Wednesday, May 24, 2017

KOW - The Nudge: Proximity to Enemies

One rule that often gets played wrong in Kings of War concerns what happens when you contact a second unit as part of a charge. This often happens when the enemy has a battleline of 2 or more units.

The rules for this are covered under "Proximity to Enemies". This is Page 56 in the Hardback Edition, Page 11 in the softback "Gamer's Edition" and Page 141 in the Digital Edition.

Part of the reason for the confusion is that there is a discrepancy in the text of this section in the "Gamers Edition" which is the one you see most at events. It mentions that you should "nudge these enemy units away by an inch or as much as possible to ensure that they are no longer touching".

This is incorrect and Mantic have covered the discrepancy by including an errata in the KOW FAQ:

Page 56, Proximity to Enemies: 

The Gamer’s Edition text is wrong. The hardback book is correct. The hardback book text is:

Remember that when charging, units don’t have to stay 1" away from enemies, and this means that sometimes a charging unit may end up in contact with both its target and one or more enemy units it has not charged (e.g. when charging a unit that is part of a tight enemy battle line). In this case, you’ll have to nudge these enemy units away to ensure that they are no longer touching.


The reference to "an inch" has been removed and so now all you should do is ensure that there is a noticeable gap between the charging unit and the enemy who weren't charged. In the example above this is most easily achieved by moving the two adjacent (non-charged) units back 1mm. This should happen immediately.

As a TO, I make sure that the errata is pointed out to participants before the event so that everyone is aware that Mantic have addressed the text discrepancy.




Tuesday, May 23, 2017

KOW - Call to Arms Players Pack

Rob Higgins is umpiring Kings of War at Call to Arms this year. Call to Arms is the Warlords annual convention and attracts around 200 gamers across a multitude of systems.

Higgins has forwarded the Players Pack to me and you can download it here. There is also a copy in the Event Calendar on the FOB Banner.

Armies will be 2200 points giving it a point of difference from other local KOW tournaments.

Sign up now. It should be a great event.

Weekly Hobby Update

As well as WSS Autumn tournament, I got another game in versus Carson's Forces of Nature army during the week. Carson has a beautifully painted army and it was disappointing that a gardening accident on Friday meant he wasn't able to make it for the tournament. Moral of the Story: Stay away from outside - it's a scary place.

The Goblin basing was completed and I've now started on the Orcs. They have all now been given a Coelia Greenshade wash and had pins put in their feet ready for re-basing. I'm waiting for the mdf bases to arrive from Sarissa - hopefully today.

Speaking of bases, one of our locals has bought a laser cutter and I had him make some Kings of War bases which he brought along to show the players at WSS Autumn. They look really good and he will be supplying me with a price list in the next few days. Local supply at competitive prices means we should see more armies transition over to multibasing.

This week I'm hoping to get the Orcs based as well as paint a Ratkin hero, two Goblin Shamans and some Goblin Herders. There is also a Goblin Chariot unit that I may look to add to the Goblins. Later in the week I need to pick up more basing supplies - especially tufts - as I am motoring through them.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Blog Milestone

Today was a milestone for the blog. It passed the 2,000,000 threshold for page visits.


While this is not big in the scale of a lot of social media, it does reflect an average of 1000-1500 page views per day over the last 7 years.

It started with a focus on WHFB/40k and now is skewed towards Kings of War, though it keeps a wider hobby view.

Thanks to all that have read the blog over its life. Thanks to the locals who have featured on its pages. And special thanks to Jack for keeping the technical aspects on the tracks.

KOW - Play Examples From Norway

The Giant Dwarf Podcast have posted a couple of videos that illustrate in-game examples of mechanisms that come up regularly. I thought I'd post the videos here so that those that haven't seen them can benefit from their efforts.




These videos by Fred and Lars are well worth checking out.

KOW - Detailed Matchup Breakdown

The KOW Rules Committee likes to collect results from tournaments to inform their discussions on balance so I'm detailing the results from WSS Autumn here.

All the list can be found here

Points were as follows:
  • Win 12
  • Draw 8
  • Loss 4
There is also a modifier for Attrition difference as follows:
  • 0-200: 0
  • 201-500: +/-1
  • 501-1000: +/-2
  • 1001+: +/-3
There is also a -1 modifier if you timeout giving a score between 0-15.

