Tuesday, September 30, 2014

New Zealand ETC 2015 Captain

I'm please to announce that as its last duty the 2014 NZ ETC Team has selected the 2015 Captain. There were two applications and the team considered the merits of both before voting.

<< Drum Roll >>

Congratulations to Chris Wilcox.

Chris has been to four ETCs and was Captain of the 2013 team. He certainly has the necessary experienced to ensure that New Zealand continues to do itself proud at next year's event.

All the best to Chris and the eventual 2015 team.

That brings to an end the duties of the 2014 team and my reign of terror tenure as captain.

As David Cunliffe says "Skipper feeling good"

FOB NZ Rankings - WHFB Updated For Tauranga Open

The rankings have been updated for last weekend's Tauranga Open.

The update sees Rory Finnemore jump into the Top 5 after his win at the event.

GW Shuts Another Door

One of 2014's most frequent sources of early GW pictures has been closed down.

Throughout the year "Grot Orderley" has been the most frequent source of good quality pictures of upcoming releases. These are usually been lifted from the next weekend's White Dwarf.

Well it appears GW have had enough. Apparently he recently received correspondence from GW indicating that they would prefer that he no longer post their material.

Another finger in the dyke, albeit a particularly big hole.

Monday, September 29, 2014

FOB NZ Rankings - WHFB updated for Crack's Call

Over the weekend the inaugural Crack's Call was held in Masterton.

The event was won by Sam Whitt using his Dark Elves. Strangely, his opponents didn't realise you could get 350 free points by shooting the Hydra and Shrine.

The results are now in the rankings and Sam has jumped up to 4th. McCrae Lounden, who finished 2nd, is the other big mover. He is now up to 3rd in the rankings.

Greg Greenfield has leapt to 15th and picked up the Dark Elf icon while Neil Williamson is now the proud owner of the Bretonnian icon.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tomb Kings Touch Up

Last weekend I got my Tomb Kings back from Sam who had used them earlier in the year. The last couple of days have seen a cold southerly blast Wellington so I took the opportunity to get the army out and make some repairs for minor breakages that it has suffered over the years.

So here it is spread over the floor in our front lounge. The tray in the middle has two blocks of 25 Sword & Board Skeletons and three blocks of 20 Skeleton Archers. Behind it are 40 Tomb Guard and two Catapults.

Earlier this year I painted 15 Skeleton Light Horse and they are in the bottom left. On the far left is my Casket - the Priest is missing but I have hiss two arms ..... Bizarre. On the table are 8 Necropolis Knights - I have another four unpainted but I think I'll flick those.

Looking to finish the army off this morning I ordered sufficient Sarissa trays to cover those that haven't got them. That will be a project at some time in the next month.

There are a few characters to paint - including the Limited Edition BSB who came with the TK box set over a decade ago.

All up there is well over 4000 points once I add in the Warsphinx and Necrosphinx I have downstairs.


Miniature Monday - Hexwraiths

Since I've come back from the ETC I have taken the opportunity to paint some units from a variety of armies that have been sitting as bare metal or grey plastic nakedness on my shelf.

Over the last week it has been the turn of five Hexwraiths.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Miniature (Almost) Monday - Sisters of the Thorn

Finished up painting some Sisters of the Thorn. Bloody fiddly models to put together. Tried to match them to my existing army.

Especially happy with how the bases came out.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Problems with Beastmen

One of my regular opponents is Mike King. Over the past 5-6 years in NZTC Mike has probably played Beastmen more than anyone which means I get to see them regularly.
They were the last of the 7th Edition books released in February 2010 and of the three still outstanding are probably - ok are - the weakest. Even when offered an extra "free" 300 points at the ETC this year, nobody took them. Nobody.
So what's wrong with them? Well here's a list of their problems in no particular order:
  • Poor Leadership relative to other armies. Yes it can be improved from base but it is still in the lower quartile.
  • Negligible shooting. And in particular no high damage shooting (Cygor excepted).
  • Reliance on combat blocks in a game that has become increasingly about manoeuvrability.
  • General speed.
  • An inability to deal with flyers and in particular flying monsters.
  • The cost of the big monsters in the list - all are at least 50 points over costed.
  • The lack of survivability of these big monsters that rely totally on their T. Always wound on a 6 kills them. Literally.
  • While the Combat blocks can be okay, they need to be big which means expensive. They also require Characters and/or magic buffs to provide damage output.
  • Minotaurs have the stupid Bloodgruel rule
  • Lack of access to Magic Banners
That's a list of problems. I'm sure there's more. I don't profess to have the answers but I hope that GW address some of these problems in their next update - not least because I have a multitude of Mierce models as the basis for a Beastmen army.

