Sunday, January 31, 2016

Ghostkeel Winner & Apologies for the Absence!

First off, apologies, it's been over two weeks since I last posted. This has been for a combination of reasons. The most significant being that me and my wife got hooked on Making A Murderer so we've been binge watching that of the last week or so. I've also been trying to get some hobby stuff done, particularly on scenery. Well, we've finished the show now and we're back to our usual watching habits so hopefully February will see more frequent posts than January (or the latter part at least) did.

Speaking of the hobby work, I'll try and post some stuff up on that soon. I'm hoping to do quite a bit of work on it this week so I may even have some finished stuff to show you guys. I'm basically working towards adding more scatter terrain to my meagre collection of Winter scenery and then starting work on my desert board which will be the next scenery project. Somewhere in between all that though I've got to get two Imperial Knights up to a decent standard for a Doubles event in March. I really can't see that happening but maybe with judicious airbrush usage I might get further than I think. Worst case I can borrow Matt's but I'd rather use my own.

That's all I've got for today but I'll leave you with one thing. Tickets are now on sale for Double Trouble which takes place in June. You can read more about DT here, where you can also find details of how to get your ticket(s). Anyway, like my last event, Blog Wars, Double Trouble will feature a raffle with generous prizes. One of the winners at BWX was Jonathan Lyness who won a Tau Ghostkeel. Jonathan sent me a couple of pictures of his Ghostkeel that I thought I'd share with you guys. I'm trying to get some pictures of the Stormsurge which Ian Plumpton won which I'll share with you if I get them. Anyway, here's Jonathan's Ghostkeel:

PS. A couple of people had told me they'd had trouble viewing the blog and it was causing their browsers to slow down/crash. I've changed a couple of things that will hopefully fix it but would appreciate the feedback about whether it's worked or not.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Double Trouble - Random Pairings Reasoning

I've noticed in the comments on the Double Trouble posts that there are some people who are put off by the random pairings system that will be in use at the event. I wanted to talk about it in a bit more depth today to hopefully convince people to come along and give it a go.

What do I mean by random pairings?
In a conventional doubles event you'd obviously plan an army together with a partner of your choice and show up to play other doubles teams who'd done the same. Armies may be a 50:50 split but some tournaments (e.g. GW's Battle Brothers) allow any combination of points. Either way it's about working together with a friend to defeat other partnerships.

The difference at Double Trouble will be that no-one will arrive with a partner of their choice. Instead they'll get a new partner in each and every round and play against another random partnership. There'll be no Swiss pairs either so it'll be random every time. This system means you'll play with/against 9 different people on the day. That's 3 different partners and 6 different opponents. That sounds pretty dramatic and I can see why it puts people off but please read on to understand my motivation for doing this.

Why random pairings?
Well for starters I've always strived to do something different with my events. At a time when Special Characters were often banned at tournaments I made them compulsory. I've always tried to listen to the players too which I don't think can be said of many tournaments at all. What I hope I created with Blog Wars was a unique event that had people wanting to come back. I think a big part of that was the raffle frankly but I'd like to believe the atmosphere I helped create was a factor too. I originally started Blog Wars as a community event, one that helped bloggers get together to throw some dice. When I moved away from the blogger focus I wanted to keep the spirit going.

Thing is though, random pairings aren't something new. I can't say I copied the idea from anywhere but since I decided to go with it I've noticed a few other events have done it before. So it isn't especially original but I still want to do it. A big part of the reason is it's a great way for people to get into the tournament scene. My first event was a doubles and I haven't looked back. The 750pt limit also helps new players and older ones trying out a new army for the first time.

I love doubles events. I love discussing my tactics with a partner and even like disagreeing with my partner. I enjoy saying "I told you so" even more though! Having four people around a table just feels better than a singles event. There's a lot more banter to be had across the board. Trouble is, not everyone has a doubles partner they can call on for these events. Some people have an odd numbered gaming group too. That made me think why not randomly pair people before the event and then let them figure things out between them.

I changed my mind on that though because what if you and your randomly allocated partner don't get along? You'd be stuck with them for what would be a really long day. Also, even if I allowed people to come up with armies in advance with their new partners they'd probably struggle to find common ground in some cases. That made me think about the random pairings in every round system.

