Thursday, May 30, 2013

Warhammer Quest Released

Rodeo Games have just (last 2 hours) released Warhammer Quest for the iPad and iPhone.

This is the return of a GW classic game of the 1990s. The UK price is GBP 2.49 so I'm guessing around $5-6.

Get on it.

Where to for Lizards?

All the tea leaves are saying that Lizardmen are the next Fantasy book and that it could be as soon as next month. I personally think that Lizardmen are the strongest book in the game - this has evolved due to the nature of 8th Edition and with the release of new books over time. The killer books of 7th have been de-powered with an 8th ed update.

Why are Lizards so strong? Well because they compete in every phase and I hope that this is one aspect that they don't change with a new release.

So what has to happen and what would I like to see happen?

The answer is, surprisingly, not too much at all. The key issues for me are that we see more of a reason to take Saurus over skinks. For the tigers, skinks are currently the way to go. Learn how to double flee and then sit there blasting away with either two Slaan or a souped-up party Slaan. I would like to see more of an incentive  to take Saurus over skinks. It doesn't need to be much of a nudge - Saurus are already a good choice - so can probably be through a small nerd to skinks. How would I do that? Probably by retaining cold-blooded but not allowing them to use General's Leadership.

The other things I'd like to see are a fix for Temple Guard and Kroxigors. Both are rarely seen these days and that is a shame. These are the Lizzie Elites and there has to be some slight nudge up in terms of power. One might be to provide the TG to buy an item that gives them protection from miscast damage while with Krox I'd increase their Scaly Skin save to 3+.

The final two things I'd like to see is a sorting out of M&H rules for Salamanders by change to Sallies rules. The free ward they get now makes them a non-brainer. And some sort of push for the Stegadon the big monster has become the forgotten reptile of the Warhammer world.

It will be interesting to see what GW do.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Review - GW's Clean-up Kit Scraper

Recently I posted some pictures of some Plague Drones I had completed and the Painting Intelligentsia (Jack and Charlie) pointed out the mold lines I had left. Cut to the quip I immediately decided I had to do something about it or bear ongoing derision from that quarter.

Luckily for me, Domus on "The Magnificent Bastards" then popped up and reviewed Games Workshop's Clean-up kit. Inspired by his review I wandered into GW Wellington Hobby Centre passed across $26 of my savings and bought one for myself.

If you remember this kit was released in the wake of the Finecast debacle - along with Liquid Green Stuff - as the tools that would patch up any model failures you received. As I recall, it was ridiculed as a waste of money at the time adding little utility at what was seen as exorbitant cost. I certainly didn't see the need to purchase one and so my tool rack has been absent said kit.

Fast forward two years and intermittent attempts to clean up mold lines on resin and plastic figures. I use a craft knife and generally find I cut into the plastic if it is too sharp or my hand if too blunt.

Colour me skeptical as to the utility of this kit, but fortified by Domus' review I have used it over the past four weeks.

Let's put aside the brush. Yes it nice but is an adjunct rather than the main proposition. The scraper is fantastic. It has a soft rubberised grip with a metal business end. This scraper is brushed steel and works a treat. the edge is sufficient to remove resin plugs and plastic dags and it cleans up joints with no gouging of the model. The tool is also sufficiently sturdy that with a little pressure you can remove lines in one fluid movement.

I am a convert. The tool is fantastic. It can get into tight places due to its design and I know find I use it far more than any other craft instrument on my desk.

Fully recommend. In fact, if you haven't got one then go and buy one now! 

ETC Comp - A Better Way?

Last evening I watched a series of YouTube videos prepared by two members of the Polish ETC team in response to the composition being developed by the Army Restrictions Committee for this year's ETC.

In essence, it was a study on how and why they are getting it wrong and in particular how they are creating a new game that deviates significantly from Warhammer. They indicate that, for continental Europe at least, this is highly counterproductive as it creates a barrier for entry for new tournament players. This is largely because the powerhouses of Central Europe adopt ETC restrictions for their own domestic tournament play. Whether doing this is a good thing is not discussed but I think bears consideration.

So what do they think is wrong with the ETC comp?

It is their contention that:

  • The wrong people are doing the comp;
  • That there is a lack of a clear statement of what they are trying to achieve;
  • That the first step is to be restrictive which leads to a long, cumbersome and overly complicated document;
  • That the lessons of the past have been ignored.
Putting aside the first point - as not knowing ETC politics I suspect they have a dog in that fight - let's look at their other points. 

They contend that the don't have a clear goal. Obviously the think differently but I do think their point has some merit. Reading the ETC comp I don't get a clear understanding of what is trying to be achieved. Is it balance between books? Is it to make matchup process largely irrelevant? Is it to balance the game? Is it to neutralise the paper-scissors-rock aspects prevalent in Warhammer? With 15 books I'd contend that it is hard to achieve all of these things at once. So therefore I agree with the Poles that a clear statement would be helpful. 

