Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Announcing the KiwiHammer Podcast

Today I'm glad to announce a new project that's been in the works for a few weeks now and I feel is well overdue for the NZ Warhammer community. In conjunction with James Brown (http://nzhammered.blogspot.co.nz/), Sam Campbell ( http://napalmelfrebelscum.blogspot.co.nz/ ), Locky Reid and Sam Whitt (http://hashutsrighthand.blogspot.co.nz/) I am pleased to announce that we are launching a NZ Warhammer Fantasy Battles Podcast titled: Kiwi Hammer.

The five of us have been hard at work the last few weeks preparing our website, figuring out a format for the show, learning a bit about sound editing and recording a test episode. At this stage we'll be recording our first full length formatted episode on the 2nd of July and releasing it shortly after.

All five of us love the hobby and the tournament scene and it is our aim to generate content both on our new website and podcast which incorporates the community here in NZ and all it has to offer; from the   filth mongering Skaven players to the Hobby Heroes with two giants, we want to include you and the things you love about our hobby. We want your feedback and your involvement. We're all busy guys so our content is going to be a bit rough around the edges initially but we'll strive to improve with your help.

As such I invite all of you to head over to:

to check out our new site and give us a yell for any ideas you have about what you want to hear on the podcast. We've got Episode 0 (our test format) up if you'd like to check it out.

The other major aspect of the site is that it will also function as a new blog for James Brown, Sam Whitt, Locky Reid and myself. This means that we will be wrapping up our current blogs, migrating some of our existing content (such as my Battle Reports) to the new blog and all blogging on the Kiwi Hammer website. This will allow us to collect a large amount of content in one place and provide nearly daily updates. We feel that this will better serve the community than our current 3 blogs.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing from yall on the new site.

Cheers. Jeff

Friday, 7 June 2013

A Break in Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

   Well the unfortunate part of being a student is that every 6 months you have to pretend the rest of the world doesn't exist so you can buckle down and pass some exams. For me this means no more Warhammer until my exams are over on the 19th as it just takes up so much time. This means the blog and myself will be pretty quiet in the meantime as I get my Rain-man on for something other than figuring out how many poison shots it takes to kill your toys.

This is the look of a man who just got an A on his financial accounting exam and then killed your Ironblaster with Chameleon Skinks.
My exams go to the 19th and after that I'll head to Horned Rat for a bat at glory. I'd wanted to take an Orc and Goblin army, but unfortunately, to take the army I wanted requires buying and painting up another pump wagon, orc warboss and about a dozen savages orcs and I just don't have the time or money for that at the moment. Thus at this stage I'll be bringing my noble lizards, though if anyone going has a spare army that's fun to play (not Dwarves or a gunline) that they'd be willing to loan me let me know as I am keen to play something different.

After exams I'll be balls deep into the hobby again with a new project a few of us are working on that'll be revealed in the next few weeks. As well, the prep for Panzerschrek is coming along well and I've got some solid trophies lined up. It's looking like a good time so if you're keen to reserve a spot flick me an e-mail or leave a comment.


Cheers for reading, and dead serious about being keen to borrow something different for Horned Rat.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Warhammer Mythbusters: Daemons of Chaos Can't Kill a unit of White Lions with BotWD in Combat

Myth: Daemons of Chaos Can't Kill a unit of White Lions with Banner of the World Dragon in Combat

Since the release of the new High Elf book we've been subjected to a range of crying regarding the Banner of the World Dragon and it's interaction with the Daemons of Chaos book. The main complaint is that Daemons of Chaos can't kill a unit of White Lions with the Banner.

First up let's price up the White Lions. For the sake of the argument I'm going to cap the unit cost at 450, which buys you:

28 White Lions - Full Command Group, Banner of the World Dragon - 444 points

Against this I'm going to put up Plaguebearers as internet wisdom (if such a thing exists) tells us that a Daemon player should only ever use Plaguebearers.

32 Plaguebearers - Full Command.

I'm now going to assume that both of these formations are in horde, as the White Lions will be looking for maximum damage output and can't possibly lose right?

So What Happens?

Well the White Lions go first with 29 attacks, hitting on 4's and wounding on 2's causing: 29*0.5*0.83 = 12 wounds. The Plaguebearers get their save so suffer 8 wounds.

This leaves the Plaguebearers with 24 attacks which cause 4 poisoned wounds and 5.33 normal wounds for a total of 9.333. The White Lions take 6.222 wounds after Armour Saves and 1 wound after the Ward Save.