Ultimately I hope that the experiences of Blog Wars have convinced people that I deserve a bit of benefit of the doubt. Whilst I feel Blog Wars ended in great style with two sell out events, it's important to remember that it started from pretty humble beginnings. I had a decent core of regulars who stuck with me though and the event grew through word of mouth and visits to this blog. I hope we can get enough people interested to actually run Double Trouble to see how it works out. If the random pairings thing is a total mistake then I'll be prepared to admit it and go back to a more normal format for subsequent events. I'd like to keep trying to run doubles events for a little while though and leave Matt's Fluffageddon (more on that soon) as the singles event each year.

I know randomness puts people off tournaments. The GW events use random pairings and I know a lot of people don't go for that very reason. Thing is though, Double Trouble, like Blog Wars before it, won't be a serious, competitive event. Think of it like a club night where you bring along your army and you don't know who you'll end up playing with or against. Go to town on your 750pt force and hopefully we'll get some stunning examples of every aspect of the hobby. As ever I want to hear your feedback though.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Double Trouble Update - Army Selection, Scoring, Deployments and Tactical Objectives

Here's the promised update to the DT rules pack. I've already incorporated these changes into the DT page but here's a bit more detail about some of the decisions.

Army Selection
I've decided that each army should be a single detachment or formation only. This means that detachments that require more than one formation will not be permitted. This is for a couple of reasons:.firstly because not all armies have access to this method of bypassing the single detachment restriction but also because there'd only be Tau and Necrons that could field detachments of this type with the restriction that a maximum of 2 of each unit can be taken. For example, the Gladius Strike Force requires three tactical squads in the Demi Company.

There were some questions about AM Infantry Platoons which struggle with the max of two of each unit thing. My proposed solution is that you may take two Platoons but each may only include three infantry squads (allowing six per Force). The other components of the Platoon would be excluded from the no more than two of a unit rule. I really want to hear feedback from AM players to know whether this seems fair or not. Likewise from non-AM players too! I think it's a tricky one to get right because I don't want to penalise a single faction too much.

Let's remember that we're only talking about 750 pts so I don't think any of these restrictions are excessive. I'll post again soon with some example armies for each faction that I think are balanced. There's still plenty of scope for variety and with the inclusion of FW stuff there'll hopefully be some interesting stuff in play.

It seems there was some (quite understandable) confusion regarding the scoring. Since the pairs are random in each round it didn't seem right to offer a prize for the doubles team with the best score. That means the prizes will be individual. In each game both players in a doubles team will receive the same score. Here's an example of how it'll work (in an 80's maths textbook style):

Arnold and Barry are paired together in the first game and play against Cyril and Darren. Arnold and Barry win the game 30-12 with a BP score of 1500-750. Arnold and Barry both receive 30 VPs and 1500 BPs giving them both a total of 60 tournament points (BPs are converted). They then go onto their next games. Arnold is now paired with Eric who scored 25 points in his first game. They lose their game together 8-20 and 1250-1400. That gives Arnold a total of 93 points (60 from his first game + 8 + 25). 

It may seem complicated but since Excel will be keeping track all day and there's no Swiss pairings to figure out it will actually be very simple. You still need to try to win your games to win the tournament and you aren't likely to do that without working with your partners throughout the day.

I've added the deployment types to the DT page. The first game is simple Dawn of War to break everyone in gently. After that it gets a little more interesting but hopefully it all makes sense and will work in practice. I wanted to avoid Hammer and Anvil as the venue doesn't really lend itself to it and I think it favours certain armies too much. Again, I'd love to hear what you guys think.

Tactical Objectives
Here's a list of the Double Trouble custom tactical objectives that will be used in every mission:

I wanted to increase the deck from Blog Wars' 18 cards to 24. This is because DT will use them in every game not just one so there should be more variety this way. I didn't want to add any more than this because I wanted people to feel like they could get a grasp of what was in the deck so they could play their games with a vague idea of what might come out next and plan accordingly. I've renamed a lot of the cards to minimise any copyright complaints but I'm sure you can tell that some are based on the standard GW missions.

