Thursday, December 31, 2015

Gaming Table - Holiday Project Part III

The next piece of work is to customise the frame for gaming.

I've purchased a variety of cup holders and chip holders from a casino company.

The company wouldn't ship to New Zealand but luckily Jack arrives home from Boston tomorrow and has agreed to be my "insert" mule.

The plan is to cut the tabletop and drop this in. They can then be used to hold dice, objective markers, wound counters, tape measures and, of course, drinks.

Hoping to get this done over the weekend so that I can attach the baseboard and get it installed in my gaming room before I go back to work Tuesday (eurggh, what a thought).


Gaming Table - Holiday Project Part II

In the first update I went through the construction of the gaming table top frame. Once this was completed I moved onto finishing the wood.

This involved counter punching all the nail holes and then filling the holes and gaps with wood filler. I managed to get a Pine coloured filler which matched the wood I used.

Moving the frame outside I started sanding with first P120 and then moved up to P180 grade sandpaper. This allowed me to get a smooth finish. I used this opportunity to round off the edges so that they would be more user friendly going forward.

Once finished it gave me a smooth, clean frame to varnish.

I used a combined stain/varnish as I wanted a darker, richer colour than the white pine. My colour choice was "Maple" as this promised deep golden finish.

I recommend multiple coats to get a rich consistent result. In between each coat I sanded it lightly with P240 sandpaper to ensure that the subsequent coat had good purchase. Using a water based stain/varnish meant drying time was only two hours.

After three coats here is the tabletop frame.

It has achieved a rich golden colour which I'm very happy with. The next stage won't happen until Jack arrives home. He has the various inserts I'm going to put in the top of the frame.

Check back in 3-4 days for next update.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015


One difference I've noticed listening to podcasts and reading the Internet is around the use of Regiments. Here I am talking about foot Regiments be they Infantry or Large Infantry.

There appears to be a much greater use in some jurisdictions than there is in others. This appears to be most noticeable between the UK and the "New World" (USA, NZ and other far flung countries).

On local tables it is very rare to see foot Regiments. You will see shooting Hordes, melee Hordes (both Inf and Large Inf) and then some shooting Troops. What you don't tend to see are melee Regiments or Troops. This appears to be reflected in other non-UK reports I read/listen to.

I wondered why this was and settled on two prevailing causative factors. The first was that KoW appears to be more established in the UK. In saying that I don't mean it is a more dominant game, rather there is a vocal player base that gave been playing more than 3-4 months. These players with "history" are far more comfortable with the mechanics of the game and have mastered the basics. They are more adept at the use of "rapier" rather than "bludgeon", in that they can manoeuvre their Regiments to achieve their aims. Therefore in list design you will see units like Revenant Troops and Regiments as the player has the skill to use these to achieve his necessary ends by maximising their manoeuvrability and Special Rules (Surge, Lifeleech).

With time the skill level of players - particularly new recruits - will grow and this may lead to a higher, dare I say it, finesse level.

The second reason is tied to this new influx as well. Coming from WFB a lot of us were used to a certain amount of terrain on our tables - typically six pieces. This allowed Hordes to move quite freely without being hindered by the terrain. It wasn't until Mantic's latest FAQ which contained representative terrain maps from the Rules Committee that we saw that we were playing with too little terrain. Increasing terrain density has reduced the effectiveness of Hordes to a certain extent and people will begin to adapt.

What are others' thoughts on this? Does your playing group see lots of Regiments? Am I way off the mark in either my observations or with what I see as the causes?

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Lost Lands - Another KoW Resource

After my last post, Jonah from the Lost Lands blog posted in the "Comments" section.

Visiting his site there is a wealth of information for Kings of War.

In particular, he is going through and doing an overview of each of the races in Uncharted Empires. So far the Ratkin, Salamanders and Brotherhood have been done.

Check it out and I'll get it up on my blogroll.

Easter Eggs - Things I Like About KoW - #7 No Established Canon

When you move to a new game system there is so much to learn.

