Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The CoK Tournament Pack - Why It Matters!

A lot of "noise" in the online KoW world has been about the recently released players pack for Clash of Kings tournament in the UK.

Why is this pack so important? Well, it has a quasi "official" status as it has been put together by Mantic's Rules Committee and released by the Company. And of course "Clash of Kings" is Mantic's flagship KoW event.

The pack contains a number of rules tweaks that have been tested by the Rules Committee in their playtesting sessions. They can be broken down into five clear groups:
  • Re-balancing of Cursed Pharoah
  • Clipping the wings of Flyers
  • Changing the victory conditions for some scenarios
  • Limiting potential for spam
  • Addressing common Allies choices
Personally I think all the changes probably improve the game - and I'm willing to trust the Rules Committee's efforts. However I have a problem....they are not Official.

When I say that I mean they are neither errata or part of a Mantic Games Official Tournament Pack. Instead they are a set of rules for a specific event. With rules changes - both as a TO and a player - I prefer the stamp of approval.

I do think our local community should adopt them for events - and I'd like to use them as routine from here both for tournament and pick up games. Why?
  • The Rules Committee believe these tweaks are necessary
  • They are likely to be part of an eventual official tournament pack
  • They are independent of the local community and so they can be no charge of bias against a TO by individual players
It would be great as an NZ (or greater Wellington) community that we could agree whether we want to use these so called "Tournament Tweaks". I think it needs to be an All or Nothing approach - both in terms of the full suite of changes and using them for foreseeable future events.

I have asked the Rules Committee whether they can release them with an "Official" stamp on them but that is a decision for Mantic.

Weekend Hobby Update

Sorry for the lateness this week - real life intervened.

It was a quiet weekend hobbywise for me with no games - makes Peter a sad boy. I've had my in-laws move to our city and so have been tied up getting them into their own place. Unfortunately that means last weekend and parts of the upcoming two have been spent on that "project".

However that doesn't mean all is lost! I have been able to spend the evening putting models together for the Herd. That means 30 resin wolves and a box of Mantic Gargoyles are now all assembled, cleaned up and ready for spraying.

I was dreading putting the Gargoyles together. Apart from their Zombies I have not had good experiences with Mantic models. I do not like the less rigid plastic that they are made of. However the box of gargoyles I got were not at all bad. Obviously recent GW models have spoiled hobbyists with lack of mould lines but I found the biggest problem with the gargoyles was sprue tags. Mould lines were present on some models but not as pronounced as I feared.

I now have two boxes of Centaurs plus the Centaur hero to put together. These are metal - and are the first Mantic metals I've seen - and so far the most obvious characteristic is the softness of the pewter. That means they are easy to clean up but I do have some concerns on the strength of the horse legs. I'll report back over the next few days.

My army load of MDF bases arrived from Sarissa Precision. I know I've sung their praises before but they truly provide exceptional service. My bases had travelled across the globe and were with me within 7 days. They never make a mistake and the bases are exact and precision cut. On top of that they are very affordable. I got 3000 points worth of bases for Herd for USD28 including post.

Launched registration for Warlords Super Series "Winter" and in the first couple of days have 10 signups. That means the event will attract ranking points. I'm hopeful we'll get to 20 participants. The tournament was shifted from mid July and is now the week before I leave for a month's holiday in the USA, so I was able to Umpire.

Speaking of events - Panzershreck Ninth Age tournament is on 16/17 July in Palmerston North while Call to Arms Kings of War is on 6/7 August in Wellington. Please support these events if at all possible. This weekend Southcon in Dunedin is on and there is a KoW competition. If you are in Dunedin please get along.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Printable Scenery - New Kickstarter "Apocalypse Ruins"

This week Printable Scenery launched their third crowdfunding campaign (this time on Kickstarter).

This one is also likely to be widely successful as it has WW2 and Gothic Sci Fi as well as Fantasy. Included with buildings and ruins are trench systems.

The stretch goals look great as well.

