Thursday, 29 November 2012

Cheese Grater NZ Masters 2012 edition

The NZ Masters is almost upon us and will feature a dozen of the top WHFB players duking it out this weekend in classic style. In the home pad of Hobbitses, Wellywood there won't be any friendly hairy feet but contestants hobnailed boots ready to Orc stomp with some very robust lists. Every one has brought a contender list and even though there has been talk of the Elves bringing tooth picks to a gun fight I think there will be very little chance of lop sided results this year, bar a choke or two. Lists can be found here.

I'm going to split the twelve competitors into three Categories for my take on how the lists and generals will do this weekend. From the guys who just came for the pies and coke, the guys who brought their iron underwear but just missed with the last sword thrust, to the Glory getters who proved that the dice gods were with them and rolling double 6's is a breeze.

So with no further ado let's get down to the chess grater. We'll start with the marshmallow centre and the potential podiums in no particular order.

Skaven ( the Pete edition). With the prescribed grumbling about the best warhammer army aside this list is a cheese connoisseurs dream. Packed with the tools to do the business and with a seasoned general to run the back line. Already with heaped expectation from around the world on Skaven performance, I can't see this army not doing well. With one well documented choking incident already, I'd assume that this Skaven general has spared no expense and would be seeing the same sports psyche the AB's went to pre 2011. Hiccups aside this will be the army and general to beat if you want the Masters crown.

High Elves (Peter W.) This army has been written off already from the masses. I'm a little astounded as I play Elves and can see exactly how this army has been designed to do. As long as the general remembers the battle plan I can see that this list will be up there for the awards. Just because it doesn't have the internet double Whitelions, it's got the punch where it needs it. I've already backed this army with a few rounds of xmas ale.

Bretonnians (Antony Gouda Master). The reining NZ Master has forgotten to bring the cheese and instead has brought a whole lot of tin cans. Don't let this fool you as Bretonnians are another internet underrated army. The list is tough as nails and as long as the 5's & 6's keep on getting rolled expect to see the Bret list prove IT warriors wrong again and again. Not a genuine block of prime Gouda but I'll pick this to make the podiums even if I'm bias and have leant the army its second trebuchet.

Vampires (Rory). Having seen the results first hand of this in your face list, it's sure got the impetuous to do well. The army has done it's extensive field testing, so no situation should be a surprise. I would rate this amongst one of the top lists coming for head on exchanges. It however does have a disadvantage that maybe exposed from the experienced field at the event. As long as it just smashes face it should do fine.

And now we go to the section "Steel drawers were not quite enough". On another battlefield these armies would of had an easy run to the podium but this is the Masters. An unexpected roll of a 1 or a stubbed finger nail could swing results. These are the armies that will come close and on their day will sneak up to the top quadrant.

Orc & Gob  (Sam). Really fun party time list to play and field I'd imagine. With that mob it will be hard to handle for most armies backed up by the Gobbo artillery and warmachines. Everything to handle all the phases but still at the back of my mind it's just a tad behind from some of the lists in the combined field. Will be happy to be proved wrong and if anyone Sam will be the general to do it. So wildcard but currently just on the outskirts.

Tomb Kings (Tim). Tomb kings have taken the silverware in quite a few events in NZ by Tim. The army should be very familiar by now and the shooting gallery will be hard work for low T and AS armies. Having a look at the list I can't help but notice that there is a few easy points left for people to get and even though it's solid I think having just the one casket may have released too much pressure on his opponents.

Warriors (Neil). Thats one potentially tough as nails list. Bar getting every shot in from the Hell Cannons and not having any unusual mishaps this list should find it's way to the top half of the field easily. Even without a gateway... oh wait it doesn't have gateway. It ends up second teir unfortunately in this tough testing environment.

Skaven (the Locky edition). You can't write off any Skaven list at any event with a seasoned general and this army is in no doubt that it has a chance to win. I can only guess by it's design that it'll miscast once too often and even the warlord's leadership won'y hold off a couple of close games. Still with the potential to cause a few surprises and even top the other skaven list in the results.

So having finally found out it's on this weekend I thought I'd wish everyone good luck and great fun. I had originally thought it was the second weekend of December so had to declined my invite. I would have been able to make the 1st weekend of December, doh! For all those lists that I didn't mention, take no offence. I would have enjoyed catching a few cokes and pies with you too if I was in Welly this weekend.





