Sunday, 20 November 2016

Hobby Update November: Towards a New Year

With the excitement from a great weekend away at Invitationals still running through my veins (along with some much needed caffeine and nicotine!), I thought it was a great time to talk about what is next.

The tournament scene has now come to an end for me for the year, and I am expecting to come back to the tables in February for Over the Top in Hamilton.
However, my Beast Herds will not be making it to the tables for this event, as I have my sight on a new project...

Well, actually three.

Firstly, as I have mentioned before, I am creating  Cthulu themed Dread Elves collection, and I am slowly getting together all of the items and units I need to convert and paint the first list I plan to run with them. However, this army is a long term plan, and I have no intention to rush it. It also took a hit this weekend, as yet again 50% of players bought out Elves, and I really don't wish to join an already high statistic on the tournament scene.
Secondly, I am heading into more Elves. My best friend and I created a brutal Highborn Elves list the other day, and were talking about it on the way to Auckland on Friday. We have decided that this will be a joint project between us, with him sourcing the miniatures and I taking them from the dulls of plastic grey into a warstricken and ragtagged elven host. This project will also be a slow to work project, however, certain aspects of it will need to be table-top ready come OTT in Feb.
Finally, I am after another Icon. I currently hold the Beast Herds Icon, with no intention of letting that go, but am out to grab the Empire of Sonnstahl icon as well. OTT will see my first opportunity to put my Empire onto the table, and so I need to get them table-top ready as well. It shouldn't take long to do so, as there is minimal conversion work in the army, and the colours are easy ones to work with. The time consuming aspect for them will without a doubt be the display board, which alongside the basing on the miniatures, is what I expect will make this army pop the most.

With all of this said and done, I haven't left my Beast Herds to the dust. After returning home last night I made a few changes to my list.
Firstly, I dropped my Centaur chieftain. I like this guy and I love the idea of what he does and can do. He just doesn't do it enough. And although he poses a threat that people do not like, he is generally taken off the board very early game. My list also has enough other more durable threats, so he is taking the cut.
I have also take out my giants. These guys are some of my favourite in my army lists, give me a little bit of fluffy randomness. The only reason I am dropping them, is I need the points to make the changes I want.
Replacing my giants, we shall see a second Gortach. These monsters are brutal and scare the living daylights out of my opponents, just with the sheer volume of attacks at high strength, with the ability to do multiple wounds and heal himself in the process. One is great, two is devestating.
I am also bringing out a second razortusk as chaff. The one thing I noticed is I didn't have enough drops to make me happy, but playing the one razortusk I had, he worked really well, as both chaff and anti chaff. I am looking to see where I can shave points for a third.
Finally, the biggest change of them all. I am dropping my unit of minotaurs from eight to six, but am bringing out a second unit the same. My minotaurs are my powerhouse unit, and eight works really well when I have another solid infantry killing unit on the board. But without one, they get targetted out too easily. Taking them in two units of six I feel will be more beneficial.
Yes, the changes have turned my list into a Frenzy Fiasco, but I like frenzy, and Beasts often get bored with their prey and wander off anyways....

Anyways, time to move house. Until next time,


Invitationals: Enthusiasm, Disappointment & Goats

Home is an amazing place to come back to after a great weekend. Except when its half packed with boxes, and instead of packing the rest of the boxes, you decide to blog. Procrastination is the key to life....

Anyways, what a weekend. After the long drive home from Invitationals 2016, the tournament that has ended the T9A competitive year, I have already written my new Beast Herds list. I find this rather funny, as I have every intention of shelving this army for a while after playing it competitively all year. But who knows.

So, here is a brief breakdown of the games:

Game One (Dread Elves - Failed from the Get Go):
Game One saw me face off against a local guy and his Dread Elves. This gent was actually the person I had faced just days before in my final practice game, and I didn't have high hopes of a victory. My expectations were met.
I misdeployed my army, and opted to keep my Wildhorns on the table instead of ambushing them. As you know, major deployment failures are often a game breaking mistake. Although I didn't expect to win the game, I had planned to try and keep the loss as minimal. However, as I watched MSU witch elves tear my army apart, my hopes were dashed.
It was a 14/6 loss before objectives, a loss I could have been happy with, but with some lucky last turn shooting from him killing my only scoring unit left, and some unlucky failed charges from me, leaving his 2 man scoring unit left on the board, objectives went in his favour, ending the game on a 17/3 victory to my opponent.

Game Two (Saurian Ancients - Hunger has its Price):
Game Two saw me face off against one of the Umpires, a guy who I had played just two months ago at GuardCon. In that match I took a major victory against him, and he was out for revenge.
Due to the terrain, I was able to force my opponent to split his army, making his infantry go to one side and his monsters to the other. I countered with most of my power stacking the flank of his infantry, and leaving a few units to hold up his monsters.
It didn't take long for me to clear the infantry flank, and by turn 4, I was sitting in a prime position.
This is where I made my biggest mistake of the tournament. This mistake cost me a 17/3 or better victory.
I got hungry, and over stretched. Had I planted my still at full force Minotaurs onto the objective, and moved everything else of mine away from his last three units (being 2 monsters, and a unit of 4 remaining warriors), I would have been fine. But I over extended. I didn't get my minotaurs where I needed them. I threw my BSB at his general with high expectations of killing it, and flubbed my rolls, and then watched his general destroy a unit of wildhorns that were contesting the Saurus warriors on the objective (2 rounds of throwing weapons and a round of close combat attacks from the Wildhorns failed to even bring the general down the single wound I needed to get half points for him).
With the additional points he gained, plus claiming the objective, my opponent took a 13/7 win over me. At this point, I was pretty down, and really f&%ked off with myself to say the least.

Game Three (Highborn Elves - The Beasts Favourite)
After a very very short break between to sort myself out, I was matched up against Highborn Elves. This match up with prime for me, because I build lists always thinking of how to kill elves, as majority of competitive players bring elves (50% at Invitationals). And I especially, have a knack for killing Highborn Elves.
My opponent bunkered down in a corner, with the intention to maximise his very shooty army. This was in my favour, as with so much hard and fast hitting units, I was able to get many multi-charges off into the right places, which meant his units were unsupported. The momentum was in my favour come the beginning of turn 2, and by the start of turn 4, it was all over for the Highborn, with only one unit left on the board. I spent the next two turns running all of my very chicken-filled beasts away from that unit, as I knew I already had max points, and wasn't in a position to ensure I could knock the whole unit out in a Round 6 combat.

Game Four (Highborn Elves - More Chicken)
Gleefully, my Beasts were matched up against another HE player at the start of day two. This list was a much more combat focused list, with a very killy lord in a unit of Ryma knights, anda brick of White Lions. But I was confident.
And I was sloppy.
I made one mistake which cost me my minotaurs early on, where I believed I had chaffed my opponent's White Lions in a way they couldnt get the charge against them at the same time as the knights (I had set up an easy charge for the knights purposefully, as I wanted them to charge and I knew my minotaurs could weather it). But, even though I had the movement spare, I put my chaff just milimetres in out from ensuring my opponent couldn't make that charge. Bye bye minos.
However, my sloppyness didn't carry out on the rest of my plan, as I had encircled the combat area with 3 monsters and 4 chariots, and after my opponent made a poor overrun, everything went in. One round of combat saw both of his killing units destroyed, and his characters dead.
At this point it was just clean up, and ensuring that I held the objective. I walked a way with an 18/2 Victory, which was fantastic. Had I not been sloppy, I feel it could have been a 20/0 easily, however, it is hard to say and I am very happy with the result.