Dominate
  • Undead-R v Orcs-J 13-3 +310
  • Herd v Undead-K 15-1 +1400
  • Varangur v Dwarfs-D 15-1 +1335
  • Orcs-R v Dwarfs-T 14-2 +595
Invade

  • Dwarfs-T v Undead-R 14-2 +840
  • Dwarfs-D v Orcs-J 10-6 -635
  • Herd v Varangur 12-4 -30
  • FoN-P v Orcs-R 14-2 +695
Push

  • Orcs-R v Undead-R 12-4 -120
  • Dwarfs-D v Undead-K 13-3 +295
  • Dwarfs-T v Varangur 13-3 +420
  • Herd v FoN-P 15-1 +1125
Scavenge

  • Undead-R v Undead-K 13-3 +470
  • Orcs-J v Varangur 10-6 -795
  • FoN-P v Dwarfs-T 14-2 +595
  • Orcs-R v Dwarfs-D 13-3 +420
Only one civil war - Undead in the last round.

KOW - The Herd at WSS Autumn

Over the weekend we had WSS Autumn here in Wellington. It was four rounds, 2000 point armies with 55 minutes each on the clock.

I took the Herd, the army I have been playing with most recently, keen to give it another tournament run. My list was as follows:
  • Spiritwalkers Horde
  • Lycan Horde - Healing Brew
  • Lycan Horde - Helm of the Ram
  • 4x Beast Pack Troops (including The Little Beast Pack Who Could)
  • Stampede - Blood of Kittens
  • Stampede - Brew of Sharpness
  • Chimera - Wings
  • Shaman - Heal
  • Tribal Totem Bearer - Lute of Insatiable Darkness
The key thing with the list is that it is a glass cannon. It hits hard but only the Chimera is more than De 4+. There are only two sources of Inspiring which means you need to play very tight and methodically, and in particular be careful where units will end up after combat. The other quirk/weakness in the list is that there is no Ranged Attack- magic or shooting - in the list which means that you must commit to Melee to cause every wound.

I played a practice game during the week and I lost a Stampede as it was un-Inspired so it was a good lesson going into the event.

Game One - Kent Jackson (Undead) - Dominate

A couple of months ago I played Kent's Undead and lost when a series of combats went against me. This was largely due to my piecemeal attack where I went in unsupported. In this game I chose the side of the table with the unimpeded path into the centre of the circle.

My dice were good in this game - consistently rolling up - and that helped my supported attack plan. Pretty much every combat had at least two units as I used my superior mobility and speed to engineer advantageous melees. Chimera, Stampede and Beasts (in flank) took out Zombie Legion, Stampede and Stampede (in flank) removed Revenants, two Lycan Hordes (one in flank) got Wights etc. Throughout I ensured I was pretty much removing a unit if I charged it.

On the flanks my Beast Packs held off the Werewolves Kent had until late in the game. However even then they only made Hindered charges and I was able to deal with them in the subsequent turn.

At the end of the game Kent had only a Liche King and Standard left (270) while I had much of my army still intact (1670).

Win 15-1

Game Two - Neil Williamson (Varangur) - Invade

In started with a significant Unit Strength advantage in this game; 19-13. Neil's army is all-Nimble with four Regiments of Horse Archers, three Devourers, Fallen, two Magos with LB and Bloodboil plus a Standard Bearer.

My plan here was to sacrifice my Beast Packs to get the bulk of my army into Neil's Far corner. I knew his Devourers needed to get into charge range of my hard hitters to inflict damage so if he didn't attack straight away they would prove ineffectual. My biggest concern were the Horse Archers and LBs causing damage enough for Bloodboil to come into play.

I felt I played really well in this game. Pretty much every shot Neil got, I had cover and I used my Shaman to heal where necessary. I caught one unit of Horse Archers that Neil had deployed by themselves on a flank and sacrificed three Beast Packs to delay any aggressive intentions Neil had. The game was very tactical but once I reached his board edge I could turn my Lycans and Chimera to control the distance between us.

At the end Neil had 1820 points left and I had 1790.

Win 12-4

Game Three - Peter Williamson (Forces of Nature) - Push

Williamson the Younger is an excellent player and was attending with a gap of six plus months since his last games of KoW. His FoN had two Hordes of Ensnarers, a flying Beast, Unicorn, Druid, Water Elementals, Tree Herder, Naid Wrymrider Horde, Regiment of Centaurs and Hunters of the Wild Troop.

