Thursday, January 20, 2011

No, that's not true.. that's impossible!!

So, apparently I haven't made a blog in about 7 months.. damn, time gets away from you. Anyway, with the podcast up and running I want to get more involved with my blog this year and I have a pretty controversial topic lined up for my return.

So, straight off the bat, I am going to state that the opinion I have here is not aimed at anyone in specific, but may well put some people offside. I'm ok with it.My plea to the wargaming community is this: Stop it with the Games Workshop bashing. Please.

Over the last six months or so I have noticed an underlying theme that everyone, somewhere, has something against GW. Whether it be because of the fact that they don't like the new stormraven, or GW released an FAQ that wasn't to their liking, or that ugly conspiracy of codex creep, everyone wants to have in at bashing GW for something.

Seriously, it's getting old. I don't care that the Blood Angels battleforce has a tactical squad in it - it's still a very decent way to start a BA army. And that's what battleforces are meant to be. A start. I don't care if you think the Stormraven is ugly - it's very Space Marine in design. And, it's not hard to convert these days with the wide variety of plastics we have so if you really hate it, change it. GW hike their prices - get over it. There are ways around paying full retail for product. And if you think it's expensive, go restore 1969 Ford Mustang. Then you can talk about expensive.

I'm not saying that GW are a perfect company, by any means. They've done things that make you facepalm, sure. But they also provide us with our great hobby, a rich fluff history, and some awesome models. Look back at the last twelve months and look at some of the awesome kits theyve provided - BA release, DE release, second wave daemons etc. Just chill out, and be thankful we have W40k in the first place.

Monday, July 26, 2010

When the Dice Goddess turns a blind eye....

We all experience that time in our gaming life when, for whatever reason, we anger the dice gods, and as a result, they abandon us exactly when we need them to be there the most. So with this, I feel I must discuss gaming without the blessing of the dice gods.

My Dice Goddess....

Mmmmm.. Scarlett....

Oh, that's right. I'm writing a blog. Anyway, so I played a 1500pt tournament this weekend with my Tau. I think I have previously stated that my terrible dice rolling is somewhat infamous - the Dice Gods, or in my case, Goddess, rarely bless me for long enough to win with anything bar sheer skill and proper judgement.

About six months ago I switched to Casino dice as I found that they rolled 'averages' much more frequently than my GW dice, which were known to roll 1's and 2's like they the only numbers on the dice. When I got to the tournament on Saturday I realised that I had left my Casino dice at home. Not looking good. So I played my three games, and boy, was it frustrating. I was unable to pull off successively good turns all day - my dice just wouldn't roll high when I needed them to, and never rolled low when I needed them to. 

Sunday rocked around, and I made sure I took my Casino dice with me. What would you know though - my Casino dice also failed to make their 'average' rolling known. In one specific turn that stuck with me, I fired approximately 40 S5 shots against one SM bike squad - and for all that, only managed to kill one biker. Now, I know I stated earlier that it's best to try and keep your cool in situations like this, and I didn't explode, but I must've looked like the biggest sour puss. My frustration at not been able to kill anything when I needed to became evident as I made a few mistakes in the following turns, and I let it get the better of me. And honestly, I don't think my outcome would have changed regardless of what army I played.

You know what though? We deal in a game of chance. Regardless of how frustrating it may be, there are going to be games, or in my case tournaments, where the Dice Gods don't bless you. But on the same time, you will probably experience games or tournaments where everything goes with you, or against your opponent as well. You can plan and metagame all you want, but sometimes you just have to roll with the punches and take each game as it comes. Remember - our games are suppose to be a hobby. Have fun, enough the good times you have, and just chillax. At the end of the day, they're just toy soldiers.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

THE END OF THE WORLD IS NIGH!!! Or maybe just an edition change.

So, apparently it's been about a week since my last blog post. Where the time went, I'm not exactly sure, but I have a fairly good idea. Enter stage left - ROCKETHAMMER.Now, I'm not going to sit around and talk up Fantasy all post. I wish to address something far broader, namely - edition changes.

Old School Warhammer Logo. Because the Rockethammer doesn't quite look right.