Normally to kickstart this process you have the benefit of some form of established canon to access. Typically this will be from forums or in blog posts where you can read about other people's experiences with the army and various set ups.

However it is quite noticeable that this is missing for KOW. Why? Well I think it does show the size of the player base vs. the GW systems (of the past). Within a day of a book being released it was dissected and the most efficient army established - of course this relied on exploiting the lack of internal balance in the GW books. You didn't need to be Einstein to know that Doomfire Warlocks were a steal for their points cost!

For KoW this is so different. I think that there are a number of reasons. Firstly, internal balance is better due to the templated nature of unit choices. Secondly, Mantic release all the armies in waves so the Rulebook armies dropped in July and Expansion armies in November. Individual races don't get the same detailed scrutiny that GW army releases got. Essentially the focus is on entirety rather than narrow. Third reason is the player base size. There are far less blogs, less events and less forum traffic. Each GW race had its own forum while there is a Mantic forum and a group of regional sections.

What this means is that there currently is less detailed analysis of individual races. Podcast reviews are on a unit by unit basis and have not really dove deep into the intricacies of competitive list building. There is a start but currently I would say "netlist" only applies to Elves and Undead with Ogres and Kingdoms of Men the next most evolved.

This is great because you need to discover stuff for yourself. I go onto the Mantic forum - Seerlord Morskitta btw - and the Ratkin sub-forum is pretty devoid of any detailed analysis. My list evolution posts and battle reports encompass a lot of the Ratkin "knowledge" available. And thus you learn by experience. I'm seeing the same with other locals. We have two Empire of Dust players and although they speak to each other regularly about list design they have completely different takes on a competitive build. This makes it interesting to play against as you are seeing different philosophies tested.

So for me another Easter Egg on the KoW journey.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Gaming Table - Holiday Project

Over the holiday period I like to "achieve" something in the way of hobby. If I'm away from home it is an army concept or list design whereas if I am at home it is something big I can get my teeth into.

Last year I did my Secret Weapon Miniature "Tablescapes" tiles plus city fight terrain - all ready for those Heresy battles I haven't had. But hey! It's done.

This year I thought I would build myself a new gaming table top to put on my permanent table downstairs.

So during a lunchtime during my last week at work - who am I kidding, I think it was about 9:30am - I pulled out a piece of paper and sketched up some plans.

Here they are in all their hand drawn glory - PLANS

Now the last time I did any technical drawing was in Year Nine back in 1975. For you youngsters out there Punk was still a year away, Liverpool hadn't won any of their European Titles and my hair was both luxuriant brown and flowed to my shoulders.

So with my plans drawn, I headed off to the local timber yard and perused the dressed pine section. I had decided on 135mm x 18mm (the plans show 19mm) and so I had the necessary lengths cut for me (with a little excess in each case).

Back in the garage out came the saw and I began cutting.

You can see I have all the necessary tools - jigsaw, drill, GW tape measure.

The framing for the tabletop begins to shape. I used the Realm of Battle tiles to ensure it was big enough and square.

The table frame is 6 foot by 4 foot.

Here the tabletop ends are secured to the framing. I used 60mm screws, three on each joint. These were countersunk to allow them to filled later.

Another shot of the framing. You do get a little "bowing at this stage but that gets fixed later.

The full framing now complete. You can see I have added some metal brackets to brace the critical joints.

The first two of the top panels are fixed with 30mm brads.

All the top panels are now fixed. The RoB board sits comfortably in the frame. All the nails have been punched.

From here I need to fill the punch holes and any gaps. The next step is to sand and varnish the tabletop and then to fix a thin mdf base to it.

Jack is due back from the USA this week and is bringing some supplies I purchased from a casino provider to set into the top. There will be plastic insets to hold dice, counters and tapes as well as drink holders.

Check back in a couple of weeks for the next update.


Runefang VIII Earlybird Reminder

Just a reminder that Earlybird registration for Runefang closes this Friday. Until then you can save $10 on registering for a single day or for both.

