Sunday, January 31, 2016

WIP Drakon Rider for PEGs

Over the weekend started work on a Drakon rider for my PEGs.

Currently very much work in progress but you have to start somewhere 😊

Working my way through painting the base colours at the moment. Then some washes and highlights.

Not sure I'll be able to work up three Hordes of them!

KOW - Warlords' Super Series "SUMMER"

Remember that the first event in the Warlords' Super Series is being held on 20 February.

It is open to all but you can get "free" entry to it and the following three events by being a Warlords member.

All details are obtainable in the Players' Pack which is located in the "events" tab on the banner.

Hope to see you there.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

New Gaming Mat from

This evening I arrived home from work and found a parcel from FedEx waiting for me. Inside was a 6' x 4' gaming mat I ordered in October last year. The supplier was out of the Czech Republic.

To my knowledge, was the second company into the mousemat gaming cloths - after Frontline Gaming and their F.A.T. Mats - and late last year extended their range. As part of this expansion they offered a promotion that allowed me to have a mat delivered to New Zealand once it was produced for NZD 135 (approx USD 90). The normal price to NZ is around $160 - which is about 10-20% cheaper than the F.A.T.

For US customers the price including FedEx five day delivery is USD 82 - you lucky guys are only charged USD 20 whereas we Kiwis wear USD 40.

My mat was their MEADOWS OF WAR.

So what's it like? I'll let the pictures tell the story.

I think that the resolution on the mat is superior to that of the F.A.T. Mat as you can see from the photos. There is very crisp definition of detail.

I like the slightly exaggerated green and think that it will look great with terrain placed on it.

As with other mats the back is rubberised and has sufficient weight that the mat easily lays flat.

It also comes with a handy black canvas zipped carry case that I think is more functional - and more durable - than the frontline product.

So all in all I am very happy with the mat and it joins my Frontline Blast Zone and Winter War mats. I have one more mat coming from the recent German Kickstarter I supported. This is due in April/May and is more a desert theme.

If you are interested at all in mats then I'd definitely check out the website, for me they provide a high quality product in a growing market and this mat is the best for a traditional fantasy terrain setting.


GW - A Picture (or Graph) Tells A Thousand Words

The Interactive Investor follows Games Workshop stock and recently he posted the following graph:

This shows GW's revenue over the past 25 years.

You can see its organic growth from 1990-2000 and then the accelerated surge that was "The Lord of the Rings". Revenue peaked in 2004 and that is when the bubble burst. Regardless of what they have tried to do since then GW, at best, have only ever gone sideways.

They've tried overhauling their magazines to the point where it is now a catalogue with no useful content. They've introduced a much expanded paint range with multiple "enhancements". Books have gone hardback and digital. They've killed their original game and their Specialist Games but they are flatlining. And all through that the quality of their models (and their prices) have increased.

I wonder what the next "stimulus" will be.

As a final note I would point out that 2005 was the year that Gav Thorpe's bastard child was released. That codex signalled the end. Coincidence? I think not!!!!


One of the things I wanted to ensure with Kings of War was that I played with a multitude of armies over 2016 to ensure I learn different tactics and play styles. Because of ETC requirements my last couple of years of WHFB were restricted to the same army and largely the same build. No matter how characterful and rewarding the rats were, anything will eventually lose its appeal after repeated play.

So having started with Ratkin and with Runefang done and dusted, I decided that now is the time to try a new army. I have a few painted armies and some of them see little table time. Looking at them I was keen to choose one and play it for the next few months. Candidates were Undead or Empire of Dust but they are both common in the local scene so I might give them a miss for awhile. I looked at both Brotherhood and Rhordia but I need to finish some painting before I can get them on the table. Ogres are an option and I'm looking at them to tray up over the weekend. I was keen on Goblins and Orcs but both armies are being built by local gamers so from diversity point of view I think I'll avoid them for now.

