Sunday, March 31, 2013

FOB Fantasy Rankings Updated For NatCon

Mike King umpired the eight round 2500 point Natcon over the weekend. It was incredibly hard fought with no-one getting a break on the field.


1st   Sam Whitt (Dark Elves)
2nd  Mal Patel (Lizardmen)
3rd   Sam Campbell (Daemons of Chaos)

Best Sport

Brendon Johnston (Beastmen)
(11 players received Best Opponents Votes, and everyone got perfect a sports score)

Best Army

Charlie Lloyd (Tomb Kings)
(5 Armies received votes, Charlie got 8 votes, double that 2nd highest vote getter Bo Paterson (Lizardmen))

Here are the full results:
The Fields of Blood Fantasy Rankings have been updated to reflect these results.

The key mover was National Champ Sam Whitt who jumped four spots to a career high 5th and picked up the Dark Elf icon for his trouble.

High Elves Next?

I think we can take it that High Elves are pretty much the next cab off the rank. Rumours have been floating around for a few days but now a "picture" has emerged.


Such a unit is in keeping with Games Workshop's recent releases and I think the models look very nice.

EDIT: If you look in the bottom of photo you can see what appears to be the chariot-mounted bolt thrower on an Eagle

EDIT: Also it looks like the HE Spearmen won't be replaced as you can see existing to the right. There are however (centre bottom) what looks like Seaguard (shields on back)

The rumour is a May release for book and models, although I wouldn't be surprised if it was June as I'd expect a "The Hobbit" month to have to be slotted in somewhere.

EDIT: And here is Book Cover

Friday, March 29, 2013

More FW Heresy Goodness

Coming on the back of the Outrider Squad that FW released last weekend, there are three new releases for "Betrayal".

MK III Breacher Siege Squad

"The Legion MkIII Breacher Siege Squad is one such unit; clad in augmented power armour based on the Iron pattern and bearing great ablative shields. These squads act as a vanguard in such lethal missions, and are often additionally equipped with powerful breaching charges and lascutters or melta weapons, to destroy strongpoints and forge a path for the force’s main strength to follow."

 MK IV Recon Squad

"Equipped with a variety of specialised wargear including long-range sniper weapons, stealth gear and augmented sensor-auspex devices, the Legion Recon Squad function as scouts, gathering intelligence and mapping enemy movements and strengths."

Mechanicum Thallax Cohort

"The Thallaxii are heavily augmented cyborg shock-troops used by the Mechanicum Ordo Reductor, and they differ from the Skitarii regiments both in purpose and the unique degree of their augmetics. The Lorica Thallax, from which their name derives, was developed from power armour technology, and requires a robust human specimen to enable it to function to its maximum potential. Once integrated, it encloses its bearer’s major organs, nervous system and cerebrum, but entirely replaces their skeletal structure and limbs with armoured bionics powered by an internal reactor core."

So there are lots of opportunities for our "Tale of X Gamers - Heresy Edition" participants to customise their army into something truly unique.

From a Death Guard Legion viewpoint I don't believe that we will bother with such whimsies as a Recon Squad or a Breacher Siege Squad. However there may be an opportunity to include a Mechanicum Cohort at some point.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fantasy Podcasts - A Listening List

Over the last twelve months there has been a veritable explosion of Fantasy podcasts available to the hobbyist.

Some have been around for longer but with new delivery platforms - Instacast, Podcaster etc - they are more accessible than ever.

The listener now has a lot more content competing for their ears with casts generated all around the world. This gives great insight into different gaming environments and metas. The format/delivery varies widely from the content-focused to the shock jock "Beavis & Butthead/Jackass" stable.

One thing has developed over the past year - the sound quality of the shows. Whereas 12 months ago I would listen to a show with questionable acoustics, now I struggle if quality is poor. This is largely a reaction to how much the leading podcasts have upped their game by investing in good quality sound kit.

So where am I currently directed my listening hours?

