Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Warhammer 40k - New Dawn Fades

"New Dawn Fades" was one of my favourite songs by one of the few good things to come out of Manchester, Joy Division. In 1981their lead singer Ian Curtis topped himself leaving behind two albums and a string of truly memorable songs. From the ashes of Joy Division rose the more commercial New Order who while occasionally hitting high points never received the critical acclaim of Joy Division.

This all a long-winded way to introduce a metaphor for the Warhammer 40k game.

Now I loved 3rd and 4th Edition 40k. For me it was a golden age where the rule set was strong and most of the design out of the Studio was driven by the fluff rather than commercial decisions. I loved the Index Astartes rules, the Eldar Craftworlds and the Ork Klans. You had variety of armies  - note I say armies as they had rigid rules around what could and could not be included. This golden period ended for me with the Gav Thorpe Chaos codex, the late 4 ed Ork codex and the coming of 5th Ed in 2008.

I didn't buy the Kool-aid of a new cinematic dawn where armies became liquorice all sorts. And so I walked away and played Fantasy. A lot of people loved 5th but here in NZ you saw as many people fall away from the game as you saw join it. Maybe it was just people got old and had different priorities but there was a seachange in participants. Over the course of the edition I kept and eye on things and we saw the introduction of further vanilla books eg Eldar and the expansion of flyers and a general increase in vehicle size e.g. Dread knights. This was coupled by the game expansion Apocalypse and the rise of the internet which gave rise to instant net-lists eg nob biker, leaf blower, Draigo-wing, Venom spam etc.

Still to me it was still an interesting looking game. It was the New Order to my Joy Division but I understood the attraction.

Then in 2012 6th Ed arrived. Now your army choice was less important because you could have Allies to paper over your weaknesses - unless you were Nids. And the fluff behind the game didn't seem to matter. Lists began to look less like an army and more like a series of unit choices. Backing this up was the introduction of fortifications and a further expansion of flyers.

And recently we have three new additions to the mix. Escalation letting your Apoc toys in - yay D-cannons, Strongholds and the Data Slate. The upshot of the last of these is that a lot of the constraints of the Force Organisation Chart have gone by the wayside. You like Riptides, hell go for your life! Like the Wraithknight model, sure your Space Marines can have one. Want some Warlord traits from this list and others from another book...well you get the picture.

The really interesting thing with this was that 40k players were all drinking the Kool-Aid until suddenly they weren't. It's hard to pick the exact date but sometime in Q4 2013 something changed. The internet suddenly blossomed with threads, blogs, casts on how the game is broken. Schisms developed where some groups wanted to ban things, others wanted to change the rules while still others wanted to sit in a circle singing Kumbaya and embracing the wonder and freedom that was 6th.

And in the last week we've had rumours emerge that the much forecast Fantasy 9th Ed has been pushed back to 2015 to allow a new version of 40k to be released in 2014. What isn't known is whether this is to overhaul the edifice or to bring all the disparate parts into one new core rule book. I hope it's true as Fantasy is currently in a good place and I'd be more than happy for GW to release the last five books before a new edition. I know it's a forlorn hope but if it keeps Allies out of the game a bit longer all good by me.

So 40k seems to currently be on the edge of a cliff. I'm glad my investment is in the aesthetics of 30k and the Heresy rather than the game system itself.

As I said New Dawn Fades.

Runefang VII & Other 2014 Warhammer Fantasy Tournament Dates

For those of you who like to plan your year, I am looking at running the following events over the course of 2014.


Ruination (4000 Points) - January - Sold Out
NZ Teams Championships - March- Sold Out
NZ Masters - December 6/7

Venue Dependant:

Runefang VII - April 26/27
The Horned Rat VII - June 21/22
Warpfire III (1000 points) - September 13
Skitterleap 2014 - October 18/19

I have asked for alternative dates a week either side if not available.

This year I will be umpiring Runefang VII. I intend to use Swedish Comp but with a twist. Instead of the normal Swedish handicap system I will be designating a level and players will have to build a list with a Swedish Comp score equal or higher. There will be no benefit if your list is higher.

For me this achieves the aim of variety in list-building that Swedish encourages but is less rewarding who those who want to "game the system". The event will also be using the FOB Painting Checklist system (as will all FOB events in 2014), however this will be revised over the next fortnight based on feedback received in 2013. It will be posted here in mid to late January so everyone knows what the expectation is for full painting points at these events.

EDIT: Dates edited because of incompetence

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Warhammer Expansion - Triumph & Treachery

Another parcel arrived yesterday as well. This was from Element Games in the UK via Youshop (thanks to NZ Post, great to see my tax dollars put to good use). The service delivers GW product for less than 74% NZRRP, a not insignificant discount.