At present both the Kings and the War events both have 14 paid registrations. I'm hoping that over the coming weeks we'll see more people signup - there is plenty of room.

Lists are due in until the 8th of January so you will have time over the holiday break to tweak your horde of archers as necessary!

Just drop me an email if you want to come along. The Players Pack can be downloaded from the Event Calendar below the banner.

Development of the Ninth Age

Recently McCrae Louden posted a battle report and system review of "Ninth Age" over at "Stumpy Heaven" (don't be nervous it's not a Dwarf Amputee Porn site).

You can read his post here

It sounds like the team behind it are making real progress updating the 8th Ed rules into an integrated version of ETC-hammer. They are balancing a lot of the internal and external imbalances in the books as well as addressing the core ruleset.

From here it will be a period of play testing before the "final" version is ready for ETC 2016.

The main strongholds of the game at present appear to be Continental Europe, Hawthorn in Melbourne Australia and a number of gaming communities in the USA (you can see YouTube videos if you search).

Looking forward to seeing what the final product looks like but must say I'm not missing removing individual figures at present.

Silly Season Sorted!!

Right, the silly season is now out of the way with all familial duties discharged. We had twenty here for lunch on the 25th and have been able to exist on the leftovers for the past few days.

Not much hobby loot for me though Santa did give me a Citadel Project Box to keep my overflow paints in....and my desk tidy.

The last few nights I have been reading through the rulebook army lists and then I'll start on the Uncharted Empires. I was taking particular interest in the Abyssal Dwarfs but boy do they look dull.

I've also caught up on a few podcasts. I thoroughly recommend the latest episode of "Countercharge". It has an army review on the Undead. Well worth a listen. "Four Foot Snake" have also put out a new episode but it is a tournament review and apart from army make-up has less utility.

Given I have 11 days off I haven't been letting them go to waste. Each afternoon I been working on a project down in the garage. Hopefully I'll have it finished soon and can get pictures up.

Finally, tonight I'm going to see the Stars Wars movie. I'm one of the 1% of western population that thinks Stars Wars is so-so and the whole SW universe a bit "meh". Hopefully, Jar-Jar Binks is in it. I must check whether I have to see "Firefly" first.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Runefang VIII - Regos Building Nicely

The registrations for the two Runefang KoW events are building nicely. The event is on the weekend of 15/16 January. You can download the Players Pack from the Events tab on the banner.

As of last night (a month out) the Kings event (Saturday) had eleven paid up and the War event (Sunday) had 12. I'm hopeful that both will continue to grow over the coming weeks and each will pass twenty participants.

The interesting thing so far is that most people are signing up for both days. The Saturday has one unique participant while the Sunday has two. This is at odds with a lot of the early discussion that Wellington has a lot of players that wanted single day events rather than the commitment of two dayers. Perhaps they will all sign up in the next few weeks. Or maybe it was just noise :-)
Still if you don't try these things you don't find out.

Anyway there is plenty of space for those looking to attend. You can check out the participant list under the "Event Registrations" tab on the banner. Have a read and cajole your friends to come along.

This will be a very relaxed set of events with no formalised paint scoring recognising that KoW is new to a lot of people and that people will be putting together KoW armies for the first time.

Come along and have some fun.....or make sure you drop in and say hello

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Weekend & Week Hobby Update

A bit late this week....sorry but it's the time of year.

Over the weekend I finished my Bridge river crossing as per my previous post. I'm very happy with the finished piece and am looking forward to using a river in upcoming battles. Rivers are always a bit of a bugbear in wargames - it is hard to make them meaningful without them being overbearing. For my river I now have the bridge plus two modelled fords which give three dedicated crossings over a six foot expanse. This will hopefully address that problem.

I had no gaming on the weekend nor did I get to my normal Tuesday evening gaming group. Upcoming family visits over the holiday season mean that there were plenty of preparatory activities "scheduled" around home. I must say I am looking to the 12 days off. I'm expecting to get a lot of hobby related activities actioned over the break.