  • Bad Dice Daily - short (15 minute) show that covers news, rules, has interviews etc
  • Dwellers Below - Australian-based show (only just meets sound quality hurdle) which gives insights into Victorian scene (subjective comp) as well as broader Warhammer content.
  • Black Sun - the veritable box of chocolates. It ranges from very good to a train wreck. Regardless it is always funny.
  • Bad Dice Main Show - improved markedly over the past year from an already solid format. Miss Ben Johnston but new hosts Mark Wildman and Gareth Dicks have surprised me as I had real misgivings at the outset as for a while the show wandered. Like the idea of regular guests.
  • Garagehammer - I've become a new listener to this show and like the tight format and professionalism of the hosts. Wider breadth than most shows. Have just spun off a "Horus Heresy" podcast.
  • Pointhammered - pretty laidback, less formal show with two likeable hosts
I've just started listening to Ohiohammer and Skull Bros and need to hear a few more shows before I decide whether I'll continue. There are a few UK based shows I've tried - Two Gamer Radio, Six Dice Monkeys - but they really suffer from very poor sound quality. When lined up against shows with better quality it just becomes a bit too hard.

Which brings me to my final point. In the podcasting business good sound quality costs money. If you are a regular listener to the show (and are in the position to) then I'd recommend supporting them financially. Now this may only be $10-20 but I'm sure that the hosts would appreciate it. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tale of X Gamers - Heresy Edition

Just a reminder that the next deadline is after Easter.

I'm just finishing up my Deathshroud and I've received pics of a World Eater Contemptor from David Greig.

Pics to the usual email.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Fields of Blood NZ Rankings - Warhammer 40k

They have jusrt been updated to include Archenemy run in January. Some changes in the Top 10 and "Marco Colombo" shifts to Haydn Korach.

Mierce Kickstarter - First Arrivals

This morning I received a parcel from Mierce Miniatures containing the first batch of models that I ordered as part of their Kickstarter. I love Warhammer Monsters and here is a great batch of monsters. I'm guessing I'll eventually build a Beastmen army around them.

Top Row (L to R): Gorgon, Manticore, Skaven Warlord
Bottom Row: Cyclops, Chimera, Beastlord on Monstrous Beast (chariot proxy)

Kits look great and I am looking forward to building and painting them.

Skaven v Lizards Resumes

Mike and I resumed our battle for the forests of Lustria this weekend with a battle between his Lizards and my Skaven. We rolled up Meeting Engagement with me deploying first. All my units made the board while Mike had four off. However that was not necessarily a disadvantage as he rolled the required "6" and got first turn.

The game was a little cat and mouse as the threat of 13th keep Mike's Ethereal Slaan at a distance. I used my Doomwheel to go hunting for him and it managed to get behind Mike's lines and close in on him. Through use of his Ward and a LOS for being within 3" of his blocks Mike's frog was able to survive sustaining only a couple of wounds.

In the penultimate turn the Slaan came forward and I managed to get a Crack's Call through him. Much checking of FAQs ensued and after initially thinking he was removed we found that the spell has been FAQ'd as a template giving a LOS to the Slaan. He passed this and we replaced him on the board.

The game finished up with what looked like a minor win to me as Mike lost one Saurus block and most of his chaff while I lost chaff and the HPA.

The list I'm using has a Power Scroll as the Seer's Arcane Item, rather than an Earthing Rod. I've been considering the merits of this but ultimately because I have gone down a Clan Rat Bell/No Assassin route I think the Scroll provides additional offensive power albeit at the expense of some risk mitigation.

Personally I'm not convinced the Stormvermin/Dual Assassin Bell build is superior to what I am running. Certainly not for my playstyle or in an environment that uses Scenarios rather than purely Battleline.

Hobby Weekend

So it was a good weekend for my hobby.

I progressed the six Beasts of Nurgle I am painting using the Forgeworld Plague Ogre models. They are about a third of the way through and hopefully will be finished by the weekend.

More resin bases for my Daemons arrived from Back2bas-ix and these are now painted and just require magnetisation. Cost was two craft knife cuts to my thumb as I removed the minimal flash from the bases.

On Saturday I received my first lot of Plague Drones and these are now being assembled. Great kits, can't wait to paint them.

I call in at GW yesterday and picked up a couple of paints. It looked like there were a few young gamers settling in for a marathon assembly session. I had been hoping to pick up a set of the new Edge Paints but couldn't immediately see them there. These paints look ready made for lazy people like me who can't be arsed mixing their own.

Then with some trepidation I ventured out to Charlie's with my Deathshroud Terminators in hand. Having repainted these twice due to problems with an oil wash, I was keen to find out what I was doing wrong. Charlie went through the technique with me again - I'm a slow learner - and we determined two things I was doing wrong. Firstly, I needed to soften the cotton bud I was using. This involved teasing it - "You're just a stupid cotton bud" - to ensure I wasn't too abrasive when removing the oil wash. Secondly, I had the bud too wet with turps and this was flooding the model and finding weak spots in the gloss varnish cover. Cheers Charlie. Always great to get actual demo rather than try to solve via email.

