Saturday, December 31, 2016

Terrain - Final Temple of Skulls

Here is my final Temple of Skulls. I have tried to "Chaos" it up with rusted chains, hooks etc.

Gives a slightly more darker feel than the previous TOS.

Nice to have these done.


KOW - Dominate Scenario - Suggested Enhancement

Of all the KOW scenarios the only one that causes logistical problems IMO as an Umpire or player is the "Dominate" scenario.

Remember this is the scenario where you score points when you have units entirely within 12" of the centre point of the table at the end of the game.

The problems arise because the victory conditions introduce opposing geometry into the game. Units are all straight line squares and rectantangles but the defining victory condition is based on a circle. This creates measurement difficulties particularly when terrain is introduced (even more so if the centre point is in terrain.

Of all the scenarios this is the one where I see most disagreements/confusion/conflict during and after the game. This is because the centre generally becomes a scrum and accurate measuring is often difficult.

My suggested "fix" is to convert the 24" diameter circle into a 24" box. The box would be in the same place 12" from the centre but because you are not dealing with arcs you can measure the extent of the box from any table edge...on a 72" x 48" table the corner is 12" from the long edge and 24" from side edge.

This fix makes the determination of scoring units logistically far easier.

What are the effects? Well the victory "area" increases from 452 square inches to 572 square inches - a 27% increase. The victory area equates to one sixth of table area.

If you were concerned this was too much you can equalise the area with the current 452 square inches by decreasing the box to 21" square.

What do people think on this fix? Is it needed? Would it work better?

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Terrain - Temple of Skulls

I've had a GW "Temple of Skulls" terrain piece downstairs and primed which has been sitting on my shelf for 5-6 years. I picked it up on Boxing Day and thought it might be fun to paint.

To provide some variance from my other three (yeah, I know) j added some hooks and piles of Skulls from the Hellcannon kit plus a selection of other skulls I had in my bits box - including one from a Bone Giant.

I laid down the base colours with the airbrush and then used layers and washes on the rest.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Weekend Hobby Update

Well what with Xmas and family the last week has been a little bit lax.

No Hobby for Xmas this year so I've pulled out some jobs that need to be finished. I found a primed Temple of Skulls downstairs and have started painting that. The airbrush was used for base colours and I've just started on the brush work.

Also finished my Emperor's Children 40k army ready for some games. I'll need to proxy a Chaos Lord but I've got two ready for painting and that provides a solid 1500 points.

We also started playing Gorechosen last night and it is a solid fun game. The mechanics work really well and with each game taken around 30 minutes it is a solid time filler.

Lastly I rang up the local GW yesterday to put aside one of the store only FW promotions. This time it was a 30k Primus Medicae.

In the end I baulked at the price - NZ$83 for a 28mm infantry model is too rich for me. It will be interesting to see how they sell.


Monday, December 26, 2016

Kings of War - State of the Scene in NZ

When 2016 dawned I was very very hopeful as to the potential for the NZ gaming community. We had had the End Times and lost Warhammer but communities were playing Fantasy. Auckland was playing v8 still, Wellington was playing KoW and there were individuals across the country trying The Ninth Age.

I was very optimistic for Kings of War in particular. A very successful Vermintide had been run by Neil Williamson, I had 24 people signed up for Day One of Runefang and 16 for Day Two. I'd also keyed up the Warlords Super Series of four seasonal events to run through 2016.

Fast forward 12 months and the Kings of War scene has not grown (here in Wellington at least) and we have seen numbers fall away dramatically. The last WSS event had 8 participants, Vermintide only 6 and Auckland's Xmas event also 8. The field for the Masters was made up only of Wellington players - testimony to a lack of critical mass outside the region - and only two of those were willing to go to Christchurch for the event.

So what went wrong?

From a tournament point of view, I find KoW and excellent game. There is little evident rules disagreement and when you umpire an event you find little call for rulings - effectively the game is clear and runs itself. However it clearly doesn't have the appeal to the wider audience that Warhammer had and that has seen people from that community drift away.

I've been wracking my brains as to why that is because the game is faster and cleaner than Warhammer was which should be an attraction for some - especially those that play more infrequently.

The two reasons that I keep coming back to are:

  • the lack of attraction/buyin/romance of the Mantic fluff; and
  • the limitation on customisation of army make-up
The first is a hard one to rectify. GW had 30+ years of background and fluff and let's be honest, that held attraction for all of us. I find it very hard to think of my rats as anything but Skaven, the Ratkin fluff doesn't resonate (for the same reason I find it hard to embrace T9A's Vermin Swarm). The background was a HUGE part of the game and its loss affected my enjoyment more than I thought it would.

