Tuesday, June 30, 2015

AoS - The Floodgates Open

Here some excerpts of what is coming out over the net.

From the Warhammer Forum:

This is pre order week for the Age of Sigmar.. Newest Version of Warhammer!!!!.
Out with the Old and In with the New...

Get a new hobbyist into the game with 1 miniature.. (their favorite box set)..

That simple.. War scrolls come in the boxes. The Rules are only 4 pages long and they are available from the web.(downloadable).. No more heavy rulebooks and army books. All a person would need is their miniatures war scroll.. Now you can get into the hobby and play a game with your favorite miniature or miniatures. If you already have an army. Start Playing as early as July 4th, when the rules and war scrolls are posted. Play games as small or as big as you want. There are no points.. Bases don't mean anything, modular trays don't mean anything. Measure from the tip end of the model.. Base your guys any way you would like too.

The Age of Sigmar allows you to get some one started with a minimum of $10-40 after that they just purchase miniatures as they want to increase their experience and as the game brings in new characters and armies. There will be new enemies, old enemies, new friends and old friends coming back. You can play with your favorite miniatures, you don't have to be tied down to one particular army. You may like other Units in other armies, well that;s okay..


Games Workshop is proud to introduce you to Warhammer – The Age of Sigmar. The old Warhammer World is gone. It exploded and now we can only look ahead at what is to come – The Age of Sigmar. Together we are about to explore new realms. Exciting new adventures lay ahead, with brand new miniatures and new scenarios, set in brand new landscapes. We are opening new realms. Let’s embark on the very first battle of this new era.

The old Warhammer World is gone, and so is Warhammer Fantasy. Forget what you know about Warhammer Fantasy, as Warhammer – the Age of Sigmar is nothing like it. We are going to introduce you to a whole new experience. A brand new game with brand loads of new miniatures and brand new rules.

It is different to what you will expect. It is different to what we have done, but it will amaze you and all your customers. Don’t worry. Warhammer Fantasy miniatures stay relevant. Old miniatures can still be used, however how you will play them has changed. Size doesn’t matter anymore. Whether you want to play with 10 or 100 miniatures, it is all possible in Warhammer – The Age of Sigmar.

The change is big, but you and your customers can still use the existing miniatures. On the 4th of July all the new rules will be available digitally on our website for FREE – It will explain to you how the new game works, and how you can use your old miniatures. The rules will be available in many languages (including Dutch). The new rules for each miniature will also be in the newly rebranded boxes.

Square bases and movement trays are gone. The new and rebranded products will now come with oval and round bases. However don’t worry, as you can play the game with any base shape you want. No need to rebase your existing miniatures. Bases are now only used to stand up your miniatures and you can use whatever shape base you like most.

And then from Dakka:

So, just got off the phone with my GW rep.

 Info I was told:

-It's not 9th edition WFB, its a totally different game. There is no 9th edition coming. There is no huge rule book coming. Age of Sigmar is the main product.

-Most of the leaks on the internet are wrong. I'll be able to confirm this Thursday. In particular the bit about different formations is incorrect.

-The 96 page book is a hobby book, painting, history, how to play examples etc. The 4 pages of rules is indeed the rules. Laminated.

-Each unit in the game has a War Scroll that has the rules specific to that unit. So rules for each artillery piece will be on that unit's scroll, each monster will have a scroll, etc.

-The 4 pages of rules and all War Scrolls will be free and online July 4th at midnight. This will be a living document. 

-Cost is 125.00 in the US

-There may be additional books in the near future, hobbyist/collectors items. Not at all needed for the game, and may not even have the rules in the them. Age of Sigmar: The Big Book of pictures and how to paint....etc. There is no HC big rulebook like we had in WFB, no 3 rule books in a slipcover like in 40k. Just the Age of Sigmar box. And the rules for that box are online and free along with rules for all the old models in your army.

-Supposedly doesn't matter how things are based.