I brought the Deathshroud home and have been detailing them ahead of applying the weathering powders to achieve the same effect I got on my Legion Tactical Squad.

So all in all I'm going to award myself a "Merit" for Hobby over the weekend.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Games Workshop's eCommerce Solution

While reading material on a couple of forums I came across an article by Games Workshop's eCommerce provided. This gives some information on what GW was trying to achieve with its website and web store.

It is now hosted externally which possibly gives some insight as to why so much hobby material was stripped off it. The focus was on ensuring a functional and stable web store more so than a provider of a hobby "experience".

You can access the article here

Fields of Blood NZ Rankings Go Live!

The observant amongst you might notice a button under the heading titled "FOB NZ Rankings".

I'm happy to announce that the FOB rankings for NZ Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40k players are now "live". You can access the rankings by clicking on the button and you will be taken to a new page where the rankings reside. Here you have the option to access the rankings for your particular game.

More functionality will be added over the coming weeks but as it stands we have:

  • Player Ranking - based on best three finishes
  • Best in Race Icons
  • Players currently in line for Masters Invites marked in "Blue"
  • Current Master marked in "Yellow"
  • Icons for previous Masters winners
  • The "Marco Colombo" Icon for Player who has attended the most events.
I have gone through the rankings and have tidied up any duplicates I could find but if you spot any more please let me know.

The Rankings are correct as of the completion of last weekend's Equinox. The next update will occur after NatCon.

The intention is to add Flames of War in the next 2-3 weeks completing the NZ Masters "Family".

I'd like to give Jack a big thank you for all his efforts in ensuring completion of this feature.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Hoodling's Hole on Dwarfs

Greg Johnston over at "The Hoodling's Hole" has a great post on Dwarfs.

You can read it here

Pretty much sums up my thoughts on the stunties. It's an excellent read.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Mini Wargaming Video

Mini Wargaming in Canada have made a very thought-provoking video in response to the change in Games Workshop's trade policies for North America

In particular there are comments on GW's decision to limit NA retailers to domestic sales and GW's approach to online sales and the internet in general.


Daemonic Instability

One of the significant changes in the new Daemons of Chaos book seems to have slipped under the radar somewhat. This is in relation to Daemonic Instability.

In the 7th Edition book when you worked out Daemonic Instability you added the combat modifiers to the die roll and then compared that to the Leadership value. The difference was the number of models you lost. In this process there was no limit to the number of models you could lose.

e.g. Leadership 7 ~ Combat Modifiers -10 ~ Dice Roll 10

Here you would have 10 + 10 =20 which you would compare to 7 and lose 13 models

Under 8th the process is different. Now you subtract the combat modifier from the Leadership Characteristic and compare that to the die roll. This change is important because Leadership is a Characteristic and Characteristics are required to be between 0-10.

Using the same example we get a different answer.

eg.  Leadership 7 - Combat Modifier 10 = Leadership 0. This is compared to the die roll of 10 and you lose 10 models.

This is a very subtle but important change and one I think is worth highlighting. What it means is that a unit can only lose a maximum of 11 models from Instability (the roll of 12 having far more dire consequences, excepted).

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

TLOS Question

One of the things that I like about 8th Edition is TLOS. To me the game and GW terrain is made for it.

However as pointed out in an earlier series of posts I have been guilty of not playing it consistently with regard to buildings. The reason for this is that the buildings I have made for my terrain are largely on square mdf bases. This provides a clear point at which the building starts and finishes.

This works with movement but it has provided real inconsistencies for shooting and magic where by TLOS you can see a model but conceptually it is behind building [see below].

This weekend at the Dark Valley campaign we played TLOS for shooting and magic but used the full base for movement. It caused no problems and I must say that my fears were unjustified.

The question I have is that it is still not TLOS and in fact should we be using it for movement too?

Dark Valley Campaign

Over the weekend we had a Mighty Empires campaign at Chez Dunn. It involved eight gamers, two BBQs and six campaign turns.

