Friday, November 30, 2012

Masters Game Times

Warhammer 40k (Saturday)

Game 1 - 8.00-10.30am

Game 2 - 11.00am-1.30pm

Game 3 - 2.00-4.30pm

Game 4 - 5.00-7.30pm (can start earlier if both players amenable)

Warhammer Fantasy

Game 1/4 - 8.30-11.00am

Game 2/5 - 11.30am - 2.00pm

Game 3/6 - 2.30-5.00pm

On Sunday the three Warhammer 40k games will run as per Fantasy schedule

Pete's Masters' Form Guide - Part Two

So having promptly upsetting half the field yesterday by putting them in the Bottom Six, today it is time to extol the rest.

Sixth Place

Well that's easy. It's me. Right in the middle of the field, half above, half below.

Why? Too old, too slow. Lacking the fortitude to see through a six game campaign, I'll falter badly at the pointy end. And I have previous - last year's choke versus Antony Kitson where I suffered my only 0-20 in the past two and a half years. So history.

That said I have a good list which I know well so who know's I might just surprise. Obviously that would be an extremely popular outcome given the love I draw from my legion of fans. In particular, with no Dwarf sullying the event I expect a wave of support from my friends in Stuntydom.

The Top Five

Again (initially) I'm not going to put them in anything other than alphabetical order.

Raymond Dick

Previous Master and only non-Aucklander to win the event. Last time Raymond rode the Orcs & Goblins to victory, this time it is Beastmen.

A lot of people will be surprised to see me rate Raymond's chances so high - given his army choice - but he is a very wily old campaigner and, as I said, he's done it before.

That said, there is a real reliance on the Flying Doombull and therefore his chances will be shaped by how he stands up against against the limited warmachines on show.

Ray may drop a game early but I expect him to be there or thereabouts at the pointy end.

Tom Dunn

I have to be careful here so that I don't get accused of bias. Tom has been the big improver this year finishing at #4 in the rankings. He has a lot more focus which has been helped by sticking with Daemons all year.

He is the absolute "King of Chaff" with thre Furies, two Crushers and two Fiends in his list. This means he can control where his hardhitters hit. And what hitters they are - two Bloodletter blocks and the ultimate character killer.

The list has the potential to get big wins as to get points the hitters must be fought. Joel, for instance, must be hoping like hell that he doesn't get drawn vs. Tom, same for Tim and Rory.

Rory Finnemore

Rory has brought a very strong list but not the strongest Vampire list. There are some key weak points in it and it will be intriguing to see whether they can be exploited.

That said, Rory is an Aucklander and therefore history says he is likely to win. I'm not sure how he will embrace this expectation - the League of Extraordinary Nerdymen expects, the Auckland gaming scene expects, heck even I expect. The fact that he is bringing his partner to the event to witness his triumph means Rory expects.

Hopefully the forces of the south can fight such a wall of expectation.

Tim Joss

#2 in the rankings, Tim hit a rich vein of form in the second part of the year. Importantly, this was across the full range of New Zealand gaming communities.

Guessing that being stuck in Invercargill, there is little else to do other than to plot and scheme. I'm guessing that Tim will be well prepared with a plan versus everyone. However I think his list is not as scary as some of his other lists have been. The 400 points tied up in Necropolis Knights is a weak spot and I suspect that all manner of hell will be raining down on them. e can't afford to lose them and therefore he may be forced to be more reactive than he hoped.

Sam Whitt

My first round opponent, Sam will have been having nightmares all week. I know he has been asking "Is there a better player in New Zealand of the Dawn Attack scenario than Pete?" and has consistently come up short of answers.

He's also been asking "Have I put too many points in the Trolls? Will they get isolated and let me down?".

These are valid questions. But the real question he should be asking is "Do I hang back or go balls out?" Wracked by indecision or worse, that he makes the wrong decision, this will be his demise.

And then the only important question "Can I mount a credible Masters challenge based on the results in Games Two to Six?"

So who do I think will win? Here's my podium:

3. Tom Dunn
2. Tim Joss
1. Rory Finnemore - because he's an Aucklander!

Glory in the Badlands Campaign

The Auckland wargaming scene, like the Wellington scene, has a number of clubs and informal gaming groups. One of these is the League of Extraordinary Nerdymen comprising a number of regular tournament players including Thomas van Roekel, Graeme Fry, Henry Poor and Rory Finnemore.

This group has just started a themed escalation campaign based on the Badlands. You can find details of it on the campaign's blogspot here

The site will detail the various armies participating plus battle reports laying out their heroic or ignoble exploits.

I'll be watching this campaign with interest and will be placing it in my blogroll.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pete's Masters Form Guide - Fantasy Part One

Okay it’s time for my Masters run-through ahead of the weekend. I know Rory has done his and you can check it out over at Sam’s blog but I know you dear readers want the definitive guide.

Now I’m going to say at the outset that this is probably the most competitive Masters that we have had in the five years it has been running. I say that in spite of the fact that there are nine players from the centre of the country, one from the Deep South and two from Auckland. Why do I say “in spite”?

Well only one non-Auckland-based player has won any of the previous four events – Raymond Dick. The other three winners have all been from the northern reaches. Is this just luck or are they actually better up there?

So for ten of the participants they will have to overcome that hurdle.

Rather than put people in finishing order – that’s far too hard an exercise – I’m going to split the participants into three groups.

The Bottom Six
Now some are unlucky to be here just skirting the top of the table while others I feel are going to struggle versus some of the lists (or in Neil’s case the clock). So here are places #7 to #12 (in alphabetical order).

The Crimson Fist

Currently listening to the Horus Heresy audiobook The Crimson Fist. It is about the Imperial Fists’ Retribution Fleet to Istvaan V which got caught in the warp near Fael and didn’t arrive in time to be massacred like their allies.

What a humourless and sanctimonious bunch of chaps the Imperial Fists are. Being trapped in a warpstorm with them would be as much fun as having to watch endless re-runs of Father Ted or a weekend Adam Sandler marathon.

The Fists are so uptight they squeak when they walk. I’d suggest that the Drak Angles aren’t the only ones with dark secrets.

The Masters Approaches

Preparations for the Masters are going well and I am just about to hand things over to the Umpires.

I pick the trophies up today; I have loaded datafiles into Overlord, printed off score sheets etc.