Secondly, they believe that the has included restrictions that have no clear goal and build on one another to little end. To demonstrate they cite the example of restricting Lizardmen Scar Vets to two. They point out that due to item choice the inclusion of a third Scar-Vet actually weakens the army as it stops points being spent on producing an offensive Skink level caster. However by then trying to ensure some "concept" of external balance this leads to restrictions in other books and pretty soon you have band-aids everywhere to little purpose. This results in the tome we now have. 

The final point about the lessons of the past is probably the most compelling. In 7th Edition we had the years of the Big Three. This was 2008-10 where Daemons, Dark Elves and Vampire Counts dominated tabletops around the world. The solution adopted then and now rejected was to reduce the points level of those armies. This has the effect of creating internal competition for points and leads to natural restrictions rather than arbitrarily imposed ones. Certainly I think that this approach bears investigating again as it means that you can reduce the overall number of band-aids being applied and greatly reduce the complexity and potential for failure of comp.

I remain firmly in the camp that less comp is good and that by playing scenarios, big magic and terrain you alleviate the need for heavy comp in most singles competition. However if you must have comp - and what would Europe be without some central bureaucratic behemoth trying to control the market - then the approach they are suggesting bears serious consideration. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Nicon Lists

Looking through the Nicon lists, by far the most interesting (besides by own :-)  ) is Brian Smith's Dark Elves. The big block of Executioners backed up by two Cauldrons, two Hydras and a big block of Corsairs looks formidable and ill be very interested to see how it plays out.

Neil Williamson's Dwarfs look far more interesting than normal tournament Dwarfs and kudos to Neil for bringing a list that looks like it is set up to give his opponents a game.

As to the strength of lists otherwise on show. It's good to see Tom Mawdsley's list getting a run out. It certainly has all the tools to do well - Rune Maw, Crown of Command etc. I expect that it will place well.

Mike King's list is also very formidable - having played it a lot recently. Mike has opted for Death & Metal which looks strong in this field but also suits me as the dual Light Slaans were a ball breaker for my Daemons.

I can't comment with any confidence on the new Warriors as I have only had a couple of games versus the new book. I expect them to be solid but I can't help thinking the small model count in most makes them very reliant on the vagaries of the dice.

Overall it looks like it should be an interesting weekend.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Review - Quartermaster App for iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad

For those of you that have an iProduct there is a very handy little app that provides all your list building functionality for a minimal cost.

Over the past 3-4 years I've been waiting for Lone Wolf Development to put Army Builder on the iPad. Although there have been numerous promises over that time it has never eventuated. Now it may be that they needn't bother.

Sean Rogers has completed and refined the Quartermaster app to a point whereby it does most of the list building functionality required for WHFB and 40k. His app is a framework which allows you to download and utilise fan-built templates for the armies in both those games.

You can view the application here

Here are some screenshots from the application:

 The key to this product (and the reason that it doesn't infringe IP) is that game-specific content is provided by users at no-cost. This is a similar model to Army Builder. Where this appears to score above AB is with the speed that new content comes to market. The High Elf template was up within 2-3 days of book release in time for users to start constructing lists. Generally with AB there is a one month period before new content is uploaded.

The templates for various armies can be accessed here at no cost.

So where does this set vis a vis Army Builder?


  • Cost - it is only $5.49 in NZ Apple App Store. And there is no annual licensing fee
  • Portability - AB is PC/Laptop/Netbook only. No phone or tablet version has been created to date. Therefore you can construct lists far more conveniently and take them to your games
  • Speed to Market - the user templates are available almost upon release of new books
  • Editability - any template errors are easily corrected. I found one in the DoC template which I was able to instantly amend. However the instance of errors appears far less than in initial AB releases for new books
  • Apple only? I'm not sure if there is an Android version?
  • No automatic advice of updated templates
Overall I am very very happy with the app and think that it is almost a must-have if you have an Apple product - especially as it costs no more than a large trim soy moccachino with a twist of lemon.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

NiCon Lists Released

The list for NiCon have been released and can be downloaded from here

I will be looking at them in detail in the next few days and will post my thoughts.

It is incredibly sad that two people have decided that it is okay to spoil other people's weekend by bringing Dwarfs.

New Podcast - The Watchtower

Just like every monkey with a keyboard can write a blog, it seems every geek with a mixer and a mic can create a podcast. Over the past year we have seen far more being produced - to the point where I currently have 18 subscriptions in Instacast for GW programming. This is even after a recent cull. It is now got to the stage where the availability of "free" content has seriously curtailed my Horus Heresy audiobook listening.