This is the game where "The Little Beast Pack Who Could" did! [See yesterday's blog]. It held up the centre while battle raged around it. Peter put his Loot counters on his two Ensnarers while I put both mine on my Spiritwalkers, who I then placed on a flank. My plan was to remove the BoN and Unicorn which would make it had for Peter to get flanks on my Spiritwalker Horde. On Turn 1 I grabbed the central objective with the Beast Pack and left a Lycan Horde as bait for the BoN. Peter charged it, it survived and then I hit it with two Lycans killing it. I also got a sly flank charge by the Chimera into the Unicorn but failed to break or Waver it. However it retreated to the side of the board away from my Spiritwalkers.

In the centre a Stampede removed the Tree Herder but was in turn jumped on by a Horde of Naiads and it broke. I charged the other Naiads with two Lycans and a Chimera (in the rear) but after inflicting 30+ wounds rolled Snake Eyes on the re-roll. I couldn't complain though as I was benefiting from the Beast Pack's heroics. The Naiads removed one Lycan Horde before dying next turn. The second Stampede had to take a charge from the Centaurs but held and destroyed them next turn.

Going into the last turns my Chimera was charged by the Wyrmriders but held. He countercharged with flank support from Lycans while the remaining Stampede followed up its defeat of the Centaurs by breaking the other Ensnarer Horde - I rolled 3-4 more wounds than expected.

On Turn 6 the Spiritwalkers routed the Hunters of the Wild, leaving Peter with just his Druid and the Unicorn. I caught these on Turn 7 removing the last of his models. My army had 1125 points remaining. Although on paper this was a big win, it was far tighter than the score showed. I had the better of the luck - Beast Pack and Stampede into Ensnarers - although the Double 1 on the other Ensnarers balanced it somewhat.

Win 15-1

Game Four - Bye - Scavenge

We had had a withdrawal on the morning of the event - Spider bite - ouch! This had left us with a bye which is never great when people are paying to enter an event.

Looking at the scores at this point, the gap between me and the second placed person after Round Three was such that unless I was beaten by over 1000 points in the last round or timed out, nobody could catch me.

I spoke with the players and offered to take the bye so everybody else got a game in the last round. Everybody was happy with this given the gap. This also meant that the other top four players were playing each other giving the final round some further excitement.

The bye was worth 13 points in the event - 12 for the win, one bonus.

As TO I thought this was the best outcome and was glad all the players agreed. I hate telling people they've got the bye reducing their enjoyment and gaming opportunity.

Aftermath

So I won my three games and as noted above I felt luck was with me on the day.

I felt though that I had played pretty well especially with regards to the right plan in each game and then its execution. What I was particularly happy about over the course of the three games there were only two instances where I did not have a re-roll on a Nerve check for my Stampedes, Lycans, Spiritwalkers and Chimera. Both happened in my game versus Peter - once on the Chimera (charge by Wrymriders) and once on Stampede (charge by Centaurs). I was very happy with this as given I only had two sources of Inspiring- both on foot - it was testimony to good, well thought out placement.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

KOW - Facebook Group for Wellington Kings of War

I have set up a Facebook group for Wellington KOW. You can find it here

The main purpose of the group would be as a message board where Wellington (and surrounding) KOW players can communicate easily with one another. Facebook - though I hate to say it - has benefits over email strings.

I'd see it as a place where we can arrange games, talk about events, post pictures etc. My thinking some sort of message board would benefit the local community and acts as a hub.

I've made it a Closed Group but entry is open to all.

If you're not a regular FB user, you may find it worthwhile to create an account and use it purely for this board.

KOW - The Little Beast Pack That Could

This is the story of the Little Beast Pack that could.

Picture the scene dear reader - the top table at WSS Autumn, Round 3 - the Herd versus the Forces of Nature. The two armies clash in "Push" and on Turn One the brave little Beast Pack rushes forward and sits on the central objective.

What follows next is a heroic tale of epic proportions deserving of a saga to be told around fires for the next thousand years.

Turn 1

A Horde of Water Elementals charge the Pack inflicting 9 wounds on it. They roll the Nerve Check and break the unit. The Beast Pack see the Shaman and the test is re-rolled Snakes Eyes. Next turn the Beast Pack (oh and a Stampede) remove the Elementals.

Turn 2

The Winged Unicorn cast Lightning Bolt on the Beast Pack inflicting one wound. The Nerve Test is rolled and Snake Eyes.

