Friday, October 30, 2015

Vermintide Next Weekend - Ratkin List

Next weekend the Wellington and Masterton clubs are hosting the first local KoW2 event. It is five rounds and 1250 points.

The event has attracted 14 players (4 Undead, 2 Dwarfs, 2 Elfs, 1 Basilean, 1 Men, 1 Herd, 1 Twilight Kin, 1 Ogre and 1 Ratkin).

We'll play the rulebook scenarios and so I took that into account went putting together my Ratkin. The list I came up with was as follows:
  • Shock Troops Horde - Fire Oil
  • Blight Horde
  • Brutes Horde - Brew of Haste
  • Hackpaws Troop
  • Warlock - Inspiring Talisman
  • ASB - Warbow of Kaba
  • Daemonspawn - Fly
This list gives me change to try out some magic as well just my previous infantry blocks.

2015 - The Year Everything Changed

Within the hobby I think that 2015 will be looked upon as the year that everything changed.

For the first time we saw a major company blow up an established tabletop game that generated multimillion dollar revenue/sales. And with that action alienate a substantial part of their existing customer base.

Yes, an alternative game was produced as a replacement but let's just say that it wasn't like for like.

Now I understand the business explanations for why things had to change but I'm guessing that GW didn't expect what appears to be a full scale rejection of Age of Sigmar (small pockets of England, their vassal state Scotland excepted). Indeed, if it was not for the schilling of the game on what were Warhammer podcasts I think we would be watching a full scale train wreck.

But that's not the half of it. What I believe that GW didn't expect was the wholesale abandonment of the company. The genie has been well and truly let out of the bottle and long term customers are now casting their world weary eyes to greener pastures.

Games that previously never received more than a cursory look are now seeing major influxes of new players. Kings of War is obvious example but Bolt Action and Infinity are major winners as well.

And the level of ill-will GW has engendered is quite amazing in its escalating intensity.

This must eventually hit the bottom line. I use to buy White Dwarf every week and Warhammer Visions (old WD sub). That is $500 per year that they are no longer seeing. Similarly I used to buy the Horus Heresy novels and audiobooks from Black Library. Every army book was bought digitally as well as a physical copy.

My only purchase now is the occasional pot of Chaos Black paint. No more spraycans, no more flock, no new air brush paints etc. this from a customer who even on a bad year used to give them $3000.

I have fallen out of love with the company, their offering and their vision. It will take an awful lot for me to re-enter that fold.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Easter Eggs - Things I Like About KoW - #2 Leader Point

One of the things I missed when I first read the rulers was the importance of the Leader Point. This is the point directly in the centre front of a unit.

And it is important for two major reasons:
  • It is the point that you draw the unit's Line of Sight from; and
  • It is the point that you measure charge distances from.
Both these rules are different from WHFB where you use the full extent of the unit to measure charge distance or arc of sight from. However I can see some benefits in this methodology. You don't get the very very wide charge distances that some models can travel that you had with WHFB. Run 10 mounted wide in WHFB and you could have some flank models traveling up to 30" in extreme cases. This mechanism reduces this.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Easter Eggs - Little Things I Like About Kings of War- #1 Casualty Removal

I thought I'd start an occasional series of little things I stumble across that I like when I play Kings of War. In most cases these will be little Easter Eggs that were unexpected surprises.

The first of these is the Casualty Removal process (or lack of it). As you know in KoW individual casualties are not removed, instead you keep track of wounds and the unit disappears when its nerve threshold is surpassed. When I read the rules mechanism I thought that that was cute - similar to a lot of mechanisms in historical games - but thought no more of it.

Through the course of my games so far I have seen the true value of it. It is fantastic in a mass battle game. As a Ratkin player I have a lot of models. Under WHFB I spent a lot of my time with my Skaven removing casualties and re-racking at the end of the game. Removal of "removal" dramatically speeds up the game - especially for those with Horde armies (PEGs probably don't notice).

It really is an added attraction. And nice to see an abstraction have such a positive impact on the experience.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Ratkin Enforcer on Fleabag

I decided wanted to try out a mounted character in my Ratkin list. You have the opportunity to mount your Enforcer on a Fleabag. Here is my take on this:

Speed, robotics and razor sharp blades! What can go wrong?


Thursday, October 22, 2015

New Game, New Year.....New event?

Interested in people's thoughts on the following concept.

With the move from WHFB to KoW I'm looking at ways to encourage tournament attendance.