Monday, 19 November 2012

Snippets from the Interweb

Not having the luxury of much spare time recently I've been filling in the odd moments where I get to hobby to catch up on the goings on in the NZ wargaming community. Whether it be recent tournaments, upcoming Masters tournaments, planned events and wildly semi-humorous going ons, here's my take on the current affairs of recent times.

Tournaments:

NZ Masters is being held 2nd weekend of December in Wellington and will be hosted by it's progenitor Pete Dunn. Even though I snuck into the invite list for WHFB this year I can't free up the time to attend. It looks to be a super competitive bunch of fine Warhammer players gathered for the event. You can find a list of the people attending here. There's no talk of baby seals as all the lists look pretty solid and it'll be a hard prediction to pick the podiums and the also rans. You can also find the WHFB lists here.

With the past weekend it saw a good new initiative in wargaming tournaments. The rise of the One-dayer in Warhammer. We already saw something similar with WHFB500, WH40K Combat Patrol and Vermintide the 1200pt event with 5 rounds in one day in Wellington could open another chapter of wargaming for the hobbyist finding it hard to free up both days of the weekend. With 5 rounds and a good bite of 1200pts, it qualifies for Ranking points and also means that it will feel like a full tournament. Keep an eye on this space as I've already heard good chatter to get a few of these off the ground here in Auckland. Expect them to begin mid next year and I'll have all the details as soon as they are confirmed. Vermintide results can also be found here.

Chatter:

There's always some talk about the relevance of sports/comp in tournaments. I know that most experienced wargamers are adverse talking about sports and comp as it's an old tired horse and my efforts to get a conversation going recently only managed to attract the new comers to the hobby as they hadn't been aware that there already exists a vast collection of converstation on the subject interweb wide. I picked up a classic example of the old crop beating the old horse and also a seasoned rider horse whispering.

Young buccaneer whips his tired horse:-
"I am curious to see how the sportmanship was done. It seems a bit silly to me that people pretty much always get max sports points. It kind of defeats the purpose apart from acting as a deterrent for people who might otherwise have been dick like in their game play.

I would like to sportmanship somehow done in a way so that there is a clear winner."

Old sage horse whispers:-

"The objectives of the tournament are for players to have a good time playing Warhammer against like minded people, and to encourage new players into the hobby and into tournament play. In order to meet these objectives it is important that the boundaries and expectations of behaviour / sporstmanship are set.

The scoring system, the briefing prep talk, and the player pack are designed to establish the expectations.
To me this is a Warhammer tournament and not a competition in sportsmanship. The sporstmanship criteria is a mechanism by which the worst elements of competitive play can be held in check. Everybody receiving maximum sports score, far from being silly, is a win for the tournament and for the players attending and met my hopes and expectations."

It's always been a red tie vs blue tie conversation, so which point of view do you believe in.


Computer Games:

Grew up playing UFO and have never got tired of the turn based old skool game. It no longer loads on my computer  as it's a bit ancient so I haven't played it in yonks. All classic pc game goodies are getting a revamp and bringing back the vintage game is Firaxis and it's looking pretty sweet. Here is X-Com: Enemy Unknown.


Web Series:

Stumbled onto the new Battlestar Galactica Ten ep series. About time they did more BSG and this is pretty high quality production from syfy channel. Well worth a check if you got a few spare moments and time to youtube it on the bus.


Saturday, 17 November 2012

Glory in the Badlands (Narrative Campaign)

A good bunch of wargamers are starting a narrative campaign and escalation league. We'll be starting from a 500pt basic build and with a view to collecting a much bigger force. With games documenting how your army and Heroic leader impacts on the Old World with every game that's palyed. So let the Warhammer Gods decide the fate of Heroes and warriors as they carve themselves a epic tale into the history of my current wargaming.

I wrote a bit of fluff to get going with my current Wood Elves I'm working on. It'll be good inspiration to get the army finished with a rich back ground to the models as well.