Already it has blown thrown funding goals.

Good luck to Matt and the team.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Warlords Super Series "Winter" - Kings of War Tournament

The third of the the Warlords Super Series KoW tournaments, "WINTER", will be held on 2nd July at Warlords, Ganges Road, Khandallah.

You can find the Players Pack here

Event is $25 or free if you've signed up to be a Warlords member.

Four rounds of 2000 points using rulebook scenarios.

Hope to see you along.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Clash of Kings Pack

So Mantic has released their Clash of Kings Pack which likely foreshadows the Rules Committee's Tournament Pack - and it has a number of rules changes.

Unit Entry Changes

Cursed Pharaoh – This unit has Defence 5 not 6. The points value remains the same.
Ahmunite Pharaoh– This unit has Defence 5 not 6. The points value remains the same.

Special Rules

Note the amendments to the following special rule: Fly

The unit can move over anything (blocking terrain, enemy units, friendly units when charging, etc.), but still cannot land on top of them. The unit does not suffer hindered charges for moving over difficult terrain or obstacles, unless it ends the move within or touching them. The unit also has the Nimble special rule.
While Disordered, units lose Fly. Note that this also means they lose the Nimble that Fly provides too, unless they have it by another means (such as Individuals).

Army Selection

Within your main force, you cannot select the same unit entry of type War Engine, Hero or Monster more than 3 times. For example, in a goblin army, you could take a maximum of 3 War Trombones and a maximum of 3 Wiz heroes. You could still then take up to 3 Biggits of course.


If you include allies, you cannot select the same allied unit entry of type War Engine, Hero (all types) or Monster more than once. For example, in a goblin allied contingent, you could take a maximum of 1 War Trombone and a maximum of 1 Wiz hero.
In addition, magic artefacts cannot be given to any allied units you take.


Invade! and Dominate!
In games using the Invade! and Dominate! scenarios, only count half the points value of units with the Individual special rule and/or War Engines that are in the defined scoring area at the end of the

Loot! and Push!
While carrying one or more loot counters, units cannot use the Fly or Nimble special rules.

War Engines cannot capture/control objectives in this scenario

So what do people think? Are the changes needed? Will they make KoW a better game?

More importantly will you use them in your casual games? Do you want to see them used at events? Some? All?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Weekend Hobby Update

With the move into wintry weather here I managed to get a few things done over the weekend.

As per my previous blog post I had a game against Night Stalkers down at Warlords on Saturday. It was the first time I had played Luke and the Night Stalkers and was a very enjoyable battle. I have been tossing up building Night Stalkers - post Herd - and having faced them on the table I'm certainly not dissuaded from that.

I also finished building and prepping the Herd figures I have. From there I moved on to priming them. Last night I started painting the Lycanthropes and I'm hopeful that I'll get them done this week.

My final piece of work was to strip down my airbrush and give it a thorough clean. It is amazing how much better it works having all the crap removed and the parts oiled.

The other piece of work slated for this week is to start painting the Winterdale Tavern that I printed recently. Once that is done I can print some more pieces.....discipline Peter, discipline.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

"Herd" Progressing

Over the past week I've put together the Herd figures I had available - removing mold lines and green stuffing gaps. Last evening I primed them all black ready for painting.

Ready for paint are:

  • 2x Stampede
  • 2x Guardian Brutes
  • Brutox
  • Avatar of the Father (Ungor)
  • Totem (Mierce Giant with Obelisk)
  • Horde of Lycantrophes
  • 2x Tribal Hunters
  • Various characters

Still to arrive in the mail are two boxes of Centaur, Centaur Chief and Gargoyles (Mantic), 30 Wolves (China) and MDF bases from Sarissa.


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Battle Report - Ratkin v Night Stalkers in Loot

This morning I wandered down to my local club, the Wellington Warlords, where I had organised a game against Luke Forrest. Luke has a Night Stalkers army and I had not played either them or him before.

