Thursday, 31 December 2015

Mirrors and Resolutions

It has come to the end of yet another year, and what a year it as been! It has been full of many ups and some lows, but a good year all round.

I decided today that I needed to put all of my Legion of Nurgle down on one table, and see how much is there. Well, as you can see from above (with many WIPs and some fixes to be done) my Legion has far grown from just an army but to a collection. And it's nowhere near finished!! There is a fair amount yet to be painted, and from a collection point of view, I plan to convert some chosen and forsaken for it, along with getting more plaguebearers too. The small additional with the Cygor (or its counterpart, cannot remember) was due to a prize I won in Auckland, and was never intentional to be apart of this, however, now I would like to add some Minotaur to this collection too, and maybe a few other Beastmen models!

High point for me this year would have had to be how WarBanner turned out. It was my second year running this WHFB event, and after the release of Age of Sigmar, I was concerned about how much attention I could draw to the tournament. Nevertheless, we hosted 16 players. It was a great event, filled with laughter and drinking, and a lot of poor dice rolls by everyone. I am really looking forward to hosting it again next year, and expanding it to cover at least one other platform.

The low point for me this year was a difficult one. At first while thinking about it, I really felt that AoS coming out and taking WHFB place as a GW game would be it. But we have all had our rage fits and dice-throwing-tantrums at GW about that, and I realised that there was one thing that bugged me more. My first tournament this year, Equinox, was a great tournament. However, food in South Auckland is not so much, and after having a questionable pie purchased at a store there on the Saturday, I was up all night sick, and missed most of Sunday's games. This was really disappointing, as I was really looking forward to the games.

Nevertheless, the past is the past, and we must look towards the future....

So what has 2016 got in store for me? Well lots!

First and foremost, we are moving to Tauranga about mid year! Time for a new scene and new adventure. What this means is I will be changing club, meeting new players, and rolling more dice! It also puts me in a more central position to other centres, making games more accessible.

As for game wise, I will really be looking at continuing to push Ninth Age as it comes out of Beta into a fully fledge game, and will hopefully be able to promote more events for it. I am also really enjoying 40k at the moment, and have just started toying around with some X-Wing (Yep, the Star Wars buzz has hit me too!). I would like to look into Maulifaux and Saga, but that is dependant on time. I am also set for at least 3 tournaments already for next year, with the plan to get to as many as time and money will allow

In regards to hobby, well there is lots to do! Firstly, I have my Legion of Nurgle I would like to have completed by the end of the year. Secondly, My Tau all need to be striped and repainted. But I also have a 300 themed Warriors of the Dark Gods army to convert and paint for The Ninth Age, and Dwarfs that need........oh look! Something shiney!
But seriously, as every hobbyist knows, there is always something to build or paint or convert, and always many new and cool ideas floating around in your head.

So that is me for the new year. I can't believe it is that time again already, I really can't.

Have a very happy New Years guys and gals, and safe travels on your holidays. Eat heaps. Drink heaps. Laugh heaps. Cry heaps. And throw lots of dice!

An Empire Fallen, over and out for the last time in 2016!

Friday, 11 December 2015

Hobby Update December 2015

Hey hey!

So, I know I have been quiet on the blog front for the past month, so I decided I needed to spend a few minutes and tell you what I've been up to!

First things first, they released the Beta version for The 9th Age!  This was a massive step towards the continuation of Warhammer 8th Ed, and contains an incredible ruleset. So, I have been nose deep in the rules, trying to learn them as quickly as I can, and try out a few different list combinations, and snuck a game or two in also!