The other big thing was to try to encourage people to play together rather than it being a 4-way scrap. The objective missions therefore require a specific numbered objective to be claimed by one Force for 1 VP or, if the other Force can also control any other objective you get 2 VPs. I hope that you can all appreciate what I'm aiming for here at least.

Right then, hit me with your thoughts, suggestions, complaints and errr...praise? I'm keen that DT should be the same as BW in the sense that the playerbase has a big say in how it works. I'm conscious that a lot of this seems complicated but hopefully when you start testing things out you'll see that it's actually pretty straightforward. Nothing is totally set in stone, if people think there's something especially daft up there then let me know and I may take it out or change it.

Speaking of which, I may tweak the odd thing here and there once Matt and I get chance to playtest some of this stuff ourselves. It's difficult to sit there and come up with these things and consider every possible scenario and how the rules will affect particular armies. As I've said before, I intend to write some army lists up on the blog to give people an idea of the kind of thing that's possible within the army selection framework. In the meantime, please please please comment or email your feedback. Thanks in advance!

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Battle Report - Astra Militarum & Blood Angels vs. Orks (1,750pts) - Warhammer World

Well, I fully intended this battle report to have been up last night but that also involved me writing it on Wednesday night which just didn't happen. Anyway, here it is, better late than never.

In order to celebrate GW's 40th anniversary we decided to have a relaxed game of 40K during our visit last Sunday. We went for a clash between the combined might of Matt's AM and Scott's BA against my Ork horde. We were sharing our army lists in advance so that we could try to make it a reasonably close game rather than a white wash. This is something I've talked about before but I really think it makes for much better games. We don't get many opportunities to play these days so having a totally one-sided affair just feels like a waste. Anyway, Matt and Scott would have 875 pts each to fend off my full 1,750 pt mob of Orks.

Matt's guard force consisted of an infantry platoon including mortars and the obligatory PCS and infantry squads. To that he added some stormtroopers, ratlings and an aegis line with quad gun (since he knew I'd be bringing a couple of flyers. The mission we devised would see a beleaguered Imperial world under assault from the greenskins. The PDF had requested aid from the Blood Angels and would need to hold a key bunker long enough for their power armour clad allies to rescue them (or else avenge their deaths). The Blood Angels in question consisted of two 5-man tactical squads in pods, a furioso dread in a pod, some jump pack death company with a chaplain and a squad of terminators.

Facing them was the Ork horde consisting a warboss in mega armour leading a mob of 20 boyz on foot, a weirdboy leading a second score of boyz, a big mek sporting an SAG joined by lootas and 3 mobs of boyz in trukks each with a klaw-wielding nob. They'd be joined by a squadron of three deffkoptas, a dakkajet, blitzabommer and finally a morkanaut with KFF containing 3 meks and 3 burnas (that was the closest they'd let me come to a Stompa!).

We didn't get much choice over the table so it probably had a bit more scenery than we'd like but it certainly made the game more immersive to playing on a full table of terrain (yeah, yeah I need to get mine done!). We'd planned on a central bastion or similar for the PDF to defend but in the end we chose a Firestorm Redoubt. The board featured multiple gun emplacements but we reasoned that a squig had chewed through a crucial power cable so they'd be inactive (had we put more thought into it we could've had some system where Matt and Scott could roll to see if any came back on line but nevermind).

The PDF deployed surrounding the redoubt with the PCS inside the structure. The greenskin horde could then deploy anywwhere that was 24" or more away from an AM unit. All reserves would be guaranteed to arrive on turn 2 (i.e. all the BA but also the Ork flyers). The Ork objective would be to control the structure at the end of the game (which we gave AV12 in case it came to that).  You can see the deployment in the picture on the right.

There was no grand strategy on my part. I like to keep Orks as Orks and just charge headlong into combat without much thought of the consequences. The mek was a little more kunning than brutal though and kept his lootas at range to pound the "stoopid oomies" from range.

Turn 1
As the early morning mist cleared the PDF finally saw what they'd heard coming in the night. The guardsmen took aim and launched an opening salvo at the xenos scum but still bleary-eyed from a troubled night's sleep they could only damage one of the trukks and bring down a couple of the onrushing boyz.