Tomorrow evening I am moving tables and terrain to the venue. I’d really appreciate any assistance possible. With a few extra hands it makes it a 10 minute job. If you can help I am picking up the tables from Khandallah Presbyterian Church (Ganges Road, opposite New World) at 6.00pm.

Once the hall is set up, my work is done until after the event. I’ll then be able to devote my energies to crushing my opponents under my clawed paw.

Remember the Masters event is open to all. So if you’d like to drop in for a look at the Fantasy, 40k and Flames of war events then please do so. It is an opportunity to see some hard fought games featuring this year’s highest ranked players.

Finally, I’d like to thank James Milner, Ryan Lister, Hagen Kerr (Fantasy & 40k) and Russell Briant (Flames of War) for umpiring the event this weekend. Appreciate them giving up their time for others’ enjoyment.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Rory's Views On the Fantasy Masters

Fellow Masters participant, Rory Finnemore, has bullocked his way onto Sam Whitt's blog and provided his views on the Masters field and their lists.

You can read it here

I'll be giving my traditional rundown later in the week. For now let's say rather than my normal mode of talking down my chances, I've gone all-Australian and embraced my favouritism like a new pair of Speedos.

Warney Calls It Early

Seriously guys....give me the trophy now. The internet has spoken....I can't be beaten (well apart from in the last three games I've played anyway)

Tabletop World Windmill Released

Yesterday I posted that I had been undercoating buildings I had purchased from Tabletop World. Well overnight they released their latest creation for sale.

The new kit is a Windmall (as you can see). It stands just under 10" tall and looks like it is, as with all their kits, well sculpted and easily put together.

The cost of this kit - including airmail postage to NZ - was Euro 67 or around $110.

In addition, as part of a Xmas offer you get a kit of additional supplies. Hopefully they will release the accessories pack seperately as I'd love to get a Dog House for my Town House.

Hoping mine arrives in time for Xmas!

Review: December White Dwarf

The December White Dwarf was released on Saturday.

This was always going to be a difficult issue....cue cliches about the crucial third album etc. It was always going to be difficult because GW had drawn a line in the sand with the re-launch in October and the cynical among us - those who have an allergy to corporate Kool-Aid - were wondering how long they would keep things on the up.

It was always going to be difficult too because December was "The Hobbit" month and the "veteran gamer" is not necessarily the target market for what they are peddling.

The December Issue

Okay, first up a warning. If you are not interested in "The Hobbit", the releases around the movie and the skirmish game system, then this isn't the issue for you. Far better you save your money and buy next month's when you'll get either Daemons or Drak Angles. The issue is wall-to-wall the new releases with little or none of the other two systems.

I'll leave the content of "The Hobbit". You are either into it and as a result may be into the game or you are not. The cover is very nice though. I like the simple layout which I think captures the essence of the book [As an aside, how can you stretch a 300 page book to three full length movies? I suspect the speedboat has been warmed up and Peter jackson has finally doned the waterskis.]

For 40k there is a showcase of readers' flyers - which is quite nice. Fantasy, the Army on Parade is a very large Ogre Kingdoms army - not so sure on the retro Goblin Green base rims (I suppose that at least they are not Lonestar orange).

There is a shortened John Blanche and Jeremy Vetock's normal quirky column. There is also Jervois Johnson's article on "Spirit of the Game". I'm sure he just phoned this in. It's a rehash of the article he does about every nine months. Perhaps it is time to just let him go. His articles for the past two years are regurgitations of previous "Standard Bearers". Maybe this is an indication of the length of readership of most White Dwarf readers.

The best for last. The sections at the back which show what the White Dwarf, Forgeworld and Black library teams are working on. These have been an excellent addition to the magazine.

Also included is a poster showing (all) the 40k models. of course this means plastic and Finecast - metal is sadly missing. It is a nice inclusion and illustrates the quantum of great models GW have produced.

So not the best issue for those of us with Fantasy or 40k bent. The content was always expected with the movie release. As I said, if the movie isn't your thing then you are probably better saving your cash for next month.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Upcoming Scenery and Weekend's Games

Some hobby and some gaming over the weekend.

Saturday I put together about 5 Tabletop World buildings and primed them ready for painting. These buildings are a joy to build and paint. Here’s the models you’ll be seeing on some of my tables in coming months.

Blacksmith's Forge

Timbered Cottage

On Sunday I managed to play a couple of games. In keeping with my usual form ahead of events I lost both of them.

The first was against fellow Masters’ participant, Locky Reid and his Skaven. Rather than run some rat-on-rat action, I used Tim Joss’s Tomb Kings list. It was an excellent game that was on a knife edge for awhile but in the end it turned into around a 14-6 to Locky. I lost the Necrosphinx, Necro Knights, two big Skeleton blocks and all three horsemen. Locky lost the Hellpit and a unit of Gutter Runners. I’m pretty sure both of us got a lot out of it.

In the afternoon I played Ryan Lister’s Vampire Counts. Ryan won by about 390 points picking up a lot of points in Turns 5&6, whereas I struggled to finish off his large Skeleton block (3 out of 40-50 left) and his Black Knights (1 out of 12 left). I probably picked the wrong spells in retrospect so it was a good lesson ahead of the Masters. In the last two turns a unit of Zombies beat both a unit of Gutter Runners and then the Doomwheel in combat. Like Locky, Ryan is a pleasure to play and he has been developing a VC list he is now very comfortable with.

This week I have to finish Tom’s Great Unclean One ahead of the Masters as well as re-glue a couple ofSkaven models I had to discipline after yesterday’s defeat.

The rest of the Tabletop models can be seen  by clicking the link below.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

New Price Point?

Generally I think that goods are worth what people are prepared to pay for them and that the seller can ask whatever they want for them.

Yesterday Games Workshop sent out their monthly New Releases email and as you would expect it is dominated by "The Hobbit" releases. Jack and I were discussing them and one caught our eye.

This is the Narzug figure, who I understand is a Special Character for the Fell Warg. It looks a nice enough figure without being unduly elaborate. The New Zealand price for this single figure - it's mounted on a 25mm base - is $40.

By my reckoning this appears to be a new price point for GW for a single 28mm figure.

Contrast this with the Forgeworld releases posted yesterday:

For $44 you get BOTH of these two figures from the Horus Heresy releases. And the figures are in resin rather than Finecast.