Then there was the Hawkes Bay Regional Warhammer Championship 2015. I managed to come out of the heats with the most points out of all the competitors, only losing on game with a 9/11 loss. After the heats, the top four proceeded to the semis, with the winners of each pair proceeding to the finals. My semi final game was quite tough, with my Dwarf list not being optimal against his Warriors of Chaos. However, after a very rough start to the game, and me not expecting to make a come back, I managed to turn the tables by surrounding his main units and crushing them, while picking everything else off one by one. A close victory, but a victory none the less. Then came the finals, and what do you know, I was up against my best friend and his Dark Elves, the player who I lost my only heat game to. His list was the list my Dwarfs were designed to handle, and I went in there ready to take the glory. Well, lets just say, the dice gods had decided that first place was not for me. With a lot of extremely bad rolling, and a few bad judgement calls, I took out second place over all. Lets just say I am not complaining, it's nice to have a shiny thing hanging on the wall!

Now, going back to the 9th Age, Equinox tournament in Auckland in April has said that it is most likely going to be 9th Age. This is great! If they do go with 9th Age, they will be at the forefront of bringing 9th Age to the competitive scene in New Zealand. So, what does this mean? I have an army to prep! However, it also coincided with me wanting to create a new Warriors of Chaos army based around 9th Age rules, with a full Spartan theme (and yes, the inspiration is mostly from the 300 movie!). What this means, is I now have 4-5 months to build an army from scratch, an to convert a lot of marauder models into Spartans!

Oh, and talk of tournaments? Let's talk about what's happening on Waitangi Weekend! Over the Top tournament is on again, and this time it is taking a full on End Times spin with Warhammer 8th ed. Now, I will neither agree nor disagree that writing a list that I am happy with for this tournament was easy, or that I lost 4-5 nights sleep with ideas and lists running rampart through my sleepy brain, however I finally settled on a list that I felt was not only competitive, but kept with the End Times feeling for the tournament. Hey Glott, ready to take your Bronze Legions to war?

This also meant that I have work to do, and with only 2 months to go, got right on it. While waiting on some Plague Drones and special character models to arrive, I started with my BSB on Palaquin conversion. Here is the work in progress photos, with a lil bit of paint as I figure out how I want it to look.

And to top it all off, because of OTT, I picked up a commission from a friend of mine who I painted a unit of Phoenix Guard for earlier in the year. Only this time, it's Teclis and 30 odd Lothern Sea guard.

Teclis has been completed, and I have started working on the seaguard which I will hopefully have finished by mid next week (more sleepless nights!).

So that's a little bit from on what has been up as I gear for a huge year a head, both in my personal life and in my world of wargaming, and a lot of changes are instore for both, and for the PlagueBearers team. But change is always good, almost as good as a holiday. ALMOST.

So if you do not hear from me before the new year, I am sorry, but I shall be drinking and eating and festing my way around a very full on painting station. Christmas? What's Christmas? I don't have time for that!!!!! 

Merry Christmas to you all, and have a happy holiday! 
Bye for now.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

The 9th Age: We Played a Game!

As many of you know I have been fully supportive of the progression to the Ninth Age for Warhammer Fantasy. Well with the rules out in Beta, it was time to give it a go. It took a lil for my mate and I to be able to juggle the time to get the game in, especially as we knew it would take longer to play then normal, but tonight we finally managed to do so.

And it was interesting.

Firstly, we both took the list writing part in a different direction, and this yielded some interesting results for us both. We wrote 2100pt lists, which was a weird number, but worked for this playtest.
My mate (who played Ogres 'Khan') took the style list that he was used to playing in 8th edition, ad re-worked it into Ninth, making changes here and there. The biggest of these changes was he took the Mark of Rage (Khorne) all across the board on his Ogres (this was awesome!). He was really happy with what he was still able to fit in at that points level and with the change of armybook.
I wanted to try out a wide range of new and different things (I was played my Dwarven 'Holds'). Keeping my units smaller to be able to fit in more of this and that, I was able to learn the new units and some of the new army rules. And although the list was not competitive, I was not disappointed with the result (even though I lost the game in the long run).

The game took us longer then expected/planned. Now this was to be expected, being the fact that we were learning as we went and there were all these new rules and changes. For me personally, I think I got quite frustrated with the pace of the game. I realised that although my mindset was that this is a game I know, I have to look at it as learning a completely different game, because in a way it is. Its something new and something fresh.