The White Lions win by 7 on wounds and add 1 for the extra rank they have for a total of 8. The Daemonic Instability kicks in and with an average roll of 7 lose another 7 Plaguebearers.

So after a single round of combat we have 27 White Lions left against now only 17 Plaguebearers. At this stage it's obvious what's going to happen so I'm going to stop doing the maths. However, how many Plaguebearer attacks would it take to kill 28 White Lions assuming they stick around and take their beating?

Well you would need to force 28*6= 168 Ward Saves. In order to do this you would need to force 168*6/5 = 202 Armour Saves/Wounds. To achieve this you need 520 attacks to get 86.7 poisoned wounds and 115.5 normal wounds.

So, if you want to kill a 28 White Lions, you will need to generate 520 poisoned attacks from Plaguebearers.

Verdict: True Practically there is virtually no way to generate 520 Plaguebearer attacks on a single unit in the course of the game, even without taking into account the damage the White Lions will do back to the Daemons each round.There are a few tricks that could be used to get this number down and make the White Lions more vulnerable to a failed leadership test (Soulblight and Doom and Darkness come to mind) That being said, if you're a Daemons of Chaos player and your game plan involves any attempt to kill this unit in close combat, the numbers would suggest you need a new plan.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Positive Warhammer VS Normative Warhammer - Or why I can't read Warseer threads anymore

Reading a lot of the threads on whine-seer lately I've been reminded of a pretty basic economic idea which I think applies pretty well to how you look and think about warhammer. In my mind you have two choices:

Warhammer is fine guys: Cannons, Daemon Princes and Dwellers are all working as intended. 

1. You can think about Warhammer positively, that is you focus on the game as it is in all its bizarre glory. This means you appreciate that the game's not perfectly balanced, that some styles of play result in superior results and that no one can hear whining from the Ivory Tower located at GW HQ in Nottingham. Then you move on and play however you want and leave other people to do the same.


2. You can think about Warhammer from a normative point of view. That is you spend your time focusing on the way the game should be. This is the train of thought that most of the internet warriors on forums tend to fall into. They'll rush to tell you what's broken and why (most things), how you should be playing each army to be a good sport, clamour for tighter comp so that tournaments go the way the believe they should and never seem to understand that all of the effort they put into their complaining won't actually change anything. These guys also try to apply logic regarding the warhammer world fluff when justifying why something should be.

I'd like to think that I fall into the first category. I know there are imbalances and problems with the game, but I don't spend too much time worrying about those things. I play the army I want given the way the game works and everyone else is welcome to as well. I think when you start with a firm personal idea of what the game should be you just leave yourself open to disappointment and conflict with others who have different personal views.

I read so many forums where the narrative seems to be dominated by people who have strong and conflicting ideas of how they want the game to work and put so much effort into voicing their opinions for naught. How much more productive would it be fore the Warhammer community as a whole if people just focused on how the game is and got amongst it?

As always keen to hear your thoughts.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

NICON 2013 Results and Round-up

Well NICON  has been run and won in beautiful Napier this year and a small group of Fantasy players got together for a very tightly contested tournament. Unfortunately we had 2 cancellations in the last week and several before that so only 10 players managed the trip. Nevertheless I felt a good time was had by all and that the field remained competitive due to the presence of good players and filthy lists. The comp used was standard Pete-lite and the armies for the most part were very capable. Instead of just posting up the results I thought I'd run through the 10 competitiors and how they went (a luxury of a small tournament).

Rob's retro Skullcrushers about to get redirected by Brian's Harpies

10th Place with 45 points - Rob Sadler (WoC): From list submission it was clear that Rob was going to find himself in the unenviable position of having a knife at a gun-fight with his renegade Warriors of Chaos list. Rob was a great sport and didn't get any breaks with the draw but still kept a smile on his face the whole weekend. A big thanks to Rob as well for bringing down some extra terrain we would have needed if not for a last minute cancellation.

Simon's Dwarves defending the Castle after his Artillery is overwhelmed by Dan Butler's Warriors

9th Place with 54.6 points - Simon Switzer (Dwarves): Simon once again brought his Castling Dwarves to this tournament and it was claimed by many that this could be the tournament that Simon gets himself onto the podium. Alas it was not to be as the mobility and number of threats many armies were packing prevented him from getting big wins and left him with draws and a major loss at the hands of James Cardno. Simon never lost confidence though (not that he ever would) despite his cannons failing him multiple times. Will we see Simon's Dwarves again or will his Chaos Dwarves start to make their presence known?

