Monday, April 25, 2011

The Book of Grudges Player Pack

Land O Misfit Toys Presents
The Book of Grudges

Greetings and welcome to the Book of Grudges Player Pack!

The Book of Grudges is a Warhammer Fantasy Battle tournament consisting of 6 games played over 2 days. August 13th and 14th 2011. Games will be played with 2250 point armies.

Book of Grudges is designed to encourage a fun and fair weekend of wardolly madness. We expect that players will use their sense of fair play, courage in battle, and skill in painting wargaming miniatures. This player pack is designed to explain how players will
be awarded points in sports, painting, composition, and generally to explain what I expect at BOG 2011.

Book of Grudges will be held at Realm of Legends outside of Melbourne in Croydon.

Realm of Legends
190-198 Mount Dandenong Rd
Croydon 3136
Ph. (03) 8215 9344

Registration Information:
Tickets may be purchased from Realm of Legends. For direct deposit, details are as follows:

Name: Realm of Legends
BSB: 063124
Acct: 1054 8784.

For payment by credit card, call 03 8215 9344.
You can also pay in store.
Make sure that your name and BOG-WFB is in the description of any direct deposit.

Book Of Grudges costs $45 per player.

Please email your army lists to whatisabattle(at)
(use the @ not (at) please)

For store/location information:

August 13th and 14th 2011.

9:20 am – Registration
10:00 – Game One Begins
12:30 – Game One Ends. Lunch Time.
1:00 – Game Two Begins
3:30 – Game Two Ends
4:00 – Game Three Begins
6:30 – Game Three Ends

10:00 – Game Four Begins
12:30 – Game Four Ends. Lunch. Player's Choice voting.
1:00 – Game Five Begins
3:30 – Game Five Ends
4:00 – Game Six Begins
6:30 – Game Six Ends.
7:00 – Presentation and Wrap Up.

Army Guidelines:

Armies can be not larger than 2250 points.

Back of the book lists (if you can find one these days) are NOT allowed.

The Ravening Hordes Chaos Dwarf Army list is allowed but the Fandex (GT list) is NOT.

All Games Workshop army books are allowed. If new books come out they maybe used but books released after the due date for lists may not be used.

Lists are due no later than Midnight July 22nd. Players who turn in lists after this time will be penalized for lateness. If your list is deemed to be too “hard” you may be asked to resubmit your list. If you are asked to resubmit your list you will have 48 hours to do so. If you are asked to resubmit a 2nd time or you take longer than 48 hours you will be hit with a 5 point comp penalty. If you are new to this sort of thing please ask and we can help you.

Special Characters are allowed.

General Note:

For the purposes of Line of Sight, all models count as being the correct size and shape as a standard Citadel figure. In addition, True Line of Sight will be used as per the rulebook.

Models should resemble the units ad characters that they represent. Please contact the T.O. if you have any questions regarding this.


Players in the Book of Grudges will be scored out of 200 possible tournament points. These points will be distributed as follows.

Battle: 120 points (6 games of 20)
Sports: 20 points
Painting: 20 points
Composition: 38 points
Theme: 2 points

These points are further broken down as follows…


At the conclusion of every round, players will be asked to judge the conduct and behavior of their opponents out of following options.

(SKULL)Why the %^*k is this guy here other than to annoy me? Worst Game EVER!!! (This Result will bring a judge for a chat.)

• (Meh) The game has been tense and not in a good way. There were frequent arguments and my opponent did not take winning or losing those arguments well. This was not a fun game!

• (Good) It was a good game of Warhammer. My opponent and I disagreed a few times but we worked it out. It was alright but not life changing by any stretch of the imagination.

• (Coolness) This is the kind of game I came to BOG to play. My opponent and I may not have always agreed but this did not stop us from having a good time and working things out. We laughed, rolled some dice and played some fun Warhammers. This guy is a pretty good dude.

• (AWESOME!!!) This is maybe the best game of Warhammer I have ever played (hands down). I have found my new best friend and I am so excited that I will be telling my poor bored wife/girlfriend/ pet rock about this game for years! (This result will result in a judge coming to discuss your opponent/game [WE WANT TO BE BORED TOO!!!].)