Knowing they wouldn't be able to sink their teeth into their human enemies yet the Orks simply charged at them as fast as possible. The morkanaut pilot didn't seem to get the message though and chose to fire his weapons rather than keep pace with the rest of the boyz. That proved to be pretty ineffective too as just a handful of the humans fell. The weirdboy was able to summon the power of the warp but his 'eadbanger missed it's mark and failed to bring down the guardsman carrying a flamer in the nearby squad and he wasn't able to wield enough warp energy for da krunch.

Turn 2
The Blood Angels came tearing down through the clouds in their drop pods to aid their besieged allies. Two pods slammed down bringing a tactical squad and the dreadnought in close to the weirdboy's mob. The marines and dread both opened up with a torrent of promethium which reduced the mob into little more than a gang. The guardsmen managed to destroy stop all of the trukks.

Meanwhile, the terminators teleported in but in the rush to save the crucial building they missed their target and would need to cover ground to get to grips with their foe. The death company and chaplain came in behind the lines in order to counter-charge once the first wave of guardsmen had been slain in the inevitable onslaught. Finally the last drop pod brought the tactical marines down in front of lootas and allowed them to cut half the mob down with bolter fire.

The onslaught came on quickly with the warboss declaring a Waaagh! This would not only help the boyz get into combat but also give the flyers a boost to their firepower. Speaking of which, the bommer came in low over the squad shooting the lootas but missed the mark with its bomb meaning only a single marine died. That would be all it did too as the quad gun made short work of it after the over-confident Ork pilot made no attempt to avoid the incoming fire.

The dakkajet also hit the squad with all of its supashootas but left a couple of marines after most of its shots failed to penetrate the marines' power armour. Meanwhile, the mobs clambered out of the wreckage of their trukks and charged into the guardsmen killing the squads on the front line. The Morkanaut advanced dispensing its cargo of burnas who incinerated a full unit of humans.

The weirdboy also frazzled three of the tactical squad with a bolt of psychic energy before he and the remains of his mob charged in to finish off the remaining two. Rather than target the closest threat the mek directed his lootas to hit the guardsmen again and was at least able to damage the quad gun before the morkanaut could finish it off along with some of the men manning it.

Turn 3 onward
The dreadnought slammed into the warboss' mob but in its zeal for combat it neglected to fire its flamer again which proved to be costly. It couldn't cut down the boyz quick enough to stop the warboss from tearing it apart with his power klaws over the next two combat phases.

The death company executed their counter charge plan to perfection, cutting a full mob of Orks down before they knew what hit them. The fire from the remaining guardsmen was enough to cut a second mob down to size and cause a third to flee. The death company then turned their attention to the deffkoptas and cut them down too. The warboss' mob returned the favour though and crushed the death company and its chaplain, thanks mostly to the warboss himself and his klaws.

A combination of the retreating mob regrouping at the right moment and fire from the lootas meant the remaining tactical squad was dealt with but not before the mek was killed. The morkanaut gunned down the remaining stormtroopers after the terminators had killed what remained of the weirdboy and his mob. The final mob from the trukks was able to kill off the ratlings and help deal with the mortars too. This left the morkanaut and warboss stood outside the structure containing the PCS (one of which had been killed by an earlier glancing hit from the deffkoptas.

With empty drop pods the only remnants of the BA force, the Orks simply needed to enter the base and kill off the occupants but in typical Orky fashion (and because I thought it was a better way to end the game), they chose to smash the structure apart with their S10 fists. I think we'll call than an Ork victory! WAAAAAGGGGHHHH!!!

Once again, our system of planning our armies together meant that we ended up with a very close game which we all really enjoyed playing. I think my battle report has made it seem a lot more one-sided than it actually was. There was a point when the AM had taken out all of the trukks and the BA had incinerated a good chunk of my Orks and I thought I wouldn't actually get into combat. Having not played Orks in a while though I'd somewhat forgot how their relentless assault works. You lose a big pile of boyz early on but what's left smashes through the opposition. It's kind of the opposite of how Tau work, you feel like you're cutting your open down in great swathes but as soon as the combats start you wish you'd killed more sooner!

