Saturday, May 30, 2015

Cleaning Up My Closet

As I said yesterday, it is a long weekend in NZ and so I want to take the opportunity to clean-up my Wargaming "Dunn-geon".

The first part of that is to maximise my storage so that I can get stuff off tables and cabinets. I have an old cupboard in the corner which just gets stuff shoved in it. So I thought I would see if I could get more use out of it.

You can see it is pretty inefficient. So out with the trestle table and the jigsaw. I grabbed one of my thinner mdf boards and cut it up into four new shelves.

Then with some new shelf holding lugs and the drill I started adding new shelves.

Proof of concept. New shelves in and armies on cookie trays in situ.

And more get added so by the end the cupboard has nine shelves and can accommodate my Vampires, Tomb Kings, Wood Elves, High Elves, Lizardmen, Empire and Orcs & Goblins.

The good thing is that with a bit of thought I was able to set the shelf heights so the bigger models - Dragons, Arachnarok, Stegs, Warsphinx and standards can be easily slid in with no chance of damage.

The only problem is that there is some dead space, so I'm off to The Warehouse to see if I can get some thinner trays for the end.

Here it is with doors closed so the armies can hibernate until it is safe....perhaps 10th come out.

Not a bad afternoon's effort. Now I have to clean up the rest of the room.


Friday, May 29, 2015

More 9th Ed Rumours

Over lunch I was bored and headed over to Warseer to check out the latest WHFB rumours (yes that bored!).

The latest guff seems to be:
  • 9th Edition coming out this year....Summer (northern) is mentioned
  • Round-based game
  • Still can be played with square bases but post 9th launch everything will ship with round bases
  • All units will be able to skirmish, some will be able to rank up
  • GW will release WotR-style movement trays to do this
  • Unbound will transfer in from 40k
  • Balance will be provided by objective scenarios given benefits to bound armies
  • One new faction - effectively Empire + Brets
So that all sounds very unappealing at first glance. Ticks a lot of "ALARM" boxes for me.

Weekend Task - One Cabinet To Hold Them All!

It's a long weekend in New Zealand this weekend - we get to "celebrate" the English Queen's birthday.

So this weekend I've decided to convert a 6' x 3' wardrobe into a dedicated figure cupboard. The goal is to be able to store the bulk of my Fantasy armies in that one cabinet ready for easy use.

The first step in the process was to visit "The Warehouse" (think Walmart/ASDA/Target) this morning and buy 10 medium cookie baking trays. These are metal, magnetic and have a lip to provide some stability. They also cost only $5 each! Each tray is about 14" by 10" and with coupled with existing trays should give me enough to cover all my armies. I prefer these metal trays as I store my figures ready in movement trays so they are ready for play.

The next stage is to create enough shelves in the cupboard for each army while ensuring that they can accommodate the necessary height to allow figures to stand upright. I may make one shelf specifically for ALL larger models thereby allowing me to keep shelves to around 6" height each - provides some headroom.

I'll take some photos over the weekend to chart progress.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

WTS - Mantic Deadzone Terrain

I was cleaning out the gaming room last night and came across a box of the Mantic Deadzone Terrain I purchased as a Kickstarter.

You can see how great this terrain looks made up. It is great for all types of skirmish game be it 40k, Infinity, Necromunda, Judge Dredd, Malifaux etc

This is still brand new, all on sprue - pristine.

Basically it is your futuristic hive city terrain. Here it is in bare plastic showing you can customise it to your heart's content.

To purchase and have delivered the sprues here to New Zealand would cost well over $300.

I'm looking for $220 (plus post for the lot) for the lot. Let me know if you are interested. That is a total of 80 sprues so a heap of stuff. More than enough to configure a whole 6' x 4' table with multi-storey buildings.

You can check the sprues out over the page

Goodbye Dear Friend

It is with a sad heart that I bid farewell to my good friend the "Skaven" icon.

After holding it through 2010-11, I gave it up in 2011 when I played no tournaments and then recaptured it in 2012. I've held it for the past three years but with last year's Horned Rat rolling off, it has found a new home.

Alan Hughes now has it but before he even took custody of the treasured icon he was cheating on it with Wood Elves.

Checking the Rankings - Between May 2012 and July 2014, I played 10 events with Skaven winning 6, podiuming twice more and finishing top quartile in the other two.

