Tuesday, December 12, 2017

40k - FOB NZGT - Bringing The Hobby Back

So I decided to resurrect "Fields of Blood" - the NZ Grand Tournament - last week and since then I've been sitting down with some of the smartest minds in the land deciding what to do.

"Let's Bring The Hobby Back! We Need to Game Like It's 2003!"

Knowing that the art of the salesman is to give the people what they want, this is exactly what we are going to do!

Back in the day when behemoths ruled the 40k gaming world, the apex predators were those that could marry their gameplay with their soft scores. It was not enough to just crush your opponents, you had to do it with a smile on your face while carrying them for five turns. Hobby points were also important - three colour minimum was not going to cut the mustard.

And so in a return to those glory years....we've come full circle and we bringing it back.

Battle Scores (40%)

Still the biggest influence on your placing. There are six games and Gameplay can vary from 0-40% which means that one win is effectively worth 7% of your total score.

Sports (25%)

Effectively the default score will be 18%. If you are pleasant, play in a timely fashion and aren't a dick then you'll score at least that. That means there is an extra 7% up for grabs - the same as a win. However it won't be easy to get. Only one person can score 7% and to do that they would have to be judged Favourite Opponent by each of their opponents. For each Favourite Opponent vote you get an additional 1% with the player who scores the most getting an additional 1% for Best Sport.

Presentation (25%) 

We'll be using a checklist whereby a score of 26% can be scored. However the checklist cap will be at 20%. The additional 5% will come from a mix of Player Choice Votes and Judges Picks. This will only be open to people who have painted 90% of their own army. How will we know? We'll ask people. Assuming you didn't paint your own army but it ticks the normal boxes for a nice tabletop army as per the FOB Painting checklist then you will score 20%. If you pick up a Best Painted vote then you'll get an extra 1%, Those in the Top Three Players Choice will accrue another 1% while Players Choice will get an additional 1%. Judges will vote and a Top 5 army will get 1% with Judges Choice scoring a final 1%. Someone could score the extra 5% but I think we can agree they'll probably deserve it.

So by this stage if someone has six wins then for another player to leapfrog them in the Overall Standings they'd also need between 4-5 wins.

The final part of the equation is as follows:

Army (10%)

No doubt this will be the most controversial part of the scoring....because it is subjective. A panel of judges will look at your list using a two part methodology each worth 5% - Theme and Choices.

Theme is how well your army fits in with accepted 40k canon. You'll have a hard job convincing us that Mortarion and Magnus ever fought together in defence of a Renegade Artillery Park. However if you have a standalone Blood Angels list then the Theme component won't be hard to achieve. Similarly a Tyranid force that mixes Hivefleets will be a hard sell.

Choices is the other component. Your list may cross the Theme hurdle but using Space Marines as an example, if all your Troop choices are Scout then I'd want to see Scout Bikers and I doubt Guillimane would be leading them. If your Eldar list has three units of Dark Reapers, then I suspect Maugan Ra is leading them rather than Eldrad etc.

The key here is to bring a list that gives your opponent an enjoyable game rather than is a Frankenstein monster created in the maths-lab at Caltech or MIT.

So there you go......a tournament so hobby you'll feel like a Red-Shirt screaming "Waagh"

Weekly Hobby Update

Over the past week I've been doing a bit of hobby.

Firstly, I have managed to paint a new Deamon Prince for my Emperor's Children. This will give me choice as to which I use because unlike a lot of people I think it highly unlikely you'd have two Daemons sharing control of a force 👿

Secondly, I have been working on a unit of Daemonettes for the same army. I have finished and based the first eight and I am looking to build the unit to 23. These are the Juan Diaz Daemonettes though I have used some arm swaps from the recent plastics to get wider variety. As the SJWs tell me, Diversity is important.

The rest of my time has been jacking up the Khandallah Town Hall for the return of the Fields of Blood New Zealand Grand Tournament. It is not easy to secure such a good venue and it was only after they juggled some other bookings that I got it.

I've also been working on exactly what type of even I want to stage. This will be a return to the Grand Tournament roots, so yes I'm "Bringing the Hobby Back". The exact format will be the subject of a separate post in the next week.

Monday, December 11, 2017

KOW - NZ Masters Photos

Here are a few photos from the recent NZ Masters won by Ryan Lister with Undead.

First up are the three tables used over the weekend.



The Desert

The First Round was an exact copy of what we would see in the Championship Round - Undead vs. Goblins, Orcs vs. Dwarfs and Trident Realms vs. Forces of the Abyss. Bizarrely the results were the same as well even though the tables were different.

Trident Realms up against the Forces of the Abyss

Undead vs. Goblins - They met later for all the marbles

Dwarfs vs. Orcs

40K - Frontline Gaming - Great Customer Service

As you all know, the time around Thanksgiving is an incredibly busy shopping time in the US with all the Black Friday sales.

