Thursday, July 31, 2014

Another FOB Rankings System Upgrade

Not to be outdone by Ben Curry suggesting enhancements, Jack has done one for me.

If you click onto a given tournament in the Rankings you will now see what scores from that event are being used in people's individual ranking.

This means you can click on an upcoming event and see what points are being protected by a person.

Thanks Jack.

The Signal & The Noise - Nate Silver

I am currently reading a book written by American statistician, baseball modeller, political pundit, Nate Silver.

Besides creating some very successful baseball models, Silver came to national prominence in the US for correctly and very accurately predicting the 2008 and 2012 Presidential Elections. 

For those that are unaware, in the lead up to both elections the right wing media were adamant that the polls predicting Obama's victories were wrong and that the race was neck and neck. It wasn't and Silver called them on it. In the end he was virtually 100% correct. 

In the book he discusses how human behaviour interacts with maths. Do 10 polls on a subject and if nine show one thing and the other something else, people (and media) will seize on the outlier and assign it more significance. 

So where does this intersect with Wargaming? Well one of the points Silver makes is that people are generally overconfident in their predictions. I reckon this is a trait evident in wargamers. Check out forums, podcasts and dare I say it blogs and you'll find an environment that is strongly confident in its views. 

The tournament reports on podcasts contain little in the way of objective analysis of success and failure - instead assigning results to general all round "awesomeness" or unbelievably bad luck. Generally good luck or opponent skill gets dismissed pretty quickly. 

Over 15 years of internet interaction with Wargaming I believe that the number of truly objective commentators I have come across could be counted on one hand - in Fantasy I'll give hat tips to Charles Black and the Polish gamer Furion. 

A classic example of this overconfidence in ability is when a community goes to an international gaming event for the first time e.g ETC. Generally they will overstate where they will finish because they are basing their prediction on irrelevant info - performance in their own jurisdiction - while ignoring important information - the skill and experience of other teams. You see a reality check hit pretty fast. The next step is important. Do they dismiss the result as an outlier (a lot do) or do they use it as fair reflection of that particular environment. Similarly if generally you finish 10th to 20th and one year you finish 3rd or 4th, is this a freak result? 

Anyway the book is an excellent read that combines stats with psych. I love this shit. 

FOB Rankings Model Update

Over the weekend Jack updated the rankings model in response to a suggestion from Ben Curry.

Now if you click on the "Tournaments" link on the individual rankings pages as well as giving info on the date, numbers and rounds for an event, it also indicates the winner and winning army.

Tauranga Open WHFB - 27/28 Septemper

The Tauranga Open is on at the end of September in......Tauranga.

This will be similar to past years - No Comp, six rounds - and will be held at the Tauranga Citizens Club (hopefully they will have cleared the balloons after the NZ First General Election Wake the previous weekend).

You can access the players pack here

So get out there and support Blair Garrett and the Tauranga Club. Every year this event receives great feedback.

This weekend will be a great weekend of the Hammer - the Masterton Marauders have their inaugural Cracks Call the same weekend.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"Nottingham, We Have A Problem"

Besides the GBP 4 million they spent on a webstore and Kirby's view on 3D printing.....this really worries me:

"We do no demographic research, we have no focus groups, we do not ask the market what it wants"

I'm starting to join the dots.

This is Great News(tm) ??????

GW's full year results out. And they are terrible....not just bad but I'm pretty sure Malcolm Tucker would view them as a F#$k$*g Bona-fide Omnishambles.
Here are the headline numbers (2014 v 2013):

Revenue: -9%
Operating Profit (pre exceptional items & royalties) -24%
Operating Profit -43%
Earnings per share: -51%

No dividend is going to be paid. And it looks like the new website cost $4.5 mio GBP.
Revenue down by 9% but Cost of Sales the same
Australian sales down 22%, Australian Operating Profit down 26% to GBP 557k
In the Strategic Report GW admit they do no demographic research as they control the niche??!!??

Tom Kirby is stepping down as CEO (acting) - though I'd suggest he failed that description but wants to stay as Chairman.
Scariest thing of all is the ramble included in his spiel:

Trying Too Hard?

I was listening to a few podcasts last night and came across something that really triggered a response.

The podcast covered a recent tournament where one of the specifics was that you could bring a piece of terrain to place on tables in your games.

Now from what I gather most people brought a hill or a fence or a wood or a marsh. You get the picture. That's fine until you get someone who actively sets out to game the system.

They brought a Wizard's Tower. Now if you don't know what that does it makes your Wizard a Loremaster in each Lore they know. Okay, generally in tournament games it is a bit broken. At Nicon last year the TO decided to place one on a table I played on and suddenly all my Horror units knew Gateway (not wonderful for my opponent).

However knowing this the player involved brought Kairos Fateweaver who gets to pick spells from the eight lores. By choosing one spell from each he effectively becomes Loremaster in all Battle Magic Lores. Suffice to say, it's a little bit of a leg up.

Now in situations like this I think TOs need to show a little bit of backbone. Clearly this is an "unintended consequence" and is not going to be fun for his opponents. I know in this case I'd be inclined to say "well done, you broke the have a gold star". However I would not allow the player to use it - despite it being probably being legal in the Players Pack. If they insisted I'd happily refund their entry fee and suggest that this "probably isn't the tournament for them".

There's an old wargaming meme that you see on the internet forums in relation to WAAC play - "Punch him in the nuts and steal his army case". It immediately came to mind in this case.