Nick Furiously plotting before game 1, it's all down-hill from here folks.
8th Place with 57.8 points - Nick Munn (Skaven) - Nick brought a very similar list to the one he used in Tauranga a few weeks ago with most of the Skaven toys we all know and hate. However Nick managed to adeptly use these toys to destroy his army in nearly every game. Numerous miscasts, 1's for Warp lightning, Mysteriously off target misfires and other hilarity saw Nick in a constant battle against not just his opponent but himself. I had originally put aside a rat-trap as a spot prize for whoever did the most damage to Nick in a game, but after watching the tournament I decided that he was the only logical recipient.Also, Nick is a big guy for a philosopher and a much better drinker than I am.

Combat is not a good place for Magical Frogs to be Mike

7th Place with 58.4 points - Mike King (Lizardmen): Mike had decided to move away from the Party Light Slann he's been using recently and took a Death/Metal Slann combo but kept most of the rest of the list the same. Mike has said in hindsight this was a poor move and at times the army seemed a bit disjointed between being a classic Saurus block combat list and a dual slann avoidance list. Mike also had hilariously bad luck all weekend, managing to drop both of his Slann down holes due to miscast in the space of 2-3 turns in round 5. As a fellow Lizardmen C*** I'll be curious to see what changes Mike makes in his list.

Brian's Dark Elves sweep away the remnants of Rob's Warriors

6th Place with 62.5 points - Brian Smith (Dark Elves): Brian brought a rock solid double cauldron list with a nasty horde of executioners and corsairs. He got off to a great start against Rob Sadler, managed to hold Pete Dunn to a draw and got a solid win against Simon Switzer, putting himself in contention for the podium despite a big loss against James Cardno as we went into the last round. A big loss though in Blood and Glory round 6 though bounced him back to 6th place. It was good to see Brian again and his play is definitely improving under the tutelage of Dan Butler to the point where he is certainly going to become a contender with those filthy Dark Elves.
The Hand of Pete decides that the Lizards must die.

5th Place with 67.3 points - Pete Dunn (Daemons of Chaos): Pete brought his Blue Waffles out to Napier for their first tournament expedition and played very well throughout the weekend with a list that many including myself had not really understood until seeing it played. It is still not in my opinion a top tier list but it is still very capable. Pete ground out a few draws and some solid wins to put himself in a very good position to take the tournament come round 6. Things went awry though and the randomness of the Daemons hit Pete with a vengeance (He rolled double 1's for winds of magic, killing  half of  a unit of horrors, then miscast when using those two dice and killed the rest of the horrors) leaving Pete in mid-table. Will we see the Daemons again come Horned Rat?

Sneaky Sneaky Dwarves!

4th Place with 70.3 points - Neil Williamson (Dwarves): The elder statesmen of Warhammer, Neil, brought an anvil, minimal deployment Dwarves list and surprised everyone with a solid 4th place finish. This was great to see and I enjoyed watching Neil play the army as it was full of surprises and could attack from any angle. The great thing was to see that his opponents all had a great time and it was proved that Dwarves do not have to be boring. I've even wondered myself if Dwarves could be good for a fun time.

James' finest moment as the Gutstar slams into a Skink unit which is bunkering both Slann.

3rd Place with 73.6 points - James Brown (Ogre Kingdoms): James had brought his TBM list and fortunately had sorted out his Ironblaster issues (gunning down a Lord of Change turn 1 for example). With a solid list and solid play James rallied back from a 1st round beating at the hands of James C. to not lose another game (despite a close 10-10 with Pete). Unfortunately the 1st round loss put a better spot on the podium out of reach.
James Daemon Prince terrorised the tournament, in this picture he is about to kill 23 Executioners  with a single Breath Attack.

2nd Place with 76.5 points - James Cardno (Warriors of Chaos): James brought the filth and with a tournament already under his belt the skills to back it up. He opened with a 19-1 win against James B, held Pete, Dan and Neil to draws/small scores and ran away with his other two games, tabling Simon in the last round to take 81 Battle Points and thus the most battle points. I expect we'll see James continue to threaten the podium with this list and as he improves in a player. He is still very susceptible to peer pressure from girls though.