I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions as to where the value is. I'm wondering how much licensing fees for the movie play in the price point and whether this will become the norm in other ranges.


Bloody hell.....the Troll box set...3 Plastic Trolls $165

Yes, they are on 60mm bases but $165.....

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Forgeworld Heresy - New Releases (Pictures)

Forgeworld have released some new Heresy sets:

 Legion Champion & Master of Signal (GBP 22.00)
Mk II "Crusade" Armour Assault Squad (GBP 33.00 for the five)

Autocannons for Support Squads and Breach Squads (GBP 12.00 for five weapons)
Heavy Bolters for Support Squads and Breach Squads (GBP 12.00 for five weapons)

I love the autocannons and will be adding a Support Squad to my Death Guard. The Assault Squad looks great but unfortunately doesn't fit with my Legion. However I suspect the Night Lords and Raven guard among you will be salivating at the prospect.

Not so sure on the two characters. Both would work in a Fists, EC, Ultramarines force I think.

I'm impressed with the pricing - $66 not too bad for 5 resin Assault Marines - and the weapons work out at less than $5 each.

Battlefoam Sale

For those interested in getting a topline figure case, Battlefoam are having their annual sale over the next 2.5 days.

You can get 25% off their normal prices. Be aware though the 25% off is only on product and not on shipping.

I've been very happy with my PACK 720 and so took the opportunity to buy a smaller case - PACK 432 - and an add-on to the PACK720 - the PACK Max - for when I move the whole burrow.

You can check them out at

Friday, November 23, 2012

Masters Round One Draw

James has made the Masters Draw for Round One

Table 1: Pete "I totally outplayed him by 6 dicing 13th" Dunn vs Sam "I COULD have put my characters in two units" Whitt

Table 2: Raymond "Only real men take Beasts" Dick vs Rory "Where are my Demigryphs?" Finnemore

Table 3: Mike "Everyone knows Saurus are better than Skinks" King vs Ant "This Masters trophy says I'm better than you" Kitson

Table 4: Joel "I just like the Demigryph models, that's all!" van de Ven Long vs Locky "Skaven are so good, I don't actually need to play anymore" Reid

Table 5: Peter "Seriously, why on earth did I take High Elves to this?" Williamson vs Tom "You just push it forward, right?" Dunn

Table 6: Tim "I don't know what to do with only one Casket." Joss vs Neil "What do you mean there's a Turn 5?" Williamson

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Latest 40k Rumour Snippets

So January/February is definitely Dark Angels (following The "Yawn" Hobbit - both movie and game).

Let's just say that the 1st Legion's guilty secret isn't really a secret......they are bloody dull and taking a word and sticking "wing" on the end of it doesn't make them any more interesting.

The next one is a pit of a poisoned chalice. Black Templars are not going to get a re-done codex. Instead they are gettng a White Dwarf update over two issues no later than (northern) Summer 2013. Apparently this will see the removal of vows, with replacement by new Warlord traits. The mixed units structure will be re-jigged or replace.

So it seems for all intents and puposes Templars are going to be Black & White Marines.

Nice to see the lackeys of the corpse-god getting the same treatment as Chaos Allsorts.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

NZ Masters - 40k Lists

You can download the NZ Masters lists here

So we have three Necron armies and only one taking advantage of the Allies rules.

Smallest army is 21 models, the largest 55.

Let the banter begin!

"Prince of Crows" - A Glance Into The Night Lords Legion

Over the last few days I’ve been listening to one of the recent Horus Heresy audiobooks “Prince of Crows”. It is a story about the Night Lords Legion after they were ambushed by the Dark Angels and the Primarch Curze is in a coma.

In the past I had always thought that either the Iron Warriors were probably the most out and out evil of Horus’s forces but this book changes that view. The Night Lords are not righteous or motivated by devotion to a god……they are just sociopaths.

The book starts with some internal “cleansing” of the Night Lords command structure by the First Captain. It then starts to delve into the division between the Terran based Night Lords and those from Curze’s home planet of Nostramo. This division is a recurring storyline in the Heresy books – most of the death Guard sent down to Istvaan III were Terran. Similarly in Deliverance Lost, splits develop between those that had been imprisoned on Kiavahr and Raven Guard from Terra.

The 8th Legion also carries the guilt for the orbital destruction of their homeworld and this has increasingly manifested itself in dark dreams both for the Primarch and his captains. Prior to the ambush, these dreams were being treated by having the soothing presence of skinned and flayed bodies hanging from meat hooks in their private quarters. So these guys are a really well-adjusted bunch of malcontents.

Discussions between the leadership show little appetite for following the orders of Horus or for devotion to the Chaos gods. As a result the Legion is re-organised into six/seven Great Companies each with their own fleet. They are then directed to disperse and cause mischief. How or what they do is up to the individual leader.

Again the book is useful in showing that different Legions and factions have different motivations and that with out the Emperor’s controlling presence that any ties holding the different forces together quickly unravel.

Masters 40k Clarifications

Clarifications were sought on how some rules will be played at the Masters. My take is to check whether an official FAQ exists and if not to read forums where issue discussed and then make a decision.
  • Allies of Convenience can be Scoring Units
  • If a character is mounted on a chariot is engaged in an assault then the chariot itself may be attacked
  • For the purposes of firing the Doom Scythe is assumed to have a Front Arc of 180 Firing Arc of 45 degrees. The Death Ray can be targeted at units outside this line of side but wounds may only be taken from with the area where LOS exists. Vehicles outside the LOS are not affected.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bad Dice Daily Does the NZ Masters

Bad Dice Daily's Ben Curry has reviewed the Masters Lists and picked his Top Five.

You can download it from here

Thanks to Ben for taking the time to run his eye over them (though he has no friend in Seerlord Morskitta who thinks his eye must be cataratic or rheumy given his synopsis). With friends like him....well we knows who our enemies are!

Masters lists posted in an earlier post here

Cupped Hands

On Sunday afternoon Mike King and I gave our Masters’ lists a run-out in a game of Battleline.

By Turn Three all was going well, one unit of Sallies had been neutralised, some ex-Saurus were bearing down on the Slaan, the Ancient Steg was crewless and down to 2 wounds while a unit of Slaves were finishing off the remnants of the other two (fleeing) Saurus blocks which has been battered but bettered the HPA and the Doomwheel.

Sitting atop his Bell, Seerlord Morskitta slipped the drive into cruise control and lay back fof a well-deserved rest. When…..

