Sunday, January 5, 2014

Fields of Blood 2013 Awards - Part II

So Part I covered the GW releases for the year, Part II will cover the remainder of the Warhammer Fantasy field.

Best Kickstarter - 2013 was really the year of the Kickstarter and there were a number of great to not so great ones. The two I single out for praise were the Secret Weapons Miniatures "Tablescapes" and the one that gets my vote Mierce Miniatures Darklands. Rising from the ashes of Maelstrom Games this Kickstarter gave discounted access to the existing Bane Legions range but also provided investment for a bunch of new sculpts.

Best Local Tournament - Ok, I'm biased but I believe that the NZ Team Championships were the tournament highlight of the year. Not only did it attract most of the top tournament gamers but it also introduced team tournaments to a lot of the locals. It is no surprise that the 2014 event sold out six months prior to the event.

Best Non-FOB Tournament - Given my best event was an FOB organised event I thought I'd award another event the seal of approval. The event I enjoyed most was the NiCon Fantasy Event in Napier in June. Away from home, a good though small field and well run by Jeff Kent. It gets my vote ahead of Panzerschreck.

Best Blog of the Year - By far the best was Raffazza Time by Raf Harbinson in London. Always insightful and thought-provoking it was great to see some in-depth comment on the game, tactics and list design.

Best Local Blog of the Year - I have to give this to Tim Joss's Plastic Krak. Tim always had early access to pictures of upcoming releases and for this alone was invaluable. Mixed in were some good insights on the game and his list design.

Best Podcast of the Year - While the quantity of Warhammer Podcasts increased over the course of the year, I'm not sure that the quality did. All too often the end results had poor production quality, were woefully unstructured or strayed way off topic and suffered from "And then I rolled a 6" syndrome. Two I did find really good were "Pointhammered" and "Skull Bros Awesome" and in general I enjoyed the US-based casts more than those frome other parts of the world. However overall my vote goes to Bad Dice Daily which was consistently good, varied in content and tight with its production values.

Most Influential Rule of the Year - the introduction of Mark of Nurgle being -1 to Hit. First Daemon Prince, Gorebeast Chariots and then GUO, Plaguebearers, Drones and especially Beasts of Nurgle infested our tables.

Best Painted Army - the best painted army I saw this year was Graeme Fry's High Elves. Technically these were top notch and while they have been on the scene for a couple of years they are still the benchmark.

Best Presented Army - Skitterleap this year saw the proliferation of display boards - it's a wonder what one point on your painting score can generate. Those that were there saw a significant uplift in the presentation standard of armies. Head and shoulders above any was Charlie Lloyd's Dark Elves complete with their own Dark Tower.

Most Innovative Player - An easy one this - Peter Williamson. He always came up with interesting lists that generated power through synergy. A lot of people dismissed his lists as weak but generally because they become focused on netlists and any deviation takes them out of their comfort zone.

Worst Gaming Accessory - Pink dice with white pips. Two podcasts released them this year - Bad Dice and Black Sun - and both sets of dice were a nightmare to play against. The colour combination didn't work. Sorry.

Best Gaming Accessory - the iPad. Especially with GW, Quartermaster and Army Builder all releasing apps. I know have lists, rules, army books and FAQs at the swipe of the finger. It is such a shame GW do not release their Army Books and Rules in iPad format here in NZ. A UK iTunes account is a must to maximise the potential.

Best New Tournament Player in 2013 - again I think this one is relatively clearcut - Jeff Kent. Jeff arrived in February and was very unlucky to eventually miss the Masters. He won his first event in Tauranga with a Lizardmen Skink Cloud and is now working on a fourth army, Dark Elves.


  1. Day 2 of Nicon was one of the worst days of my 2013, glad you enjoyed it.

    1. Really Jeff?
      I didn't think you could remember it.
      Congratulations BTW - although I put it down to the cake.

    2. "worst day of 2013" Same brother... same... probably not as bad though lol.

      One unlucky toilet thanks you Jeff!

  2. How about the best non-GW miniatures and gaming aids? Best character, best unit, best monster etc? Can do worst as well, but the field is much wider here, be hard to cover it adequately.