Overall, the game was a bloodbath with very little left on the table (this is what happens when you put an almost full combat built dwarf list against an ogre list), and it was glorious (the Dark Gods would have been gleeful). Although it took a while to play, we both really enjoyed it, and most importantly, the rule set felt natural in its progression.

It is still in Beta, and I do believe there is still room for improvement, in both the rules and points cost, and a few areas of balancing that needs to still happen, but all in all I am quite impressed and more than ready to give it another round.

Later in the week I will do a section purely on my beloved Dwarfs, and on their rulebook for the Ninth Age. I do not know yet if this will be in written or video format, but we will find out!

Thanks again for reading!

Monday, 2 November 2015

Hard Choices: Letting go of the Despair

'In the burning embers of a world almost lost, a land lain asunder by the fires of chaos, in the end of the end, the darkest of days, when all hope had been lost, rose a warrior from the darkness, and in the grim steel of his resolve, took the step towards the resurrection of all that was lost'.

Since I have known about the release of the 9th Age, a player/community based continuation of Warhammer Fantasy, developed and updated by the teams behind ETC and Swedish Comp, I have fully supported the idea. Age of Sigmar and Kings of War both failed to grab my attention, whereas the 9th Age still held the flavour and complexity that I enjoyed from WHFB.

The only concern that I had, which I knew many players had about it, was how well a community based game that did not have a gaming company who produced models to back it and drive it, was going to be a sustainable gaming system that would not only hold the interest of players, but flourish and grow. But as time went on and I followed updates from the 9th Age team, and read blogs of other supporters of the community built game, this concern grew less and less, and my love of the idea for a game that was all about us as gamers grew.

Grimm Burlocksson leading the Dwarven Throng at the Battle of Panzershriek 2015

And then today happened. A day of mixed feelings of despair and dread.

The 9th Age Ruleset and Army books were released into Beta, not yet confirmed rulesets, but a good idea of what we are to expect. So I sat down to look at what had been produced for my favourite army, my Dwarfs, which was the army that drew me into this game so many years ago, and I have loved and 'mained' ever since.

At first, I was quite mixed in my feelings towards what I saw. The huge change and drops I saw the runes available suprised me. Many of the were the same or similar, but with less versatility. In particular, I was a bit distraught in the drop to 3 runic banners the dwarfs could take, all adaptations of what the 8th edition Dwarf rulebook had. Now all 3 of these are standards that I would happily use, but not the ones I would most commonly use. I also started to worry that some of the feel and fluff was forgotten about for Dwarfs when I noticed that you could take magical standards from the common magic items section of the main ruleset. I also felt a little worried when I noticed that Dwarfs only had +1 to dispel as opposed to their current +2. However, I pushed this aside and carried on reading.

In the next areas, covering unit entries and capabilities, my hopes started to rise. Points costs of units seemed to be very similar, or in the aspects of units that were previously overpriced, had been dropped. The new version of Slayers gained a much needed (however still only token) 6+ ward save, and the new Hammerers went from having a 5+ armour save to a 4+, which made so much more sense with the fluff around the unit (Games Workshop let us down in this area). The cost of warmachines and copters had also dropped, making taking some of those once more expensive warmachines (ie, flame cannon) more viable.

A Dwarf Slayer preparing to fulfil his oath against The Glottkin

The I decided to look more indepth at the new version of the Gyrocopter, the SteamCopter. And my heart dropped lower then ever. It was not long ago I really found a love for this flier, and had invested a lot of money and time to be able to run 5 in a list. But reading the new rules, I realised that this dream had come to an end. The SteamCopter are a base of 80pts for a single model. This is fine. You may now take them in a unit up to a max of 3 at 70pts per model extra. This is kind of cool. However, the Steamcopter is not armed with a steam gun using a flame template anymore as standard kit out, and you may only upgrade a gyrocopter to do so (which is a free upgrade) if the gyropcopter is running as a solo model and not in a unit. Okay so that's fine. However, you no longer have the ability to run up to 6 of them, and now follow the standard 3 Special Choices cap. This was where my dreams of running a flier list was dashed.

