Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Weekly Hobby Update

Three things taken up most of my time this week.

Firstly, getting ready for FOB NZGT tickets to go on sale on Thursday. visited both GW shops with posters and flyers and then visited Valleycon and gave out flyers. There seemed to be very good level of interest so we'll see come Thursday.

Secondly, watched the Las Vegas Open. There were a few excellent games over the weekend and I learned a lot looking at figure placement in particular. Also saw a few of the "dark arts" in play.

Finally, while watching I built and painted three Obliterators for my Emperor's Children. I was really happy with the way they came up - they were the old metal 3rd Edition models which way a ton. I then re-based three of my WHFB Fiends of Slaanesh - "Moonbeam", "Primrose" and "Sparkles" - and gave them an additional highlight ready for my 40k Slaaneshi Daemon contingent.

The one annoying thing from the weekend was looking out the Masque of Slaanesh model Charlie St. Clair painted for me and not being able to find it. Both it and some metal Flamers of Tzeentch were missing 😕 If I have lent it to any of you locals I'd love it back. In the interim I've ordered a new Masque plus Fabius Bile from Games Workshop.

40K - A Blight On The Game

After saying that wargaming is not a spectator sport it is time to fess up. I spent a large part of my weekend watching 40k live from the Las Vegas Open up on the big screen.

Billed as the world's biggest 40k singles event - which it is with 500 players - the tournament goes through six rounds before splitting into a knockout Top 8. To make the Top 8 you needed to go 6-0-0 to guarantee a spot or worse case 5-1-0 (even a couple of those missed out). So no room for slip ups.

In the end the Top 3 lists were essentially the same Ynnari/Aliatoic list with the variance between them less than 100 points. This in itself is a potential problem - maths would say it is unlikely that out of a field of that size you would get three identical lists at the top unless there were some significant inherent advantages - but not the subject of this diatribe.

As we moved into the Top 8 games there was some very questionable sportsmanship on show. And there was a certain karmic satisfaction that those who "lived by the sword, died by the sword". However the most blatant "crime" was slow play.

Cyril the Snail is Usain Bolt compared to some players

Prior to the Final Game, I understand that the player who finished 2nd had not had a game go to Turn Three throughout the event. Certainly in his Semi-Final his 1st Turn took over an hour and his 2nd Turn around 30 minutes. In a game with 2.5 hours allocated this is unacceptable to most people watching. The Judges obviously thought so because they but in place a 20 minute limit per player turn in the Final. This meant that they at least got through three turns.

Slow Play wasn't restricted to a single player though he seemed particularly plagued by it. The player inquestion, is a Team USA player at the ETC, Captain of the ATC Team champions, had led the ITC Championship all year until the final game at LVO.....so obviously a very good and experienced player. Yet throughout the semi final, in particular, he was plagued by tactical indecision, needed to look up reasonably simple rules on his own army and continually questioning his opponent's rules. I appreciate he was playing under pressure but the impression portrayed was that it wasn't all innocent.

My view is that Slow Play whether innocent or deliberate is a blight on the game. I also believe that players who attend events should have a reasonable expectation that they will play their games to a natural conclusion. I am also determined that the Fields of Blood NZGT should not experience problems related to games not ending "organically".

To that end, participants should bear the following in mind when preparing/playing at the event:

  • Army List - it is a reasonable expectation that in a 2.5 hour game that players should split the time equally. To that end, just because you bring a high model count army e.g. Astra Militarum, Orcs, Tyranids, etc. you shouldn't be expecting to take up more than 50% of the available time. The onus is on you to play at a speed that guarantees at least 5 turns or cut your cloth differently. Practice prior to the event, time your turns, know your tactics and your rules.
  • Player Turn - to ensure that the game reaches a conclusion then no Player Turn should really be taking more than 20 minutes. Players should be monitoring time between themselves and self-regulating. If issues arise then calling an Umpire over early in the game is probably the best course.
In the end I'm sure that most players want games decided by tactics and die rolls rather than running out of time. The onus is on the players to work together to achieve this in the first instance. Players should attend with that expectation. However Umpires will get involved if the players can't work it out.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Wargaming - It's Not A Spectator Sport

Over the weekend - as Liverpool got bundled out of the F.A. Cup in the 4th Round.....again - I was thinking about the various futility inherent in hobbies.

If you follow a sports team you literally have no ability to influence its success. Nothing you will do will impact on whether it wins or loses. And the only payoff is reflected glory and being part of an equally futile community.

The Last Time I Smiled

Dark? Probably. Deep? A bit, I suppose.

I then thought about it in context of wargaming.