Recently I took advantage of the Frontline Gaming sale where they had 25% off the price of their neoprene mats. Jack is coming home from Boston over the holiday season so it was a good opportunity for him to be a "mule" and bring back supplies. With 25%, free shipping in the US and no international shipping I was able to land two 6'x4' mats for NZD$80 each rather than the normal $170-200 they cost in New Zealand score.

My only problem was ensuring they were with Jack before he left mid-December. This problem was elevated when FLG indicated via email that there had been enormous demand for the mats and that there may be greater delay than normal in supply and shipping. I contacted Frontline via email and within 30 minutes had a reply from Frankie that they would prioritise the order.

The package arrived via FedEx on Friday last week, in plenty of time for Jack's departure.

I thought that this was excellent service from Frontline (and Frankie) as they didn't have to make the effort. The sale had been completed, credit card charged and I was getting a "deal". their efforts mean that I'll continue to use them as my US supplier of choice for hobby products.

Thanks again guys.

NZ Event Calendar - Warhammer 40k and Kings of War

I have updated the Event Calendar for known Warhammer 40k and Kings of War events in 2018.

You can access it here or by clicking the "Event Calendar" Button below the "Fields of Blood" banner.

I am happy to add any Warhammer 40k or Kings of War events, the aim being to encourage participation.

To have an event added all you have to do is drop me an email and if possible a link to your Players Pack. If Players Pack not available you should send me headline details until one is finalised.

Friday, December 8, 2017

40K - FIELDS OF BLOOD New Zealand Grand Tournament 2018

Some exciting news. 2018 will see the return of the Fields of Blood New Zealand Grand Tournament.

This event was run by Games Workshop from 1999 -2007 and by myself from 2008 - 2012. You can read a history of the event here

Here are the details for the 2018 event:

Date: 29/30 September 2018

Venue: Khandallah Town Hall, Wellington

Rounds: Six (3 Saturday, 3 Sunday)

Armies: 1750 points

Cost: $50

Participants: Limited to 50

Players' Pack: 29 January 2018

Tickets: Go on sale 1 February

The event was the premier 40k event held in the country in the period from 1999-2012. Over the time that I ran it, it was won by Bruce Manning (Chaos), David Lewy (Tau) and Charlie St. Clair (Orks and Necrons). It also regularly attracted a contingent of up to a dozen Australian visitors each year.

In 2018, it will be held at the Khandallah Town Hall in Wellington. This was the venue where the NZ Team championships for WHFB were held and there is a multitude of food options close by.

2015 Team Championships - View from the Upstairs Gaming Lounge

The venue is a two storey hall built in 2012. It is well ventilated and very well lit. In addition to the two gaming areas there is a crash lounge with couches and armchairs.

Metal Plaque for the Winner of the Gameplay Category 

Trophies extended to the Player who brought the best table of terrain.

The FOB trophies are large metal plates (as above) mounted on walnut. There will be trophies for Best Gameplay, Best Sport, Best Army and Best Terrain as well as Top Overall Placegetters. In addition, there will be trophies for the Best Placegetter in each Faction (5 or more participants).

So mark your diaries. It's coming back....and it will be big!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

KOW - NZ Masters Lists

People have asked to see the KOW lists that were used at last weekend's Masters. You can find them here

Going into the event I thought Higgins' Goblins were going to be the army to beat and so it proved.

The NZ Masters title came down to the last turn and a draw on Turn 6 became a win for Ryan's Undead. Ryan has a reputation for being "Mr. Binary" at KoW. He either podiums or finishes in the bottom two. This was one of the podium events.

His Undead are quite a good counter for the Goblins as the three units of Wraiths have sufficient Defense and Mobility to upset the Greenskin plan.

I'll post pictures in the next 24 hours.

KOW - 2017 NZ Masters - Run & Won

This weekend saw the inaugural NZ Masters for KoW run over two days at Cashmere Avenue School Hall in Khandallah.

Six players participated in a round robin before a championship round that pitted 1st v 2nd, 3rd v 4th and 5th v 6th. After the round robin the scores were as follows:

  • 55 - Ryan Lister (Undead)
  • 53 - Robert Higgins (Goblins)
  • 44 - Tane Woodley (Dwarfs)
  • 42 - Josh Barton (Orcs)
  • 32 - Lliam Munro (Forces of the Abyss)
  • 14 - Kent Jackson (Trident Realms)
In the Championship Round, Ryan beat Robert, Josh beat Tane and Lliam beat Kent.

 NZ Masters Champion Ryan Lister Receiving His Trophy

Runner Up Robert Higgins

The Championship Match (Control) was very close. At the end of the sixth turn the game was a tie with the decider being Attrition (again 80 points difference so no VP variation). However Rob rolled for the 7th Turn which would mean that Ryan would win unless he rolled "Snake Eyes" for the Nerve Roll on a rear charge by Revenants into Spitter Horde. Ryan avoided the double "1" to take the first NZ Masters for KoW.