In the interim Beastmen players you have my sympathy.

Two WHFB Events This Weekend

There are two WHFB events on this weekend both outside the main centres.

The Tauranga Open is on in, not surprising, Tauranga and Crack's Call in Masterton.

Good luck to all those attending and safe travels.

Hellheart - Unrequited Love

When the Ogre Kingdoms book was release there was great fear and loathing at the inclusion of the Hellheart amongst the magic items.

This item was grossly overpowered and blatantly a "sports/comp hit".

Let's refresh ourselves with its rules. Once per game at the start of an opponent's magic phase - after rolling for Winds of Magic, channelling etc - the Ogre player can activate the Hellheart. At this point he rolls a die and any opposing Mage within 5x that roll in inches suffers a Miscast.

Cue wailing and gnashing of teeth.

I have been playing the Hellheart in my 2000 point Ogres and have wracked up 6-8 games. In those games the actual experience has been underwhelming to say the least.

Firstly the mechanics of it are very random. If the range was 5D6 inches you would have a normal distribution curve centred around 17.5". This would provide far more certainty for its use. The actual mechanic is totally random giving you 6 possible outcomes equally as likely as the other. This impacts its tactical use.

Secondly the Miscast table itself. There are five possible outcomes on this table. Two (Str 6 hit on friendly mages, small template Str 10 hit) outcomes have a 25% chance. The other three outcomes have a 16% chance. This means that will you may wound a Wizard you are unlikely - due to Hellheart alone - to kill a Mage.

Where the true value of the Hellheart is - and still highly dependent on luck - is in closing down an opposing magic phase. You have an 83% chance for each affected Mage that they will lose D6 Power Dice. As noted previously this is pure random as the range is determined by a single D6 roll.

So what does this mean for tactical play? Well the Ogre player has to make a calculated choice on activating the heart. Now generally he is happy to be in combat so closing the gap with enemy mages is not an issue. This means you are generally holding it for a Turn 3/4 earliest activation to ensure you get best use. Therefore early in the game you are susceptible to offensive magic unless you take a second Mage. This is becoming more common in Ogre armies as the prime Mage takes a lore other than Maw and you therefore are required to pay the "Butcher Tax". One of your two mages carries the Hellheart while the other takes a scroll.

What has been my return on the Hellheart? Offensively, virtually nil. As indicated it is too random in effect regards damage output. I suspect that the results I have had are generally indicative but it is a statistically small sample. Defensively, it can be very good. Held and then unleashed it can close down a critical magic phase - however this relies on your opponent generally allowing you within 10.1" of his mages. Smart opponents will react.

Overall I think it is a well priced item. It has a big negative in its range mechanic that push it more towards the quirky than the must have. Every time I take it I wonder whether I wouldn't be better having an extra Maneater so I suspect that is a good thing.

All that said I'm looking forward to the day when a Vampire Lord, Grey Seer, hierophant disappear down a hole!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

7th Annual New Zealand Masters

The 7th Annual New Zealand Masters will be held at Cashmere Avenue School in Khandallah Wellington on the weekend of 6/7 December.

As in past years, three competitions will be offered:

  • Warhammer Fantasy
  • Warhammer 40k
  • Flames of War

Umpires are now being organised for each of the events. All three competitions will be over six rounds. As in previous years each event will seek a field of twelve players.

Invitations will be issued on 31 October. These will go to last year’s Masters Champions and to the top ranked players as per the Fields of Blood New Zealand Rankings.

Battle Report - Ogres vs. Beastmen

Continuing the series of 2000 point games I've been having, on Saturday afternoon I played Mike's Beasts. Since our last game he has replaced his Minotaur block and characters with a Bestigor block.

We rolled up Meeting Engagement and then promptly decided to leave half our armies at home. In Mike's case it was his three Mages plus Harpies while in mine it was the Gutstar and the Maneaters.

So it was a tentative set up for me - I deployed first - with me having to hold back my army to let the Gutstar and Maneaters catch up. This meant all three characters went in the Bulls and the Sabrecats patrolled the flanks.