In addition to this game-by-game system, at the end of each tournament day you will have the opportunity to vote on your favourite player of THAT day. Players who receive the most of these votes will gain bonus points.

As you can see this system is weighted quite heavily towards the middle and that is what we expect most players to get after any given game. We built as system that’s aim it is to really reward those players that are energetic, sociable, and (most importantly) FUN to play against.


All armies must be WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get), and models must appropriately represent their unit. Unpainted models will be allowed.

Is the army fully painted (with a at least three colours)? 10 points
Has some effort been made to highlight/shade/detail models? 3 points.
Has there been considerable effort put into highlights/ shading/ detail painting of models? 2 points
Does this army show a significant number of/ high quality conversions? 2 point.
Are the models in this army based (and movement trayed) appropriately? 2 points
Does this army have a display board? 1 point


We expect all BOG players to be of the maturity and calibre of gamer that they know what is acceptable and what is not. We, the judges, like armies that have a good solid troops core, as well
as a great theme that is within the WFB Ethos.

There will be a panel of 4 judges who will issue each army a score out of 6 paints. 4 is the score that is assumed to best represent what the judges consider to be a standard tournament army. The shear power of each list will be considered outside of the context of the player using it. Low scores will be given to armies that sacrifice theme and general balance in favor of brute strength or outlandish sneaky combinations of abilities or items. Conversely higher scores are armies that are not built to win at any cost. These scores will be added together to determine 2/3rds of a players score.

I am borrowing the following paragraphs from Chris Cousin’s Empire in Flames players pack because it says exactly what I was trying to write:
“There will be no guidelines given for what constitutes a ‘standard’ tournament army, and this is deliberately left up to the judgement of the panel. This is because players often use guidelines as a basis for disagreeing with the score they receive. Regardless of how biased you think the judges are, they are guaranteed to be less biased than the owner of the list, and hence their decision will NOT be argued. The panel consists of some of the most experienced 8th Edition players in Australia and New Zealand, and have the best idea as to what a standard tournament list should look like.

You should be bringing an army list that YOU would be pleased to see across the table. It should not rely on any single phase to win games, and should contain a mix of units and unit types where possible. Balance and variety are what we would like to see in armies. However, the final decisions for composition relate purely to the efficacy of the armies, and while you can request a reason for the score you have been given, scores will NOT be altered once they have been awarded.”

Thank you Chris!

The final third of a player’s composition score will be determined by their opponents. After each game players will be asked to fill in a tick box from a list that will rate their opponents list. This is to supplement the panel score given by the comp judges (just in case we missed something that your opponents don’t!).

That being said, people intentionally giving low scores to opponents to hurt their scores that do not reflect their armies will be caught and will be penalized themselves. Chip Monking is not tolerated at BOG!


I will be giving two bonus points to players that go out of their way to stay to a specific theme in their army (at the possible detriment of the strength of their army). I.E. Pure savage orcs and forest goblins or all mounted Warrior of Chaos or pure Khaine-ate Dark Elves.


Round One – Meeting Engagement
Round Two – Dawn Attack
Round Three - Watchtower
Round Four – Battle for the Pass
Round Five – Blood and Glory
Round Six – Battleline

After each game, calculate the Victory Points difference between the two armies. Compare it to this table.

VP Difference/Battle Points
0-100 9-7 (if exactly even, each player gets 8)
101-200 10-6
201-400 11-5
401-600 12-4
601-900 13-3
901-1200 14-2
1201-1600 15-1
1601+ 16-0

In addition to the Battle Points awarded, there are 4 points available per game for extra objectives:
• Kill Enemy General: 1 BP
• A standard in enemy deployment zone: 1 BP
• Destroy most expensive enemy unit (non-general): 1 BP
• Kill half the total enemy models: 1 BP
In the Watchtower mission, whoever controls the watchtower at the end of the game receives a bonus 800 VPs.
Blood and Glory will last 6 turns. Whoever breaks their opponent FIRST receives 800 bonus VPs.


With a name like Book of Grudges you would expect there to be grudge matches. And there are. Lots of them.

Round 1 and 2 at BOG are random drawn and any player can grudge any other player (providing that they are not already playing someone else).