I'd planned the list with the intention of keeping plenty of the Orky flavour of randomness that I love about the army. Sadly, I never rolled a double on the SAG, got decent powers with the weirdboy but barely used him and the blitza-bommer died a premature death after getting "just like dis" on its first bomb. They basically proved to be more reliable than I hoped but it still felt like a very orky game.

I thoroughly enjoyed using Orks for a change having played with Tau quite a bit recently. They're great fun to use as you don't feel like being too tactical is the right thing to do. I really think Mob Rule is a great rule despite its many detractors. Remember that the old rule only worked for 10+ mobs so most of the time you weren't getting Fearless anyway when using trukk-sized mobs. This way you might lose a few boyz but they'll stay in the fight longer. I think having Fearless would've been OTT since they took away the penalty kills in combat.

Finally, it was the first time I really got to use the morkanaut to any great effect. It probably wasn't a fair choice since Matt and Scott didn't have much to deal with AV13 but it would've soon died to the dread or terminators. You feel like it's got a decent amount of firepower but then remember the BS2 and Get's Hot and soon it doesn't look so powerful. Still, it's a low-AP threat to terminators and the like. Dropping off some burnas into the guardsmen was satisfying too.

In typical fashion for me, this game makes me want to paint Orks again despite saying at the start of the year that they probably wouldn't get a look in. I'm very tempted to pick up some stormboyz too despite promising myself I won't be getting anything new. Mind you, I am planning on selling quite a bit of stuff so I'll probably have enough money for some....

I really must get on with sorting the Double Trouble details out. The next post will cover the deployment types and custom Tactical Objectives (the first draft before playtesting at least). I'll also cover a couple of things that have come up in comments and emails regarding army selection.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Games Workshop's 40th Anniversary Celebration

Matt, Scott and I headed down to Nottingham on Sunday for Games Workshop's 40th birthday celebrations. I didn't bother with the open days this year but since this was a free (but ticketed) event I figured why the hell not? The deal was sweetened by the fact that the ticket included free entry to the exhibition hall. We'd only been recently but I knew there were new HH dioramas and more excitingly for me a Tau vs Admech one which you can see below and right.

We didn't anticipate there actually being much to see and do so we also took some miniatures for a relaxed 1,750 pt game of my Orks vs. Matt & Scotts' combined AM and BA force. What better way to celebrate GW's birthday with a classic clash between Orks and the Imperium. I'll report the battle in full in the next post so it doesn't get lost in this one.

Well, upon seeing what GW had to offer us we were fully expecting to be home by lunch time! In the main hall, along with the usual permanent shops, they'd got the events team's Nick Bayton playing Warhammer Quest with people, some kitbashing tables, a FW stall selling some new stuff and their existing range plus a sale (!) table selling off some old kits for 50% off. The latter sounds a lot more exciting than it actually was. What it basically came down to was dead stock that they were trying to flog. The old finecast assassins, the small format codices (clearly a bad idea), the fluff and art books that came with the 7th edition rulebook, the Imperial Knight Companion book and a pile of fantasy stuff (which may or may not have been any good - I have no idea). There were some t-shirts on sale too but I wish GW would make some more subtle ones. I'm not ashamed of my hobby but I don't need an enormous SW symbol across my chest. Tacky.

Through Bugman's and into the dining hall and we found the Studio section. Here there were some of the classic old models which made me wish I still had my Predator Annihilator and Terminator Captain. There was also Jes Goodwin with some of his oldest sketchbooks. I got a chance to chat to him about some of the new stuff that's remakes of his and he said he has mixed feelings. Some of them are an improvement because of the technology coming on but not all of them! There was also some tables with the guys who have created the exhibition dioramas. One of the painters said he can knock out a finished Stormcast Eternal in about 25 mins. Granted he's airbrushing a basecoat of gold and then washing first but still, I'd barely have the blue on in 25 mins! I'm gonna have to time myself next time I paint! It was interesting to see pictures of the displays evolving from piles of cardboard into the finished project. I got a chance to chat to them and ask for more stuff dying or more bodies at least! They said the new Tau board has more (which it certainly did - as you can see in the pictures).

