Saturday, August 31, 2013

Horus Heresy - New Sons Of Horus Releases AND BIG NEWS!!!!!

Forgeworld have announced the release of new Sons of Horus figures - a Command Set and a Contemptor Dreadnaught.

These look great and I must say that currently halfway through my Death Guard Contemptor, you really appreciate the effort they go to with the Legion specific models.

However the really big news is the upcoming release of the second sourcebook - "MASSACRE".

The new book deals with the second key action of the Heresy, the Dropsite Massacre on Istvaan V.

It is too be released at Games Day UK mid-September.

I can't wait!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Army Matchups at the ETC

Trawling through the data to come out of this year's ETC, I have constructed a table which has Army vs. Army matchups at the event.

The top number is the Average Battle Points scored while the lower number is the number of times the matchup was fought.

The table is colour-coded as follows:

Black = Mirror Match (Average obviously 10)
White = <5 Matchups
Yellow = 5-9 Matchups
Blue = 10-14 Matchups
Green = 15+ Matchups

As you ascend through the colours you have more certainty about the expected result.

So what does it show? Scoring over 12 Battle Points on a Green Match shows that you definitely had the wood over those armies. In this case DoC vs Skaven or WoC. It means that the Comp needs to be realigned between these races (or in ETC speak "We Need to Nerf Daemons").

Scoring over 13 points in a Blue matchup is also a pretty solid indicator. Here Empire > CDs, O&G > Empire, Skaven > High Elves & Lizards and WOC > Dark Elves.

When you drop to Yellow you need to be scoring 14-15 Battle Points for it to be meaningful. Here Brets > DEs, DoC > Brets and CDs, O&G > WoC and Skaven > CDs.

So the immediate ETC AR.Com response will likely be a lessening of the extra 200 points for O&G and layers of comp onto the DoC book.

Given the DoC book is generally seen as having weakened in 8th Ed compared to the 7th Edition version, perhaps more sensible would be the lessening of comp across the board to remove the brakes that have been applied to books in previous years.

However you can't help but think that Warhammer is like a brick wall and each year the ETC AR.Com layers more and more coats of paint until the original finish is totally obscured. Then as a new year dawns rather than strip it back and start again, a new layer is applied.

A Fine Day's Gaming

Saturday saw six local (and not so locals) descend on Khandallah for some gaming.

I managed to get one game in and then watched as Charlie had his first Fantasy game for 2.5 years. My game was against Jeff Kent who was running the new Lizards. Jeff is trying out a series of variant lists from the new book which I think is exactly the way to approach things (I know when the new DoC came out people said it was mono-Nurgle + Skullcannon but through my own trials I found Tzeentch isn't so bad either. As a result my current "list" is a collaboration).

In our game Jeff used a COK bus with 4 characters in it - Oldblood, BSB and two other Scar-Vets (one with Crown of Command and one with MR3). This was backed up by Skink Core, a Prest on Beasts, two Ancient Stegs and a Sally. We played Dawn Attack and there were no dramas with deployment. However I seized first turn and was able to inflict first blood. One Steg took four wounds from my cannon while the RoC accounted for most of a Skink cohort. Where the battle was won was that I was able to overwhelm Jeff's right flank by T2, pushing to the edge of his deployment area with my blocks. I got lucky and one-shot the other Steg.  Blue Fire took the last wound off the other Steg.

Blue Fire is one of my favourite spells. It doe D6 Str D6 hits and is cast on a 5+. Generally the caster is +2 to cast so you can get it off very reliably with two dice and it is likely with even a single die. The beauty of the spell is that your opponent waves it through 90% of the time taking the chance that it will do nothing. If they don't then it costs them two dice to reliably stop it. Decisions, decisions.

I managed to Spirit Leech Jeff's Priest taking his last wound and had a flank shot on the bus requiring 4 LOS rolls. Unfortunately the shot fell short. Jeff charged the bus into a BoN that challenged out and held on -3 (IP and BSB). This allowed me to charge with the Was-A-Cannon-Is-Now-A-Chariot inflicting four wounds from six impact hits. From here it was a case of being able to apply my magic dominance, reliably getting off Soulblight every turn as Jeff chose to stop Doom & Darkness. The bus killed the Skullcannon and was then charged by the GUO and eventually the Plague Drones. The Beast went down but at the cost of all the characters bar one and the bus itself.

In the end it was a pretty comprehensive win to the DOC who lost 400 points in the process. Generally things went right (or didn't go wrong) at critical times for the Daemons and the early magic dominance was capitalised on to grind out the win. It was an interesting game and highlighted to me at least that if, with the Bus, you are putting eggs in one basket then you need magic buffs to tip the odds firmly in your favour.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Warpfire - Beware the Veto Beatstick

Next month we have Warpfire here in Wellington. It is a 1000 point tournament with the emphasis on "FUN".

When the pack was put together it was felt that an exhaustive comp list was counterproductive. While it is not easy to define "FUN" at 1000 points, it is pretty easy to recognise what is not fun.

So with that it mind please kept that in mind when lodging your lists. While it might be clever to include Epidemius or Throgg in your list, Special Characters will only be allowed on a case by case basis. Backing Throgg with a unit of 10 Trolls at 1000 points is not "FUN" nor is Epi with a block of PBs and then all BoN except for the Skullcannon. Better give SCs a wide berth unless they are as fluffy as a newborn kitten with learning difficulties.

Similarly remember that this is 1000 points. Given you normally are lucky to see 2-3 Ethereal units at 2400 points, suddenly turning up with five at 1000 points will likely see the Locky Beatstick be wielded. As a rule of thumb 0-2 ethereal units is probably about right. "FUN" remember.

As an added incentive the list of vetoes will be published and once they have an acceptable list then those players will be "randomly" drawn against each other Round One. Should you be vetoed a second time, it means you, like the fluffy newborn kitten, are having learning difficulties and further penalties will be incurred.

So don't be a dick. Bring a list that reflects the spirit of the event. Solid sure....just not too extreme.