The forces arrayed at the edge of the Dark Valley were:

  • Wil Hoverd - Ogres (Green)
  • Cody Parlato - Warriors of Chaos (White)
  • James Millington - Skaven (were mutated into WoC for Day 2) (Purple)
  • Glen Burfield - Vampire Counts (Grey)
  • Ryan Lister - Vampire Counts (Orange)
  • Mike King - Beastmen (Yellow)
  • Joel van de Ven-Long - Wood Elves (Red)
  • Pete Dunn - Skaven (Blue)
After the dust had settled we had had 24 battles, six turns and were left with the following troop dispositions:

James finished on 4 points, Mike 6, Cody 7, Glen 8, Joel 9, Wil 12, Ryan 14 and I had 15.

Hopefully over the coming months players will continue to use the campaign as a background for their games. Whenever they play a game where two empires are adjacent then the opportunity exists to treat it as a ME clash. Should the battle end more than 15-5 to either player then a territory changes hands. Advise me and I can update the map.

Later in the year I am hopeful to run a second weekend of campaign turns.

FOB Rankings Update - Post Equinox

Last night Jack and I inputted and updated the results of Equinox into the Fantasy Rankings to check that the model worked and was easily updateable. It was!

So now it is just making things look pretty.

The impact of Equinox was smaller than I expected in terms of the Top 12. Ross Hillier-Jones replaced Rory Finnemore in the Masters places and there was some shift upwards by the attendees. John Willenbruch jumped above Tom Dunn to #2.

In Icon news, the Chaos Dwarf Icon shifted from Sam Whitt to Richard Barby. Sam still holds the "Marco Colombo" for most tournaments with 7.

Look out for the website going live on March 31 - there should be no problems from here as we have contracted Talent2 to run it. What could go wrong?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Runefang VI Update

With just over five weeks out from Runefang VI, there are 26 gamers registered for the tournament. This will be the first NZ event to have both the new Warriors of Chaos and Daemons of Chaos army books in use.

Wellington May Need More Than A Runefang To Withstand The Chaos Incursion

There will be no race specific restrictions for either book as the local scene looks to determine their impact on the meta. Despite some grumblings on its release, the consensus is that the power level of the WoC has increased with the new book. IMO, Daemons look more "random" than they previously were however the jury is definitely still out on where the strongest build will coalesce. Runefang gives the local players a chance to judge for themselves.

There is still an opportunity for another 10-12 people to sign up for the event. You can download the Players Pack here

Natcon Warhammer Fantasy Lists

Mike King is umpiring Fantasy at NatCon over Easter Weekend and has kindly forwarded me the lists that the players are using. You can access them here

Natcon is three days, eight games and this year is at 2500 points with no comp and big monsters allowed.

Two big monsters have been taken - Dread Saurian and Nightmare Colossus.

Good luck to all those attending.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Manifestation of Nurgle

One of the dangers of playing at Chez Dunn is that there is always the chance for Nurgle to manifest. Most local gamers know and respect my cat Nurgle and when we are gaming he wants to be involved.

Generally he'll sit on a chair and watch but he is just as likely to appear on the table. Unfortunately this weekend he disgraced himself by taking a dislike to Joel's Gorger that Wil was using - sorry Joel.

He also manifested in the material realm while Mike and I were playing Watchtower. Evidently this exercise was energy-sapping as he immediately flopped and went to sleep snuggled up next to a Tuskgor chariot.

Tiring Stuff Being a God.

The Empire Strikes Back

Over the weekend news emerged that Games Workshop has started to move against the bits resellers in the USA. These are the companies that buy kits and then break them up into their component parts.

In an age of shelf companies it is hard to see how GW will be successful. The reseller will set up an affiliate that buys the product off them and puts distance between the direct transaction with GW. As the product has passed to a new set of hands, GW would have little leverage.

However what is more likely to happen is that GW will just pursue the strategy they did with Maelstrom Games (prior to ROW embargo). Here they limit the supply to the reseller and lengthen the delivery time. This worked with Maelstrom effectively moving them from 5-10 day delivery to a 20-30 day delivery (or in the case of the Dark Eldar Wracks 11 months).

What is does show is that GW is concerned about the developing market in broken down boxes and is looking to apply pressure to limit it off. The US is a different animal to the UK and I expect they will face a tougher fight against businesses and gamers who see their rights being infringed.

Some have said that the move foreshadows a move by GW into the bits business. I call bullshit on this. The time and effort is just not worth it for a company their size. Where their benefit comes from is shutting down  web based suppliers so that gamers are forced (if they want specific bits or sprues) to buy the full kit.

Tau Next Month

Over the weekend White Dwarf pictures emerged of the new Tau to be released in April.