Obviously your mileage may vary but to me this is a clear case of less about player ability deciding games and more in the discovery of combos.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Internet Tuesday - Secret Weapon Tablescapes Kickstarter finally about to deliver. I say finally as it is about 9 months late for my pledge and 4 months on the last goals.

Here are all the completed tiles waiting in the Chinese factory.

The printed boxes that have caused the latest delay....the box printer wasn't big enough and then order wasn't large enough.

The boxes with variety stickers - looks like Ruined Temple to me.

Local staff packing the boxes. Thirty six of the Urban Streets tiles have my name on them. Pack them safely!

The packaged product in its box ready for shipment and/or sale.

The tooling masters. As I understand it there are 56 separate tile dies.....what chance copies have been taken?

Team NZ ETC Dice

This one is especially for John Willenbruch....who throughout the year has been unusually interested in our dice.

Gaming Dice

All the team have ordered Tiki dice in some quantity. Stocks of Kiwi and Fern dice have also been replenished (secured). These are all the standard 16mm size.

Turn and Gift Dice

These dice are 30mm (Gifts) and Turn Counters (50mm).

They haven't come out too bad. Unfortunately they had been held up by UK Customs who demanded a ransom of GBP 130 to release the order. With lurks like that I'm surprised Scotland wants to leave.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Miniature Monday - Some Movement

Yesterday picked up a paintbrush for the first time in a few weeks and started base coating my Sisters of the Thorn.

I have previously base coated the stags and posted pictures a few weeks ago. I'm hoping to get them to tabletop standard before I leave for the ETC this Sunday.

My other hobby time was spent practising ETC Matchups with our coach James Milner ahead of the event which is now less than two weeks away. We've got this working really well - the only question is whether we perform as we have forecast.

I am very hopeful that we can improve on the previous couple of years' performances - and we are targeting 16th place or higher. A lot comes down to draw and a tough Round 5 or 6 matchup can push you down if you experience a blowout. Our aim is to limit the potential for those blowout results hence the prep on matchups.

I also picked up the latest White Dwarf Weekly. Great if you like Space Wolves (No) or 40k flyers (also No). Hopefully that's the end of the Sons of Fun-Loss.

Edit: Of course not - still have the Codex to come

Saturday, July 26, 2014

FOB NZRankings - Fantasy Updated for CavCon

CavCon was held recently in Christchurch.

Basil Moskovis continued his recent fine form and took it out with High Elves.

Results have been entered into the rankings and Basil is now firmly ensconced in the Top 10

Friday, July 25, 2014

ETC Preparation

Recently the updates have been a bit more spasmodic than usual. This is largely due to a month fighting a cold and prep for the upcoming ETC.

Finally got on top of the cold - fighting it involves handfuls of Codral tablets and sleep - just in time to head over to the ETC. Sure seasonal change will result in relapse when I return.

The ETC takes an enormous amount of time. I've been lucky in that I've been able to delegate out the various tasks to guys in the team. This means the load has been shared somewhat. As a result we have:
  • Hotels booked
  • NZ Dice
  • Templates
  • Team shirts
  • ETC registration and entry fees
  • Lists collated (and lodged)
all covered. Thanks very much to the guys for doing this. Sharing out the tasks has really helped.

We've also had a dedicated forum and with team members in four countries and three time zones this has been invaluable. Thanks to Jack for setting this up for us - giant leap over the old single forum on TWF.

In recent weeks my main focus (in addition to getting in 4-5 games a week - thanks to locals especially Sam, Ryan and Joel) is working on the matchup process. I'm a great believer in the "Moneyball" concept, essentially using stats/maths rather than gut feel. To this end Jack has built me a software programme that lets me take the emotion out of the matchup process. We've used it at the last two NZTCs and it works beautifully - the key is that the info that goes in is correct and that performance matches prediction.

So the last three-four weeks (since release of lists) has been on getting the best possible info to put in the system. This has meant constantly questioning assessments that players have given me and asking them to "justify" certain predictions. Over the past two weeks I've run the software and it definitely improves the matchup over gut feel. I appreciate the time James Brown has given up to act as my "opponent".

This weekend I'm running three more "dummies" just to ensure I am happy with the operation.

I think we are travelling well to reach our target of Top Half and if we really perform we may push Top 10. That's the goal anyway.

So as you can see I've been busy. The lack of blog updates hasn't been laziness rather alternative focus. Looking forward to posting heaps of photos from the event to give readers a feel for the tourney.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

No Brets This Week

They say bad news comes in threes. I'm not sure about that but this week it comes in twos.

First there are no Brets (or indeed any WHFB). Second, there are Space Wolves.

Now back in the day, my two denzians of Chaos, Plaguelord Colthrax and Noiselord Challis Drant used to make much sport whipping the local dog that was Hagen Kerr's Hakkon Ironwolf. It's fair to say that the beatings he took were what drove Hagen to build his Imperial Guard - it must get depressing removing handfuls of Space Marines on a weekly roster. Still despite the aforementioned Hakkon Ironwolf being my bitch, I hate Space Wolves. Largely I guess because they display all the subtlety and ingenuity of a wounded cur and returned week after week to accept there punishment. That and their horrible powder blue power armour.

Hopefully some Fantasy soon.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Internet Tuesday - Google Trends

I was searching the net this morning and came across Google Trends and some analysis on Games Workshop

Check this out.

It charts Search Engine enquiries over time and I guess provides an idea as to how popular something is.

Pretty stark.