< < BANG >>

The last thing Morskitta saw before he slipped into the warp was the Slaan making an obscene gesture while he cupped part of his anatomy.

Suddenly the Skaven were fighting for their lives as a now pumped up Lizardmen army turned on their tormenters. A buffed (WS 10/In 10; ASF) Stegadon took down the Bell while the Slaan eventually beat the ex-Saurus who charged him, helped by some rallying skinks.

In the end another unit of skinks saw off Slave block they flanked charged while the Clanrats were able to just hold on by the skin of their teeth.

So what looked like a comfortable 20-0 turned into a 8-12 and could easily have been a 5-15.

And this is why I love Warhammer.

Masters Lists - Magic Items

Continuing its investigation into the Masters Lists, the Skavenblight Bureau of Investigation has provided me with the following information. It details how much each army has spent on "Magic Items".
  • 350 - Warriors of Chaos
  • 315 - Orcs & Goblins
  • 300 - Beastmen
  • 295 - Vampire Counts
  • 290 - Bretonnians
  • 235 - High Elves
  • 230 - Daemons
  • 225 - Empire
  • 220 - Lizards
  • 205 - Skaven (P)
  • 190 - Skaven (L)
  • 95 - Tomb Kings
The SBI suggested that it was obvious some armies were building their whole battleplan trying to squeeze as many tricks and toys into their lists as "humanly" possible.

I told them that they should desist from such pronouncements as there might be perfectly valid reasons why some feel the need to rely on dirty tricks and malignant items. I certainly wouldn't condemn them for following that path.

My contact at the SBI countered with "You asked for the truth and we gave you the truth!"

The Heresy Edition - So It Begins!

I arrived home last evening to be greeted by a box from Forgeworld.

First up, fast delivery. Less than two weeks from when I ordered my Tactical Squad and only five days in the post.

Here are the goodies......

Mk II "Crusade", Mk III "Iron", Death Guard Pads, Phobus Bolters & Squad Upgrade Pack

And here is a close up on the legs from one pack showing how crisp the detail is on the Forgeworld castings.

Mk III "Iron" Armour Legs

Once I've clipped the sprues I'll post more pictures

Monday, November 19, 2012


Looking through the lists for the Masters while eating my raw fish, I decided to count up the chaff on offer.

Defining chaff as a unit or character 75 points or less we have:
  • 7 - Beastmen (Ray)
  • 7 - Vampires (Rory)
  • 7 - Daemons (Tom)
  • 6 - Lizards (Mike)
  • 5 - Tomb Kings (Tim)
  • 5 - Orcs & Gobbos (Sam)
  • 3 - Empire (Joel)
  • 2 - Skaven (Locky)
  • 2 - High Elves (Peter)
  • 1 - Bretonnians (Antony)
  • 1 - Skaven (Pete)
  • 0 - Warriors (Neil)
now I could comment on this observation - and if I did I'd probably say that it appears some of my opponents are looking to clog up the board with cheap crap - but I don't really think it would be appropriate so I'll pass.

NZ Masters Lists - Fantasy

The lists for the 5th New Zealand Warhammer Fantasy Masters have been released and you can download them here

Looking at the various armies I think that this is definitely the strongest set of lists (as a group) that have marshalled for the Masters event. There are some real kickass lists on show. Interestingly, there are 11 different races being used - the Skaven Master Race being the only duplicate.

Neil Williamson has sneaked in three Skullcrushers even though they will not have been released for a month before the event - condition was in the original pack but was missed in final pack. I'm looking forward to seeing the new models on the table.

Sam Whitt is the one of only (two) person(s) not running a Level 4...however he does have two Level 2s. Tom has a single Level 2 with Loremaster and another Lvl 2.

The most expensive units on offer are:
  • 449 - 39 Tomb Guard (Tim)
  • 400 - 6 Necropolis Knights (Tim)
  • 399 - 34 Savage Orc Big Uns (Sam)
  • 390 - 30 Bloodletters (Tom)
  • 378 - 29 Bloodletters (Tom)
  • 370 - 10 Inner Circle Knights (Joel)
  • 357 - 26 Bestigors (Ray)
  • 353 - 41 Gors (Ray)
  • 339 - 8 Grail Knights (Antony)
  • 310 - 5 Demigryph Knights (Joel)
  • 305 - 15 White Lions (Peter)

Champagne Dwarfism

So I called into Vermintide on the weekend....lots of people having fun. And of course three people wrecking people's weekends - yes, I'm talking about Dwarf players.

They bitch and moan (sorry, grumble) about what they would do with a new book but you know, GW knows and I certainly know what they would do ......nothing.

Here is a picture of one vocal Dwarf player's deployment.

No, the left of the picture is not his base edge....the top is. He waited until his opponent deployed and then put everything as far away as possible!

And there was no embarrassment. Other Dwarf players flocked to the table high-fiving their beardling on wrecking another player's day. Geez even Tane drove in, bringing his beardlings with him to share in such a morale-destroying move.

The Dwarfs then huddled around the table talking about the "Pretending to Charge Phase" and the "If I Can't have Magic, Neither Can You Phase" before getting positively euphoric when it got to the "Shooting Phase".

"What Runes have You Got?"

"It's not a proper warmachine unless you've doubled its base price"

"Hope you've got two layers of misfire protection"

And on and on......Soul-destroying.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Vermintide IV Results

Neil Williamson has sent through the results of Vermintide IV, the 1200 point tournament played here in Wellington yesterday.

Ten different armies in the Top 10.

Well done to Joel on his first tournament has been coming for a few month's now and gives him some confidence running into the Masters.

Nice to see a full field of 20 - special thanks to the Palmy contingent that came down.

Great success for Neil, the Marauders and the Warlords.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Eldar Terrain - Miniature Scenery

Miniature Scenery are an Australian company who make mdf products.

In the past I have purchased a lot of their products - Drop Pods, Flat Top buildings, Painting Racks. They come as A4-sized flat packs with 2-3 millimetre pre-cut mdf sheets.

I recently noticed that they have released some new Eldar terrain.

The first thing I am going to say is that the finish on the photographed pieces is terrible. I know that they are trying to achieve an abandonned world look but they are seriously not helping the pitch.