In rounds 3 and 5 every fifth player can issue a grudge. Starting at player 5, then 10th, then 15th, then 20th... etc... This will change in round 4 when these same places grudge but in reverse order. (so if there are 50 players... number 50 issues the first grudge).

There are no grudges in round 6.

If you accept someone's grudge in rounds 3-5 you get 2 bonus battle points for courage and a general willingness for fun tourney rules. (You can never get more that 20 battle points per round).

If you challenge someone ten places higher than you in the rankings you get a bonus 2 battle points for courage (troll slayer). If you grudge someone 20 places higher than you in the rankings you get a 3 point bonus for real courage (giant slayer). Once again you can never earn more than 20 points in a round.

Conversely if you challenge someone 10 places or below you in the rankings you suffer 1 battle point penalty for being weak and cowardly (Gobbo slayer). If you grudge someone 15 players or more from you, you will suffer a 2 point penalty for extreme noob punching (pumpkin slayer). You cannot grudge someone 20 places or more below you. Period. The lowest score you can ever get in a round is zero.

You cannot play the same person twice in the same weekend.

Winners of the following tournaments will be entitled to a Golden Grudge:
Empire in Flames
Rumble in the Bronx

If you earn a Golden Grudge, you can use it any round against any available player (except in round 6. There are no grudges in round 6). One use only.


There will be a variety of trophies and prizes to be won at Book of Grudges. These include:
The Podium (1st, 2nd, 3rd places)
Best General (Highest Battle Points while not on the Podium)
Best Sports (Highest Sportsmanship scores. Ties will be determined by a count back using the highest composition score.)
Best Painted (Judges favourite army to BOG)
Players Choice (Players favourite army at BOG)
Best Noob Player (3 events or less of any game system under their belts including this one).
Best 40K player (regular 40K players with this as their 2nd fantasy event or less in the last 12 months


It is important to point out that THE JUDGES RULINGS ARE FINAL. Please feel free to ask questions on the day or before via email or on (within reason boys and girls) but once the judges have ruled (and we do RULE!) no further correspondence will be entered into. Period. Bring your best Warhammers and have some fun!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Orc and Goblin Update

Soooo. I know that I have been doing a lot of Tomb King talk lately and lot of reviews of other people's hobby and products. The main reason is that I have been killing myself at work and have just been B U S Y ! ! ! lately... I have had the chance to do some hobby the last few days and have really got stuck into my orcs and goblins.

Some of you might remember my project that involved 300 dice and a pile of 150 of orc/ ork and goblin heads (and a crapload of green and grey stuff).

Got on today with some extra help from my man Chris Cousins (who helped me with the wyches earlier this year)...

Here are the grots (so far... they still need lots of work...): (Remember that to see close ups please click the picture)

Spent alot of time of the orcs themselves... While they started yesterday like this:

After two days of work... I have 30 plus orcs in each colour scheme (keep in mind these are the back rankers):

Once again nothing is done and the cloaks really look bland in this light but trust me there are 5 colours in each cloak.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Official Tomb King Info

So I got my grubby paws on the new TK book today for a quick spell...

Skeletons are clan rat points with hand weapon and shield.

Archers are 2 points more than that...

Ushabti are ten less than before with Great Weapon and hand weapon. You can pay extra to trade the great weapon for an additional hand weapon. more than that to get great bows... Not bolt throwers but strength 6 I think...

Chariots are 15 points more expensive but the crewmen get an extra attack each and they cause D6 impact hits now instead of D3. For every rank of chariots in a unit the strength of the impact hits goes up by 1.

Bone Giants are similar to before but are the cost of a hydra with additional hand weapon. You can give it a move and fire bolt thrower bow instead for 20 more points...

That is all I can remember now except that magic is AMAZING!

And now for something a little off topic... Bicycle Quidditch!