Game Five (Dread Elves - Shattered Dreams)
Game Five was the most devastating game in a long time. As the points stood, I was lined up to face yet another Highborn Elves list, a list that although the player is one of the best HE players in NZ, I knew I could take out. Winning that game well, could have landed me in 3rd place. I was hopeful.
However, by this stage, all of the top table players had faced each other, so a rejig had to occur, which saw me instead face off against one of the most brutal lists I have seen on the table in a long time.
There isn't much to say about this game, it was a complete and utter whitewash, with me conceding to the 20/0 loss by top of turn 3. My opponent, the guy who out of all my great opponents, I gave my sports vote to, was extremely humble in his victory. He is a great guy and a fantastic player, and his placing second only went to prove how solid his list was.
It is hard to say that I was the most gracious in this defeat, as it took away any chances of seeing a podium, or even top 5. In saying that, I don't think I have ever had more fun while watching my army melt away to the quick slashes of corsair blades......

Over all, I took 7th place. A mid-pack standing at my first masters level tournament isn't something to be unhappy with. But me being me, and seeing the costly mistakes I made, I know it could have been better, and that I didn't deserve to place as I did after all was said and done. Although most of the time there was little moves I could fault, the mistakes I made cost me too much, and were stupid mistakes.

The guys who ran the event did a fantastic job, and although it was the highest level tournament in the year, in my opinion it was also the most relaxed one I have attended.

I am going to leave it there. I planned on writing about the changes to my list, and what army I plan to bring to the table for my first tournament next year, but its midnight, and I have bee up since 6, played two games, then endured the drive home. And I move tomorrow. So maybe it is time for some shuteye.
I will try and get another post up in a few days, and talk about the things above, along with the year as a whole and some hobby things.

To all the guys at Invitationals, you guys are all amazing and all did a great job. It was a fun weekend, and what made it fun was the awesome calibre of players, both on the gaming table and around the table of beers. Thanks for a blast!

With that,

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Invitationals 2016: 5 Days to Go and the Earth is Shaking

Good morning!

It is 1am, the ground has just been shaking with 6.6 magnitude earthquakes and I am writing a blogpost. It must be a ground breaking phenomenal post!

Well, probably not really....

Anyways, we are now just a handful of days out from the first ever New Zealand Invitational tournament. This event will become the most prestigious tournament in the year, and is hosting an open 40k tournament alongside the masters-style 9th Age tournament, with the top 12 players from across the year alongside 2 additional wildcard players, receiving invites.

As was the consensus, we are competing under the new updated V1.2 rules for 9th Age, and are using the new recommended points limit of 4500.

All of the lists are in and being reviewed as we speak, but I decided I wanted to jump the gun and throw my list out there myself (even though knowing my luck it will be sent back tomorrow to say I need to fix things...). After all, its my list, my Blood Hunt, my "PRESSSSSSSIOUSSSSS".....

So here it is:

The Blood Hunt
-Beast Lord (Razortusk Chariot, Lucky Shield, Blessed Sword, ToSS, Heavy Armour, Crown of  Horns)
-Beast Chieftain (Hunting Chariot, BSB, Heavy Armour, Dusk Stone, Shield, Beast Axe)
-Centaur "Philly" Chieftain (The Impaler, Heavy Armour, Hardened Shield)

-10 Raiders (Scout/Ambush)
-10 Raiders (Scout/Ambush)
-20 Wildhorns (Banner, Musician, Paired Weapons, Throwing Weapons, Ambush)
-20 Wildhorns (Musician, Paired Weapons, Throwing Weapons, Ambush)

-8 Minotaurs (Banner, Musician, Paired Weapons)
-1 Raiding Chariot
-1 Raiding Chariot
-1 Razortusk
-5 Gargoyles (Scout)

-1 Gortach
-1 Beast Giant
-1 Beast Giant


Although I shall refrain from talking about the playstyle and method of using this list until after my competitors have to face it on the tables, I will note that as you can see, there is no magic in this list whatsoever! I have even left my very beloved Totems at home. To top that off, two of my favourite Magic Items are staying at home, with Dark Rain and The Pillager Icon not making the list.

The list looks impressive on the table and has been for the most part enjoyable to play with. However, I need to paint! I am currently short a handful of Wildhorns, the Razortusk, and a BSB on Chariot conversion. I am currently re-converting my Razortusk Chariot to become my Lord's chariot, as I am still waiting on my other OOP Chaos Chariot that I use to make Razortusk Chariots to arrive in the mail!
It may not seem like a lot to paint, but I am madly attempting to pack my house between crazy work hours, as the day after Invitationals, I move! That coupled with the fact I haven't painted in 2 months and so feel out of wack, has lead to serious lack of motivation and major procrastination! Let us hope that I can pull this off!
I am really looking forward to the event, and a weekend away. To top it off, I will be doing video 'interviews' with some of the key contenders for the Cup, along with a few hobby and T9A team interviews. Once compiled, I will have these available on my YouTube channel and on the Facebook page.

Anyways, time for a few hours shuteye before the madness begins again.


Monday, 31 October 2016

Invitationals & My Dilemma

It is currently 6.30am as I start writing this, with my first hot brew of the day in hand. Why so early you may ask? Well that is a mystery even I want answered after a sleepless night!

In just under four weeks, the physical journey begins again for the final time this year, as we make the drive to Auckland for the first ever New Zealand Invitationals tournament. And with such a long drive, I am glad I have great travel company to go with me!

But the adventure to a tournament is never just the drive there and the weekend whilst away rolling dice and drinking more then planned, but it should be the weeks leading up to an event, as you play around with list ideas and play test your army and tweak the list whilst madly rushing around to finish painting that half a dozen miniatures you need in your list because of those tweaks.

My journey to Invitational almost came to an end before it had really began. With the release of Version 1.2 to the rule set last week, between the change in rules and points itself, along with Invitationals adopting the recommended points level of 4500pts, I was absolutely stumped.

Now, do not get me wrong, I am not complaining one moment about the new rules or recommended points system. I do agree with everything that has changed, but I do believe it is for the betterment of the game as it progresses and comes into its own.

Adopting a new rules system so close to the most prestigious event in the year was not a call I would have wanted to make, and I do not feel it was the right one either. In saying this, it was driven by the competitors for the event, and now as many are in the same boat I was in up until late last night, I think many are regretting that choice.

With the changes, I was finding it almost impossible to create a list that I could easily adapt to the play style, that I had the miniatures for without having to spend excess amounts of money, and the time to paint only a few handfuls of models. Even with the list I finally compiled and am happy with, there is more work to be done.

I argued with the decision to take my WDG (which was the easiest to flip my V1 list into something workable with V1.2), and finally decided against it, as I wasn't enjoying playing the list and it was hugely designed around the way a Path of Magic could influence the list, a Path which now in V1. no longer exists.

I also play tested my new Dread Elves list. I pulled off a major victory with this list, in my first time ever playing Elves, and enjoyed every moment of the game. The synergy of the list worked well, and with  change in the Path of Magic used, I feel the list could easily become a standard style list I would take to tournaments. The issue was, I do not have the extra money to drop into getting all the models needed, nor the time to paint an entire army within 3.5 weeks.

The biggest struggle of them all, was a moral struggle. I have played my Beast Herds in every event I have been to since T9A hit the tournament scene, and I love them. But morally, how could I leave t home the army that helped me get to 9th place on the New Zealand rankings? That wouldn't be right!

So I tossed around a few lists, screwed up a lot of paper, and walked away from the list building to relax whist enjoying a cancerous habit. And as my alcohol infused brain was pretending I was being Smaug and blowing smoke, it hit me. And I started mentally drawing a list, watching the mechanics of the list, and seeing what it looked like on the table.

The list is written. My toys are ready.

The Beast Herds have heard the Call. The Blood Hunt is coming to Play.
Run and Hide, Run and Hide. For come the Break of Day,
Blood will run as we catch our Prey.....

Monday, 24 October 2016

Moving Forward: Changes & Times Ahead

As a small handle of you know, the past few months for me have been tough. There have been a lot of things occur, and a lot of life decisions being made. Along with this, my business is about 8 weeks out of production (well, it will be if the council doesn't give us too many more issues), and so spare time has been short. Hobby time has been minimal. I believe that these things, along with watching all of my favourite game slowly getting packed in boxes to move, have contributed to hobby burnout for me. On both the gaming table and the painting table.