I'm also not sure that they are still in the race. Gale Force Nine have released their Battlefield in a Box terrain in the period since Miniature Scenery came to the market and their product is far superior - resin, built, pre-painted - for not much more in $ terms.

In the past I would have been a buyer. Now? I'm not so sure.

Maelstrom Games - Managing the Fallout

If you purchased any Bane Legions/Darklands or Battlefront Flames of War products from Maelstrom Games before they went belly up and you are yet to receive them, it appears that there may be some hope of a satisfactiory resolution.

Mierce Miniatures (the new company that Rob Lane "sold" Bane Legions into) have announced on their website that they will be fulfilling Maelstrom customer orders for their products. They make it clear that they are not required to do this but out of generosity will be ensuring no customer is left out of pocket. Maybe legally not required......but we could argue ethics and morals.

I understand that a similar announcement with be coming from Battlefront with regard to orders Maelstrom failed to supply of FOW products. Here this is clearly a goodwill action where Battlefront are being generous to ensure that customers aren't disadvantaged. Good on you Battlefront!

So if you have ordered either of these lines from Maelstrom and are currently out of pocket then there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Horus Heresy Artbooks

Around 10 years ago a Horus Heresy CGC was licensed by Games Workshop. I have a set of the Loyalist (I prefer Gullible) forces and the Traitor (Enlightened seems more apt) forces.

In conjunction with this was a series of four A3 artbooks that captured the illustrations from the cards, creating a record for us HH nuts.

I have these four artbooks and I am happy for any of The Heresy Edition gamers to borrow them to get a fuller appreciation of the Legion they are building.

I'll bring them along when I visit Vermintide tomorrow so that people can flick through them. The artwork is excellent and includes quite a few John Blanche pieces .

I particularly like this Death Guard piece showing them in a corrupted version of Mk III Iron Armour

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Review: Greyed Out Productions Dice Bag

Being the international fashion icon that I am, when I saw the dice bags being sold by a US firm Greyed Out Productions being advertised on Dakka Dakka I just had to have one.

I ordered the Dark Grey Suede Bag with Halloween fabric (Purple & Green FTW) at the start of November and it promptly arrived this morning. The bag cost USD 17.00 and you can see the products they have available at their website

The product is very high quality. It is reversible so you can have suede or pattern as inner/outer. The bag has a thick cord double drawstring as well as strong machine stitching.

Certainly recommend the product as it is not only a dice bag, it also functions as a fashionable head accessory for the neighbourhood's dominant cat.

Nurgle Is Well-Pleased With His New Crown
(Photo taken 1.3 secs before Tom lost an arm)

And for all you fashion victims out there - well, haters got to hate!

Please Note: No cats were harmed during this review although the same can't be said for the humans

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Heresy Edition - The Lineup Coalesces

Here's an updated list of those that have shown an interest in "Tale of X Gamers - The Heresy Edition"

Word Bearers - John Murrie
Sons of Horus - Charlie St. Clair
Salamanders - Sam Whitt
Death Guard - Me
Imperial Fists - Tim Joss
Night Lords - Minitrol, Shadowmancer
Raven Guard - Glen Burfield
World Eaters - David Grieg, Jack Dunn
White Scars - James Milner
Space Wolves - Hagen Kerr
Iron Warriors - Leon Colman
Ultramarines - Cody Parlato

So that's lots ten so far. Pretty sure there would be other interested..... Iron Warriors, John Tailby? Dark Angels, Shane Rongonui? These are just three local I think could be coaxed into the fold.

Remember there is no restrictions on double ups. The more the merrier.

I know I'll be doing Emperor's Children as soon as they release Legion Specific models.

By mid -2013 we'll have the Istvaan V book and I'll be looking to run a couple of Horus Heresy events.

Vermintide This Weekend

This weekend the Warlords and Masterton Marauders are running Vermintide here in Wellington.

Unfortunately I couldn't attend - airport run and exam run overlap with the event - but I will be turning up and throwing popcorn.

The event is 1200 points and sold out all 20 of the available spots. Five rounds, special scenarios, it should be a heap of fun.

If you are in Wellington and free you should check it out. It is being held at the Warlords normal venue, KPC Hall on Ganges Road, Khandallah (opp New World). Visitors are not only welcomed, they are encouraged.

Well done to the Warlords, the Marauders and especially Neil Williamson for all their efforts in making this event possible.

Help A Brother Out

Okay, confession time. I've been up to something I'm not at all proud of.

Over the last 4-5 nights I have been basing High Elves. There, I said it! My family knows and they are willing to stick by me but I feel so much better the secret is out.

Of course the family's main concern is that High Elves are clearly a gateway drug. Three or four years ago I dabbled in Wood Elves but, hey, everyone does that when they are young. It was a phase and I thought I'd grown out of it. But no, there I go building and basing (thank the Horned Rat that I contracted the painting out to Sam) a horde unit of Swordmasters, Reavers and a large block of Seaguard.

I'm now getting help and the family are confident that I won't degenerate into the hard stuff - Dwarfs. Once you go there then there is no way back.

However part of the intervention is that I stop interacting with High Elves....and stop soon. To do so I need to get one last hit of Island of Blood figures. These will help me finish off the units so I am never tempted back along this awful path.

So if you can help a brother out I need the following:

2x Island of Blood Lothern Seaguard Spearmen
1x Island of Blood Lothern Seaguard Musician
3x Island of Blood Swordmasters

Please please search your bitz boxes to see if you can help me draw a line under this unfortunate period in my life.

Monday, November 12, 2012

NZ 40k Masters

The final field of eight is:

Charlie St. Clair
Mark Buttle
Haydn Korach
Pascal Roggen
Ivan Soo
Daniel Hayden
David Wilson
Robert Power

This is a very strong field with 6 of the Top 7 ranked players participating.

To ensure that it is a level playing field - that is, take luck of draw out of mix - I am adding a 4th game on Saturday so that participants will play every other player.

To do this the schedule for Saturday will be altered with first game starting at 8.00am

The Little Slaves That Could!

I managed to slot in four games over the weekend against James, Mike and Ryan. The most memorable aspect of the games occurred in my battle versus Ryan’s Vampire Counts – the story of “The Little Slaves That Could”.