Turn 3

The only unit that can charge the Beast Pack is a Druid. The Druid wounds the Beast Pack who fail the Nerve Test. This time the Pack sees the Tribal Totem Bearer and re-roll the Test .... Snakes Eyes

Turn 4

The Beast Pack charges the Druid but fails to wound. In response the Druid reciprocates whiffing all its attacks.

Turn 5

Dropping their Loot counter the Beast Pack countercharges the Druid and wavers it.

Turn 6

The Beast Pack stands in front of its counter. The Druid decides it has better things to do than bother the dogs and retreats. Unfortunately for the FoN, all their other units are otherwise engaged.

Turn 7

The Herd remove the last of the FoN army while the Beast Pack stands where it has from Turn One.

And that my friends is the "Tale of the Little Beast Pack who Could". Seventy points of awesomeness that stood their ground and would not be bowed, no matter what the odds.

They are the example to all of us that if your cause is true and you are stout of heart then you can achieve anything!

 

KOW - Warlords Super Series "Autumn" Results

Yesterday we had the second of the Warlords Super Series here in Wellington. The WSS is a series of four events hosted by the Warlords over the course of the year.

There were ten players signed up but unfortunately on the morning of the event we had a withdrawal after one player was bitten by a spider [Don't worry, I checked and we are 99% sure that the spider wasn't radioactive]. This meant that we had to juggle a bye which is never the most appealing proposition.

Here are the results:
You can see how tight the fighting was with a three way tie for 4th and a two player one for 7th. The fact that over half the field was within 5 Battle Points (out of a total of 60) meant there was significant movement in the midtable region over the course of the last round.

Best Presented went to Josh Barton's Orcs while Ryan Lister picked up Best Sport after receiving three Best Opponent votes from his four games.

Thanks to everyone who attended. The next event is Runefang in two weeks followed by WSS Winter on July 22nd. The first weekend in August sees Call to Arms, the Warlords' Annual Convention which will feature a KOW event.

Friday, May 19, 2017

KOW - The Pale Orcs

Around 4 years ago I purchased a WHFB army from one of our locals. While this was generally played as the typical "Green Dwarfs" of the era by the original owner, the army was interesting as it included both Black Orcs and Orc Boyz as well as the obligatory Savage Orc horde and war engines.

The other thing that was interesting was that they were semi-albino Orcs coming from the cooler climes. They were effectively a stone colour with no green pigment and mounted on mountain snow bases.

After finishing the Goblins I thought I'd move onto multibasing the orcs and so last evening I removed 100 Orcs from there plastic bases. My intent is to create a Horde of Ax, a Horde of Greatax and two Regiments of Morax (with some Morax left over for Fight Wagons).


100 + Orcs Waiting For Their New Homes

As part of the process, I am going to take the opportunity to alter the skin tone of the Orcs. They will still be Pale Orcs but with an underlying tilt to green orcy heritage.


Here you can see the change I am effecting. On the left is the Pale Orc and on the right the same paintjob but after a wash of Coelia Greenshade from Citadel. I tried the Biel-Tan Green Shade, the Waywatcher Green Glaze and even a watered down wash of Warboss Green paint but preferred the Coelia finish. 



The wash provides better definition and I prefer the greenish tint over the pure stone finish.

I'm now waiting for my MDF bases to arrive from Sarissa so I can get these multibased and on the table.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

KOW - Zero Sum Game

Over the last week on both the Fanatics page and also the Mantic Forum there has been a discussion about scoring systems.

Largely this has been about the mix of scenario points versus kill points with a secondary discussion on granularity of scenario victory. Personally I am all in favour of distinguishing between the decisiveness of scenario victory and that feeding through into the game score. For example, I feel that you should score more in Loot if you win 3-0 over say 2-1 or 1-0. The Rules Committee have said they are looking at this with interest. That is a good thing!

One aspect of the discussion that I have a major problem with is in the determination of "kill" points. The common situation is to determine kill points on the differential between points killed by both players. One suggestion is to dispense with that any just determine bonus points based on enemy killed.

The problem with this alternative methodology is that it is not zero sum. By this I mean that each game is not worth the same number of points. I'll illustrate this with an example:

Differential Situation

Bono beats Sting in the scenario and scores 15-5. He also scores more kill points than Sting - who is a miserable bastard anyway - inflicting 1500 points to 1200. This gives a 300 point difference and under the scoring matrix this gives Bono +1 TP and Sting gets -1 TP. The final score for the game is 16-4 to Bono.