When I deployed I didn't know Mike wouldn't have any Magic defence if I went first. It wouldn't have likely changed anything as my characters needed their vehicle. Below you can see Mike's waiting Mages. He had taken "Wild" magic - I had to read all the spells - on a Level 3 and two Level 1s.
Mike was also circumspect in deployment as you'd expect.
As you can see below the buses have arrived. I tried to cast Comet but failed by one. My Ironblaster pinged 3 wounds off the chariot on the hill.
Mike's army has now arrived as well so we can start the battle.

NZTC 2015 - Update

Just an update on NZTC spots.

As of last evening 12 of the 16 spots have been secured and paid for. So there are limited spots left.
As previously noted there is no opportunity to expand the capacity.

The teams that have signed up so far:

von Trapp Family (Khandallah)
Shirts Off Warhammer (Mercenary Team selected from around Australasia)
Bucketheads (Manawatu)
DILFs (Auckland)
Beauty & the Beasts (Kapiti)
Legion of Doom (Kapiti)
Stonefall Massive (Horowhenua/Wellington/Melbourne)
The Nice Team (Wellington)
Grumpy Old Men (Wellington/Auckland - they've put the band back together)
Ham with Cheese (Waikato)
The Victorias (Melbourne)
Weekend Warriors (Waiarapa/Wellington)

Space for 16 more people - 4 teams.

I currently have two people on my "orphans" list so if you would like to play but don't have a team then I can help. Just drop me an email here

Monday, September 22, 2014

Weekly Hobby Update

Been getting into some hobby over the past week. Certainly not concentrating on any one army has helped the creative juices.

Painting wise I have finished a unit of 5 Sisters of the Thorn (yes I feel unclean) and also 5 Hexwraiths. I intend to have pictures of both up tomorrow.

This has also inspired some purchases. First, Slave to Painting who got an order for cans of Army Painter Primer and Varnish as well as Secret Weapon Miniatures Autumn Leaf Cover. Last night IronHalo.net got an order for resin basing material for VC Hexwraiths plus a multitude of High Elf figures that need basing (yes I do have dirty secrets -owning a High Elf army is the worst).

Finally I bought the latest two buildings from Tabletop World. They are both Townhouses and will add to my terrain collection. I'm hoping to have them finished in time for NZTC.

I also got two games in. I've posted the Battle Report versus Sam Whitt's Dark Elves. Later in the week I'll post the second game, versus Beastmen.

ETC 2015 - Team Selection - The First Steps

The 2015 ETC will be held on the weekend of 7/8/9 August in Prague, Czech Republic.

The first stage in putting together a team is selection of the Captain. This is undertaken by the previous year's team who review the applications and make their selection.

The new Captain then runs the selection process for the 2015 team. In the past this has had him convene a selection panel and seek nominations from interested players.

To get this ball rolling, I am now seeking applications for 2015 Captain. I'm setting a deadline of 5pm (NZT) 29 September for interested parties to lodge an application.

Disclaimer: I do not intend to re-apply for the Captain's position so the NZ Team will require a new skipper.

Battle Report - Ogres vs. Dark Elves

On Saturday Sam came down for a game. He was running his Crack's Call Dark Elves - so 2000 points. We played Dawn Attack and neither of us was greatly affected by "random" deployment.

My big concern was Sam's Cauldron WEs ripping me a new one so I was determined not to let them hit anything meaningful. However my main re directors were very vulnerable to Sam's shooting and Magic.

Sam decided to charge the Sabrecat with his Hydra and the Bulls with his DR dart. The hydra made quick work of the cat but did take one wound in return. The Bulls survived the charge and killed three DRs in return.

Here possibly the most important series of dice rolls in the game happened. I had my Mournfang on my far left holding Sam's right flank. He cast Doombolt - 4 dice, Level 2 - and I failed to dispel it - 5 dice, Level 4. He then inflicted seven hits, six wounds. I saved all of them on 4s.

Friday, September 19, 2014

GW Models

I know that people continually bitch about how expensive Games Workshop's models are - and yes they are expensive- but I don't think that they give credit for just how good they are.

Games Workshop players are as a group a hypocritical bunch always looking for fault in the machinations of the Evil Overlord [as an aside contrast this with other gamers who seem to sup the Koolaid with all the critical analysis of a Moonie Cult member].