The only purchases over the last few weeks has been a set of airbrush cleaning brushes off eBay. I had a set but can't find them anywhere. I also picked up some oil to lubricate the parts after I strip the airbrush done.

I've noticed GW has released some new drybrush colours which have piqued my attention. I'm interested if anyone has used them as I had problems with the original release drying out. I'm wondering if there has been any change.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Auckland Clash of Kings - Results

The Auckland Clash of Kings was held yesterday. It was a three round 2000 point event that used the new Uncharted Empire lists.

The results were as follows:

Best Sports was shared by Nick Irvine and Rob Sadler while Best Painted was shared between Paul Monk and Glen Tibbles.

The results should be uploaded into the rankings in the next 24 hours.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Terrain Piece - Stone Bridge meets River Bend

I like to use the terrain I paint as gaming pieces. Recently I finished the Tabletop World Stone Bridge and wanted to have it as gaming terrain. I purchased the Gale Force Nine "Battlefield in a Box" River Bends (and Fords) and have cut up one piece to work with the bridge. It is now table -ready.

Here are some photos of the finished piece:

Boat alongside the toll-house.

Another view, followed by one from above the bridge

The lunch out ready on the first floor - stew and cheese.

On the ground floor you have the toll office with paperwork out on desk.

Really happy with how it came out. As a result I have some nice gaming pieces for a river. Effectively six foot which includes this bridge plus two fords.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Army Lists for Auckland Clash of Kings

The army lists for Auckland Clash of Kings can be found HERE

Breakdown is as follows:

  • Elves x3
  • Kingdom of Men x3
  • Undead x2
  • Goblins x2
  • Herd x2
  • Ogres x2
  • Brotherhood x1
  • Abyssals x1
Check back Monday for the results. 

Perhaps I Can Stop Banging My Head Against The Wall.....I'm Not Alone!

I read this very interesting article on Bell of Lost Souls. Generally the site has been going backwards over the past 12 months and is a cheer squad for all things GW, but every so often they produce a gem.

The article highlights the mess GW have made of Chaos Space Marines since the 3rd Ed Codex - are you listening Gav Thorpe? - and succinctly identify the three things that CSM players want.

  1. Legion Rules
  2. Emphasis on Chaos Marines
  3. Theme of Grizzled Veterans
Jeez, it's not that hard. Some enlightened bloggers have been pointing this out to you since 2005.

Damn Gav Thorpe and his bastard tome of Chaos Allsorts. I cast you out!

GW could follow those three simple requirements and people would throw money at them......why do they think Horus Heresy has taken off over the past decade.


I don't expect them to listen....however I would venture Codex Chaos legions would make far more than Age of Sigmar ever would.

2015 NZ Masters Results

Here are the results from last weekend's NZ Masters for Flames of War and Warhammer 40k.

Congratulations to Michael Haycock for his second Masters win and to Sean Sullivan on his first.

Big thanks to Isaac Henderson for umpiring FOW and organising the overall event and to Philip Porter for umpiring Warhammer 40k.

Remember next year's Masters will be in Christchurch organised by Tim Adams.


FOB Kings of War Survey Results

Over the past few weeks I have been carrying out a survey of FoB readers to get a feel for army popularity in KoW.

There were five questions:

  1. Current army
  2. Most played army
  3. Your next army
  4. Army you'd like to build
  5. Army you'd never build/plan.
In some cases there was overlap - and while I'd never pretend the survey was scientific - it does give a feel for popularity

There were 34 responses and the raw data is presented in the. First part of the table.

In the second part some crude analysis of the data is included.

Firstly, current popularity - as measured by play - is presented. This should reflect what you are seeing currently across the table - but be aware the data is heavily skewed to the respondents' playing circle and the most recent play.

Secondly, is the future popularity - sum of what your next army and what you'd like to build. This tips its hat to future army buys and probably is the one of most interest to manufacturers (assuming of course that such a small sample can be extrapolated).