Incoming is a new Codex, a new dual flyer - Sunshark/Razorshark, new Crisis and Barrlesuits and finally Pathfinders.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

NiCon Fantasy Players Pack

I received the NiCon Players Pack by email this morning. The event is on 1st/2nd June in Napier and is being umpired by Jeff Kent.

Depending on real life I'm thinking I may head up to this - particularly if a few of the Wellington/Kapiti/Waiarapa locals are also starters.

You can download the players pack here

Glad to see no stupid King of the Hill scenario.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hobby Time incl. Tale of X Gamers - Heresy Edition

Just finishing the last of 56 Plaguebearers before I jump on to paint Epidemius and Kairos Fateweaver. Hoping to gave pics up by the weekend of the Nurgle stuff.

Waiting for some time with Charlie to go over oil washes after a second disaster with the Deathshroud Terminators.

Remember you Tale of X Gamers - Heresy Edition, you have until Easter to finish your second unit.

Dark Elf Comp

Some discussions on Twitter recently got me thinking about Dark Elf comp. Dark Elves have become a less dominant force in the past couple of years for a number of reasons.

Firstly, a lot of people who were playing them regularly have drifted to new armies - understandable given the book is coming up to 5 years old. I was shocked when five turned up for NZTC.

Secondly, the rules of 8th coupled with the release of new books - with increasing Monstrous Cavalry for instance - have rebalanced the meta significantly and Dark Elves seem to have suffered more than most.

Thirdly, and leading on from the second point, Dark Elves have suffered from "legacy comp" related to the halycon days of 7th. The restrictions that were put in place to soften them in the last edition have never really been relaxed.

Lastly, and again related to previous points, their main strike unit Black Guard has a model cap of 20 in a game where 20 T3 models can evaporate in the blink of an eye.

Looking at the Dark Elf comp for the upcoming Runefang VI we have the following restrictions on Dark Elves:

  • Dark Elves may only use a max of 6 dice to cast a spell the same as everyone else. This overrides the rule in their book
  • Non warmachine shooting is limited to 90 shots per army - count the number of shots, not models. So for example Dark Elf Warriors with repeater crossbows count as 2 shots.
  • No single non character unit in the army may be over 450 points
  • The Pendant of Kaleth and the Crown of Command may not be taken on the same model.
  • Hydras are 0 – 1 per army
  • Max 3 units with the ‘fly’ special rule
Of those restrictions, I have previously relaxed the restriction on Hydras. In today's meta I personally don't think two Hydras is excessive - especially with cheap access to a character flaming ward and to flaming attacks.

The other one I would consider relaxing is the restriction on maximum of 6 magic dice for a spell. This is very much a legacy restriction reaching back to the first days of 8th. We have now had seven 8th Ed Army Books released and I struggle to see many situations where it would be gamebreaking.

Of the others, the unit limit of 450 points, a cap on shots, a race specific limit on flyers and the restriction on Crown/Pendant all have a place in restricting the more annoying (non-fun) builds.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Vampire Counts List

Here is the Vampire Counts list I've been using over the last couple of months:


Vampire Lord - Level 3 (Vamps), Barded Nightmare, Heavy Armour, Shield, Ogre Blade, Talisman of Preservation, Other Trickster's Shard, Quickblood, Red Fury - 503


Vampire - Level 1 (Vamps), Barded Nightmare, Heavy Armour, Sword of Anti-Heroes, Enchanted Shield, Opal Amulet, Quickblood - 205

Wight King - BSB, Barded Steed, Lance, Heavy Armour, Obsidian Amulet, Dragonhelm - 179

Necromancer - Level 1 (Vamps), Scroll - 90


35 Ghouls - Ghast - 360

40 Zombies - 120

3x 5 Dire Wolves - 120


10 Black Knights - Full Command, Barding, Lances -290

2x 3 Vargheists - 276

2 Fellbats - 40


Terrorgheist - 225

An Extremely Angry Vampire (Red Fury?) Who Appears To Have Missed His Bus

The army seems to synergise well, the characters in particular supporting each other. I've found that typically 10 Black Knights is enough - against all but the strongest Magic Defence - and that they act as a suitable delivery system for the two Vampires.

The two units of Vargheists I treat as expendable, using them to clean out chaff from around the bus. The key is not to get too greedy with them and chase points that don't necessarily impact your overall plan. I've yet to really get the most out of the Fellbats and generally they are surplus to immediate requirements which means I chuck them in and get them killed early. I believe patience here would be a virtue and I should employ them as a mobile reserve.