IMO one thing that is not up for discussion is the quality of the miniatures that GW produce. Every now and then they may deliver a shocker - and don't we let them know - but 95% (at least) of what they produce is light years ahead of their competitors. This especially holds true as they have moved into plastic and left both metal and Finecast behind.

You have a look at some of the dross other companies turn out in plastic (more a resin hybrid). At Adepticon one company gave out a box set of their plastic figures and having the chance to look at the figures I saw just how inferior they were to GW. Putting aside the aesthetics - which I personally find fugly - the material was so inferior to GW's hard plastic.

I know it's cool for all you Gen Y kids to "hate the man", "rage against the machine" etc but GW seriously deserves kudos for the quality of its product. Take a look at the new Morghasts, Nagash - in fact anything from the End Times - and it really is light years ahead. The 40k Ork release similarly is packed with great models. Sure you get the odd design clanger - I'm looking at the SW Santa Sleigh - but you can never fault the production quality. The scale and grandeur of the models is staggering.

And it's not just the models. If you haven't had the chance check out the new End Times: Nagash rule book. Great production quality, lots of new art etc.

Kudos to GW...you may be the Establishment but not everything you do is evil.

NZTC Comp Sandbox Redux

Earlier this week I polled the captains of teams signed up to NZTC as to their preference as to composition to be used. The results of that was a clear preference for FOB Lite excluding Special Characters. This received the most votes of any choice and importantly over 50% of total votes.

As a result I am going to amend the Composition System to be used to reflect that preference.

Given this is a change to advertised conditions, I am happy to offer any team that wishes to reconsider participation a refund.

An updated Players Pack will be uploaded tonight.

End Times - Chaos Edition

So looking around the net things seem to be coalescing around the second End Times release.

The most common date for the Chaos influx is 4th October announcement (personally I see this as a little early and wonder whether this will be the date of the dual 40k/WHFB release of plastic Greater Daemons.

Assuming this is the case it looks like we will have a multi month release - up to six weeks of Chaos tools. The first four weeks will have one of each of the four Chaos Gods have a Greater Daemon released in plastic. This is in line with previous model rumours. It also fills October.

Then in November we see the release of the second End Times book.

The book includes two new lists. Firstly there is rumoured to be a Cult of Slaanesh for Dark Elves with a new Unit and Chaos Demons. Secondly, a Chaos Mono-List for Nurgle with Warriors and Demons united. There is also a new profile for Archaon - presumably with a new plastic model - and the return of some of the older Chaos characters ( not sure if we get models). There is however rumoured to be a new named Nurgle Chaos Champion model.

These are truly exciting times.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Crack's Call - Lists

Crack's Call is being held on the weekend of 27/28 September in Masterton.

This is the Marauders' first event in the wilds of the Waiarapa.

It is 2000 points and the lists can be found here

In addition there will be a steeplechase event on the Saturday night where the participants will try and navigate their Warhammer mount to racing glory.

Reluctant Wood Elf Seeks Older Model

I'm looking to update my Wood Elf army to bring it in line with the new book. That means I need a few extra Wild Riders to add to existing units.

So I am after these:

These are the last edition plastic and metal models.

And I am happy to pay cash or replace them with the bright shiny new stag riding plastics.

Unimportant whether painted or not as they will be stripped to fit existing units' colour scheme.

Drop me an email if you can help out.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kapiti Swap Meet

The Kapiti Wargames Club are having a Swap Meet on SATURDAY 11th October between 10am-4pm.

This is an opportunity to buy, sell and swap all types of Wargaming models/books/games.

The event is open to all - entry is a gold coin donation - so get along and see if you can pick yourself up a bargain or sell excess swag so you can free up space for more.

FOB Rankings - WHFB Updated for Guardcon

The rankings have been updated for last weekend's Guardcon held in Auckland.

This has seen some small changes in the Top 10 - Kelly Gragg has entered the Top 10 for the first time. Rory Finnemore jumps to 13th.

With the end of October signalling the cutoff for the year, the Masters Mode function indicates that you currently need 210 points to be certain of qualification. That is likely to jump to 215 points in coming weeks.

Greg Greenfield has only two events in rankings but is attending two upcoming events. A podium finish at either will put him in the Top 10. Sam Whitt and Peter Williamson also need podium finishes at the same events to force themselves into the reckoning.

