Monday, November 30, 2015

Mantic FAQ - Terrain Maps

Daedle who is on the KoW Rules Committee just posted on Mantic Forum that the terrain maps in the recent FAQ were sparser than intended.

Here are the correct images:

The FAQ will be updated in due course to include these correct guidelines.


Easter Eggs - Things I Like About KoW - #6 Rigid Points

This is something I love.......and I hate (in a good way).

The units all have a rigid points value which makes flexibility and bespoke tailoring that much harder. In WHFB if you hit up against a points shortage - as long as you paid Core Tax - then you could "fiddle". Drop a model her or model there and you could shoehorn things in.

But not Kings of War!

Units have a high hurdle cost....typically 45 points for an ASB or 70+ points for a Troop unit. That means that your only currency is your Magic Artefact allowance or to make dramatic composition changes.

Over the weekend I have wanted to make a change to my list but I am 10 points short. I managed to find five of them by making a significant change but no matter what I do, I can't liberate them without making wholesale changes.

Boo hoo, I hear you cry!

It is soooo frustrating but it is also great. It encourages list changes rather than honing. In the end that is better for both your own enjoyment and that of your regular opponents.

I contrast this with my last two years of 8th Ed WHFB where I was honing and refining essentially the same list. Once the ETC was over I didn't play it again.

So viva the lack of infinite flexibility

Battle Report - Ratkin v. Empire of Dust in Kill

Late Saturday afternoon Lliam came in for a game and we rolled up "Kill". Again we chose to use the Chess Clock and again gave 50 minutes for the game.
This time didn't include deployment and I think in future I would look at an hour including deployment for a 2000 point game. I didn't snap any pics but Lliam did so here are a few highlights.
Post deployment but prior to the first turn - we are both pretty heavy on the same flank. I made a critical mistake deploying my Shock Troops behind the Blight but was able to correct later.
Lliam disposed of my right flank and his heavy hitters head into middle. My mistake is highlighted here as Lliam parks a pharaoh in front of the Blight restricting my movement and trapping the Shock Troops behind.
On the hill the battle starts where we swap units.
Here you can see the value of the pharaoh. I was lucky that Lliam replaced him with the Bone Giant. This meant both units had LoS for a charge.
Moving into the end game - my Blight have got to one Skelly horde, while my Daemonspawn takes the easy points by charging the catapult (out of shot to the left). The Shock Troops have turned and charged the Worms who removed a Slave unit.

Here you can see the Daemonspawn and my Slaves are threatening the Archer horde.
The Shock Troops do enough casualties to rout the worms. Lucky in that I needed a re-rollable "8".
And here we finish.
When we totalled up the points I was about 40-50 in front, so very close. Lliam had timed out during Turn 4 but will be helped when he has had more practice and gets a tray for his chariot horde.

Weekend Update

Running into the start of Summer here in New Zealand there are a lot of competing priorities for time. Thankfully I don't let any of them get in the way of hobby.

I managed a couple of games on Saturday. The first very early - Battle Report posted - and the second, late afternoon. It gave the opportunity to start timed games and I'm very much of the opinion that it adds immeasurably to the game.

I also continued with my painting of the Tabletop World terrain and have finished two more pieces ready for basing.

Looking at next weekend to start basing the completed pieces. This means painting walls, trees, hedges etc over the next few evenings to have a store of decorative pieces.

Finally, yesterday afternoon I headed up to Kapiti and called in on the KoW they were running. There were 16 people along. I understand that Jayden Howell won it with Basileans, Wil Hoverd was 2nd with Kingdoms of Men and Peter Williamson third with PEGs.


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Battle Report - Ratkin v. Undead

So yesterday morning Ryan came around for an early game of Kings. We were using 2000 point armies and rolled up the "Dominate" scenario. Having received my chess clock earlier this week we decided to have our first timed game - 50 minutes each after deployment.

My list was the new variant I had worked up - and used midweek - as follows:

  • 5x Tunnel Slaves Regiment
  • Shock Troop Horde - with Caterpillar
  • Blight Horde
  • Brute Horde with Brew Haste
  • 2x Hackpaw Troops
  • 2x Weapons Teams with Storm of Lead
  • Mutant Rat Fiend
  • ASB
  • Warlock with Inspiring Talisman
  • Daemonspawn with Fly


So an increase in units over my old list with a lot more chaff.