On Turn One of our game an Engineer warp-lightninged a unit of four Blood Knights, killing one. This obviously enraged the Blood Knights who failed their Frenzy test and declared a charge on a unit of Slaves. They then proceeded to get the double “6” they needed to complete the charge into the unit of Slaves. Emboldened by seeing their mighty leader, Seerlord Morskitta bravely leading from the back, they fought like rats possessed and held the Pride of Drakenhof. Next turn the Engineer from earlier in the tale led his unit of Slaves into the flank of the Blood knights. What happened from there is Slave history. Over two rounds of combat the Slaves beat the Vampires both times, removing first two and then the last remaining Blood Knight.

Having witnessed this feat of heroism, the brave and strategically-astute Seerlord Morskitta extolled his other unit of Slaves to similar heights. They stood in front of the Black Knight bus allowing the Engineer led scouts to charge the bus in the flank – before the brave Engineer skitterleaped to safety another strategically important locale. The Slaves and combined shooting (okay, it really was the shooting) reduced the Black Knights to a Champ, Standard Bearer, Vampire Lord and Vampire. As the Seerlord shouted encouragement one unit of Slaves “exploded” and in their cornered rat death throes inflicted the final indignity - first, the Champion was killed and then the Vampire Lord had an eye scratched out by the trapped slave.

This should be a salient lesson to all. Even the lowly 2 point Skavenslave can performed feats of heroism when led bravely (from the rear) by a brilliant Seer. And Morskitta has told me he has brilliance in abundance!

Heresy Edition - Death Guard Legion Purchases

Yesterday afternoon I ordered my Legion Tactical Squad for the first part of “Tale of X Gamers – The Heresy Edition”.

Death Guard Legion Marine in Mark III "Iron" Armour

This will be the first Warhammer 30/40k army I have painted since early 2008 (the Aventine Legion Drop Pod Assault Force I used at Liber V) and so I’m going to invest some time and money in it.

I purchased a mix of Mk II “Crusade” and Mk III “Iron” armour, “Phobus” bolters, Death Guard Shoulder Pads, Mk III Squad Upgrade kit. This will let me build my 10 man Legion Tactical Squad with some bits over. As the LTS has no special weapons my only “dilemma” is how to outfit my Sergeant. I’m looking at probably going for a Power Fist and Melta Bombs though I could be convinced to go for a Combi-Flamer to take advantage of the Death Guard’s special chem weapons you sub for normal promethium.

MkIV Armour (Can Use Tactical Space Marine Models)

Hopefully they will arrive in the next two weeks and I can review with photos for those interested.

Maelstrom Games - Mercy Killing?

So Maelstrom Games finally bit the bullet on Friday night our time.

What was interesting was the manner of its demise. Wayland Games called the debt that they had purchased from Simple, one of Maelstrom’s suppliers, and unable to repay the debt Maelstrom went into liquidation.

Some see the move by Wayland as cynical, others buy Wayland’s line that they were protecting the UK supply chain. The truth is probably somewhere in between.

What is not in doubt is that like Ol’ Yella, Maelstrom needed to be taken behind the barn and have a bullet put in its brain.

The last few weeks appear to be nothing but a less than elaborate Ponzi scheme whereby the principals of Maelstrom Games kept the business going long enough to shift as many assets into other companies, notably Eye of the Storm and Mierce Miniatures. While the legality of those transactions are likely to be tested, the ethics don’t look good. There are scores of UK/EU games out of pocket on advance orders of Games Workshop “Dark Vengeance” box sets.

I will be surprised if Rob Lane’s phoenix companies can rise from the ashes without encountering at least some resentment. There has been a resounding silence from the high profile wargaming media on this subject which is disappointing since sunlight is the best disinfectant in these cases.

Interesting customers have been most critical of Maelstrom’s lack of communication and answers to enquiries and complaints. Their modus operandi seems to be to just ignore communications. I have seen this before in my dealings with Maelstrom.

In 2010 I contacted Maelstrom seeking their support in regards to the Fields of Blood Warhammer 40k GT. This was at the time when New Zealand and Australia wargamers purchased large quantities of Games Workshop product from MG. About three months before the event I presented a proposal to Maelstrom which they agreed to. This involved a discount voucher for all participants and store credit as prize support. Six weeks out from the event I went back to them to firm up the details and was met by a wall of silence. Over the time up to the event I sent weekly emails to Gary Moore – their Events Manager – and received no replies. Finally the week before I rang Maelstrom indicating why I was calling and was put on hold, never to be picked up.

This episode cost me (and the participants) sponsorship of the event. As I had agreed with Maelstrom to sponsor the event I could not ethically sign other sponsors. Maelstrom were under no obligation to sponsor the event but I do think they had an obligation to be straight with me. Budgets etc had been formulated based on their support, after they had agreed three months out.

So, given my experience, I’m not surprised with their subsequent “problems”. I minimised my involvement with them after this shifting 90% of my GW purchasing elsewhere in UK (pre-embargo) and really only spent money on Bane Legions models post the GW restrictions.

Over the years I spent around GBP4,500 with them. In the early years they were great – fast and responsive. Once they got larger I think they took their eyes off the ball and customer service suffered.

Personally I think it will be a long way back.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Heresy Edition

For the Heresy Edition of a Tale of X Gamers here is your template for a Legion Tactical Squad.

9 Legion Tactical Marines + 1 Legion Tactical Sergeant (Power Armour, Bolter, Bolt Pistol, Frag & Krak Grenades)

  • Add up to 10 additional LTM
  • Exchange Bolter for Combat Blade or Chainsword - All
  • Take additional Combat Blade or Chainsword
  • One Marine can take Nunico-Vox (like Teleport Homer)
  • One Marine can carry Vexilla (allows re-roll of failed Morale Tests)
The Sergeant may exchange Bolter for one of the following:
  • Combi-weapon
  • Plasma Pistol
  • Heavy Chainsword
  • Power Weapon
  • Power Fist
  • Single Lightning Claw
He may also take Melta Bombs and uprade to Artificer Armour.

If no more than 10 models the Squad can have a Rhino as a Dedicated Transport. Characters with special rules unlock other Dedicated Transport options.

So to participate you need to build a unit of 10-20 Legion Tactical Marines before the end of January 2013.

This first unit is very vanilla but makes participation easy.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Tale of X Gamers - The Heresy Edition

Charlie and I have been chatting recently about  building up a Heresy-era force each with a view towards running some Horus Heresy events at the end of 2013.

We both have the "Betrayal" tome from Forgeworld and have been pawing through it over the past few weeks.