One of the most recent is The Watchtower podcast out of Sydney, Australia - the name is unfortunate as they share it with a lot of Jehovah Witness multimedia. The presenters are three members of the Sydney gaming scene and have, it appears between 6 months and 3 years Warhammer Fantasy experience. I don't personally know the guys - my Oz tournament days ended in 2010 just as these guys were starting.

What I enjoy about podcasts is getting an appreciation of a different scene's meta. In the case of Australia and New Zealand, 8th Edition has seen a massive divergence from a previous close alignment. By way of background, I largely stopped travelling to play in Oz due to their reliance on subjective - usually panel based composition system. The australians are slowly coming around to hard cap systems but the process has been slow and certainly their scene is more restrictive than permissive.

So with that background in place, onto the podcast. To date there have been two episodes. The first was an introduction to the presenters followed by a review of their performance at a recent tournament. The second was a review of the recent Daemon Book release.

The initial episode was a good start. Production values seem okay. There were initial problems downloading but these were soon rectified. I liked the introduction by Nick and Mick and you knew pretty quickly that you were listening to an Australian podcast. As a gross generalisation, there are no grey areas with Australians - and the podcast is very black and white. New Zealanders tend to find Aussies very opinionated and this podcast certainly leaves you in no doubt as to where they stand on every issue. This is not a bad thing, it certainly makes for interesting listening but there is a risk that things can be seen in overly simplistic terms. Tournament reviews are hard to do well on a podcast. You need to avoid the "then I rolled a 6" aspect which doesn't make great listening. However The Watchtower did this no better or worse than other podcasts out there. With tournament review I personally prefer to hard very short synopsis of the games and then a more in-depth review of what worked and why, whether this was list design strength/flaw or was symptomatic of matchups/luck/etc. Then a discussion as to whether a list needs to evolve. I'll be interested to see how TW tournament reports are handled going forward.

The second episode reinforced a lot of what I learnt on the first episode. It added a third host, Alex and then provided a long review of the new Daemons. Again there were not a lot of grey areas - something was either crap or amazing/broken. Having listened to a lot of podcasts reviewing the Daemons there wasn't a lot of new insight but that is likely a case of being later to the party than other casts.I found their review reasonably accurate - though as noted, not much inhabited middle ground. As someone currently dabbling in Daemons I think the book is very good in terms of internal and external balance. While there are obvious strengths that the cast identified I don't necessarily think that they gave enough credence to either book weaknesses or changes to meta that can immediately mitigate some of the strengths. A case in point was the focus on the strength of Skullcannons without a consideration of mitigator in the 5/10 point Dragonhelm/Dragonbane tax for characters. Similarly the emergence of High Elves (and BotWD) may dampened aspects of a DoC's tournament return over 6 rounds. All in all though I found the review interesting.

So after two episodes there has been enough on offer to make me return for future episodes. I'm keen to hear if there is progression in the Australian tournament scene and in their meta. Generally I give podcasts 4-5 episodes before I cull. On evidence to date I suspect that "The Watchtower" may be a keeper.

You can download it on iTunes, Instacast, Podcaster etc

Friday, May 24, 2013

Daemons for NiCon

Next weekend is NiCon in the Hawkes Bay. This event moves around the North Island, last year being in Auckland. There it drew a very respectable field of 34 and I was lucky enough to win it with my Skaven.

This year - being in a smaller locale - it has drawn a much smaller field. Currently there are 12 players signed up for the event. I'm going up as part of a holiday with my wife, her sister and brother-in-law so adopted a pretty relaxed approach to the event. Over the past three months I've been painting Daemons and so I've built a list out of my most recent additions.

Lord of Change - Level 4 (Metal), Greater Gift, 2x Lesser Gift

Herald of Tzeentch - Level 2 (Tzeentch), BSB

20 Pink Horrors - Full Command

15 Pink Horrors - Standard

10 Pink Horrors - Standard, Gleaming Pennant

4 Beasts of Nurgle

Beast of Nurgle

Beast of Nurgle

3 Screamers

3 Screamers

Flaming Chariot of Tzeentch - Blue Horror Crew



I've had a few practice games with the list and I am starting to get my head around it. It is very chaotic and sometimes you just have to accept what the dice throw up.

Weekend Gaming

This weekend my lovely wife is away in Auckland for a friend's birthday. While this will give her the opportunity to visit her two darling boys, I'm left at home to fend for myself.

So the intention is to spend the two days gaming. I intend setting up a couple of tables in the family room and have invited locals to drop in if they fancy the odd game or two or three.

Looking forward to getting a few games under my belt - I am trying to break in a new set of dice.