Finally, we were treated to the new Raven Guard FW HH kits including Corax. Have to say I love those models. Far more exciting for me though was the new human and orc Bloodbowl players that I'm sure you've seen on other sites by now. I wish they'd be more specific on when they're hitting though with "coming next season" being irritatingly vague. The models certainly seem like early mock ups but you just never know with GW. Anyway, that little lot only took us about 45 mins to get around so we were convinced we'd struggle to fill the day.

That was until we walked across the car park to the licensed video game displays. Firstly, it felt better because it was in a building I've never ventured into before (sad I know) but also because they've got a great range now. I was disappointed not to see Freeblade but I suppose it's already released (if not on Android). Anyway, Eisenhorn was the first game we came across. It's not a finished game yet but I think part of the problem for me is that I haven't read the books (they're on my list) so it wouldn't mean a lot to me. Matt had a go though but wasn't particularly blown away. There was also a version of Talisman set in the Horus Heresy. I had a go but it basically felt like I was just clicking and rolling virtual dice but not really interacting. I did get a free copy of the original Talisman though so I'll give that a go and perhaps that will help me understand it better. It's difficult to get a feel for the game from 5 mins of play.

Matt had a go at the Vermintide game and said it was easily the best of the bunch. It's a co-operative first person game which Matt described as Left 4 Dead with Skaven instead of zombies and bows and arrows instead of guns. Sounds good already. We also chatted to the guys from Derp Studios about their Tactical Objectives app. It's a nice little app for keeping track in Maelstrom games but if you've already bought the cards £4.99 for the basic app (with original deck and Cities of Death deck included) is steep, especially when each faction is £2.99 on top. Cheaper than the physical cards and a nice idea but I think I'll stick with the cards I already own.

The big deal for me though was the presence of Creative Assembly with their Total War: Warhammer game. It's been on the edge of my radar since I'm torn in my emotions towards it. On the one hand it's Total War and I lost weeks of my life to the first Rome game but it's Fantasy and I just don't know enough about it to be instantly excited. They did a 30 minute presentation on it though and within about 5 minutes I was blown away.

The first thing that strikes you is that clearly the people making it have a lot of love for the source material. They've either done their research or else, like the guy doing the presentation, are players themselves. They've taken time to make the factions feel unique and get their individual personalities across. The flythrough was from the Greenskinz perspective. I was particularly impressed with the effects of conquering a dwarven settlement and seeing it "orcified" with glyphs and gubbinz. I could go on about how good this game looks and how much of my life will probably be lost to it but I think the main point is that it looks like all the good things from Rome I without the crap from Rome II. They've clearly come a long way in terms of their understanding of what players want and the interface is much more intuitive. We didn't see battles in action (although people could play them) but what we saw of the world map is really impressive stuff. I'll probably wait for a Steam sale to pick it up but it's going on my wishlist right now (literally). Here's a Youtube video of what we saw in the run through so you can judge for yourselves.

Once we'd left the video game section it was lunch time so a quick burger later and we started on our game. Since we weren't exactly rushing we only just got enough time to look around the exhibition but still enough for me to take tons of pictures of the Tau.

Well, considering it was free entry the bar was set pretty low but I have to say I had a great day. This was in no small part down to the 40K game we played (more in the next post) but I was blown away with the video game demonstration. GW definitely got something right when they realised they need to do more licensing. It did make me wish I'd thought of a tactical objectives app though!

The main thing for me though was the startling divide being GW policy and the policy of the video game companies. These guys, particularly Creative Assembly, really know how to make you want to buy a product or even preorder it. The major difference is they're showing us work in progress stuff. We aren't talking a measly two Bloodbowl models, we're talking playable versions of new games. That's such a huge breath of fresh air at Warhammer World. We're so used to being teased with stuff or having information drip fed to us that you begin to forget how other companies do it. I left feeling far more excited about the third party products than anything GW themselves were doing.