We've been good for each other!

Collated Rumour Roundup

 And we sit and wait for concrete news as to the nature of the Warhammer game going forward.

I've been full of headcold the last week and I'm not sure whether it is my inability to concentrate in my befuddled state but the release of more rumours has not really solidified anything for me.

Over the page I've collated five sets of rumours doing the rounds currently. When viewed in the entirety a picture emerges but specific detail is sketchy.
I guess all will become clear at some stage over the coming months.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Homecon V

On the weekend I had Homecon at my place (Lynne was away visiting her parents!).

The 12 of us used the SCGT pack and played a mini-tournament of 5 games. In the end James Brown managed to pip Sam Whitt to register the highest score. Sam had a great Day One with three max wins but suffered two defeats Day Two.

Both days we had a bbq lunch and on Saturday night nine of us went out to a local curry house for a meal.

Here's some pictures from the event:

Adam contemplating moving his BSB out into a building.

Nurgle is unimpressed. He foresaw Kairos charging the building and TSing the BSB to death.

Lunch Day One - Masses of semi-incinerated meat.
Ryan, Adam, Alix and Greg enjoy the bbq.

Alan, Sam, James and Peter sink a few beers while waiting for Round 2.

Unfortunately I got no pictures of Neil Williamson. He was probably still finishing his game!

All in all people seemed to enjoy the SCGT pack and the different vibe to games that it gave.

Personally I enjoyed using the DoC list under the pack and learned that Lash of Despair allows armour saves and that Bloodcrushers (though Khorne) don't have Frenzy.

Overall it was a great weekend playing the Hammer.


GW's View on Economics - Or FU Colonials!

UK price rise of Citadel Paint Pot - GBP 2.40 rises to GBP 2.55

NZ price rise of Citadel Paint Pot - NZD 7.00 rises to NZD 9.00

UK % increase = 6.25%

NZ % increase = 28.57%

UK Annual Inflation as measured by CPI = -0.1%

NZ Annual Inflation as measured by CPI = 0.1%

So inflation in both countries is essentially zero, yet one country "suffers" a 6% rise while the other a 28% rise.

Sometimes their practices make it is very hard to like GW

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Friday, May 22, 2015

Tabletop World - Bridge

Last week Tabletop World released their latest terrain piece.

I really like this piece and one is currently winging its way from sunny Croatia for my gaming table.

The Tabletop World sculpts are fantastic quality and beautifully detailed both inside and out.

You can see that this is another multi piece kit but like all their buildings it is really functional.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

FOB NZ Rankings - Warhammer 40k Updated for NatCon and Auckland Open

Amazing what updating the rankings does.

Results for NatCon and Auckland Open 40k have come to light and have been entered in the rankings.

Looks like the "Bring Your Imperial Knight to School" tactic isn't only limited to Wellington, based on Auckland Open results

Creature Caster Kickstarter Near Delivery

Although the Creature Caster Kickstarter is almost nine months late they are rapidly approaching delivery.

Here is a pic of the finished Emperor Dragon - check out the detail!

Now be amazed when I tell you that is a "dry fit" - no glue holding it together. It comes with alternate heads and with and without howdah - all in same kit.

I have the Maggot Daemon, Plague Angel and Vulture Daemon coming for myself and the Treewoman for Peter Williamson.

Once Kickstarter is delivered they will be on general release.


HomeCon V This Weekend

This weekend HomeCon V is on at Chez Dunn.

There are twelve participants playing five round using the SCGT tournament pack.

Comp ranges from "0" (James Brown using ETC High Elves) to "8" (McCrae Louden's 4 Treeman Wood Elves, Alix Barclay's Night Goblins and Greg Greenfield's Malekith-led Dark Elves).

In between there are a mix of "3" to "6" armies.

BBQ both days and local curry house on Saturday night.

I'll post pics after the weekend.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

GW Price Increases Sighted

Some pretty significant price rises on the horizon from GW.

Warhammer World Re-Opening: Clear As Mud

Warhammer World re-opened on Saturday after extensive re-modelling and they held an Open Day to celebrate.

As well as some stunning dioramas they also re-introduced their Studio armies and the message was mixed.

If you look at the following photos - snatched from Ben Curry's Twitter feed - you'll see the lie of the lane is........puzzling.