The second is much less a factor for me but I know it is huge for some people. I prefer the cleaner nature of the set unit size, magic items and magic of KoW as I think it emphasises tactics rather than combos. It also means that there are less "gotcha" moments which I thought would appeal to the casual gamer. However I know that for a lot of people - myself included - a large part of a game's enjoyment is list construction. There is less granularity in KOW than WHFB or T9A and that has put some people off.

I'm keen to know what other people think on this. What are the attractions of one Fantasy game over another.

New Zealand has a small gaming community. There are probably around 150 active Fantasy tournament players but the end of Warhammer shattered even that kernel. In wargaming personalities will always clash - and there is some evidence of that locally which has impacted the community (one group not wanting to interact with another group of KoW players) - but there are more fundamental factors at play than that. 

The sad fact is that a local tournament scene of 8-12 players is likely to be unsustainable in the long run, regardless of game.

Certainly my optimism for KOW as a replacement for WHFB has diminished over what it was 12 months ago though I'm not sure it's been usurped by any other system as yet. Perhaps 2017 will see the rise of T9A and/or Age of Sigmar. Or perhaps there will be renewed growth in KOW. 

I want my Fantasy tournament scene back!

What are people's thoughts? Any insights from inside or outside the community appreciated.

Nurgle - A Mighty Warrior Has Fallen

Friday was a very sad day in the Dunn household with the untimely death of our beloved cat, Nurgle.

Nurgle was diagnosed with a tumour in March and when they went to remove it they found that that was not possible as all the major blood vessels to the head ran through it. That he was able to survive a further nine months was a testimony to what a big heart he had. We ere able to have the fluid drained from the growth and chest cavity but this just delayed his ultimate demise.

Friday saw him breathing with difficulty and his heart starting to stress. Rather than have him suffer we took the sad decision to have him released from his struggle.

Anyone who played games or visited the Dunn-geon knew Nurgle. He was a major part of the family and a key student of wargaming. He loved to sit/sleep on the battlefield and to curl up in any boxes/cases left open.

Here's a few photos taken over the years showing his involvement in the Hobby.

Always Willing to Give Advice/Opinions on Lists or Rules

Providing Impassable Terrain in my Battleline in a Game with Mike King

Holding his Flank

Checking Out New Purchases for Acceptability

He was Always Partial to a Boardgame

And a bit of LARPing

He could always be relied on for Terrain advice

While disappointed that he wasn't selected for the NZ ETC team in 2014, he stayed and looked after my painting.

Nurgle liked nothing more than relaxing after a hard day's gaming!


Vale Nurgle, Wargaming Cat! I'll miss you mate.


Monday, December 19, 2016

Weekend Hobby Update

Over the weekend I continued on some projects started last week.

The first of these was handing out numbers to Team Morskitta BB team. This involved applying transfers to their shoulder armour. Of course there is no #13 - that is saved for the Horned Rat.

After painting all my new 32mm plastic bases I pulled out my Emperor's Children army ready to re-base. It took me about five seconds to decide that they could stay on their existing bases, bar the Daemon Prince.

Using the Traitor Legion book I worked out a list which required minimal alteration to existing models. As it stands I need to convert three blastmasters to sonic blasters. I've primed and done the actual physical changes and now have to paint the replacement weapons and arms.

Finally, I have to paint a Chaos Lord. My EC have always been led by the mighty Challis Drant, however he has always been modelled as a Noise Terminator. The new book doesn't give him the option of taking a Sonic Weapon so I may look at another outfit. Looking in my box of EC bits, I found two candidates - one on a bike, the other mutated to a Daemonic Beast. Back in the day, the Daemonic Drant never saw the table as he was viewed as too abusive - combat drugs, speed, twin LCs. Today he'd lose his lunch money on the way to school. I think I'll paint both up anyway and see which fits the best.

The bike has a Doom Siren head but again he has no access to the weapon so I may change the model befor I paint him.

So plenty of small progressions being made.

On Wednesday I've got a game of KoW booked so watch out for a Battle Report prior to Xmas.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Thoughts on "Traitor Legions"

You may not be aware but I wasn't a huge fan of the last two editions of Codex: Chaos Space Marines. As a result I have viewed the time since 2007 as "The Great Betrayal" where once loyal GW fanboys had their hopes and dreams crushed by an aloof and uncaring God wantabee - in this case Gav Thorpe.