However, the wheels of life continue to spin, and with it there are some important announcements that I have neglected to make, and now that I am getting my act together, I though it was time to make them, along with let you know of some new and awesome projects I have lined up!

PlagueBearers: The End of an Era
As many know, we set up PlagueBearers over three years ago. PB was a small team of us with the sole purpose of building and growing our local gaming community, and in turn, the national scene. Well, in a way, we were successful. Not only did we utilise Facebook to run our own platform for promotion, we were able to set up a strong War Gamer's Online Garage Sale group, and be the team behind the 9th Age NZ Facebook page, alongside Phil W (Auckland City Guard). We also set up Napier Executioners Club, a free wargames and boardgames club in Napier. We ran numerous events, competitions, campaigns and tournaments, all designed to draw in new players in our region, both casual and competitive. We were able to sponsor many other events also, such as the T9A tournament at NiCon, and the LotR/Hobbit event at GuardCon. It has been an exciting time for us, and we have enjoyed every aspect of it.

However, everything must come to an end, and it is time for PlagueBearers to disband. For the team, a lot of new things and challenges in life have come up, and time is not something spare. With this, I have ended up carrying the majority of what PlagueBearers was doing, and its an additional time constraint I do not have going forward either.

PB will be disbanded at the end of October 2016. The following things will continue to run, but under the An Empire Fallen instead:
-WarBanner Tournament
-Hawkes Bay Regional Championship
-Annual Campaign
-War Gamer's Online Garage Sale
-9th Age NZ Facebook
Other things that PB ran, have slowly been dissolved or bought to an end. Its a sad time, but at the end of the day, sometimes something has to give.

T9A & the first NZ Invitational Tournament
On a happier note, T9A is going through some massive changes! I am not going to delve into these, as I could easily ramble on and on, but they are all changes designed for the betterment of the game. As per usual, there will be rules and changes that as players we disagree with, and as a whole, I have no doubt that there will be some rants and some rage quitting from players, but change is good. The reason behind these changes are to talk a massive step further away from gaming systems we used to know, while solidifying T9A as a solid independent game system, along with creating an improved and balanced game system that we can all enjoy! Now I will be honest, with everything going on, I have been slack keeping up with these updates, and am now scrambling to get my head around all the releases before they launch in a few days, but I am very excited by what I have seen!

The challenge is, however, these changes will be adopted for the first NZ Invitational Tournament, which is only 4 weeks away! That doesn't give for a lot of time to really wrap my head around these changes, both in rules and army composition, and I am unsure on what my Beast Herds will look like on the table once the changes have occurred! The unknown is an exciting facet in life, but the idea of having to hurried paint up more miniatures whilst I am trying to pack them up, is a little daunting.

It will be a fantastic weekend away regardless, and a great way to end the tournament year. Now, if only I can walk away with this year's crown......

NZ Wargaming Awards
In one of my previous blog posts, I talked about a new initiative called the New Zealand Wargaming Awards. Now I am not going to go into detail as to what this is (you may look back if interested), however I spent time discussing this with a gentleman in the community who I call my 'Yoda'. With so many time constraints holding back my ability to execute this exactly as it deserves, alongside other things, he advised me that this is not the year. Next year, yes, but not this year. As boneheaded as I am, I disagreed, with every intention to make it happen this year. However, as time has gone by, I have seen reason in his advise.

NZWA will not be kicking off this year. It is an important project, one that I truely believe will have a important place in our community, but its execution and promotion is vital, and it is not ready.

The first NZWA will be held in 2017.

Cthulhu Raiders: A New Project
Now that I have bored you with the nitty gritty changes and disappointments, lets talk about something really really exciting! As most know, I started Beast Herds purely for T9A, and it has to honestly be one of the most enjoyable armies I have ever played on any gaming platform in my entire gaming career.....okay okay, yes most of you old farts have decades on me, but still!

However, now that I am content with its tabletop standard, and the fact that I have played it to the ground this year at tournaments, it is time for a new project. A big project. One that will take years to complete, it will never be finished. This will not be an army, but a collection.

So, what is it may you ask? Its Chicken.

Yep, I fell from grace, and may the Dark Omen shun the name of An Empire Fallen as I betray all I know and believe.

Huh? Oh, you don't know what it is I speak of (unless your name is Phil, in which case you know very well)

I have started a Dread Elves (Elves = Chicken) collection. I have felt a draw to both Sylvan Elves and Dread Elves for a while, like an unseen rope tugging at my inner conscious, but have resisted thus far. Well, I finally gave in. I chose DE over SE, based on play style and feel. As much as I love the fluff side to SE far more, the way it plays on the table is not for me. It isn't to my strength, whereas I feel DE suits it far more.

So I mentally started building this army with the concept of using Corsair parts across the whole lot, and creating a Black Ark theme. Well, then I tapped into the brain of another amazing painter, and that idea led into hours of concepts and designs. It led me, to a Cthulhu or Drowned God theme.

Just a little snippet on what is to hit my painting station, will keep you posted as progress starts

With that my friends, I do not feel that there is anymore that I need to share.


Monday, 10 October 2016

WarBanner 2016: The Third Year

This past weekend saw the third year running of the WarBanner tournament in Napier. For the past few years WarBanner has been my baby and main event that I run, and each year we have worked at growing it.

The past two years, WarBanner was a sole WHFB tournament, starting in 2014 with 6 competitors and tripling its attendance in 2015 with 18 players.

This year was a huge year for us. Not only were we located at a new venue (Old Boys Marist Rugby Club), but our gaming platforms had progressed. Fantasy Battles: the 9th Age has quickly proven to be the natural successor on the New Zealand tournament scene for WHFB, after its change over to Age of Sigmar last year. We also took on Flames of War as a new platform at WarBanner, which is the first time in many years that FoW has seen a new tournament.

Due to the changes and growth, we also took on new sponsorship. Jambo Hobbies & Games, an amazing Napier hobby store that has sponsored us in our previous years, offered an amazing generic sponsorship packet for both T9A and FoW. We also recieved speciic sponsorship from Battlefront for FoW and from ShieldWolf Miniatures, an up and coming Kickstarter based fantasy miniatures company in Greece, for the T9A tournament.

The weekend as a whole was fantastic. Sadly, due to the way numbers were, I didn't have the opportunity to compete in the 9th Age side, but the contenders all seemed to enjoy themselves.

I am already planning on next year and what we can do to improve this event, and continue to increase its size.

Until next time,

Thursday, 29 September 2016

New Zealand Wargaming Awards: The Birth of a New Era

For a long time now I have been thinking about the time and effort that so many unsung heroes in our gaming communities put in to growing the community and providing great support for these communities, along with awesome events and places for people to game.

As someone who has put a fair amount into my local community, along with running events of my own and helping to drive 9th Age on a competitive level in NZ, I have learnt how much hard work is put into this....and I know I do a hell a lot less work at it then many others!

So I decided that it was time that these hard working people were recognised for their contribution to the NZ gaming scene....

....and in comes the first annual New Zealand Wargaming Awards (NZWA)!!!

This will be a People's Choice awards, with the votes fully in your hands! How will it work? Once voting opens, a link to the voting for will be made available on the blog. It will cover areas including game specific tournament organisers, to clubs, regional support and even local hobby stores! You will be able to vote on whatever areas you wish, and then email the form back!
Voting will open November 1st and close on November 30th, with the results being tallied and announced on Saturday 3rd of December.

How will these be announced might you ask? We will hold an online awards night! You will be able to tune in to a Google Hangouts and watch it all unfold, as I host the event with two great guest hosts (this year's have already been invited!).
Award winners will be emailed a signed Award Certificate, which they can do with as they wish.

This is about supporting those who work for us, those who make our gaming community work, and so the more voters the better!

I will post another blog regarding it once voting is open.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.


Sunday, 25 September 2016

GuardCon '16: Thoughts & Review

Good morning,

This past weekend saw the annual GuardCon Event hosted by the Auckland City Guard, which sported a vast number of players over  variety of different games.