As you can see the Fantasy geography is in a state of flux. There is more than a smattering of these "round" bases between the traditional straight edges.

Are we seeing a re-basing process beginning which will see all Fantasy models rebased. Or is this part of the rumoured "two ways to play" game where there is a Skirmish game and a large Battles game.

It's all as clear as mud.

One thing I do believe is that the whole "Kumbaya" concept of base whichever way you want is long term a crock of shit. If GW say round bases for the skirmish game and whatever you want for WHFB then I have real doubts for the longevity of the bigger game. My pick is that the possibility for retaining squares is just a fop for existing customers but you better believe it is a transitory state. In future that option will disappear.

Little Timmy is not going to be told to put is Legion of Chaos on round bases for skirmish and if he wants to play big boy hammer switch to square bases. Over time GW will see round bases replace.

As far as resale value goes - Square bases now equal demolition costs (hindering rather than enhancing value). YMMV.


New Citadel Brushes

A couple of weeks ago Citadel released an updated set of brushes for the hobby.

After Hagen Kerr waxed lyrical about them on the weekend I popped into my Hobby Centre and bought a Medium Base brush. Now I don't know whether Hagen has actually used one of just drinking the GW Kool-Aid but apparently "this medium brush, ideal for basecoating features a flat shape with a curved top, entirely synthetic bristles for extended durability".

The thing that struck me first about the brush is the price. NZD $15 for a synthetic brush is not a small outlay. It puts the cost at what I can get a good sable brush for via the net.

So I intend using this brush over the next thirty days to see how fit for purpose it is. I'll let you know how I get on.


Mordheim - Black Lotus to the Rescue

The Black Lotus Triad rolled out of their layer into the section of Mordheim known as “The Rock”. Sylitch thought life would be so much easier if they had some sort of jacked up Urban Assault Vehicle – he must talk to Clan Skyre.

Word had come that some rich merchant’s son had got himself lost while out for a night on the town “looking for a bit of rough”. His father had offered a handsome reward for his safe return. As the Triad moved into the city they saw the usual gangs out there looking for the lost boy.

Spotting some minor clan leader, Sylitch twitched his tail sending a signal marking his territory and warning the skab-rats not to encroach. Unfortunately the rat was too stupid to understand – either that or he had a death wish. In the centre the dead-things had found the boy and were trying to withdraw with him in tow.

Sling shots whistled past as Skiffle tried to retrieve a piece of warpstone nestled next to a building. These vermin were stupid. As they moved throw the Black Lotus territory, Slylitch signalled to the Verminkin and his surprisingly green sorcerer, Riktus, to open up. Thirty seconds later the encroachers were on the ground or had withdrawn.

The boy had escaped from the Dead-Things that were withdrawing from the square. Sylitch could now safely move in and secure the merchant’s son.


The boy’s head exploded and he collapsed in a pool of blood.

“I hate spoilt rich pricks” smiled Slylitch as he put his sling away.


It was another good day for the Black Lotus. No members were injured (in fact none were taken out of action) and all advanced an Experience Level. Slylitch increased his Initiative and three members increased to two wounds – I’m putting it down to the strange mushrooms Riktus has been cooking.

Two shards of warpstone were secured (and a third one purchased). Slylitch managed to find a merchant selling a pair of Warplock Pistols while supplies of Lucky Charms were accumulated. Finally all the Heroes were outfitted with a Rope and Hook.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

No More "The Watchtower" Podcast

About once a fortnight I drift over to WargamerAu to check out any WHFB threads. Generally there is not much new or exciting but it does give a flavour for what is happening in the Australian gaming scene.

This weekend I noted that "The Watchtower" podcast - which IMO has been the best of the Aussie podcasts over the past five years - had pulled the pin.

The podcast was put out by three of Australia's 2014 ETC team - Mick Ferraro, Nick Legrand and Alex Treble - who were/are successful players in the NSW/ACT scene.

By my reckoning they put out 15-20 episodes over the past couple of years - but nothing in 2015 - and I found that the content was generally sensible and well reasoned (and certainly a lot less "shouty" than some of their compatriots). The reason cited was a combination of hosting renewal, far harder logistics and what I sense is a dose of the malaise that hangs over the Warhammer world at the moment.