I've been asked to post a list that I would see as hard but acceptable. So here goes:

Daemons of Chaos 1000 points

Herald of Nurgle - General, Greater Gift

20 Plaguebearers - Full Command, Gleaming Pennant

4 Beasts of Nurgle

2x 1 Beast of Nurgle

5 Chaos Furies - Mark of Nurgle


Characters = 140 points
Core = 295 points
Special = 430 points
Rare = 135 points

Edit: As a result of feedback received there will be no vetoes at Warpfire. The event is No Comp meaning you can bring whatever configuration you wish.

Friday, August 23, 2013

NZ ETC Applications - Update

Applications for the NZ Team have come flooding in. Currently have 12 applications and I expect to see more. We have a real opportunity to put together a competitive team.

Just a heads up - France has withdrawn its bid. Now looks like it is a contest between Serbia, Greece and possibly Spain.

Weekend Gaming

Tomorrow I am setting up a few tables at Chez Dunn for some WHFB Gaming.

We are to be blessed by two members of the Kiwihammer Podcast, Sam Whitt and Jeff Kent and I am hoping that they will take some time out from their gaming to sign autographs and interact with their fans. Sam will be rocking his new WOC while Jeff will be seeing just how many skink-based units you can put on a table. Charlie St. Clair is coming along to push some Ogres around and I'll probably have the rats and Daemons out for a spin. I'm hoping that Hagen will front and play his Lizards and Mike will drop in for our normal Saturday hit-out.

If there are any other locals who would like a game drop me a line and I'll ensure there are enough tables. We'll be running 2400 point armies.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Comp Rant Fail - A New Low in Futility

People know that I am no fan of heavy comp prefering instead to limit only what are viewed as the most egregious builds. In Warhammer, as in life, there are a few truisms. One of these is that no-one forces you to play at an event. Therefore if you pay your entry fee you are buying into the ethos of the event.

If you don't accept that, then don't go. And whatever you do, don't waste a few hours of your life creating a video and ranting about it online.

Whiney Bitch of the Week Award goes to this guy. I'm pretty sure that the organisers will give you back your entry fee not to have you at their event

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

FOB NZ Rankings System Update

Jack has been busy today updating the functionality of the FOB Rankings System.

If you click onto the rankings page you will see a Ranking Points Calculator. Here you can input the number of rounds, number of players and finishing position and it will tell you how many ranking points you would earn. Great for working out all the machinations required to prize an icon off a hated rival.

The second addition is called "Masters Mode". Click this and it strips out all results prior to 1 November last year thus providing the real lay of the land regarding Masters qualification.

Thanks to Jack for all his efforts and hopefully these new features will prove useful to you.

ETC 2014 - Call for Applications for NZ Team

Update: A couple of people have asked about the timeframe for applications and for the team selection.

Applications will stay open until at least a week after the ETC have made a decision on where the next ETC is. At the moment it is in Normandy, France but certain spokesmen for the organisers seem to be doing everything to lose their hosting rights - saying hall has no AC, that whole event can't be there etc (looks like NZ 2003 World Cup Bid). The other alternative is Greece. They lost the bid first time around but there appears such disquiet with the French organisers that there is a strong lobby to have another vote. The third alternative - based on the stellar performance this year - is to give the Serbs a second year. I'll update here as soon as it is finalised. This will give potential applicants a week to determine whether the venue suits their needs/plans.

Selection will occur once applications close. Given the time and cost commitment my intention is to have the team finalised no later than the end of September. This will let people budget time, pennies and brownie points for the trip.

Hope that helps clarify timeframe.

So I’ve been named as New Zealand’s ETC Captain for 2014 and I’ve got to say I am really looking forward to the challenge. The first part of this challenge is to put together the best possible team to represent NZ at the 2014 event.

To this end I have put together a selection panel encompassing Mal Patel, Chris Wilcox (2013 Captain) and myself. I believe it is important to set some goals and from this expectations of what we would like to achieve in 2014.

The first goal is to represent New Zealand in a way that reflects well on the New Zealand gaming community – be that New Zealanders here in NZ or those playing overseas. In the four years New Zealand has been going to the ETC there has not been one bad word about our demeanour or approach. This is testimony to the 2010-13 teams and their members and is something that is absolutely critical to maintain going forward. I would like New Zealand to continue to be a team that is regarded as good sports that play clean and fair and are great ambassadors for our country.

The second goal is a performance expectation. I believe that with the right team, preparation and practice New Zealand can lift itself into the top half of the competing nations. I would like this to be a minimum target. Outperformance for me would be to achieve 10th Place. So those are the two goals I’d like the team to have.

To achieve this I believe it is important to have the right players, races and lists. Previous ETC experience is definitely beneficial and I see the team having a solid kernel of players who have been before and know what to expect. However that is not the most important thing. I believe that for NZ to achieve its goals it has to be a team rather than a collection of individuals. So what does that mean?

Well essentially it means team goals come before individual goals. Race and list selection are, as previously mentioned, critical. This means players will need to be flexible as to what race they would play and the make-up of that list. If the consensus is that a given list should be altered then that is the expectation. However such changes wouldn’t occur until after the owning player has had the opportunity to make his case. So key for me is team before individual.

The next thing is practice. New Zealand doesn’t run ETC comp events – and I don’t see that changing. It is therefore critical that team members are able to commit to practice with their army/list be it in other events, casual gaming or via Universal Battle. For overseas players I’d certainly like to see them take advantage of ETC comp events where available and other events where necessary. Prior to the ETC I believe it is important – and realistic – to expect team members to have had 30+ games with their list.

To help this process here in NZ, I will be hosting two team get-togethers at my place here in Wellington. The expectation is that NZ based members would attend one, if not both of them. There will be no accommodation, food or transfer costs for out of towners and we’ll schedule them to take advantage of cheap airfares etc. These events will be an opportunity to practice, discuss list ideas and matchups.

As yet the final location of ETC 2014 has not been confirmed. It was originally going to be France but there have been venue problems. There is now a possibility that it will be Greece, or even a return to Serbia. It is expected that this will be finalised in the month.

So if you are interested in putting yourself forward for selection for the NZ 2014 ETC team what should you do?

