Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Quick Appeal on Behalf of a Blog Warrior!

I've been asked by Andy from Sons of Sanguinius to appeal on behalf of Gary "The Voice" Percival. Basically, Gary is coming to Blog Wars 4 this weekend but doesn't currently have transport sorted. If any fellow Blog Warriors (Andy's term but I kind of like it) can help him out please get in touch with Andy through the Sons blog or contact me and I'll pass the message on.

Otherwise preparations for Blog Wars 4 are continuing and I'm about to have a couple of games against Jamie to get me into the swing of things for Saturday. Incidentally you should check out Jamie's blogs here and here.

Finally, I thought I'd give a quick plug for my Movember appeal. For those of you not familiar with it, Movember is a month-long fund raising event for male cancer charities where men of all ages grow a moustache for the entire month of November. In my case it should really be "attempt" to grow a moustache as I'm just too youthful to manage it. That's right, youthful not lacking in manliness in any way! Luckily for you guys my effort will be long gone by Saturday (as I think my wife will force me to get rid) but if you would like to donate you can do so HERE. Thanks in advance.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Armies at Blog Wars 4 - Interesting shift for 6th & PRIZES!!

First things first. Does anyone know Mal Junor or Ewan Smith? They're coming to Blog Wars together as far as I know but they've yet to submit an army list. I've tried emailing but there's no response. If someone knows them, please get them to confirm to me that they're still coming. If they are, they need to get their army list to me ASAP.

Army Distribution
There's an interesting mix of armies at this year's event. Before I get to that though, I took at look at the spread of armies at the previous three events. Since I'm a sad individual I've produced a graph to show the sort of armies people were taking in 5th edition (click on it to make it legible):

As you can see there are a lot of Imperial Guard players and there's been a hefty following of SW, BA and GK who make up 28% of the armies that have come along. If we fast forward to Blog Wars 4 the picture is a little different (again click to embiggen):

Bear in mind this only represents the Primary Detachment so I've ignored the allies to make it. Sadly there are neither any Orks nor Black Templars this time around. One thing we aren't going to be short of are Necrons! There a 5 people bringing Necrons out of the current 28! Granted if the two mentioned at the start don't come we'll be down one but still it seems that people agree with me that Necrons are pretty strong in 6th! Now obviously this isn't the most accurate statistical analysis in the world but I still think it's pretty interesting. What's most surprising is the number of tyranid players! Now, Blog Wars veteran Chris Benstead from Weemen has been pretty consistent with his support of them but some of the other guys are coming to them from other races. Daemons are also making a pretty strong showing and the ever present Grey Knights don't seem to have dipped in popularity. On the contrary Space Wolves certainly have with only one person taking them.

The interesting thing will be how the armies fair across the tournament. Obviously winning Blog Wars 4 is hardly proof of one codex's dominance but part of me thinks it'd be funny if Necrons don't win!! At least I'm representing for the Tau Empire (even if they're joined by some space puppies)!

Sisters of Battle remain the only race to have never been represented at Blog Wars!

Special Characters
Thanks to the allies system there are actually lots of armies (about a quarter) which feature more than one special character. I'm pretty pleased to see it as you should all know by now that I'm a fan! The clear winner of the special character popularity contest is Inquisitor Coteaz from the Grey Knights book. It's pretty easy to see why as he opens up a host of options in the troops section and is pretty good himself! There are tons of characters who appear more than once and there are only actually 21 different characters in attendance. Not that significant until you consider the number of armies with more than one!

What's also nice to see again is armies that are truly themed around a special character. Special mention (no pun intended) has to go to Dimitris Kiourtsoglou with his Nurgle themed army with converted Epidemius. As ever I can't wait to see all the armies on the table-top.