The Ghouls have been the hardest unit to learn to use. I've taken to using them in Horde and I think that is the way forward. Again they need to be committed to wear down the enemy to allow Vargheist to act as flat track bullies later in the game.

Mr. Terrorgheist is fun to use. He is very vulnerable to Light magic but in those situations he needs to be drawn out to the flanks or committed to pick up points as fast as possible before his inevitable death. Determining which strategy is part of the fun. Looking forward to getting him into some high value targets.

Appreciate any comment on list. In particular if you can identify any weaknesses either in build and kitout. What matches do you think are particularly tough and could points be better spent elsewhere.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Solidifying Rumours - 2013 GW Releases

There seems to be solidifying rumours around GW's release schedule for 2013.

In 40k it seems we'll see new Tau Empire in the next two months followed mid-year by rebooted Apocalypse and Eldar. I am surprised that we are not seeing Codex:Space Marines given we are now 9 months into 6th Edition. Perhaps GW will surprise the hoi polloi.

For Fantasy we have two further releases this year. First up will be High Elves (around June/July) with Lizardmen later in the year. Talk of the other two Elves and Dwarfs (hope not) in 2014.

Unfortunately this means no new book for Skaven in 8th Edition. We'll just have to reconcile ourselves to the fact that we will not have access to all the toys that those armies that get new books enjoy. Still at least it will keep those truly devoted to the Horned Rat away while true acolytes soldier on with an outdated book.

Well Matched Armies

Over the past few weeks Mike King and I have had a series of battles with pretty much the same two armies. I've been using Vampire Counts and Mike has had Lizardmen. This has led to a series of close battles where the outcome is generally down to one of us making a mistake.

Mike's army is as follows:

Ethereal Slaan BSB with Lore of Light & tricks
3x Scar Vets (one on Cold One)
Skink Priest with Heavens

2x 30 Saurus
2x Skink Cohorts
2x Skink Skirmishers

2x Camo Skinks

2 Salamanders
1 Salamander

while mine is:

Level 3 Vamp
Level 1 Vamp
Wight King BSB
Level 1 Necromancer

35 Ghouls
40 Zombies
3x 5 Wolves

10 Black Knights
2x 3 Vargheists
2 Fell Bats


The games tend to centre on a fight between my bus and one of Mike's Saurus blocks - boosted by oodles of Light spells. At one stage yesterday his block was ASF + 1A, WS10 Init 10 while my bus was -2 to hit (Iceshard and Pha's). Generally I need to hold my scroll for this important battle which means that my fragile units - Vargheists and Terrorgheists  are very vulnerable in the early game from Banishment and Shem's.

We've now fought this battle about five times and I'd say Mike is 3-1 up with one game being a draw - however the games are always tight.

Yesterday's game saw me with 800 points of characters left and Mike with 1300 points left, giving him a minor win. However this would have been less than 100 points had his Saurus block rolled 10 to escape the remnants of my bus (the two Vamps) on Turn 6. The loss was my own fault as I made a silly charge with my Terrorgheist knowing he would flee and then hoping to re-direct (Ld 5 ??!!??!!) instead of the charge I should have made.

And that's what's been good about these games. They have come down to player choices and skill.

Mike, I keen to get my revenge!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Rankings - Update on Progress

Jack has been working diligently to create the engine for the rankings and as of today I got a look at it. The data I supplied took out all events up to 2012 NatCon (April 8). This removes last year's Equinox as well.

Here are the Top 25 players in the rankings given that database:

Edit: Updated with Best Army Icon holders and events played. Dwarfs is held by Simon Switzer, Beastmen by Stuart Robinson, Dark Elves by Brian Smith.

1.   Tim Joss252.005['Tomb Kings']
2.   Tom Dunn244.944['Daemons of Chaos']
3.   Daniel Butler232.493['Skaven']
4.   Mike King228.455
5.   Mal Patel225.514['Lizardmen']
6.   Sam Whitt223.826['Chaos Dwarfs', 'Orcs & Goblins']
7.   Paul Dalton217.805['Ogre Kingdoms']
8.   Joel van de Ven-Long213.144
9.   Peter Williamson211.183
10. John Willenbruch209.714['Bretonnians']
11. James Brown201.295
12. Rory Finnemore199.255['Empire']
13. Ross Hillier-Jones194.844['Warriors of Chaos']
14. Hamish Forbes188.644
15. Basil Moskovis184.504['Vampire Counts']
16. Pete Dunn184.002
17. Nick Irvine164.185['Wood Elves']
18. Rhys Hodgson159.923
19. Darren Urquhart157.383
20. Hamish Gordon153.913
21. Andy Hudson148.653
22. James Millington141.453
23. Wil Hoverd139.552
24. James Milner138.004['High Elves']
25. Antony Kitson132.082

So we have a working model and now it is just putting together the website design. Thankfully Nat Bacchus has offered to help us with this as he has expertise in this area.