Drop me an email at giving the Selection Panel the following information.

  • What armies you currently have or will have access to in the next six months;
  • What army would be your preference to play (and your second preference);
  • What armies wouldn’t you play;
  • Apart from the armies listed in 3. Would you be prepared to play with any other army if necessary; and
  • Would you be prepared to play with a borrowed army if you didn’t own the army yourself?

Monday, August 19, 2013

NZ ETC Captain 2014

It's with some trepidation that I can announce that the NZ ETC team has a new captain for 2014 - yours truly.

I'm very honoured to take up the role and would like to thank those that encouraged and cajoled me to put my name forward. The first task will be to select the team and I'm very lucky to have the services of outgoing captain Chris Wilcox and ETC veteran Mal Patel on the selection panel. I'll post up some details on the process that we'll be using in the next couple of days.

Finally a big thank you to all the previous team members (and captains) for their efforts since 2010. The intention is to continue the tradition of playing the game in the right spirit and build on your previous results.

Oh and for locals, don't expect a spate of ETC comp events. I'll be keeping those "activities" in the privacy of my own backyard. I believe the local community is quite well-served by the light comp we have now

FOB NZ WHFB Rankings - Updated for NerdyCon

The Fantasy rankings have been updated for NerdyCon held over the weekend in Auckland. Also Call to Arms 2012 results have now passed their use-by date.

NerdyCon was won by Dan Butler with Skaven and I think this represents his first ever win at a ranked NZ event. Congratulations Dan, I can't believe it has been so long coming and I expect the floodgates have now opened. This has jumped Dan up to #3 in the Rankings. Second was Nerdyman (and People's Champion) Henry Poor with Orcs and Goblins and Third Graeme Fry with High Elves. All three attended the recent Horned Rat Gobbo and you can see the value of that experience. Henry is now knocking on the door of the Top 20.

The removal of CTA 2012 has reduced Tim Joss lead at #1 by 2 points while it has tumbled Joel van de Ven-Long out of the Top 10. Joel is going to have to start repaying some of the faith I place in him before every event.

Icons remain static.

More Reflections on Lizards

Over the weekend I played two games against the new Lizards. In both cases I used the Daemon list I've been running recently which marries the two earlier DoC armies I used - Nurgle and Tzeentch based.

After the games - now three again the new Lizards - I remain convinced that the key to successful Lizards will be considered use of High Magic and making the most of the "Contemplations" lore attribute. It is the Swiss Army Knife of magic and I can see good players getting great results by planning how they will use it.

As a minimum I would sit down with a piece of paper and write down what spells you would want against each race. This would give you a template to work with in game until it becomes second nature. Generally these choices will be self-explanatory but in the heat of battle having a guide to fall back on is not a bad idea.

By my reckoning a generic Slaan can be relied on to "forget" 3-4 spells per game and that is what your plan should be built around. Both Tempest and the Fiery #6 spells are good candidates in Turns 1-2 to be cast and forgotten. The #6 spell especially as it is RIP and neuters your opponent's next magic phase.

My own thoughts are that a good list is unlikely to see more than one Skink Priest - likely carrying a scroll - the dice are just too important for the Slaan to allow the required 3 dice for a Priest Wildform. If you want Wildform better to get it via the Slaan.

Interesting to see how many blowpipe Skinks we see now the Javelin + Shield conveys 5+/6++

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Maltese ETC Vampire List

Here is the list that scored 119/120 points at the ETC last weekend.

Daniel Degiorgio, Vampire Counts

Vampire Lord: General, Level 4, Vampires, Red Fury, Flying Horror, Book of Arkhan, Dragonhelm, Potion of Foolhardiness, Talisman of Preservation, Great weapon, Heavy Armour, 506

Necromancer: Level 2, Vampires, Dispell Scroll, Ironcurse Icon 130

21 Zombies: 63
20 Zombies: 60
2x 7 Dire Wolves: 56
36 Crypt Ghouls: Ghast, 370

2x 10 HexWraiths: Hellwraith, 310
8 Crypt Horrors: Crypt Haunter, 315

1 Terrorgheist: 225

Total: 2400

What is key is to see which matchups he was given. Certainly whatever he received he dealt with it.

ETC Performance - Breakdown by Race

Here is a breakdown by race for the recent ETC. It was compiled by marko over at TWF.

Interesting to see the ranking of the various armies albeit through the filter of ETC comp.

From an NZ point of view we only had one two of what proved to be the Top 5 performing armies. Special mention should go to Simon Turner who was the best performed Beastman at the event. And similarly to Haig McLaisky who was the best of 19 O&G players.

There does seem to be a certain self-fulfilling prophecy around taking the orthodox choices - though by that lens Ogres outperformed while Dark Elves underperformed (looks like they were quite variable).

Got to guess that the VC list that  scored 119 points will become the new "black"!

Edit: A few errors are starting to show up.

Skaven total is 1422 giving an average of 64.64 and dropping them below O&G

Friday, August 16, 2013

Weekend Hobby

So as Wellington sustains another spate of seismic activity, time to look ahead to the weekend. I have two games lined up and - according to Internet wisdom - I can already mark them down as 20-0 wins. Why? Because I am playing against Lizardmen and we know from the Warhammer airwaves that they are crap. I'm guessing I should really do the decent thing and contact Mike and Hagen and tell them not to bother. Oh no wait....luckily for them I'm using the last book the Internet said was rubbish, Daemons of Chaos.

Speaking of Lizardmen, I am painting up an Ancient Stegadon to add to my army. This model has been sitting broken and half painted in my bitz box since I bought a Lizard army in March last year. Time for it to feel some love and get out onto the table.

I arrived home from a walk this morning to find a big parcel on my doorstep. Inside were my Lizardmen new releases - the book, a Carnosaur/Troglodon kit, two Bastilodons and a box of Ripperdactyls.  These will give me plenty to put together over the next week though I do wish I had bought two Carnosaurs so I could also make a Troglodon.

Finally I jumped onto iBooks and downloaded Mark of Calth, Promethean Sun and Vulkan Lives to catch up on my Horus Heresy reading.

