Saturday, 30 November 2013

The Forest that once was Green, was Coloured Black by those Killing Machines

A while back i faced Mr Nicholas Jebson and his shiny new (at the time) force of Dark Elves. Well last Thursday it was rematch time, i would once again be putting on the wood elf general hat and face down the Dark Elves. Nick was using the list he had posted to his blog a few weeks back (presented below)

The Wild Hunt

So what with the announcement that Ruination, a 4000 point tournament to be held in January, will be going ahead i decided to write a list for it. Now i am not sure that i will be going to the tournament, but i like the idea of this list so much that i want someone who will be going to use it. SO without further ado here it is:

Monday, 25 November 2013

Warhammer's Toothless Lore

One of the things i do, that competes with warhammer for my free time, is play video games. And one of the video game universes i love the most is the warcraft universe. I have played Warcraft 2 and 3 and try to keep up to date with whats going on in World of Warcraft lore wise because i find the lore of warcraft so interesting. It occurred to me last night (while watching a WoW lore video) that, in comparison warhammer lore is toothless and dull. To help make my point i will compare two characters from both the warhammer and warcraft universes. Specifically the Emperor Karl Franz and King Varian Wrynn.

Karl Franz:

In case you forgot what he looked like
So Karl Franz has been the emperor since the 4th edition Empire army book. His back story is short and brief. Here is a excerpt from the GW wiki Lexicanum about his election.

Although the exact circumstances and precise details are unknown, it's likely that Karl Franz was considered far too young and inexperienced. He himself did not believe that he would be elected and Boris Todbringer, the count of Middenland, was the other candidate. The first voting was 8 against and only 4 in Karl Franz's favour, the remaining 3 Electors presumably abstaining. Maximillian von Konigswald, who was an old friend and count of Ostland, managed to persuade all but one of the other electors to cast their vote for Karl Franz. The Church of Sigmar also supported him with 3 votes. In the end Karl Franz won the election. 

So not much of interest there. The current army book doesnt add much. It mentions his griffon, Deathwing, and the bond they share. In my view he is a fairly shallow character without much of a character arc or development.

Varian Wrynn:
The King
Now i went to WoW wiki to back what i know about Varian Wrynn (while a know a fair bit about Warcraft there is still a lot more i have learn). Where Karl Franz's wiki page was small, Varian Wrynn's page was about 30 A4 sheets long, he has a deep back story that has character development and is compelling to read. During his life he has been kidnapped by rebels, split into two versions of himself by a black dragon. Eventually, after a ton of notable deeds, became one again and murdered the aforementioned black dragon. And thats just a (brief) version of one of the important events that Varian has taken part in. And keep in mind that Varian's back story (as well as every notable warcraft character) is constantly expanding and growing, often allowing the players of WoW to take part in key events. (if you want to read the full version of Varian's back story you can read it here). 

And its not just in depth of their characters that warhammer falls short of warcraft. In the warcarft universe the horde (a main faction) has, over the course of 2 expansions, gone through three different leaders. There is no race in warhammer that can claim that.

Now the reason why i call warhammer lore toothless is because it doesn't take risks, every special character is immortal, in that none of the die, they never loose the status they hold (Thorgrim is STILL high king of the dwarfs, where as warcraft's dwarf rulers are ever changing). And its not just special characters were warhammer lore falls short. Take the storm of chaos, not only did the empire win (which, while makes for good reading, is boring and predicable) but now GW has erased it from the lore, we are now in a pre storm era across all warhammer army books. Meanwhile, in warcraft, you have notable events like the wraithgate where notable characters in the warcraft world died.