Here is the same for Privateer Press. You can see enquiries there peaked in 2011 - possibly in response to some disillusionment with 8th Ed Warhammer

However it is important to give some context. Here is a graph showing both the GW and PP data on the same graph.

Also interesting is Warmachine vs. Warhammer which is plotted here. I started later as there is a massive spike in Warhammer during 2008 (Release of Warhammer Online perhaps?)

Google Trends is really a fun tool.

Internet Tuesday - Universal Battlegrounds

Thought on today's Internet Tuesday I'd highlight a local company, Universal Battlegrounds.

You can access their website here

The site is run by local gamer Daryl Painter and they make a variety of laser cut terrain suitable for most skirmish games.

We had them make a set of WHFB templates for the NZ ETC team.

So you see UB can do custom jobs. 

Check out the website and if you do buy anything let them know Fields of Blood sent you!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Miniature Monday - Nada

Sorry, nothing this week.

Fighting a cold and playing ETC practice games.

However while huddled down on couch, I did watch the full 1968-1974 "Planet of the Apes" movie franchise.

I'm pretty sure they used to be a lot better.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Happy Birthday Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition

So this week represents four years since Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition hit the streets.


It's arrival saw much gnashing of teeth and running to the door as those who "disliked" the system (affectionately called Ragequitters) and their acolytes voted with their feet and decamped to other systems.

if I am brutally honest I think in a lot of cases - Australia for sure - those that left never intended to give it a chance and decided it was just time to try something different. A lot of these guys are mates of mine and I know that they have gone on to be just as successful and have just as much fun in their new gaming system.

However I remain convinced that there was never a problem with 8th Ed but rather with the shift in dominant skill base from resource to risk management. Other systems still emphasise resource management so I can understand the attraction in shifting.

But for me the current edition of Warhammer is the most fun (by a country mile) of the three I played. Much like Warhammer 40k v3.5 and v4, I could happily play all day 2-3 times a week. And the reason for this is twofold:
  • The game has random elements that you have to manage - scenarios, charge distances, variable PD; and
  • The books, as a set, are the most balanced I remember them - minimising the need for comp
The last 4-6 months I've been playing ETC hammer and I can't wait to get back to the full-blown game.

My biggest hope is that GW take this opportunity to finish off the three armies without 8th Ed books - Brets, Skaven and Beasts (and if they have a chance even pen a book for the "Not A Proper Army"). That has two big attractions. First, all armies are on same edition.......and secondly, it means we get another year of this great version of the game.

And as 9th drops what do I think we'll see? Well let's say I think we'll get quite a few returnees to the game even if the changes are cosmetic. Like me with my 40k and DBM armies, I'm betting deep down they really miss it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

New 40k Realm of Battle Gameboard Confirmed

This week's White Dwarf confirms the release of the new 40k RoB  Gameboard.

This looks really nice. It'll be interesting to see whether it is Limited Edition (I suspect not) and what price point it comes in at. I suspect it will be in line with current board price. 

What would be great but we'll never likely see is a transition tile to link existing and new board. 

FOB NZ Rankings - Warhammer 40k Updated for BATB

The annual battle in the north has been fought and one - this year by Mark Buttle and his tricksey Eldar. It also represented the first appearance of the new Imperial Knights with Pascal Roggen steering them into 3rd Place.

The rankings have been updated to include the results.

Seerlord Morskitta at Panzershtreck

As noted earlier in the week Panzershreck was held over the last weekend and provided an opportunity to give my ETC list a hit out now that it is finalised.

Game 1 - John Murrie (Dwarfs)

John managed to blow up my Bell on Turn 3 but by that time I had cleared out his support units leaving only the three blocks. I concentrated on one block - Hammerers - leaving the two Warriors relatively unscathed.

Win 16-4

Game 2 - Mike King (Beastmen)

Mike is now known as the "Black Swan" as he took a Beastmen army to an ETC event - there are no Beastmen in the 256 armies at this year's event. In this game I concentrated my shooting/magic on the Ghorgan (I deployed my Gutter Runners) and managed to take it down creating a hole in the middle of Mike's lines. This inspired a series of Panic Tests which saw a number of supports give up the ghost. Mike was unlucky in that his big Gor unit failed 3 Panic Tests over the course of the game making them largely ineffective. I managed to clear up chaff and also destroy the 6 man Mino unit and BSB.

Win 19-1

Game 3 - Greg Greenfield (Dark Elves)

Greg had a list based around a Black Dragon, Peg Rider, DR bus and Manicore rider. It is the type of list - multiple T/S and breath weapon - that Skaven don't like. We traded points early on. Greg got lucky when his Dragon survived two Str 10 WLC shots without a wound. I received some luck when I got an out of turn move on a Doomwheel into Greg's big Shades which failed Fear Test. In the end I picked up Manticore (Bell charge) and all but one Corsair to push it slightly my favour.

Win 12-8

Game 4 - Sam Whitt (Dark Elves)

Game was effectively settled when Sam's Sorceress went down a hole Turn 1. I then had magic dominance and used it to good effect. Picked up Witch Elves, Cold Ones, CO Masters over 2-3 turns while holding DR bus at distance. Cannoned off Peg rider who was in combat with Slaves. Solid win based on Sam's early bad luck.