It had been decades since the last bright sail of High Elven patrol boat had graced the shores of The tower of the Stars in distant Cathay. Barely just in his prime the Noble Darrian led his rag tag force of archers amongst what had remained of the raided once serene settlement of the River of stars. It's population routed and scattered by dark clothed cultists. The ruins of the settlement could still be seen a hollow haunting fa├žade of once proud monumental buildings but now ruined husks melting in the molten darkening gloom of the evenings sunset.


Darrian's mind raced back to the night when strange boats but distinctively Elven had been seen on the horizon and the Old Lord Protector had prepared to welcome our visiting cousins to our arms. Our welcoming faces soon quickly turned to shock as these mad antagonists yelled ritualistic taunts behind a hail of barbed poisoned bolts to slay the peaceful citizens of the River of Stars. Driven by the surprise attack and divided from the Protectors Seaguard defensive force Darrian could only reform with his Hunter Archers. They had taken well to the forested expanse of the new colony and it's every tree and rock for miles around were know to them. So began the rearguard action to save what few of the populace that had narrowly found themselves on the edge of the invasion. Darrians Bow sang a vicious song of revenge as his few comrades fought to save their people. Out numbered but not daunted his arrows found a vital mark more often than not and the invaders paid a large toll when they pursued the Eagle eyed band. Even in the evening night amongst the glow of still rutted burning buildings the clear song of Elven long bow reaped a toll on the Dark Elf ravagers.


Separated from his people, his trusted spear and shield, Darrian stood amongst his few left archer cadre. The garb had subtly changed from the Ulthuan formal to a more utilitarian skirmish. Everyone of his bowmen now carried their great hunting bows that they had escaped that first night of slaughter with and powerful were these in comparison to the standard bow of the Seaguard. The years that they had fought to rid themselves of their invaders had toughened the Warband and only the strongest and most skilled had lasted the long campaign. Tonight Darrian thought, as he plucked his finely crafted well used arrow from his defeated foe, 'We have rid us of the last of the vermin from our shores'. For some reason the main force of ravagers had left and the score or two of the remaining Dark Elves left as a garrison were easily humbled by the Shining Eagles, Darrians archer warband.


The victory was accomplished without the help of the force of nature of the surrounding forest which had rallied around the Elven archers from the wood. The powers of branch and thorn were granted to the fledgling lord from his innate mystical matriarchal line descended directly from Caledor himself. Although he displayed no abilities with spell or scroll he could communicate with the forest in times of dire need and the spirits of the wood would aid him at his desperate call. From graceful Dryads to titanic manifestations of forest spirits of brooding gnarled Oaks his allies were swift to ally vengeance and were not easily quelled. The forest spirits help had established the Shiny Eagles a home within the wood for these past decades and provided for their small community. As the years past the symbiotic relationship could be seen subtly overlapping between the two entities of Elf and Wood. Surely they gained strength from each other as Dryads gained the gracefulness of Elf and Elf gained the hardness of bearing of Oak.


With the last of the Invaders on shore laid low by Elven bow his thoughts went to his people. The settlement had slowly started to rebuild within the forest. The remnants of the Tower of stars eventually finding the scattered bands from the night of the invasion. Although small it was beginning to slowly rebuild and the more commonly used of the communities name had changed from the Tower of Stars to the Stary Wood. Named after the favourite mystic weapons favoured by it's warrior scion sons the 'Starfire arrow' . Forever changed but strengthened by the experiences that affected them. His people were precious to him and their new home was precious to him. Darrians mind traced it's tract to the remaining long boats beached nearby. No longer will we be the hunted we will take the fight to these invaders and they shall know the fear of vengeance...


The Shining Eagles:


Darrian Starfire (Noble, Starfire arrows, /lt Armour, Shield)
11 Glade Guard (Muso, Lords Bowman)
11 Dryads
5 Waywatchers


I've left my background during the time of Tethlis the Slayer where most of the Elven colonies had started to head back to Ulthuan. The distant Settlements slowly lost touch with the homeland and the regular Seaguard patrol boats visited less and less the far reached settlements of the once proud Elven nation. My Army is essentially a High elf army that had to develop its own military tactics as it was cruelly separated from it's main body of arms. This is why most of my Gladeguard are a meld of High Elven archers and Wood Elf bows and cloaks. I think as further along we go on the escalation ladder I will be using my fluff to either continue to explore finding more Wood elf allies (GW models) in Darrians search for revenge or with his High Elf roots and possible scattered settlements that he might stumble on in his voyage. He could enlist aid from a number of sources and I can have a huge variety of models from different ranges factored into my new army.