-Scales well from skirmish to large battles. Leave your models ranked and on bases if you like.

Monday, June 29, 2015

AOS - Actual Box Contents

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Starter Set
  • The most awesome Starter Set Games Workshop has ever produced!
  • Recreate the first battle in the Age of Sigmar as the Stormcast Eternals battle the Khorne Goretide to open a Realmgate!
  • 47 incredibly detailed plastic miniatures; 18 Stormcast Eternals and 29 Warriors of Khorne.
  • 96 page Warhammer Age of Sigmar book and 4 page rules sheet.
  • 12 dice, 2 range rulers and 2 Transfer Sheets.
  • Totally new beginning for Warhammer miniatures.
  • The new miniatures in the starter box are some of the best we have ever done, some will slot straight into existing collections, while the new Stormcast Eternals are going to inspire customers to start new armies.

So the Sigmarines are called "Stormcast Eternals". Interesting this meantions a 96 page Warhammer AoS book - but not classed as a rulebook.

First Impressions - Age of Sigmar Box

Over the weekend we got the first pictures of the new Warhammer "Age of Sigmar". These confirmed the box contents and resolved a number of the big "what ifs" that have been in play since the conclusion of the End Times.

Here's my initial thoughts on what I saw over the weekend. Bear in mind it is based purely on the pictures and info we got and these impressions may change as more info comes available.

First the models. Really the Khorne stuff they could have dialled in. There is nothing there that is outside the aesthetic we have come to expect. They are very nice models and will fit in with any Khorne/general Chaos army.

Next the Sigmarites. These were immediately dubbed "Sigmarines" and it is not hard to see why? They borrow very heavily from the 40k aesthetic - plate armour, pauldrons etc - and I'm sure that they will find their way into more than a few 40k armies. However I think that they actually pre-date the Space Marines and what we are seeing is the genesis of the 40k Emperor's Thunder Warriors. These look like an early prototype right down to the lightning bolt iconography and suggest that in future the games and background are going to be more closely aligned. I, personally, don't like the models. They are far too 40k for the Warhammer universe as I perceive it - and yes I know that is no more.

This points to a real move away from the "medieval" aspect of the Warhammer world. That has major implications in that a key part of ancient/medieval warfare is massed ranks. The best I can say is that this points to a diminishing of that concept.

And this is reinforced by the confirmation of round bases. Yes, in both cases - models and bases - GW has said you will be able to continue to use your models but in reality this at best is a transitory state and as the game evolves neither will be on the bus IMO. GW wants to sell you new models for your armies/factions (I hate that word - it screams small scale) and they will invalidate existing choices and be round based.

Accompanying the box will be a four page PDF of quick start rules. These have been described as "child friendly" and I guess will be focussed on core concepts. From looking at the models there are no missile troops nor what looks like a Mage. On that basis I think we can safely say the box set will focus heavily on combat. This positions it nicely with the 40k starter sets. 40k = skirmish with guns, AoS = Skirmish with combat.

So all and all I'm not optimistic about the new game fulfilling the space of the game I've been playing the last five years.

  • The aesthetic has changed
  • The core basis has changed
  • The basing has changed

Now this is all predicated on first impressions of the box and things might change when we get the full rules. However all the pointers above are really lines in the sand.

GW is clearly (IMO) going in a new direction and appealing to a different demographic than it has in the past.

From where I'm sitting it is about as bad as it could be.


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Age of Sigmar-ines

So the list of box contents posted this week was 100% wrong.

Here are the first actual pics:

To say the aesthetic is a bit of a shock is an understatement.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

"Age of Sigmar" Box Contents

The box contents for "Age of Sigmar" are supposedly:

1x Empire General on Griffin
5x Knights of Sigmar
10x State Troops with Spears
10x State Troops with Muskets

1x Lord of Khorne on Daemonsteed
5x Chaos Knights
10x Chaos Warriors
  • No small rulebook
  • Full rules for all models
  • Small intro of the fluff (Humans only)
  • 5 Scenarios to introduce players

Monday, June 22, 2015

FOB NZ Rankings - Warhammer Fantasy updated for Wrath & Ruin II

The FOB Warhammer Fantasy rankings have been updated for this weekend's Wrath & Ruin.