Win 16-4

Game 5 - Peter Williamson (Wood Elves)

Deployed in corner to neutralise Peter's mobility advantage and then turned game into Battle for Pass. By start of Peter's Turn 2 he had one of eighteen Wild Riders left - Magic plus he left me a WLC flank shot. From there I just worked on picking up points while not giving too much away. I sat in middle of table to maximise magic range. Didn't wound Unicorn :-(

Win 15-5

Game 6 - Joel van de Ven-Long (Empire)

Going into last round I was12 Battle Points clear. However picked up my worst possible match - Life Empire. My plan here was to minimise the loss. I deployed Bell last hard on board edge and made run for far corner using terrain to screen from cannons. One Doomwheel took out two units of Knights, Gutter Runners got cannons and other Doomwheel got into protracted fight with Steam Tank. Other than that I fed Joel chaff, chaff and more chaff. Then warmachines. In the last turn we swapped Doomwheel and WLC for Stank and game ended a draw with my Bell cowering in Joel's deployment zone corner. I was happy.

Draw 10-10


So I had five wins and a draw picking up 88/120 Battle Points. It was enough to pick up 1st Place. My last four opponents all finished in Top 8 with Sam, Joel and Greg finishing 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively.

Nice to get some practice in. Thanks to all my opponents for fun, challenging games

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

NZ ETC Team Uniform Revealed

In big news today the NZ ETC team shirts arrived today.

I'm pretty sure this is going to be a much sought after item, come the traditional shirt swapping sessions.

Gone with the Tiki motif this year for shirts, dice and templates. 

Names and international cap number on the back. In this case Dave Meachen. 

And below is our own heavy lifter Dan Butler modelling the exciting new uniform (and check out the guns).

Guardcon in September

The Auckland City Guard are running their annual Guardcon convention in September.

It is being held on the weekend of 13/14 September at James Cook High School Auditorium in Manurewa. Both Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40k tournaments are being offered.

Warhammer Fantasy

2400 points, Swedish Comp, Scenarios

Cost is $45 up until 29 August, after which it is $55

Warhammer 40k

Doubles, 1000 points each player, Special Force Org for the event

Cost is $80 per team

All the buildup, Players Packs and further details can be found at the City Guard Forum

While You Were Sleeping

Last year's Tin Soldier dropped out while you were sleeping shaking up the rankings. This year's event is next weekend so there will be some opportunity to gather points back.

Interestingly the High Elf icon shifts - Graeme Fry is now the proud holder - and Jeff Kent drops to 24th (which I believe is a career low for KiwiHammer presenters).

There is an interesting battle for 3rd place at the moment but Peter Williamson loses 2013 Panzershreck points this weekend which will remove 10 points from his score.

Nick Munn moves into the Top 12 for the first time and James Cardno cracks the Top 10.

Check back next week for more rankings news

Monday, July 14, 2014

FOB NZ Rankings - Warhammer Fantasy Updated for Panzershreck

The Warhammer Rankings have been updated with Panzershreck's results.

Things to note are that Brian Smith now holds the Dark Elf icon and Mike King has played three more events than anyone else.

When you switch to Masters Mode you start to see this year's field taking shape. I am guessing that you'll need something of the order of 205-210 to make the Top 12. On that basis over half the spots at least are still up for grabs.

Panzershreck Results

Over the weekend we had the last of four ETC comp events that have occurred in New Zealand over the past two months.

It was held in Palmerston North and umpired by Jeff Kent who - due to a no-show - played as the "ghost".

The results were as follows:

Sam Whitt won Best Presented and Joel van de Ven-Long was voted Best Sports. 

Thanks very much to Jeff for umpiring and to the locals for great terrain and hospitality.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Panzershreck Predictions

Okay, it is a regular spot....predictions before a local tournament.

This week Panzershreck is in Palmerston North - like a rundown part of Mordor for overseas readers - and they are using ETC comp and rules.

As expected this is a bit of an Elfpocalypse and being in PN the usual assortment of Dwarfs have crawled out on their bellies. So here are my picks:

#5 - Hamish Gordon (Empire)

Some days when I'm really really bored I wonder how Hamish wrote lists before the invention of the internet. But then I realise that talking about pre-Internet only makes me look more old and grizzled. However I am pretty sure Hamish just went to The Google and typed in "ETC Empire List" and sent the link to Jeff.

#4 - Joel van de 3rd/4th Playoff Match (Empire)

I always pick Joel and he always disappoints me. Last time he was really really close but still only got an "Almost Achieved". Still being a defenceless rat and due to the silly ETC big spell modifications not being all-embracing, it is his list that I am most afraid of. I fought it to a 10-10 at Horned Rat VII but I'm not sure I'd do it again. And I don't want to try. At ETC this is a big big red for me (and given I'm Captain that will be a bus I'll miss).

#3 - Sam Whitt (Dark Elves)

Got sick of having the snot beaten out of him when playing Tomb Kings and has called out for his "Cuddly". Now with the Dark Elf security blanket under his arm and thumb in his mouth, he'll snuggle down in the comfort of 3rd Place (hopefully denying Joel his podium).

#2 - Greg Greenfield (Dark Elves)

The new boy. An economic refugee freshly off the boat from across the Tasman, Greg was part of the winning team at the NZTC. Being Australian, Greg will not be short of confidence and I am fully expecting an enjoyable weekend of Greg telling us how good he is. Alternatively, if things don't go to plan, how unlucky he was.

#1 - Dan Butler (Warriors of Chaos)

The weight of a nation are on Dan's shoulders. But they are broad shoulders. while he won't have his wily ETC Captain directing him into the best possible matchups, he should have too much hammer for most of the people in the field. I am expecting him to back up his First at Horned Rat VII.

Of the rest you know that Peter Williamson will be taking the early loss and then using his Sunday games to try and navigate himself into 3rd or 4th. It was great to hear him bitch and moan at Wrath & Ruin when he was pushed down the table by all the surfacing submarines.