Regardless of whether you love or hate fantasy, we all know that as of Saturday just gone, 8th Edition Fantasy - otherwise known as Rockethammer arrived. But for those who haven't seen the rulebook, you really must have a look.The artwork is just stunning, the battle scenes are awe inspiring, and the sheer amount of fluff within the tome is sure to provide hours and hours of reading. 

I freaking love edition changes. In the months leading up to a new edition, you start to experience the rumour hype, which for better or worse is much more prevalent these days than previously thanks to the interwebz. Will GW change x rule? What will the change to y definition mean to my army? Then you encounter the launch date. People will scramble to get their hands on the rulebook - your local FLGS or GW store becomes full of people that play said game and much conversation is had, which is always a good thing.

The thing that I like most though, especially with 'big' edition changes, is that people suddenly find themselves questioning what armies they will take to tournaments going forward. Do you keep your current army? Do you scrap it and start a new one because they've become rubbish? And what kind of armies can you expect to come against? This period of time also reduces the amount of people who 'copy/paste' internet army lists to try and get that 'instant win' army going, and for me, that is one of the best perks of all. For a good six to nine months, there is a lot of unknown, and a lot of playtesting to figure out where your army sits. 

So that's a few reasons why I love edition changes, and why I am rather excited about the new edition of Fantasy and the next six months of my hobby life.

Signing off,


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How not to be one of *those* guys.

Regardless of where you are, whether it be your local FLGS/GW Store or tournament, the fact is that play our wonderful hobby, you have to socialise with people, and there will always be those guys that you never want to see again after finishing your game. We've all encountered *those* guys at some point in time. I put this down (mainly) to two things -hygiene and sportsmanship. Today I'm just going to give my opinion how you can avoid being one of *those* guys, or at least distinguish yourself from them enough to do your best at ensuring that people want to play against you again at some point in the future. After reviewing my earlier posts, I realise that I tend to write somewhat extensively! So today's blog will be compact and concise. Let's see if I can pull it off!

Don't be this guy.

Hygiene to me is a very important aspect of life. I'm not talking about being OCD, but I am talking about at least being decent enough to be presentable in public. We've all encountered those GW Stores that just reek of B.O and I have to say it's possibly the most unappealing aspect of the hobby in my opinion. So, to counter this -firstly, wash frequently. This helps take care of odor and your hair. Oily hair is gross. If you're going to a tournament or store that has bad ventilation, take some deodorant. Not only will your competitor thank you, but any women you may encounter will appreciate it. Several tests have confirmed that women have a better sense of smell than men, so the chance is that if you think you may smell a little, a girl will most likely think you stink worse than the blue cheese section of a supermarket.

Another aspect of avoiding being one of *those* guys is sportsmanship. Whether you are playing a friendly game or final tournament match, being a good sport is just a matter of courtesy. Not only will it help you in a scoring situation should your tournament have sportsmanship scores, but it may also determine how your opponent acts as well. I'm not saying you have to be the nicest player they've ever played against, but courtesy will make your opponent enjoy your game more. The game we play is largely dependent on chance, given that we play with dice. If everything goes your way, and nothing to your opponents, show sympathy and if you are able, make jokes about it. If it is vice versa, don't sulk in the corner like a little girl all game. No one likes a sourpuss. In addition, if your opponent from the outset is nice and gives you those 50/50 calls, such as whether or not a unit gets cover saves, if a vehicle is 50% obscured etc, don't be a jackass and return the favour to your opponent as well. However if they pull the opposite on you, don't feel like you have to give them the calls just to be the 'better' person. 

I'll wrap it up here to avoid rambling on for too long. This is a huge topic to cover, but at the end of the day, you're not going to get along with everyone. Remember that, and you will be comfortable in knowing that you won't always be everyone's best friend. Just remember to display common courtesy where you can and ensure that you're clean when you go out - it's not that much to ask for. Shower's aren't a rare commodity guys.

Signing off,


Sunday, July 4, 2010

The time of change has arrived..