So last weekend was our good mate's (Drew the hobby machine!) bachelor party. While activities ran well into the night. The day began with an afternoon game in the park. The Game: Bike Quidditch. I have to admit it is not something that would normally do but man was it a lot of fun to play. Part of that was since everyone was on a bike and since it forced you to develop new skills everyone kinda started at the same level. Besides getting too much sun I thought the afternoon was a great success and I thought I would share the game as written. Anyway... The rules:

Modified rules for Bike Quidditch
Teams: Teams will consist of:
− 1 Keeper, who will be equipped with a broom. The Keeper will be required to protect his team's goals
− Chasers and Beaters in a ratio of 3:2 or as near as possible.
− Chasers will manoeuvre the Quaffle into a scoring position to put it through the goals
− Beaters are able to pick up and make use of Bludgers.
− There will be no Seeker.
− All positions are played riding a bicycle
- Field Size: Soccer pitch or wider.

Balls: The game will consist of at least three balls:
− 1 Quaffle will be passed between chasers and used to score. The Quaffle will be a frisbee-like ring. Only Chasers may pick up the Quaffle.

− 1 Bludger will be in play per Beater on each team. The Bludgers will be Vortex-like balls. Only Beaters may pick up the Bludgers

− There will be no Snitch.

Pitch: The pitch is roughly the size of a soccer field, with two hoops at each end. The hoops should be on posts around 2m in height.

Scoring: One point will be scored per goal, a goal consisting of putting the Quaffle through one of two hoops at the far end of the pitch. If the Keeper blocks a shot, or the shot misses the hoop, the Keerer may retrieve the Quaffle and put it back into play.

Chasers: The role of Chasers is to manoeuvre the Quaffle from their own end to the scoring end. In given play, the Quaffle must be passed between Chasers a minimum of two times. If a pass is missed, or goes out of bounds, the Quaffle is dead and the minimum two passes are reset.
A Quaffle that is dead may be picked up by the first Chaser (from either team) to touch it with his body or bike and brought back into play. A dead quaffle that is out of bounds may only be picked up by the team that did not throw it. Chasers should not aggressively contest a dead Quaffle. To bring a dead Quaffle back into play, a Chaser must come to a stop and pass the Quaffle before moving again. Aside from this action, Chasers should endeavour to keep mobile.
Chasers may not forcibly take the Quaffle from one-another.

Beaters: The role of the Beaters is to prevent the Chasers from manoeuvring the Quaffle into a scoring position. A Beater may pick up a Bludger and throw it at an opponent. If a player is hit by a Bludger, they must immediately discard any ball they may be carrying (Quaffle or Blugers). A beater may use a a Bludger to shield himself or a team-mate from another Bludger. Aside from picking up a Bludger, Beaters should endeavour to keep mobile. Beaters can only hold a Bludger for a maximum of 5 seconds.

Keepers: The role of the Keeper is to protect his team's goals. He may use his hands or broom to protect his goals, but may only handle the Quaffle in order to protect the goal. The Keeper may ignore the Bludgers. (We amended this rule and allowed Keepers to handle the Quaffle like a chaser and it worked the treat).

Game Length: 15 minute quarters.

Other notes: The game is intended to be played with zero contact. Mistakes can occur, and are acceptable. If any contact is deemed intentional and excessive, a hand-over of the Quaffle may be enforced.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Review of Kromlech Resin Weapon Packs

Kromlech who used to sculpt for Maximini has come out with a range of "vibro weapons" which = force weapons or power weapons. I think they could work for grey knight power weapons for those of us who are no so keen on the GW grey knight line.

They have the halberds:
They are about the same size as the very old force halberds but the handles are a little thicker...

I am wondering the best way to have hands hold them. Maybe sculpt hands around the hafts of the weapons so I do not have to clip them and pin them (I hate pinning resin)...

The mold lines are good on all the kits... here is the little that was on the worst of the halberds (in two packs):

Without the glare:

The Kopesh swords are likewise really good. They come 6 in a pack (like the halberds) and fit marines pretty well... Though with these guys the handles are really thick. They will require work to actually fit in a marine hand.

There are three sculpts (like the halberds). They had almost no extra mold lines BUT the tips of a few of the swords seemed a bit blunt. A quick shave with a blade would fix this BUT it is there.

Without the glare:

I really like the style and quality of these model accessories. They have given me a naughty "pre-heresy thousand son as a grey knight army" itch that I am thinking hard about scratching. I like the gear and would recommend it for others but if you are a beginner hobbyist you may have a little trouble working with the resin to make them work.