Also I suspect that recording and particularly producing a podcast is a big time commitment and after awhile that becomes a chore. There is a high incidence of burnout and that looks like it is evident here.

Anyway a big thanks to Mick, Nick and Alex for their efforts over the past couple of years. Who knows? We may see you back bigger and better in 9th.


FOB NZ Rankings - 40k Updated For Tempest

What proved to be the country's biggest 40k event of the past 12 months was held over the weekend.

The results have been uploaded to the rankings and as you would expect have shaken things up.

The South truly is rising!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Weekend Hobby Update

I had a weekend of mixed hobby over the weekend.

On Saturday I spent the day playing DBMM (Historical Ancients) down at the Warlords. I was roped in to play the part of an ally general in an Armenian army. Unfortunately for my "commander" I proved to be Unreliable (game mechanism) for the first three turns and ignored a number of messages to sort my shit out. I eventually entered the fray Turn 4 but then proceeded to prance around achieving little. Well the rest of the army did the fighting I spent my time screening off the opposing forces until both centres collapsed leaving my command the only one intact.......coincidence?

Friday after work I helped Hagen set up Maelstrom and then sat down and started to paint a unit of Clibanarii for my Romans. It was interesting painting up something other than GW figures - these were Wargames Foundry. You do appreciate how good the GW figures are.

At Maelstrom I managed to sell off more "stuff that will never be used/painted'. This included a full table of "Ice Station" terrain for 40k, assorted 40k figures and dice and a FW Spiny Horror. The money had be "invested" on Friday evening in the new Tabletop World bridge and some Legionarii for the Patrician Romans.

Sunday evening I started putting together the Terraclips "Sewers" set for possible use in our Mordheim campaign. I'm not sure on this set yet. The concept is good, the printing is good but putting it together is a bit fiddly and I want to see it complete before I pass judgement.

Next weekend is Homecon. All the lists are in and are being checked. Looking forward to a weekend's gaming.

Maelstrom 40k Held Over Weekend

Maelstrom 40k event was held over the weekend here in Wellington. You can read the TO's report here

Everything seemed to go well from what I saw on the times I dropped in to stock the Bring & Buy table (thanks to everyone who bought stuff).

The rankings have been updated to reflect the results and it sees Glen Burfield jump up to #2 on the list.

I would say from my sightseer's point of view the game is not that appealing. The 40k armies do not look like coordinated fact it seemed to be "Bring Your Imperial Knight to School" day. I appreciate that this is the nature of the rules but IMO a game (and army) looks better when it is a structured force rather than a hodge podge of latest GW "coolness'. I'm hoping, pretty much against hope, that this won't be the way forward for Warhammer Fantasy. However I think the horse has bolted there with the FO nonsense in ET:Archaon.

Still it was great seeing people enjoying their hobby and congrats to Hagen on a successful event.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Horus Heresy at Call to Arms?

Is there any interest amongst those of you with Horus Heresy forces to participate in a multiplayer game over the Call to Arms weekend?

The idea would be for a 1-2 day game over the weekend. This gives people to participate in other CTA events.....for instance I'm interested in running a large End Times well as have an avenue for HH love.

So let me know if you are interested. It gives an opportunity to do something interesting rather than the usual 2 day gaming tournament.

EDIT: To participate is a small buy in.....all you need is a Tactical Squad or vehicle.  Everyone is welcome right from a single squad all the way up to a full army.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Paint Rack - Badger Minitaire from TS Hobbies

I had been looking for a paint rack for my new Badger airbrush paints and had run into a few problems. Most were made in USA and that created postage worries. Or they came in a size that didn't take the whole range meaning you had to buy more than one. Or even more or, they weren't specifically designed for Badger paint bottles.

Eventually I found one that ticked all the boxes from TS Hobbies. I ordered it and then waited. Tim Sloan at TSH sent it out pretty much immediately but then it went into the USPS system. Luckily it had tracking so I could see it when from Georgia to Miami to Houston to LA to Auckland to Houston to Miami to Santiago (Chile) back to Auckland and eventually to Wellington. So a particularly well travelled rack with three weeks of world tour under its belt.

It arrived yesterday and I unpacked it.

It was your typical laser cut mdf with very crisp cuts. I decided that rather than plain wood I wanted it black. So a spray later and help from Lynne (it is a tricky - three hand - job to put together) and voila.

