
Sisters of Battle - 74
Tyranids - 68
Dark Eldar - 65.5
Grey Knights - 65.25
Daemons - 64
Imperial Guard - 63.33
Eldar - 60
Blood Angels - 53
Chaos Space Marines - 48.6
Black Templars - 46
Space Marines - 42.25
Orks - 37
Space Wolves - 34

Mean while, the average for the entire event was 58.94 (while the median was 57) battle points.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Empire at Runefang V

So a couple of weeks ago we had Runefang V (I seem to operate on a delayed timescale when it comes to blogging).  I took along the Empire because I'm still not really too keen to use the Dark Elves at the moment, although talking to Andy over the weekend gave me some ideas.

I've posted my list earlier, but in a nutshell I had:

War Altar
L4 Shadow, L1 Metal
Mounted BSB
Peg Captain

11 Knights
37 Swords
10 Xbows
3x5 Free Company
2x5 Flagellants with Champ
2 Cannons

It's a very small force on the table, but is very good at holding people up and fighting in a few select places.

Game 1: Kent Jackson (VC)

My first game against the new Vamps (I still haven't read the book).  Kent had a Lord, a Coven Throne, Necromancer, 3 blocks of Skeletons, 1 of Grave Guard, 5 Hexwraiths and 5 normal Wraiths.

I was lucky enough to get a cannonball straight through the Coven Throne with the first shot of the game, and finished of the Vamp with the other cannon.  From there, my Knight bus went on a long sweep of the table, starting on one side of the board, and ending up on the other.  With a bit of help from the Tank, the Knights killed all three Skellie blocks and Necro, the Grave Guard and Lord, and the Hexwraiths.  There was a bit of Mindrazor love used to help with the Grave Guard (the only time I used it the whole Tourney I think).  A few crumble tests saw the War Altar finally finish off the Wraiths after being in combat since turn 3.

Win 20-0

Game 2: Henry Poor (Brets)

Henry had quite a different Bret list to what we usually see.  It basically revolved around a big lance with 4 (?) Paladins and the Level 4 inside.  The trick was that they had the re-roll charge banner, along with +D6" on the first charge, and the +1M Banner.  Henry told me that this gives them a very good chance of making 20"+ on the first charge.  Supporting this were a Lord on Peg with HKB, 2x4 Peg Knights, 2 Lances, Bowmen and the obligatory Treb.

This looked very tough for me on paper, but what I didn't count on was Henry's abysmal dice rolling.  It started with both Peg units running off the table due to panic.  Then I tried to charge the Altar into a lance that was hiding the Lord from the Cannons.  It was an 18 or 19" charge, so no real chance of getting in, but Henry failed the Terror test with a re-roll, and that left the Cannons free to snipe the Lord.  After that, there was no real threat to either the Altar or the Tank, so it was just a matter of trying to catch and shoot the remaining knights.  Henry played very well and made sure I couldn't get everything, by running all of his characters in different directions, leaving the lance to die, since with 5+ wards on everyone, a cannon shot does not mean dead.  In the end, I got everything bar a unit of Knights, a Paladin, and the Level 4.

Win 19-1

Game 3: Andy Potter (Dark Elves)

So a top of the table clash against my own filthy Dark Elves. And to be honest, I've seen better painting (that's one for Locky and Mal :D).  Andy was using what I thought was a slightly unusual variation on the standard DE army.  He had a Dreadlord on foot, Level 4 Dark, Level 2 Shadow, Cauldron BSB, 2x20 Spears, 2x10 Xbows, 5 Dark Riders, 2x5 Harpies, 16 Black Guard, 2x5 Shades and a Hydra.

We were playing Watchtower, and I wasn't smart enough to figure out that firing cannons at a building is a good thing for me, so I decided that I wouldn't focus on the building, and try to pick up points elsewhere.  For the first few turns, the game swung dramatically back and forth.  Andy managed to get his Dark Riders into a hole in my line, only for the Stank to swing around and kill them all with the steam gun and pistol.  I dropped the Cauldron down  pit in the second turn, but had cannons bounce off the Hydra. The defining moment came when the Hydra weaved it's way through my lines and breath on the swordsmen, who had about 15 models left.  He killed every single one, leaving both Wizards looking very silly standing in front of a crossbowmen unit.  After they went down, Andy had control of the game, and the rest was just us each picking off points from each other where possible.