KoW has a faster game time due to its mechanics. That means it is possible to fit four games into a day. This allows events to be organised differently.

I am considering running Runefang in mid January as two one day events over the same weekend. This would allow people to attend one or both days and may make it easier for those that can't commit to a full weekend. The idea is that you buy a ticket to either day or a ticket to both (at a discount).

For example you could buy a ticket to either day for $25 or a ticket to both for $40.

Each day would be a separate 4 round event counting for full ranking points (for those that care about those things). It would also allow people to use different lists or indeed different armies.

Having a full weekend encourages out of town gamers to come for the week while locals have the choice to only play one day if things like family commitments make things difficult.

What do people think?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Game - Twilight Kin vs Ratkin

My third game on Saturday was against Sam's Twilight Kin. Unfortunately I didn't take any photos. Not sure why as this was for me the most interesting game of the day.

The reason for this was that was the first time I had played a scenario other than Kill! And what a different game it makes. It certainly showed the weakness of the one dimensional list I had. Sam's list was very mobile - gargoyles and a Dragon - and I had nothing to engage them if they didn't want to be engaged. Without any ranged ability I was unable to shoot Sam's units off objectives where I couldn't engage them.

We had six objectives and at the end the score was 2-1 to Sam with three contested. If it had gone another two it would likely have been 2-0.

There were a couple of interactions that were interesting. My Slaves charged Sam's cavalry and I was able to do enough wounds to Rout them on a 10. Another Slave unit survived rolling snake eyes but this was no real impediment to Sam as with his shooting he only had to do another wound to ensure they broke. If it had occurred the other way around I would have had to engage them in Melee to break them.

So the upshot was it demonstrated clearly why scenarios are good for the game and why you need a balanced list to succeed at scenarios.

I'm looking forward to adding some capacity into my Ratkin for future games.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

"Uncharted Empires" Release Date

I had heard that the release of the expansion book "Uncharted Empires" was November 15.

Thinking this sounded awfully soon, I asked the question on the Mantic forum and was told by a retailer that this is indeed the expected date of release.

Apparently retailers pre-orders were by 15 October.

Not sure when we can expect to see it locally.

EDIT: Confirmed by Mantic blog post


Game - Ratkin vs. Empire of Dust

Using the same list as before I played Lliam's Empire of Dust. This army had a Horde of archers, two catapults plus a lot of characters giving the "Surge".

My deployment was aimed at stretching him out as much as possible and then stacking one flank to hit the vulnerable part of his line. Again this was the right where a unit of Skelly Warriors and a catapult were on the end.

Here you see Lliam's setup. From the far end it is catapult - skellys - archer horde - catapult. Then we have his more elite troops.

My right flank - with all my heavy hitters. The Shock Troops are next to the Legion of Slaves.

I probed on the left with the Hackpaws hoping to distract him from the rest of my refused flank. They got outside his chariots who then turned and surged into them. Still this used up two turns total which stopped the chariots redeploying to the far side.


My Legion and Brutes hit the Warriors but bounced. Outside Hackpaws hit the flank of the Catapult. The Death Engine followed up behind with the Fiend.

The Bone Giant and Skellies finished off the Legion. I was able to get the Brutes and Death Engine into the Giant killing it but the Hackpaws were wavered two turns in a row and couldn't charge the Casket. Eventually I withdrew them to safety.

In my centre I stupidly had pushed the Shock Troops forward and they disappeared to ranged shooting.

Lliam brought his chariots into the centre to contact my Blight. Over two turns the Blight were able to see them off. Ensnare is a great ability!

At around this time my pics stopped. However the Tomb Guard came in and surged into the flank of the Brutes who survived. This allowed the Death Engine to hit them in the flank and with a Countercharge from the Brutes this was enough to rout them.

In the end the score was 775 - 525 in my favour. A small but hard fought win.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Spiral Bound Rules

Given it is going to be my workhorse, this morning I had my Gamer's Edition KoW Rulebook spiral bound.

This provides a few advantages - easier to flick though, it sits flat and it stays open.

View it as a good investment for $6!


Game - Dwarves vs Ratkin

So my first game on Saturday was a rematch with the Dwarfs. I made a few small changes to the list I used in the first game.

My list was essentially:

  • Tunnel Slave Horde
  • Tunnel Slave Legion - Retribution
  • Spear Warrior Horde
  • Shock Troops Horde - Caterpillar
  • Blight Horde
  • Brute Horde - Haste
  • Vermintide Horde
  • 2x Hackpaws Troop
  • Mutant Rat Fied
  • Death Engine - Bloody Carnage
  • Enforcer - Inspiring
  • 2x ASB

So I've added some speed to the army at the cost of my Artillery piece and a Regiment of Shock Troops.