The terrain was set up and we rolled up Loot. In the end Luke decided to compress the counters by concentrating them all on the flank with the tower. I was happy with this as I believed he had far more mobility than I had.

I got the first turn and jumped up on the Loot counters. One is with a Horde of Tunnel Slaves beyond the impassable at the top of the picture below. The second is with the Slaves by the Death Engine and the third has been passed to the Brutes in the bottom left.

Luke has got his Nightmares up from behind the tower however they are about to wear two Death Engines, a Weapons Team and a Lightning Bolt. As you'd expect this was fatal. In the bottom of the pic are a Horde of Fiends and behind them a Void Lurker. A unit of Slaves has charged a Troop of Reapers - to try and chip some wounds off.

At this stage my plan is to back away with the counters while dealing with the Night Stalker threat unit by unit.
In the picture below the first unit of Reapers has been shot off. The Void Lurker had charged the Blight doing 4 wounds. This let my Daemonspawn charge his flank and remove him. The Death Engines were largely ineffective with their shooting on the Fiends.
MSlaves are backing off with the Loot Counter while tha Horde in top left corner have passed to Shock Troops. In the bottom the Brutes are backing away from the Fiends with the third counter.

In the centre two Shadow Hulks and a Horde of Butchers have got into the Tunnel Slave Horde. I have been putting wounds onto the rightmost Shadow Hulk from the Weapons Team. The Slaves evaporate leaving the Shock Troops facing the three units.

The Weapons Team finishes off the woundedHulk, while I charge the second with the Shock Troops and Bane Chant them. This is effective in removing him. The Reapers have taken out a Death Engine but the combined Blight, Daemonspawn and second Death Engine have seen off the Fiends with the Blight picking up the Loot Counter. I have also put the Weapons Team between the Slaves and Reapers to buy a turn.


The Butchers charge the Shock Troops who hold but are in return countercharged and bane chanted. This removes them leaving the way free for the Legion of Blood Worms to charge and break the Shock Troops and claim one counter.

My Daemonspawn and Death Engine remove the second Reapers allowing the Slaves and Blight to sneak away with the two other counters securing the win for the Ratkin.

It was a good game and I learned a lot about the Night Stalkers. I felt Luke erred in not spreading the counters out as that allowed me to concentrate my heavy hitters. The other thing I felt would have helped him was putting the Blood Worms nearer the centre. While they got a counter they had minimal influence on the game allowing me to ignore them until I had the game secure.


Hedge Score

Played KoW down at the club this morning and there was a series of boxes from an ex-member.

I managed to pick up a lot of hedges at a cheap price. Love these for the boundaries on my building terrain pieces. I had run out and hadn't been able to find a new source.



Thursday, May 19, 2016

More "Herd" Roll In

Arrived home from work this afternoon and there was a parcel waiting in the letterbox from Arcane Miniatures in the UK.

In the package were three boxes of Malifaux "Wild Boars", a new plastic kit they have released.

They are very nice sculpts and I expect that I will use them as part of my Stampedes.

Just a word about Arcane Miniatures. The service was very fast - less than a week from order to delivery on the other side of the world. They all carried good stock. I certainly wouldn't hesitate using them again.


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Battle Report - Ratkin v. Vampires in Pillage

This morning Ryan brought his Vampires around and we had a game of Pillage.

I made changes to my Ratkin list subbing out a Weapons Team, the Hackpaws and the Murant Rat Fiend to try our some Death Engines. Recently I had found that the MRF had really suffered from his De 4 and so the ability to add some De 5 into the army was attractive.

We sprinkled some terrain around the table and then rolled up 6 objectives.

Here you can see five of the counters - one is behind the wood on the hill. The final counter is in the corner to the right of the photo, past the house.

When we rolled for sides, Ryan won and took the side with three in the deployment zone leaving me with the side with three centre pieces.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Enter The Herd

I've been looking at building a new army for Kings of War. What I want to take advantage of is the capacity for multi-basing.