That leaves Salamanders and Elves as options. I've got painted armies for both that I purchased (Elves in 2010 and Lizards in 2013) and have never used. Both seem to offer different play styles to what I experienced with the Ratkin so I'm going to tray both up to use over next few months. The Elves are the most table-ready as I suspect that there are a few models to be painted once I work up a Salamander list (if anyone has current ed Kroxigors I am an interested buyer).

With that in mind, last night I got out the Elves I purchased off Phil Comins. In the intervening five years I've had Sam Whitt paint some units for me so I have a pretty full palette to choose from - with the exception of units of Drakons.

The PEGs are a foreign country for me. I hated their fluff in Warhammer and I'm not sure it is a lot different in Mantica - haughty, arrogant fussy pants. They have none of the valour or honour I identify in armies like my Ratkin so it will be a hurdle I need to get over. That, coupled with the differing play style means it will be a new "experience".

So what do I have ready to go:

  • Regiments of infantry - Spearmen, Palace Guard
  • The ubiquitous Horde of Archers - either +1 to hit, Piercing or +12" range
  • Bolt Throwers
  • Troop of Light Cav
  • Troops/Regiments of Heavy Cav - I can see at least one Caterpillar regiment
  • A Dragon
  • Numerous characters mounted and on foot

I'm pretty sure I can put together something out of that. So expect to see Pete's PEGs hit the table soon!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Need for Comp?

Over the weekend there was some banter on the NZ Fantasy What's App group about broken lists in KoW.

My viewpoint has remained pretty much the same over the past six months. Play KoW in its entirety and it's a very balanced game. But what does "entirety" mean for competitive play?

You need to use the following components:

  • Scenarios - and with Win criteria heavily weighted
  • Terrain - need the right density and diversity (found 8-10 pieces is about right - including a couple of obstacles)
  • Timed Turns - not to win by death clock but to make sure the game moves along and both players get a fair shake)
  • No Comp - with the above there is no need

Personally I hate community based comp rules. All they do is shift the goalposts which achieves nothing other than added complexity. No comp and imposed comp are still going to have most efficient builds regardless.


To date in KoW, I've found nothing that can't be countered by taking a balanced list, a little thought and some experience. You might lose to a list a few times but by altering your tactics (and maybe aspects of your build) then you should be able to be competitive with most armies.


Again this is all premised on playing scenarios and have the right terrain.


Sure there are things that look cheap but to my mine these are largely in the Artifacts section where there is no differentiation for unit size. I'm pretty sure over time the KoW Rules Committee will look at these but I like their current thinking of doing this through the alteration of scenario conditions rather than comp.


Monday, January 25, 2016

KoW Historicals

Listening to the latest episode of Counter Charge where they discuss the new campaign supplement, Destiny of Kings.

On the show is Alessio and as well as talking about DoK he gives some information on the upcoming - Spring/Summer - KoW Historical supplement.

It will be effectively a book of army lists that use the KoW rules. It will contain around 15-16 armies and the intent has been to in urge historical pairs. The info he gave suggests:

  • Greeks (Hoplite City States thru to Macedonians)
  • Persians (Early "300" and Late "Darius")
  • Romans (Caeser thru to Fall)
  • Barbarians (guessing Gauls thru to Franks/Goths/Huns)
  • Vikings
  • Saxons
  • Arab (Saladin)
  • Crusaders
  • Mongols
  • Samurai (guessing both Gempei and Late)
  • War of the Roses

I'd expect a European Medieval Knight - Teutonic, French - possibly Normans (think William the Bastard), leaving three more. I'm going to guess Egyptian, Assyrian and Carthaginian (Hannibal).


The idea is that they will have base units, ability to take upgrades, legendary leaders and if you take them some special units.


They are meant to be interchangeable lists with the existing army lists. I see that as a big ask but I'm really keen to see if they can great a good set of historical rules.


Also happy as I have painted 28mm Roman, Viking and Mongol armies!

Obstacles Finished.....

and get seal of approval!
Nurgle checks out obstacles to ensure "Strider" still operative

Last evening while watching "Beasts of No Nation" (check it out Idris Elba should definitely got a Best Actor Oscar nomination), I managed to finish my obstacles.