This is the link to the official link of the league here.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Discovering the game again

Managed to get a game in after a hectic week. Me old High Elf army pits itself against Logan's butchertastic Ogre army.


2400pts vs Logan at the Hammer club of good times. Ogres get first turn and High Elves look for fresh undies as fatties 12" away and packing double unit big guns. Slaughter Master shows off what 'The Maw' which has often been referred to as the poor mans Pit of Shades. Elves being I5 naturally wasn't quite that worried until it landed full face ontop of a spear unit and then quickly found out that you still took str3 hits if you passed the test. Cue half the unit swallowed down a chomping big hole, lols for initiative lots and it's better than pit in so many ways. For his troubles Slaughter Master discovers guy fawlkes and cascades in a brilliant cacophony of sparks into the warp. The remaining battle ensues with mass combat across the table as Swordmasters chop at bunched Mournfang, Bsb's face off amongst Whitelions Ironguts melee, Spears charge a post fire works display Ironguts unit and Dragon princes skewer some Leadbelchers. Whitelions apparently are so good but Ironguts quickly Str6 and stomp little Lion killers to mush and crowd around the challenge of flag wavers. Depleted Elf toothpicks decide that Ogres aren't that tough when reduced to strength 1 and prove wearing skirts and Str3 poke in the eye is alright. Victorious Swormasters then discover that 4 leadbelchers is enough to make them into a mist of mince pie, so what if you can do great things with a sword. High Elf Bsb after pants in rolling first up proves how broken rerolls to hit and armour saves are and quickly chop ogre BSB in the final round of the game and Logan after only making one leadership test the whole entire game fails his stubborn and the Ogre audience flee to discover that all High Elves are issued with Nikes this game and one little mad Elf with an Ax watched American Physco pre-bat. Phew, so much carnage, such a close game, top match, top opponent it was. Disclaimer: Mindrazor was not used once all game. No real Ogres or Pointy ears was hurt in the making of this batrep, just lots of Warhammer good fashion fun times.

Whose up for some High Elf touching you up at a battlefield near you soon??

Johnny was proficient with an Ax...


Thursday, 8 November 2012

WHFB500 Batreps & Results

So with my slightly leaky boat that I call my Wood Elf army I was amped for some good Hammer times. Was going into it with a fun list and it went something like this 11 Gladeguard, 11 Dryads, 5 Waywatchers and a Noble with Starfire Arrows. The Starfire arrows was the one trick in the list and at Str3 it was going to be a hail Mary just the way Wood elves should be.

GAME 1: I expected to play three new faces but the first round had me up against John with his Bretonnians a familiar club member and a good general. He had three blocks of Errants, Yeoman and a Paladin with a magic weapon. A lot of knights to deal with with minimal twangers at my disposal. We were on a table with a big hill on the 4x4 and including my free wood it was three forests for me to give it a good go. Not being a familiar with the WE I deployed a bit more aggressively with the Waywatchers  on his right flank as he had his knights lined across his deployment with yeoman protecting his flank. Waywatchers went scouting on his deployment and was to tie up a couple of his units to let my Gladeguard and Dryads a chance to hold up the Bret Lance charge.

The 500 point format is excellent to develop your understanding of a new army and Wood Elves for me is still a bit of a mystery so thinking back it was good tatical knowledge learnt from the game. I knew that my Dryads would be important for their stubborn in forests and that short range shooting at str4 is insane so tried to marry these two factors... it didn't quite pay off. The Brets had to hang on the hill to get a decent charge off and that allowed me to charge his Paladin in Errant block with the Dryads, risky I know as if I didn't break them first round it would have been flank charge by the other block and oblivion. The Dryads won combat by 2 and testing on a 6 for the game the Brets rolled exactly 6. Great game and proving that at 500 pts it's still warhammer with all the tactical questions asked of your generalship, GG.

Loss 0-3

One more round of shooting and there would have been bleeding Bret hearts. Time was up turn 3.