The box contained two sets of Dark Elf Warlocks, some Greenstuff, paints.....and the Warhammer Expansion "Triumph & Treachery".

Now I'm not a big fan of the last Fantasy expansion "Storm of Magic" mainly because it reminded me of "Apocalypse" for the Old World. However, the latest release "Triumph & Treachery" really piqued my interest. Why? Well, it offers an opportunity to play multiplayer games.

In 2011 I organised a Karak Eight Peaks event at Call to Arms which saw teams of Goblins, Dwarfs and Skaven battle for control of the ancient fortress. It culminated in a three player game (one army for each race) set in the K8P Throne Room. I played against Sam Whitt and Peter williamson and it was a total blast. All I remember were the pleas for help, double dealing and oathbreaking - and that was just the Dwarfs!

The opportunity to have up to  five player games sounds really appealing and something I'd like to try during 2014.

New Ratty Dice Bag

Yesterday was the first post after Xmas and as well as a box of supplies from Element Games via Youshop in the UK (thanks NZ Post - my tax dollars put to good use), I received another parcel.

A lot of people on the UK tournament scene are aware of "The Dice Bag Lady". Annie Norman is one of the rare females that plays tournament warhammer and has a unique Chaos Gnomes army made of alternative models. She also has a unique sideline - she produces hand-made "dice" bags.

A couple of months ago I contacted her to see if she could make a suitably "ratty" one for Seerlord Morskitta's Uber-Army. She asked me various questions about colour, design etc. And here's the finished article:
It is hand-crocheted with drawstring and its own unique "Skaven" patch made from felt. The colours match those of my army.

You can check out more of Annie's Dice Bags on www.facebook.com/TheDiceBagLady or contact her on

Friday, December 27, 2013


Here's the field for RUINATION:

Hagen Kerr
Hamish Forbes
Mike King
Tane Woodley
John Murrie
Simon Switzer
Bo Patterson
Joel van de Ven-Long
Hugh Dixon
Ryan Lister
Tom Dunn
Neil Williamson
Jeff Kent
Pete Dunn
Mal Patel
James Millington
Raymond Dick
Stuart Robinson

We'll post the lists when they go through the beady eye of Umpire Jeff Kent.

EDIT: So managed to get enough tables to let Raymond and Stuart in on the carnage

Thursday, December 26, 2013


All 16 spots for Ruination have now been snapped up so we will have a full house for the first 4000 point event to be held.

There are rumours of three stunties armies turning up. Lizards also are likely to be pretty prevalent - I'm guessing probably three of the cold-blooded race as well. Joel van de Ven-Long has threatened to bring a Nuln Empire list.  No doubt everyone has read the players pack and seen the instruction to bring "fun" armies. If not the umpire's veto stick is likely to get a workout.

Remember it's Battleline and Blood & Glory so plan accordingly. I'll post the full field in the next couple of days.

I'm running a waiting list for anyone who has missed out. Just in case RL intervenes.

EDIT: Sam Whitt has had to drop out so there is one place free

EDIT: And gone again!

EDIT: And an extra spot has opened up. LMK if you'd like it

EDIT: And gone again

Monday, December 23, 2013

NZTC - The List of Teams & Team Members

There has been a request from Team DILF as to who they are likely to be playing at NZTC.

After 15 training camps so far they are narrowing down their choice of armies to 8 and hope to use this further knowledge to get it to 7 by the end of January. Actually Team Captain James Brown has instructed the NZTC organisers to only accept any team lists from him. And we are to alert him immediately should any one of them try to submit a list....or show independent thought!

So here are your teams:

#1 - The von Trapp Family
  • Jack Dunn (c)
  • Tom Dunn
  • Joe Dixon
  • Pete Dunn
#2 - Team DILF
  • James Brown (c)
  • John Willenbruch
  • Antony Kitson
  • Glen Tibbles
#3 - Shirts Off!
  • Sam Whitt 
  • James Milner (c)
  • Ben Wadsworth
  • Mal Patel
#4 - The Wolfpack
  • Dan Butler (c)
  • Ross Hillier-Jones
  • Jeff Kent
  • Locky Reid
#5 - Southern Raiders
  • Basil Moskovis (c)
  • Damon Quaid
  • Rhys Hodgson 
  • Darren Urquhart
#6 - Stonefalls Massive
  • Joel van de Ven-Long (c)
  • Glen Burfield
  • Ryan Lister
  • Wil Hoverd
#7 - Beauty & the Beasts
  • Sam Campbell 
  • Fern Campbell
  • Hamish Gordon
  • Nic Jebson (c)
#8 - Grumpy Old Men
  • Raymond Dick (c)
  • Mike King
  • Reid Pittams
  • Paul Davison
#9 - Legion of Doom
  • David Oemecke
  • Hermann van Krandenberg
  • Luc van Kradenberg
  • Rex Foote
#10 - The Nice Team
  • James Millington
  • Bo Patterson
  • Dave Appleby
  • Tane Woodley
#11 - The Bucketheads
  • John Murrie (c)
  • Adam Richards
  • Brendon Johnston
  • Regan Ridge
#12 - The League of Extraordinary Nerdymen
  • Paul Clarke (c)
  • TBC
  • TBC
  • TBC
#13 - The Philosopher's Stone
  • Nick Munn (c)
  • Phil Wu
  • Paul Dalton
  • James Cardno
#14 - Redheaded Stepchildren
  • Tim Joss (c)
  • Rory Finnemore
  • Hagen Kerr
  • Neil Williamson
#15 - Team Victoria
  • Greg Greenfield (c)
  • Nick Hoen
  • Jabe Brown
  • Ben Leopold
#16 - Team Australia
  • Tim Stewart (c)
  • Mark Skilton
  • Sam Morgan
  • Lachy Mulcahy
So those are the teams as I currently have them plus name where I was given them or my own substitutes. Please let me know if team composition has changed or team name is different.

Friday, December 20, 2013

NZTC 2014 - Updated Players' Pack

An updated Players'Pack for the NZTC can be found here

It has up to date information re Umpire and the intention to create a Tournament FAQ for the event.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

FOB NZ Rankings - Flames of War Launched

Flames of War has now been added to the family of FOB NZ Rankings.

They can be accessed by hitting the FOB NZ Rankings button under the title banner. It has the usual features - Best Army icons, Masters winners etc

This means that the three events that comprise the NZ Masters all now have their rankings on this site. TOs can sent their results to me at pete@thefieldsofblood.com or request the input template which they then return to me filled in.

Thanks again to Jack for his work in getting this up and running.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

6th Annual NZ Masters Results

The 6th Annual NZ Masters were recently held in Hamilton and run by Rob Shirley.

This was the 4th time that Flames of War have been included while both 40k and Fantasy have been there since the inception.

Here are the 40k results:

Well done to Haydn Korach for winning his first Masters. He just edged Charlie St. Clair who would have secured a fourth crown.

In Flames of War the results were as follows:

Congratulations to Michael on his first Masters title. The tiebreaker between 2nd and 3rd was the result of their game, won by Paul. The event this year was run using Early War armies.

The 7th Annual NZ Masters will be held in Wellington the first weekend of December 2014, organised by myself.

Death Guard Spartan

My Death Guard Spartan is starting to take shape. Spasmodically over the past few weeks I've cut and cleaned the FW sprues, tested fits etc.

Last night I finished glueing the superstructure together and it now all fits flush.

Next stage is to mask then undercoat the various components.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

First Tentative Steps Towards The ETC

This weekend I am looking to play my first games under the ETC rules. NZ ETC veteran Mal Patel will be in Wellington and a few of us are getting together to play some games with the first draft of the 2014 comp.

I'm going to run some Skaven around - probably in the guise of "Furry Dwarfs" - a list built around ranged attack but sans Bell. Looking to use two Seers and see how they work in today's meta. I expect the list runs the risk of being run over but small steps.....

The key thing is is to get my head around the rule changes - Line of Sight system, 5 Die Casting Limits, Half Points for Fleeing/Depleted Units and Multiple LOS for insta-kill spells.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Games Workshop's DLC - Data Slates & Battle Scrolls

An interesting situation is developing (or about to develop) for the NZ Gaming scene. Games Workshop is flooding the market with a whole lot of downloadable content.

This content includes new riles for both Fantasy and more prevalently 40k through the Battle Scroll and Data Slate mediums. These rules are fully official and released for inclusion in your GW games.

There is only one problem. In a lot of cases the only release mechanism is digital which means you can't walk into your local store and buy it. In fact you may not even be aware that new rules have been released. Some material eventually finds it's way to a physical release but not all. Also with automatic update available it may be that some download updates while others don't potentially creating problems where people are playing with different versions.

To complicate matters further no GW DLC is available for Apple devices here in New Zealand. Therefore a dichotomy exists between owners of various electronic devices. This arises due to Apple /GW take on NZ copyright law.

Now none of this is insurmountable, however it is something for TOs to be aware of when they are looking at what is "legal" at their events. In the past it has always been 30 days after physical release but such "conventions" may need to be revisited for DLC.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tomorrow Belongs to Us

So an hour of patchup work with a tube of Super Glue and the Seerlord Morskitta's troops are back to normal. Approximately 20 parted bases which is staggering given the impact and subsequent tumble they had. Mr A-Bomb has his fingers back and reattached nails.