The event, held in Auckland, attracted 18 participants and used the current ETC comp and rules. It was won by NZ ETC member Kelly Gragg using Warriors of Chaos.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

WTS - Terraclips "Sewers of Malifaux"

I have a set of the fantastic Terraclips "Sewers of Malifaux" plus a box of the Connector Clips that I'm looking to sell.

The "Sewers" are printed on high quality card and are double-sided to give a huge variety of potential layouts. Not only are there floor tiles but also walls, gangways, doors, stairs etc to give an infinite number of set ups.

This set is great for any skirmish game e.g. Malifaux, Necromunda, Infinity, Judge Dread, Mordheim, INQ28 etc

The set is "as new", contains all pieces and box ....plus a box of Connector Clips (sold separately).

The USD price new is $70. On top of that you have postage for a box that weighs between 1-2kgs (not cheap).

I'm looking for NZD$80. Lmk if you are interested.


Monday, June 15, 2015

FOB NZ Rankings - 40k Updated for Battle Above the Brynderwyns

Adam Thorton has sent through the results for Northland's annual event "Battle above the Brynderwyns".

These have now been included in the Rankings and we are starting to see a definite Top 10 emerge.

Warhammer is Dead, Long Live Warhammer

For those that haven't seen it, here is the email from GW to North American retailers that Brad (rhellion) Schwandt posted on Twitter Friday:
“Good afternoon,
Games Workshop is launching the Age of Sigmar – a completely new system – on July 11th. You can start promoting the Age of Sigmar in your store today!
What is the Age of Sigmar?
  • The Age of Sigmar is a brand new system that continues the End Times story
  • This system is a great way for new customers to start collecting fantasy miniatures
  • Existing customers will be able to use their current miniature collections and add to them with the Age of Sigmar
 It is a continuation of the story line, but not going back to the old world. 100% of the models available now will continue to be supported. The audience for this launch is not the dwindling number of Fantasy players, but for EVERYONE including the veterans but with the idea that this isn’t “just” 9th edition which will just loose them more players but a whole new mechanic to draw people in.

They are actually doing trade shows and cons this year to drive interest in the game.

This is a continuation of the story of End Times but NOT the old world. If a model is currently for sale by GW it will be usable in some way.

I don’t have confirmation of the horrible “reality bubbles” rumor, but he (HIS GW REP) is going to ask about it.

I’ll be getting significantly more info the week of the 29th, with the idea of doing a build up event the week of the 4th.”

If this is true - and no reason to think it is not then we are looking at a new game rather than incremental move to v8.5.

Looks like GW have decided it is "bite the bullet" time and that current player base is unsustainable.

Disappointing for those of us who liked 8th. Guess we'll have to see what they come up with re AoS.

Interesting next month or so.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Battle of Waterloo Refight

For the past year a large group of New Zealand wargamers have been planning a refight to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle if Waterloo.
This weekend that refight was held, very aptly, at The Wellesley Club in Wellington. When I visited there were 40 gamers commanding their brigades around the table. The battle hadn't reached its climax yet but it appeared that the wily French had eliminated all the British artillery, in preparation for the charge of the Old Guard.
Here's a selection of pics from the event:

They were playing the event on two large tables - one for the main battle and the second for the arrival of Blucher's Prussian forces. While the Brits were taking a hammering in the middle there was hope that "ze Germans" would arrive to save the day.
More photos over the break.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Gaming Malaise

Twice in the past week I've gone to buy a wargaming product....and then stopped myself.

The first was a team for Guildball - the medieval football game. This looks really fun, the background looks cool and the models are excellent. However right before the last click I stopped myself.