Rob's list was a gunline with two Hordes of guns, three artillery pieces, some brocks and hordes of Warriors and Regiment of De 6 warriors.

I decided to play a refused flank game and piled all my heavy hitters on the right. The Brutes, Fiend and Engine were backed up with Hackpaws, Vermintide and Spears. In the centre I left the Legion and the Shock Troops while rest of army on the left.

You can see Rob had one Horde and the De 6 guys opposite my stacked flank with one cannon.

As the game started I moved my centre back but at some point I had a brainfart and moved the Legion up where it was decimated by the Dwarf shooting.

Looking along my line on the left. The Blight are out of shot, then Hackpaws, Slaves and Shock Troops.

I went through the Dwarf left losing the Hackpaws and receiving 11 wounds on my Brutes (who then hid). The rest turned to move across the Dwarf lines.

One the left a standoff developed. The Blight with Ensnare are good at anchoring the line.

You can see the Ratkin monsters now behind the Dwarf lines - not great for the Dwarfs.

The Dwarf gun hordes have come forward to close with my lines and to escape the monsters.

I then used my Caterpillar Shock Troops to threaten the Dwarf guns.

The Monsters clean out Artillery and line up to hit the Dwarf guns.

And here we are at the end of Turn 6. I was hoping for a Turn 7 but it wasn't to be.

In the end I had killed 610 points to the 290 I lost. So revenge for the Ratkin!

As you can see I am still running a really restricted list, trying to get my head around rules, tactics before I add complexity. Old dog etc.......


Friday, October 16, 2015

Warlords' "Lords of War" Warhammer 40k Tournament

The Warlords are hosting "Lords of War" on the 21st November.

This is a four round 750 point Warhammer 40k event.

You can grab the Players Pack here

Kapiti Clash of Kings KoW Tournament

Kapiti are running a KoW tournament on November 28/29

You can download the Players Pack from here

It is a six game event for 2000 point armies (including the beta lists).

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Magical Artefact Selection

As part of trying to understand KoW better I took a look at the four Top UK lists I posted in the last post to see what artefacts people were using and - more importantly - work out how and why they were using them.

Running an eye over the lists, I was pleasantly surprised to see the breadth of use there was in regard to artefacts. There are 40 artefacts in the rulebook and 16 of them (40%) were present in just the four lists. Admittedly, these were 2500 point lists and you'd expect more use of artefacts (both because of greater points limit and also because a lot of people were travelling to the event).

Five artefacts were selected multiple times - all of them 25 points plus. When expensive items are receiving multiple interest then it is definitely worth investigation.

Blessing of the Gods (25 points) - this bestows "Elite" onto a unit allowing them to re-roll all "1"s to hit. It was used on a Regiment of Wraiths (flying Undead) and a Horde of Abyssal Riders. Both these units are very mobile and can be used to exploit a weak point in an enemy army. The ability to re-roll "1"s increases their efficiency.

Heart-Seeking Chant (30 points) - +1 "Piercing". Not unexpectedly this went on Hordes of archers. Tailor-made item that requires little explanation. Particularly useful vs. high Defence units/individuals.

Ensorcelled Armour [Hero only] (35 points) - increases "Defence" by one and was put on high cost Hero Monsters where greatest efficiency could be gained. Moving such a model from 5+ to 6+ increases survivability markedly and insulates the hero from all the Heart-Seeking Chanting that's occurring.

Wings of the Honey-Maze [Hero only] (40 points) - gives a Hero the "Fly" ability. In this instance it was used twice on the Cursed Pharoah. Effectively you use it to make a hard-hitting character extremely mobile. By all accounts the Cursed Pharoah is extremely hard-hitting! I've seen it used on a Dwarf Berserker Hero so I expect it does was it says on the tin.

Brew of Keen-Eyes (45 points) - +1 to hit on all ranged attacks. Again used to enhance shooting and so placing it on bigger units/those with high number of ranged attacks makes sense. On an Elite unit it would also greatly enhance the damage output.

So nothing particularly startling or surprising on investigation. And this is one of the things I quite like about Kings of War. With a limit of one artefact per selection there is less focus on trying to build multilayer combos and more on enhancing one characteristic to hone a battlefield role.