This are from UK firm "Renadra" and available from Mighty Ape.
Improvised obstacles (front left), fences (front right) and palisades (back).
They've been mounted on hardboard and finished with sand, static grass, clump foliage and tufts. Probably enough for 6-8 tables.

Nice easy project when motivation for figure painting is low.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

More Obstacles to Overcome

Quiet in the Dunn household today. Jack is back in Boston and Lynne's in Nelson. Just me and the cats.

After catching Yum Cha with Tom, I did some more work on obstacles. They are painted and mounted on hardboard.

Now have to wait for glue to harden then texture the bases. Should get them done in next 24 hours.


Friday, January 22, 2016

First Set of Obstacles

Managed to finish the first set of obstacles and they are now ready for games.

Each base is approx 4" long so I've got enough to cover the frontage of two Hordes or four Regiments.T

They paint up very well and are in keeping with the high medieval nature of Fantasy gaming.


Thursday, January 21, 2016


After the weekend I decided to get some more obstacles so that I have sufficient diversity on my tables.

Obstacles help break up the battlefield and act as a defence for infantry against cavalry and monsters.

I purchased some Renadra kits through Mighty Ape and while watching Netflix Marco Polo over the past few evenings I've made them up and primed them.

The first set are makeshift obstacles from logs and stones.

Second lot are palisades while the third are more traditional plank and rail fences.

Hoping to get them painted and suitably based over the weekend.

Check back Monday for pictures.


Mighty Ape Service

I would encourage any local gamers to use Auckland-based online retailer, Mighty Ape. Not only do they carry a wide range of gaming and hobby products, they also have an easy to use webstore that details stock levels and reorder timeframes.

But the best thing is their service. They have great delivery - same day in Aucland and next day here in Wellington.

Great to have a such a good resource available here in NZ

Timed Games

One of the interesting things to come out of the weekend was that it was most people's first experience with timed games.

We allowed 55 minutes for each player (including deployment) which roughly works out as 5 minutes deploying and then 7 minutes per turn.

From what I could see most people coped - I believe there may have been 2-3 actual time outs and 4-5 games where significant time pressures were evident.

What I do think is twofold. Firstly, with practice people do get better at managing their time and secondly, time constraints do make it a better game (as people are forced to make decisions quickly). I also think that 55 minutes was about the right time. Most games finished well within time so I'm not sure that it needs to be altered significantly....perhaps 60 minutes per player at upper end.

The one aspect where I do think the game suffers with timed turns is in regards to the social aspects. During your own turn I find you tend to be very business like and focussed on what you want to achieve so as you don't run into time pressures late game. In your opponent's turn you are mindful that you don't want to distract them and put pressures on their time, so you shut up.

This means that there is little chit chat over the course of the game as the focus is on the result. While this is great for the competitive side it is not necessarily conducive to the social aspects that a lot of people want from a day's gaming.

So what's the answer?

I don't think there is one....yet. It is too early in the cycle to see whether time pressures are temporary as people get used to the game (and concept) or whether it is a permanent thing. To that end I think it is a wait and see and monitor it over time.

What do others think?


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Runefang Pictures

Here's a selection of shots from Runefang. Thanks to Ryan for some, the rest are my own.

"Cool Story Bro. Now can I take your models off?"

Bone on Bone Action. Lliam's Empire of Dust versus Ryan's Undead with EoD Allies

Samurai Basileans versus Bog Standard Dwarfs, early Sunday morning

Undead Uncivil War....Kelsey vs. Peter's EoD

Alan's Ratkin vs. Neil's Varangur. The Ratkin won Best Army on Sunday.

Sam's Twilight Kin running amok


More from the Ryan/Lliam Boner

Brokk Riders about to be monstered by Chariot Horde


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Warlords Super Series "Summer" Coming Soon

The next event on the NZ KoW calendar is the Warlords Super Series "SUMMER".