Can't recommend the Battlefoam case highly enough!

Skaven at the Masters

This weekend I attended the NZ Masters in Hamilton. This was the sixth running of the event and my fourth appearance (I qualified for the first two but ended up umpiring the event). The field for this weekend’s event was the best ranked of any of the six tournaments so far – ten of the Top 12, last year’s winner and #15.

When I saw the field I tried to work out what the make up of race selection for the field would be. The only surprises (for me) were Locky (I didn't know what he’d take), James Brown (I thought he’d take Ogres) and Rory (I thought Vampires). I was pleasantly surprised when I got these incorrect (vampires being a hard match for the two armies I was considering).

My initial selection was the Daemons I've been using recently but I shelved them when I considered the potential for cannons and poison. That proved a good choice and so I fell back on Skaven, generally my army of choice.

The list I took was modified to reflect what I thought I would be facing and I likened it to a Swiss army Knife with a tool for every job.

Seer – General, Bell, Earthing Rod, Skalm, Dragonbane Gem

Chieftain – BSB, Standard of Discipline
Engineer – Level 2, Doomrocket, Condenser
Engineer – Level 1, Ruby Ring, Dispel Scroll
Engineer – Brass Orb
Assassin – Weeping Blades, Potion of Strength

30 Clanrats – Full command
22 Stormvermin – Muso, Standard, Storm Banner
40 Slaves – Champ, Muso
40 Slaves – Muso
40 Slaves – Muso

6 Gutter Runners – Slings, Poison
6 Gutter Runners – Slings, Poison

Hellpit Abomination
Warplightning Cannon

The list has more toys than I’d normally like – I've never been a big user of the Orb – but it gave me an option in most circumstances. Critically it gave points up sparingly and was risk averse in that I took the Rod over my more usual Power Scroll.

So how did it go?

Monday, December 9, 2013

NZ Masters 2013 - WHFB Results

The 6th Annual NZ Masters were run in Hamilton over the weekend. Six rounds with 2400 point armies using rulebook scenarios.

The results were as follows:
 *Unfortunately Ross was taken ill after Round 4 and did not play the final two rounds

Best Sport: Richard Barby

Best Painted: Sam Whitt

Here also is the breakdown of the highest scorers Day One and Day Two
Thanks to Rob Shirley and his team for organising the event.

The Desolation of Skavenblight

Leaving the NZ Masters yesterday, there was a skqweel from the back seat to stop.

The boot of Rory's car hadn't been properly closed and it popped open. My Skaven army - in its Battlefoam case - was seen bouncing down the road behind us. We stopped and I went back and collected it.

I wasn't brave enough to open the case until this afternoon.

So not too bad at all. The HPA lost his fingers, the Storm Banner was broken and a variety of plastic infantry de-based.

I'm glad they were in a Battlefoam case!!!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

NZ Masters This Weekend

This weekend the NZ Masters will be held in Hamilton. This is the 6th Annual Masters Tournament and it is well established on the tournament scene.

For the Fantasy event this year sees what is the highest ranked field yet. Two of the Top 11 are not attending - one because he's overseas, the other because he is known as a notorious clubber of baby seals and this event has drawn a field of carnivores with multiple apex predators.  Their invitations have passed down and been snatched by the #12 and #15 ranked players.

This means whoever wins the event will have gone through a very strong field to achieve their goal.

The lists are very strong across the board. There has been some bleating from the Elf players that they are weaker than the others but closer inspection of their lists still shows them to be hard list. However some of the apologist commentators have drunk the Kool-Aid (it's always easier than analysis) and dubbed them "Lists of the People". What a crock of shit!

In fact it's funny. So many of the contenders are trying to say they have the weakest list there is now a queue at that particular bus stop. However they can't help themselves and in the next breath name themselves contenders.

I still think Locky Reid has the best all round list given the event's lineup. A half competent chimpanzee would be able to steer it onto the podium. And I haven't changed my opinion that Dan Butler and Tom Dunn are the men to beat if you want to take out the event.

What is interesting is what will be the required score to win the event. Personally I think you'll need to score 75-80 points to win the event. This is less than the normal 90-95 in an open 6 round event. Effectively you will need to ensure that if you take a big loss that you have the ability to hand one out. More likely I think people will be a little tentative in their approach so if someone turns up with an aggressive attitude then they could blow the event apart. Personally I can only see 1-2 lists that have that capacity.

We'll see how the dice fall.