We all reach that time in our hobby journey where we start to grow weary of the path we travel. You reach that time when you start to know how to play your army with your eyes closed (regardless of the composition of your list) and for all it's worth, your main army has become stale. You don't love it any less, you still treasure your best painted models, but.. it's just not the same. This is when it becomes abundantly clear that to progress, you must change and grow.

As most of you will know, I have spent the past two months (or there abouts) trying to decide what my next 40K army would be. I have been playing Tau for about three years now, and whilst I love the Tau, and all that the Greater Good stands for, I have realised that it is time to challenge myself. I've gotten to the point where I can almost play the Tau with my eyes closed. I am no longer challenged by playing with what a lot of people consider to be a weak army.

What followed was a long and arduous process of deciding just what army I should start next. I had actually started a Raven Guard army, however I was uncertain as to whether or not it really was the army for me. The lure of newer, shiny codicies was strong. I bought the Space Wolves codex, and also considered Tyranids after borrowing my best mate's codex. Both of these armies have relatively new codicies, both have the ability to be rather competitive, and both function somewhat differently from my Tau. I could not make my mind up after weeks and weeks of reading and pondering. I encountered what I call 'army block', and from my experience, I thought I would provide you with some tips to overcome Army Block should you ever experience it.

Modelling and Painting

Regardless of how good you are at painting or modelling, the fact remains that for the better part, you will be investing a fairly considerable amount of time modelling and painting your army. Do not underestimate the impact that this factor has on your army selection. How long does it take you to paint a miniature to a standard you are happy with? If you're thinking about a horde army, multiply that number by 100 and you will realise just how much time you will end up spending painting a horde army. Do you like to paint vehicles, or are they the bane of your existance? Would your army choice require much custom work, either through greenstuff or plasticard, and are you ok with that?

The fluff aspect

Consider the fluff of the armies that you are selecting from. This may not be as important if you aren't a big fluff monkey, but for most people the background of their army is important. If you don't like communism, it's a fair call that Tau and their Greater Good may not appeal to you. Do you like the sheer barbarianism that the Space Wolves display, with their drinking of much ale and beardliness? Do you like the Tyranids for their need to simply consume and destroy all that stands in their way? Don't dismiss the importance of fluff, as it my well keep you inspired to keep going with your army when times get tough.

Competitiveness and Play Style

This is a touchy subject for a lot of people. Some people in our hobby collect armies just because they like the army as a whole, but some will jump from army to army to stay 'competitive'. Is the competitiveness of an army important to you? Do you mind if you don't win tournaments with it, or are you picking the army just for the sake of being competitive at tournaments? If you are a good enough player, you will find a way to make most armies (bar Necrons) competitive enough to at least challenge for a top spot at a tournament after spending enough time playing. In the same vein of thought, realise that some armies are best suited to specific play styles, broken down generally into three main structures - mobility, firepower and assault. Most armies will do at least one of these well, but chances are that if they are also good at another one of the two, chances are that the third aspect will be rather lacking. There are always those armies that are 'decent' at all three, but I think that analysing each army and their play style will quite quickly reduce or eliminate some armies from your list.

By breaking down my decision into these points, I was able to gain a very clear picture of just what my next army would be. I have selected the Raven Guard based on 'answering' my own questions from above.

Modelling and Painting - Now is a really good time to be collecting a Raven Guard army. For a Founding Chapter, up until recently they had received very little love from GW. However in the last few months, with Chapterhouse releasing their Pre-Heresy Jump Packs, Forgeworld's upgrade kits and some of the gorgeous GW models, including Shrike and Vanguard Veterans, it will be rather easy (but a little costly) for me to make my army unique. Awesome.

The fluff aspect - If any of you have read any of the Raven Guard fluff, whilst they are Codex Chapter, their approach to warfare has always intrigued me. They utilise scouts to obtain as much information as they can on an enemy, and will utilise whatever means they feel most appropriate to strike exactly where their enemy's weakness lies. Not only that, but the Raven Guard tend to have very little in the way of heavy vehicles, so entries such as the Predator and Land Raider would be likely to miss out. Fine by me.