Over the next couple of weeks I'll look at some of the other artefacts.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Clash of Swords UK - Top 4 Lists

Here are the Top 4 lists from UK Clash of Kings:

Dan Kings National Champion winning army – Undead

Vampire of Dragon: Ensorcelled Armour
Cursed Pharaoh: Wings of Honeymaze
3 x Lykanis
2 x Revenant King’s on Undead horses
2 x Zombie Troll Horde
1 x Werewolf Horde: Brew of Strength
2 x Zombie Regiment
1 x Wraith Regiment: Chant of Hate
1 x Wrath Regiment: Blessings of the Gods

Alan Thompson – 2nd place list – Twilight Kin & Forces of Nature

Dark Lord with Mount
High Priestess: Bane Chant, Inspiring Talisman
High Priestess: Bane Chant, Myrddin’s Amulet of the Fire-heart
Army Standard Bearer: Crepognon’s Scrying Gem of Zellak
1 x Abyssal Riders Horde: Blessings of the Gods
2 x Gargoyle Troop
1 x Buccaneer Horde with Jar of the 4 Winds
1 x Crossbowmen Horde: Brew of Keen-eyeness
1 x Crossbowmen Horde: Hear-seeking Chant
2 x Twilight Kin Hydra
1 x Forces of Nature Hydra
1 x Salamander Horde
1 x Druid: Lightning Bolt, Scarletmaw’s Fenulian Amulet

Darren Parkes – 3rd placed list – Elves & Ogres

Dragon Kindred Lord: Ensorcelled armour
Army Standard Bearer on Horse
Kindred Archer Horde: Hear-seeking Chant
Forest Shambler Horde: Fire-Oil
3 x Stormwind Cavalry Regiments: Brew of Sharpness
Drakon Riders Horde: Helm of Confidence
4 x Bolt Throwers
Ogre Shooters: Brew of Keen-eyeness

Miguel Angel Garcia – 4th placed list – Undead

Cursed Pharaoh: Wings of Honeymaze
2 x Revenant Kings on Undead Wyrm’s (1 has Ensorcelled armour)
3 x Soul Reaver Cav Regiments (1 has Maccwar’s Potion of the Caterpillar)
2 x Werewolf Hordes
2 x Wraith Regiments

Apparently some controversy because it was known that Buccaneer Horde was misprint but allowed anyway.

Initiated some whinging that "Elite" and "shooting" armies are too good.

KoW Ratkin Unit Review - Warriors

Warriors are the base troops in a Ratkin list.

They can be bought as a Regiment for 90 points (20 models) or as a Horde for 160 points (40 models). In both instances they "unlock" other choices.

Special Rules:

These guys have nothing other than access to the Ratkin Army Rule of "Pack Mentality" which gives a potential +2 boost to Nerve and, in the case of Hordes, Rallying!(1) which contributes to other unit's Pack Mentality boost.

So there are no "Vicious", "Elite", strength bonuses......nada.

However their lack of bonus is made up in their cost.


Speed: 6
Melee: 5
Defence: 4
Attacks: 12 (Regiment) or 25 (Horde)

The Statline shows that the unit has good speed but poor damage output. With a Me of 5 they hit no more often than Tunnel Slaves. Given they are likely to be typically purchased as a Horde then you are likely to be only doing 5, 4, 3 and 1 wound to De 3 to 6 respectively. Given the low expected damage there is far more upside potential for vagaries of luck.

Where they do score over the other base troops is in their De. Most people will scoff at 4+ De but when compared with Tunnel Slaves (De 2) there is a boost when fighting other light troops. This of course evaporates quickly when facing anyone with Strength modifiers.

Nerve: 12/14 (Regiment) or 19/21 (Horde) with potential to boost +2

For me, the Nerve stat means I will always be running them in Horde. These guys will Rout if looked at the wrong way and therefore you need to be ensuring their Nerve is boosted and backed by Inspiring. If you can get them to 23 then they need to be subjected to 11 wounds before they can Rout and likely substantially more if Inspired......And for me this is where the value is.


I can see their value.....but also the susceptibility. Their utility comes in whether or not you are facing an opponent devoid of Crushing Strength or Thunderous Charge. If not then you are probably better to go with Tunnel Slaves who have similar Nerve (no Rallying boost) or Spear warriors with Phalanx.

I can certainly see a role but I tend to view them as a halfway house choice that can probably be better replaced by another choice and the application of tactics.

Certainly I wouldn't be dropping Magic Artifacts into them with any regularity.