On the next table Adele is playing Cher and again wins the scenario - it is Cher's first tournament after all. Again the differential is 300 points. Adele kills 400 and loses only 100. The score is 16-4 as well.

In both cases the game is worth 20 points total.

Kills Only

Bono gets his 15 points for winning the scenario but in killing 1500 points of Sting's army he gets +8 points. Sting also gets bonus points because he killed 1200 points, in this case 6 TPs. The final score is 23-11 (the game being worth 33 points).

Adele gets the 15 points but in this case only killed 400 points so gets 1 bonus. Cher gets nothing as her 100 pts falls below the threshold. The score is thus 16-5 to Adele (the game is worth only 21 points).

 

There are a number of problems arising from the system not being zero sum (each point gained is at the expense of your opponent). First is that it creates reckless play as there is no downside. In turns 6-7 you are rewarded for throwing units into forlorn hope combats if they will not influence the scenario. For instance, it is in my interest to commit to a combat where I likely need a 11 or 12 to rout you on a Nerve Roll as it has a net positive outcome (it doesn't matter if I subsequently lose the unit). I don't care about exposing my flanks or rear as long as I get a chance to break you regardless of whether it is low probability.

Secondly there isa huge opportunity for collusion. As there is no downside to losing units both players are happy to swap their troops as it increases both their bonus points. Don't think this will happen? Well you have more faith in human nature than me. Smart players will know that swapping units maximises their scores and will engineer the result that gives them most benefit. Yes, you can make such collusion illegal but if you do try policing it at a large event.

I used to play a lot of Games Workshop-run Grand Tournaments in 40k about 12-15 years ago. They loved a mission called Messengers where you had three markers you had to get off your opponent's board edge. If you did you got a TP. However there was now edit to stopping your opponent's. In 90% of games I saw, players would set up with their three messengers on opposite flanks and March them unimpeded off their opponent's edge. Both players got the three bonus points and then they'd play kill for the scenario. Dodgy? Maybe...but that was the outcome that provided the greatest reward.

Finally it favours some builds/races over other. Some armies dish out the pain but are a glass hammer - My Herd is a good example - whereas others win by inflicting death by a thousand cuts. By skewing the points on offer you incentivise certain builds.

Any non-zero sum scoring is open to abuse and/or incentivising suboptimal play or certain builds. I'd hate to see Kings of War - be it in a new edition or a COK supplement - adopt such a methodology in any official capacity.

 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Kings of War at the Warlords

Just a reminder that there is a Kings of War tournament on at the Warlords this Saturday.

This is an opportunity for anyone to come along and have a look at the various armies on show and have a chat about the Kings of War game.

Kings of War is the last remaining commercial "ranks and flanks" Fantasy game. Anyone who has grown up with Warhammer will immediately recognise the blocks of troops being manoeuvred into battle.

If you are at all interested in seeing how a clean, quickplay ruleset works then please come along and have a gander.

The event kicks off just after 8am at the KPC Hall on Ganges Road in Khandallah (opp. New World).

KOW - The Goblin Completion

Last October I posted some pictures of the 200+ Goblin infantry I multibased. You can see it here

The Goblins were an army my son Jack had painted in just over a week using a white undercoat and GW inks/washes.

The rest of the army has sat unbased over the past eight months but with a few wet days here in Wellington I thought I would finish it. The army also includes two Hordes of Trolls painted by local Sam. I also picked up a FW Colossal Squig cheap which I intend to use as a second Giant. It has been base coated but needs detailing.


Mawbeast Regiments


Mincers


Big Rock Throwers


War Trombones



Giant


Troll Hordes


Fleabag Troops


Giant

Next to be based are my Orcs. The MDF bases have been dispatched from Sarissa so some time next week they should arrive. At that point I'll have The Herd, Ratkin, Goblins and Orcs all multibased for Kings of War.





Monday, May 15, 2017

Weekly Hobby Update

Massive hobby week for me.

I started - and finished - the multibasing for my Ratkin and I am very pleased with the result achieved. My plan is to get some army wide shots up in the next few weeks.