So this is a call out to any Fields of Blood readers that would like to join us and participate in this endeavour.

The intention is to build the army up over time rather than build an xxxx point force at the outset. This is because Forgeworld will be producing rules and models for different Legions as they release their books.

The "Betrayal" book has a standard Legion list and this will form the basis for all their list going forward.

So what do you have to do to participate:

1. Choose one of the 18 Legions to build a force for

2. Let me know and I can provide you with any details around the Legion list. I also have copies of all the White Dwarf "Index Astartes" articles from the early 2000s which detail history, colours, traits etc of the Legion plus examples of Heresy era colour scheme.

3. Build a 10 man Legion Tactical Squad (I can provide unit details)

4. Post pictures here of said squad by end of January

Friday, November 9, 2012

NZ Masters - 40k Field

The confirmed 40k field so far is as follows:

Charlie St. Clair
Mark Buttle
Haydn Korach
Pascal Roggen
Ivan Soo
Daniel Hayden
David Wilson

I am waiting to hear from Henare Akari, Robert Power and James Woodward. I have no contact details for Dean Oldham.

I'll be sending out an email this evening to the confirmed participants todiscuss some potential changes to the format. Depending on final numbers this may involve a round robin/invites expanded to #21-25/ Highest ranked two tournament competitor etc.

Final field will be confirm by Sunday evening.

Edit: Henare is a non-starter so waiting to hear from Robert to finalise things

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

NZ Masters Field - Fantasy

The field is as follows:

Antony Kitson
Pete Dunn
Tim Joss
Tom Dunn
Peter Williamson
Mike King
Sam Whitt
Raymond Dick
Rory Finnemore
Joel van de Ven-Long

Locky Reid has also qualified and has accepted his invite.

This leaves us with 11 people which means Locky would miss out. The criteria has been to restrict the field to only those in Top 20 Ranked. However, I am going to send out an email this evening to those in the field to seek acceptence to added #22 ranked Neil Williamson to give a field of 12.

From a draw point of view 12 people is much better than 10.

Edit: Competitors indicated that they prefered 12 rather than 10 and simple vote passed the invite to Neil.

Final Field:

Antony Kitson (Auckland)

Pete Dunn (Wellington)
Tim Joss (Invercargill)
Tom Dunn (Wellington)
Peter Williamson (Masterton)
Mike King (Wellington)
Sam Whitt (Wellington)
Raymond Dick (Wellington)
Rory Finnemore (Auckland)
Joel van de Ven-Long (Wellington)
Locky Reid (Wellington)
Neil Williamson (Masterton)

Australian Masters Invite

Last night I logged into Wargamerau for the first time in ages and saw that I had an invite to the Australian Masters in my Inbox.

Since their first Masters back in 2005 the highest ranked NZ player has been invited to the Australian event. I was lucky enough to qualify in 2008 and 2010 (where I qualified on my Top 10 Oz ranking as well) and in both year's attended and had a great time.

This year I won't be able to attend. The reason for this is a clash of dates. At the start of 2012 I posted the NZ Masters dates (as organiser) and contacted the Oz organisers informing them of when the NZ event was. Unfortunately there are only a limited number of dates and the Oz Masters organisers need to split out their Fantasy and 40k events. This has meant by scheduling for early December (1st/2nd and 8th/9th) that one was always going to clash with the NZ event.

So due to my prior commitment to organising the NZ event, I've had to decline. My invite passes onto the #2 Ranked Player - Tim Joss and I've let him know and I've passed his details onto the Australian organisers. If Tim declines I understand the next ranked Oz player picks it up.

However that said, even if there was no clash, I was always going to decline my invitation. One of the most pleasing parts of the last eighteen months' Warhammer in New Zealand has been the annihilation of subjective composition scores. The move to a Hard Cap system has taken so much niggle out of events and made life much more balanced. Coincidently, the last subjective comp system I played in was the 2010 Australian Masters system (used at both the Oz and NZ Masters events that year) and I started with "handicaps" against my playing opponents of 48 and 51 points respectively. When there were only 120 points on offer that size of hurdle proved in surmountable. It allowed the weaker armies to look for draws, small losses and ride the comp score through. Good on them, they played to the system and received the rewards. However, it really soured me on subjective comp.

Since then I have been a devotee of Hard Cap comp - both as a player and as a TO - as it removes the "hard done by" griping that people like myself felt. This means there is no whinging, whining or squealing like little girls before or after the event.

Australia seems to be one of a very limited number of countries that holds on to subjective comp, most TOs now using the more transparent hard cap system.

Despite all that, I wish the organisers and the participants in this year's Oz Masters all the best. I know everyone will have a great time - from a social point of view both the 2008 and 2010 events were highlights for me. If Tim decides to pick up his invitation he will surely have a great time.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Maelstrom Games Update

Over the weekend the Maelstrom Games website went down and has not come back up. Most commentators are taking that as confirmation that MG have stopped trading.

There is discussion over at Warseer that a company called Eye of the Storm has purchased the physical shop and gaming facilities of Maelstrom Games and they have a web presence with a website very reminiscent of MG. Bane Legions/Bane Lords have been purchased by Mierce Miniatures. Both of these companies - EOTS and Mierce - are owned by Maunsfeld Gaming (a company set up in June 2012).

Here is a link to a UK business website that details ownership/directorships of various companies.

Personally given what happened with Maelstrom Games, I'd be very cautious being either a supplier or customer of Maunsfeld Gaming.

Your mileage may vary.

Bane Legions Bloodthirster - WIP

Over the weekend I put together the Bane Legions Krull of Dis I purchased in the Maelstrom firesale of late October. I’m pretty happy with the purchase getting 50% off and free postage. The offers of late October seem to have been delivered whereas those of the last 10 days or so appear to be in stasis – Maelstrom appearing to have finally fallen over last weekend.

The model arrived last Tuesday and I’ve spent the last few nights while watching TV/listening to podcasts tidying it up and building it. First things, first. There is very little flash or mold lines on the figure. Where there are then it is very easy to clean them up with a craft knife. Whaere more work is required is on the removing of casting lugs (all pieces) and stabilisers (on small pieces). This requires some work with clippers, knife and flat file. The resin is not overly brittle so with a little care youcan get a good finish. I managed to put the craft knife into my left index finger resulting in a reasonable flow of blood – but hey, what else can you expect with a Bloodthirster!