The second was the new Zombicide Kickstarter - Black Plague. Again a nice looking game with some interesting models. One click away from committing and.....stop.


I'm not actually sure. Perhaps I'm getting disciplined in my old age. A couple of weeks ago I flicked off my Deadzone terrain because I knew I was never going to paint it. I also sold off a lot of stuff at Hagen's recent Maelstrom event....terrain, models etc. The impetus was cleaning up the garage and seeing how much shite I had there that was largely unused.

But I think it is more than that. The hiatus that Warhammer has in is also having an effect. Certainly the uncertainty has curbed some of my enthusiasm.....perhaps GW has inadvertently cured my magpie tendencies.

Setting for the "Age of Sigmar"

Looking around the net I found this in the comments section on BOLS:

I had the chance to spend about 20 minutes with the upcoming book Age of Sigmar by A. Lanning (a novel, not the game) that deals with the aftermath of the end times. The prologue makes it very clear that Sigmar survives and the whole plot takes place after the end times. Nothing that I have read suggests that there is any time travel involved. It is just a continuation of the story on a much broader scale. I think it is safe to say that the game of the same name follows the story of book and doesn't establish a totally different setting.

In the prologue Sigmar survives and pulls the winds of magics through the gap into the warp. In the process the pure untouched currents of the warp are tainted with the personifications of the winds - the Incarnates. This is the birth of eight new minor gods. But most of the book is not about sigmar or the incarnate gods directly, only three chapters as far as I could see were written from their perspective. The rest of the book is an ordinary fantasy adventure story. The book follows Martellus Mann, a reikguard quartermaster who was slain in the end times, but is reborn in Sigmarshall, the domain of Sigmar. I then skipped some hundred pages forward so I don't know what happened in the aftermath, but in the middle of the book, he has gathered a large party of heroes from many realms and realities in a quest for something called the spirit mill or soul mill or something like this. I know for sure that there are several worlds and that the protagonist can travel from one to the other but I didn't read a chapter where this was described in person and I don't know if this is part of the game world. In the middle of the books there is a huge betrayal, sigmarshall is under siege by the armies of the chaos gods. incarnate fights against incarnate and all are cast out from the warp. Mann starts a search for sigmar in the believe that he was reborn somewhere. The second half of the book is set on a world called Regalia. And here it gets interesting: Regalia is the only area/realm/world that has a map in the book. Regalia looks like the old world or earth and has very familiar regions and city names, etc. But there are some huge alterations: there is no Ulthuan, but a huge landbridge that connects Canada with Scandinavia. There are no elven or dwarven sounding cities or lands but strange sounding names in the Americas and Africa that don't fit any race of the old setting. There is no empire, but lots of different states in Europe and Asia - Nuln, Middenheim, etc are there, but Altdorf is not. There are more things you can deduce from the map if you assume that it represents the setting of the game, which I strongly think it does. Mann finally arrives in the city Heldenheim that is build in the Worlds Edge Mountains just in time to visit the crowning of emperor Karl Franz where he announces his plan to conquer the whole world. Mann thinks that he has found Sigmar and the book jumps to the epilog. Sigmar is chained somewhere and starts to dwindle, but then he smiles and proclaims that his great work to eliminate the chaos once and for all has only started. He vows to conquer the warp.

This would confirm a few things:
  • reset
  • potential skirmish capability

Well....We May Actually Be F@#ked

When you visit the Games Workshop site and click on any Army Book you get.....

This product will be removed from sale on June 26th. The Age of Sigmar is coming!

You get the same on the End Times books.

So it may not be a temporary thing.

Looking forward to the internet rage - cue Dave Witek for instance - when people realise they have dropped $150 on a book that is rendered "obsolete" less than six months later.

Oh, the betrayal.

In all seriousness this is now starting to smell like a major reset rather than "options". Warhammer may be dead.

The Age of Sigmar is coming!