WIP - A Flock of Festering Furies

Yesterday a box of Plaguebearers arrived in the mail. I had purchased these to create some "Nurgle" Furies for my Daemons. Two units of -1 to hit flyers, I feel will complement the Plague Drones.

Anyway a very simple conversion/kitbash. A box of PBs + Gargoyle Wings = 2 Units of Nurgle Furies.

The gargoyle wings fit straight on the shoulders of the PBs and were "welded" there with plastic glue.

Looking to paint them over the next week and then I'll get some shots up.

First Encounter With "New" High Elves

Last night I had a game against the new High Elves, piloted by local erstwhile Dwarf Tane. I was using Daemons of Chaos and so was interested to see how they would fare versus the uber-enemy.

Tane's list had a lot of the new toys - sans phoenii - and was close to the following:

Loremaster - scroll, AoC
Arch Mage - Lvl 4, BoH (Shadow)
BSB on steed

2x 10 Archers
30 Spears
5 Reavers
5 Silver Helms

21 White Lions
8 Dragon Princes - BotWD
2x 6 Swordmasters

2x Single Eagle

In the end the Daemons ground out a fairly solid victory but there were a few things that came out of the game.

We discussed later but I felt Tane erred in placing the Dragon Princes on the flank rather than in his centre where they can take full advantage of the Banner. It took them three turns to get in combat and tbh they should have been there a turn earlier.  I managed to chip off models by making them move through Dangerous Terrain. This highlighted a flaw with the HE list - the DPs need to be either bigger or cheaper. The unit size Tane had was neither cheap enough to be throwaway nor big enough to preserve damage output potential. They finally got beaten by CR from flanks, charges and ranks in second combat round after their target held first round in multiple combat. So lesson to HEs - Go Big or Go Small! Don't go medium.

Similarly the White Lions fell into the same chasm. Unit size 21 was not big enough to sustain casualties from magic to maintain sufficient threat capability. I think they need to be around 30 - with BotWD - or in "Stormtrooper" blocks of 10 models with 3 file frontage.

I was able to combat snipe the Archmage but prior to this he confirmed all my thoughts as to how scary the new book is. Personally I would go with a different lore choice - almost certainly High Magic - but understood Tane's choice. Pit of Shades is very good versus Nurgle and having Miasma twice is never bad.

All in all it was an interesting introduction - for us both - and I recommend the hilarity of a longtime Dwarf trying to deal with a 200% increase in the number of phases.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Walled Fields Completed

The next part of my terrain odyssey is to add some walls/fences/obstacles to my tables. To do this I have started by making some ploughed fields. These have the added advantage of also providing some Difficult Terrain.

Here are the first two I've completed:

The first one has been made surrounded by GW walls and hedges. The well is by Tabletop World. Lord of Change to provide scale.

The second again uses GW hedges, this time in conjunction with fences.

In both cases one end is open so it can butt onto buildings I've made to act as adjoining field.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hobby Tip - Finecast

I expect it is well known out there but Finecast bends very easily with the application of heat.

Recently I had a painted model with a very misshapen weapon. Knowing that other resins - e.g. Forgeworld - can be re-posed by applying heat with a hairdryer I thought I'd take a chance.

I slowly applied heat and was able to reposition the weapon. However the interesting thing was that it did not affect the paintjob. The key was to apply the heat to the right place and to ensure things did not get too hot.

Very happy with the result. Of course I bear no responsibility if you try it and reduce your model to a pile of goo.

The Horus Heresy Weekender

Last weekend Games Workshop held the second Horus Heresy event where attendees were able to attend seminars given by Forgeworld and Black Library. Obviously the focus was 30k and what we can expect.

Obviously I would have loved to attend but had to make do with the tweets that came from those lucky enough to be there. Chief among these were "After Ulanor" presenter Greg Dann and "Bad Dice Podcast"  HH correspondent Marcus Pitt. They provide dozens of updates and pictures from the event.

One of the key things that came out is that the Forgeworld books will be released as trilogies. We have Book 1: Betrayal (deals with Istvaan III) but we can expect two further books on this part of the Heresy.

The next book is Massacre and deals with the events of the Drop Site Massacre on Istvaan V. In the book four Legions will be covered - Night Lords and Word Bearers for Horus and Iron Hands and Salamanders for the False Emperor. Also we will see some add-ons to the four Legions already covered in Betrayal.

I'm most excited about the new Emperor's Children units and these guys snapped some pictures of the models.

New Terminator Bodies

The First Noise Marines

The Noise Marines are the ones I've been waiting for and it is an absolute given that I will be doing Emperor's Children in conjunction with my Death Guard. I hope Forgeworld have plenty of resin as these puppies are going to sell by the bucketful (and not just to me).

The third book in this trilogy will deal with the afternath of the Massacre and feature the craven Raven Guard as they cowardly retreat to the hills, Iron Warriors and Alpha Legion.