It was therefore with some trepidation that I picked up the new supplement "Traitor Legions". I have spent the last week reading through it, looking at the rules and working out how everything fits together. I've had no previous exposure to Formations, Detachments and Datasheets as back in my day FO was 1-3-6-3-3. So it has been a steep learning curve (thanks to John in Oz for a series of clarifying PMs and a 40 minute phonecall with Hagen) but I now "understand" the system.

My interest in the supplement is in generating armies for each of the 9 Traitor Legions that are fluff based and reflect their unique characteristics.My initial thoughts are that GW has done a very good job and largely achieved this.

For me, it was important to understand the constraints that the Design Studio was working under:

  • Existing Codex
  • 4+ years of evolution since that was released, including a new rules edition
  • Corporate requirement of no entries where off-the-shelf GW models don't exist
  • Points system with nominal value already assigned
GW have built the Traitors Legion formations around the existing Codex:CSM entries and specifically their points' values. Where power or balance issues exist, they have given existing abilities for free/discount and they have introduced new "fluff" derived abilities at little or no points' cost but if certain list design requirements are met.

Therefore while, for instance, I miss out on bikers, terminators or havocs with Sonic Weapons, I can still build an Emperor's Children army that is based on Noise Weapons with parts that reflect the unique nature of the army through "free" Combat Drugs and EC specific Traits, Relics and Objectives.

This more accurately reflects the version of EC emerging from the Horus Heresy books where EC did not solely develop down the Kakophoni line, in that they maintained a culture of blade based martial prowess.

The only stumbling block I've hit in looking at the EC Rapture Battalion is that to have a diverse EC army - with access to drugs for all - I must take two Chaos Lords. This seems a bit silly in that I'm pretty sure that after 10,000 years there would be minimal dissent brooked.

Still that is my only grumble at this stage. From a fluff viewpoint I think GW may have hit a winner.

Friday, December 16, 2016

All Your Bases Belong To Us

One of the changes that has occurred while I've been away was the emergence of 32mm bases. BITD it was 25mm for infantry, and 25mm then 40mm for terminators. Dreadnoughts had 60mm bases. You turn your back for 8 years and everything changes.

I thought I should rebase my EC onto the new "cool" and so bought a box of the plastic Sector Imperialis Bases from the local GW. This seems quite good value - sixty bases for $65 - perhaps I'm just becoming indurated to their pricing.

The local GW Manager told be to paint them on the sprue - so that's what I did.

I sprayed them black and then "Leadbelcher" and while I watched Liverpool dismantle Middlesbrough I started detailing them up.

The process was pretty quite. I built up a green plate - Waagh, Straken, Loren and then a drybrushes of Underhive - followed by some picking out of metal details. This was followed by some Typhus backed up by Rzya Rust and a wash of Lahmian/Agrax/Reikland. Some drybrush of Necron and Rzya finished it off.

Now just need to clip them off and paint the rims black. Nice and easy.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Kings of War at Nicon 2017

Nicon is on mid-2017 in Hamilton Auckland and David Grieg has stepped up to umpire the KOW tournament.

The event hosts are insisting that any tournament must have 8 paid up participants by the end of January (this seems overly onerous given the well known organisational skills of wargamers but hey-ho).

You can download the Players Pack here

Hopefully this will get a good response from northern gamers which will then encourage southern gamers to sign up knowing that they will get the opportunity to test their mettle against a new group of opponents.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Blood Bowl - Team Morskitta

My Hobby over the past week or so has been focused on getting my new Skaven BB team painted and ready for play.

I purchased two sets of the new Skaven models - the second for a 7th Lineman and two more Gutter Runners. With an old Boneripper rat ogre this gave me the team of 16 I required. Here in NZ the BB releases - apart from game - are on back order, so I was able to sell off the remaining Skaven thru a Facebook trading group.

Team Morskitta plays in the traditional purple and green that has graced many armies coming out of the Dunn-geon. I have rescued the names from my old xBox file and they will be used for my roster.

The Linemen

The Muscle - Rat Ogre and Stormvermin Blitzers

The Offense - Gutter Runners and Throwers

Having played a lot on xBox and iPad, I have a pretty solid game plan with a starting line up that works well.

The 16 models let me cover all the bases in the life cycle of a roster.

Now just waiting for my game board to arrive. Jack has made it back for Xmas and brought his Orc and Human teams.