Edit: Brad Schwandt (rhellion) has posted a copy of email to US retailers:

"Games Workshop is launching the Age of Sigmar - a completely new system - Jukly 11th. You can start promoting Age of Sigmar in your store".

I can just see that conversation:

Punter: I play Warhammer

Owner: GW are releasing Age of Sigmar on 11 July

Punter: What's that

Owner: A completely new system

Punter: What are the details

Owner: Don't know


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Town Planning

With the Roman figures painted and based (just need static grass), it's time to switch to the next project. And for me this is getting through the boxes of terrain I have from Tabletop World to paint.

I have been waiting until I had my airbrush setup ready and now with that in place and a couple of pretty empty weekends I'm going to start on the project.

My latest piece arrived yesterday - the Stone Bridge - so hopefully I can create a big of a production line so I can get all the base coating done.

Here's what I have to paint:

I'll keep you updated with WIP pictures.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

GW's Trading Update

So last evening GW posted a trading update covering the Financial Year ending 31 May 2015:

Following the close of its 2014/15 financial year Games Workshop provides the following trading highlights:
We expect the Group's profit for the year to 31 May 2015 to be broadly in line with market expectations.  
Over the year we have seen modest sales growth, at constant currency, in our core trade and mail order channels. We saw a small decline in our own stores due to continued difficult trading in Continental Europe following our restructuring last year. We saw expected declines in some non-core activities that are grouped with core activities in our reporting. The effect of these non-core activities and the continuing effects of unfavourable exchange rates mean that our reported sales are likely to show small declines in retail (c.5%) and trade (c.3%). Mail order growth was c.5%.
We will provide full and detailed information, including the effects of adverse exchange rates, at the time of our results announcement on 28 July 2015.

Let's look at this a bit more.

Over the period the USD strengthened versus the GBP but the GBP strengthened versus the EUR. Looking at last year's annual report, US sales 1.09x European sales so in reality the gain in one should balance the loss in the other. Methinks that they protest too much....or they are really shite at managing FX exposures.

They speak of the reported sales numbers. When again you look at the breakdown of sales last year (42% Retail, 36% Trade, 13% Mail Order, 9% FW/BL) then the sales drop they are foreshadowing equates to about 2.5% (or GBP 3.1 million on last year). Whichever way you cut it this doesn't look a great result.

Can't help thinking that "broadly in line with market expectations" is a nice way of saying expect continued sales and profit decline.

I'm concerned that they are pointing at exchange rates which when you look at the split in the last Annual Report should be broadly neutral.

OMG - It's Worse Than We Thought!

Just when you think things can't get worse....they do!

All this round base nonsense has been a lie.

With the approaching 'Age of Sigmar' the true intentions of GW emerge!

Hex Bases.....and for Kumbaya Elves!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

WargamerNZ Forum

So the WargamerNZ forum (link on the banner) has been going for three and a half months.

Remember it was set up on the premise of seeing whether NZ could support or even needed a community-run national gaming forum - similar to the multistate, multi system WargamerAu.

Initially there was an influx of members and some initial traffic on the sight. However looking at the traffic dates that was mostly in the first month after launch. Traffic has been pretty spasmodic since then.

Generally this confirms the premise that people are happy with the status quo. FOW players stick to the Battefront forums, Warmahordes to the Thrallblack blog, Historical Players to the NZ Wargaming Yahoo Discussion Group, South Island gamers to the Christchurch forum etc.

This is not a lot different from what I thought at the outset. My own preference is for blogs over forums because, well...it's just my preference. I think the noise to signal ratio is reduced on blogs.

I am happy to keep the site up and running - it involves no admin effort, especially with low traffic. Cost is negligible apart from photo hosting capability fee. However once the initial six months is up I'll probably ditch the photo capability (should there be no great use of it in the interim)as it's silly to pay for something that is not being used.

So just a reminder the site is there and is free to use. As noted at the outset it is a community site and should be driven by community needs. At present it seems to lack a audience which suggests it may be a solution for a non-existent problem. Photo hosting is likely to disappear in a couple of months if there is no significant pickup in its use.