Obviously there are also Primarchs to be released and the one I am most excited by is the alternative Phoenician model that has emerged.

Perfection Personified - Lord Fulgrim

Merchant's Townhouse Completed

Here are some pictures of the Merchant's Townhouse that I recently completed. It is a Tabletop World piece but it has been supplemented by GW walls, hedges and a tree.

I've given the merchant a vege garden and his stylist (who I'll call James) has planted some flower beds.

Really happy with how it came out - the full base largely blocks line of site - and I'll be using it in upcoming games. Those that attend Horned Rat will have the opportunity to fight for control of the house.

Full Shot of the House

Close up of Front Door Showing Flower Beds (thanks Sam)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

FOB NZ Rankings - Fantasy: Updated

Over the weekend the Wandering Orc was held in Tauranga attracting 16 people.

The event was won by Jeff Kent, whose Lizardmen crushed all before them. Second was Antony Kitson with Bretonnian. Local Ross Hillier-Jones was unlucky not to podium being beaten on a tiebreak by James Brown.

The results have been entered in the rankings and we see Jeff enter Masters contention after his win. Sam Whitt rises to a career high 3rd Place in the rankings.

Skullvane Manse Completed

I have had Skullvane Manse partially completed for a few months. Yesterday I decided to complete it. I have finished the base off with a variety of foliage and grasses. I've also added in some Tabletop World accessories.

This morning I got to use my Grasstech II  Static Grass Applicator. This applies a charge and makes grass stand end on end. It is very effective and gives a realistic look to the ground cover. I also got to use some moss to add to my Water Effects to give the appearance of a pond.

Hope you like it.

Local Supplier - Slave to Painting

I'm sure a lot of you locals already use Slave to Painting but I'd like to give them a shoutout.

It is great to see an efficient and enthusiastic local webstore available to NZ gamers. I have used them twice in the last month and my purchases have been at my doorsetep within 48 hours.

They also have a great website - intuitive and easy to use. You can check it out here

They have a very full range of products including a lot of items that other NZ retailers don't stock.

Certainly can recommend them based on the service I've had to date.

Horned Rat VI Update

As of last Saturday (and the close of Earlybird Registrations) there were 28 people who have registered.

There are approximately 8 spaces left so if you are looking to attend then please contact me so that you don't miss out.

Looking forward to seeing how many High Elf players we get wielding their new toys.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Eldar in June

So Eldar are next. Looking on the net over the weekend the first pictures have emerged.

Cover Art of New Codex

I like the new cover - having been part of a Seer Village in the past - it looks sufficiently eldritch.

However I do not like the new Wraithknight model. It seriously looks like it has been on the wrong side of an Orc Lucky Shrunken Head spell.

Does My Head Look Small in This?

Can't help thinking that on the fridge in the GW Design Studio cafeteria there is a set of word association magnets. We saw it with Fantasy....."Slaughter" "Brute" - I know "Slaughterbrute".....and now with "Wraith" and "Knight". Will we get some sort of mis-mash of  "Fire" "Guard" "Swooping" "Spears"?

The Nemesis sorry Wraithknight looks like he is also shitting sparkles everywhere.

The only real rumour of any note is that the Iyanden Craftworld may be getting its own supplement. I'm guessing that they will be big users of Wraithlordsknights

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Tabletop World's Windmill Finished

One of my great loves in the hobby is high quality terrain and I don't think that there is a better manufacturer of terrain pieces than Tabletop World in Croatia. Over the past few years, regular attendees at the events I organise will have seen an increasing number of their pieces adorning the tables.

Late last year I bought their Windmill and this week after finishing a batch of Daemons I started to paint it.

Here's the finished piece:

I now have a few of their houses to do prior to Horned Rat Gobbo

Friday, May 17, 2013

Zuzzy Gaming Mats

Neil Williamson is looking to do an order for Zuzzy Gaming Mats. You can see them at the Zuzzy website but here is a picture of one:

If you are interested contact Neil here

Thursday, May 16, 2013


It's been a bit of a quiet week after the rush of excitement that was the High Elves release.

I've had three games over the last week - beating then losing to Mike's Lizards; and going under the wheels of Ryan's Black Knight bus. Such was my dismay with the game against the VCs that I immediately placed the blame on my dice and ordered 48 new ones from the UK (Chessex 16mm from The Dice Shop). These arrived yesterday and I used them last night against Mike. Not a great improvement. It will get expensive buying new dice each week so I need to Just Play Better.

Purchased three metal Screamers off TradeMe. They arrived today and I threw them into the Ultrasonic Cleaner and have stripped them back to bare metal.