In summary, I see them as a Reserve line choice rather than frontline.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

"Kings of War for Dummies" Day

This Saturday I'm having a newbs' KoW day at my place.

Six of us are getting together to push 2000 point armies at one another to try and learn the rules. There will be a good mix of armies:
  • Ratkin
  • Empire of Dust
  • Twilight Kin
  • Dwarves
  • Undead
And whatever Neil feels like bringing.

By my reckoning we should be able to get through at least three games each on the day (yeah I may be optimistic). But with three tables up we should be able to rotate through pairings really quickly with limited downtime for those who want to pack in as many as possible.

I'll be looking to try out various units - hoping to get the Hackpaws finished - to get a sense of what different things do.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Hobby Update

I had a very productive hobby weekend.

All my Kings of War trays are now painted and magnetised. I intend purchasing stocks of regiment and troop trays to have spares for various other armies. The basing material I got has made it a very cost efficient exercise to build extra trays to slot my armies into as needed.

I also pulled out various packets of 40mm square bases I had left over from my Skaven army. I intend to use them for my Ratkin as the bigger 40mm is easier to handle than multiple 20mm singles. There were also some 100mm x 50mm bases so they will be good for my Hackpaws.

Speaking of which, on Saturday I sat down and used my airbrush to lay down the base colours on the seven Hackpaws I have to do. I was really happy with the results and should have them finished and based for this weekend.

On Saturday six of us are looking to have a KoW day at my place. This will give us an opportunity to get some games in with the new ruleset.

Yesterday I went to the Kapiti B&B. Unfortunately there was nothing for me this year but I had the opportunity to talk to some of the Kapiti guys and hear about their experiences with KoW.

FOB Rankings - Fantasy and FoW Updated

Both the Fantasy and FoW rankings have been updated for recent events. The Guardsman Trophy and Warbanner II have been entered for Fantasy while Rallypoint is in for Flames.

As we approach the end of the month the final Masters fields are coalescing. Click the Masters Mode and you'll have a good idea of current machinations.

If any TOs are sitting on results or have events prior to the end of the month please let me have the results asap so that rankings can be finalised and Isaac Henderson (Masters 2015 TO) can send out invites and confirm fields.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Kings of War Rules in Stock

Just a heads up for anybody planning the shift to Kings of War that local Mantic stockist Mighty Ape have just received new shipments of the rules - both versions.

I ordered a Gamers Edition last evening and have received notification that it is en route.

Given there is no Antipodean tax, it is nice to be able to support a local distributor - especially one with great customer service.

You can check out all their KoW wares at

Kapiti Wargaming Club Swap Meet

This Sunday - October 11 - the Kapiti Wargamers are having their annual swap meet.

It is at the Kapiti Community Centre in Ngahina Street, Paraparaumu, starting at 10.00am.

It's a good opportunity to pick up some bargains and fill holes in the ranks of your armies.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Conn Iggulden's War of the Roses Books

I have just finished reading the third of Conn Iggulden's War of the Roses saga. The books so far are "Stormbird", "Trinity" and "Bloodline" give a really good account of the battle between the Houses of Lancaster and York in late 15th Century England.

In the past I had read a lot of historical accounts - mainly focussed on the battles - but these "novels" give a very good account of the politics and motivations behind the key players.

Strangely, I've never been a big proponent of either of the Houses and these books have made it clear why. England basically bumbled into a civil war against the backdrop of a weak - read mentally incapacitated - king. The motivations of the key players do not seem particularly venal, rather they all were motivated by what they saw as the best course (with the possible exception of Lord Salisbury, the patriarch of the Neville clan).

Salisbury saw it as an opportunity to progress a long held grudge against the Percy family of Northumbria. What is staggering is how interrelated all these families were - one of the Percy wives was a Salisbury (Neville) daughter.

The books switch viewpoints throughout and you see the conflict through the eyes of each of the main players. In the end the feeling is one of tragedy and it is no wonder Shakespeare used it as backdrop to many of his great plays.

The battles are well handled - especially Towton (the biggest battle ever on UK soil) - and give a feel of the tactics of the time.

If you've read any of Iggulden's other series (Mongol Conquests, Republican Rome) then you should love this set. The series is still incomplete we still have to experience both Barnet (Richard "Kingmaker" Neville, Earl of Warwick's death) and Bosworth Field (the death of Richard III). I'm keen to see how he handles these, in particular the last one as there has been a major revisionism around Richard recently and Iggulden has portrayed him in a sympathetic light to date.

Well worth the read (or listen).