So often you hear people bitching about either dice or an opponent's list, as though the outcome was inevitable and more importantly A SITUATION YOU COULD DO NOTHING ABOUT.

That sort of approach really puts you in the position of the sports spectator. You are saying you have no influence. Stepping back I thought that if that was the case then why bother (assuming your motivation is to win). Give up the game and watch sports on the couch.

But I suspect that isn't the reality rather a distorted view of the situation which absolves you from blame. Far better to ignore the dice - sunk costs in effect - take a breath and start again. If you perceive that your loss is due to list disparity then you also have options there.

The thing you can't do is say you don't have options.

As a smarter man than me once said......

Rankings Update

The Rankings were updated over the weekend and had the results from the 2017 NZ Masters added. While these events don’t accrue points you’ll see the winners now have a shiny gold icon next to their name and for the upcoming year will have their mere presence signified by a gold band.

Congrats to:

  • Lee Reygate (Flames of War)
  • Ryan Lister (Kings of War)
  • Dave Hodgetts (Warhammer 40k)
FoW and 40k events were held at Valleycon over the weekend and I’m waiting for umpires Bede and Alex to forward the results. 

If TOs also tell me who won Best Sport and Best Painted at their events I will attach the necessary icons.

Thousand Sons and Custodes will receive their own 40k icons given GW Codex love. The release schedule confirmed at LVO means we now know that Tau, Dark Eldar, Necrons, Orcs and Harlequins will continue with their own books. 

Hobby - Citadel Painting Handle

For Xmas my mother gave me three Citadel Painting Handles to go with the one I already had.

When I had first seen them, I was a little dubious but after getting the first one I was hooked. Previously I had used corks which I either glued, pinned or blu-tacced the models to. However these handles have a very nice mechanism that tightly holds the model by the base.

I used them over the weekend to paint three old skool metal Obliterators and they made the whole process far more straightforward. In the past I had problems with the stability of the model while it was painted with sometimes the model coming loose as I turned it to get the right painting angle.

No such problems here. The models remain safely held all through the process.

The other advantage is the heft of the handle. It is weighted so your models don't fall over either.

They've been a great tool. Really recommend them.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

40K - FOB NZGT Players Pack Eratta

The Players Pack for FOB NZGT has been revised.

Page 7 Army Limitations Para 2 now reads:

As per the “Matched Play rules, armies must be battle-forged and you cannot create an army list containing more than a total of two of the detachments listed in the main rulebook on Pg.242-245.

The maximum number of detachments has been reduced from 3 to 2.

The rationale for this change is that it is felt that by limiting the number of Detachments, the armies that will be created will be more in the philosophy of a "Hobby Event". Restricting Detachments to two still allows players to personalise their list but also means that the potential for heavily skewed lists is minimised.

I appreciate that this restriction may not please everybody but if they take a step back I'm sure that they will recognise that it will still be able to create a fun and competitive list at 1750 points.

Monday, January 22, 2018

40k - Fields of Blood NZGT Players Pack

You can download a copy of the Players Pack here

Tickets go on sale 1st February 2018. Hope to see you there!

40K - Emperor's Children Daemon Prince

The Emperor's Children have a history of seeking perfection. Part of the backstory of their embracing of Slaanesh is tied to this goal.

In the art from the Great Crusade they are portrayed with classical features and long manes of luxuriant white hair. They are the Fabios of the twenty Legions.

When I was looking for a model to use as a Daemon Prince for my Emperor's Children, I thought of the Forgeworld Mourngal figure. This model is clearly humanoid and seems to reflect the host being ripped apart as the Daemon emerges. I have painted mine up to try and build on that imagery with the classical visage distorted and the hair lank and matted.

The other big advantage is that he has the pair of Malefic Talons that I tend to equip my Daemon Prince with.

Happy with the model as although quite simple it captures a blessed Legion Commander quite nicely. It has been based as per my Emperor's Children on a 60mm base.

He has already had one outing on the table where he picked up the objective and carried it to a place of safety.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

40k - FOB Warhammer 40k NZGT

The Players' Pack will be ready next weekend - drop me an email if you want a copy. Tickets will go on sale on 1st February on a first come first served basis.

Given the speed which local events fill up I wouldn't dally. 

Looking forward to bringing the hobby back!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

40K - New Emperor's Children 1750 Point List

Over the past few months I have been playing with a themed Emperor's Children list. Integral in this has been a big block of Terminators that costs between 450-550 points. In it drops and the game effectively hinges on whether it does its job or not. Key is the use of Endless cacophony that allows them to shoot twice. 