Here is deployment with the centre point clearly marked. I weighted my deployment very heavily to my left flank looking to overwhelm the undead there before striking into the centre.

Ryan had a big horde of ghouls, horde of Skelly archers, two regiments of wraiths, revenant horde of infantry and cavalry, werewolf horde plus flying pharaoh, mounted killy vampire and a liche lord.

My right was looking a little light with the weapons teams, the Hackpaws and the warlock.

Turn 1 and Ryan sends the vampire and the werewolves forward to take out my right.

I use the Hackpaws as blockers and then concentrate fire onto the werewolves.

In the centre I move tentatively forward.


Over on the left the Slaves moved forward to engage the enemy.

In came the Werewolves and the Vampire, the Werewolves routing the Hackpaws. The second unit was more lucky in that it was only Wavered.

The centre shows the Wall of Crap (tm) facing the undead, with the Brutes turning to reinforce the right.


Over on the left the Weaiths and Slaves slug it out. The charge on the Wraiths was the only "yellow-bellied" roll I made all day. Slaves require a roll of 2+ to charge. I made one out of eight versus Ryan.

On the hill you can see the Fiend. He is obscuring the Daemonspawn. The two of them are threatening the Pharaoh who quickly gets out of Dodge.

The Vampire has routed the second Hackpaws unit but the Werewolves are about to meet their demise in a storm of lead.

Here you can see the Brutes who have lined up a charge on the Vampire, revving their engines.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Plastic Injection Molding

While check out a couple of sites last night I came across this video on plastic injection molding.

I thought it gave a really good and clear explanation of a process that we all rely on in the hobby.

If you've ever wondered how your figures are made it is well worth a watch.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Leap Chess Clock

Kings of War allows for timed games especially in its most competitive form. To facilitate this you need a chess clock - either a smartphone app or a dedicated clock.

Worried about battery drain and also struggling with the concept of multitasking on the same device, I decided to grab the physical chess clock. Jumping on eBay I quickly found a multitude of sellers out of China, offering what appeared to be the same model.

Branded "Leap", it is a nice compact model in a dark brown-black plastic. The instructions are easy to follow and you can either count up or count down (with an alarm when it times out). It requires one A size battery.

Very economical too. It cost me NZD$25 (USD$16) including post from China.


New "Mutant" Paint Pots From GW

I wandered into GW today to pick up a couple of pots of paint - Dryad Bark because Tabletop World love their wood and Drakenhof Nightshade to wash my stonework.

When I picked up the wash I thought I had picked up a mutant. Apparently GW have decided to double the volume of their Shade pots.

I was told that the new greater capacity pot was a response to customer demand. It seems people were complaining about how fast they went through their washes.

As a style icon, the new pot is not great. Lots of weight concentrated at the top - I expect we'll see more frequent spills. Still collecting paint pots is part of the hobby, yeah?

The pot won't fit in my GW provided Citadel Paint Rack.....grrrr.

I wonder how long before other "types" go this way. 

Survey Reminder - Army Popularity in Kings of War

Just a reminder that Fields of Blood is doing a completely unscientific survey of readers to look at what they are playing and what armies excite them going forward.

I've had a lot of responses so far but I'm still looking for more.

So for those playing KoW (and haven't already done so) can you please answer the following questions - posting your answers in the comments section:

  1. What army are you currently using?
  2. What army have you used the most in KoW?
  3. What will be your next army?
  4. What army would you like to build?
  5. Which army would you never play/build?
I'm going to let this go another fortnight them publish results.

Ratkin - Reacting to the Meta

Here in New Zealand as in the rest of the world, the current meta appears to be focused on placing 1-2 Hordes of Archers with enhancements - you choose....+1 to hit, +1 Piercing or +12" range. This is usually backed by a Bane Chanting Mage and then flyers to provide punch.

Part of the reason for this is that there are a lot of new people to the game and let's say that this setup is very forgiving. The build lets people do something in all phases of the game and while opponents are also learning their armies rewards any hesitancy in enemy play.

In my Ratkin up until now I have been using a lot of Hordes....or in the case of Tunnel Slaves, even a Legion. I've learnt the basic mechanisms and now the time has arrived to start applying tactics. Because the meta is currently so heavily weighted to the shooting horde plus Flyer punch, I've made some changes to my list. Lightning Bolts and piercing breath weapons have been added to keep flyers honest and the Legion of slaves has been dropped.