Doing this allowed me to get them on the table in time for a couple of games on Saturday versus Josh's Orcs. In the first, I was a little bit rusty and made a couple of sub-optimal choices (that's mistakes for the rest of you). Came down to the last roll on the 7th turn so you can't ask for a closer or more fun game than that. Josh made a 2D6 roll of 10 to win.

I didn't have long to wait for my revenge. We re-racked and the Rats got their groove back managing a fairly comprehensive win.

It was great to have them out on the table. I had missed their silky whiskers and cheeky snarls!

Driven by the success of the Ratkin re-basing I threw myself into finishing the Goblins I started late last year. I have about 10 figures to paint for the army but the bases are all done and once I finish pinning the figures I'll have another full KOW army to join the Ratkin and Herd.

 

KOW - Lists for Warlords' Super Series "Autumn"

The lists for next weekend's Warlords' Super Series tournament have been lodged and can be found here


The Best Things Come in Pairs!

Ten participants and it seems we are going all "Noah's Ark".

  • 2x Dwarf
  • 2x Forces of Nature
  • 2x Undead
  • 2x Orcs
  • 1x Varrangur
  • 1x The Herd
If The Herd and Varrangur can put aside their differences and combine in a party of awesomeness, I think there will have to be an award for Best Race (based on combined scores).

Check out David Stuart's Dwarf list. I can't work out whether it is brilliant or a prospective car crash.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

KOW - The Spoils of War

So after three days I have completed the multibasing of my Ratkin.

And here are the spoils of war:

Over 300 resin bases and 15 Movement trays liberated in the process. I'm not going to lie, it brings a little tear to my eye when I think of how much effort went in constructing the trays - paper steel inners and magnetised bases - or painting, flocking and tufting the resin bases (all have rare earth magnets inset in the base). Now all I have to do is fine a Ninth Age player who wants square resin bases and trays!!!

And what do I get for this? Well my Ratkin are all multibased and ready to go.

Let the Vermintide begin!

 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

KOW - Ratkin Multibasing: Proof of Concept

On the weekend I started multibasing my Ratkin. I thought the process would take a long time but it looks like I grossly overestimated the required effort.

Last night I finished all the Tunnel Slaves - one Horde, extras to make a Legion and three Regiments. This morning I did the two Hordes of Clan Warriors.

The unit is on an MDF bases with home made pavers and cork/diorama effects debris.

The brave Clan Warriors are bunched behind the debris waiting for the enemy to engage.

All around is the evidence that these brave souls have voided their bowels as the Musk of Fear overtakes them.

I've tried to capture their "bravery" by grouping them all to the back half of the base - managed to squeeze in 29 figures so MMC is achieved.

Pretty sure when the fighting starts it will be every rat for himself as the most perceptive of them offers to "Go and get help".

 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

KOW - The Hill Conundrum

Building on the occasional series that I started highlighting obscure rules or nuances, I thought I'd touch on the conundrum that is a "hill" in KOW.

There have been a series of threads bubbling away on the Mantic Forum in relation to Hills, Terrain, Line of Sight and Cover. Reading through these over the past week or so I have developed a better understanding of the KOW rules and thought it worth sharing.


Who Would Have Thought That Lurking Below Such Beauty Is In Fact A World Of Secrets?

Nick Williams of the Rules Committee provides a great summary of "Hills" as they occur in the Kings of War rules:

"The only things they [Hills] do is block LOS like other terrain and add height to a unit standing on them".

This is critically important as blocking LOS and adding Height are two different mechanisms. It also means that you get what may appear to be strange contradictions.

“While standing on a hill, a unit adds that hills height to its own. For example, a height 1 war engine on a height 2 hill would be height 3, while large infantry (height 2) would be height 4 while stood on the hill.

A unit must have the majority of its base on a hill in order to be standing on it.

Excerpt From: Mantic Games. “Kings of War.” iBooks. 

Therefore having the front edge of your unit's base or the unit's Leader Point on the hill does not convey any additional Height to a unit. If you want the benefit of Height to see over other terrain or units then you must ensure 50% of your unit's base is on the Hill.

This is different than the rules for Difficult Terrain - where you only have to have a portion of your base in it to see or be seen. The difference comes from Hills not being Difficult Terrain - they don't hinder charges for example - but their own entity with their own rules.

The key takeaway from all this is that as far as the Rules Committee is concerned, if you want the benefits and drawbacks of a Hill (increased Height) then you only get that when you are standing on the Hill (more than 50% of unit's base). Up until then you can neither see nor be seen if the Hill has sufficient Height that LOS could not be normally drawn.