We ended up on almost the same VPs, with the extra 600 from the building giving Andy the win.

Loss 13-7

Game 4: Dave Appleby (Skaven)

Dropping back down the tables, I get the joy of playing Skaven.  Dave had a interesting variation on the typical list, with a Seer, Warlord, Engineers, Furnace and Monks, 2 big blocks each of Clanrats and Slaves, Abom, Cannon and Gutter Runners.  Importantly, there was no Brass Orb!  Dave also decided not to take Cracks Call, which I think was a mistake, as it gave him very little that could deal to the Tank.

I set up towards a corner away from the furnace, with my detachments and Flagellants strung out to block the Gutter Runners from getting to the Cannons.  I had the knights push up the opposite side of Dave's army to the Furnace and Abom, with the Tank and Altar ready on the other flank to block stuff up.  The knights hit a unit of Clanrats early on, and took a couple of turns to clear them out, but when they did, the combat reform gave them the chance to flank the Seer's unit, which I don't think Dave saw coming.  I kept Skitterleap shut down, and over the remainder of the game was able to grind out the unit and get the Seer.

On the other flank, the Tank got a charge off on the Abom, and through some fluffed regen rolls, managed to kill the Abom in the second round of grinding.  It then blocked up on of the other blocks to ease the pressure on my army.  The Altar got rid of the Gutter Runners when they came on, and spent the rest of the game dancing away from the Plague Monks.  The cannons took 4 or 5 turns of shooting at the WLC to actually kill it, but redeemed themselves by making sort work of the Furnace soon after.

I ended up not losing very much at all, and had managed to take out a big chunk of Dave's army, giving me the win.

Win 16-4 (I think?)

Game 5: Pete Dunn (Skaven)

More rats. Again no brass orb though.  Dad's list can be found elsewhere on the blog, but as we know it's a pretty typical rat list with dual Seers.  The defining moment of the game was the first Skaven turn where the General Seer using Ruin managed to break his Earthing Rod and get sucked into the warp.  From here, I took full adavantage of the lack of leadership, and used panic to flee slave units off the board and the Knights to punch a hole straight towards the unit with the characters.  I was lucky enough to kill off the WLC in the first turn and the Abom in the second, so Dad had very little left to deal with the Knights.

Except super rats!

No doubt spurred on by their grim situation, the Clanrats in the bunker became vicious killing machines, and started to cut down the knights.  After passing a few shaky Stubborn break tests, and some sneaky Light of Battle to keep them in their, the BSB alone survived and managed to cut down the unit in Turn 6 with the help of a timely War Altar charge.

Dad played very well to bring the game back after a horrible start (now he knows how it feels!), and managed to get a lot of points off me.

Win 15-5 (Again I think?)

That put me on 77/100 points, which was enough to take 1st place after Tom and Andy had a close fought game on Table 1 in the last game.

In terms of my list, the standout disappointment was the Flagellant units.  They didn't achieve a single thing all weekend, and almost anything else would be better.  The 'standard' list has 2 Mortars in the place of these guys, and I can see how that would be fantastic.

Another disappointment was Shadow magic.  I only cast a couple of spells from that wizard all weekend, and relied more on the bound spells.  Fire or Light would be better I think to give some more magic missiles to throw around.  Although, with mortars, Withering become very nasty.

The knight bus was great in all games, and along with the Tank, Altar and characters, gives a large chunk of points that are very hard to give up.  A standout choice for sure.

Off to Equinox this weekend for some 40-hammer action! Painting is done, and I'm ready to smash face (or have my face smashed :D

It's Tournament Time!

Bag packed, army in its case and transport to the airport all organised. This weekend is the largest NZ Fantasy event since the advent of 8th Edition.

Equinox has attracted a good field with the majority of NZ’s Top 20 ranked players plus the cream of Auckland gaming circles. I’m expecting it to be both a fun and competitive event.

The Composition system, after some initial concern, looks generally robust and nicely complements the recent “FluffyCon” at Battlecry. The move back towards the rulebook line of Sight rules is also welcome even if it does disadvantage my army (I use the larger Bull Rhinox as Mournfang Cavalry).