Instead of the Legion I now have five Regiments of Slaves. These cost only 60 points each and have two key functions. First, they increase the total number of deployment first six represent a grand total of 345 points. This gives me a chance to see where the enemy deploys before I make any significant "tells". Second, they are cheap and fast but still have to be dealt with.

Rallying means that the Nerve is commonly 16 so if I push them aggressively forward then the still have to be dealt with. Yes, they have low Defence but you still need to be doing 10+ wounds to have any certainty that you'll pop them - more if inspired. These guys don't need to do damage they just need to get in the way, be it by absorbing fire, blocking paths or setting up a counter.

So my approach is starting to evoke as I approach my 20th game. Loving the journey.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


So last night my copy of "Uncharted Empires" dropped and I spent the evening devouring the fluff.

Of course the section of most interest to me (and no doubt the majority of the book's readers) was the section on the Ratkin.

Here we were treated to the Ratkin "Creation Story" where the experiments of an evil dwarf (is there really any other kind) saw them emerge from the Petrie dish and into a live of slavery and servitude.

As is the case in such stories, the downtrodden rise up in a glorious revolution and cast of the yoke of the oppressors, building for themselves a bright and bountiful future.


Really the only mystifying part of the whole story was that Mantic had classified them as "Evil". I had hoped that all the typos would have been picked up in the proofreading.

Still a warm and fuzzy furry story for such a Noble and Valiant race.


Monday, November 23, 2015

Kapiti Clash of Kings Lists

This weekend the Kapiti Clash of Kings event is being held.

This is six rounds 2000 points.

You can check out the lists here

Good luck to all those playing.

Night Stalkers - Radical New Design

Yesterday was a day of domestics in the Dunn household, so while I went about some of the jobs I had to do I listened to a couple of Kings of War podcasts.

Both "Four Foot Snake" and "Countercharge" focused on the upcoming release of "Uncharted Empires". Attracting a lot of discussion was one of the new races the Night Stalkers. This race has no direct - or even near - equivalent in the Warhammer world.

Matt Gilbert was on both podcasts. He went through the design philosophy of the army and how that led to the resulting army list. In effect, the Night Stalkers are a bunch of disembodied souls that are trying to rejoin the mortal world. This had led to the creation of units and rules that capture the stuff of nightmares.

The first thing is the largely army wide trait of Stealthy. The -1 to hit from missile troops starts to play with the current meta that promotes large hordes of archers and the like. This stacks with the -1 for Individuals making Night Stalker characters a real nightmare (pun intended) to remove with missile troops.

The army also has no Inspiring. Instead, it uses the Inspiring present in the opponent's army. This creates all sorts of opportunities to play with your opponent's mind. Do they push their Inspiring units forwards to benefit from the trait or hold them back to deprive the Stalkers of Nerve re-rolls.

One of the units in the list is called Doppelgängers. This unit assumes the characteristics of its melee opponents when it fights. So they get Attacks, Melee and benefits. Again this is interesting and novel. Do you throw your elite high impact units in to try and clear them in a single round? Knowing if you fail you'll get the exact same back. Or do you throw shite units in to effectively neutralise the points cost? Great stuff.

I think this sounds a real fun and different army to play with and against. If has some echoes of the Storm of Chaos Clan Eshin list but in reality it is a pretty radical new entrant in massed battle fantasy games.

No doubt it will surprise opponents (again pun intended) the first few times they play it. I expect to see the inevitable calls of "broken" in the first few weeks of release. As is usually the case, extended exposure will result in defensive tactics being developed.

Good on Matt and Mantic for bringing a new challenge to the table.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Kraken Wargames - Gamemat Kickstarter

I keep an eye on Kickstarters and one that has some appeal is the current one for Kraken Mats.

This mats are the photo quality mouse mat cloths made popular by Frontline Gaming and

The Kickstater has 8 days to go and this video gives you an idea of the product:

The killer on all these products for people in this part of the world is shipping. I contacted the creator Tobias and he indicated 100 Euros per 6x4 mat. That makes a purchase pretty prohibitive.

So I was pleasantly surprised when he contacted me yesterday and said he had done some investigation and could ship two mats for 50 Euros. That makes the cost around NZD150 - which is very competitive.