I attended the 9th Age event, which is my second to last qualifying tournament this year to secure my place at Invitational, and had a blast. It was great to see such interest in the game, with it being the largest T9A tournament in NZ to date.
As far as I am aware, it was also the TO's first time running an event, and its inspirational to see so many new TO's coming through, with both NiCon and Panzershrek earlier in the year being running by competitors who hadn't hosted a tournament before.

I bought out my Beast Herds again, running with the same list that I had taken to a tournament earlier in the year, with the full intention of taking a podium position in a elf heavy tournament. I knew that I was very unlikely to take Best Paint (bringing my streak to an end) with the return of the Master himself, blogger Blame the Dice, but felt that I could land that place in the top three.

So a break down of the games:

Game One (Blame the Dice)
This was the battle of the bloggers, as I grudged Blame the Dice to this match and he readily accepted. And so the Beast Herds took on the Lust Daemons, in what turned out to be quite an interesting battle.
I rushed a flank with monsters and chariots, looking at the Daemon Engine and a small unit of Sirens as easy pickings. Although the I made short work of the Sirens, the Engine turned out to not be as movable as I had first expected, and took two chariots and three monsters to handle (granted, the Engine made some spectaular saves).
Whilst this was happening, my Minotaurs made a long charge bottom of turn one into the main combat brick of Sirens that sported his General, and made very short work of it. To be honest, they took on most of that flank, and met their end after about 6 rounds of combat against his Courtesan (which they managed to get down to two wounds remaining, but wasn't enough even for half points).
My Wildhorns took a triple charge towards the end, as I has mispositioned them, and the Lust Daemons tried to make a comeback (and almost obliterated the unit). However, with some help from the gargoyles, we were able to stand until the end, with the unit surviving the onslaught.

This match was a glorious battle and a load of fun, and was a fantastic way for me to start the tournament, landing me a 16/4 result.

Game Two (A Battle of Grudges)
Game two saw me face off against the player who ended up winning the event, and has taken over the position in NZ as the #1 tournament competitor. He ended the tournament with an outstanding 97/100 possible Battle Points!
There isn't much that I can say about this game, except that I made two mistakes, once in my deployment and the second in going against my plan and better judgement (a plan I had made before even leaving home for the trip). It was a white wash tabling. If I am honest, had I not gone against my plan, I still do not believe I would have won the game, but I may have landed some points on the table as opposed to walking away with 0 points.

Game Three (The TO)
The next game saw me up against the Tournament Organiser and his Saurian Ancients. This match up on paper was probably my most favourable, as it had minimal poison, which is the bane of my army. In saying this, it had two major infantry blocks and an extremely killy lord, so it was still formidable and I did have to be careful with some things I did. However, after being tabled in my previous game, I may have thrown caution to the wind a little, and it paid off. I rushed my army into his, and with so much in his face so fast, there was little he could do to counter it (which is the same with anyone who faces a list that's designed to be in combat by the end of turn one start of turn two). There were some worrying moments, like watching Caimans charge my Gortack, and had they made the 4" charge, would have been able to take my right flank out, however the dice stayed in my favour, and I was able to walk away from this game with a full 20-0, having tabled the lizards. The opponent was definitely an enjoyable guy to play, and I would love to get another game in with him soon, though I think he maybe inclined to bring more poison against me after that match!

Game Four (A Bloodbath)
As we were leaving Saturday, I was informed of my next opponent for the first game of Sunday. I was to take on the Sylvan Elves player I had barely scraped a win against at Panzershrek, and we were to play the same game type and same scenario as we did there. It was the rematch!
This SE player is very skilled, and landed himself 3rd place at GuardCon. He has had a great tournament showing this year, podiuming at the majority of the tournaments he has attended.
After my huge win against the SA in my previous game after playing uber aggressive, I decide to continue with that. My opponent and I deployed on the line, and by the end of turn one, my army was sitting just inches from his combat style SE force. Personally, I believe this is what put him on the back foot.
This game was an absolute bloodbath, with my opponent only having his Shapeshifter lord, his mage and the mage's bunker remaining, whilst I had very little left as well. This was the game where I made a critical error, that ended up costing me 3rd place overall. As opposed to rushing my minotaurs straight over to an objective, I tried to charge with them, which I then failed, and by the time I realised I needed them on the otherside of the board, it was too late. This made my 15/5 victory turn into a 12/8.
This game was the best game I played all weekend, and my opponent is one of the most enjoyable players to game with. I look forward to the next time I see him on the field (maybe Warbanner?).

Game Five (Battle of the Masters)
My final matchup was against another blogger, Elven Glades, who alongside myself is a driving force behind the rankings and invitational tournament for NZ. He bought out his Highborn Elves for the weekend, and this game turned out to be yet another bloodbath.
After chaffing my Minotaurs at the top of the game so that they wandered off onto the other side of the board, my opponents Ancient Dragon, Knights and Phoenix did a solid job of making short work of the rest of my force. With Curse of the Wildwood managing to sneak a few wounds onto the Dragon Lord, my Gortach and Jabberwock made a desperate attempt to finish off the wounded Dragon, but to no avail, with my Jabber being torn to shreds and my Gortach ran away just to become a pincushion. At this stage however, my wayward Minos had returned to the fight, and my opponent threw his Dragon into their flank in a last ditch attempt to save his quickly dying knights. It was here that I had the highlight of my tournament, as I watched a single Mino turn around and slap the Ancient Dragon silly, taking the final two wounds off it.
It was a brilliant game, and a load of fun, and I was able to walk away with a 12/8 victory.

All in all it was a fantastic weekend, and I was very happy winning four out of my five games. I landed myself in 5th place, just a hairbreadth away from 3rd, and my best tournament result yet.
Overall I was happy with the way I played, with only a few errors that cost me, and I feel that I have really grown a strong understand on the synergies and cogs that make both my list and Beast Herds as a whole turn.
At the end of the day, it was my Minotaurs that pulled me through to 5th place, proving at how well they can handle a flank on their own, and in the case of my final game, a whole army apparently.

I am putting away the Herd for this next tournament, as I bring out my Warriors of the Pestilent God to WarBanner (even if they are unpainted/unfinished), and will look and bringing them back out for the Invitational tournament in November, where the top 12 players from across the year battle it out to determine who is NZ's T9A Player of 2016.

Until next time,

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Hobby Update September 2016


Yet again, I have been absent. I know I know, I am a slacker.  But I'm here now, siting outside in the sunshine enjoying a beautiful brew of  single origin coffee.....yeah yeah okay, I know you don't care about the coffee lol.

So firstly, I want to talk about some tournaments and events!
WarBanner is  coming up on 8/9 October, and I am the Event Organiser for it, and am also running The 9th Age tournament for it. T9A and FoW have been confirmed as running, and AoS will either be confirmed or cancelled at the end of this week, depending on numbers registered. You can find out all the information you need under my Events tab, along with registration forms. It will be a great weekend, having fun in the sun rolling dice and drinking brews while hanging out with awesome peeps!
So, here's just a lil teaser for you....
I have also managed to become the TO for T9A at Over the Top in Hamilton over Waitangi weekend starting next year, and am co-TO for T9A at NiCon 2017 in Auckland! So many events!
We also have the NZ Invitational for T9A in late November, which I am running alongside my good friend, The Elven Glades ( Hopefully, depending on how WarBanner and GuardCon goes, I will also be competing!
Oh yeah, but before all of this happens, is GuardCon at the end of this month! This Auckland tournament is hosting T9A, and you know that mean's I will be there! I am debating at the moment if I will be bringing out my Beast Herds again, or if it will be time for my Warriors of Pestillence to debut on the 9th Age tournament scene, but we will see. It all comes down to how much spare time I have to paint my own army....

In local news, we held the Hawkes Bay Regional Championship: T9A finals a few weeks ago, and I managed to pull off Second place for my second year in  a row, losing my final match to McCrae L, who took out the gold. As with last year it was a great event, and these competitive yet low point games are a lot of fun. PlagueBearers are in the process of setting up the X-Wing and FoW versions for HBRC, so more games to come!