This is a four round 2000 point event set down for 20th February at Khandallah, Wellington. The event cost is $25 and open to all. For those of you who have a full 2016 Warlords membership entry is free.

The Players Pack can be downloaded here

Fields of Blood NZ Rankings - Kings of War updated for Runefang events

The NZ Rankings have been updated for the two Runefang events - "KINGS" and "WAR" - held last weekend.

We are starting to see a Top 10 form driven by participation at more events. Currently three people have played 4 events and quite a few have played three.

Remember your ranking points are determined by your best three results. You can determine the points you would get by using the calculator at the top of the rankings page.

Army icons are starting to be earned now and I suspect they will become hard fought over the year.

The three most popular armies remain Undead, Dwarfs and Elves.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Runefang Results - Kings of War

Runefang ran over the weekend and here are the results:

KINGS - Saturday

Best Army: Sam Whitt (Varangur)

Best Sport: Kelsey McAllister

WAR - Sunday

Best Army: Alan Hughes (Ratkin)

Best Sport: Cameron Talks

Where there was a tie on Battle Points, Strength of Schedule was used as tie-breaker.

Thanks to all the participants and to Peter and Ryan for umpiring.

Counter Charge to the Flank

An interesting question came up on Saturday night while we were sitting around chatting about Runefang "War". It led to a surprising discovery - that the Printed Rulebook is different from both the PDF rules and the Digital Rulebook.

Under "Counter Charge", the hard copy Rulebook has a paragraph starting "Rather than...." Which talks about pivots while counter charging. That whole paragraph is missing from the digital copy and the PDF.

That creates an interesting dynamic. Take the following situation:

The friendly unit (in the centre with 2 wounds) has a friendly unit of Large Cavalry behind it. It has been charged by the Infantry Horde to the front and a Regiment of cavalry to the side. Can the friendly Horde counter charge the Cavalry Regiment?

The section in the para "Rather than...." says that when you pivot you must end your pivot outside the footprint of enemy unit and friendly units. This is in line with the general rule on pivots.

Here you can see that the unit counter charging to its flank needs to pivot through both enemy and friendly units and importantly does not clear them by the end of the pivot. I would say both the general rule and the specific Counter Charge rule say you can't complete the charge.

Now remember that the relevant paragraph is missing from digital and PDF copies.

When the question re flank counter charges was raised on the Mantic Forum in October, Rules Committee members said that, and I'll paraphrase, if the unit has room to be placed against the flank enemy after a pivot "you can pick it up and do it". As per this diagram:

The tenor of the discussion was that the third diagram was the situation that both Alessio and the Rules Committee envisaged.

I believe that there isn't a problem if the "Rather than..." para is missing - as specific rule overrides general rule - but it is and so there is a specific rule prohibiting the pivot.

Over the weekend I confirmed with Daedle of the Rules Committee that the printed Hard Cover Rulebook is the correct version and it hasn't been errataed.

So there is a conundrum - we have what I think is a pretty clear rule and we have what the Rules Committee have said on the Mantic Forum was their intention......and importantly how it should be played. Which takes precedence in tournaments? At Runefang opinion was split....certainly those with digital version saw no reason why you couldn't charge to the flank, while those with Hard Cover/Gamer Edition had access to a further rule.

Me? Well I'm in the middle somewhere. I think the RC have made their intention clear but it is muddied by the variation in rule sets and that they haven't issued an errata.

What's your view? Have at it.


Table Set Ups At Runefang

Runefang was run over the weekend and one of the things that I was keen to achieve was that we used the right level of terrain density and diversity for a 2000 point game on a 6' X 4' table.

My view is that Kings of War benefits from more terrain than you would see on a Warhammer 8th Ed table and so using the guidelines provided in the recent KOW FAQ set up the following tables for the two events.


I'd be interested in getting feedback on a number of questions:

  • How did the participants find the terrain - density and diversity
  • How does it compare to other gaming areas - too much/too little

Appreciate any feedback.