Mal Patel will be on his coat tails trying the same thing. Indeed it will be interesting to see who successfully pilots "Das Boot".

I could talk about the three Dwarfs - but I won't.

And as for myself. Well apart from being too old and too slow, the chances of steering a Skaven army into a podium position amid all the Elves, WoC and Empire are so slim to be incredulous. I'll just be happy being Top Skaven and know that when I look in the mirror I can say "I only ever ATE the Cheese".   

Throwback Thursday - Race Selection

Okay Throwback Thursday on Friday morning. It must be Thursday somewhere - that's right Canada!!!

I early 2011 I looked at the mental steps I go to before I decide if I'm going to build a new army. In essence these are the steps you need to navigate before you decide if a race is for you.

I wrote:

So at the outset of building a list here's the steps I'd go through:

1. Define your Objectives Is it to win games immediately or to learn to play a new style eventually? This guide is aimed primarily at the first option.

2. Identify Your Comfort Zone If you are after immediate success, what style are you most comfortable with? Be honest. Are you a ploddy Dwarf who can't leave home without 4 warmachines or a Lizard that needs clouds of skinks to inflict poisoned hell.

3. Choose Your Weapon Does your chosen race allow you to play your preferred playstyle? If not then you might need to re-think your choice.

4. Dissect the Army Book/Codex Read, read, read. Go through the book and start thinking about units that will allow you to build a list suited to your playstyle

I'm pretty sure all this holds true. You can challenge yourself to radically change the way you play - and you'll see a lot of very good players who do do that - however generally people gravitate to a style that they are comfortable with.

Asking a Dwarf player to use a Wood Elf army is always going to be a difficult task. There is a school of thought that with the release of new units armies were gravitating to a single norm but I don't necessarily hold to that. I think any trend people were seeing was related to the release schedule rather than design consideration. Don't believe me - none of the three elf books have Monstrous Cav yet people will tell you 8th is a game of Monstrous Cav.

Full ETC 2014 Lists

For those of you interested the full ETC lists can be downloaded here

This will give you 256 lists across a variety of races - except Beastmen. Even races that don't have a proper book are included.

Of course there are a bazillion Elves but that's not unexpected given the new books and minimal comp.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

New Zealand ETC Lists

Here are the New Zealand Team Lists for this year's ETC.

Team New Zealand

Non-playing Coach - James Milner

Peter Dunn (c), Skaven

Grey Seer on Screaming Bell - General, Earthing Rod, Skalm, Dragonbane Gem - 500
Chieftain - BSB, shield, Halberd - 74
Warlock Engineer - Level 2, Doomrocket, Warp Energy Condenser - 150
Warlock Engineer - Level 1, Dispel Scroll, Ruby Ring of Ruin - 115
Warlock Engineer - Potion of Foolhardiness - 20
Assassin - Weeping Blade, Potion of Strength - 170
3x 39 Skavenslaves - Pawleader, Musician - 3 x 84 - 252
39 Stormvermin - Full Command, Storm Banner - 348
2x 2 Rat Swarms - 2 x 50 - 100
2x 5 Gutter Runners - Slings, Poisoned Attacks - 2 x 90 - 180
Warp lightning Cannon - 90
Plagueclaw Catapult - 100
2x Doomwheel - 2 x 150 - 300

Total 2399 points

Daniel Butler, Warriors of Chaos

Sorcerer Lord on Daemonic Mount - General, Level4, Lore of Tzeentch, Mark of Tzeentch, Soul Feeder, Flaming Breath, Barding, Relic Sword, Spell Shield, Dispel Scroll, Talisman of Preservation - 475
Exalted Hero on Daemonic Mount - BSB, Mark of Tzeentch, Scaled Skin, Great Weapon, Shield, Armor of Destiny - 259
3 x 5 Marauder Horsemen - Mark of Slaanesh, Light Armour, Javelin - 3 x 85 - 255
3 x 1 Chaos Chariot - Mark of Slaanesh - 3 x 115 - 345
2 x 8 Chaos Trolls - 2 x 280 - 560
2 x 3 Skullcrushers of Khorne, Musician, Ensorcelled Weapons - 2x 244 - 488

Total - 2382pts


 Dave Grant, Ogre Kingdoms


Tyrant - General, Talisman of preservation, Heavy Armour, Dragonhelm, Other Tricksters Shard, Great Weapon - 297
Slaughtermaster - Level 4, Lore of Death, Ironcurse Icon, Warrior Bane, Dragonbane Gem - 300
Bruiser - Battle Standard Bearer, Rune Maw, Look out Gnoblar, Great Weapon - 206
Firebelly: Lore of Fire, Dispel Scroll, Potion of Speed, Extra Hand Weapon - 152
Butcher: Lore of the Great Maw, Armour of Fortune, Scroll of Shielding, Great Weapon - 159
9 Ironguts - Full Command, Look out Gnoblar, Lichebone Pennant - 437
3 Ogres - Ironfist, Champion, Musician - 116
2 x 10 Gnoblars - 2 x 25 - 50
3 x 1 Sabretusk - 3 x 21 - 63
8 Maneaters - Immune to Psychology, Stubborn, Full Command, Banner of Speed, 2 Extra Hand Weapons (on standard and musician) - 449
Ironblaster - 170