I also got asked the other day to jump in on a Mordheim campaign! What a blast from the past! I am looking forward to building up my warband, and getting some games in! Now just to work out what to take....

On the painting station at the moment is a very fun commission, a full 2500pts worth of Ogre Khans! This time, we are taking a step away from the Chaos themed Ogres, and are creating an icy feel to this Mountain Tribe.
I love doing commission work for this client as he gives me a lot of creative license on what I can do, which allows me to try techniques and styles that don't normally fit with my own paint schemes. 
This commission is due to be on the table at Guardcon, so a lot of work still do be done.
Here's a sneak peak....

Lastly, I am about to start writing a series of fluff, which will be called Memoirs, starting with the Memoirs of an Empire. Basically, with T9A being an open platform with no storyline yet created, I will be creating a background for my own armies, starting with my Empire of Sonnstahl (hopefully this will be an incentive to get them painted!). I will create a series of narritive campaign style games that I will play out with friends, and use the results and the things that occur during the games to help create the story. These games will be a mix of standard matches, unbalanced games, small skirmish battles using a converted Regiments of Reknown ruleset, Siege battles and City Streets battles.
It will be all written in the views of a single warrior in the army, as if it was a diary entry after each event and battle occured.
I intend to post these as each section is done, to hopefully inspire you to create your own story behdin your forces!

Anyways, back to the painting table I go! Peace!

Monday, 18 July 2016

Hobby Update July 2016

Hello. Yes, I know, I haven't been around. Yes I know I promised a post a few weeks ago, and never did. I've been busy. Life takes time. And so does having heaps of hobby fun!

So first and foremost, Panzershrek! Panzer was held in Palmerston North over the weekend, and this long time running event had a new Tournament Organiser, a huge 9th Age supporter, who pulled off a great weekend for all.
However, my game play was not great. I started the weekend rough, and went down hill from there, making many mistakes and misplaying my army on numerous occasions. If I am honest with you, it would have been one of my worst tournament performances in a while, yet I managed to land my best placing, taking 6th and sitting nice and squarely in the mid-pack. How this happened I guess I will never know.
I did manage however, to pull one thing off. It was close, very very tight on points, but I guess my Blood Hunt Beast Herds army pulled through, yet again......

Yep, that's right. I snuck by taking out Best Paint again, and the votes were extremely close between myself and a beautifully painted Warriors of the Dark Gods army, owned by the player who took out Best Overall.
This puts me at 3 Best Painted and 1 Best Painted Single Character (won by a commission I did) this year.

I guess I found what I am good at!

So speaking of painting, I also have finished doing some. I needed a couple new units for my Beast Herds for Panzer, so it was straight to the painting table. I took a unit of Feral Hounds, which I used the Space Wolves Fenrisan Wolves models for, as they are really great sculpts. I also needed a unit of Gargoyles, so picked up some Kings of War Gargoyle models. I will post photos up of these soon.

On top of my own painting, I picked up a commission, which players at Panzer would have seen. 8 Ogre Tribesmen and a Ogre Shaman, all converted out to be packed full of a Pestillence theme. It was definately a fun commission, and didn't come without its challenges, but I feel I managed to pull it off how I had expected. I will post photos of those soon too!

So next up on the panting station. Well, I have a new commission of about 10 Ogre Tuskor Cavalry to do, which will be a good bit of fun. I also am working on getting my Bronze Legion of Pestillence Warriors of the Dark Gods army ready for Guardcon in September, as I believe they will b seeing the table there. To prepare for that, I need to paint up 8 Knights, 1 Lord on Daemonic Mount, 1 Mounted Sorcerer Lord and 5 War Hounds, along with touching up and finishing off a Chimera and a Mauler Chariot. Lots to do, but plenty of time, and I am looking forward to putting the Beast Herds away for a little while.

But I don't just paint models, I play with them too! Outside of Panzer, the Hawkes Bay Regional Championships have begun, and so far I have played two out of my four Heat matches. I took a suprising 10/10 draw with my Empire against an Ogre Khans opponent, only to be shattered by a 19/1 loss to Undying Dynasties (I guess the skeletons of the Empire are better then the living of the Empire!). This puts me at a very low position, with only 11 points out of a possible 40 half way into the heats, and I really need to pull off two decent sized wins in my next matches if I am to have the chance of proceeding to the next round.

In light of the HBRC, I have decided it is time to start creating my Video Battle Reports. This is something I have wanted to do for a while now, but just haven't had the time, or had too many issues doing. So, I plan to start carving out time to do so, and what better place to start then the HBRC games I play. Its small points, which should make it easier for me to finding my feet in the world of Battle Reporters.

Well its almost midnight, and between more HBRC games and painting tomorrow, I should head off and get some much needed shuteye. May the Gods of the Empire be with me tomorrow and I seek to fend off against the Warriors of the Dark Gods, and the cold-hearted Saurians.


Monday, 13 June 2016

Hobby Update June 2016: So What's Next?

Kia Ora,

It feels like ages since I sat down and seriously painted, yet it was only just over a week ago that I finally put down my paintbrush with a completed force ready for NiCon 2016. As I write this, I am looking at my painting station only 5 metres away and thinking I really should get some painting done, however I am nice and warmly wrapped up under blankets trying to defend myself from Winter's frost...

...but anyways. What has happened in the week since NiCon? And what is next?

Well, firstly, lets talk tournaments. I have just confirmed registration to Panzershriek in July, and will be playing in 9th Age. I am excited to get away to another tournament so soon, and to watch the 9th Age tournament scene grow!
We have also confirmed that WarBanner in October will be on the 8-9, and that its main event will be 9th Age!......
.......did you see the key word? Main event....that's right! This year's WarBanner is planned to be able to hold more then just one event. We currently have a high chance of having a Flames of War tournament there, and have a few other game systems we are trying to pull in! If you want to run an event at WarBanner, let me know! The more the merrier!
Regarding future NiCon's, the 2017 event will be held in Auckland, and I have been accepted to run 9th Age there. Furthermore, I managed to secure NiCon making its way to Napier in 2018!!! Yahoooo!

So that's tournaments, what about whats happening locally?
Firstly, we are bringing out T9A Tribal Warfare campaign to an early end, with next Tuesday being its final night. This is due to several reasons, inclusive of people wanting to try new things. The campaign met its goal of bringing players in and helping them learn, so I am happy.
With this in mind, and my impending move to Tauranga, we have decided to bring the Hawkes Bay Regional Championship for 2016 forward, and will begin it in just a few weeks. This will be a 1500pt 9th Age tournament list competition, and is a knock out event. Last year was a great lot of fun, and I have no doubt this year will be too!

So down to the painting station. Between now and Panzershriek, I have to get 10 models painted for my Beast Herds army, as I have decided to bring them back out with some minor tweaks to the list. I have also started to work on my Empire of Sonnstahl army, as it needs some loving, and after playing an EoS army at NiCon, its really made me want to have them ready to take to a tournament.

So that is where I am at, a lot of things coming up in the future, some coming to an end, and even more miniatures to paint!

So for now,


Monday, 6 June 2016

NiCon 2016: My First 9th Age Tournament

This past weekend I attended my first Fantasy Battles The 9th Age tournament, which was held at NiCon 2016 and hosted by the Hamilton Immortals. This was only the second 9th Age tournament in New Zealand, with the first one being Mini-Guardcon, which was held the weekend prior in Auckland by the Auckland City Guard.

NiCon's The 9th Age tournament originally was to sport 14 competitors, all of which had travelled from across the North Island to compete. Sadly, at the final moment, one competitor had to withdraw, forcing the tournament organiser to also pull out to keep numbers even.

The calibre of players on the tables was strong, with a vast age group in attendance. Most if not all of the players were former Warhammer Fantasy players, and ranged from casual garage players to high end competitors.