That's a really sad state of affairs and one I can't forgive GW for at all. Why the hell didn't they have an early playtest version of Bloodbowl for us to play? It's free playtesting feedback for them from people who aren't being paid to have an opinion. I just can't for a second understand their secrecy policy. No-one is going to copy what they're doing who hasn't already. Dreadball already exists so who cares if people know what to expect from the new Bloodbowl! Why weren't they even teasing more stuff from the specialist games. Why do we have to wait for "rumours" all the time, most of which GW blatantly "leak" themselves.

It was an interesting juxtaposition of one of the best games of 40K I've played in a while set in a backdrop of minimal effort from GW. With the exception of the free cake, it really didn't feel like a celebration of their past. It's a total opportunity missed. Bloodbowl was one of their earliest creations and they weren't showing off it's remake at an anniversary event!! Seriously, who runs their marketing department?? The day just felt like a bit of an afterthought, someone realised it was the 40th anniversary so they figured they ought to do something to commemorate it.

We had a great day but we had to "forge our own narrative" to do it, I guess that's why GW wants us to do!

Anyway, come back later in the week for our battle report and then I promise I'll get onto some Double Trouble discussion.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Double Trouble Tickets on Sale Now!

As the title suggests, you can now get your tickets for Double Trouble which will take place on Saturday June 11th 2016 at the NWGC in Stockport. I already announced some details about the event in a previous post here but you can now view the Double Trouble page for more information. There are still a few things to be confirmed such as the specific details of the custom tactical objectives that will be in use but I wanted to get something up on the blog so people can be thinking about their armies.

What is Double Trouble?
Double Trouble is a Warhammer 40,000 doubles tournament with a difference. Instead of writing an army list together with a partner, each player will write their own 750pt army list from the faction of their choice. Before the first round you will be randomly assigned a doubles partner and play against another random pairing. The allies chart will not be used therefore all combinations will be treated as "Battle Brothers".

At the start of the next round you will be assigned a new random partner so you will get to play three games with 9 different people and hopefully a good variety of armies.

Tickets are on sale now and cost £17.50 per person with 52 spaces available. Your ticket entitles you to 3 games of 40K, lunch, free entry into the raffle and, a chance to win spot prizes throughout the day.  To purchase tickets, please send £17.50 per ticket to via PayPal (using the Friends and Family option). Please include your preferred contact email address along with email addresses for anyone else you're buying a ticket for. Please also include the dietary requirements of everyone you're buying a ticket for (even if it's just to say there aren't any).

Army Selection 
Each army can cost up to and including 750pts and must come from a single faction. The only restrictions on the units you can take are as follows:
  • One detachment OR formation per 750pt army
  • No super heavy vehicles, gargantuan creatures or fortifications are allowed. 
  • No unit may be taken more than twice (excluding Dedicated Transports)
Just remember, you have no idea who you'll be paired with or against. That means either a balanced list or hope that you get something complementary.

Imperial Armour/Horus Heresy armies and Forge World 40K legal units ARE permitted. That being said, armies must still comply with the above restrictions.

Scenarios & Scoring
Each game will use Random Game Length and the same two missions:
  • Annihilation - Destroy your opponents' army for a number of blood points equal to the value of enemy units destroyed.
  • Tactical Superiority - Score VPs by achieving the tactical objectives detailed on the Double Trouble objective cards (to be provided). 
The specific details of the objective cards and deployment types in use will be announced soon so keep an eye on the DT page for them.

I'm trying to keep things reasonably simple since I think there'll be enough complexity created with the random partnerships. I'm sure that 2.5 hours will be enough in each round even with the extra introductions and swapping of lists.

Anyway, let me know what you think. I'd prefer not to change things too drastically from what I've set out here but as with Blog Wars, I'd really like to here what you all think so I can make this the most enjoyable event possible. I'm looking forward to it already and I hope you lot are too.