New Zealand at the ETC - Numbercrunching the Results

As a lot of you are aware last weekend was the ETC in Serbia. This was the fourth year that a New Zealand team had attended and this time they finished 26th out of the 32 teams competing.

The organisers very helpfully posted the individual round score sheets and from this I was able to build a series of tables which summarise the NZ performance. The purpose of this is not to criticise or denigrate anyone's efforts - these guys paid got coin to ensure NZ had representation - but rather to run an objective eye over the results.

First up here is a summary of the individual results:

As can be seen, there is quite wide variation in individual results. There is very clearly a Top 3 in terms of scores and a Bottom 3. Interestingly I believe that two, maybe three, of the top scorers have been to the ETC before. Looking at the races it looks like NZ did not get a return out of what were viewed as two of the stronger races - Empire and Warriors of Chaos.

Edit: Dave Meachen used Daemons of Chaos not Dark Elves.

Only four of our players had multiple matches against the same race and nobody played the same race three times. Critically four players played six different races. My understanding of the event is that the teams that perform best are those that formulate and implement a plan. I'm going to suggest that our matchup process shows some potential for improvement in that we did engineer repeat favourable matchups. Team Warhammer is all about planning and roles and it is doesn't appear that we achieved that based on the results.

The second table is our scores versus various races:

Here you can see we did very well against the most populous army - Warriors of Chaos - and also against Chaos Dwarfs. It appears key to this was getting O&G up against them with a backup of Dark Elves and Lizards respectively.

However, perhaps we should have been matching Lizards up against VCs earlier and looked for a solution versus Daemons. I can't help thinking that our WOC player should have been given a role to play against OKs and formulated a solid plan to beat them.

The results show that our general matchup plan failed to deliver consistent matchups for us and I think that is an underlying problem. Ideally you want to have enemy armies playing only 2-3 of your selections.

These are my initial thoughts, I'm sure I'll have more as I digest the data.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Kromlech Plague Reapers - Painted

So I posted pictures yesterday of the two Kromlech Plague Reapers. Here are some shots of the painted models prior to final highlights.

The figures are quite detailed but lack some of the crispness you get with Forgeworld resins. Certainly add nice variation and fit the army well.

Skitterleap 2013 - October 26/27 - Wellington

Once Warpfire is done and dusted there is just one more Wellington event left in this tournament season.

It is SKITTERLEAP and again this year it will be held on the last weekend of October. This coincides with Labour Weekend so you have the perfect opportunity to play dollies with your friends and spend your Public Holiday licking your wounds with your family.

For those of you interested in the rankings this will be the last NZ event counting towards qualification for this year's Masters.

Sam Whitt has graciously offered to Umpire the event and you can find the final Players Pack here

So please mark it in your diaries and expect to get some nudges from me over the next few weeks.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Warpfire Scenarios

The Scenarios for Warpfire can be found here

Remember guys that the idea of a 1000 point tournament is to have some fun so don't go too silly with your lists. A 500 point Shade or Gutter Runner unit may sound cool - but it probably isn't.

There's no Comp but Umpire Reid is The Law and if he things anything is too egregious he can knock it back.

Kromlech Plague Reaper

Last Wednesday I ordered two of Kromlech's Plague Reapers. They are billed as Daemonic Executioners and so I thought I would use them as additional Beasts in my Daemons of Chaos.

Well they arrived from Poland today - less than 7 days from point of ordering - and they are very nice figures. Virtually no flash at all. Size wise they stand 53mm tall.

Here are some pictures after I put one together (three piece). They have resin pins but I removed them and used metal ones for greater longevity.

The plan is to have them painted for games on the weekend.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Guest Post - Improving the Dwarf Book

A lot of people walk up to me in the street and say "Peter, why are you so hard on Dwarfs and Dwarfs players? And I reply "They don't let me have an enjoyment phase, so why should I let them"".

However in the interests of fair play, I asked local Dwarf and hobby-wrecker Tane Woodley to write a Guest Post on what he would do to improve the Dwarf Book. He's done that and I present it here for your edification.

A big thanks to Tane for all his efforts.

Pete asked me to write a guest post on what the 8th Edition Dwarf Army Book might look like.  I can’t say what it might look like, as Christ knows what goes in the GW Design Studio sometimes (“Hmmm, yes the Troglodon is clearly worth 200 points, while that Ironblaster is only worth 170), but I can talk about what I’d like it to look like, so here goes.

I had intended to start this post with an explanation of why Dwarves are seen as being a limited and boring army, but Greg over at the Hoodling Hole has done an excellent job already.  Have a read of this for a breakdown of the problems with the current Dwarf army book;

In summary, of the four phases in the game, Dwarves don’t participate in magic, have extremely poor movement and are mediocre in combat due to low initiative, lack of rerolls and limited attacks.  Only in shooting do Dwarves excel, but even here the army design is poor.  Dwarf missile troops cannot move and shoot, while the best Dwarf shooting is from war machines, which have to remain static.

Because shooting can’t be directed into combat, a shooting-heavy army must have time and space to allow its firepower to affect the enemy.  This means sitting still while the enemy move forward, hoping that shooting will kill and attrit key elements of the enemy army.  Dwarf reliance on hundreds of points of squishy war machines also means that the other parts of the army have to form up around them.  Otherwise a clever opponent will get hunters into the war machines, harvest the points and use their superior mobility (and everyone has superior mobility) to avoid combat for the win.  The whole design of the army enforces a static approach on Dwarven players. 

Drums Are Beating in Bretonnia

And the sound they are making is that we can expect a new book in November this year.

This is a departure from what was the previously thought to be release schedule but plausible given recent comments by the Design Studio. At the recent Games Day in Memphis, Jeremy Vetock indicated that this month's Lizard release had had the book finished for over a year. So the Bret book may be sitting on the shelf ready to slot into November - the last Fantasy slot of the year.