My first match saw me face what was to be the first of three elven armies I fought over the weekend, as a young lad bought out his Highborn Elves cavalry bus list. As many may know, I have a certain hatred towards facing Highborn Elves, as I seem to alway play against them. This game was a great first game to the tournament for me, was fast paced, and my opponent was a really enjoyable person to play against. As it happens, this game landed me a massive win, which put me right onto table one for my next game.

Table one was a scarey place to be so early on, and my opponent definitely proved why. It was here that I fought one of the ETC NZ Team players from last year's trip to Prague, as he took me on with his version of a Highborn Elves cavalry bus. My opponent here was extremely knowledgable, and I managed to learn a lot from him, as I barely managed to avoid being completely tabled by him.

Round three saw me move away from Elves, as I went up against Empire of Sonnstahl, an army that in 8th ed Fantasy I only ever played as, never against. This was an interesting game, and was very close. Unfortunately, we were unable to finish the game in time, which I feel hurt my end result from that game, giving me only a minor victory.

My relief from facing Elves was not long lived, as my final game on day one was against a very strong Sylvan Elves player, who had this time bought along an almost full forest spirit army. It was great to get a game against a different style of SA army, and although I was so tired, it was a good way to end the first day. I cannot recall entirely, but I believe I secured either a draw or minor win in this match.

Day two saw me up against one of the local boys, and up against a Saurian Ancient list that I had helped design. Before heading into this match, both myself an my opponent believed I had the game, and it was just a case of how many points could he get out of it. We were wrong. From the get go, my dice completely turned on me, and after a lot of failed leadership checks and charge rolls, along with poor impact hit rolls, I stormed off to the store on site to buy some new dice. But by this stage it was too late, and my opponent managed to get a major win out of me.

The final game for the tournament saw me face the brother in law of the Empire player, and my Beast Herds got to battle it out against the armour cavalry of the Kingdom of Equitaine. This game, again, saw my luck turn sour early on, with failed leadership checks, poor to wound rolls, and a cavalry bus that charged through with Curse of the Wild Wood on them, and didn't even fail ONE dangerous terrain check on a 1 or a 2. But in the end, I was able to bring the game back into my favor, leaving my opponent which just a unit of peasants on the board. By this point however, I had bled too much, bringing us to a draw.

It was a great weekend and Brian, the TO, did an amazing job. I was disappointed with my final standing as I feel I could have played a lot better, and placed a lot better, but that is the joys of playing a game that involves relying on dice.

So to the final scores:

1. Tom C      102BP
2. McCrae L  98BP
3. James B     96BP
4. Nick I        90BP
5.Basil L       86BP
6.Simeon H   80BP
7.Tom D        79BP
8.Richard B   75BP
9. Ethan P      69BP
10. Luke E     64BP
11. Chris S     42BP
12. Curtis T    18BP

And the awards were as follows:
1st:              Tom C
2nd              McCrae L
3rd:              James B
Best Paint.:  Ethan P
Sports:         James B

Yep, you read that right. 4 weeks of none stop painting, late nights, and nearly throwing paint pots at walls, I walked away with this:
All in all it has been a great weekend. I shall post photos of the army in my next blog case.

Until then,

Monday, 23 May 2016

Hobby Update May 2016 (Campaign, Paint, and Sleepless Nights)

It has been a crazy few weeks, and it is only getting more and more crazy!!!

As you know from my other blog posts, we have been running a 1500pt campaign for 9th Age over the past few months, and it has been going really well. However, today is the end of turn 4, and only one game out of the potential 15 have been played! With everyother turn sporting an average of 9 games played, this was a big drop. Why may you ask? Well, 4 out of 5 of us are off to NiCon 2016 to compete in the second NZ 9th Age tournament! Yahoo! Road trip time!!!!!! Because of this, many of us have been playing tournament prep games as we try to work out our lists. We are also taking a break for two weeks, to give everyone more time to focus on NiCon without trying to fit in campaign games too.
Because of this, I won't be doing a post for turn 4, but will add it as a joint blog post with turn 5 once we have completed that turn. But as a little spoiler, this is what the map looks like at the end of this turn.....

Tribal Warfare Campaign Map at the end of Turn Four

So, you may ask, how has only playing one campaign game and a handful of tournament prep games made the past few weeks extremely busy? Its quite simple really. 

Three weeks ago there was very little to no paint on my Beast Herds army. Half of it wasn't even here yet and I was waiting for the orders to arrive. And with only two weeks from now until NiCon 2016, where my Beast Herds are making their tournament d├ębut, it has only given me five weeks to paint this 2500pt army from scratch! It has been a lot of very late nights followed by early morning rises to get to work, but progress has been made!

At this point, I have only 3 characters, a gortack, a jabberwock, 20 mongrel raiders and 8 charioteers to paint (the charioteers I need to finish converting too). That may seem like a lot, but in comparison to what I have already completed, it isn't.
I am yet to base any of these miniatures, as I am waiting until my display board for them is ready to base, and I will do it all in one go. I also need to make a lot of scratch built trees for the display and unit fillers, so there is a lot of things left to keep me busy!

Over the weekend of NiCon, I will keep a regular update on the PlagueBearers Facebook page of the team and their game results. You will be able to find this at:

And with that, I now must get back to my paint station, where I shall attempt to start the next series of models! I leave you now with photos of my progress, and what is left.


 An overview of it all

 The unpainted section, minus a mage who is currently soaking in simply green

 The painted side of the table..

 My Centaur Chieftain, "Philly", sporting his almighty Impaler

 The line up of Impact Hits, with three raiding chariots and one razortusk chariot

 The Battle Standard

 A horde of blood-thirsty Wildhorns

The Giants

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Tribal Warfare Campaign: End of Turn Three

First and foremost, many apologies! We are over half way into Turn 4 and I am only now finally getting a chance to sit down and write this. In a few days time I will have another blog post up, which will show you why.

Things have started to slow down a bit as everyone here preps for NICon 2016, where I alongside an amazing gamer and hobbyist, will be running the second New Zealand 9th Age tournament. However, the nine games played were very intense, as everyone struggles to take control of the south east territories.

Map at the Start of Turn 3

Games Played:
Tom attacked Chris (Tom Won) T25
Tom: Forest Goblins gained Immune to Psych
Chris: May not use Winged Reapers in next game

Chris attacked Ethan (Ethan Won) T12
Results had no changing effect

Ethan attacked Chris (Ethan Won) T22
Ethan: Wildhorns gained Immune to Psych
Chris: General and unit gained Hatred and Immune to Psych against Ethan in next battle

Basil attacked Tom (Tom Won) T25
Basil: May not use General's Leadership in next game
Tom: Iron Orcs gained +1S

Tom attacked Basil (Tom Won) T30)
Tom: General gained Plate Armour
Basil: General and unit gained Hatred and Immune to Psych against Tom in their next game

Chris attacked Ethan (Ethan Won) T25
Chris: -1Ld against Ethan in their next game
Ethan: General gained a piece of Mundane Equipment, but is already maxed out

Ethan attacked Chris (Ethan Won) T15
Ethan: Wildhorns gained +1 Toughness
Chris: -1Ld against Ethan in their next game

Ethan attacked Tom (Ethan Won) T25
Ethan: Minotaurs gained +1 Toughness
Tom: -1Ld against Ethan in their next game

Tom attacked Ethan (Tom Won) T25
Tom: Gained Fear against Ethan in next game
Ethan: -1Ld against Tom in their next game

Map at End of Turn Three

That brings us to the end of Turn Three, and as you can see, its been a hard battled corner of the map.
The Vermin has made no moves in a long time...has the Under-Empire been deserted? Or are they up to their usual sneaky plans?
The Greenskins are looking for blood, and have smelt it in the south. The question is, is this the same horde? Or a completely different tribe?
The Undead are being pushed from their land, their bones thrown across the map like ashes in the wind. But we all know what happens when a Necromancer appears to a field of bones....
The Vampires have tasted blood, and they are angry. Can they bring a red tide of Death over us all?
The Beasts are hungry, and will kill anyone who gets in their way. Is it time to stem this tide of frenzied goats?