Decided this week to paint up new terrain for Horned Rat Gobbo. So started on a Tabletop World Windmill. This will be sited on a resin hill similar to my Watch Tower. I also have three of their houses to do and I'm aiming to have them finished by the end of the month.

Mierce Miniatures Kickstarter ships next week and I am expecting the "Minotaur" Starter Set in the next fortnight.

I ntend to use these as the basis of a Big Beasty army. Love the models and while a monstrous Beastmen army is not the most competitive, it will look cool.

Last thing this week revolves around upcoming events. I have to submit a list for NiCon before tomorrow evening. James Brown has grudged me in the first round. I'm not usually one for grudge matches but accepted because we have never played before and selfishly, it is one less possible match versus Dwarfs.

Also I have been drumming up support for Horned Rat. We now have just on two dozen players. With Earlybird registration finishing Saturday I am hoping we will exceed 30 players. It's a chance for the High Elf players to try out their new book in anger....well if not in anger, at least in mild irritation. There is minimal comp at the event (and none on High Elves) so come and play Warhammer how it's meant to be playrd.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Is the Banner of the World Dragon Cost a Typo?

This is a serious question - not just Pete taking the piss.

The Banner of the World Dragon costs 50 points. This makes it accessible to the High Elf Specials - White Lions, Phoenix Guard, Swordmasters and Dragon Princes.

But check out these Army List entries. The first three allow a Magic Banner up to 50 points while Dragon Princes allow a Magic Banner up to 75 points.

The BOTWD is the most expensive High Elf banner. Checking the Common Magic Items in the BRB, the most expensive is the Rampager's Standard at 55 points.

So High Elf units have no access to a 75 point banner yet the Dragon Prince army list entry gives permission.

This got me wondering - was the Banner of the World Dragon originally meant to be 75 points and either GW bottled it or we have a typo.If the later then suddenly the Lions, Guards or Masters may be in for a shock.

Guess we won't know until the first High Elf errata.

Off to the Grassy Knoll......

Monday, May 13, 2013

It's Squid-Hand, Dammit!

Is this the ugliest model that GW have released in a long time?

[Answer is No - the Skullcannon, Scylla, Slaughterbrute and Warshrine are all far worse - but it is nice to see some of the Forces of Order receive a beating with the ugly stick).

It is the ugliest infantry model that GW have done for ages. I mean some Swordmaster running into the wind and trying to fend off a flying octopii. Who dressed this guy? His mum. Check out the loveheart brooch fastening the cloak he picked up at Harry Potter Land at Universal Studios in Florida.

I don't even want to hazard a guess at why he has handlebars on his helm.

Sometimes Games Workshop, less is more.

Tablescapes Kickstarter Successful

The Tablescapes Kickstarter was successfully funded and the theme I was after unlocked quite early in the process.

I was very keen on the Urban Streets theme as I wanted a series of tiles I can use for 30k/40k battles. Urban Streets was offered in "Clean" or "Damaged". The concept art for the "Damaged" theme is shown above.

In the end I have pledged (and paid) for an 8' x 4' table or 32 tiles. I intend to take 16 Damaged and 16 Clean tiles. This cost USD 225 including postage.

Here are the first renders back from tooling:

I have also bought a four tile Display Board option where I will be able to get additional Urban Street Foundation tiles. The Foundation tiles are non-street tiles - effectively plazas where you can put buildings. Some come in the main sets but the additional four unlock far more setups.

So all up the Kickstarter has cost me USD$275 including shipping for a 9'x4' (or 6'x6') urban table.

I'll let you all see the product upon delivery (expected before October 2013).

Friday, May 10, 2013

My Dark Elf Army......

While the High Elf players sit at home and work on the Book of Excuses I thought it might be worth demonstrating what true base power looks like.

For every panty-waisted High Elf out there, an embittered Dark Elf exists.

As you watch this think of young Sammy Whitt sitting in the metropolis of Otaki, Buttcracksville, Nowhere plotting his Dark Elf army for Horned Rat VI. Cold One Bus....check! Two Hydras....check! Repeater Bolt Thrower with Witch Elf crew.....check!


And a special mention to our crazy Canadian film maker....Canada - where everyone is special!

Horned Rat VI - The North Rises

Horned Rat VI is just over six weeks away and the registrations are starting to come in.

And it appears the North has awoken. As of this morning I have four registrations from members of the League of Extraordinary Nerdymen keen to do battle versus the southern forces. Henry Poor, Thomas van Roekel, Graeme Fry and camp follower Daniel Butler are all venturing to Wellington to test the mettle of the weak southerners.

There are currently 19 registrations and I am very hopeful that the northern invasion will stir the locals to defend their realm.

Remember Earlybird Registration of $40 is on up to 18th May, after which it rises to $50.

This is the first event that will see the new High Elves take the field and test their power.