I'm guessing we should expect some Monstrous Cavalry - Demigryph or Lion riders - and some type of Monster. I hope they keep the current Lance formation as it offers something different. A armoured foot knight - possibly skirmish - wouldn't be out of the question.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Initial Thoughts On The New Lizardmen - Part Two

Okay, I'm going to say it upfront. I don't think that the new Lizardmen got substantially worse than they were with the previous book. In fact I think from a tournament point of view they are stronger and we will see good players do really well with them.

The initial reaction from "tournament players" is that they have been "nerfed" to use their vernacular. However most of these tournament players focus solely on stat lines - particularly in isolation - rather than the synergy available in list construction.

So why do I think Lizards are better? Well let me list just a few reasons.

  • Lore Attribute - Contemplations
  • Temple Guard can be taken without need to babysit Slaan - and they got cheaper
  • Cheaper Stegadons
  • Contemplations
  • Upgrade for D3 multiple wounds on Steg
  • Stegadon is a single model
  • Cheap access to flaming attack
  • High Magic
  • Contemplations
  • Slaan overall cheaper with series of options that still make him the best caster in the game
  • Predatory Fighter on Scar Vets
  • Engine of Gods not out of Hero allowance
  • Two Dispel scrolls for nervous nellies
  • Contemplations
If you notice none of the things I've mentioned come from the new models. All are from things the Lizardman player currently owns. 

So what do I think the "list" will look like?

Slaan - BSB High Magic with kit
2x SV on CO
Skink Priest

2x Skink Cohorts with Std
5-6 Skirmish Skinks
Total 600 points

Temple Guard
2x Terradons
Small camo

Ancient Steg
Salamander units x2

So again an avoidance list with tool for every job. High Magic shenanigans with WbW and the Steg to bust open armour. Personally I'd like to drop to a single Sally to try and shoehorn in a second Ancient Steg. 

I'd like to revisit this in six months to see how wrong I am. However I think Contemplations is the biggest change to the meta since the widespread introduction of Monstrous Cavalry. I may be wrong but in the hands of good players I can already hear the cries of "broken". 

NZTC - One Spot Left

Not a team spot but one single player spot.

The orphan team known as "The Redheaded Stepchildren" has now swelled to three with Neil Williamson joining  Tim Joss and Hagen Kerr. That means there is now one single spot left for the NZTC. So if you want to play in NZ's largest Warhammer tournament, let me know and we can tie down the last spot.

EDIT: Big News. Rory Finnemore has jumped ship from the Nerdymen devastated by their near miss in 2013. He's joined up with the RHSC but is insisting that they change their name to "The Hobby Wrecking Pirates". If there ever was a team that was bi-polar it is this one.

Warpfire Registrations Pass Twenty

It looks like the lure of scenarios and a different points level is drawing them in.  Registrations for Warpfire have passed 20 and Are looking to build over the next 2-3 weeks.

Playing 1000 points is a real exercise in logistics and when you overlay that with scenarios where you are rewarded for achieving objectives then it creates a really challenging conundrum. I looking forward to seeing what armies people come up with to address this puzzle

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Weekend Gaming

With Lynne away for the weekend I took the opportunity to get in three games to give some of my newly painted Daemons a spin. The list I took was an amalgam of the two Daemon lists I've been running since the new book came out.

Old Blue Eyes the newly painted GUO took over the army from the Death Chicken I had been running recently. He was backed up by a Herald BSB, core of Plaguies and Horrors, the obligatory Beasts, some marked Furies, a Skullcannon (note singular) and some flies.  The army is finally nearing completion and the bases and movement trays are pulling it all together nicely. If you check back over the past six months you'll find pictures on the blog of all these units.

First up was the new Lizards. Mike was running units from the old book with Temple Guard and Jungle Swarms seeing the table for the first time since the Late Cretaceous. The key thing with this game was it quickly became clear how wrong the "Internet wisdom" is in relation to the new Lizards. A High Loremaster is a beautiful thing and the pundits have completely underestimated how strong the "Contemplations" lore attribute is.  The new rules will really reward good players who can adapt to challenges presented in-game. The new Lizards will still be a force and in the hands of a good player we'll get the "broken" calls from the peanut gallery.

This morning it was onto Warriors of Chaos and Ryan's Slaaneshi list. The game was Watchtower but most of the fighting went on outside the tower.  On T1 the GUO and Daemon Prince went at it but it proved to be a bit of a cripple fight with only limited wounds until T4 until Ryan got off Choir and with the help of the OTS my GUO went back to the warp. His jubilation was shortlived as my Drones finished him off the next combat phase. On the other side of the tower my Beast block help up  his BSB on Disk with 1+/3++ kit and a Gorebeast chariot that could not get an attack due to challenge shenanigans by my Beasts. Eventually a Chimera turned up to help but was dispatched by a Skullcannon.

The final game was against John's Dark Elves in Dawn Attack. This game was characterised by extremes in the Reign of Chaos. On Turn 1 I received 14 Bloodletters while on T3 I removed two units of Ruries and the Skullcannon after rolling Snake Eyes. From this game I took away a new love for the Soulbight spell which allowed my Beasts to hold up and eventually beat (with some late help) the COK bus and a Pendant Lord. It was a fun game and it was a real opportunity to test out Lore of Death.

So all up three good games against great opponents. Back now to flocking movement trays.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Nurgle Daemon Goodness!

Over the past three days I have been painting up models for my Daemons of Chaos. I started on Tuesday evening and finished last night putting in a fair few hours each day.

Here's some pics of the finished models, all ready for games this weekend.



Friday, August 9, 2013

NZ Teams Championship Sold Out!!!

Pleased to announce that there are now the full 16 Teams for NZTC 2014.

The last few places were snapped up this morning. There is still an opportunity for two individuals to join "The Redheaded Stepchildren" but I expect those will disappear soon.

I will be badgering the teams that have registered to pay their rego fee in the next few days to secure their place.

Until then I am starting a waiting list for any further teams to take up places should they become available.

Pretty excited.

Initial Thoughts On The New Lizardmen - Part One

I've had a good read of the new Lizardmen book over the past few days, glanced at some forums and listened to a few podcasts.