At this point I had seen enough, and needed to walk away and think for a while. As I was doing a load of dishes, I was listening to a youtube video from a guy whose name I cannot remember, but he was talking about whether the game was dead or not, and what the term dead meant in context with this game. And it was then that it all suddenly dawned on me....

3 of my completed Gyrocopters ready to rain fire 

It's a new day. It's a new dawn. It's a new challenge. It is the same as when changing book editions and the things we once loved not being as good as things that were once worse. A time to come up with new plans and ideas, new strategies and synergies. A time for revival in the game. And yes, maybe your Gyrocopters too have been made less effective, but now those Slayers you have had sitting there collecting dust have just become that much better. It is a time not to despair over what we see and read, over changes in rules that we may or may not like, but a time to find new rules and concepts that we do like, and to use them to the best advantages we can for our forces.

It is a time to find new excitement and thrill in the game that we all love and play.....

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Hawke's Bay Regional Warhammer Championship 2015 - Part 1

This year, PlagueBearers are running the first ever Hawke's Bay Regional Warhammer Championship (HBRWC for short), a two part championship covering Warhammer 40k and Fantasy 8th edition. Although the 40k Championship is yet to begin, and Fantasy Championship is well on its way.

So, I thought I would share my progress in the championship so far, my list and why I took it, and my outlook at the 40k Championship coming up. Firstly, let's talk about how the Championships work.

It starts off with heat matches. Each player is matched up against 4 other players from across the region, and are given 5 weeks to complete all games. These games use the 20/0 system, with the total number of BP used to determine who then proceeds to the next stage.
This is then followed by the semi finals, where the 4 players who gained the most BPs in the heats battle it out for a chance to make it through the finals. However, each player is only given one match up and a timeframe of two weeks to complete this game. The winner of this game proceeds to the Finals, while the loser proceeds to the 3rd place playoff.
Then it comes to the Finals and the 3rd Place playoff. At this stage the plan is that both of these games will be played at the same time in an openly available space for spectators to come and view should they wish. The two players who won their semi final game, will be matched against each other, with the winner taking 1st place and the loser taking 2nd. The two players who lost their semi final games will play for 3rd place, with the winner of that game taking the placing.

As for lists, you are required pre-Championship to submit your list, as per tournament rules, and the same list must be used across the entire championship. There is a light comp on them, nothing too major. Fantasy is played at 1500pts, wile 40k is played at 1200pts.

With the 40k Championship yet to begin, it is not too late to register for it. You can contact the guys at for more information.

To be continued....

Monday, 26 October 2015

WarBanner 2015

A few weekends ago, I got the honour to host the second PlagueBearers WarBanner tournament in Napier, a 2400pt WHFB 8th edition tournament. And what a great weekend it was!

The sun came out for us, as 16 competitors took to the tables at the Taradale Club to fight it out for the top title. With using the FOB-Lite Comp, with a few additions, we saw some interesting lists come out. Glottkin, Malekith, Helebron, Elthorian and Caradryl lists were only a few of what the players presented. And these lists did not disappoint!

However, there could only be one victor, so here are the results:

1st Best General: Kelly Gragg
2nd Best General: Richard Barby
3rd Best General: Tom Hale
Best Paint: Phil Comins
Best Sports: Brian Smith

1. Kelly Gragg (LoC)
2. Richard Barby (WE)
3. Tom Hale (DE)
4. Brian Smith (DE)
5. McCrae Loudon (CD)
6. Peter Williamson (TK)
7. Phil Comins (DoC)
8. Tom Davis (HE)
9. Caleb Chandler (DE)
10. Adam Richards (WoC)
11. Alex Powrie (WoC)
12. Neil Williamson (O&G)
13. Ethan Phillips (EMP)
14. Erdem Oguz (HE)
15. Chris Stewart (UL)
16. Aaron Paul (OGR)

A huge thanks to all of our competitors for making it such a great weekend, and to our sponsor Jambo Hobbies and Games for providing support and prizes.