One of the drivers is also to build something that we don't see in our local community. This directed me towards Night Stalkers, Abyssal Dwarfs, Abyssals or The Herd. In the last few weeks Luke Forrest's Stalkers have taken the table and Lliam Munro has started work on his Abyssals.

I have an unpainted Big Hats army and I'm certainly keen to progress them. However I have decided to build my Herd army first. I've got a lot of Mierce Miniatures that I've purchased through Kickstarters over the past 4-5 years. This therefore is an opportunity to use some of these figures.

Last night I cracked out the box of figures stored down in the Dunn-geon and started putting them together. The Mierce figures are all resin and so I've taken the opportunity to pin where necessary.

There are a lot of bestial infantry as well as boar cavalry and unencumbered boars.

And the backbone. Lots of Minotaurs in evidence. A large Ghorgan - or Brutox in the new parlance.

I've also been buying figures this week to round out the army:

  • 30 resin wolves
  • 9 Malifaux boars
  • Mantic Centaurs and Gargoyles
  • Bulk lot of OOP GW gors.

On top of this I have about 40 metal OOP GW Pestigors that I'll use as Longhorns and/or Spirit Walkers.


I've already been told on our local What's App group that The Herd are broken.....guess I'll find out.


Monday, May 9, 2016

WSS Autumn - Photo Shoot

Here is a selection of photos from last weekend's KoW tournament:

Best Sport Ryan Lister makes his move against Nick Jebson. Nick had a hard day but these games meant he took his KoW total to five.
First round action early Saturday morning.
Neil Williamson's Varangur take on Wil Hoverd's Empire of Dust.

Terrain Set Ups from WSS "Autumn"

Below are pictures of the seven table setups for WSS Autumn giving some idea of the terrain density that we use. I tried to get a mix of pieces on all tables. I made a general call that single step hills were Height 2 and Double Step Hills were Height 4/2. Woods all Height 4 as were buildings.

All the tables had at least 2-3 obstacles to break up Cavalry charges.


Umpire Questions at WSS "Autumn"

I thought that it would be worthwhile to list the questions I was asked at WSS Autumn and the answers that I gave.
  1. Does Stealthy affect Breath Weapons - NO
  2. Are you Hindered on a Surge Charge if you went over an obstacle in the Move Phase - NO
  3. Line of Sight from a hill and intervening cover - Rules clearly set out in cover section
  4. Can Wavered Troops use Nimble then move backwards, effectively moving sideways but with changed facing - YES
  5. Can Flyers pivot over intervening troops without fully clearing unit - YES, as long as final placement clears all friends and is 1" from enemy
  6. Are Flyers Hindered if they start charge in Difficult Terrain - NO
  7. Obstacles (Fences & Walls) are Height 1 for Cover but do not block Line of Sight
The rest of questions were about scenario conditions or for rulings on either distance or whether charge could be completed.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

FOB NZ Rankings - 40K and KoW Updated

The rankings have been updated for the recent Battle Above The Brynderwyns and WSS KoW Autumn.

Podium placers Jayden Howell and Peter Williamson jumped into the Top 2 in KoW. These rankings are starting to develop depth and with a few more events on the horizon I'm sure we'll see the battle for icons start to heat up.

Warlords Super Series "Autumn" Results

WSS KoW "Autumn" event was held yesterday - 14 people, four rounds, 2000 points.

The results were as follows:

Best Sport - Ryan Lister

Best Presented Army - Lliam Munro

The Empire of Dust was well and truly waxing.

Thanks to all competitors it was an easy even to run. I will look to post the questions I was asked during the event in next day or so.

I have lots of Pics which I will look to post as well.

The next local event is WSS "Winter" on July 2nd.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Kings of War WSS "Autumn" on Tomorrow

The second of the Warlords' KoW Super Series is on tomorrow in Khandallah.

The event kicks off at 8:15am and covers the full day.

Anybody is welcome to drop in and have a look and/or a chat about the game.