There are some very large joins e.g. torso to legs, arms to torso etc. In some cases these have a surface area more than an inch square so rather than use Super Glue, I used a very thing layer of GF9 Greenstuff. I have found that this gives a much better bond than Super Glue for a large surface where there might be some imperfections, the epoxy compensating for any bumps or holes.

So here are some pictures of the model WIP. Remember this is a very large model standing around 9” high before the wings are attached. I have decided to paint it in three parts – wings and body – before final assembly. There are some small gaps still to fill and a little sanding of excess Green Stuff once it has fully cured.

Monday, November 5, 2012

While The Wife's Away, The Mice Will Play

Lynne was away in Christchurch over the weekend so I took the opportunity to get in some games of Warhammer. The last few weeks I’ve managed to get in about a dozen games with the Two Orcs & Goblins and thought I’d have a change. Both the Ogres and the Skaven were crying out for some love so was tossing up which to use.

The Bone Sandwich. Flint-Fang Arrives to Save Seerlord Morskitta (see game versus Ryan Lister, below)

On Saturday Mike King brought around his Beasts and I broke out the Skaven – pretty similar list to what I had been using earlier in the year. I was wanting to try out some Rat Swarms given the new FAQ but was not able to find the spare 50 points (silly Swarms not counting for Core).

The first game (Blood & Glory) was almost settled in the first turn when my Bell, which was echeloned back to avoid being charged by Mike’s Minotaur bus, lurched forward 6”putting it in front of its flanking Slave units. Mike had to make a 2D6 roll of 9 to charge the Bell, with a re-roll due to a magic item. The best he got was 8 and as a result I was able to clog up the bus and go about killing his smaller units. I managed to get enough to break his Fortitude.

We racked up again and this time played Dawn Attack. Both our armies were split to a certain extent between one side of the centre and the other flank. I was lucky that my Bell had two units of Slaves to protect it. However it was faced up against the Minotaur bus, a chariot and the Bestigors. Both of us placed scouts – Mike Harpies and me a unit of Gutter Runners. And really the battle on this flank was decided by a Doomrocket shot that killed 15 Bestigors. The remaining models including two characters were finished off by the Gutter Runners and Warp Lightning. This left the bus to fight its way through two Slave units which it did but not before the Bell moved off to safety. I monstered the other flank and was then able to shoot and magic the bus down.

Sunday saw Ryan Lister, Mathew Collett and James Milner come across. I managed to get two more games in before I had to head to the airport to pick up returning beloved.

The first was against Ryan’s VC and you can read his report on it here. It was a near run thing in that due to me misfiring with my catapult, a unit of Slaves holding up the Black Knight bus lost much faster than it should have thereby putting my bell at risk. I learned an important lesson about picking the right targets and factoring in the effects of a misfire.

My last game was against James’ High Elves, again in Blood & Glory. I was able to ground his flock of Eagles with Warpgale and the Storm Banner which allowed me to dictate the battle. Two well-placed Str 6 Warp Lightning shots shredded the Dragon Princes and when the Hell Pit brought down the General I broke his Fortitude.

So all in all a good weekend’s gaming. It was nice to get the Skaven out again and give them a run. Keen to try the same with Ogres in a couple of weeks.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Warhammer Forge - New Models

Spotted at Games Day France were new Goblins.......

And some intriguing models in the background and truncated at the side.

I quite like the Armoured Squig (Mangler proxy for me) and the Banner Bearer.

There were also new Dwarfs...but as expected these were quite dull. I'll put in a picture of the Trollslayer just to show I'm not Dwarfist (even though I obviously am).

Only small though - like the readership interested in such stuff.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Post-Sandy "Rat-pocalypse - Civil Wars Predicted

From AFP News Service:

Displaced Warlord Attempts To Sieze Power From Local Grey Seer

"Displaced rats will interact with local rat groups, probably in quite aggressive encounters. Those encounters will decide who is dominant, who stays and who leaves."

And for those terrified by the prospect of street corners overrun by aggressive rodents, he had calming words.

"Most rats would try to go back home once the water subsides. They are very loyal to their home territories and groups and can find their way home from quite far away."

He added that while breeding would quickly bring the rat population back up to pre-storm size, there was "no reason to expect it will get bigger."

Be afraid, very afraid!

Magic Items & Fleeing

In the amended BRB FAQ released mid-week there was the following question added:

Q: Can a fleeing model dispel spells or use magic items? (p24)
A: No.  

This attracted some attention in the comments section but I thought it was worth highlighting for people on the front page.  

On the surface it looks quite innocuous, however all is not what it seems.  

By RAW (Rules As Written) this means that magic armour and the like loses its effect when you are fleeing.

Things like Magic Resistance and other magic item derived innate abilities go away.   It comes down to interpretation of the word "use".  

Now it is my own view that this way never meant to affect passive magic items. In fact, I believe that the probable intention was very narrow and related to the dispelling of spells (thereby covering things like Destroyer Scrolls, Feedback Scrolls and the like).  

However, as it is written, it is very wide-ranging in its effect.   If it remained as it is, what would people's view be on a clarification limiting it to items you actively seek to use e.g. scrolls, potions etc rather than passive items e.g. Talisman of Protection, magic armour  

Messy, but possibly more reflective of the consensus view?   If so, are there any suggestions as to wording?  

Or is the consensus view that if fleeing, items like Charmed Shield, Dragonbane Gem etc lose all abilities

Masters Invitees Confirmed

Masters invitees are confirmed as per my Monday's posts marked "Provisional".

Ignore the RHQ update as they have included both 2011 and 2012 Conquest results which impacts the rankings of Mal Patel, Locky Reid, Darren Uruquhart and Basil Moskovis. My calculations on Monday were correct.

In 40k the rankings in RHQ are correct.

Invitees should expect an official invite and Players Pack by tomorrow evening.

Vermintide Reminder

A reminder for Wellington, Hutt, Kapiti and Masterton gamers that Vermintide is being run by the Masterton Marauders and Wellington Warlords at the Warlords venue in Khandallah on November 17.

This is a five round 1200 point single day competition organised by Neil Williamson. It is always a fun event and deserves to be a great success.

Unfortunately (for me) i won't be able to participate - my inlaws are visiting from Nelson for the weekend - but I intend to get down to the hall at some point during the day to see how it is all going.