You can find more of Kromlech's stuff here in their ebay store:

Monday, April 11, 2011

Empire in Flames (Results/ Thoughts/ Photos)

Well I just got back from the Fantasy half of the Melbourne in Flames tourney. Run by kick ass painter and general, Chris Cousins, on a tight time frame and with pro ease. The event ran smoothly and was held in very nice digs. It was run at the Realm of Legends shop/bunker in Croyden (spelling?). While the shop is fairly far from Melbourne (especially on public transport) it has more than 50 professional grade tables (many of which have come straight from GW). Every table I played on over the weekend was a work of art. I highly recommend heading out there for a game or three sometime.
(Here are a few pictures of my Rats in action)

Anyway. I took skaven. Since my list is generally built to 2000 points I had to do some reshuffling to get it up to the 2400 mark. I dropped my weapons teams and added 27 storm vermin and 6 rat ogres (more on these later). With a grey seer, a plague priest on furnace, warp lightning cannon, plague claw catapult, 2 units of 40 slaves and 2 units of 25 clanrats I think I generally deserved the comp of 4 out of ten. It was a hard list... Too bad I still haven't really gotten the hang of skaven. I had not played fantasy in so long that in my first game of the event my opponent and I reversed the order of shooting and magic in our turns... Oooppppss. and I played 30 models down as I had not counted how many models actually fit on my movement trays. Double oooopppss.. Despite these setbacks I think I did alright. I really should have prepared by playing a game or two which is my own fault. I won three games and lost three games... One of the losses was huge (I kicked the stuffing out of a bretonnian list and dropped his big busses to one model each BUT could not wipe them out). One of my wins was huge, I successfully cast plague three times on a high elf player in a game where my war machines didn't misfire once.

The skeven were lots of fun to play but I spent my whole weekend pulling models off of and returning models to their movement trays. I know it is fantasy but I have never played with so many models. I didn't get a break between games to eat or relax or anything else. it really ramped up the pressure. I tried putting casualties in groups for easy regrouping as they were pulled off the board and that helped but man, no breaks for the wicked.

(My "looted" Plague Claw Catapult)

My Grey Seer detonated himself with miscasts constantly the whole weekend (even when rolling with two or three dice).... It was crazy. In one game he miscast 5 times before killing himself in turn 4. Ouch! The warp lightning cannon was similarly cursed and blew itself up on the first shot of the game twice and killed itself in almost every game. The Catapult lasted far longer and killed a lot over the course of the weekend. Strength 2 is not so hot but ignoring armour saves is pure gold.

Rat ogres didn't do much over the weekend but I killed my own unit with death frenzy. :) Oooopppss.. Speaking of death frenzy. DF on stormvermin is the best way to kick people out of the watchtower with this list when I don't roll cracks call as a spell.

The furnace is pure gold as well. I really need to add more plague monks than 23 as they were too easy to target. Putting the plague banner on this unit is key and really helps in the first round of combat.

Anyway... Here are the results. As you can see I ended dead middle of the pack.

Rank Name Army Total
1 David Duriesmith Wood Elves 144
2 Chris Penwarden Orcs and Goblins 141
3 Ben Leopold Skaven 140
4 Greg Johnson Empire 134
5 Nick Hoen Warriors of Chaos 127
6 Peter Spiller High Elves 124
7 Sean Davis Warriors of Chaos 123
8 Brendan Slade Orcs and Goblins 120
9 Lachy Mulchay Dark Elves 120
10 Nick Cook Orcs and Goblins 120
11 Aaron Gruneklee Dwarves 119
12 Phil Tuck Wood Elves 119
13 Craig Cussans Vampire Counts 114
14 James Brett Empire 113
15 Brad (ME!) Skaven 109
16 Michael Blowfield Dwarves 106
17 Aaron Harrison Warriors of Chaos 105
18 Craig Dillon-Gibbons Daemons 103
19 Mark Skilton Empire 103
20 Jon-Hollis Hill High Elves 101
21 Brenton Shaw Dwarves 100
22 Shaun Hogan High Elves 99
23 Andrew Noakes Ogre Kingdoms 99
24 Leigh Callahan Brettonians 97
25 Chris Grace High Elves 97
26 Lachlan McKenzie Lizardmen 96
27 Trent Phelps Lizardmen 96
28 Adam Reynolds Dwarves 93
29 Kieran Blain Skaven 66
30 Andrew Williams Empire 60
31 Nick Gentile High Elves 55
32 Mark Brand Lizardmen 52
33 Josh Claridge High Elves 49
34 Baron von Gumby High Elves 39