I'll have pictures from the event up here over the weekend.

Monday, May 2, 2016

WSS "Autumn" - Player Lists

The fourteen list for KOW WSS "Autumn" can be found here

Only one of the lists - Ryan's Undead - has utilised Allies.

Some quick analysis:


  • 8 x2
  • 9 x1
  • 11 x2
  • 12 x2
  • 13 x5
  • 14 x1
  • 20 x1
Living Legends
  • Mhorgoth the Faceless
  • Portal of Despair
  • 0 x1
  • 1 x5
  • 2 x3
  • 3 x3
  • 4 x2

Weekend Hobby Update

It was a pretty quiet weekend for me on the hobby front as televised sport took the priority. After the Saints won at "no-rules" (AFL), the Warriors bounced back in the NRL. I was feeling pretty happy until an insipid display by Liverpool at Swansea.

However hobby was had. On Friday evening I put together the metal War Wagon I recently purchased. It went together pretty well though there was a slight war in one side - but nothing I couldn't straighten in the hobby vice.

On Saturday morning Sam and I played a game, Ratkin vs. Goblins in "Kill". This proved to be a really great game and a real change for me as I was outnumbered for once. I managed to make inroads on my right flanks before breaking Sam's centre. However a couple of mistakes by me in the last turn allowed Sam to pull it back to a draw. It was very bloody - I had 655 points left while Sam had 570 points. Both of us felt this was one of our most enjoyable KoW games to date and illustrated the fun you can have when two lots of rabble go at one another.

Painting wise I continued with my "Frenzied Mob" figures which are starting to show progress.

WSS "Autumn" - Racial Breakdown

In the end there were 14 players registered for "Autumn" and the deadline for lists was this weekend past.

Obviously there is something in the water as the Dead are very restless.
  • Empire of Dust x3
  • Undead x2
  • Dwarfs x2
  • Elves x2
  • Night Stalkers x1
  • Goblins x1
  • Basileans x1
  • Varangur x1
  • Twilight Kin x1
Five "Dead" armies likely means five Flying Pharoahs. Certainly, the Dwarfs have left no De 6 unit at home.

It will be nice to see a Night Stalker army out on the table...a new challenge for our local meta.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Fantasy Gaming - The Lay of the Land

Over the past week I've copped a bit of flak by being critical of...well...everything. I've pointed out flaws in the three game systems competing for the Fantasy gamer's attention.

However if people stepped back I think that they would see that it wasn't all negative but in fact "I'm from the Internet and I'm here to help".

Be aware this is at a macro rather than micro level. Your game may be doing really well in your group "but Timmy, the world doesn't revolve around you".

So how do I see the lay of the land? Be warned it's going to be brutal! If you don't like honesty then step away from the screen now.

Age of Sigmar

The heir apparent to WFB. If people are honest it is failing everywhere with the possible exception of Britain (but I'd question even that). Don't believe me? GW threw the sink at it post July 2015 but then had to issue a sales warning in December. It might...and this is being charitable...be selling as much as WFB was (but I doubt it) but look at what its cost. GW had to effectively suspend 40k releases to even get it a foothold.

Now after being told "No Points Good, Points Bad" , in true Orwellian style it is now "No Points Good, New Points Better". This is being dressed up as a win by the AoS community as indicative of the new more community responsive GW. However the more you scratch the upcoming release the less community involvement there appears to be. In fact the cynic in me would say all you have to do to get the UK community stamp of approval is invite them for a game and a lunch and show them a book Finance directed you to produce. This isn't SCGT comp...it's a 2000 point system that was developed post December to save a game that was "failing" financially.

The great myth "We are a model company, not a games company" has been exposed for all its flaccidity. Funny that. You need some context to sell your models. The Old World was a context, the Realmgates of Sigmar...not so much.

One of the great "benefits" of AoS, lower entry costs compared to Fantasy has by all evidence been abandoned. The price point of AoS models far exceeds anything pre-ET. Yes you might not need 40 Witch Elves but is that really relevant when 3 Monstrous Cav cost you 2.5x a box of 10.