The unit is very susceptible to Smite - though the beta rules in Chapter Approved have helped here. However overall I've been unhappy with the list for two very divergent reasons. first, I think Terminators - like a lot of elite infantry - are overpriced in the current game. Yes, they have 2 wounds and an invul save but that just doesn't cut it in a world of Mortal Wounds and multi-damage weapons. The second reason is that the tactic is a one-trick pony. On both sides of the table it gets old real quick. I don't see it as particularly tactical or skillful.

And it flies in the face of the IIIrd which are a rapier not a bludgeon.

"Killing with Style"

So I've been playing around with my list in order to make it much more multifaceted. Removing the huge points investment in the Termies has freed up my ability to run many more units in the 180-230 points range and create a wider synergy in the list. 

I've called in some Daemon reinforcements but their role is to support their masters. It's still not a huge army and I suspect I'll play around the edges. Interested in seeing what any CD FAQ puts out particularly in regard to stratagem use.

Emperor’s Children 1750 Points – 7 Command Points

Chaos Space Marine Battalion – Emperor’s Children Legion
  • Daemon Prince with Wings – Warlord (Unholy Fortitude), Intoxicating Elixir, Slaanesh, Malefic Talons, Warptime
  • Sorcerer with Jump Pack – Bolt Pistol, Force Sword, Slaanesh, Prescience, Death Hex
  • 12 Cultists – Slaanesh
  • 12 Cultists – Slaanesh
  • 10 Noise Marines – 2x Blastmaster, 8x Sonic Blaster
  • 10 Noise Marines – 2x Blastmaster, 8x Sonic blaster
  • 5 Noise Marines – 5x Sonic Blastmaster
  • 9 Noise Marines – 8x Chainsword, Champ with Power Sword, Icon of Excess
  • 3 Obliterators – Slaanesh
  • Rhino - Slaanesh
Chaos Daemons Vanguard – Slaanesh

  • Daemon Prince with Wings – Slaanesh, Malefic Talons, Symphony of Pain
  • The Masque of Slaanesh
  • Fiend
  • Fiend
  • Fiend
Appreciate any thoughts.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Help Wanted - Fields of Blood Warhammer 40k New Zealand Grand Tournament Flyer

I was hoping that a reader of the blog - with far more creative skills than myself - could help me produce a flyer for this year's FOB Warhammer 40k NZGT.

Given that I use MS Paint + Word for most of my image manipulation, I'm thinking that the world may have moved on from 1998.

Is there anybody out there with the necessary skills that can either create a flyer or direct me to an app or software that will let a philistine like myself do it easily.

Drop me an email

Monday, January 15, 2018

Hobby - One Hour A Night

So with the warm weather I have been in a real hobby procrastination rut.

I have plenty of things to do, I want to do them but nothing's happening.

The hobby area has been cleaned up, new brushes broken out, airbrushes stripped and cleaned....but.

I a great believer that you can train yourself to do something via repetition and so I decided to apply that to this hobby bump to get me over it.

One Hour A Night

Decided to commit myself to one hour of (physical) hobby per night. By physical, I mean making or painting something - not watching videos, reading blogs etc.

So every weekday evening between 7.00-8.00pm I am going to "hobby". My alarm is set to give me the extra prompt should I "forget".

The intention is to get into a "hobby habit". Some might view such an approach as too regimented or treating your relaxation as a job. For me I see it as a pathway to success. I like to hit milestones and want my hobby efforts to be directed rather than ramshackle. I see this has being a better methodology than "I'll paint this unit over the next two weeks" as that goal will be achieved if I make hobbying a habit.

I'll report back in a month on how I'm doing.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

40K - Keeper of Secrets

I have had a Forgeworld Keeper of Secrets in my grey plastic/resin "Drawer of Shame" since 2011. The model is so nice and finicky with large patches of flesh, I have always felt too intimidated to paint it.

Over the Xmas break I finally summoned the courage. Here's the result:

The model is very delicate for such a large piece. Each of those spikes has to have holes drilled and then is individually attached. Same with the "dreads" which have to be formed from straight resin.

The razor blades on the gauntlet have 0.3mm pins in them.

I found painting that much flesh intimidating. In the end I did several thin glazes to try and achieve the correct definition.

Now I just have to paint another 50+ Juan Diaz daemonettes!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Hobby Goals - Q1 2018

Start of the year, time to list hobby goals for 2018. Decided that rather than post for the full year I will do bite sized chunks quarter by quarter. The reason for this is that, like all gamers, I suffer from hobby attention deficit syndrome flipping from one thing to another.