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Tribal Warfare Campaign: End of Turn Two

Turn two was slightly slower then the first, with 8 games played. However, even with the less battles, the games were still just as intense as they were in the first round.
Caleb and his Vermin Swarms stayed dormant this turn, pondering their next move as they watched their foes numbers drop from the continual battles. The other three forces, were locked in a continuous combat, and the Beast Herds bought out their Reinforcements this turn to help out...

Map at start of Turn 2

Games Played:
Ethan attacked Tom (Draw) T10
Ethan: Wildhorns gained +1 Iniative
Tom: General gained +1 Movement

Tom attacked Ethan (Ethan Won) T12
Tom: General and his unit gains Hatred and IoP against Beast Herds in next game
Ethan: General gained a piece of mundane equipment (shield)

Tom attacked Chris (Chris Won) T15
Tom: General and his unit gains Hatred and IoP against Undying Dynasties in next game
Chris: Necropolis Guard gained +1 Strength

Ethan attacked Chris (Ethan Won) T19
Ethan: General gained a piece of mundane equipment (heavy armour)
Chris: General and his unit gains Hatred and IoP against Beast Herds in next game

Tom attacked Ethan (Ethan Won) T4
Tom: General and his unit gains Hatred and IoP against Beast Herds in next game
Ethan: Wildhorns gained +1 Movement

Ethan attacked Tom (Ethan Won) T10
Ethan: Causes Fear against Orcs and Goblins in our next game
Tom: May not use his 'Spider' in his next game

Chris attacked Ethan (Ethan Won) T12
Chris: May not use his 'Kitty' in his next game
Ethan: General gained 25pts worth of magical items (Talisman of Supreme Shielding)

Map at the end of Turn 2

I'm not going to go into detail this time in regards to the games, as they were all very bloody and for the most part, very very close games. What I will say is we all had a lot of fun, and it has been great to get all of these games happening. 1500pts is a great size, as it is big enough to enjoy the game, but small enough that it doesn't take a huge chunk of time out of your day.

"As the High Elves sailed away from the lands, a chill darkness filled with death plagued their vessels. And as the few whom survived the attack of the Darkness escaped, they realised that the land that they had been in was now all but dead...."

 Map at the start of Turn 3

After Matthew left the campaign, a certain element left with him. It was an element of diversity in armies and options in games (nothing wrong with the four of us, but the more players, the more excitement).
So from the east enters Basil and his Vampiric Coven, ready to lay death across the land, just to raise those dead to bolster their forces. I had a quick non-campaign game with Basil at the Napier Executioners Club meeting the other night, and one thing is for sure, my Beast Herds do not like zombies....

Until next time, ciao!

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Tribal Warfare Campaign: End of Turn One

What a great first start to the campaign. A fair number of games were played, and they really showed the calibre of players we have in our local area, both on the table and in the list building. The sheer number of defences that were won, mixed in with draws, caused minimal change to the map, with only Caleb successfully conquering any territories.

 Map at start of the campaign

Games Played:
Caleb attacked Tom (Caleb Won)
Caleb: General gains +1 Toughness
Tom: General Captured!

Chris attacked Ethan (Ethan Won)
Chris: May not use Ushabati in next game
Ethan: Causes Fear against Undying Dynasties in next game against them

Caleb attacked Ethan (Caleb Won)
Caleb: Causes Fear against Beast Herds in next game against them
Ethan: General Captured!

Tom attacked Ethan (Ethan Won)
Tom: General and his unit gain Hatred and IoP against Ethan in next game (if he has recaptured his            general
Ethan: General would have increased a stat except he cannot as he is currently captured

Ethan attacked Chris (Draw)
Chris: General gained +1 Movement
Ethan: Causes Fear against Undying Dynasties in the next game against them

Tom attacked Ethan (Ethan Won)
Bonuses had no effect

Tom attacked Caleb (Draw)
Tom: Regained his General, who gained 25pts worth of magic items
Caleb: His Vermin Guard gain Immune to Psychology

Caleb wasn't able to make the game where Ethan attacked. An agreement was made, and Ethan's General was released from captivity

Map at the end of Turn One

Game One (Undying Dynasties vs Beast Herds)
To kick off the campaign, Chris's Undying Dynasties attempted to take control of one of my territories (T12). The living dead lined up ready to take out the Beasts, but the blood hungry animals were out for blood, and quickly crushed the skeleton assault. This was the only one-way landslide game of the entire turn.

Game Two (Vermin Swarm vs Beast Herds)
Although distracted by the rise of the dead in the South, the Beast Herds quickly swelled to their northern lands to defend against an attack from Caleb's Vermin Swarms (T8). This was a bloody battle, with many creatures from both sides falling to the bloodied blades of their foes. However, the tides of Vermin were too many for the Beasts to handle, and their defence eventually fell apart, and the herd fled from their water way territory. In their flee, the general tripped, fell, and was jumped by a bunch of rats! They quickly tied him up, and rushed him off to sacrifice to the Vermin gods!

Game Three (Orcs and Goblins vs Beast Herds)
Having also just lost land to the Vermin, Tom's Greenskins were enraged, and threw themselves in an assault against me (T12) in an attempt to break free from the surrounding forces. Tom bought out an almost all out gunline style of Orc army, forcing the Beasts to do what they do best, and charge forward to the enemy! It didn't take us long to engage, but even then, this shooty greenskin army put up a good fight, and the game ended with a minor win to the Beasts.

Game Four (Beast Herds vs Undying Dynasties)
Still outraged at the insult from the Undying Dynasties, my Beast Herds assailed southward (T19) in an attempt to draw them closer to the Living Dead Settlement. Although the game started heavily in the favour of the Beasts, the late game went in the favour of the Undying Dynasties, who managed to bring the game back to a draw with the work of his War Kitty and a unit of hard hitting armoured dead men!!! (cannot recall the name of the unit).

This was to draw the first turn to a close, however, before the new turn started, our Highborn Elves player made the decision to pull out due to time constraints...So a Skeleton, a Rat, an Orc, and a Minotaur, all stood their in silence, hands held, and watched the graceful ships of the pointy eared elves sail away to distant........yeah no, they just went and took claim to the elves previously owned lands instead!

Map at the start of Turn Two

Matthew's departure from the campaign was unfortunate but fully understandable. Although we have filled the territories, we are still looking for other players to join into the campaign, in which case we will give them the average number in territories and points, and increase the map size.

A great start to the campaign, and hopefully we will see even more games played in Turn Two!

Monday, 4 April 2016

Tribal Warfare Campaign: The Rundown

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, we have just kicked off or Tribal Warfare 9th Age Campaign. I will be posting End of Campaign Turn reports every fortnight, with details on the progress of the campaign, on my own battles, and of my thoughts on the campaign itself.

However, as I will be posting these reports via this blog, I thought it only right that I firstly explain the way the campaign works. I will include a copy of the player pack in a link below if anyone wishes to read the full details of the campaign, and as the event organiser give the rights for any other group who wish to run a 9th Age campaign to use the player pack.

A campaign turn runs for a two week period. We are going from Tuesday night to Tuesday night, using the Napier Executioner's Club meeting night as the turn start time.
In that two week period you may attack up to three territories that are either adjacent to one of your own territories, or adjacent to a waterway if you too control a waterway. You may not attack the same person more than twice in one campaign turn. Games are arranged amongst players either at the club meeting or in their own time across the period.
All games played are 1500pts, following all the rules for writing a list as per the rule manual, except for regarding your general, and with no Lord level characters allowed. Your General's points cost does not come from your points, and is free.
Your general is either a level 2 wizard, or a character from your Heroes list that would be allowed to carry a Battle Standard (obviously he is not your BSB). You may select ONE item from your mundane items for free to add to him, and that is it. After that, he can gain additional items and stats by winnning games. You may give him a mount, in which case the mounts cost comes from your points cost. Once he has been mounted for one game, he must always be mounted on the same mount, unless upgraded to ride an even more expensive mount.