If it appeals then I suggest getting in before it closes. It looks like all themes will be unlocked by the end. I'm intrigued to see what the cobblestone looks like. A word of caution though - NZ buyers need to limit purchase to two mats per package so as not to run foul of Customs charges.

So great customer service from the creators which gives me a great deal of confidence that they will deliver.

Plenty Still To Do!

Last night I rounded up all the Tabletop World pieces that I still need to paint. This mean opening three unopened boxes and trying to find the others pieces I knew I had - they were in a box on top of the laundry cupboards.

I'm now pretty sure I have them all corralled and did a quick count - seven unpainted buildings (yikes!!).

That's five on them! The other two have made it to the spray booth and been primed.

So next up it is OOP Blacksmith's Forge. If anyone can suggest some suitable figures for a forge please let me know.


Terrain - Tabletop World's OOP Merchant's House

Bitten by the terrain bug, I've continued painting each evening to get through the backlog of pieces I have unpainted.

The next piece to do was the now OOP Merchant's House from Tabletop World. I bought this at least three years ago and it has been sitting down in the garage. I know it's that long as the resin was moving from whitish to a dark yellow.


Now waiting for some basing supplies to arrive so that I can start basing the recently painted material.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Fantasy Event Calendar - New Feature

Just added a new feature to the Event Calendar.

Now has a link to the Players Pack if I've been provided with it. Makes finding info much easier.

Friday, November 20, 2015

New Banner Item - Event Registrations

You might have noticed a change on the FOB banner.

There is now a tab for "Event Registrations". Clicking on this banner will let you see who has signed up for upcoming Fields of Blood Kings of War events.

This gives you the opportunity to cajole your mates and get them along for some tournament/campaign weekend fun.

Uncharted Empires Due Next Week

Starting to get excited now. "Uncharted Empires" is out next week with the digital version due to drop on Monday.

And this is one of the main reasons why I decided to switch away from WHFB 8th Edition and the Ninth Age project - the release of new material, be it rules and/or fluff.

The opportunity for a game to advance and grow is very important IMO to long term attractiveness to existing and new participants.

I'm in for the digital version and I've also got the hard copy on order.....important to support those companies that appear committed to growing the game.


Kings of War FAQ Updated

Mantic have released an updated FAQ for Kings of War.

You can get a copy from their site or download a copy here

The new FAQ clears up some questions around charges and also provides some guidance on the amount and placement of terrain.

Great to have a company responsive to its customers. Thanks to the Rules Committee for all their efforts.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Army Popularity In Kings of War by FOB Readers

I thought that I would do a totally unscientific survey of FOB readers.

Interested in army popularity amongst people out there. So for those playing KoW can you please answer the following questions - posting your answers in the comments section:

  1. What army are you currently using?
  2. What army have you used the most in KoW?
  3. What will be your next army?
  4. What army would you like to build?
  5. Which army would you never play/build?
So my answers to start us off

  1. Ratkin
  2. Ratkin
  3. Abyssal Dwarves
  4. The Herd
  5. Dwarves
I'll let it go for a few weeks and then post the results.

The Fields of Blood Blogroll

Given that this blog is redefining itself as primarily focussed on Kings of War, I have adjusted my blogroll ("Other Blogs I Enjoy") to reflect that.

This means that a number of blogs that were focussed on GW games have been abandoned rationalised and replaced with a selection of Kings of War sites that I have been reading. If you have a site that is primarily KoW then please let me know and I'll add you to the blogroll.

Terrain - Stone Bridge from Tabletop World

Probably the most enjoyable part of the "hobby" for me is making terrain. I love constructing and painting pieces for the tabletop and believe that there is nothing better than seeing two well painted armies fighting out over equally well painted terrain.

I really dislike seeing tables with felt cutouts or cardboard hills etc.

Earlier this year I bought Tabletop World's latest resin terrain piece, the Stone Bridge. Bitten by the terrain bug over the past week, I sat down to paint it while I watched the cricket.

In the past I have done all my terrain largely by hand but this time I used my airbrush to lay down the base colours. This really cut out a big swathe of work and ensured I got a nice even base to work off.

And though I didn't take any pics you can remove the various floors in the house revealing the interior which I painted.

Here are some pics of the finished piece. I just need to base and I'm waiting to get some river sections to do that.