Now the point of this post is to lament how bad warhammer lore is when compared to warcraft (or indeed any fantasy universe). Nothing interesting of exciting happens, no risks are taken with ANY of the races or characters. Its dull, boring and really just a poor excuse for lore. Which is sad given the potential for exciting things. Its a waste and i kinda wish Blizzard (warcrafts creator) would release a table top wargame. Until next time


Sunday, 24 November 2013

Commission, First Pictures

So a while back i mentioned that i was starting an undead army to be my second warhammer army, then a few weeks later i was speaking to a friend of mine who had just started a empire army. We got talking about our respective new armies and during the course of this chat we discovered that actually we really wanted to play each others armies. So i sent my undead to him and he sent his empire to me in order to try them out and decided if we wanted to swap.

In short we did want to swap so now i am doing an empire army. Enter painting scores. I want to enter this army into tournaments however my skitterleap painting score showed that armies that i painted wouldn't be able to get over good enough painting scores. So i began to look into commission services. My Search for decent and reasonably priced commission services also got fellow Dice Odyssey author Jayden Howel into looking commission services. He managed to find (in a sea of international commission services) a local service in Auckland. After seeing what the paint job done on Jayden's Penal Legion squad i decided to send him my empire. Well today i got my first pictures of some completed models:

I am very impressed with these test models and am very much looking forward to seeing the rest of the army when its done. If you want to see some of his other work (please note that his commission service has only been up for a few months) you can check out his Youtube Channel or his Commission post on Dakka dakka

Until next time

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Painting Scores

Ever since I began going to tournaments this year I have been impacted by painting scores. The basic concept behind them is sound: Assign a number of points to each player in a tournament based on how well painted their army is, the better the army the higher the score. At the end of the tournament this score is combined with battles points and sportsman score to give each player his/her total number of points earned at the tournament and thus their final position in the tournament. However this is one major issue I have with this and that is that it punishes bad painters.

I will be blunt, people who can paint well are artists, and there is no denying it. If you are reading this and constantly score highly with painting scores or win best painted at tournaments then you are a highly skilled artist, to argue this point is to debate semantics. However not everyone who goes to tournaments is an artist (myself included) and it is we who suffer the most from painting scores. We go into tournaments with a handicap to overcome, because we aren’t artists we have to do exceptionally well in battle points to fill in for the points we lose due to painting scores, we are at a major disadvantage even before we get to the tournament. 

Now people will tell me to SL2PB (Seriously? Learn 2 Paint Better), or some such unempathetic response, and this is one of the biggest problems with the panting score debate, that people who are excellent painters/artists often  can’t understand the opposing view and show a lack of understanding for people who aren’t good painters/artists. And that’s a problem. I know I am a bad painter, it took me seven years to get my painting to where it is now and it will most likely take me another seven improve it further, for me “learning to paint better” is a long term solution and one that I am not really sure I want to pursue. For me painting is the worst part of this hobby with the gaming part being the best and the conversion part 2nd best.

Skitterleap was the first tournament I went to with my fully painted Wood Elves, and in that tournament I scored the lowest painting wise, earning 15 points total. After this tournament I began to seek out painting commission services for my next army. At the time of writing this I have already sent my next army up to Auckland to be painted to a decent standard in order to avoid being hit with handicap of painting scores, this has cost me in the region of 400 dollars. I would love to be able to bring my own painted army’s’ to tournaments but realistically this is not an option. In order to do well and place higher than the bottom 3rd I need a decently painted army and that is something I cannot provide, I am not an artist, I am not a good painter and so I must seek out alternate ways of getting a well painted army.

To sum up I am strongly against painting scores. I am a huge fan of the first, second and third best painted army system at tournaments because I think that it rewards the best painted armies at tournaments without putting handicaps on bad painters. I know this post will generate strong reaction and I am more than willing to debate this in the comment section. At the end of the day I don’t want people to think this is an attack post, I didn’t write this to “go after” any one, I wrote it because I feel strongly about the issue of painting scores and wanted to say something about it.  Until next time

Rex Foote

Friday, 8 November 2013

Wood Elves in Retrospect

Its been 5 months since i started my wood elves, during that time i have been in 3 tournaments and countless club games with them, i have learned a lot and and gained valuable tactical insight.  Until recently i have been running a 3S army, that being: Sticks, Shooters and Spells.  Now this army build relies on the glade guard shooting off or panicking infantry units and the treemen stomping on the others. However there a few issues, the first being that there aren't enough treemen (yes 3 isn't enough) to hold the line and block the infantry units, and the glade guard often cant do enough damage to shoot off or panic their units.