Competitiveness and Play Style -  The Codex: Space Marines has become somewhat overlooked in recent times on the interwebz, due to the emergence of newer, shinier codicies such as Blood Angels and Space Wolves. However the C: SM should not be discounted just yet. By taking Shrike, my army gains fleet. This is no small benefit, and is somewhat underestimated. Fleet Dreadnoughts? Don't mind if I do!! Not only does it provide my tactical squads and Ironclads that little extra movement ability, but it means that my Shrike's Wing has an effective 18" to 24" range after infiltration. That unit's going to be all over you like teenage girls to Robert Pattinson.

Army selection is a very personal process, and each person's journey will differ. I hope though that these three pointers have at least given you a basis from which you can make your decision - if you get suck, perhaps write down on a piece of paper the aspects of an army that are important to you and you may find your decision easier.

Until next time!


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Why it's good to be involved in a hobby bromance

Greetings again all!

I'd like to bring up a topic that is rather dear to my heart. A topic that is somewhat controversial and will possibly raise a few eyebrows - yes, I'm talking about Bromance, and more importantly, Hobby Bromance. I am making the assumption that most of you that read my blog are Freebootaz, however if you're not, go to and sign your ass up. It's possibly the best 40K community forum out. All the members are really passionate about 40K and are also a  really encouraging bunch who will always push you further and assist you in progressing in your hobby. 

Soldiers. The Manliest of all Manly Men. If they can hug a brother - so can you.

According to, the definition of Bromance is:

A bromance is a term used to define a close friendship between two men that is not sexual. There is genuine love between men which is mutual and reciprocated that matures over time. A bromance is a passionate friendship between two men that has all the earmarks of a marriage without the sexual component.

Most of you will know of the Bromance that CiaphasCain and I share on the Freebootaz chat. It is infamous and also several kinds of awesome, and if you haven't embraced the power of Bromance, let me know. I will ensure that we make our presence known at a time that suits you.

Now that's done, let me get back on track. I know that for some of you, the idea of mixing bromance and a 'manly' activity of Warhammer / 40K seems all a bit gay. Let me point out to you though that you are part of a hobby that is an advanced version of toy soldiers. You're not in a position to give anyone crap. Depending upon youre interpretation of Bromance, and what specifically 'guy love' means, you may be a little scared by what I am suggesting. To put in Family Guy terminology, you're probably a 'Queer Chaser and Beater.' To this, I am not saying that you should all be as close with your best mate as Cain and I are, nor do you need to go around hugging all of your guy mates but there are several good reasons why you should embrace the bromance. I'm going to give you just three,because otherwise I would be typing all night.

1) Tournaments.

If you're any sort of hobbyist, you will have been to at least one tournament in your life. If you have not been to a tournament yet, you must. They are a great way to learn heaps about your army, meet some new people and get a heap of games in. One of the best parts about a tournament for me is those times when you experience moments of awesome. The time you table someone with a cheesy list, the time you pull of a Turn 5  victory, or should you be good enough, when you win an award. And let me tell you right now there's nothing better than having a mate to turn to to shout "OMFG DUDE, I WAS AWESOME. YOU SHOULD'VE SEEN IT!!!" Not only that, but having a good mate at a tournament can also allow you to talk through errors you've made, and perhaps how you can fix them going forward.

2) Hobby time

Now for me 'hobby time' means several things, but to narrow it down it all really comes down to one thing - the amount of time you spend on your hobby. Regardless of whether it's painting, playing a casual game on a Sunday, going to your FLGS or GW store, whatever it may be - having someone to do your hobby with can make it much more enjoyable. Not everyone likes to work in groups, and for some bootaz I know painting is a solitary task, however the average hobbyist, be honest - there are times when you will struggle with your hobby. That thing called life can really throw you off your hobby path, and having a mate to encourage you to finish that unit or get a game in can be really helpful. I myself benefit immensely from having a few mates that like to do painting nights. Not only can I catch up with my mates and have a few beers, but I will also get a heap more work done than if I were sitting by myself.