As always you can download the Players Pack here

"Hammers of War" Video

The following is a rather nice video on the hobby that I was pointed to while listening to the Jaded Gamer podcast. It is called "Hammers of War" and was made by a group of film students in Canada. Although it focuses on a Warhammer 40k tournament it covers aspects of the hobby applicable to all.

I understand that there is now an Indiegogo kickstarter to fund a full length documentary.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

High Elf Book

I purchased three copies of the new High Elf book (one for Peter Williamson), one for me and one surplus to requirements.

They are being dispatched tomorrow.

Should any of the locals want their own brand new copy of 8th Edition's power book then let me know. The NZRRP on this bad boy is $98 but you can have your own copy of the new cheese for $60.

LMK on my usual email. First in, first served however I will give preference to those who don't require on postage.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

High Elf Hangover - Part One

And so over at the High Elf forums it is playing out exactly as I thought it would.

After two weeks of trumpeting the Banner, the Book, the Phoenix, Cav Core etc, they've finally woken up.....and they don't like it!

As I said yesterday - they no longer have any excuses.

So now we are seeing the backtracking, the re-assessment and the outright denial. Suddenly the new book is  MUCH weaker than the old book.

The Twitter campaigns have begun. The infestation of general forums of "just how weak the new book is".

Sorry guys. You've had a substantial shoulder the expectation.

You won't get comp for six months.......time to perform. But you don't like that do you.

Monday, May 6, 2013

FOB NZ Rankings Updated

The FOB NZ Rankings have been updated.

Warhammer Fantasy

Horned Rat Gobbo V has fallen out of the rankings - reached its 12 month anniversary - which has had the effect of giving us a new #1. Tim Joss has regained the position he held before Runefang VI. The previous #1 has dropped to #19 but has taken the treasured Skaven icon with him.

The current Master drops to #11. Other than that their is little change except the Chaos Dwarf icon shifts from Sam Whitt to Richard Barby.

Warhammer 40k

Battle Above The Brynderwyns 2013 has been added to the mix. The winner of this, Nikola Jaksic, finally forces himself into Masters contention securing #12.

Little other change given that the event was minimum size at 12 participants.

High Elves - Evidence of Power Creep?

The new High Elf book came out on the weekend and I purchased the iBook version which duly downloaded Saturday morning.

Reading through the rules section I believe the book is a definite shift up in power from the previous edition and I believe that High Elves will dramatically change the meta - much like the advent of Monstrous Cavalry did.

I have a theory about High Elf players. I've always thought that they like to hide behind the power level of their book to explain their lack of success. They had an enormous scare in 7th when the last book came out and they got ASF. For a 3-4 month period they were top of the heap and suddenly they had no excuses. This worried them. Thankfully normal service was resumed when Vampires, Daemons and Dark Elves were released.

So what's this nonsense I'm talking about power creep?

When the new 8th Ed books were released, we saw the various races get 8-10 race-specific magic items. Of these 1-2 were actually useful with the rest being fluff choices, and sometimes enemy-dependent. The High Book has 13 magic items! And of these I think 8 will become staples in most lists - dependent on build. Certainly at least four - Crown, World Dragon, Ring, Book - will be in every list.

The effect of some of these items is great and I expect we'll get much whinging over the coming months as people start to experience their power.

Most of the howls to date have centred on the Banner of the World Dragon and while this is a definitely a changer of the meta, it can be controlled.

The real power item for me is the Book of Hoth. Combined with the new High Magic lore this item is a game-changer. A Level 4 using High Magic can be expected to get off 2-3 spells per turn. The lore is very strong too....destroying Magic Items, better MM and turning off hexes/augments. Backed up by the Loremaster of Hoth (230 points of win) High Elves will rightly challenge the Lizards for control of the magic crown.

I'm really looking forward to playing the new High Elves. Not so worried playing existing High Elf generals as  while they will initially like their new found power, they will hate that they have lost all their excuses for losing and will really dislike the hate that is coming their way. The bandwagoners will embrace their new power, dropping their WoC, Chaos Dwarfs and Ogres, and we should start to see High Elves occupy podiums.

The meta is dead, long live the meta!

Allies - Foreshadowing 9th Edition?

Reading through the new High Elves book, I noticed one rule that, to me at least, foreshadows changes for 9th Edition Warhammer.

In the Army Special Rules we have the Valour of Ages rule which reads:

If your opponent's army roster contains one or more models from Warhammer: Dark Elves, models with this special rule re-roll all failed Panic, Fear and Terror tests.

The bolded part is mine. I'm pretty sure the previous book wording was "when fighting a Dark Elf army".

The wording change leads me to suspect that Games Workshop is preparing the ground for Allies in normal Warhammer forces (rather than scenario, doubles, campaign games etc).