Total = 2,399

Rory Finnemore, Empire

Grandmaster mounted on Barded Warhorse, Runefang, Charmed Shield, Luckstone, Potion of Speed - 255
Wizard Lord mounted on Horse - Level 4, Lore of Life, Crown of Command, Scroll of Shielding, Obsidian Lodestone - 313
Captain mounted on Barded Warhorse - BSB, Great Weapon, Full Plate, Dragonhelm, Dawnstone, Other Tricksters Shard - 163
Master Engineer - 65
Battle Wizard - Lore of Fire, Dispel Scroll - 90
12 Inner Circle Knights - Full Command, Standard of Discipline - 345
5 Knights - 110
11 Archers - 77
2 x 5 Archers [detachment] - 2 x 35 - 70
5 Demigryphs - Musician - 300
2 x 1 Great Cannon - 2 x 120 - 240

Steamtank - 250
Helblaster Volleygun - 120
TOTAL= 2398

Mal Patel,  Lizardmen

Slann Mage-Priest - General, Level 4, Wandering Deliberations - 330
Oldblood mounted on Coldone - Great Weapon, Armour of Destiny, Dawnstone, Other Tricksters Shard - 266
Scar-Veteran mounted on Coldone - Great Weapon, Light Armour, Dragonhelm, Talisman of Endurance - 150
Scar-Veteran mounted on Coldone - Battle Standard Bearer, Great Weapon, Armour of Fortune, Dragonbane Gem - 169
Skink Priest - Lore of Heavens, Dispel Scroll - 90
Skink Priest - Lore of Heavens, Cube of Darkness - 95
4 x 10 Skink Skirmishers - 4 x 70 - 280
2 x 19 Skink Cohort - Musician - 2 x 105 - 210
20 Skink Cohort - Musician - 110
2 x 6 Chameleon Skinks - 2 x 78 - 156
5 Chameleon Skinks - 65
3 x 3 Terradons - 3 x 105 - 315
2 x 1 Salamander - 2 x 80 - 160
Total 2396


Thomas Van Roekel, Dwarfs

Dwarf Lord - General, Shieldbearers, Great Weapon, Fiery Ring Of Thori, Rune Of Fortitude x2, Rune Of Stone - 281
Thane - BSB, Master Rune Of Grungi, Rune Of Stoicism - 185
Runesmith - Shield, Rune Of Stone, Rune Of Spellbreaking x2, Rune Of Furnace - 118
Runesmith - Shield, Rune Of Stone, Rune Of Spellbreaking x2 - 113
Master Engineer - 70
2 x 20 Quarrellers - Great Weapons, Musician, Standard Bearer - 300
22 Hammerers - Full Command - 338
2 x 1 Gyrocopter - 2 x 80 - 160
Grudge Thrower - Rune Of Accuracy, Rune Of Burning - 110
Cannon - Rune Of Forging - 145
Cannon - Rune Of Forging, Stalwart Rune - 160
Organ Gun - 120

2,400 points

Dave Meachen, Daemons of Chaos

Herald of Tzeentch - Level 2, Lore of Metal, General - 125
Herald of Tzeentch - Level 2, Lore of Metal, BSB, Lichebone Pennant - 165
10 Horrors - Full Command, Standard of Discipline - 175
10 Horrors - Musician, Champion - 150
2 x 10 Horrors - Musician - 2 x 140 - 280
3 x 5 Furies - Mark of Tzeentch - 3 x 70 - 210
4 Beasts of Nurgle - 240
2 x 1 Beast of Nurgle - 2 x 60 - 120
6 Flesh Hounds - Ambush - 198
5 Flesh Hounds - Ambush - 165

4 Plague Drones - Poison Proboscis, Standard, Gleaming Pennant - 255
3 Plague Drones - Poison Proboscis - 180
Skullcannon - 135



Tim Joss, Dark Elves

Dreadlord - General, Sea Dragon Cloak, Dark Pegasus, Ogre Blade, Enchanted Shield, Dragonbane Gem, Cloak of Twilight - 298

Supreme Sorceress - Lore of Beasts, Dark Steed, Level 4 Upgrade, Dispel Scroll, Obsidian Amulet - 295
Master - Great Weapon, Sea Dragon Cloak, Heavy Armour, Dark Pegasus, Dragonhelm, Dawnstone, The Other Trickster's Shard - 184
Master - Lance, Sea Dragon Cloak, Shield, Dark Pegasus, Armour of Destiny - 184
Master - Battle Standard Bearer, Lance, Heavy Armour, Sea Dragon Cloak, Dark Pegasus, Charmed Shield, Talisman of Preservation - 211
5 Dark Riders - Shields, Musician - 95
10 Dark Riders - Shields, Musician, Champion - 190
22 Darkshards - Shields, Musician, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame - 316
4 x 1 Reaper Bolt Thrower - 4 x 70 - 280
9 Shades - 144
8 Doomfire Warlocks - 200

Total Roster Cost: 2397

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Internet Tuesday - "From the Tabletop " Blog

I came across this blog a few weeks ago when looking for some Skaven conversion ideas.

It is based in the US, by the look of things in the Midwest.

The creativity of the Skaven stuff is great. Here for instance is the Screaming Bell conversion based on the Middenheim Land Ship.

This is pretty cool - though I suspect he'll struggle to get it on a 60mm x 100mm base.

There is also a pretty neat Warlock with Doomrocket conversion.


And if you go back a number of pages you'll see a WLC based on a Steam Tank. I wonder where I've seen that concept before :-)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Base Sizes at Fields of Blood Events

For future Fields of Blood Warhammer events, base sizes will be as per the following chart

The rationale for this is to give participants some certainty about what base sizes they should mount their models on.