Here's some photos for your pleasure:

 The calm before the storm

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The 9th Age of Terra

Age of Sigmar has now had a month to settle in, and in that time has created a very large rift in the WHFB scene, rippling out and affecting other tabletop platforms. The immense amount of chatter in local club pages and across global forums is intense. Many players are jumping ship to other games, others are saying they will stay with 8th edition, and others yet are trying out and enjoying AoS. A change such as this release could not have created a bigger rift in the Warhammer community.

In light of all of the changes, a new edition of the game is currently being developed by the ETC and Swedish Comp teams who have in the past written and released solid comps for WHFB tournament play. Although this is not a Games Workshop support edition, this new rule set, known as the 9th Age, could possibly be a good go to for the future. It has the promise of solid rules, frequent rule and army book updates, and FAQs that are actually Frequently answered. It also has the potential for new variation in units, with new units being released for armies also. No, they aren't going to go into the business of making models for these (though it gives the opportunity for an existing business to do so, or a new business to be born), but let's be honest. There are enough miniatures from across many platforms and companies that players will be able to utilise and convert to fit as these new units. I mean, we do that with current units anyways don't we?

Although the 9th Age will not have the same strength in following as 8th has due to it not being supported by an Offical company producing official books and miniatures, it really has the potential to become a solid and well founded game that can be enjoyed on both a casual and competitive scene. I am all for sticking with 8th should nothing better arise, but the 9th Age might just be that better thing, and something that the global community will grow in and enjoy.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Age of Sigmar: the rationality

The recent release of Age of Signar has caused a massive disturbance in the warhammer fantasy community. If your an active part of this community, you would have seen it.

I got into a discussion with someone from up North last night who fully supported Age of Sigmar, and as someone who had played WHFB for the past 2 decades, he had perspective on the change of the game. 

Now for those of you who know me personally, you know I am very opionated and passionate, and am more stubborn then the dwarfs I play. For me personally, Age of Sigmar has taken away from Fantasy, the, well, fantasy of it. It's like giving a child a 3 scoop ice cream come, then taking it back, eating the ice cream, and just leaving the kid the cone.

Now don't get me wrong, by all means I am all for change, but there is a difference between changing up an edition and releasing an entirely knew gaming system, which lets be honest, is what AoS is.

The person I spoke with asked people not to 'bemoan' the game as it will put others off from trying it, and to just speak about the games that we do enjoy. Does this mean I am not entitled to civilly voice my opinion on a game that 10years ago became a huge part of my life, and has now been torn from me?

It seems Games Workshop has a thing for aggravating their customers on a global proportion, a model that any other same business person wouldn't go for, yet it seems to work for GW.

All I can say about GW, is they are the iceberg, and we the consumers are the Titanic, and this movie is on fucking repeat.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

TYPICAL....I start Empire as the Empire is destroyed..

Back in last year, the team at PlagueBearers decided that we were going to be runnng a slow grow campaign to help new players get into the game and learn how to play, as well as to get us seasoned players to start new armies. Even though this campaign doesn't begin until next week, I decided back in October last year that I really wanted to do Empire for it. Its an army that I have watched many battle reports on, and seems pretty simple to get the hang of. It also seems to be an army with a lot of room to work with the fluff to create a story behind an army. As the organiser for the campaign, I also wanted to get as many models painted for it as soon as I could.

Well, now it looks like my mighty Empire is all dead! I haven'd read the other books, but the Glottkin ET Book makes it very clear that the Empire is vital in the destruction of the Old World, with great cities like Altdorf and Talabiem being decimated by the powers Nurgle.

From a player point of view, with the 9th ed rumours, it bothers me that I may not be able to play my Empire into the new world as I would like to be able to, or purchase any current models to grow the force. However, from a personal fluff point of view behind the army, I am not concerned. The story behind this army is built at the beginning of The End Times.

I will post photos of my progress so far, and share the fluff for the Guardians of the Rose, next week.