Guess we can expect a lot of Elves at upcoming events then.

In related news, Dark Elves have replaced Warriors of Chaos as New Zealand's most effective army. It completes the Cinderella story for the Dark Elves as they have risen from obscurity (9th in June) to their current position as all the power hobby gamers pile into them. Won't somebody please think of the Warriors, Lizards and Brets left behind!

Tournament Turnout

On Monday I made a post "Tournament Turnout" highlighting what I saw as declining numbers locally. Re-reading it yesterday I thought it was a bit disjointed and lacking in detail so I removed it.

Here is a second take, this time backed up by some analysis. Below is a table looking at WHFB events in the Southern North Island over the past three years.

Included in the table is the event, month, number attended, points value and the comp system used.

Generally 2014 has seen less people attend events. This is partly due to attendance at Ruination (expected) and Runefang VII. The rest are in line with previous years.

The area has a limited player pool - population-based, to a certain extent - and that acts as prime determinant.

However I think the numbers also show some other points. In 2012 the Fields of Blood events moved to a standard model - permissive comp, standardised (read default sports) and accommodative painting. Since then there have been two main changes.

The first of these was the introduction in Comp system used. There were a vocal number of local gamers - and yes I remember who you were :-) - that said events were stale and that we needed to explore different comp systems. Now I appreciate that for regulars familiarity can breed contempt - and of course the grass is always greener. However I'd say in retrospect that that was an error.


Firstly, while there are a number of attendees who like to pore over all types of comp system trying to build the ultimate list, there are at least and equal number of gamers who aren't interested in that level of complexity.

Secondly, people like to bring their toys. They therefore want a permissive system. A basic tenet of comp is that "Everybody else's army is broken whereas yours is a model of innocence". People want to be able to bring what they want. The counter is to have a level of comp that allows that but knocks the worst excesses off "everybody else".

Finally, a lot of people like certainty. GW armies aren't cheap. Nor is the time investment small. Not everyone wants to buy and paint 3000+ points of an army to accommodate the vagaries of different comp systems.

I used FOB Lite in 2012 and 2013. This last year I have introduced variety into the events I organise (partly as a result of requests). That has been a failed experiment in my eyes as TO.

I'm sure people will point to the recent Guardcon and say how wonderful Swedish was. That's great and I'm glad people enjoyed it. However it is worth noting that Auckland is a city of 1.5 million.

The other change I made towards the end of 2013 was the introduction of the FOB Painting Checklist. To say this caused some people some angst is an understatement. However I stand behind the decision 100%.


Well firstly because this is a hobby. It is visual. There is nothing better in a tournament than seeing two nicely painted armies battle it out over nice terrain.

The previously permissive army presentation system had been introduced when the local community was growing and people were building their first army. Unfortunately there was no carrot or stick and as such progression stagnated.

The checklist system was designed to give that incentive for people to work on that hobby aspect - it also incidently slowed people bringing the latest net list. I totally stand behind the system and the contention that anybody can achieve the maximum 35 points with a little effort. The system has potential 45 points so you can direct efforts where you feel your time is best spent.

I would point to the efforts a number of people have put into their armies as a result of the system because they don't want to disadvantage themselves. I could also point to people who have made no effort. In the end my goal is to present attractive events. If I spend time (multiple weekends) to build nice terrain for events I don't think it is too much for people to spend a few nights working on their army if they want to maximise their points.

So the FOB checklist is here for keeps.

The final area I'd like to touch on is one or two day events. Now I appreciate that people have different priorities and calls on their time. For a lot of people one day events would be more attractive and convenient. I understand that.

However from a TO point of view they take just as much time and effort to organise as a two day event. They also have most of the financial outlay that a two dayer has. As such they would need to attract significantly more people to make them "worthwhile". I don't see that happening to be honest.

So that my warts and all precise of tournament turnout. If people do have ideas to increase turnout I am very keen to hear them. Yes, I'll likely be cynical - OMG You should run Panel Comp, it Roxxor - but I will at least listen.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dark Eldar Confirmed

Right so it is Dark Eldar next.

So I'm guessing we can expect 3-4 weeks of releases rather than the insipid GK book update. 

The new Haemoculi on the cover looks great. Dark Eldar are by far the nicest model range in 40k. Their figures always make the Eldar look like the fat girl at the high school prom in comparison.  Sure you see some nicely painted Eldar armies but in truth it's lipstick on a pig. 