This is the bit I'm sure you're all interested in. The main prize breakdown is as follows:

1st Place: £25
2nd Place: £15
3rd Place: £10
Last Place: £5 & Wooden Spoon
Best Painted Army: £15
Best Painted Special Character: £10

Now, in previous Blog Wars tournaments the prizes have all been in the form of Maelstrom vouchers. Obviously, since they don't technically exist anymore, I won't be able to do that again. The new name for the venue is Eye of the Storm but unfortunately they no longer stock GW products. Therefore what I propose is to let the winners of the prizes decide for themselves what they'd like their prize in the form of (and no I won't do that for money). Think what you like about the Maelstrom saga but I've always liked the venue and I think it would be a shame for it to vanish so I'd like to support them. However, I totally understand if people would rather have an alternative. Therefore I'm prepared to issue Games Workshop vouchers as an alternative. For those of you who don't want to get their stuff from GW at full price I've spoken to my FLGS (Wargames Emporium) in Sheffield and they've agreed to accept vouchers for their store at 20% off which will mean the prizes are a bit more valuable. As I said I'll leave it up to people on the day.

Alternatively, if people prefer, I could pop into my FLGS and buy some suitable prizes to the same values as those above but I'd personally be against this as it will probably mean getting something you don't really want/need.

So I mentioned on Wednesday that'd there'd be some spot prizes and a raffle on the day so here's what you can win there:

The prizes shown in the picture will be split between the raffle and spot prizes. There'll be a spot prize for each game for achieving something I'll announce on the day but you can win:

Game 1: Gale Force Nine Counter Set
Game 2: GW Dice Cube
Game 3: Gale Force Nice Counter Set

At the end of the day, just after the awards ceremony I'll draw the raffle. Everyone who's coming will automatically get one entry to the draw. The prizes are as follows:

1. New Chaos Space Marine Codex and set of Psychic Cards
2. The Imperial Infantryman's Handbook
3. "Battlescape" scenery piece
4. Munitorum Vehicle Dice
5. 2 Servo Skull tape measures

I hope you agree it's worth sticking around to the end to see if you win something from that little lot! Basically I'll draw names out of a hat and let people pick which single prize they want. I hope people prefer this prize structure to that of previous events. The plan was to make the tournament prizes smaller to discourage people from bringing cheesy lists whilst also freeing up some cash for more bonus prizes!

In case I forget to mention it on the day or don't get chance to post again before the event I'd like to say a big  thanks to everyone who continues to support this event. There are several people who've been to all (or most) of the four events and I hope you'll all be at Blog Wars 5 and 6 in 2013 as well!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Blog Wars Army Lists

Spent a painful few hours checking all the army lists today. I've emailled out queries so if you haven't had an email then assume your army list is fine! There's some interesting combinations coming and I'm pleased to see a lot of different races represented. I'll throw up a post later this week with a full rundown of what you can expect to face! There's been an interesting shift in the armies people are using since 6th but more on that later.

As it stands at the moment we have 28 participants which is a pretty good number in my opinion. It means we've got enough to minimise repeat pairings without have so many that it doesn't feel as friendly as normal. Luckily for me it also means that I can play. As I've said before, if there ends up being an odd number on the day then I'll simply not play. I'm popping into my FLGS later to sort out the raffle/spot/door prizes depending on what I can come up with. *EDIT* I think I made the owner pretty happy when I bought all the spot/raffle prizes for the day! I'll throw up some pictures on that post I promised above.

There is one small confession I have to make though. I've been forced to change my army list. With the house move I've simply not found the time to get my Dark Eldar army up to scratch. This is a huge disappointment for me as I was looking forward to showing what they're capable of in 6th edition. I've therefore had to switch to my backup list which is Tau with Space Wolf allies. It's nowhere near as fun but it is a lot easier to use and hence should mean my games will go quicker which has to be a good thing as tournament organiser. Anyway since I've seen your lists I suppose you ought to see mine:

1,848pts of Tau with Space Wolf Allies
Shas'el w/ Fusion, Plasma, Shield, HWMT
2x Shas'vre bodyguard w/ Fusion, Plasma, TA, HWMT