Personally I don't think it is the most eloquent of rules - 50% while objective is, in-game, subjective - it is nice to have a clear ruling. Hopefully any ambiguity can be cleaned up in v3.

Monday, May 8, 2017

KOW - Review: Vallejo Earth Texture

Recently I picked up a jar of Vallejo Earth Texture. It comes in a 200ml container and in a variety of colours. The variant I got was Dark Earth which is a brownish grey.


It has a thick paste consistency, is an acrylic - so cleanup in water - and dries in 30-45 minutes. The consistency is similar to the GW Textured Paint but obviously the 200ml capacity makes it far cheaper (GW is $13 for 24mls whereas this retails around $25 [NZ Prices]. That makes it about a quarter of the price).



I apply it using an old paint brush in "gloops" which I then work into the required position. Besides its more useful consistency over filler, it is coloured so if it ever chips you aren't left with unsightly white surfaces to repair.

I use it to provide additional texture to flat surfaces like cork or MDF. It is also great to apply over a layer/pile of coarse grit as is fills some of the holes and gaps. Originally I was using it on the bases of terrain but now I use it on my figure bases as well.

This is rapidly becoming one of my "Go To " hobby products and I strongly recommend that you add it to your painting table.

Weekly Hobby Update

Made some real progress this week on some things that are dear to my heart.

First up, as per my previous post, I started the multibasing for my Ratkin. I was dreading doing this but may solid in-roads into the task after a single day. Managed to build on that over the last 24 hours and I can see a definite endpoint. My big concern from here is removing plastic models from resin bases to mount on new mdf ones. I expect the best option will be to use a wide exacto blade....and pray to the Horned Rat.

I have also managed to get the FW Brood Horror painted. This model has sat in my unpainted models drawer downstairs for probably 7-8 years so it is great to get it painted. I now have to paint his rider which will likely take a couple of evenings. Then he can be the centrepiece of my Blight Horde.

On Saturday I managed to get in two games down at the Warlords. In the first, I was narrowly beaten by Lliam's Forces of the Abyss in the "Bounty" mission. I really enjoyed this scenario. The variable Bounty values give it layers of nuance. In the second game, I played Josh's Orcs in "Ransack". The Herd were ultimately victorious but not until after they had seen their Lycans removed by a Regiment of Morax with Brew of Sharpness. This left a hole in the Herd lines that they had to quick fill before the Orcs exploited the breach. Luckily I was able to pivot a Stampede and charge past its initial target to hit the Morax. My second line then moved forward to cover their initial position.

Over the week I have been enjoying the glimpses we have been getting of the new 40k rules on the Warhammer Community page. This strategy of highlighting specific rules and mechanisms prior to the release of the new edition in June has been excellent IMO. For someone who is looking to come back to the game, not having to deal with the bloated corpse that was 5-7th Ed Warhammer is great. There is no baggage, no requirement for "institutional knowledge". I am very optimistic on the new rules set though I think that it may be a real shock for some of the current player base. From what I've read it looks like it will herald a return to "realistic" armies that win through synergy and tactics and where games are played to a conclusion rather with list designed never to see Turn 4.


Sunday, May 7, 2017

KOW - Ratkin Multibasing Begins

My mdf bases from Sarissa yesterday afternoon so I've 6-7 hours constructing the multibases for my Ratkin.

They have all had magnetic sheet fixed to the bottom and I've laid the pavers and started to build the various levels. The first grit mix has been added and I'm waiting for the glue to dry before I can seal it. I'll then start build up further levels before I grit it again and then start painting.

At present there are 6 Horde bases, 6 Regiments, 2 Troops, 2 Cavalry Troops and 2 Large Infantry Hordes. The monsters and war engines are a direct port over from current basing.

The big job will be removing the models from their current single model bases then drilling and pinning them to fix them to the new multibase.

Mapping it all out I'm hoping that I'll have it finished after next weekend.

 

Friday, May 5, 2017

KOW - WIP: Blight Brood Horror

While I wait for my MDF bases to turn up from Sarissa Precision (guessing tomorrow), I have been working on a Forgeworld Brood Horror I bought for my Skaven and never used.

I intend to use her as part of a Blight Horde. At present I have only laid down some off the base colours but she is progressing well.