The mix of armies on offer has been covered in an earlier post. Suffice to say it is sufficiently different from the usual lower North Island mix to ensure a new challenge. Looking through the list of participants I have played only 40% of them before. That means that there is a high chance of getting at least three games against new opponents.

So how do I think I’ll go? Well I’d be disappointed to not make the Top 10. That’s largely based on the practice I’ve had with the Ogres over the first three months of the year. They are an army that can win big i.e. combat based but also lose big if things go wrong. That means that I’ll look to target an average of 13 points per game…..78/120. Anything more than that will be a bonus. I would be very very happy to make Top 5 but that would be dependant on a charitable draw and everything going right.

I’m really pumped for the event. Check back on Monday for tales of woe or hopefully glory. It’s a cliché I know but I would be happy to draw six great opponents and have six hard fought games (albeit with me winning all of them due to an unforeseen chain of lucky dice rules).

Thursday, March 15, 2012

More Media Reaction to Warhammer 40k's Silver Jubilee

From the Daily Mash:

WOMEN are celebrating the science fiction-themed tabletop wargame that has been the default female entertainment of the last 25 years.

Created in 1987, Warhammer 40,000's mixture of realistic turns-based strategy gaming and a dystopian sci-fi universe was an instant hit with millions of women, many of whom became self-confessed obsessives.

Teacher Emma Bradford, who was excitedly buying 25th anniversary limited edition lead figures at her local Games Workshop, said: “A lot of people say this, but there's something about Warhammer games that just resonates with my vagina.

"I play with an Imperial Guard army, my best friend Mandy uses Tyranids who, as all ladies know, are a race of quasi-reptilian aliens whose voracious appetite for bio-mass has propelled them into conflict with the Imperium.

"We get together for a skirmish every Wednesday. Once in a while we get all the girls together for a major campaign which takes up to four days which is just so much fun.

"Afterwards we like to post the statistics on the internet."

Personal trainer Nikki Hollis said: "Girls loving Warhammer 40K is such a cliché, but like many stereotypes there's a large element of truth.

"The best thing about 'the hobby', as we women refer to it, is painting the little lead figures, or 'miniatures' as they're properly called.

"I love doing that classic girl thing of being of putting on pyjamas, getting under a load of duvets and painting intricate banners on a Chaos Eldar battalion."

She added: "War gaming drives my boyfriend nuts, he just wants to talk about his emotions and drink hot chocolate."

Warhammer 40,000 spin-offs includes a successful series of novels by sci-fi-strategy-chick-lit author Helen Fielding about a neurotic young space marine called Nicola and a range of organic face creams named after different types of space weaponry.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Warhammer is Probed by the BBC

The BBC Magazine website lifts the lid on Warhammer with the following article/video:

Or they don't. I don't really answer their question "Why are adults still launching tabletop war?"

It's pretty innocuous really.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Puppet Wars

The breakdown of lists for Equinox shows that there are nine Warriors of Chaos armies in the draw, comprising just shy of 20% of the field.

As they say “There are only two things certain in life”. Rather than death and taxes it is that you are likely to play a WOC army (70% by my calculation) and that WOC army will have the Infernal Puppet. You can bet your bottom dollar that the Puppet factory will have been working overtime in the lead-up to Equinox.

The Puppet is a fantastic item and I believe is 1+ in a WOC list. It totally changes the whole landscape of magic. I know when I see the Puppet that it totally neuters Skaven’s most dangerous weapon versus Chaos, the 6 dice Dreaded 13th Spell. Generally it restricts my ability to throw it until the last two turns of the game by when it may be too late. To that end I believe it is the major reason for including an Earthing Rod in a tournament list.

The other big thing is that there are no restrictions surrounding the Puppet at Equinox. Therefore it is possible to take the item and a dispel scroll which is fantastic defence against Magic.

So what will so many puppets mean for me this weekend? It vindicates me taking the Lore of Great Maw on my Slaughtermaster. The ability to cast low casting value spells is the greatest defence against the Puppet. Any Puppetmaster opponents can expect lots of Fireballs and a multitude of unenhanced Maw all weekend.

Roadtest for Army Case

This weekend is the first big test for my Battlefoam Army Case. My lovely wife bought me the case for Christmas and it holds my full Skaven army all in movement trays.