And here's a final pic of it in pride of place on my desk.


Very happy with the product and exactly fits my needs.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Sam Whitt Memorial Wood

As promised earlier in the week here are some pictures of the "Sam Whitt Memorial Wood".

Spooky.....a bit like Sam!


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Black Lotus in The City of the Damned

Sitting in their den in the Old Gaol, Sylitch looked across at his two litter brothers. On the surface the Black Lotus was a triad, but everyone knew who was boss. The Black Lotus had arrived late in Mordheim but Sylitch was determined to make up for lost time.

“Quick-Fast, brothers

The blackclad Skaven rolled out of the gaol and into Execution Square. Night Runner Tri Skuffle was charged with organising the search for loot. Much gold was found but in the search he fell to the bottom of a well.

“Silly-Stupid whelpling!”

Through into the temple district they skittered, still searching until Sylitch’s ears pricked up. Much noise and screeching.  Climbing to the top of the temple he saw the cause. Four groups – including some inferior Skaven dojo – were creeping into a square where a Orc beast-dragon was corralled in a cage. Sensing the opportunity Sylitch dispatched his brothers towards two of the parties, the dead-things and the nearest man-things. A pact was made to share the spoils – plenty of time for double cross later.

All through the square were shards of warpstone. In one area the smelly man-things with the bear creature were surrounded by shards. Sylitch twitched his nose and the Black Lotus headed that way. On their right, the other Skaven made a move towards them. Sensing threat, Sylitch gestured to his brother Schneer and the strange mage user, Riktus to neutralise the threat. Skittering quickly towards a tomb, Riktus raised his strangely green “paw” and Warpfire zapped the encroachers. His job done he picked up a shard of warpstone – stopped for a quick nibble on the rock – and headed back to the group. As he did he noticed the body of Schneer lying on the ground. No loss in his long game.

Sylitch and Rhicut picked up three more shards as they made their way into the centre. On the right was the orc-beast and on the left the men-bear-things. Sylitch’s tail twitched and two members of Pew –Pew opened up with their slings. The orc-beast took two wounds. The benefits of fear, training and of course fear were paying off among his followers.

Dead-things and man-things were now fighting. Again Sylitch twitched. The base-rats of Pew Pew and their cousins more Pew-Pew set their sights on the man-things.

Three of the Kislev warband had been carrying warpstone one minute. Suddenly they had all been neutralised. Sylitch was particularly impressed with the shot from one of the base-rats that ricocheted off the skull of one of the men into the face of another, killing him. He’d have to watch that one.

In the background the orc-beast was now dead. Sylitch walked into the cage and claimed his spoils.


All in all a very successful day for the Black Lotus. While they lost one member of Pew Pew, the breeding programme meant he was easily replaced. Sylitch, Riktus, Rhicut and Pew Pew all advanced and five shards of warpstone were secured – well technically four but Adam short on funds sold him an extra one.

Sylitch, himself, is now BS 5 and the Pew Pew Brothers also advanced their BS. Rhicut learned the Art of Silent Death while only Riktus received a naf advance (+1 WS). The opportunity was taken to recruit another Night Runner, Skiffle.

All in all a good fun evening. Roll on next week.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

RIP Rob Cameron

Sad news over the weekend that local wargamer Rob Cameron had passed away.

Rob (on left) with Rhys Batchelor during multiplayer DBM game

Most people who have attended Wellington conventions over the past 20 years would have seen Rob. He had ongoing health issues during that time but was always overwhelmingly positive in outlook.

I first met Rob in the late 90s when I returned to Wargaming after a 16 year hiatus. Between 1998 and 2002 we would have played DBM (Ancient/Medieval) at least once a week either at my place or at the Warlords (then in Wadestown). Rob used Late Romans, Seleucids or Sassinid Persians usually and over that 4-5 year period he fought against the many armies I played.

I have fond memories of Rob playing in a series of War of the Roses re fights up at the Warlords and also a memorable re fight of Chalons.

Rob was on crutches when I first met him and over time his health deteriorated further an he became confined to a wheelchair. Despite all this Rob was always overwhelmingly positive and I never once heard him complain. On the tabletop he was much the same. He always took the hits and the successes with the same upbeat attitude.

As I moved into GW games I saw less of Rob and this probably was exasperated by my move to less gaming at clubs over the past 6-7 years.