Looking forward to what we get. 

Miniature Monday - Daemonic Furies

I really dislike the GW metal Fury models. In fact I'd go as far as to say that they are probably the worst models in the range (they were bad in 2003 and are still bad).

So I thought I'd make my own Daemonic Furies.

Charlie had some of the old metal Horrors - 7th Ed, not the earlier big hands models. I bought some Gargoyle wings off a US bits seller and voila.

One thing I noticed is that GW no longer has a good Light Blue. I have ordered a couple of old GW blues from Game Colour to do final highlights. In the interim:

Skitterleap Numbers

When I checked the Skitterleap account last night there have been a number of late regos taking advantage of the Earlybird discount.

There are currently fifteen people paid up with six weeks to go. It therefore looks like the target 28-30 is not unachievable.

This is good news.

Monday, September 15, 2014

NZTC Comp Sandbox

It has been suggested that the use of ETC comp for next year's NZTC may be acting as a deterrent to people signing up.

Interested on people's preference for comp for the event:

1. ETC
2. FOB Lite with/without Special Characters

Personally I'm most interested in getting a full hall as that means more people playing

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Pink Horror Musicians Wanted

I'm continuing to clean up things that are sitting on my painting desk...this week it is some Daemon of Chaos figures that have been there forever.

Anyway as I paint up the units I need to add command but I am short of the Muso figure that complements them.

Here is an image of the figure I'm after that I snatched off the net. I need two of them to add to units I've painted. If you could have a look in your bits boxes to see if you have any I'd be really grateful. Happy to pay cash and postage. 

I also need one of the "Antler" standard figures. 

So if you can help it would be greatly appreciated. I'm a bit anal in that I like to paint all the command options for a unit.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Space Hulk Confirmed

Strictly Limited Numbers!!!!

Until we decide our financials require another production run!

Get in quick kids...you won't have another chance (until next year)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fields of Blood Mighty Empires Campaign Rules

The FOB Mighty Empires Campaign Rules can be found here

These have been formulated from experiences at three campaign weekends using the basic Mighty Empires system.

The rules aren't meant to be all-encompassing but are designed to give a fun, fast paced campaign with minimal book keeping.

They are also game focused rather than infrastructure based.

If you use them, I hope you enjoy them. As always keen for feedback and improvements. Use the "Comments" section.

New Event - WarBanner WHFB Tournament

I've been contacted by Ethan Phillips with regard to an event the Plaguebearers Gaming Group is running in the Hawke's Bay.

WarBanner is a 2400 point WHFB tournament to be held at Jambo Hobbies, Hastings Street, Napier on 11/12 October.

If you contact Ethan he can send you a copy of the Players Pack

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Upcoming Event - Vermintide 2014

One Day Saturday 15 November 

Khandallah Presbyterian Church, Wellington

1200 points (with variations)

5ft by 4ft tables

FOB lite hardcaps - Amended (for 1200 points)

New Scenarios which give some benefits to future games

Five 90 minute rounds

Swiss pairings after a random round one

Self-assessed painting score

Registration and payment due 18 October

$15 Club Members and $20 Non-Members

Army Lists due 3 November

Players Pack on Warlords and Masterton Marauder websites

Rankings Noise

This weekend sees two 2013 Masters participant exit the Top 10 as Warpfire results are dropped from the rankings.

So goodbye Peter Williamson and Hamish Gordon. Hamish at least has a reason for his departure - the birth of his first child in early 2014. Peter, not so much. - perhaps he needs to borrow a Dark Elf army?

We will also have Guardcon come in on Monday before last years falls out the following week.

So expect Rankings Shakeups in the next fortnight!

Edit: Should Ant Kitson win Guardcon he will go #1 in NZ Rankings

Guardcon This Weekend

This week Guardcon is on in Auckland.

Umpired by Nick Irvine, it has attracted 28 participants. They are using Swedish Comp and perhaps as suspected this has seen a full on assault by the Elfpocalypse.

Looking forward to hearing updates and seeing the results on Monday.

Pete's Pro Tip: At least one of the DILFs (bizarre name) will suffer horrific luck (what the rest of us call the normal distribution curve :-)   )

Monday, September 8, 2014

Space Hulk 2014

EDIT: Now Confirmed - White Dwarf pictures sighted

I now heard from 3-4 sources that we can expect a release of Space Hulk later this month.