3) Hobby discussion

I realise that not everyone lives and breathes the GW hobbies - for some of you, it may be a 'when you can' type situation. Which is fine with me. I'm well and truly of the belief that the more people that are involved in our hobby, the better. Regardless of how well entrenched in the hobby you are, there will be those times when you need someone to talk to regarding your hobby. With 8th Edition Fantasy nearly here, a large portion of the hobby community are going to be doing a heap of talking. Getting your head around a new ruleset can sometimes be daunting, but having someone there to talk it through with can give you a different perspective and perhaps obtain a greater knowledge of what you're up against. However the talk will not stop here. Want to start a new army? Talk it out with your mate. Need a few painting tips? Talk it out with your mate. Want to design some fluff for your army? Talk it out with your mate. Discussion is essential to growing as a hobbyist, and for better or worse, having another opinion will quite often open your eyes to something you are blind to.

I think I've done enough talking now, but you should by now have seen my point. Having your best mate in the hobby is a wonderful thing, and will provide the both of you with many benefits. So if your best mate isn't already in the hobby, go buy them an AOBR box set. If they are, have a painting session together. Or, if they're your e-buddy, talk the shit out of the Freebootaz chat.

Until next time!


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Choose your own adventure..

One of the most fascinating aspects of the Warhammer hobby for myself is army selection, namely how people select their army and secondly how people create lists to for said army. Regardless of whether you play Fantasy or 40k, there are a huge range of factors that people take into consideration before choosing their army. Whether it be the hobby aspect (painting and converting), the sheer 'awesome' factor, narrative (fluff),  play style, whatever it may be - everyone will have their own reasons for selecting their first army.

Something that I have come to realise is that the first army you collect will often be the one most dear to your heart. If you are wealthy enough or have been a hobbyist for long enough,you may have multiple armies, but I can guarantee that you still remember the first time you picked up a Space Marine, a Crisis Suit or High Elf Dragon.

I first got into the hobby when I was around 12 or 13 through my best mate Julian. He had bought some Wood Elves and the minute I saw the miniatures I was intrigued. I somewhat half heartedly collected Space Marines for about two or three years, before falling out of the hobby largely due to teenage peer pressure. I would still buy White Dwarf on occasion, and never really lost touch with the hobby, but it was in this 'floating' period that I fell in love with a new race that were released, being the Tau. A new Games Workshop had opened up closer to my house and had some Crisis Suits, Fire Warriors and a Devilfish in the window. They were simply beautiful. The suits looked imposing, the weapons looked awesome and I knew that if I returned the hobby, I would have to get my hands on a few of these models.

I ended up re-immersing myself in the hobby just after I turned 19. I went to my local GW and bought my first Crisis Suit commander box and Codex and got cracking. At this stage I didn't even have the fourth edition rulebook, but it didn't matter. I had my Crisis Suit and that was all I needed. 

What followed was an interesting three or so years of learning, adapting and growing in the hobby as I learnt how to play, and win with an army that has very quickly become somewhat weak as more and more fifth edition codicies were released. Having said that I still love my Tau, and do not for a single moment regret starting them as my main army.

Too often I play against people that are on the fringe of giving up with their army - whether it be from a host of successive losses, bad luck, tough opponents, or the lure of a new codex/army book. The most recent example was a player I met at a tournament who had a beautiful looking Dark Angels army that utilised black as the main colour. He was on the verge of giving up after his very first game, simply because he got an unlucky draw against a somewhat cheesy 'new' blood angels list and couldn't handle how much better the Blood Angels codex was in comparison to the Dark Angels book.

If you are one of these players, have a good hard think about what it was that first drew you to your army. Find the reason you were once passionate about your army. If it was the hobby aspect - go and convert some new units and spend twice as long as normal painting them, make them a centerpiece, even if it's a unit that looks awesome but isn't that great in game. If it's the fluff, go and read your old codicies or Black Library books. If all else fails, rest assured that soon enough it will be your turn. If you're disheartened that the Blood Angels might have the floor at the moment, remember that those guys have had to wait the better part of ten years for their new codex!

Given that this is my first post on my new blog - for all of those that do take the time to visit, please forgive any initial teething problems that I may experience. Thanks for taking the time to stop by!