Happy that they are painted up. New policy of painting games as I buy them is working well.


Monday, December 5, 2016

New Zealand ETC 2017 Team

I received an email from Dave Meachen today in which he provided the New Zealand 2017 ETC team selected over the weekend.

The team is:

  • David Meachen (Cap)
  • Tom Cochrane
  • Mal Patel
  • Mark Skilton
  • Simon Turner
  • Ben Wadsworth
  • Sam Whitt 
  • Simon Wood

  • Four of the team have been to the ETC before, while six have competed in domestic competitions over the past five or so years.

    All the best to the team! Do us proud and have fun!

    First Look at Traitor Legions

    The first leaks from the new Traitor Legions supplement are up courtesy of VeteranNoob at Dakka. You can check them out here nicely formatted into a Google doc.

    As expected it is a halfway house. Yes, we get our Legions back but just like Xmas you don't get everything you want - e.g. No Legion Termies except 1K Sons.

    This very much follows the latest GW modus operandi - "If we don't have an off the shelf model then its not in the book".

    So I don't get Death Guard specific termies, no power scythes etc and no Emperor's Children Noise Bikers, Termies. My biggest disappointment is the lack of Noise Havoks but I expect that I'll be able to create "counts as" at a pinch.

    Looking forward to picking it up this weekend.

    Friday, December 2, 2016

    The Vagaries of the Postal Service and Living at the Ends of the Earth

    In my email inbox I have a folder called "Expectant Mail" where I put all the shipping confirmation from internet purchases. This lets me keep a handle on what orders are "live" and where there is tracking follow progress across the globe.

    For the last ten days I've been expecting any one of seven outstanding orders to arrive in my mailbox and - nada! It's driving me nuts. You offshore readers don't know how lucky you are to be close to retailers/manufacturers while down here in Paradise we are at the end of a very long logistics process.

    And we aren't even in the Xmas shipping period yet!

    One of these was a pre-order from Games Workshop and it is currently a week late from release day. I should have taken the option to have it delivered to the local store and then I could have picked it up last Friday. Can't help think that the slow service is there to get me to frequent the store. Paranoid, much?

    Still one day in (hopefully) the near future I'm going to open the mailbox and it will be bursting with hobby goodness. I can only hope.

    Thursday, December 1, 2016

    Stairwell to the Dunn-geon

    Last weekend I finally got around to painting the stairwell down to my wargaming room. Previously it had been painted in a cheery lemon colour (urrggghhh) and was beginning to show its age.

    The facing wall is something like 15 feet - so much ladder fun was had balancing on a staircase - which gives a great wall for artwork.

    And I had just the right pieces for it!

    In 2005 I won both the New Zealand (three-Pete) and the Sydney Warhammer 40k Grand Tournaments put on by Games Workshop. The trophies that year were framed prints from John Blanche with boilerplate for the event.

    For the last few years they have been sitting behind the door in my games room but this space was ideal for them.

    The NZGT Overall Champion Trophy

    At that event I won First Overall with my Emperor's Children and finished highest on Battle Points beating Steve Davis's Tau on Table One Round Six. As I remember it came down to a dice roll at the end of the game where a melta weapon rolled "1" to wound. This pushed it from narrow to major victory.

    The Sydney GT First Place Trophy

    Again I used the Emperor's Children and finished First Overall and highest in Battle Points. The win was especially sweet as I overcame the dreaded "Double Torpedo" - zero for Sports and Composition - from one of my opponents who felt it was silly I had a Squad of Noise Marines with Stealth and who got upset when I insisted he couldn't jump units with Daemonic Speed (should've paid the extra points for Daemonic Flight). Ahhh, fun times!


    Monday, November 28, 2016

    Weekend Hobby Update

    The weekend has come and gone and for me it was one of snatched Hobby time where I could.

    On Saturday I picked up a Skaven Blood Bowl team from GW and put them together that afternoon, then primed them.

    You get two identical sprues - 3x Lineman, Blitzer, Thrower and Gutter Runner. No Kicker, no Rat Ogre. I suspect these may be released in the future. I've got a second team on the way as I want to have four Gutter Runners and extra fodder - sorry, linesmen.

    Going through my bits box I found and old Boneripper model which will do well as my Rat Ogre. I painted him up and he should fit in well.

    I need to decide on the basing scheme but I expect I'll go with non-descript sand, grass and tufts.

    Looking forward to working on the team over the next few evenings.