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!".

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Hobby Update: March 2016 (Where on Earth have I been?!?!)

Sorry guys! I went AWOL. Well, not really, but I haven't been giving you anything to read!

I don't have any excuses, but I do have a few reasons. Since OTT at the start of February, I have been so busy between work and real life, that the hobby time I have gotten mostly was away from the screen!

In saying this, I have been relatively productive with the time I had. I picked up a box of LotR Haradrim Warriors and Easterling Warriors, along with a box of Ogre Khans bulls. I have just finished painting up the Haradrim, hence why I am now sitting down enjoying a much deserved beer and spending time on my blog.
I have started converting (when I say started, I mean done very little but pretending like I have done heaps) the Ogre Bulls into Hold Guardians for my Dwarven Holds army. This is both exciting and challenging, as to accomplish the look I want, I have to do a lot (I mean a lot) of greenstuff work. The idea behind it is similar to that of the Animated Statues units for Tomb Kings in WHFB, that the Hold Guardians are Dwarven statues that a Rune Priest has bought to reality. The final product will look like heavily armoured Dwarves/Dwarven Statues, with raw magical energies pulsing through them.
I also picked up with some of my prize vouchers for OTT, another Daemon Prince kit. From this kit I am creating two Daemon princes. The first one, which I have only just started converting, is using the wings head arms and body of from the kit, and with a mix of wire and greenstuff, his bottom half will be made like a closed off cloak. The second Daemon Prince, which I have finished (at this stage anyways) the converting of, is combining the Daemon Prince legs and one of the weapon arms, with the body and wings of a Rot fly from the Plague Drones kit.
I have also started work on my Beast Herds army, in preparation for upcoming tournaments, but have reached a stand still very quickly into the project, as I am still struggling to settle on what colours and basing I really want to use to fit in the theme, which is based around the Three Eyed Raven from The Game of Thrones series. I really want to include a lot of blacks and greys, to keep with the dark idea of the theme, but at the same time love the way red comes off on these models. It's also a hard decision, that if I do go with blacks and greys, I need to keep the skin tonnes lighter to balance the colours and make the models stand out, but I'm not sure I am a big fan of the lighter colour tones on them.

Completed unit of Haradrim Warriors

Speaking of tournament armies, I have two tournaments coming up! Both of them are 9th Age, and both of them are in June (okay, not still a little while away I guess).
First and foremost, is NiCon in Hamilton, which is being run by Hamilton Immortals this year. Brian S, who is the main organiser for 9th Age at NiCon, has asked me to help as an organiser as this is the first 9th Age tournament to be run in New Zealand, which is exciting! NiCon is being held over Queen's Birthday weekend at the start of June.
And then, at the end of June (dates to be cofirmed), is Equinox is Auckland! Last year at Equinox, under WHFB, I had a very poor final standing, so this year I plan to make a come back from it and show the very talented Auckland crowd that us Napiertonnians have what it takes! This tournament is run by Phil W, and I will also be aiding him in making it happen to bring out the second 9th Age tournament in New Zealand,

I haven't managed to get in as many games recently as I would have liked, only playing two games of 9th since I got home from OTT. This I am okay about, because I was waiting on the release of the final Beta version of the game, which came out today. We are expecting the full version to come out end of April.
In the first game I played, I took a Beast Herds list against Tom's Ogre Khans. This BH list was one that I was considering as a possible tournament list. I messed up quite a bit in this game, but did learn the value of a kitted out Minotaur Beastlord when he holds up a decent size unit of Ogre Mercenaries with a Great Khan in it for over half the game, but I don't think I will be running the list as a whole.
The second game was again against Tom's OK, but this time I bought out my Dwarven Holds. This game was different. My list was designed around the concept of inpenatrable armour, and shooting. And it worked, to a point. Based on my set up, I was able to avoid just about all combats that I didn't want to get into (and against the sheer number of Ogres charging down on my position, that was most combats). I pulled off a small win, and liked the list that I ran, though would make many changes to improve it. Although it was a very avoidance-played game on my part, it was still a lot of fun.

As for events and groups over the past month, Napier Executioners Club started up again for the month (very very late start to the year) and in the two meetings I have managed to get in some games of WHFB, 40k, and a lot of games of Settlers of Catan!
I also had my application to become a member of the newly set up NZ Hobbit League Committee accepted, and am running the merchandise part of this group (when I say newly set up, I mean we are having our first meet and greet/brainstorm/shit talk chat at 9pm tonight). I am really excited about this, and very appreciative of being given the chance to be able to work alongside some incredible hobbyists and gamers.

Anyways, time to get back into it. Would love to hear about what you guys have been up to and see some photos of your WIPs.

Until next time, Peace!