I hope this isn't the case because, along with current emphasis Flyers, this is the one rule that makes 40k so unappealing to me at the moment. The thing I like about Fantasy is that it is an army game where each race has its own flavour. I'd hate to see you being able to add units from other armies to paper over race-specific composition deficiencies. For me that shifts the skillset from tactics to list-building and further reinforces net-listing.

Hopefully I'm wrong.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Herald of Nurgle

Here are a few pictures of a Herald of Nurgle I've been working on.

Based on the Nurgle Chaos Lord and utilises the Plaguebearer Champion head from the Plague Drones. The banner is a Stormvermin banner with Nurgle symbol added. Base is still to be finished with tufts and grass.

Brush Care

Through the wonders of the internet and notably youtube I have discovered that you really should look after your brushes and they will last a whole lot longer.

I was very sceptical at first especially given how hard I am on brushes - but I am now a convert.

So why this "Road to Damascus" change in opinion? Well in the last fortnight I have bought two new products and they have completely revived my brushes.

The first of these is an ultrasonic cleaner.

I purchased this little beauty on Trade Me. It is an ultrasonic jewellery cleaner and I purchased it to clean my airbrush after use. While watching youtube I saw that it could be used to clean your ordinary brushes as well and so on Tuesday afternoon I put in all my mangy old brushes - ranging from 00 to heavy drybrushes. The effect was amazing. Later that evening it had broken down all the residual paint back to the ferrules. This allowed me to move onto the second step.

This is Masters Brush Cleaner.

I purchased mine from Ken Bromley in the UK. This is a soap and shampoo for your brushes.  There is a quick little video on how to use it here. The effect is amazing. My brushes are back to their original colour, shape and softness. 

I'm a convert.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

My Updated Hobby Set-Up

Over the last few weeks I have been tidying up my hobby area and making it more "useful". This has included moving my airbrush upstairs from garage along with its spray booth. I've also managed to retrieve my Netbook so I can follow Twitter, read blogs and watch hobby videos and TV shows (currently Archer and Vikings).

L-shaped computer desk - Lynne has the computer side with another module against wall. On it is spray booth. Vallejo paints are in background having been replaced by the new Citadel range. Washes in the MDF rack on the desk.

Black leather chair we bought for Lynne's workstation but she decided was too big. I use it instead of it being wasted :-) Two lights. One is fluorescent daylight strip the other a long life daylight bulb. 

Storage in side module below spray booth, compressor below the lights hidden out of sight. Netbook to right of spray booth.

 End kitchen cabinet shelves I have purloined for extra storage. It has all my chemicals and basing materials. It also has a hairdryer for getting rid of excess static grass. Next to it is my most recent purchase, an ultrasonic cleaner I got off Trade Me (more on that in the next few days).

The shelf below has my current primed models including a Terrorgheist, Krull the Mierce Bloodthirster and a Nurgle Skullcannon. Next to it is the 40k Ork army that Jack is painting for me in payment for his World Eaters (it's been 3.5 years but I'm still hopeful!).

NZ Rankings Updated

The NZ Rankings for Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40k have been updated for Runefang VI and Auckland Open, respectively.

Warhammer Fantasy

There is a familiar name back atop the Fantasy Rankings but this is likely to be shortlived as HRV falls out within the next week. The most important icon "Best Skaven" has returned "home" after a year of wandering.

Sam Whitt moves higher and continues to accumulate icons - adding the "Best Chaos Dwarf" to his entourage. James "Kenny" Milner retains his tenuous grasp on "Best High Elf" but you've got to think that is shortlived with a new book inspiring many to want to be "Best Girly-Man".

Warhammer 40k

Charlie St. Clair remains all Charlton Heston over his #1 Ranking but the big news is that we have a new #2. Fresh from his 1st Place at the Auckland Open, David Wilson has catapulted over Mark Buttle.

Steve Davis has the Tau icon but for how long? Rumours abound that Charlie will be breaking out the Riptides soon.

Jack has amended the model so that events roll off on their 12 month anniversary date and the rankings update automatically. More functionality - including individual player pages - is planned for the university break.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Horned Rat VI - Warhammer Fantasy Tournament

The Horned Rat Gobbo VI Warhammer Fantasy Tournament will be held on 22nd and 23rd June at Cashmere Avenue School in Khandallah, Wellington.

Once again the event has been attacked by the Greenskins and Chief Gobbo himself, Raymond Dick will be Umpire for the event.

The tournament is five rounds over two days using armies of 2400 points. Scenarios will be used. You can download the Players Pack here

Earlybird registration is $40 up to 18th May, after which it is $50. The small increase in tournament pricing over previous events reflects increased costs around hall and trophies.

To register you can drop me an email on