It is not certain whether this is a re-release of the limited edition game from three years ago or whether it is a new updated version.

Rumoured price? Between $230-$240 NZD.

Not sure if it will be as successful this time. you can only go to the well so many time.

Little Timmy probably still has his last copy (keeps it next to his Dreadfleet box).

EDIT: Further Details

It is a re-release but with extras.

$125USD or €100/£75
English only this time around. No translations
Limited Re-release from the 2009 edition but with
-4 new scenarios
-The box contains new counters (boarding torpedoes, breach counters, damaged control room and turbo lift tiles)Box

35 Easy fit models
22 Genestealers, 1 Broodlord and 12 Space Marine Terminators.
189 board sections and gaming counters.
1 x Rulebook and 1 x Mission book containing 16 scenarios including 4 new ones.

Thoughts on Ogres

Over the past 3 weeks I have been playing a few 2000 point games with my Ogres. The list I've been using is basically:

Slaughtermaster - Level 4 (Heavens), Fencers Blades, Glittering Scales, Scroll

Bruiser - BSB, Crown of Command
Butcher - Level 1 (Maw), Hellheart

8 Ironguts - FC, Standard of Discipline
3 Bulls - Muso

3x 1 Sabretusk
6 Maneaters - Muso, 5x AHW, 1x Great Weapon, ITP, Stubborn
3 Mournfang - Muso, Heavy Armour, Ironfist


Like all Ogre lists it has a very small model count. However 2000 points really makes it hard. Why?

Well first of all there is the "Butcher Tax". If you want to take a Slaughtermaster on a lore other than Maw then you need to take a Butcher. This costs you a sizeable amount of points - even for a Level One - for limited return. That's not because Maw is that bad - the spells are generally all useful - it's just you rather not have to do it.

So why pay the "Butcher Tax"? Well because Ogres are WS3. For your main combat troops this is "problematic". It is also the main reason you see Maneaters - WS4 is soooooo much better. With WS3 you need to buff your troops. There are two common ways to do this - Beasts or Heavens magic. A lot take Beasts seduced by Wildform and its +1 T and +1S. However there are two reasons I advise against this. Ironguts are already S6 and more importantly it doesn't help you hit. I also think the rest of the lore is a much weaker option.

I much prefer "Heavens". Why? Well it has two spells that increase either hittiness or reduce that of your opponent - Harmonic Convergence and Ice Shard Blizzard. Re-rolling 1s to hit and wound is golden (and you can bubble it). Ice Shard reduces the pain by restricting opponents hit success rate. For Ogres this is vital.

To back it up you have solid other spells. Opponents fear Comet and you can use this early game to drag scrolls. This helps when you get to combat phase. Thunderbolt is also a great spell for removing chaff.

To back this up I'll generally hope for Braingobbler or Trollguts on my Butcher - otherwise he's not casting.

As to the rest of my list. At 2000 points you can't afford disasters. That means you need to minimise the chance of failed break tests. The Maneaters are Stubborn for that reason and I back that with ITP to insulate vs. bad Panic check. A case can be made for other traits - Swiftstride, Scout - but I like certainty.

Which brings me to my Ironguts. The BSB goes there and he has the Crown of Command making them Stubborn. Yes, I could rely on the Maw signature spell but that doesn't give me the certainty I need. At 35 points in a 2000 point game it is necessary.

I am totally unconvinced on the Hellheart. On paper looks wicked, in practice I've found it totally underwhelming. It's commonly seen as a way to kill enemy magic users. Generally that won't happen. It's main benefit is shutting down a phase. However it's variability is a killer at 2000 points where it makes up 5% of your army. It will likely go.

Not much to say on Sabrecats. Even with their low Ld they are the best re directors in the game.

Which brings me to the Mournfang/Ironblaster toss up. Two Ironblasters is very very tempting. And I think it might be the stronger option. However at present I am enjoying the combined arms approach that Mournfang bring, giving hard hitting speed to the army. At 2400 you can fit the two cannons, while at 2000 they seem an indulgence.

Certainly enjoying playing with the Ogres after a long campaign with the Skaven. The games are always "contests" with the potential to go either way. They have a lot of very bad matchups though. Still combating those matchups is part of the fun.