Best Sports - Nick Gentile
2nd Best Sports - Aaron Gruneklee
3rd Best Sports - Andrew Noakes

Player's Choice - David Duriesmith
2nd Player's Choice - Greg Johnson
3rd Player's Choice - Nick Hoen
Best Unit - Andrew Noakes
Best Model - Greg Johnson

Best Newcomer - Lachy Mulchay
Best Newcomer's Army - Shaun Hogan
Runners Up Best Newcomer's Army - Chris Grace and Jon-Hollis Hill

Club Challenge Winner - Mark's Monday Night Crew

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Some New Tomb King Rules

Well GW has published a page from the upcoming Tomb King book... It is the rules for two of the new units... Here is the text without having to yank out the magnifying glass... Interesting stuff.... Now if I only had a points value to match...

Sepulchral Stalkers (Really Ugly Medusa Monsters)

7 3 3 4 4 3 3 2 8

Troop Type: Monstrous Beast

Special Rules: Animated Construct, Entombed Beneath the Sands, Nehekharan Undead.

Trans&^*%ing (having trouble reading it) Gaze: This is a shooting attack with the following profile:
Range 8 inches
Strength 1
Special: See Below

A Trans^&*%ing gaze is a magical attack and does not require a roll To Hit. Instead, when the unit shoots, roll and artillery dice for each Sepulchral Stalker in the unit and add the results together. The target suffers a number of automatic hits equal to the result. When rolling to wound with these hits, substitute the target’s Toughness with its Initiative value. If the target has several initiative values, always use the highest. Targets with no Initiative value are immune to this attack. No armour saves are allowed against this attack. Finally for each misfire rolled a stalker suffers D3 automatic wounds with no armour saves allowed as they catch glimpses of their own reflection in their foe’s sword blades and polished shields.

The Necropolis Knights (or… Snake Surfers)
Necropolis Knights:
4 4 4 4 4 1 3 2 8

7 3 0 5 4 3 3 3 8

Troop Type: Monstrous Cavalry.

Special Rules: Animated Construct, Killing Blow (Rider’s Only), Nehekharan Undead, Poisoned Attacks (Necro Serpents ony).

Necropolis Knights have a total armour save of 3+. This takes into account the combined effects of mount’s Animated Construct special rule and the rider’s armour and high vantage point.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The New Tomb Kings

Ooooooo.... Been waiting the last couple of weeks (and ya'll know how much I HATE waiting) with baited breath for the new tomb kings stuff. The old TK have a warm fuzzy place in my heart when I sold them for GW. It was around the time that I married my wife and so... what can I say. I really do love this army. I have a very beautiful TK army that I had pro-painted by Miss Painting Group a few years back that I have since added detail and have fixed errors. It is maybe the best looking army I own.

I am also a huge fan of the Nagash book series and loved it when the liche priests summoned sphinxes to guard their city...
Now I can add those to my army! YEAH!!!
There are two options (one kit that makes two units ala screaming bell)... The skele/ Tomb King mount (ala stegaddon) and the combat badass version... I need two of these right NOW!!! Hmmm.... (how to raise money?)

Here is a rumored alternate head for the sphinx. I will be using THIS one!!!

I am not really a fan of the scrawny TK model that comes with this kit (not pictured... sorry) so I will probably be sticking with my converted TK and Tomb Prince models that I made using the beefy blood bowl models...

Moving on... Surf is up?

Ok... that is one way to do monsterous cav... I will probably go a different route... Have to see the rules before I try to convert these guys... Oh and you can also make these guys with the same kit. Neat and all but stilll.... meh.

New plastic tomb guard:

Will have to see about these guys... Like the models but they don;t really fit with my army as it is... Then again... They come with cool halberds...
But can I make them match this?