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Review - Ironheart Artisans KoW Token Set

I love my gaming aids and so when I switched to KoW I knew that I needed to get the appropriate tokens to "enhance" my gaming enjoyment.

From my first game it was clear that you need clear wound counters - we used dice and as there are no spaces on trays (because you don't remove casualties) I was constantly picking up "wound" dice.

Using a horde army I also am likely to need a full range of numbers to reflect the larger unit size.

My first port of call was Mantic but there were no tokens in stock. I didn't particularly like the set available with the Kickstarter although it has a great price point.

In my search I found a set produced by Ironheart Artisans. These are made from 2mm acrylic plastic and are generally two coloured. This set cost USD50.00 so not cheap but I thought I'm only ever going to need one so I'd make the investment. You can get a set made from mdf which is cheaper.

Here you can see what you get.

  • Wounds 1-10 x3
  • Wounds 11-20 x2
  • Wounds 21-25 x1
  • Wavered Markers x10
  • Disordered Markers x10
  • Eight numbered objective markers

To give you an idea of size the objective markers are similar in size to NZ $2 coin (a bit bigger than Oz $1 coin) and bigger than a US quarter.

The service turnaround from Ironheart was very good. The delivery took a week by tracked USPS post.

And as an added bonus when I opened my box they had included a LoS arc free.

Certainly recommend the company both for its product and its service.

You can access them on


FOB Blog Housekeeping

With change in the Fantasy Battles gaming scene and with the change in focus to this blog, I took the opportunity to tidy up some content.

Firstly, the FOB - Lite Comp has been taken down. Fantasy gaming is deviating away from the 8th ruleset and I am unlikely to run an 8th Ed event again. I believe that the system has been a good servant to the local community - allowing people to bring their toys but knocking the most egregious lists. I have left the four page Warhammer v8.1 game sheet as I believe for those who do still want to play 8th it addresses much of the outstanding rules queries.

The Calendar has also been changed to allow different types of events to be added - so Warhammer, KoW, 9th Age and Age of Sigmar. All you have to do is let me knock the details as per the Calendar and I am happy to publicise.

The tournament year ends 31 October. From 1 November rankings for Kings of War will be posted. This is in addition to Warhammer 8th rankings. I intend to continue these on the assumption that there is ongoing demand. If there isn't then I will revisit their continuation. I do not intend to post rankings for 9th Age or AoS until I see that there is sufficient critical mass. FOW and 40k will continue as normal.

The 2016 Fantasy Masters invites will be based on the new Kings of War rankings and that will be he gaming system used for the event. It is not my intention to run Warhammer Fantasy Masters in 2016 but I will revisit that if there is sufficient critical mass in the 8th gaming scene throughout 2016. That means that there would need to be 12+ ranking events (as a guide).

Hope that clarifies some of the changes made and upcoming changes.

New Unit for my Ratkin - Hackpaws

One thing the Ratkin list has that wasn't in my Skaven was a Fast Cavalry unit. Now. Can see that such a unit would be very useful in a predominantly infantry horde list so decided to build a couple.

Unfortunately Mantic don't really have a suitable unit off the shelf. I suspect that the Fleabag Cavalry in the Gobbo list could be converted but until I saw the unit in the "flesh" I wouldn't know how much work it would entail.

Thankfully Forgeworld have a ready made proxy that can be used straight out of the box. The Skaven Wolf Rats.

I've used these before - as Sabretusks in my Ogre army - so know that they will fit straight in.

Like all FW non monsters it comes in a Clampack, all nicely sealed. There are however these strange oval bases included.

And here are the little blighters. Nicely detailed resin models totally in keeping with the scrawny, vicious aesthetic of the Ratkin. They are a multipart model and as you see from the feet you'll likely need to build up your base (far safer than trying to cut around toes).

So I have 10 Hackpaws. This is enough to have 2x Troops or one Regiment. I'll get them painted over the next week.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Runefang Kings of War Tournament - January 2016

Pleased to announce the first Fields of Blood event of 2016.

Runefang Kings of War Tournament will be held on the weekend of 16/17 January at Cashmere Ave School, Khandallah Wellington.

A Players Pack will be issued in the next month but at a headline level it will be six rounds with 2000 point armies - KoW rulebook and "Uncharted Empires" (or beta lists if not released prior to 31 December 2015)

More details to follow.

Magnetic Basing Material - NZ Supplier

In the past I have used Gale Force Nine for the rubberised steel sheet I use to line movement trays. However all local suppliers seem to be out and the Battlefront webstore has none in stock.