There is an enormous amount of doom and gloom being spouted by current Lizardmen players - if you want to punish yourself read the 60+ page thread on Warseer - that the book has taken a significant nerf.

I'm not so sure.

The three key criticisms being promoted are:

  • The reduction of Skink Leadership to 5
  • The changes to Salamander rules
  • Cost increases and changes to Slaan
Yes, there have been changes but I'm not sure it's all the doom and gloom.

1. Skink Leadership

The drop in Leadership reduces the odds of passing a Ld test from 68% to 52% (if testing on their own Leadership). Yes it is a drop and removes some "certainty" but to be honest 68% was never a certain thing anyway. You needed to factor in the almost one third chance of failure previously - now you still have to.

What it should lead to is more careful placement of the Slaan to give you the Leadership boost (and critically re-roll) where it is most important.

Working outside the Slaan Leadership bubble always carried some risk - Camo Skinks and Terradons were vulnerable. They remain so. If you are making 20 tests per game previously you were failing six now it's nine.

There is vulnerability around Ripperdactyl Frenzy checks but again this can be accommodated by placement in the Leadership bubble. As I said, it was there anyway.

2. Salamander Changes

There are five changes. First, they have increased in cost by 5 points. Second, no march and shoot. This is big but realistically they were, to use the vernacular, "broken". Removing this is the thing most likely to result in the previous comp restrictions around Sallies' numbers being removed. Third, they have increased to Strength 4. This is a major boost and increased the casualty rate on very lightly and non-armoured models significantly.  Four, this is offset by removing -3 AS modifier which made them such a boon against knights and the like. However hitting 5 knights previously killed 1.1, now it kills 0.8. Is it such a big loss? Lastly, auto-panic test for a wound is gone. Probably the biggest change apart from March and Shoot. It was always a threat but is the loss of this the difference between success and failure?

A question for Lizard players. Are you still going to include Salamanders in your list despite the changes? I bet you are!

3. Slaan Changes

The key changes here is the effective points increase. There is now virtually no potential for Dual Slaan list at 2400 points so some lists will have to change. Power Dice generation has been limited and there is a change to miscast protection. Is this a nerf? Yes in the current form because you have to change/adapt. In the second part I'll lay out my thoughts as to why I think the "new" Slaan is as least as good as before.

So I'm far less pessimistic about the book than conventional "internet wisdom". In fact I'm sufficiently enthused by what I see as the potential in the book to contemplate (see what I did there) breaking them out to run over the next few months. In the second part I'll round through the significant boosts I think that the book has been given.

Warpfire Update

Just a reminder that Earlybird registration (and payment) ends tomorrow August 10.

Currently it is $25 but from Sunday it rises to $30.

Already we have 16 signed up and I expect the event to push 30 people.

It is a one day event, scenario based and at 1000 points. Come and try something different.

You can get the Warpfire Players' Pack here

NZTC Update

There are currently two spaces left for the NZTC in February 2014.

That's right, fourteen teams have registered already. One of those teams (Redheaded Stepchildren - Tim Joss and Hagen Kerr) is currently looking for two additional players, so if you fancy playing at the event and haven't got a team....let me know.

This is really shaping up to be the gaming highlight of the year so don't dither if you want to be a part of it.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Predatory Fighter - Waiting For The FAQ

The Lizardmen book has been out less than a week and already the internet is raging about one of the Special Rules. This time however the rage isn't that the rule is broken but rather that it doesn't appear to work the way some people believe it was intended to. And if you play it as written then making attacks becomes more cumbersome.

The Predatory Fighter rule gives a special ability for Saurus, Kroxigor and Carnosaur sized Lizards. When they make their attacks, if they roll a "6" then they get an extra attack. Pretty cool rule right? Keeping in fluff with the nature of the Lizards. Equip Lizards with Spears and suddenly you may get a lot of extra attacks, right?

Unfortunately not! There is a General Rule in the Rulebook that says that models in supporting ranks are limited to one attack. Period. So now you have the ridiculous situation where you must roll front rank and supporting rank attacks separately.

Now I personally don't believe that this was Mr. Vetock's intention. I'd bet handsomely that Predatory Fighter was intended to extend to all Supporting Attacks. Unfortunately as per RAW that doesn't happen. In a lot of situations you can point to Army Book taking precedence over Rulebook where there is a conflict. However as written there is no conflict, you're just left with a cumbersome mechanic.

I fully expect this to be FAQ'd at the earliest possible juncture but until then we are left with an embarassing glitch.

FOB NZ W40K Rankings - Updated for Call to Arms

The Warhammer 40k rankings have been updated for Call to Arms.

The event's winner, Glen Burfield just squeezes into the Top 20 of the rankings. It capped off a good weekend for Glen who also won Best Presented Army for his Eldar Iyanden.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Hobby Update

So what have I got on my painting table at the moment.

Well first up I have primed all my Horus Heresy Death Guard for painting. That is a Praetor, an Apothecary and two Contemptor Dreads (both standard DG pattern - Multi-Melta/Power Claw). They will be worked through over the next month or so. I need to paint a further Tactical Squad and that will give me most of the 1500 points I need for Adepticon.

I have also started painting the model I got from Kromlech to use as a Great Unclean One/Nurgle Daemon Prince. Hopefully I'll finish this in the next couple of days so that I can use him on the weekend. The Kromlech models are really nice. I have ordered a couple of their Plague Reapers to fit into various armies.

Additionally I have ten Nurgle Furies to paint. If you remember I made these out of Plague Bearers with Gargoyle wings. Suspect that they will be reasonably quick to paint up and they will round out the Nurgle Daemons.

There are quite a few podcasts backed up on my iPhone. About half have Lizardmen reviews on them. It will be interesting to see whether the new models I've purchased for my Lizards have been a monumental fail. Still I'll probably only have to wait a week and opinions will have changed.

I've been very impressed by the iBook version of the Army Book and in particular the 360 degree views they give of the new models. They look like they will be a joy to paint. I have purchased two Bastilodons, a Troglodon and a box of Ripperdactyls. In the meantime, I am fixing a damaged Ancient Stegadon I had downstairs and it will be an Engine of the Gods in my list. Luckily Sam Whitt has fixed me up with some spare parts and I am waiting for some additional bits to arrive from a UK Bitz seller. Once I've got it fixed then I'll start painting it and hopefully this will inspire me for the new models.