FOB NZ Rankings - Warhammer Fantasy Update

Over the past couple of months a number of events have fallen out of the Rankings - Runefang, Horned Rat etc. Over the weekend the latest of these was DILFcon from 2014.

This has shaken up the Top 10 and icons so worth checking out the NEw World Order.

There is a new DILFcon in a couple of weeks which may provide a further result to those now cast in the shadows. Following that Panzershreck will be held, replacing last year's event in the listing.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Warhammer Fantasy at Call to Arms

The Warlords annual convention is being held on the weekend of 15/16 August at St. Pat's College, Kilbirnie, Wellington.

Details of the Warhammer Fantasy completion have been posted and can be found here

The FOB Warhammer Fantasy Event Calendar has also been updated.

Remember that the "Age of Sigmar" has been announced for release on 11 July, so this may just be your last opportunity to play 8th Edition

Disclaimer for those that want to "discuss" Players Pack - Probably best to direct any questions, problems, god forbid accolades to the Umpire and/or the TO.

Bitching on here about it is likely to be as productive as trying to build a ladder out of H20

My Recent Painting Focus

While I wait to see what our brave new Warhammer Fantasy world looks like, I've been playing a bit of Mordheim but also doing some painting.

I started as a Historical Wargamer focussed pretty much entirely on the Ancient/Medieval period. Mordheim got me into GW games in 2001 but I've kept most of my historical figures.

Since I played there has been a change in rules. The Ancient period has fragmented somewhat and so you generally play what your local gaming groups play. Here in Wellington it is DBMM. I used to play DBM (pretty much the universal rules at the time) so this progression is not huge.

However the accompanying army lists have changed and so I find what worked 15 years ago is no longer legal now. This has meant that I've had to add new units (elements) to the mix. Fortunately I had some unpainted figures downstairs so it hasn't required any purchases.

The army I have been working on are the Patrician Romans. These are the Roman forces just before (and around) the fall of the Western Empire as it tried to turn back waves of Goths, Huns, Franks and Vandals. By this time the Emperor had lost power which was held by Warlord generals - hence the term "Patrician". In historical terms we are looking at the period 410-490AD.

My army is made up of Wargames Foundry figures - sculpted by the Perry twins just before they started work on Lord of the Rings. So all metal which is interesting given industry progressions. They are still nice figures.

Some Legionarii (red & gold shields) and Palatina (blue & red shields)

Most of the painting has been of new Roman troops. My previous army was based around Foederati which were essentially barbarian allies. Current thinking has much greate integration of foreign soldiers in "Roman" units.

More Palatina and a Cataphracti/Clibanarii armoured cavalry

I am currently waiting for some mdf bases to arrive so that I can base these units up - typically 4 figures to a 60mm base - as per the Legionarii on the plate.

Later in the month I am looking to play an event at one of the Wellington clubs.


What if.....Round Bases are a Troll?

Of all the things that have got people upset in the current Sitzkrieg, the possibility of round bases is the most controversial. This is because it changes the nature of the game - away from massed ranked battle - in all likelihood and the logistical requirement to re-base existing figures.

But what if it is a troll?

The two major sources of "confirmation" that the WHFB are going to round bases are the studio pictures of "some" models on round bases e.g. Lizards at Warhammer World Open Day, some Skaven war machines etc. And two pictures floating the net of Gutrot Spume and the new Grey Seer where round bases are in the clam pack.

Currently there has been no confirmation that anyone who has actually purchased a model - aside from these two instances - has received a round base in their pack. If you go to your local GW and look at new stock you don't see round bases included.

Also the big removal Saturday did not see the removal of square bases from the shelves.

Now I have no knowledge one way or another....but what if this is all a big troll by the studio? They would have certainly caught some fish!


Friday, June 5, 2015

The Amazing Disappearing WHFB.....Or Is It?