Filth vs. Fluff! - Dan's Chaos Lord on Dragon actually defeated the Daemon Prince!
1st Place with 76.7 points - Dan Butler (Warriors of Chaos): They say good things happen to people who take Chaos Dragons and Dan proved this right. Dan managed solid results throughout the first 5 rounds, minimizing likely losses to draws and getting good wins where he could (against Simon particularly). This left him playing Pete in the final round (Blood and Glory) with only 4 fortitude with his one banner being in a unit of 5 Marauder Horesemen. Despite this the stars all aligned and Dan managed to put Pete down (with Pete's help) 20-0 and avoid being broken. This catapulted him into 2nd in battle points and with the help of a painting point or two he pipped James C by a whisker. Well done to Dan on also being voted Best Sport and Best Army.

All in all a good weekend was had and I learned a few things about running a tournament.

Umpires should be responsible for making sure awesome music is playing for the competitors!

  • There's a lot of tournament set-up involved (I will never again not require players to use a list template), but once it's on it runs pretty smoothly.
  • I was happy with the comp pack I used (Pete-lite) and my only thought is that Ironblasters could potentially go back to 0-2 given some of the more recent books.
  • I used fixed mysterious terrain on the tables to save time and try to balance the tables. I may have gotten one table wrong by placing a wizard's tower too close to the long board edge.
  • I made a booking for everyone to go have dinner together in town. This worked out really well and I think everyone had a good time. The social side of the hobby is great and I feel that organising a dinner or a beer on the Saturday is a good idea.
  • I enjoyed umpiring and taking pics/tweeting commentary the first day. I drank too much Saturday night though so couldn't bring myself to do this day 2. Warhammer may be a non-drinking hobby for me unfortunately.
  • I was disappointed that I couldn't bring together the 12 players required for the tournament to be ranked. Two cancellations in the week leading up left me scrambling and I was a bit gutted for the guys who made long trips to come and play.
  • I enjoyed umpiring and am looking forward to doing it again at Panzerschrek.
You get nerd cake if you come to my tournaments!

All in all, a good weekend and thanks to everyone who came along. I'm keen for any feedback on the comp set, terrain etc. so I can improve any events I run in the future.

Cheers. Jeff

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Warhammer Mythbusters: Daemon Prince Versus OnG Gunline

Hello Everyone, recently I was accused of being a hobby wrecker on the wargamerau forums for having the audacity to take not one but two Doom Divers as "Doom Diver's don't miss" and "2 means a priority target down turn 1." Now the thing is I don't think either of these are true and because I fancy myself a bit of a mathematician I thought I'd run the numbers with a bit of Mathhammer. I know it's not to everyone's taste, but it's handy to know the odds when you're pushing your toys around.

Are these fellas breaking Warhammer?

The Scenario: 2 Doom Divers vs. a WoC Daemon Prince (50x50 base) with a 1+/5++ and a charmed shield.

Myth #1: A Doom Diver Doesn't Miss!

Doom Divers are notoriously accurate due to their ability to veer back onto target, but at the end of the day what is the actual percentage chance to hit a Daemon Prince?

To start with you have a 1/6 chance to misfire and for the sake of simplicity I am going to assume that the DP is in a position such that it would not be hit by a Skidmarks or Out of Control result on the misfire table.

Thus the odds of hitting off of the scatter dice alone are: 1/3*5/6 = 27.8%

Hmm not too good, but of course the Doom Diver can scatter.

If it scatters 2" it is then 0.25" away from the base (a DD base is 0.75" in radius) and thus a veer result of 1, 2 or 3 will take it back on target. The odds of this occurring are: 1/6*1/2 = 8.3%

If it scatters 4" it is then 2.25" away from the base and thus a veer result of 3,4 or 5 will take it back on target. The odds of this occuring are: 1/6*1/2 = 8.3%

If it scatters 6" it is then 4.25" away from the from the base and thus a veer result of 5 or 6 will take it back on target. The odds of this occuring are 1/6*1/3=5.6%

If it scatters 8" or 10" it can't make it back onto the target.

Thus the probability of a Doom Diver comes in at: 27.8+8.3+8.3+5.6 = 50%

Hitting a Daemon Prince thus is only a 50/50 chance even for a doom diver. This is still less than a Cannon which has a 66% chance to do the same by firing 10" from the back of the base. That's just against a single 50x50mm base. If you're targetting the centre of 45 Halberdiers (why would you) the odds of a hit will get close to 83%. But we're talking priority targets and they tend to be small, and linear (knights etc.)