Miniature Monday - Bits & Bobs

Given the "Wall of Sound" that continues to be our family room - my mother is still staying with us - hobby is largely limited to when I'm watching the World Cup. This tends to rule out miniature painting.

However I've used the time to work on a few outstanding jobs.

First I completed the bases on my Slaaneshi chariots.

Next I've built up a heavier base for "Bitchface" the Frostheart Phoenix. Here I used offcuts of Iron Halo "Valhalla" resin bases to give some weight and filled the gaps with polyfilla.

One it dries I'll give the filler a covering of sand and rocks, then paint it up.

Finally, last week I showed my new Sarissa Trays. Here I've started painting up some for ETC giving me some formation options.

They need some sand and static grass added, which I'll do this week.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Review - Frontline Gaming's Gaming Mats

I've been meaning to post this review for some time but hadn't previously got around to it.

Earlier this year Frontline Gaming ran a Kickstarter for a series of new gaming mats. These were to be made of rubberised mouse mat material - about 3mm wide - with photographic image on one side.

What really impressed me about this Kickstarter was how tightly run it was. These guys had a product that they wanted to bring to market and a process by which they could do it. As is always the case with Kickstarters, "the internet" always knows better. So these guys had to put up with a series of unhelpful shit on various forums - wrong themes, can't put your logo on it etc - but largely stuck to their guns. They did listen around road layout on urban theme and brought an additional product on board.

And guess what? They funded their Kickstarter and delivered a new product on time. Not too many can say that.

I was going to participate in the Kickstarter but in the end choose not too as I wanted to see the finished product and the time to retail was very short. I also knew they were taking some samples to Adepticon and I could see them there. When I did I was very happy with the product so with some money left over after NZTC I purchased two for future Fields of Blood events.

So here's some pictures of the two "themes" I bought - Blast Zone which is planetary surface/chaos wastes and Ice World which is frozen tundra.

Here's a shot of the full 6' x 4' Blast Zone Mat.

And the same of the Ice World map.

This is a closer shot of the Ice World mat. As you can see the photographic image is really nice and sharp. There is good variation across the surface.

And here is the Blast Zone showing the rubberised back.

This close up gives a better idea of the backing material. It is herring bone weave and very sturdy.

So you can be sure it is not going to rip in a hurry.

The big question is how do they play?

Well I keep mine rolled in the protective bag that comes with them. When I get them out they are heavy enough that they lie flat on the table with no curling. The weight here is important. Each weighs over 3 kgs so they are sturdy, unlikely to rip or warp.

Being made of mouse material - rubberised - there was some concern that dice would bounce too much. Certainly I saw no evidence of that. In this regard they are far far better than the Zuzzy rubberised mats and I don't think much different from the GW grass gaming mat.

I used them at the recent Horned Rat VII and they drew universal praise as a playing surface. You can build your terrain to match them - I had built snow hills as you remember - and this allowed a Kislev table.

They are not cheap. A 6' x 4' mat costs roughly $100 NZ. The killer is postage. As I said they weigh 3kgs each. Postage from Frontline was around USD66 a mat to this side of the world. However by using Youshop you can engineer a better deal. Two mats cost $107 NSD to send and Frontline only charged me USD 12 to send the two mats to my US address.

In the end the cost worked out at around $158 per mat. No, it's not cheap but it really is a superior product that I have no doubt will last an enorous amout of time and bring your games to life.

The other thing worth pointing out was the Customer Service. The guy I dealt with - Frankie Giampapa - was top notch. The service I received was some of the best I've received in the wargaming industry.

July is Warhammer 40k Month

So no Brets or any Fantasy in July.

The first week we have the Planetstrike expansion as per this week's White Dwarf.

However it appears that the second week will see the release of the new Warhammer 40k box set. Rather than a re-release of the Dark Vengeance set it will apparently be a new box featuring Orks versus Space Wolves.

So if you want those Dark Angels and Chaos Allsorts figures then pick up the old box before it disappears.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

My Panzershreck List - Seerlord Morskitta Does Palmeston North

Next weekend is Panzershreck in Palmerston North, a place so desolate and windy it deserves it's own entry in an Atlas of the Chaos Wastes.

The event is 2400 points using ETC rules including comp and terrain maps.

As is my bent I'll be using my beloved Skaven - although their book is old and outdated and struggles to compete with the new books of 8th Edition. However that is a burden that us fluff gamers have to bear. Not for us the constant flicking from one power army to the next.

My list is as follows:


Grey Seer - General, Screaming Bell, Skalm, Earthing Rod, Dragonbane Gem


Chieftain - BSB, Halberd, Shield
Assassin - Weeping Blade, Potion of Strength
Engineer - Level 2, Doomrocket, Warpenergy Condenser
Engineer - Level 1, Dispel Scroll, Ruby Ring of Ruin
Engineer - Potion of Foolhardiness


39 Stormvermin - Full Command, Storm Banner
3x 39 Skavenslaves - Pawleader, Musician
2x 2 Rat Swarms


2x 5 Gutter Runners - Slings, Poisoned Attacks


Warp Lightning Cannon
Plague Claw Catapult
2x Doomwheel

So there you go.....the Thin Furry Line.

Yeah I know it will struggle against the power gamers with their Warriors of Chaos, Empire, Dark Elves and other members of the Elfpocalypse. However someone has to stand for the old values.