Yesterday Raffazza put on his blog (see my blogroll for link) this little snippet of information. As of June 6th the following will be removed from the shelves of GW Hobby Centres:
  • Island of Blood
  • Warhammer Rulebook
  • All WFB Army Books
  • All WFB End Times Books
  • All WFB Campaign Books/Boxes
  • All magic cards
  • Movement trays
  • Templates
  • Deathknell watch
Subsequent discussions with people that are most intimately affected, indicate that this is indeed the case.

So tomorrow all this content disappears from the shelves.

I've been ruminating on this for the past 24 hours and it obviously throws up a few things.

First up, if you need anything.....grab it now.

Secondly, this would clearly indicate that we have more than an update in store for us.

That they are taking more than just the current starter set and rulebook is interesting. Effectively all source material and gaming aids are being removed. I'm surprised that all Army Books, Campaign Books (think Sigmar's Blood, Triumph & Treachery etc) and especially the End Times Books are being removed. The last of these have had a very short shelf life.

However I think the critical thing here is "removed". They are not being returned to the warehouse as far as I am aware. They are being taken off public display. The big question is whether this is "permanently" or "for now"?

The waters got murkier again.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

In Praise of 8th Edition

The Warhammer World has been in a bit of a funk of late. The uncertainty of what the future holds coupled with the injection of End Times has resulted in a worldwide paralysis. Blogs have stopped, podcasts have gone and in some areas tournaments and events have seen falling numbers - yes, there are exceptions (but let's be serious in cities with populations of multi-millions if you can't attract at least 100 people you are doing something wrong).

Key to this malaise, is what we risk loosing - 8th Edition.

I started playing WHFB in 2006 - towards the end of 6th Ed. I only played a few games before 7th arrived and I've been here ever since. The jump from 6th to 7th was relatively small and so wasn't a great culture shock. The move to 8th from 7th was much greater and the shock waves resonated across the world - though the Ragequit Epicentre was most publically evident in Australia.

The difference between the editions was significant. 7th was the "Carpenter's Edition" where one of the key skills was spatial awareness - the ability to correctly differentiate between 15.9" and 16.1". With fixed charge distances and no premeasurement this ability was paramount. The skill was reinforced by chargers having ASF and there being no stepping up.

With the introduction of 8th the new paradigm didn't suit everyone. The game introduced more random factors which meant that risk management (e.g. Probability analysis but more importantly the need for a risk weighted Plan B) became critical. As noted it didn't suit everyone and some left - in some cases, prematurely I think. Still those that stayed felt the game was both different and more "fun".

One of the biggest problems with 7th was the variety in the relative strength of the books - who remembers Tier Comp? Four books were released in a short period of time that would dominate the game - Vampires, Daemons, Dark Elves and less spectacularly Lizardmen. Most tournaments spent significant focus trying to balance the books - usually to no evident avail.

And then 8th arrived. Interestingly there was eight months between the drop of the new edition and the release of the first Army Book, Orcs & Goblins. Over the years from 2011-14 we had all but three books drop - Skaven, Beastmen and Bretonnians - and most people will tell you that coupled with the rules we have the most external balance in recent (10 year) memory. Yes, problems exist with internal balance - except if you are Dark Elves and probably Daemons - but generally people can take most books and have a competitive game. There is still varying amounts of comp being used - none, Swedish, ETC, SCGT, FoB-Lite etc - but it is FAR less an issue than it was.

For me, 8th is the most balanced and fun GW game that I've played over the 14 years I've been in their hobby. The fact that I still want to play WHFB at least once a week testifies to that.

So there is the sweetness and light, the rainbows and unicorns. What about the darkness? Well there are three areas where I think GW erred (dropped the ball) over its life.

Firstly, after starting so well with regard to rules support it suddenly stopped. From regular FAQs - and timely after new releases - GW suddenly stopped dead. This means a far number of the latter books have no FAQ. The unfathomable thing with this is that typically there were only 2-3 key things which required clarification with each new book e.g. Remember Predatory Fighter for supporting ranks. Yes the world continued to turn but GW could have made it easier.