So plenty to always.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Umpire for NZTC Confirmed

Happy to announce that the Head Umpire for next year's NZTC will be Peter Williamson. Peter played at this year's event and finished 2nd at the 2012 Masters.

Peter (in background) showing some of the form that got him this gig.

Call to Arms Fantasy Results

Call to Arms was run over the weekend here in Wellington. It was for 2400 point armies and utilised very light comp. There were five rounds usings the scenarios from the rulebook with the exception of "The Watchtower".

Here are the results:

Best Presented: Sam Whitt (Warriors of Chaos)

Most Sporting Opponent: Nicholas Jebson

The Umpire, James Millington, did a great job umpiring his first event.

Congratulations to all the winners.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Problem With Stormvermin

One of the biggest issues facing a Skaven General is whether to include Stormvermin in his army. It is a question I have agonised over for the past three and a half years - since the latest Skaven book came out and never really arrived at what I thought was a definitive answer.

Stormvermin Are Attractive Little Buggers, Aren't They?

So lets have a look a look at Stormvermin in comparison to Clanrats. Both fill a place in Core and they provide an opportunity to take something other than Slaves (apparently there are other options. I once heard about a guy using Nightrunners. No, I didn't I just made that up). However both Stormvermin and Clanrats count to your Core points whereas Swarms and Giant Rats don't.

Here are the relative characteristics for both troop types:
The table is colour-coded to show where there are advantages and disadvantages.

Effectively with Stormvermin you are paying an extra 2.5 points per model to get a +1 increase in Weapon Skill, Strength (Halberds) and Initiative. However you are forgoing the chance to Parry that you get with Clan Rats. In addition the Command option costs and extra 5 points.

Under the cold hard light of day, I don't believe that the stat increases are worth the extra 2.5 points over a Clan Rat. My experience is that the extra WS, Str and I very rarely flows through into extra casualties caused. Of course this is dependent on the opposing unit but I haven't witnessed sufficient bang for buck. This is especially true in this world of increased armour....a Str 4 wound is of limited currency.

The extra points cost flows directly through to effectiveness in my view by reducing numbers. The jewel in Skaven Special Rules is Strength in Numbers and the extra points per model you have with Clan Rats buys more ranks - and I think that provides more resilience than the stats increases do.

"So why would you ever take Stormvermin, Pete?" I hear you ask. Well Clan Rats can't take a Magic Banner while Stormvermin can. This means that if you bulk out Core with Clan Rats over Stormvermin then you only have access to a Magic Banner through the BSB or Plague Monks. PMs cost the same as Stormvermin and come from the Special rather Core slot. In addition they have their own need for a Magic Banner which makes the case of an open slot moot.

Therefore the question really becomes "Can you survive on a single Magic Banner carried by the BSB" or do you need access to a second. If the answer is the former then go Clan Rats, if the latter then you have to take Stormies.

There are two key banners for Skaven - the Standard of Discipline and the Storm Banner. Ideally you would run both, however I generally think that the Storm Banner is the more critical. The SoD doesn't impact your ranked units but is invaluable - especially on a Bell - for your other units.

It is also nice to be able to include the cost of the 50 point Storm Banner in your Core allocation rather than character slot.

However more and more I am of the opinion that I can live without the SoD and therefore I am choosing Clan Rats increasingly over the Stormvermin. And that is the problem with Stormvermin. You are paying a premium for a unit with minimal efficiency increases to buy access to a banner. For me that is just not justified in the current meta.

Skaven at Call to Arms - A Missed Opportunity

Over the weekend we had the Warlords annual convention Call to Arms here in Wellington. It attracted a field of 26 people with a mix of armies - though dominated in numbers by Skaven, Vampires and Warriors.

I posted my list last week, so you can check it out there.

Game 1 - Regan Ridge (Vampires) - Dawn Attack

I'd met Regan at Panzershreck and had encouraged him to come along to CTA, so it was great to get to play him. Vamps aren't a great matchup for Skaven as they can put similar numbers in the field. I managed to pick up his chaff points reasonably early but he had big points in Grave Guard and a Ghoul block I couldn't get.

The highlight of the game was the Mortis Engine charging the Bell (who had lost 2 wounds from a scream) and doing five wounds from impact hits. All hit the Bell and it proceeded to fail four 4+ wards.

Win 16-4

Game 2 - Dave Appleby (Skaven) - Blood & Glory

Dave had a Queek list backed up by the usual toys. We both took Plague magic. I got lucky early on when the Storm Banner came down after Dave's turn and that allowed me to take out quite a few of his toys. Gaining the upper hand, I pushed quite aggressively and had Dave on the back foot. He then got off a Plague which reduced my numbers dramatically. Plague rarely gains you points but what it does do is neuter the recipient's offensive capacity. And that was the case here. I continue to push and got Dave's Seer and one banner but needed a final banner to break him. This I eventually achieved but not before a bit of Hell Pit Abomination by-play.

Dave's HPA was down to its last wound when I shot it with the Ruby Ring. I had been ragging him about his wasted 15 points on Warpstone Spikes. Well of course he then makes use of the MR1 they provide. The Hell Pit went down straight after to Warp Lightning while mine died in combat. We rolled to see who's got back up at the end of the turn and Dave's showed the benefit of his Spikes saving a Flaming Wound. This resurrected HPA then went on to kill both Doomwheels. Grrr.....

I got Queek's unit and managed a big win once the bonus 500 VPs was added in.

Win 20-0

Game 3 - Locky Reid (Skaven) - Battle for the Pass

This game turned into a tactical delight. It was dominated by a large tower in the middle of Locky's front line. I managed to exploit this and concentrated my heavy hitters on half of Locky's force. My Gutter Runners were used to take out the WLC and then cheekily reduced the Seer to one wound and the Bell to three. They went down in a blaze of glory to the Bell and to a small plague.