And it might as well be brave Seerlord Morskitta!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Magnetising Sarissa Precision Movement Trays

Like a lot of people I use Sarissa Precision for my movement trays. Not only are they a good product they are also incredibly economical. I recently purchased one 10 x 6, one 11 x 5 and 6 1x 5 skirmish trays all for NZD 42 including postage (roughly USD 36). Check out their website here

One of the big advantages is that they come in two pieces - top and bottom.

The are made of laser cut mdf and are very easily magnetised. I use Rubber Steel from Gale Force Nine. It comes in a packet of three sheets with an adhesive backing. The NZ cost is $17 per pack.

The best thing is that this sheet can be easily cut by scissors. You mark out the size of the bottom sheet and then cut it and stick it on thus.

It is then a simple matter of putting PVA on the top and sticking it to the magnetised side. Because you are effectively making a sandwich - top: sheet: bottom there are no gaps.

And here's the finished tray. Ready for painting or for flocking. 

Panzershreck Lists Are Out

Panzershreck lists are out and you can download them here

It is an ETC event next weekend in Palmerston North - a city described as so boring that time just forgot it.

Still the introduction of 20 cosmopoliton gamers - some who have cats with shark suits - will no doubt shake the place up.


  • Dark Elves - 4 (who'd have thought)
  • Warriors of Carnage - 3 (colour me surprised)
  • Dwarfs - 3 (zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.......zzzzzz)
  • Empire -2 (net lists r us)
  • Ogres - 2 (it's 2014 guys)
  • Lizards -1 (bet he's suffering from Tetto-deficiency)
  • High Elves - 1 (PEG)
  • Wood Elves - 1 (so six people get to nail a unicorn)
  • Beastmen - 1 (getting in so he can't be labelled a bandwagonner in the spring)
And one brave, possibly senile Grey Seer, travelling with the burden of an outdated book in a scary new world. Be brave little Grey Seer, be very brave.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Throwback Thursday - My (January 2011) Fixes for Warhammer 8.1

Early in 2011, six months into this edition I highlighted my five fixes for Warhammer 8th Edition.

These were:
  1. Revise Monsters & Handlers rules
  2. Stop Reform Shenanigans
  3. Limit the use of Power Dice to maximum of 12 per turn
  4. Limit the effect of Big Spells to a single wound on multiwound characters
  5. Random Game Length
So looking at the lists, where have we got to?

Some work has been done on Monsters and Handlers but more needs to be done. The extra ward save mechanic for hellcannons is annoying and the passing of wounds to Skink handlers also seems unnecessary. Hydras at least have been sorted.

With reforms, again the rules need to be addressed still. Teleporting characters have been controlled by ETC by limiting their move to the minimum necessary to satisfy placement position rules. Most TOs sensibly follow that logic as well. . Reforming into buildings needs to be tidied up. I don't have a problem a unit reforming to enter a building except when they start more than a normal move away. Simple fix.

The Power Dice limit has pretty much become the default for tournament play. I'd like to see it officially adopted.

Limiting the effect of Big Spells on multiwound characters happens in some tournaments but is not an official rules mechanism. I'm more ambivalent these days as I think "deathstar" units should have some downsides - and nothing gives me more satisfaction than turning both a Slaan AND Tetto Eko into warm furry rats.

My number one has not been adopted. However I still reckon it would be great for the game. Not knowing at the end of Turn 4 whether you have 0, 1, 2 or three turns left would make for a great game. The best games - well the ones you hear recounted most - are Watchtower games where that mechanic is at play.

So have at it. Was my six month report way off the mark. Is it still relevant? What would you like to see fixed.

And For Those More Interested in a Cat in a Shark Suit

"Just need a freaken' laser"

Nurgle the Cat  Shark plans World Domination!

Internet Tuesday - Mierce Monstrous Mount Kickstarter

Yeah, I know it is Thursday but sometimes that annoying thing work gets in the way (well that and the arrival of Nurgle the Cat's Shark Suit).

On Tuesday Mierce Miniatures announced their fourth Darklands Kickstarter. This is a very small scale campaign called "Monstrous Mounts". I supported their first Kickstarter and was extremely happy with both the product quality and the service delivery associated with that campaign.

This one only runs for two weeks but is already funded and has reached the first of its stretch goals. I thought it was interesting and pledged, snapping up one of the Earlybird slots last night (just a tip - the Earlybird slots show as all gone but if you check back periodically you'll see them come up reasonably infrequently. Snap them up when you see them).

What is cool about this is that it is for Monstrous Mounts and they'll fit into various armies.

I suspect GW may take a look at this model. Seems very close to Thundertusk but it may be a generic Ice Age monster

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Perhaps Terrain is the Go?

While wondering what we'll see from GW in July, I remembered what I had previously noted on the blog - about 3-4 months ago most of the Warhammer scenery and terrain items disappeared from the shelves.

Now we know there is a 40k Campaign Book to be released this month...which will likely have the improbable scenario of six races over the same planet.....but what else?

I would have thought that if Brets were being released we would have seen pictures leaked by now. So perhaps we will see the release of some of that terrain that has been hidden in recent Fantasy books e.g. Portal, Khemri piece. Certainly, I think it is unlikely that we will see much longer pass without GW having buildings available on the shelf for its core game

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

WIP - Sisters of the Thorn Stags

Having not done much painting last week if took the opportunity of the football and cricket to start on my Sisters of the Thorn.

The stags are the easiest part to paint and so I started with them. Managed to get the base coals and first levels of highlights done quite quickly. They just need to have some highlights done on the main fur, the faces highlighted and then I can start on the Sisters.