So here are my Q1 one goals:

Kings of War

  • Get my Elves on the table. About 6-7 years ago I bought Phil Comins' beautifully painted Fire Elves. Since then they have languished in my cupboard, mostly because I hate the pompous PEGs as a race. However this year I have decided they need to see some table time. With the Varangur finished I'm going to get these guys "tabletop-ready". This means movement trays plus adding in a few extra models to get the necessary "KoW units". I may even talk nice to Phil and see if he can paint some units for me.

  • Elven terrain. I have some of the Battlefield in a Box Elven terrain which I intend to revamp to match the army. Also keen to investigate whether there are any 3D printable Elven scenery pieces I can produce.
  • Print some Aztec type ruins to create a new table for Kings of War based around jungle.
War of the Roses DBA

  • My club the Warlords has got together to have a club project for the year. About 8-9 have signed up and we will each created a 12 element DBA army (approx 60 figures) to play a series of multiplayer games and campaigns. I am doing the Nevilles, led by the Earl of Warrick. Hoping this gets done over the next three weeks.

Warhammer 40k
  • Slaanesh Daemons. New codex out in a fortnight. I have all the figures to build a metal Juan Diaz Daemonette army. Already have the chariots painted (sans crew) and a 23 daemonette unit for my EC. Hopefully there will be potential to cross over for a Forces of the Abyss Succubi army.

  • Adepticon! After attending in 2014 and 2015, this year I'm braving the 50 hour round trip to attend again. Jack is meeting me in Chicago and we are staying at the venue. We have signed up for a lot of the hobby classes rather than gaming events. We see so little practical tuition down here in New Zealand. Keen to meet any KoW or 40k gamers that are followers of the blog and intend to drop by and see some of the podcasters I follow.
Reasonably packed first three months. Follow the blog to see how much I achieve 😋

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Weekly Hobby Update

Busy week for me.

I painted my Forgeworld Keeper of Secrets I purchased in 2011. Just doing the last details and then I'll get pictures up. I also finished the unit of 23 Daemonettes I had been working on.

As I was base coating my KoS the regulator on my airbrush compressor seized. I was able to order one online (Xmas Day) and it turned up two days later. Regulator had been in use for 6.5 years so shouldn't complain.

I stripped down both my Patriot and Sotarr airbrushes and gave them a sonic clean. Put oil on the threads and reassembled. They are back to 100%. It is amazing the paint that builds up in them even with regular cleaning.

With Jack back we put some of the mods onto my 3D printer. It now has a Z-axis brace which should stop any wobble and thumbwheel bed level adjusters. Ready to print some 40k scatter terrain.

Finally put together my Perry WotR figures for the Warlords Project this year. Nice figures that are easy to put together. Looking to base coat this week if the weather cools down.

Had one game against Hagen's Imperial "Soup". My Noise Lord, the Daemon Prince Challis Drant collected the artefact we were fighting over and made off with it while the rest of the army distracted the lackeys of the Corpse-god. Superior intellect beats bright new tools every time 💀

KOW - Key Attractions: It's Not All About The List

Having the benefit of six months away from playing KOW, in part due to the release of 40k, I've had the opportunity to identify what parts of games I like.

You soon realise that competitive 40k is heavily skewed to list building. By that I mean that potentially up to 70-80% of your success rate can be down to your specific list and how it matches up to that of your opponent. A key skill in 40k is to find an underpriced item and through the use of Stratagems, Aura effects, Psychic Powers etc create the "unintended". The second key skill is to understand when someone else has done that....or to give it its proper term "netlisting". From there the skill is to define target priority and know the basic mechanics. If you can do that you are probably in the Top 10% of players.

An example of this would be the use of Poxwalkers in a Death Guard army. Through judicious use of overlays you can turn your 6 point model into one that hits on a 3 and re-rolls one rather than on a 5+. This makes it far more points efficient than a Marine or Terminator and means that you are putting yourself at a disadvantage relatively to your peers if your DG army is not stacked with them. By drawing elements from three different books you can create a beast.

One aspect I like of Kings of War is that you can't do this......to anything like the same extent. Yes, you can build an efficient list but the disparity between a good list and a bad list is much reduced. This is because Mantic have got both the internal balance and the external balance far more level. This, coupled with the inability to layer outside effects, is great. You get access to one Artefact per unit (max) and the effects are limited to that unit.

The downside is that people can point to a lack of variability but Mantic is now slowly introducing more artefacts and spells though keeping the inability to layer in place.

It is Force Multipliers that destroy a game. If you can add multiple effects - and draw effects probably never intended for a specific race - then you quickly escalate impact.

Some people like the ability to tinker to find these "Easter Eggs". However in this age of internet, the majority are followers who, for a variety of reasons, prefer to have others do at least the initial thinking.

I think KOW is pretty good at avoiding this.