Hoping to spend time on her this weekend and get her to a stage where she can be multibased so I can build the unit around her.

There is an enormous amount of detail on the model and I can see I'm going to have fun bringing her to life in all her giant molerat splendour.

Check back early next week to see how I got on.

 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

KOW - Army Ranking Using UK Results

One of the benefits of constructing the rankings is that you get a dataset that allows you to do some assessment.

You'll notice that I use the word "assessment" rather than "analysis". The reason for that is that currently the dataset is too small for any statistical confidence to be applied and....more importantly....there is a wide spread of variables that have to be considered.

The rankings are based purely on that. Player ranking at the end of the event. Therefore it is not just Battle but Presentation and Sports. Each TO has their own scoring rubric and so apples are not always being compared with apples....sometimes it can be tangerines.

There is an Army Ranking page that you can access here

This is constructed taking the best ten results for each army excluding that of the person holding the Army Icon. The exclusion is a blunt instrument to limit the impact of player skill (i.e. you might have one player who is very good with the army putting an undue skew on results).

Here is a snapshot of the results for the past year:

# is the number of inputs that go into making up the score. For instance, for Undead the ten best scores were taken from 53 inputs.

I have only included those Armies that have 25+ inputs from which their score is drawn.

The results show some quite interesting "banding" for armies with a similar number of inputs. 

My gut feel is that the Undead result has been built on De 6+ Vampires and we may see them come back to the pack with the recent COK 2017 changes. Elves were higher ranked in the past and I believe that their current ranking reflects changes to Flyers (impacting their Dragon and Draakon builds) and probably more importantly, people learning to play against their strengths - they were very successful when the current edition dropped.

Based on the variation, a case can be made that Dwarfs and Orcs are currently underperforming relative to the other armies. In some cases this may be due to the....let's put this diplomatically...the playstyle of the players using them. It will be interesting to see if the changes to Orcs give them a boost.

As noted there are too many variables to make any definitive statements but I'll be keeping an eye on any changes over coming months.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

KOW - Lonewolf GT Cream Run

Over the past weekend the Lonewolf GT was held in Fort Worth, Texas attracting nearly 90 players. It can legitimately be called the largest Kings of War tournament in the world and attracts players from over the USA plus a number of Brits.

The headline results have been released and I thought that I would have a look at the top armies in terms of Battle and compare them to what we saw last year.

Lonewolf is a nice dataset as it is big enough to have pretty much all the armies represented plus the presence of a significant cadre of KOW expertise. I'm not interested in the average performance of an army as the sample is statistical too small. However I think you can get some very good insights at what performed at the pointy end of the table.

Above is a table showing the Top 11 armies for Battle (in order) for both Lonewolf 2016 and 2017. In both cases it is 11 as what would have been 10th Place produced a tie. One point worth noting is that five players guiding a Top 11 army in 2016 are back in the Top 11 2017 - however only one is running the same army.

My initial thoughts when I saw the 2017 results was that there had been a concentration. However while true, it is only minor - 8 different armies in 2016, 7 different armies in 2017. 

This doesn't look at the make-up of the list of course, rather the toolkit at the player's disposal. Nor does it look at any path to the Top 11, either opponent or opponent/scenario.

There does seem to be at least a hint of an elephant in the room. Both years Abyssal Dwarfs have been the best represented at the top end of Battle scores.Yes, I'm sure there are instances where they didn't perform but I think that there is enough evidence over the two years to say that "in the hands of a good player, the list can consistently put you at the top tables". There may be mitigating circumstances but I do think that based on Lonewolf 2016/17 it is worth at least a conversation when the Rules Committee next discusses Army Balance. It may be nothing but the Lonewolf data may also be giving a signal. What is heartening is that a number of the RC were at the event, and at least one used Abyssal Dwarfs. 

I'd be interested in there thoughts.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

KOW - Terrain: Tabletop World River Mill

I've had the TTW River Mill sitting partly painted on my painting table for the past two months. It's presence has me making guilty sidelong glances and has stopped me jumping into any new painting projects.

Mid last week I decided that I had to get it finished and so I've spent a week of evenings completing it.

Excuse the poor lighting.

It is a three storey building with a stone cellar, grindstone mill apparatus and upstairs office. I have mounted it on a GF9 river section so I can use it in-game.

Cork was used to build up the base and then I applied static grass and tufts.

Overall the piece stands about 9-10" high.