So the list has gone through a revision, gone is the 3S structure and in is a more close combat list, with glade guard being swapped out for Eternal Guard, and the Treeman Ancient swapped out for a close combat Highborn. The idea being that these close combat units go after the toughest infantry units with the treemen breaking (in theory) any bus unit on the field. Also included is a unit of wardancers who double up as a bunker for the level 4 spellweaver. So the new standard list looks something like:

Wood Elf Highborn w/ Twilight spear, Armour of the Fey and the Amber Pendant

Level 4 Spellweaver w/ Wand of the Wych Elm and Iron Curse Icon

Wood Elf BSB w/ Hail of Doom Arrow

Level 2 Spellsinger w/ Divination Orb

20 Glade Guard w/ Full Command and Banner of Eternal Flame

20 Glade Guard w/ Full Command

20 Eternal Guard w/ Full Command and Razor Standard

9 Wardancers w/ Musician



So in hindsight focusing on glade guard wasn't the way to go with so few combat units to finish off the weakened target. Hopefully this new list will be able to stand up in combat whilst still providing enough fire power to damage dangerous units. Untill next time.

Rex "I love trees" Foote

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Why i Went off 40k

I used to like 40k, back before 6th ed and all its failings. Back then it was a tactical game, where you had to make difficult choices about what units were going to fill up your valuable slots on your force organisation chart. Back then there were no OP super units like riptides or flyers. My main issue with 40k now days can be boiled down to 3 main points. Flyers, Force Organisation and Fluff.


These things break 40k, there is no unit to compare them to in Fantasy as every unit in Fantasy has a decent shot at killing (or at least harming) any other given unit. For those of you wondering what i am on about the flyer special rules state that non flyer units wanting to shoot at a flyer can only fire snap shots at it (meaning you can only hit on 6s), what this means is that 99% of your army can only hit it on 6s. To add to this the flyer can elect to evade giving it a 5+ cover save (but causing the flyer to only be able to fire snap shots next turn). What this does is force players who dont have flyers to either buy a flyer or play Tau, who boast a fearsome array of anti air weapons. Add to that the fact that flyers cannot be effected by templates and are vehicles (meaning most of your standard infantry weapons wont hurt it) and at the end of the day you have a unit that is a must have in all armies to prevent being tabled

A Flyer, you can smell the broken
.Force Organisation Chart

The Force Organisation Chart is the way you build your army list in 40k. The way it goes is that it allows you to have 2 HQ units, 3 Elite units, 6 Troops units (2 minimum), 3 Fast Attack units and 3 Heavy Support units. Now this was great, it forced players to make tough choices about what units to take. Do  you a extra squad of terminators or do you want a squad of veterans? Then 6th ed came along and stated that in games of 2000 plus points the force org chart would be "doubled", allowing you to take double what was on the force org chart. Now this meant those though choices went away. Why not have those extra terminators and the veterans? It also made things like unit spamming a viable option and  has lead to some races being turned down games.


This has been a issue ever since the latest Tau codex, the 40k universe is a grim dark place (some may say a grimdark place). There isn't even the faintest flicker of hope. The imperium is backwards  stagnant hulk, the eldar and aloof, arrogant and dying and the tau are apparently all mind controlled robots. Compare this to fantasy where the Empire has beaten every major chaos incursion, made good allies and is progressing well. The 40k fluff is bleak hopeless and utterly uninteresting.

So there you go, the reason why i have become less interested with 40k over time. Hopefully one day things will improve but until then fantasy will be my preferred system. Until next time

Rex " I love trees" Foote