On the other side I was lucky and took out Locky's Doomwheel with a Str 4 hit. The other Doomwheel took out the Furnace before it was charged and flank by the remaining Plague Monks and Slaves. In the preceding magic phase I had got off a Plague that had run through 5 of Locky's units dramatically reducing their offensive capability. My Seer decided to Dimensionally Cascade casting it.

In the end we reached a point of fatigue where we were both still in the fight but neither of us could land blows. This game was a real delight to play and re-awoke for me this scenario that is often dropped from events. Locky was a pleasure to play, as always.

Win 13-7

Game 4 - Sam Whitt (Warriors of Chaos) - Meeting Engagement

I had thought it would take Sam some time to get to grips with his new army but I was wrong. He was sitting a couple of points behind me going into Day 2 and we met on Table 1.

Sam comprehensively outplayed me in this game and going into Turn 3-4 I suspect I was looking at a 15-5 loss at least. I finally managed to get some go-forward and picked up a lot of points on the final turns, mainly through my Bell unit going on the offensive and covering a lot of distance to finally pressure his infantry - which he had cleverly hidden.

I thought I played poorly early on and made some mistakes. However Sam snatched the initiative and I was always chasing. This was my most enjoyable game of the weekend as I had to really fight to get back in the game. I gave Sam my Best Opponent vote. In the end I was 146 points down.

Loss 9-11

Game 5 - Sam Campbell (Daemons of Chaos) - Battleline

Sam had what was generally perceived as the strongest list at the event - though I'm still of the opinion that Joel's Empire is better. Prior to the event the consensus was that he should stomp all before him en route to 1st Place. He indicated that the list had been made to beat Skaven but I wasn't so sure it was as good versus rats as he thought.

Effectively the game was over as a contest in the first magic phase. I threw two dice at a Skitterleap - double six - and my Seer dimensionally cascaded. Hmmmm... The Engineer lined up his Crack's Call down a line of Beasts and hit four but only two went down the crack. With my magic gone it was always going to be a case of how big the loss was. I played very aggressively in the centre and got a unit of Beasts and Plague Bearers for the loss of two Doomwheels. On came Gutter Runners with an Assassin and they took out a Skullcannon, the other misfiring and destroying itself. I saw a chance to push for a small win and charged two Beasts of Nurgle with my Stormvermin Bell unit. Unfortunately I only got one impact hit which I fluffed and the resulting attacks from the unit also fluffed. Not blasting through those Beasts allowed support to arrive and I eventually lost the SV (though the Bell was still there on two wounds at the end).

In the end I lost by 350 points which was a 13-7 to Sam. Again this game was a real tactical struggle where I did my best to come back from losing my Seer Turn 1 to what was a minimal (0.2%) chance event. But when you play with magic you sometimes have to pay the toll....


So I only picked up 16 points on Day 2 and that was a pretty meagre haul. In the end Sam Campbell had 70 Battle Points, Sam Whitt 69 and me 66. The low totals show just how hardfought the event was. It is not often that a 14 BP/game average will be enough to win an event - in fact I'm struggling to think of a previous example including Masters (where winning totals are usually less).

Well done to both the Sams. This was Sam C's first tournament win and pushed him into the Top 10 of the rankings. Sam Whitt had some compensation in picking up Best Presented for his new Warriors and Nicholas Jebson got Best Sport for letting a pigeon shit on his head.

A big thanks to James Millington for umpiring the event which ran smoothly and was a huge credit to him. Thanks also to the people who helped me pack up the terrain, especially Sam Whitt, Mike King, Fern Campbell and Hamish Gordon.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

FOB NZ Rankings Update - Call To Arms

Call to Arms has been run and won. Congratulations to Sam Campbell for winning the event with Daemons of Chaos. Sam Whitt picked up 2nd with his new Warriors of Chaos which also won Best Painted.

The event has resulted in Sam Campbell entering the Top 10 for the first time. Sam Whitt jumped up one place and continues to hold icons for Most Tournaments and Most Different Armies Used. Locky Reid moves up to 13th and Hamish Gordon enters the Top 20.

The only icon to move was the Skaven Icon which has come home. It is nicely tucked up in its old familiar burrow!

Friday, August 2, 2013

NZTC Registration Update

Just a quick update on the NZTC registrations. These have been open since Monday and almost half the places have been snapped up already.

If you are wanting to be certain of registering a team then you probably want to do it sooner rather than later.

As always I'll be running an orphan/dating service for singles. At present NZ's #1 Ranked Player Tim Joss is looking for a team.

EDIT: Nine Ten Eleven Twelve teams have now registered for NZTC

Von Trapp Family (confirmed)
Shirts Off Warhammer (confirmed)
Team D(eluded)ILF (confirmed)
Stonefall Massive (confirmed)
Southern Raiders (Chch)
Kapiti Krushers A
Grumpy Old Men
Kapiti Krushers B
Team Victoria (Australia)
The Nice Team
The Bucketheads (Manawatu)

This means that there are only seven five four spots left assuming that all the above teams pay their entry fee.

The venue is limited to 16 teams. That is definite. So if you know anybody that wants to play at NZTC then they need to organise themselves. I'm expecting at least 2-3 more local teams in the next few days

FOB NZ Rankings - Fantasy Update for CavCon

CavCon was run in Christchurch last weekend and the Fantasy rankings have been updated to reflect the results.

Well done to Basil Moskovis on his 1st Place and also on securing the Vampire Counts icon.

Call to Arms is on this weekend and the results will be included in the rankings early next week.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Terrain - New Flocked Hills

If I'm supplying terrain for events I like to take the opportunity in the weeks leading up to the tournament to build/finish one of my many terrain project.

This weekend I have Call to Arms and I saw this as a chance to finish some hills that I had on the backburner.

The hills are cut from polystrene, sealed with PVA and then painted. Finally I flock the flat surfaces with Static Grass. These now match the 3-4 GW Battlemats that I have and will form the basis for those tables.

Static Grass Application Underway

The Finished Set

Close Up Showing How Well My Grasstech Applicator Works