I purchased an Ogre fit out for the case with a pluck foam layer for my Mournfang. I do not have standard Mournfang cavalry. All mine are the larger Forgeworld Rhinox Riders. Five of these monsters fit in the tray I’ve customised.

Part of the attraction in buying the case was that it is FAA approved as cabin baggage on airline flights. Airlines use a formula whereby the three dimensions of a piece of luggage must total less than 46” to be taken on a plane as hand luggage. The Battlefoam 720 comes in at 40”. They have a larger case, the Air Pack which comes in at 45.5” but I don’t want to push things that close if I’m dealing with belligerent airport staff.

The other advantage the 720 has is that its trays remain upright when you carry it. This isn’t as important for 40k as it is for Fantasy where you use movement trays rather than individual compartments.

My biggest fear is that it will not fit in the overhead locker of Air New Zealand’s new aircraft. Jack indicated when he took his Dark Eldar north in a similar case he had to turn it on its side to fit in the overhead locker. Not such a problem with Ogres but I would make sure I padded out my compartments with tissue for the Skaven (so they don’t come off the movement trays).

Monday, March 12, 2012

Equinox This Weekend

So this weekend sees what will be the largest NZ WHFB tournament since 8th Edition was released. Equinox has attracted 48 participants who will battle it out over six rounds.

Thirteen of NZ’s Top 20 are there plus the current NZ Masters’ Champion so it will be a very competitive field.

What will be interesting is to see the mix of armies on show. Looking at the 13 Top 20 players attending, I am seeing eleven different races as likely (the double ups being WoC and Beastmen). Such diversity makes for a really interesting event. The TO is going to give a breakdown of army choice prior to the event but I’m guessing Auckland being the Chaos Wastes we’ll see the usual dominance of WoC armies.

Four of the NZ ETC team are on show. Expect lots of 12-8 results anywhere they are involved!

The 40k side sees 40 participants fighting it out. No surprise in me picking Charlie to take it out and Jack to podium. Charlie will be using his Necrons which won at OTT and Battlecry, after Jack’s Dark Elder “retired” Charlie’s Space Wolves at the Masters. The Necrons will give Jack’s army a very hard time if they meet. Viva the meta.


Warriors 9
Empire 5
Vampires 4
Ogre 4
Tomb Kings 4
Orc & Goblin 3 
Wood Elves 3
Bretonnian 3
Dark Elves 3

High Elves 3
Skaven 2 
Dwarfs 2

Chaos Dwarfs 1 
Beastman 1 
Lizardmen 1

Just shows the difference between the top and bottom of the North Island. Skaven and Dwarfs made up one third of the field at Runefang and here only 4 total. No surprise re the Warriors.

No Daemons - Boo Hiss!

Timely Reminder

On Saturday I had an excellent game with Mike and his Lizards. We played Dawn Attack using our Equinox armies in a hit out for next week.

I was able to keep my army together and bring early pressure on Mike who had his army far more spread. This led to me building a strong early lead as I cleaned out an expensive Skrox unit, both Salamander units and various Skink units in the first couple of turns. Things were looking very good for the Ogres as I turned my army around to create a pseudo-Battle for the Pass.

And then disaster struck. Mike picked up six dice for a spell and rolled Irresistible Force. He then resolved his miscast getting the Dimensional Cascade result. One Cupped Hands later and my Slaughtermaster, the mighty Spiky Five-Bellies disappeared into the warp.

Now I could have ranted and raved and cursed my bad luck at having a solid winning position pulled back markedly. However what ensued was a great last four turns where I battled against the Slaan’s magic assault to try and re-create my advantage. I thought I had done it when I got bulls + BSB + Ironblaster into Mike’s Saurus. However he made not one but two Insane Courage rolls. This effectively held me up and allowed him to get a last turn charge off onto my Ironguts. While his Skrox were unlikely to lose I didn’t expect them to win and stood to receive the charge. Mike won the combat by one and ran them down.

In retrospect it was poor play by me – by that I mean I should have fled the charge – putting a unit at risk I didn’t need too. It cost me 500+ points and gave Mike an advantage of about 100 VPs. If I had fled Mike could have re-directed into a second unit that would have got away by fleeing through the Ogre Bulls. In that instance I would have had to make a Leadership 8 test with a re-roll and would have preserved the win.

To me it was a salient lesson in not thinking things through and a good reminder before next week’s tournament.