One icon I am looking to include this year is the "Marco Colombo" for the person who attends the most events over the course of the year. Edit: At moment that would be held by Sam Whitt

Looking for a March 31 reveal

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Runefang VI - Reminder Regarding Early Bird Registration

Just a heads up that early bird registration for Runefang VI closes next Saturday (16th March). Up until then it is $35, it then increases to $45. Runefang is on April 27/28.

Imperial Griffon Inflicts Its Own Killing Blow On Tomb Kings' Necropolis Knight

Early registration is great for TOs as it helps enormously with planning - particularly as the field increases. Terrain, tables, cloths need to be secured and an assistant to help out the Umpire may be needed (e.g. NZTC).

It also helps the players, especially out of towners. Cheaper flights can be booked and accommodation jacked up. Remember there are a lot of gamers in Welly that might be amenable to putting you up. However you need to give them notice as it normally includes negotiations with their better half.

If you would like a Players Pack (and the search function "Upcoming Tournaments" is beyond you) then drop me an email at

Currently 22 people have signed up and it looks like a field of 35-40 is not beyond the event. There will be a limit of 40 places however, dictated by the venue

Hobby Thursday

Thursday is this week's hobby day for me.

First up, priming the Plaguebearers I recently bought and stripped. These are the last edition metals. I think they are soooo much better than the new "goofy" plastics. I'm trying something different here. Normally I will prime with a black or, in rare occasions, white. Here I've decided to try the Flames of War "War Paint" sprays. I picked up two cans - one green, one earth - at Wargames Supply's closing down sale.

Nice tight nozzle with good spray. The can gave good coverage of the metal figures and I am now leaving them in the sun to dry.

I have primed to new units of 28 Plaguebearers suspecting that 4 ranks of 7 may be the way to go.

Another day in paradise. The view from the deck at Chez Dunn. Currently sitting in sun drinking a very nice Flat White and watching the cricket on the big screen. Life is good.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Fields of Blood NZ Rankings Website

Just spent the morning uploading all 2012 tournament info to a template that will be used for the Fields of Blood NZ Rankings.

The aim is to have the site live at the end of March thereby replacing the RHQ locally. After 31 March RHQ will no longer maintain rankings for NZ players as they move to a paid content model.

The FOB site will use a rankings model that takes your best three results over the previous 12 months. Events require a minimum of 12 players to be ranked. Ranking points are determined by placing, number of participants and number of rounds. To get full weighting events must have five rounds.

The intention is to also continue with Best Race Icons.

The website URL will be disclosed once the site is up and running.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Vargheists Are Okay

Before I pulled out my Vampire army from the crypt it had been occupying since 2009, I had heard a lot of internet wisdom (as well as live gamer talk) that Vargheists were crap. The general theory was that they had nothing on their box-mates the Crypt Horrors and that I would be foolish to use them.

I've now played about ten games with the new book and my personal experience is that this view couldn't be further from the truth. Yes, they are fragile - T4, no save - and they are Frenzied but they are also Vampiric, Flyers and have four Str 5 attacks. Certainly they are situational but if you are sensible with them (and present multiple threats), I find them reasonably survivable.

I do however think they are list dependant. I use them in a "fast" list where there are eight units that can move 14+ inches a turn.In a footslogging list I think that they would be a clear target. Where they really excel is in their cost. I field two units of three, each costing 138 points. They are therefore largely expendable in the scheme of things.

For me it's been a case of trying things out for myself and see if I can get some utility where others have dismissed them. It's a salient lesson in always question the conventional wisdom.

And they are a far nicer build than the Crypt Horror too!

Campaign Weekend Coming Up.

Since I'm not going to Equinox and the wife is away for the weekend leaving me to feed the cats, I've organised a campaign weekend at Chez Dunn. I've invited 8-9 locals around to fight over the Great Dark Vale

In 2011 I ran two Mighty Empires campaign weekends at CAS Hall and they were well received. Well this is going to be a mini version of that. Six games over the two days.