Congratulations to all involved. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

2018 NZ Masters Date & Venue Confirmed

The 2018 NZ Masters will be held on the first weekend of December (1st & 2nd) at Cashmere Avenue School Hall in Khandallah, Wellington.

No Funky Jackets But An Awful Lot of Heat

Flames of War, Warhammer 40k and Kings of War events will be held and invites will be determined via the Fields of Blood NZ Rankings.

2018 will be the 11th Annual NZ Masters and hopefully early advice of weekend and venue will allow people to plan accordingly.

40k - Chapter Approved Points Changes

I intend writing a more general Chapter Approved review in the next few days but I thought I would comment on some of the impact of points changes.

As you know the Masters were run over the weekend and 12 players battled it out for the crown. When you run the Masters you check lists and when you update Battlescribe data it updates existing lists. So I had a look yesterday at the effect of the Chapter Approved changes.

The Impact of Chapter Approved on the Astra Militarum

Nine of the twelve lists are relatively unchanged by points shifts in Chapter Approved. Their new price is within +/- 20 points of the Masters price. However on the Imperium side not everything is that peachy. While Scott Clough's Eight Model Army only say an increase of 20-25 points, the same can't be said for the rest of the lists that used Astra Militarum as their backbone.

The points increases for these armies was as follows:
  • Craig Stewart's Imperial Soup - approx 100 points
  • Simon Smith's Astra Militarum - approximately 150 points (BS says 146)
  • Dave Hodgetts' Astra Militarum - approximately 150 points (BS says 153)
Happy for someone to check my maths as I'm not a Numbers scientist.

Now this is in no way an attempt to disparage the efforts of Simon and Dave at the Masters. They were clearly the top two players. Importantly they had identified the most efficient items in their codex. They were also unaware of these points increases at the time the lists were submitted. Finally everyone had the same opportunity to bring AM (with a little effort).

However it does reinforce what everyone had probably suspected - that AM is a very good list and parts of it were undercosted.

It will be interesting if we see Conscripts now they are 4 points. Also it will also be interesting to see whether AM are still popular at the Las Vegas Open (I think so as I think they have great tools everywhere).

I'm very glad I didn't allow FW at the Masters as some of the points bumps there are far greater.

Monday, December 4, 2017

40k - Fields of Blood NZ Masters Results

Over the weekend the Masters were held in Wellington. This was the 10th time they have been held and I reckon this was one of the most competitive to date.

Six rounds using 1750 point armies - no Forgeworld. Scoring used a W-D-L system with 10 points for a win and 1 point for a draw. Tiebreakers were Slay the Warlord, First Blood and Linebreaker.

We got 12 of the Top 20 ranked players, representing all parts of New Zealand.

Here are the results:

Well done to Dave who was also the Top Ranked Player for the year.

What is interesting is that no player won all their games....Dave beat Simon but was beaten by Vinnie. Sean drew with Sam and David F drew with Connor.

Thanks to all those who attended and to those that dropped in over the weekend.

Here's some photos of the winners (apologies for the quality - I did explain to Hagen how to use the focus 😊):

First Place & Masters Champion - Dave Hodgetts

Second Place - Simon Smith

Third Place - Ryan Pike (spot the children in the background).

Next year the New Zealand Masters will be back in Wellington before going on the road in 2019.

Friday, December 1, 2017

NZ Masters on this Weekend

The 10th Annual New Zealand Masters are on this weekend in Khandallah, Wellington.

Gamers will contest supremacy in Warhammer 40k, Kings of War and Flames of War.

And besides bragging rights they will have the opportunity to win these fine trophies.

I am umpiring the Warhammer 40k and Kings of War events. Looking at the lists and checking the players' records over the year, here are my predictions.


3. Sam Whitt 

Honed Tzeentch Daemon list with the ability to bring a lot of Smite to the table. I think that he will just hold out for 3rd from Ben Clarke's Daemons.

2. Sean Sullivan

Trying to do a three-peat. His Ynnari have been hurt by the recent FAQ changes but his list has more mobility than anyone else at the event. Looking forward to following his matchups.

1. Dave Hodgetts

Dave has the strongest list at the event and strong reason form. I think his firepower may just see him through though I think he should be worried by his relative mobility. Based on Chapter Approved, he and his AM mates are playing a few points up on the field.


2. Tane Woodley - I'd have him as favourite except our local Green candidate has had his priorities wrong over the past 6 months. He's bringing a Wall-of-De 6 and I'm not sure all his oppoents will be able to deal with it.

1. Robert Higgins - Mr. Pay to Win recently bought a Goblin army off me and has it honed and ready to go. It is a step up from his Orcs and I think it will be just too big for other players to handle.