Secondly, when GW committed to a five year cycle for the edition, it would have been so much easier to complete the Army Book cycle. It would have been great to have the final three books updated to fit with the twelve they released between 2011-14. They didn't and instead we got the End Times

Finally, the End Times. I loved the fact that the story progressed and that we didn't know the fate of characters and places that had existed for 30 years in the fluff. I really enjoyed the "story" in Nagash, Glottkin and Thanquol - though the actual writing accompanying the storytelling often left an awful lot to be desired. While I liked the "screw job" in Khaine - that Malekith was right all along - I found the whole Kumbaya Elf story a stretch too far while the whole of Archaon was pretty chaotic (no pun intended).

The models that accompanied ET were great - and demonstrate GW has daylight between it and its competitors - but the rules were problematic. It was mildly amusing how some of the biggest fans of ET rules when Nagash was released were its biggest critics at the end (I guess shoving a Terrorghiest in TKs didn't make up for HotEK!).

But worst the End Times release scared off 8th's core support. The uncomped game became unplayable and some fluff bunnies hated the thrust of the story progression. And that was before the end - Ka-Boom!

So we now have a situation where we wait and see what GW does from here. Personally I hope we get some sort of situation where the rules - at least - are a form of v8.5.

Because for those there for the five years - WHFB 8th Edition made a great game!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Confirmation - At Last!

So we have the first definitive confirmation of "new" Warhammer....and a date:
What we don't know are the specifics...suspect the floodgates will open now.
And just for Neil - Juillet is July in French.

EDIT: And from the rumour mill, all may not be what it seems:

"Age of Sigmar is not the Starter Set of the 9th Edition. It will be a Board Game like Space Hulk or Execution Force and with this Set, the Releases of the 9th Edition will begin."

So we may still be in a state of hiatus.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Chadaguay - The Background


Currently the archipelago is home to four races – Lizardmen, Vampire Counts, Dark Elves and Skaven. There is potential for other races to be added as/if the map grows. However initial narrative will be driven by the events around these combatants.

Here are the initial backgrounds for the races:

Lizardmen – happily ensconced in the west of the map defending the edge of a largely unexplored (by other races) jungle. The Lizards are dedicated to the long game and see the “politics” of the warm-blooded races as relatively unimportant. They are, however, fending off frequent incursions by the Skaven to the south of them.

Vampire Counts – situated in the northwest of the map towards the mountains. The main part of the archipelago has been their domain for the past four centuries. They have been aware of the Lizardmen jungle empire but have never sought conflict with them, happy to “farm” the warm-bloods. The citadel of the Vampire Counts houses Blood Dragons and they have ascendency at the moment in the myriad of politics afflicting the Undead.

Dark Elves – there are two groups of Dark Elves at play in Chadaguay:

  1. The Colonists – this grouping is situated in the central/south east. These Druchii arrived a century ago, tasked with establishing a colony dedicated to the slave trade. Led by a bitter and twisted (is there any other kind of Dark Elf) second son who sees this as an opportunity to forge his own destiny away from the politics/control of Naggaroth. The colony has thrived but in the last decade the supply of slaves and tribute to the Druchii homeland has dried up.
  2. The Enforcers – sent by the Naggarothi overlords with a note saying “please explain”. This force has landed at the port in the south and once their base is established they will be seeking an explanation from their dark kin. The question here is whether those explanations will be satisfactory or whether a very “uncivil” war will ensue.

Skaven – destroy, destroy, destroy. There is nothing subtle about the verminkind motivation. They are there to overrun cities and shit on everyone’s party. They can’t build cities so their only hope of empire is to occupy.

So the background is set and it is up to each of the protagonists to play their race against that background. The hope is that they will see it as an opportunity to expand their armies and to use units/make ups not usually seen on the table.

The driver with the campaign is very much narrative.