2x Crisis Shas'ui w/ Flamer, T-L Missile Pod

3x 8 Fire Warriors in Devilfish (DPod)

2x 2 Broadsides (ASS, Leader w/ DC, 2 Shield Drones, HWTL)

Ulrik the Slayer
Rune Priest (Jaws/Lightning)

9 Grey Hunters w/ flamer, standard, MotW (WS5 from Ulrik) in Drop Pod

5 Long fangs (4 MLs)

Nothing too complicated. Shas'el and his team deep strike in to deal with terminators and the like. Drop pod slams down and Ulrik and co. harass behind enemy lines and probably die trying. Fire warriors are nice and cosy in their 'fish with the new DP rules and can put out a nice amount of fire when they jump out. Broadsides do what broadsides do best.

Was tempted to squeeze an aegis line in but didn't really fit with the army very well somehow so I'm happy with what I've got. Not going to win but should be capable of putting up a good fight against most things.

Stay tuned for the post about prizes and the races that are represented!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

More Blog Wars 4 Updates

Thought I'd answer a couple of questions that have arisen this week. Before I do let me remind you that tickets will still be available until midnight next Saturday. This is also the deadline for army list submission.

Maelstrom Games Collapse
As you may be reading across the internet, Maelstrom Games has gone under. I wanted to get a post up pretty quickly to prevent any concerns that Blog Wars 4 won't be going ahead. It is my understanding that whilst the retail arm of the business is going into liquidation, the Eye of the Storm venue is still trading normally.

I want to reassure everyone coming to BW4 that their money is safe. If I'm forced to cancel the event because it turns out the venue is closing then everyone will get their ticket price back. Therefore if you're having doubts about coming along because of the Maelstrom drama then rest assured that you won't be taking a risk in buying a ticket!

One final point on this. I've yet to clarify whether the venue still has a store attached to it. If it does then I'll check if participants still get the 15% tournament discount. I think it's more likely that the shop has gone but I'll let you know what I can find out. The other thing of course is that the prizes are in the form of Maelstrom Games vouchers at the moment. I am, of course, going to change this but wanted to know if people would prefer an actual physical prize (i.e. a box of miniatures, scenery etc) or some monetary equivalent.

Special Characters in Allies
I've had a couple of people asking me to change the ruling about the Special Character having to come from the Primary Detachment. As ever with these things I'm open to suggestions but I wanted to just explain my thinking on this before I let people debate about what I should do.

First of all I have no problem with an allied detachment containing a special character as long as the "commander" is in the primary detachment. I can't see an issue with armies having more than one SC regardless of where they are in the list but I intended for the "commander" to be from the primary detachment. It just makes sense to me that the leader of the force would be from the main codex.

My concern with SCs in allied detachments was that people would simply take a cheap troop unit in order to field a strong SC from another codex. For example a 5-man BA assault squad or scouts to allow Mephiston to be taken. The reason I'm not a fan of this is I think it detracts from the feel of the army when done in this way. However, I appreciate that this isn't the only reason people might want an allied SC.

I know a couple of people have written their lists around an allied SC and I apologise for not being clearer about it in the initial rules. Do people have any strong objection to me allowing the "commander" SC to be in the allied detachment? Does it matter if this is the only SC in the army? Frankly I don't think it'll make that much difference and of course I'll see all the army lists and be able to clarify things.

So it's up to you guys. If people aren't really fussed then I'll just let people take their "commander" SC wherever they like in the army! As ever I appreciate your feedback.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Blog Wars 4 Ticket and Army List Deadline

Firstly, let me apologise for my recent lack of blog posts. We've recently moved house and our internet connection won't be activated until bloody December!! Therefore I'm currently borrowing my mobile's internet connection to post but as you can imagine it isn't ideal!

Anyway, all that aside I wanted to throw up some updates about Blog Wars 4.

Maelstrom Drama
Let's get this out of the way before I talk about the fun stuff. As you may have read on various sites across the internet Maelstrom is apparently having some financial difficulties. Obviously as this is the venue for Blog Wars I've been paying attention to this.