While Europe, the USA (outside pockets of Ohio) and Rest of the World has, on anecdotal evidence, been an unmitigated disaster all is not necessarily lost. GW is still the big dog on the block. They make by far the best models and they have by far the deepest pockets (although they are a listed company with those constraints). What we do know is that they will be around in 5-10 years still making models.

Personally, I'll never play AoS because I'm not interested in a Fantasy Skirmish game as my main outlet the removal of ranks and flanks meant I was never part of the target market. GW may make it succeed out of sheer obstinacy but certainly the evidence is that they've done a fair amount of throwing baby out with the bath water.

The Ninth Age

Mea Culpa. I never thought that they would get this far. At the outset I thought committees full of European technocrats would have the whole project splinter in 6-12 months. It still might but hats off to their progress.

Effectively it is a thinly veiled reproduction of 8th Ed - which isn't a bad thing. They have assembled a cast of hundreds to recreate what was essentially the GW game with 15% ETC input. That 15% has balanced the problems that ETC gamers saw with the game and to that goal they've done a great job.

The problem is that it is effectively euro-centric. It does have exposure in the UK and USA but in both cases it is definitely behind the main game.

The elephant in the room is where does Ninth Age get new players. Already this year's ETC is going to be much smaller and you've got to think that over time the rules set will appeal to a less and less numerous core group. The term "Ever Decreasing Circles" comes to mind.

There is constant reassurance that this is not a problem. It is sufficiently "not a problem" that there has been an official blog post on why it is "not a problem" and various acolytes have been dispatched to forums to explain why it is "not a problem".

But it is an issue. And the authors know it. There is a massive reliance on local community to run with it and we all know that gamers are a fickle crew. An argument here, boredom there and people drift away.

Similarly keeping a crew of 100+ authors involved and motivated post launch will be a very interesting exercise. Real life is likely to remove people from the mix and the glamour work is now done.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that T9A will never have more active players than it does on 30 April 2016.

It is also not necessarily helped by being the ETC system. I mean this in that it is the most competitive of environments. While participants have been helping development you've got to feel that Easter eggs have been squirrelled away to give teams an advantage come Greece. I'm envisaging a pretty substantial patch post ETC.

Kings of War

I love this game as I find it best pushes my ranks and flanks button. It has enormous advantages as I see it:

  • No single figure removal
  • Tight ruleset with limited ambiguity
  • Fast play mechanics allowing a game to be all over in less than 2 hours
  • Ability to use existing armies

However it also has one of the most defensive group of players/adherents I've seen. Any implied criticism is taken immediately to heart as though you've told them their child is ugly.


Suggest potential changes and immediately the accusations come that "you are trying to make it into Warhammer". However that market is the best pool from which to convert players - perhaps listening to some of their barriers wouldn't hurt people too much. Maybe suggestions are impractical but at least entertain the conversation.


Suggest Mantic could do things better and the White Knights mobilise in force "Mantic are a small company" "they have multiple focus e.g. Kickstarters".


Sorry but that only works to a point. A tournament pack from Rules Committee has taken 4+ months and still not arrived.


Suggest Mantic have missed opportunities at a macro level and you just don't understand. Well I think it is fair to say that a UK Clash of Kings drawing 30 people is a failure, that not taking advantage of the ETC as a continued opportunity is an opportunity missed, etc. In the UK KoW is definitely in 3rd place and to ensure future growth the company needs to support the community. This isn't prize support but the running of marquee events. The same in the US. Mantic really need the USA to fully embrace KoW and I know I'd be running company CoK events in each of the Masters regions for the next two years at least.



So that's how I see it. From my own POV I'm going to continue to play KoW put will try T9A and see how it develops. AoS isn't aimed at me and I'm unlikely to ever be a convert.


Hopefully people will read his as an honest assessment and hopefully it provokes some conversation.