Friday, January 01, 2016

Hobby Resolutions for 2016

As usual, let's start by looking back through my progress towards last year's resolutions:
  • Keep up the tournament attendance - well, as I said in the last post, I've barely been to any tournaments this year outside of Blog Wars. I still want this to be part of my hobby but I'm undecided how big a part it'll play
  • Paint the bloody scenery - I made a decent stab at it but as per usual I got distracted. Jamie continues to wind me up about it but I'm determined to make more progress this coming year.
  • Clear out the crap - I had I bit of a sort out but not much of it went on eBay. I'm going to need to be ruthless and get rid of quite a bit of stuff if I'm going to have space for everything.
  • Paint up forces from each army - not even close. My Tau got some love and I started an Imperial Knight but very little else got done this year. I can't actually believe I'm sitting here at the end of December (this post is scheduled for Jan 1st) with so little done in an entire year.
  • Be more selective about blog posts - well, the quantity has certainly dropped but I'm not sure we've seen a corresponding rise in quality. I still want to have more hobby related posts, the IK magnetisation post was an example of the kind of thing I'd rather be posting about instead of the codex reviews that this blog has become famous for.
As I've said a few times now. I've got mixed emotions about the tournament scene at the moment. I'd still like to head back to a GW doubles event to see what they're like now and with the Outpost waking back up again after their move I'm hoping to head there for more soon. I think an aim of half a dozen for the year is reasonable.

Double Trouble is a new event for me so I'm going to be ploughing a lot of time into making it the best tournament I've ever run. Please support it like you've done with Blog Wars over the years and I hope we'll be sitting here in mid-June talking about how well it worked and what a great time everyone had.

I've REALLY got to get the winter scenery done. To this end I'm going to make a formal to do list so I can structure my time and get things finished. Once that's out of the way I'll be trying to get my desert board done incorporating the new Tau scenery in some way. I'm certainly not sat here saying I've got no unpainted scenery in my collection but I'd love to say that this time next year and with two very different sets I'd have enough variety to keep my games fresh and put that side of the hobby to one side for a good long while.

Clear Out The Crap
This is a big priority this year for various reasons. If I end up deciding to get rid of my gaming room in favour of a study then I'll have less storage space so I'll need to rationalise my collection significantly. My DA army has been boxed up for a while now and I haven't had a burning desire to unpack it for a game in about a year even with a new book released. That suggests to me that I'm not likely to in the near future either. They need to go then so eBay it is.

I've also got quite a few kits that I bought when they were released and haven't even unwrapped. They'll be going on eBay too. That income will go to consolidating the armies I already own so that I've got everything I need to field a variety of armies. I'm determined there'll be no new armies this year though.

Painting Progress
This is always the big sticking point for me. I'm desperate to get as much as possible finished but I just can't motivate myself to finish projects. As I mentioned in the last post, I think the key here is to break things down into mini goals so I feel like I'm actually ticking things off the list. I think the first thing will be getting my first Imperial Knight completely finished as that'll give me a big psychological boost I reckon.

Tau are my current army of interest at the moment. I need to convert that into some hobby progress for them though. I've just built up my Stormsurge so perhaps if I make that the first ever Tau model I actually finish I'll get a similar boost and want to get everything else to the same standard.

Barring distractions (I'm not naive enough to think there won't be any). I'd love to get my Imperial Knight army finished this year with my Tau a significant way along. To keep the variety up though I'll try and add in some Space Wolves and bits and pieces of small projects like the Calth miniatures.

I don't really have any objectives for blogging this year. My aim is for this blog to be a chronicle of my hobby progress rather than an obstacle to it. By only running a single event this year I hope I can get away from feeling like I've got to post something to keep ticket sales buoyant. I'm not enjoying blogging as much as I used to and I can't help but feeling like I'm talking the talk more than walking the walk most of the time. Less talk more action I reckon. When I do post I hope it'll be pictures of hobby work with the odd caption rather than massive rambles like I normally spew out.

Bringing it all together in order of priority then:

  1. Double Trouble - it's a new event so it has to be my top priority to make it a success.
  2. Get the scenery done - snowy stuff first followed by Tau in the desert.
  3. Clear out the crap - plenty of eBay auctions on the horizon hopefully and more space!
  4. Paint all my knights - a fully magnetised, weathered IK army would be lovely. 
  5. Tau/SW - some actual finished units is the plan
  6. Blogging - hobby posts to keep me motivated
  7. Tournaments - the odd one here and there to motivate my painting progress
The drive is towards painted models this year, be they scenery or units. With the exception of Double Trouble, everything I do will be to keep my motivation levels high and get stuff done!


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