So I went looking for another source and had Magnets NZ recommended to me.

After making email enquiry on Friday I was sent a catalogue and found what I was looking for. I needed self adhesive magnetic sheet and non-magnetic rubberised receptor.

The two codes are:

SHTADH85 (Self Adhesive Magnetic Sheet)
SHTMAGRECEPTIVE (Non Magnetic Sheet)

You can buy them by the metre, the first costing $27.50 + GST and the second, $24.50 + GST. On top of this you need to pay freight. Be aware this is bloody heavy. I bought four metres of each (myself and three locals) and I reckon the tube weighted at least 20kgs. The freight charge was a very reasonable $20.

The sheets are 0.62m wide so a metre length will likely do 2-3 armies. Pricing is great - it worked out at $65 each for a metre each of magnetic/receptor.

Fast service too. Ordered Friday afternoon, here Monday morning.

Monday, October 5, 2015

KoW - A Rat's Tail

I really enjoyed playing with my Ratkin on the weekend. The really felt like a relentless Horde.

They actually played a lot like Skaven were portrayed in the End Times books - particularly Thanquol. Wave after wave of rats dashing themselves against the enemy. Over the past few years I have played with Slave heavy WHFB list but these units have been used far more as a defensive "blocking" force rather than as an offensive tool. This is because they then bought the necessary time for the Skaven "toys" to work.

The list I used on Saturday was different. As per my previous post it was:
  • Tunnel Slaves - 1x Horde, 1x Legion
  • Spear Warriors - 1x Horde
  • Shock Troops - 1x Horde, 1x Regiment
  • Blight - 1x Horde
  • Vermintide - 1x Horde
  • Brute - 1x Horde
  • Artillery - 1
  • Enforcer - 1
  • Army Standard Bearer - 2
The key to the list was making the most of the Ratkin special rules - Rallying! and Pack Mentality.

"Friendly non-allied units within 6" have +n to their Waver and Rout Nerve values. This is cumulative, with a maximum total of +2 if multiple units with Rallying! are in range."

When you build your tactics around a special rule it pays to know how it works! I wasn't sure so only added a max of +1 to Nerve and only to the Hordes od SW, ST and Blight. After the game I checked on the Mantic Forum and clarified the rule.

Aside: Isn't it nice to be able to get feedback on rules from someone "official". I asked a question and within two hours I had a reply from Mantic's "Rule Committee". I'm still waiting for GW to rule on Predatory Fighter for Supporting Attacks.

So given the game would I make changes to my list? I'm not sure is the answer. I am considering dropping the Shock Troop Regiment to add in some Hackpaws (Cavalry). This would give me a fast flanking force. I'm also not sure on the Artillery. Artillery is very hit or miss. Rat artillery hits on 5+. I get the feeling you either take a lot or none. The fact that enhancements to Nerve move away from it is another consideration.

Obviously I am basking a bit in the warm glow of a new game but I can only say my first experiences with both Kings of War and Ratkin were very positive.

2016 ETC Team New Zealand Captain - Applications Open

The following is an announcement from Chris Willcox (2015 New Zealand ETC Captain):

The 2016 ETC will be held in Athens Greece on 5th to 7th August or 12 to 14 (most likely the 5/7)
Playing 9th Age

The first stage to putting together a team is selection of a Captain. This is undertaken by last years team who review applications and make their selection

The new Captain then runs the team selection process ie convene a selection panel and seek nominations from interested players

So to start can those interested in the 2016 captaincy please email me at
The deadline for applications being 7pm NZT on the 14 October

I do not intend to apply for the Captains role.

Chris Willcox (2015 Team NZ Captain)

A big thanks to Chris for all his work this and last year with the team. You did us proud!

New Zealand Teams Championship 2016

The NZ Teams Championship will again be held in 2016.

The Khandallah Town Hall in Wellington (venue for 2014 & 2015) will again host the event on 18th and 19th June 2016.

The slightly later date is to accommodate the change to Kings of War as game system. The New Zealand community seems to be increasingly embracing Kings of War as the game of choice and the lead in time will allow more people switching, the opportunity to find their feet.

Again the event will be for teams of four gamers playing as a team. It will be limited to 16 teams (constraints of venue).

More details will emerge over the coming months and a Players Pack will be available early November. Tickets will be available from 1 December on a first come, first served basis.

Keep an eye here for further details

Sunday, October 4, 2015

KoW - First Battle = Achievement Unlocked

I managed to get my first game of Kings of War down at the Warlords yesterday.