GAME2. Nick.M Skaven

One scary list it had two big blocks of Clanrats, a big block of plague monks, Lightning Cannon and a Plague Casting Engineer. Nick is a great guy and with a fantastically well painted army. He was also genuinely (mistakenly) scared that his army was understrength for the tournament which was the only advantage I had going into the game.  My plan here was to starfire his rats off the table and avoid the Plague block and minimise damage by the lightning cannon and his magic. My first turn, so it was the Starfire arrow into the Clanrats on his left deployment which was just out of the generals bubble. They ran but curiously for rats they only ran 4 inches and stayed on the board. The waywatchers that was placed to intercept and delay that flank ran towards his Lightning Cannon hoping to engage it in combat as T3 Elves don't like Str Lightning. This was the point in the game that Nick's Skaven came right as his Fleeing unit rallied and the lightning Cannon popped 2 archers and the plague cast on 5 dice ran rampant through my army. Plague basically is a Toughness test on everyone in your unit and then if you roll 5-6 it passes to a unit within 6 inches. This basically meant that almost half my army died to Toughness tests. Big odds for me from here with my units too small to do much in the battle. To rub salt into injury the funniest moment in the game was in the 2nd turn where his Lightning cannon misfired and rolling on the mishap table it spun around in a random direction with a large blast template landing a random 5D6 on the Board. Nick taking a punt said his bet would be on my Waywatchers as they were pesky and almost impossible for him to get otherwise. As the foreboding doom of ambushers was sounded the best Skirmishers in the game exploded in a ball of green ratty lightning, how Elf mothers cried that moment.
Highlight for me was the amazing effectiveness of the Str3 Starfire arrow as it picked up his other unit of Clanrats. Also Waywatchers won't play Russian roulette again.
Loss 3-0

Imagine Waywatchers in the middle of that cloud...

Continued

GAME3 Daves Goblins

Dave brought along a really themed army. I say themed as it was meant to be used, with Goblins abound, and not the internet usage which seems to have deteriorated to meaning filthy these days. As soon as he placed two units of Goblins, a Goblin warboss (ruby ring) on a wolf with Wolfrider escorts and a Doom diver it was going to be a hard ask against even my limited shooting Wood Elves. His first turn with the Ruby ring wiping out my Waywatcher unit did have me very concerned as my T3 elves weren't up to taking too much more of that punishment but with a irresistible and the lost of the ring the game evened up again . It's my pleasure to say that Dave is from good solid warhammer stock and is a hobbyist through and through with a superbly painted army and he decide to come up to Aucks for a few good games and get into the spirit of the hobby.  Suffice it to say that my Str3 Starfire arrow and 11 bows decided to come good on the last game and with above average dice all the way T3 troops were not happy under that barrage and Goblins got pin cushioned.

Win 3-0

Fact: Goblins turn into pumpkins when pin cushioned.

Superb little 500pt tournament and with good solid interest we will likely have a few more of these throughout the year.

James Cardno 1
Henry P 2
Paul C 3
Logan Harris 4
Dan Bloomfield 5
Graeme F 6
Tom V R 7
Joel M8
Ryan H9
Paul 10
Aaron Cue 11
Phil W 12
Mike Youngs 13
Barry C 14
John W 15
Nick Munn 16
Ross Collet 17
Chris E 18
Derick W19
Aaron Peters 20
Glenn T 21
Hayden C 22
Nick I 23
Dave Hart 24

Saturday, 3 November 2012

40k Combat Patrol this weekend

Dusting off the Space Marines for this weekend. 500pts of combat patrol at the club on Sunday and looking at getting a few games in against a few new faces. 6th Editon is looking pretty sweet and this will be a prelude to me starting the DA's once their new book is out. Would have brought the Dark Angels out but they are still in unpainted limbo. The marines were my first army and haven't seen much action for quite a while. The temptation was to take terminators but it's just not really in the theme of combat patrol. This list looked a lot more punchy.



Librarian                            Quixus                      
10 Man Tactical Squad    Gaimedes                
            Plasma Cannon 
            Flamer

5 Man Scout Squad          Delta                        
            Heavy bolter 
            2 Sniper Rifles

3 Man Bike Squad            Omega                  
            Melta                                
Attack Bike                         Epsilon                    



I'll also have my batreps of the WHFB500 up soon too.