However, as far as I'm aware the venue, Eye of the Storm, will not be affected by the apparent problems. From what I've heard they split the venue which was profitable from the store which was struggling in the wake of GW's change to shipping policy (i.e. can't seen to the US/Australia any more). Anyway, I believe they've moved the store to a new warehouse and kept the two things separate. I think they're trying to deal with the complaints from people about not receiving stuff but obviously I don't work for them so I can't comment.

The important thing as far as Blog Wars 4 is concerned is that I haven't heard anything about the venue closing. Given the the event is only a month away I would've expected to hear something by now and haven't. I'll be getting in touch with them in a couple of weeks to order the food etc so I'll confirm everything then. If the unthinkable happens and the venue closes then I'll try and find somewhere else at short notice but more likely I'll refund everyone's tickets and re-arrange for next year. Hopefully it won't come to that. I think it's mostly just internet forum drama but we'll see what happens.

Ticket Sales and Army List Submission
As with previous Blog Wars events, tickets will be on sale up until two weeks before the event which is the 17th of November. This is also the deadline for army list submission. For those of you new to Blog Wars I tend to ask for army lists a couple of weeks in advance because it allows me time to check them through and clarify any potential problems. This means that the day will run a lot more smoothly and we shouldn't have any of the issues surrounding inaccurate lists being found halfway through the tournament. One thing to bear in mind is that:

BLOG WARS 4 IS 1850 PTS NOT 1750 LIKE BW 1-3

As you can see from the BW4 page we're currently a bit short on numbers compared to BW3. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks we'll get the usual last minute purchases (looking at you Humphris!). As ever I'd ideally like 20 as a minimum but looking at some of the other smaller events it seems tournament attendance is down a little which is perhaps due to some uncertainty about 6th edition. No matter how many show up on the day I'm sure it will be just as much fun as it has been the last 3 times I've run it.

Please take some time to read through the scenarios and rules back before the event. I'll shortly be emailling PDFs of this to everyone who's bought a ticket so far. If you have any queries about ANYTHING now is the time to raise them rather than trying to work them out on the day. As ever, please bear in mind I run this pretty much solo so you'll understand if I don't get back to emails straight away.

The Daemon Issue
In a recent post I talked about the current problem with the daemons codex and a couple of units that are slightly ambiguously worded between the codex, WD update and rulebook. In summary, the rules for screamers and flamers need clarifying with regards to what parts of the two versions of the "Daemon" rule actually apply to them.

Since that post GW have put up an FAQ stating that these units get all parts of the two different "Daemon" rules. Now, I'm glad they've clarified things but frankly I think it's the wrong decision. For 20-odd points you get 2 wounds, Eternal Warrior, a 5+ invulnerable save, Fearless, Fear, etc. The screamers also get S5 AP2 attacks with Armorbane and the flamers get a 4+ AP1 flamer. That's frankly obscene for the amount of points these units cost.

Anyone who's played them at a tournament knows that these units are nearly impossible to kill. Now, all armies have their deathstars that are hard to shift but when you can comfortably take 3x9 screamers and 3x9 flamers in a list that still contains scoring units too, I think something is amiss.

Blog Wars is supposed to be fun and no-one will have fun playing an army like that. If they really think about the guy controlling it won't enjoy it either. Rather than imposing restrictions I'm emploring people to think about their armies lists carefully. I'll get to see everyone's lists before the event and if any of them contain a large amount of these units then I may ask them to rethink.

I realise this seems a bit childish to say "you can't take unit "x" because I can't beat it", but really think about how your army could deal with these units.

I'm open to suggestions on this issue but please keep things civil.

If you know anyone who you think might like to come to Blog Wars 4 please send them in the direction of the blog. Doesn't matter if they've never been to a tournament before, I'm sure many of the "veterans" of previous events will tell you that it's a friendly environment where everyone is welcome.


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