Rob and I played 2000 points a side Dwarfs versus my Ratkin. I think this was Rob's third or fourth game so it was good to have someone who had played to talk me through the rules.

My list was the Ratkin I posted on the blog the other day. Here's a series of pics to give you an idea of how it looked.

This was my battleline coming forward. Unsure of what I was doing I focussed on full court press.

The Legion of Tunnel Slaves saw off two units of Berzerkers. Unfortunately the Mutant Rat-Fiend died to a "12" nerve test. Early lesson on keeping your army within Inspiring range.

The Badgers in the bottom saw off my Death Engine - when I forgot I had bought upgrade of CS(2) and Vicious - then took out my depleted Shock Troop Horde. I finally got them last turn with an Artillery shot.

In the end the game was a small win to Rob.

I had great fun with the game. It was always going to be an easy sell as I went into it wanting a positive experience and got it. I came away buzzing with the tactical potential - this may just be newbie afterglow - but as an Ancients player it really felt the game I was looking for.

Keen to get more under my belt as I learn the game.


Friday, October 2, 2015

KoW - In The Deep End

So tomorrow is my first game of Kings of War and I needed to come up with a 2000 point list. I wanted to use the Ratkin - mainly cos they are small, cuddly have silky coats and the best whiskers.

Here's what I have come up with:
  • Enforcer
  • Swarm-Crier
  • Swarm-Crier
  • Tunnel Slaves [Legion]
  • Tunnel Slaves [Horde]
  • Spear Warriors [Horde]
  • Shock Troops [Horde]
  • Shock Troops [Regiment]
  • The Blight [Horde]
  • Brutes [Horde]
  • Vermintide [Horde]
  • Artillery [1]
  • Mutant Rat-Fiend [1]
  • Death Engine [1] - Bloody Carnage
You will see that I have no Magic and only onr Ranged Attack. This is by design as I want to concentrate on learning the game piece by piece. This setup allows me to concentrate on Movement, Combat and Nerve before adding in the extra complexity of Magic and Shooting.

I'm told that 14 units is about normal for 2000 points. My model count is 258.

ETC Votes for Ninth Age for 2016

The ETC Captains have spoken. Next year's event will be run using the Ninth Age rules.

The vote which finished this morning effectively saw Ninth Age receive 24 first votes to KoW 10 (after preferences). Age of Sigmar picked up two votes and 8th Edition one.

Continental Europe largely voted en masse for the new Ninth Age. Kings of War gathered support from the following counties - Australia, Greece, Latvia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Singapore, USA and Wales. The two Age of Sigmar votes came from England and their Scottish subjects.

What is interesting is that largely the split was along language lines with no predominantly English-speaking nations favouring Ninth Age. That will be an interesting dynamic going forward, methinks.

The New Zealand vote was split between Ninth Age and Kings of War though I suspect if taken today might more firmly favour one over the other.

This result comes close on the heels of the US GT circuit (all seven regions) opting for KoW next year. They have also chosen it for the US Masters that leads on from this.

While I know GW don't pretend that Age of Sigmar is a tournament game, you've got to think that a tournament presence would at least be an attractive proposition. As it stands this seems to be limited to the UK and some parts of Australia. This may or may not impact sales for GW.

What I would say is once the genie is out of the bottle it is very hard to put it back in.

Ratkin Ready To Roll

Last night I set up my Ratkin for a game this weekend versus Dwarfs. I finished and varnished the trays and then went about filling them with my Ratkin models.

I'm "guessing" the Ratkin are all about numbers and so for this weekend have concentrated on seeing what blocks do. With WHFB at 2400 points I'd typically have around 200 models. My 2000 point KoW army is nearer 300 so a real horde.

Here you get an idea of the size that a Ratkin horde brings.

Here is a unit of Warriors with a Horde of Shock Troops behind.

I'm also running a Horde of The Blight.

The unit in front is a Legion of Slaves - it is one big footprint.

I really like the aesthetic of large blocks and with the Ratkin they do really look like an army.

I'll make sure I get some pictures of the game for upcoming blog posts.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Kings of War Ratkin List

For those of you interested I have taken the KoW Beta Ratkin list and turned it into a one page summary that you can slip into your rulebook.

You can get it here

If you set your printer to scale all columns onto a page it will give you a printout onto A4.

This should get you through until Mantic release "Uncharted Empires".

It is based on the latest beta before process was closed off.

Gives Ratkin players and their opponents all the necessary info.