I remember at one point I heard he was in hospital and took him up some old copies of the Society of the Ancients "Slingshot". Although his surroundings were clearly suggestive of ongoing discomfort, Rob was still upbeat.

I guess the most amazing thing about Rob is that despite all his health difficulties I struggle to remember him ever having a bad word to say about anybody (apart from Charles the Bold) and certainly I can't remember ever having a bad word for him.

In recent years when I did see Rob he was generally umpiring DBMM events at local conventions. It demonstrated his ongoing attitude of engagement.

I wish I had had an opportunity to see him again before his passing. I would have loved to have thanked him for being not only a great bloke but a role model for all of us in focusing on the positive despite difficulties.

Rest in Peace Rob.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Actual 9th Edition Rumours

This set of rumours has appeared over at TWF:

  • 9th edition rules aren't going to be the big jump that moving from 7th edition to 8th was.
  • There are going to be 3 versions of Warhammer.
  • The Age of Sigmar - recommended for point totals 500 to 1,500 and will be a skirmish style game.
  • The Age of Steel - Warhammer as we all played it over the last 5 years.
  • The End Times - magic heavy and 50% lords & heroes (and Lore of Undeath).
  • Power dice are now a base of 2D6 (4D6 for End Times) up to 2,000 points, add another power dice for every 1,000 points after that so fielding a 4,000 point army would roll 4D6 Winds of Magic or 6D6 in the End Times.
  • Lots of new spells though the #6 spells all allow Ward Saves
  • New magic items. Some went away, some new ones arrived.
  • 8th edition measuring still exists
  • Regeneration now works like a War Hydra, dead models come back with a single wound on a 4+
  • Lances do impact his on the charge
  • Spears are +1ST if they hold against "mounted units"
  • ASF has changed. Units that charge get ASF vs the unit they charge.
  • Fear as now but tests are at -1 leadership, Terror at -2 (BSBs are still OP)
  • Killing Blow does D3 wounds
  • Heroic Killing Blow still kills everything
  • Characters riding monsters have a merged profile
  • Steadfast can be lost with a single rank of 5 in the flank. Units cannot be Steadfast against anything that can Thunderstomp them
  • 2D6 Scenarios and a much broader terrain chart
  • Models lose half their charge roll distance if they clip terrain (think of it as toned down 7th edition terrain rules) though dangerous terrain is still in effect (1s to wound for models that take dangerous terrain tests)
  • New building rules
  • Combat resolution - outnumbering is back
  • Holding table quarters is back too

Now I'm going to call "shenanighans". This looks like a "wish list" rather than reality (and probably by a 7th Ed Ragequitter).

It almost looks too good to be true.

Weekend Hobby Update

Over the weekend I managed to get some hobby in.

First, I finished a Citadel Wood that has been sitting in a box since Sam Whitt gave it to me 12-18 months ago (won as a prize at a Tauranga event) - Thanks Sam. As locals will know, Sam is not about the hobby and so a box of terrain is about as useful to him as a bicycle for a goldfish. I took some pictures this morning but wasn't happy when I came to edit them. I'll get some up tonight.

I also managed to get a couple of games in using the SCGT Comp Pack and scoring. Really enjoying the change from the straight 20-0 system.

Also read a few news pages. There is a teaser in the back of White Dwarf that alludes to a Nurgle release next week. What's that all about I wonder?

Saturday, May 9, 2015

TO Resource - 2015 SCGT Terrain Maps

I was lucky enough to be sent the file for the SCGT 2015 maps by Bryan Carmichael (ubertechie on a lot of forums).

You can download the link here

We'll be using these maps at Homecon V but regardless they are a nice resource for TOs who would like independent terrain set-ups.

Thanks Bryan (and Dan Heelan)

Friday, May 8, 2015

Is List Writing A Skill?

Over the past month there has been a debate raging on The Warhammer Forum as to whether list building is a fundamental game skill or not. The debate has been come at by rather a circuitous route under the premise of whether using a "netlist" is cheating.

Well upfront I'm going to declare my hand:

  • List building is a skill; and
  • Using a "netlist" is not cheating.

On the first, there is undoubted skill in being able to look at an army book and determine the most efficient choices that it contains. This then has to be overlain with your style of play, your normal opponents and your model collection. Finally, if playing tournaments, you need to consider the comp pack, the scoring system and any houses rules in play.