I guess I just want to see the rules... The only thing I really want out of this book is already being hinted at by people in the know. That is: Cheap ass skeles... Not sure exactly how much they will be (rumors say 4 points and 6 with bows) BUT... as long as they get cheaper than 8 points a model I am a very happy camper. I want a horde of 50 of the little buggers as an anvil unit. I should say I have the unit: Now I want the rules to back it up.

More thoughts soon.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sculpting too small to believe! (Space Marine Showcase)

So my friend Tim Beaty has turned in his marine for this blogs space marine showcase.

Tim chose Dan Abnett's Iron Snake's as his chapter and this is his marine.

Tim is a renown for beautiful painting and clean sculpting but I think he has really out done himself here.

First of all he sculpted the shoulder pads.

More impressively and absolutely hobby destroying... The sculpted the battle scene on the marine's chest tabard. It boggles the mind...

That is right... it is sculpted... Then painted...

On that note I am going to cry myself to sleep.

Sweet work Tim!

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's Not Easy Being Green (Review of O&G Book)

Long Time contributor to this blog and all around great guy, Drew McLean (The Man I DJ with) has taken the time to write his thoughts on the new Orc and Goblin book. Drew is a long time green skin general and these are his thoughts:

The first look at the new Orc and Goblins book will tell you that this is something new; it's obviously a hard-cover, and looking inside it's in full colour. The artwork in this book is superb, even if many pieces are recycled from previous books/box covers. Aside from these changes in format, the layout of the book is much the same as army books have always been, so old users should find it easy to navigate. The unit summary has even been moved to the back page, making it quick to locate (as it should have always been).

Most of the army remains largely unchanged, the two obvious new inclusions being mangler squigs and the awesome Arachnarok spider. The former are essentially fanatics turned up to 11, whilst the latter is an absolutely massive (fitting on the equivalent of three chariot bases) new monster. These new inclusions both seem fairly potent, but the mangler squigs seem a far more attractive prospect because of their ability to be steered to an extent, and being relatively cheap.

Changes to the list include making regular orc boys dearer, black orcs cheaper (and now immune to psych), most other infantry remained the same price, whist many of the whacky auxiliaries became a bit cheaper (including trolls, giants, doom divers, pump wagons and goblin chariots). Trolls have become special choices (but can be upgraded to rare), whilst stone throwers have been changed to rare choices. Most special rules remain unchanged or similar.

The army itself has a few new rules across the board; namely choppas, animosity and Waaaagh! Choppas now offer a +1 strength bonus in the first round of combat to any weapon wielded by an orc, including magic weapons. This means an orc with a great weapon will have a +3 strength bonus in the first round of combat. Animosity reverts to only activating on a 1, and now includes a chance of attacking friendly units again. Waaagh can only be called by an orc warboss now (not goblins, or lesser heros) and only offers a bonus to combat resolution, taking out the bonus move.

Magic items have been reduced in quantity, suggesting that 8th edition is pushing for most armies to rely on common magic items from now on. The 8 items include two magic weapons, three standards, a suit of armour and a wand. Some we've seen before, some are new. More on these later. Spells are again divided into two lists, one for goblins and one for orcs. Many of the spells are back from the previous edition, with either a new name or an altered effects. Some spells seem fairly effective, but others seem highly situational.

When I opened the new book, I was impressed by the quality of production. 8th edition has certainly seem a high standard so far. When I looked a little deeper, I was a little disappointed.

Having played the game for some time now, I have noticed some distinct rules creep since the High Elves were released early in 7th edition. As a greenskin player, this got me down a bit, but I endured. I saw High Elves come with their universal always striking first. I saw unstoppable Vampire magic. I saw Dark elves with ridiculous amounts of ranged attacks and uncanny mobility. I saw Warriors of Chaos bringing spells that could wipe out an entire unit on one in twelve casts. I saw Lizardmen with Slann that could cast their way out of anything. Skaven had a spell that could just roll away your units, replacing them with rats, not to mention the monster that could tear shreds off its enemies, resist prodigious amounts of damage, then stand back up again if it was finally destroyed. Surely the orcs were in for something BIG!

Sadly, this was not to be. The orc list has not been bolstered by anything like those mentioned above. The Arachnarok, impressive as it looks, could never stand toe-to-toe with a Hellpit Abomination, despite costing around 50 points more. The catapult on its back makes its victims always strike last, but of course you can't fire on a unit in combat. The giant was reduced in cost by a mere 5 points, making it now slightly less over-costed than the Dark Elf hydra.