Verdict: Myth Busted! Doom Divers are significantly more accurate than stone-throwers, but they aren't cannons either. The odds of your general or single model copping a hit are 50/50 at worst and better if he's on a smaller base.

Myth #2: Two means Priority Target down Turn 1!

The other nasty trick Doom Divers pull is ignoring armour saves, leaving the poor Daemon Prince with just a 5++ to keep him safe. Let's see what damage two Doom Divers are likely to do given they hit.

First off we can expect to generate 7 hits on the DP (most likely rolling 2 dice). There is a 5/6 chance that one of the hits gets bounced by the charmed shield so we end up with 6.16 hits.

A Doom Diver is S5 while a DP is T5, so you can expect 3.08 wounds, already less than the DP's 4 wounds. He's got his 5++ ward so ends up taking 3.08*2/3 =  2.05 wounds inflicted!

Verdict: Myth Busted! Even if both Doom Divers hit they're only likely to do 2.05 wounds, not enough to kill the beast. You can move this up slightly by getting some BS shooting onto the guy to use his Charmed Shield. Of note is that a Rock Lobber given it hits does 1.94 wounds on average but of course they only hit 27.8% of the time (direct line of sight).

So What? WoC Generals take heart, on average an OnG gunline with double Doom Diver and Rock Lobba will only manage 2.2 wounds a turn on your DP (I haven't accounted for the misfire chart which brings this down slightly.) What does this mean? 2 turns will kill your DP the majority of the time so you need to get into combat quick. If you're there on T1 you should be fine, and by staying out of LoS of the Rock Lobbas you can buy another turn of safety. This may sound daunting, but the other 1900 points of your army is not even copping a scratch.

I hope that you enjoyed this article. I know that math-hammer isn't to everyone's liking and I agree that having an opponent working his abacus as you try to play a game is irritating. However I feel that a good knowledge of the probabilities involved in the game is key to good rational decision-making. My caveat though is it is a dice game and these are only probabilities, on the day anything can happen so don't come crying to me.

I enjoy running the numbers on these sorts of things, so if there's anything you want me to have a go at let me know and I'll do it up.

Cheers. Jeff

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

The C**** Word

Lately I've noticed a trend on the internet particularly on the twitter-verse and on podcasts to refer to many players as chumps. This tends to happen the most when a more competitive player (and there is a large difference in the NZ community at least between a small group of people who take the game quite seriously and the rest) is either putting someone down for voicing their opinions (though often wrong) or referring to an easy tournament game. I've used this term myself but lately have started to really dislike it.


The term is derogatory and divisive. Google tells me that a chump is:

1. A foolish person
2. An easily fooled person, a sucker.

So when you use this term it's disrespectful and it's putting people down. You could argue the term hobby gamer or newbie implies some of the same negativity but at least those terms aren't defined as being a put-down. The use of the term belittles those who are either just getting into the hobby or alternatively don't choose to spend the vast amounts of time on the hobby that the small amount of competitive gamers who dominate the top tables do. There is not only no purpose in creating a divide like this but it is ultimately counter-productive and harmful to the already small Warhammer Fantasy scene in New Zealand. I know that if I had gone to Arch Enemy this year (my first tournament) and been referred to as a chump either by overhearing the term or reading it on the internet, I would probably have been much less likely to dive into the community the way I have.

Now I'll admit I've used this word myself a few times, and the reason I did was because I heard everyone else in the pod-casts and many top players using it and equated that if I acted and used the jargon of the perceived top players I'd play as well as one of them. I put a lot of time into the competitive side of the hobby and when anyone puts a lot of time into anything they usually want to feel rewarded for that. The creation of a them and us divide can be its own reward and I think that this explains most of the phenomenon. It's pointless though and there are better ways to get a reward out of  the hobby. People will also point out that actions speak louder than words and that army lists should be changed to prevent competitive players with top tier lists smashing new players in tournament settings. I'm going to have to disagree on this, as long as sportsmanship is maintained, the winner is gracious and the newer player learns something then no harm is done. I used to play football at college, and no good team ever went easy on me, and a few thrashings here and there never dulled my desire to play.

Do any of us really wanna be the guy wearing the lilac shirt?

Well that's just my thoughts on the subject. The only C word I'll be using from now on can be spelled phonetically by changing only one letter in my last name. I'm keen to hear people's thoughts on this.

Cheers. Jeff K?nt