Distilling these factors into a workable list definitely takes some skill. You can define "workable" in many different ways - efficient, tabletop effectiveness, enjoyable to paint, fun for an opponent to play etc - but the key thing we are utilising here is analysis - and to me analysis and the analytical method are definitely a skill.


So based on that is so-called "netlisting", cheating? Here you are supposedly using the work of someone else to come up with a list, the construction of which is IMO a skill. My answer is no and here's my reasoning.


It is all very well to copy something from the net but the proof of the pudding comes in the application of that list. The number of times that I have seen people copy the latest hotness and then spectacularly fail with it is significant. And that is largely because people either don't understand the intricacies or pressure points in a list or haven't included their own play style or ability in the analysis step.


In these days of Internet immediacy there is very rarely anything new about eight weeks after an Army Book is released. Things are worked over, maths is analysed and a clear view of efficiency developed. So you quickly know the building blocks that you are dealing with.


However there would very rarely be a list on the net that I would look at where I wouldn't want to make changes based on my own preferences - usually play style driven. That's because another choice better papers over other cracks in my game. An example of this was the use of Rat Swarms in my Skaven army. Early on in 8th Giant Rat darts were the cheap chaff of choice. However they didn't work for me - pack master susceptibility, low Ld etc. For me a Ld 10 unbreakable swarm while more expensive was light years better in my own game. Similarly around Stormvermin and Clan rats. I much prefer Clan Rats other than in the ETC game where points denial is a key aim for the Skaven player.


So when I see a published list I'll generally look at it and see if it works for me, my play style and then dismantle it to look at building blocks and potential for improvement.


Generally if someone picks up a net list they are cheating - themselves. They have abandoned a crucial part of the skill and are probably going into battle with a sub-optimal weapon than they could have if they did the whole process.


That said, conventional wisdom as encapsulated in a net list with give you a head start but unless you know how and why it was built, for whom and why, then I think you will eventually run into a cul-de-sac known as disappointment.


Just my thoughts - I'm sure a lot will have a different take.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mordheim Skaven

A couple of our local gamers have organised a Mordheim campaign to be played over the coming months. I've joined up and will be using a - naturally - Skaven list to seize control of the town.

We start with a 500 gold crown army and here is my starting force:
  • Sylitch (Assassin Adept) - Weeping Blades, Sling - 112
  • Schneer (Black Skaven) - Fighting Claws - 75
  • Rhicut (Black Skaven) - 2x Swords - 60
  • Riktus (Eshin Sorcerer) - Halberd, Sp - Warpfire - 55
  • Tri Skuttle (Night Runner) - Sword, Throwing Stars - 45
  • Verminkin #1 - 3x, Club & Sling - 75
  • Verminkin #2 - 3x, Club & Sling - 75

That comes to 497 Gold Crowns and 11 models (which is probably on the light side).

The next - first for me - night is Tuesday next week.


The Chadaguay Archipelago

As I posted the other day I am looking to run an ongoing campaign over the next few months to get through "edition change".

Decided that it will largely be a narrative driven campaign looking to create some backdrop. To do that I have decided on a number of drivers:

  1. Mighty Empires based - using the rules I posted last year
  2. Limit on participants - choosing to have four so that things are manageable and relatively coherent. Also far easier to herd the cats.
  3. Campaign Day - set campaign day of last Saturday of the month. Gives some structure and hopefully helps herd the cats.

Both Mike King and Ryan Lister have signed up and I'm waiting to hear back from the fourth. Hopefully Mike will use Lizards - cultured city builders - and Ryan will use Vamps - feudal based settlement - while I'll be using my Skaven - destructive squatters.


For me it will be a chance to paint up and use units from the Skaven book that haven't seen the light of day - expect to see some Rat Ogres, Giant Rat Packs and Jezzails.


I've been painting up the campaign may over the past few nights and here is the bubble archipelago of Chadaguay - or what we know so far.

The full map - mountains in the north, forest/jungle and a shore in the south.
The shoreline in the south - likely home of the Lizards
The lush north with mountains capping the area.

Over-exposed close up of the map. The intention is that once the campaign has legs then we may be able to expand it and allow other participants in. My intention is nog to over complicate things at outset but once up and running have it player driven and customisable.