Black orcs have become cheaper, by 1 point, but in the climate of 8th edition, I see Immunity to Psychology as a liability. Black orcs are already all but immune to panic, and it is so hard to fail a leadership 8 test with a re-roll thanks to the Battle Standard. The only real effect of being immune to psychology is the inability to flee a charge.

Regular orc boys, long regarded as being over-costed, are now 1 point dearer. This hardly seems like value in today's 8th edition, when most enemies have access to large units of strength 5 troops. They are still nearly as likely to stand around and do nothing for a given turn, so are hardly considered reliable. The choppa bonus now extends to spears, but those are still as undesirable as they always have been.

The Waaagh can now only be called by an orc warboss, meaning many armies have been cut-off from that bonus. It now only affect orcs (not goblins), and it now amounts to a paltry bonus point of combat resolution. Gone are the days of a surprise jump on the enemy. Now, when you are likely facing steadfast opponents, you gain access to combat resolution points. This is hardly a fair trade-off.

Magic spells are a mixed bunch. When I saw the college decks in the 8th edition rule book, I was convinced this was the scope of things to come for all races. A comparison between The Curse of the Bad Moon and Purple Sun shows that this is not the case. Purple Sun kills outright on the failure of an initiative test, with no saves of any kind allowed. The Curse of the Bad Moon causes one wound on a failed characteristic test and allows ward saves.

The magic items list is, by far, the most disappointing area of the book. I could cope with the low numbers of items. In fact, I anticipated that this would make all the items seem brilliant and would encourage intense theming of armies. Instead I saw The Battleaxe of the Last Waagh, a 100 point item that adds a whopping D6 to both strength and attacks characteristic, at the cost of half that number in weapon skill. With an initiative of 4, and at-best an armour save of 2+, the warboss who equips this axe has a reasonable probability of getting killed before getting to attack.

The other magical axe, the Axe of Stunty Smashin', is a 50 point, +1 strength, +1 attacks item. On a warboss, this item would be reasonable, as it could be backed up by some defence. The axe comes with a racial bonus against dwarves, which is something I never consider. Being a tournament player, any benefit that does not work against everyone is non-existent to me.
The various magical standards are mostly restricted to goblin Battle Standard bearers, usually not worth taking when there is access to orcs equivalents. Additionally, the effects are also restricted to goblins, making them truly goblin-army-only items. The only magical orc standard is Mork's War Banner. For 100 points, the bearer (and by extension, his unit) benefit from a magical resistance of D6. Today, most of the spells to watch out for are either hexes (to which magical resistance does not apply), or spells that allow no saves anyway. 100 points is far too much to pay for something that is rarely of any benefit.
The Armour of Gork adds +D3 toughness to the bearer, but for 100 points is too expensive for what it does. The Skull Wand of Kaloth now only affects a single model once per combat phase, with the same effect as before (fail a leadership test or die outright). With re-rolls to all leadership tests being commonplace, this makes the Skull Wand less attractive. To double its points cost to the point of only being equipable by a lord-level caster is ludicrous.

The last item, the shrunken head is equipable by savage or shamen only. It increased the value of any savage orcs ward saves in the bearer's unit by 1. This is the only potentially useful item for an orc army, and only just. It has a similar effect to the Mark of Tzeench from the Warriors of Chaos book, except that it only affects savage orcs, it must be carried by someone (and can hence be killed/removed) and costs much more.

The book has made some redeeming point reductions to some of the more exotic parts of the army. Pump wagons are now more effective. wolf chariots are much cheaper and can be fielded in units of up to 3 and mangler squigs are just plain nasty. However, having only a few stand-out attractive options means that we will simply see more of these things included in every army. Greenskin infantry has not been given any sort of boost, and so we will continue to see greenskin armies consisting of an orc leader, minimal infantry and a wide variety of goblin attachments. This continues to fail to live up to my vision of massed orcs infantry sweeping over all who oppose them. You know, the kind of thing you read about in all of the flavour-text in the book? It seems I'll have to wait at least until the 9th edition orc book to have this realised.