The final one is overall army popularity. Here you see the net popularity of an army. So here you have current + future - never. This throws up the most interesting results. For instance will Ratkin have their adherents, overall the army is too subtle for the great unwashed whereas Elves and Dwarves are easily understood by all.

So thanks to everybody who participated - an interesting bit of fun.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Runefang KoW Tournaments in January

Just a reminder that Runefang is coming up. There are two one day events on the weekend of 16/17 January.

Currently seven are paid up for each but I'm expecting that to grow. The "community" said they wanted more one day events and this is a response to that. I'm therefore extremely hopeful that we'll see more people who haven't been able to commit to two day events come along to one of these.

The details plus players pack is up in the Event Calendar on the banner roll.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Excellent Mantic Forum Tactica Posts

Two great Mantic Forum posts that are well worth taking the time to read.

Anti Flyer Tactics

List Building by UK Multi Clash of Kings Winner Dan King

Both are looking at countering flyers but contain nuggets for everyone.

Battle Report - Ratkin vs. Empire of Dust in Kill

On Sunday Sam traveled down to try out his new Empire of Dust army. We decided to play kill so Sam could gain familiarity with the army before worrying about scenarios.

I used exactly the same army as the day before with Greg but I hoped I had learned a few lessons from that game.

Using the Scrying Gem I saw where Sam's shooting went and then loaded up on the other flank with the Fiend, Brutes, Daemonspawn and Blight.

Sam got the first turn and removed the far leftmost Slave Regiment and caused one wound to the Hackpaws on my extreme right. He then rolled an 11 removing them immediately (he needed 10 and I had left them out of inspiring range deducing no threat).

After my first turn. The Ratkin have moved forward and are facing off against two pharaohs who have ventured forward behind the hill.

On my far left, Sam's worms are on the hill but out of charge range. In the centre. Behemoth looks menacingly at my Slaves before charging them.

The Pharoah has flown into space and I decide to clip his wings with mix of Breath Weapons and Lightning bolts.

Behemoth is into the Slaves and the grind begins. The Fiend in bottom right survives frontal charge from a second Behemoth and rear charge from Flying Pharoah - rerolled 8 I believe - while Foot Pharoah stops Slaves on top of hill charging the Behemoth's flank.

Wither the Fiend safe the Brutes charge the Behemmoth in flank while Fiend and Spawn go into front, routing it.

A combination of Breath Weapons and the Warlock (on back of hill) see off flying Pharoah while the Slaves and Blight account for the foot Pharoah.

The Revenants come forward, surging into the Brutes that hold but are countercharged by Brutes, Spawn and Fiend and are routed.

In the top you can see the Worms threatening the Slave Horde. Throughout this Sam has been picking away at the Shock Troops with shooting and they will eventually rout.

The Behemmoth has accounted for one group of Slaves and pulled back. The Blight will advance towards him. The Daemonspawn has nice juicy archer flank to charge and the worms are grinding through the Slave Horde.

The Fiend turns to go after the Troop of Archers who killed the Hackspaws.

Hackpaws into Worms flank with slaves to front but they hold. They then charge slaves again and Sam rolls double 1s. The Behemmoth charges Blight but will do little damage.

After walking through the archers the Daemonspawn turns on the Construct Archers who have wavered the Brutes.

We go into a Turn 7 and the Worms hit the Slaves again killing them. The Behemoth continues to grind Blight to little avail.

In my final turn the Hackpaws rout the Worms and Blight with Brutes get the Behemoth. My Daemonspawn kills Construct Archers who have removed a Weapons Team.

As we finish it is a big win to the Ratkin. Turn 7 has yielded a lot of points at a loss of Slave Horde plus Weapons Team.

My deployment was much better this game which saw me overwhelm the flank with lesser shooting. The Ranged units concentrated on the flying Pharoah bringing him down in two turns. The Piercing (1) on both Breath and Bolt is critical.

For Sam it was his first run with army and he said he found it far less mobile than his Twilight Kin. With a few runs I'm sure he'll start to tune his list and play.