Pre Campaign Turn One Map

At the end of the battle, both players roll on separate tables, one for the winner and one for the loser, and apply the effects. Some of these may increase a unit or your general's stats, give your general more gear, or cause your general to be captured by the enemy!
The points are as follows: Win:5pts; Draw:3pts; Lose:1pts; Capture Settlement:+4pts.
You also get three plots across the campaign. You may not play them more then once, and no more then one may be played per turn.
The first one, Ambush allows you to attack a tile you normally would not be able to. The second, Reinforcements allows you to in one game have an additional 150pts in your list. The third, Forced Truce, is played against a player at the start of the campaign turn, and neither you nor that player may attack each other over the course of the campaign turn.

This is the basics of how it works. Here's a sneak peak of the map halfway through the first campaign turn.....

Tom: Orcs & Goblins
Caleb: Vermin Swarm
Chris: Undying Dynasties
Ethan (Me): Beast Herds
Matthew: Highborn Elves

Player's Pack:

Monday, 28 March 2016

Goats, Cows and Broken Farm Fences

I suddenly came to a realisation the other day, that my Beast Herds is made up of goats, cows and horses.....I should just play FarmVille, would be much cheaper!

I haven't been able to make much progress on my Beast Herds army recently, which isn't a good thing as I have an entire army that needs to be painted and converted and based in preparation for Nicon 2016 in June, but I will get there (a LOT of sleepless nights ahead!). Truthfully, I just haven't had the time, between work and studying for my General Manager's Certificate, and business planning and meetings, it doesn't leave a lot of hobby time. To make it worse, well, I need new paintbrushes! I did manage to pick up a giant model and assemble it, now to just do the conversion work to it!

However, gaming wise is a different story, as I have managed to get a fair number of 1500pt games in with a good mate of mine, and have managed to pull off victories in a good portion of those games. Why 1500pts and not a bigger game you might ask? Well, we are preparing for two campaigns that kick off this week!

The lesser of the two campaigns, which kicks off tomorrow, is Around New Zealand in 16 Battles. This campaign was designed around encouraging people to play more games, and play against or with a variety of different armies. It's open to all New Zealanders too! Although it kicks off tomorrow, anyone can join it later on, which is great as new players come to the table.
Basically, the goal is to cross off a list every single army in 9th Age, whether you won or lost. To do so, you either have to play against that army, or play with that army. It's that simple!
You can get the player pack here:
If you are interested in jumping in, register at . Oh, and its free!
The only catch is, you have to provide a battle report of the game as proof it was had! This can either be in a bunch of story time pictures with a description, a blog post, or a YouTube video. So long as it is open or all to view and enjoy, it works. For this, I am electing to kick off my own Channel on YouTube! Fun times ahead!

The second campaign, which kicks off this evening, is a local campaign called Tribal Warfare. It is a 1500pt campaign battled across a portion of the 9th Age World:
My Beast Herds own the Brown territories. The other territories are owned by the following; Green: Orcs & Goblins; Blue: Highborn Elves; Purple: Vermin Swarm; Yellow: Undying Dynasties

Each campaign turn lasts two weeks, and in that turn you may make up to 3 attacks on territories you are either connected to by a waterway, or by an adjacent territory that you own. You also have to play out as many defence games as you are attacked.
There are three special one use only plots that you can declare you will use at the start of a turn. The first one allows you to make an attack on any tile that you normally wouldn't be able to attack because you do not have an adjacent territory or aren't connected by a waterway. The second is like a forced truce, where once declared against a player, they may not attack you during this turn, nor you attack them. The third one allows you to in one game have an additional 10% worth of points.
Your general is also free, but must be used in every game. You start the campaign giving him one piece of mundane equipment from your list, and as the battles rage, he can get upgraded. You may purchase him a mount, but if you do, the mount's cost comes out of your 1500pts, and he must always ride that mount in every game henceforth (unless you trade him up to a more expensive mount).
For this campaign, I have decided I will post blog updates at the end of the turn, with details on my own games, where my general is at, and what's happening on the map, along with any thoughts on the campaign itself. I will probably also use some of these games to knock off armies in the Around New Zealand in 16 Battles campaign.

All in all, a busy time a head, and I cannot wait to kick these campaigns off!

Sunday, 20 March 2016

[RANT] If you don't like it, there's the door, but don't break my toys on the way out!

If you don't like it, there's the door, but don't break my toys on the way out! 

Last night, in my not so sober state, I listened to a video on YouTube by a wargamer who I have followed since I started watching YouTube videos. This gent has been a solid brick in the foundation of the Warhammer YouTubers Collective over the past many years, and I have just about always enjoyed his content.

However, last night, he posted a video that really threw me back. It was about the major reason he will not be playing The 9th Age. Now I am not going to get into the reason, as that is not the part that threw me, but if you wish to watch the video you can here:

After watching, I commented on it, listed my opinion in regards to what he had to say. And was about to leave it at that, until I read the other comments on the video by other subscribers, and saw an issue that has been happening for a long time. Just this time, it got too far under my skin.

We all play games, whether board, video or table top wargames because we enjoy it. No one is forcing us to do so, we do it because we enjoy certain or many aspects of the game. Basically, it's because it makes us happy. But we aren't going to dedicate the same amount of time to a game we don't enjoy, that doesn't excite us or give us a fun time. And that's fine. Maybe we will try it out, watch videos about it, read up about it, and make a decision based on information and experience that the game is just not for us. If we don't like the game, "then there's the door". Take it. Don't spend anymore time on it, and find something that you enjoy.

"...but don't break my toys on your way out!"

Why is it, as a global community, that when we do not like a game, or a gaming company, we feel the need to dedicate time in 'bashing' the game, in making negative sentiments towards the game, and making anyone who has a part of the game either as a gamer or developer, feel like you are targeting your negative feelings at them.

It's quite simple. If you do not like something, walk away, and leave it at that.

Over the past several months I have spent a lot of time in the 9th Age forum, reading posts from various levels of gamers. And on numerous occasions, I have watched people who have felt that their entitlement to the game means they have a say in the way things happen, or what should happen, and when it doesn't, they call the creators "delusional" and spell out the doom and darkness of the game. Purely because they didn't get what they wanted.

Its that sense of entitlement that people have that makes them feel that a game should be the way they want it to be, and that they have a right to bash games they don't like. Since when did we as gamers become so self righteous as to think we can tell others that their games are crap? To tell game developers they are delusional? To tell people that this is the way it should be, and if we think otherwise, we are stupid? And when did we become so self entitled that we feel we can dictate the way a game is developed or played.

9th Age is an interesting concept in this, as it isn't company built but community driven. But even though that is one of its biggest strengths, the weakness that comes with this is it increases the amount people feel they can have their say and that their say should be listened to and, obeyed.

We are stakeholders, not shareholders.

The decisions made relating to a game effect us as we have an invested interest in the game. But we do not own the game, we do not have shares in the company, we are not its developer, design team, executive board of directors. We are just the people at the end of the chain holding onto it for the ride, whatever it shall be.

The 9th Age is Community Driven, not Community owned.

It's a game being designed and built by many hard working volunteers for a community of wargamers wanting to see the complexity of WHFB continued on in a balanced and competitive game. But just because we are the reason it is being built, we don't own it. We don't have a controlling power invested in it. We are not financially entwined in the organisation. We just have an invested interest, even financial based invested interest based on the fact we own the miniatures to play the game, but we do not own the game.

Is someone wants to play AoS, that's cool. You don't have a right to tell them their game is shit.
Is someone wants to play KoW, that's cool. You don't have a right to tell them their game is shit.
Is someone wants to play Warmachine, that's cool. You don't have a right to tell them their game is shit.
Is someone wants to play 40k, that's cool. You don't have a right to tell them their game is shit.
Is someone wants to play 9th Age, that's cool. You don't have a right to tell them their game is shit.

Let's stop being self righteous and entitled. Let's just play the game we enjoy, and leave others to play the games they want to. Because, "if you don't like it, then there's the door, but don't break my toys on your way out!".