Players are bringing a 2400 point army and 2 sideboards of 200 points each. The sideboards must be units and must not violate the normal 0-3 Special or 0-2 Rare restrictions. We'll also be using the Runefang VI comp as a filter.

For me, Seerlord Morskitta will be seeking to expand his realm and I'm going to look to paint up a new unit to use as one of my sideboards.

Pete: Skaven
Joel: Wood Elves
James: Skaven
Glen: Vampires
Wil: Ogres
Mike: Beastmen
Cody: Warriors of Chaos

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Main Reason Why I Think Mono-Daemons Is the Way Forward

I've been digesting the DoC book over the past 24 hours and I am really convinced that mon-God lists will be the way forward.

And a key reason for this is something that a lot of people in their considerations of the new book haven't highlighted.

Swift Reform.

Now to use a General's Inspiring Presence or the BSB's re-roll, you have to be aligned to the same god. This is a major departure to the previous book. Yes, it manifests itself in Frenzy checks and Instability Tests but it also impacts the Swift Reform.

The ability to reform and move in Warhammer is critical and requires two things - a muso and the passing of a Leadership test.

With most Daemon units having a Leadership of 7, that only gives them a 58% chance of being able to complete the manoeuvre. Access to a higher Leadership and a re-roll is going to be critical in providing Daemon players (especially in tournaments) the certainty they require to move their army around.

I know I certainly wouldn't want my battleplan to be reliant on a single Ld 7 roll.

Friday, March 1, 2013

NZ Team Championships - A TO's Roundup

The NZ Teams Championships were a fortnight ago and over the time since the event I have been able to reflect on how the tournament went.

So What Worked

  • Teams of Four - it allowed a spread of armies so the matchup process was important and teams had to think about how they would approach different situations
  • Matchup Process - stolen shamelessly from overseas, it allowed teams to try and engineer beneficial matchups
  • The Players - all the players embraced the concept. Teams signed up early giving the event financial viability and all turned up to celebrate Warhammer
  • Painted Armies - requiring painted armies was important. It meant that there had to be some investment in the process of list creation
  • The Venue - was exactly the right size for the number of players, close to food outlets and with offstreet parking. It got very hot on Saturday though.
  •  Scoresheets/Software - worked perfectly. The Swiss Draw was only compromised once which required a bottom up build but my visions of nightmares constructing the draw (I've done 10 player 6 round draws before) didn't eventuate
  • Twitter Buzz/Blog Smashtalk - this created a real buzz before the event and this carried through to the two days. The banter was great.
  • Two Officials - I thought Locky and Ryan did a great job marshalling the event. Locky was a great umpire taking no nonsense. Two people meant there was always coverage
  • Trophies - I was happy with the reaction to the trophies. I wanted podium teams to have a decent keepsake and I also wanted to fund a permanent trophy (as I've done via the Warlords for the Masters). I've been asked why there weren't prices for Best Sport and Best Painted and the reason is I think they are more suited for individual events. 
  • No Formal Beauty Parade - driven by the timetable. It was very hard to fit everything in allotted time and felt that the 30 minutes required for a beauty pageant was best spent elsewhere.
What Didn't Work

  • Four Games On Saturday - the biggest complaint I had was that four games on the Saturday was one game too much. For some it was too tiring and for others it impinged on the social side of the event. I agree with both criticisms and will definitely go 3/3 next year. It will obviously mean later finish which will impact more on out of towners
  • Scoring - there needs to be a whiteboard/datashow reporting the round by round scores. This keeps teams informed and also ensures everyone is on a level playing field. This will occur for next year.
  • Eventual 1st and 2nd Didn't Play - this is a rarity but also an outcome of six rounds, ten teams and Swiss Chess. There was only one round where Top Down Swiss Chess didn't work and that was Round 5. Here modified Swiss Chess was used to ensure teams didn't have to replay previous opponent while ensuring top teams played highest scoring opponent available. Solution is more teams or less rounds. Will say First Place went 5-1, 2nd, 3rd and 4th  Places were all 4-2. Generally I suppose you expect top team to go unbeaten - demonstrates how hard fought it was.
  • Friday Opening - having the hall open on Friday evening was a bit of a damp squib. One game was played, I thought there might be more. I guess travel precludes it.
Overall I was very happy with the outcome for the inaugural event. I am currently talking to venues now for 2014 but they are unable to confirm until September.