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Nerds To Novi Sad: Results

As the first day of the Nerd Olympics comes to a close Team Ireland are in a strong position in both 40k and Fantasy with FOW yet to start. Scores and comment after the break.

Note: This will be updated at the end of each day with the score.
Last edit; 23:44 for inclusion of 40k ESC and WHFB second round opponents

 Warhammer 40,000

Having beaten both Latvia and Belgium convincingly Team Ireland 40k, ended the day in third position. They are playing Team Spain tomorrow morning, having hopefully drunk them under the table.
Keep up the fire!

Below are the individual 40k results.

 Round one
Round Two

A hearty congratulations to Darragh Cullen for coming a whopping 16th in the ESC 40k. Another big achievement for the ETC and ESC veteran. Showing the Irish are a force to be reckoned with both individually and as a team. Bravo to you sir!!

Full standings from the ESC here.
Take a look at first place; 100/100 and 8625/9250!! Bloody heck!
Thanks to the artist formerly known as Puchadubh for this info I was initially unaware we had anyone in the ESC!

Fantasy

Team Ireland Fantasy are in 7th after 2 rounds having beaten Finland in the first round and a losing draw with Serbia in the second round. (83-77 to Serbia)
Here are Team Ireland Fantasy’s Results from round one;

FOW

Big props to Frogdog and JFisher for coming 12th and 11th respectively in the FOW ESC, let’s hope they can continue the good form for their respective teams in the ETC tomorrow.

This post has been overtaken by events, for real-time updates and all results, go to the Novi Sad ETC Facebook page here

New Eldar Images Spotted

So it seems that the next Warhammer 40,000 Codex that will be released is going to be Eldar. These precious shots have been making rounds on the internet.

Read on for some more juicy pictures, including the magnificent Wraithknight.

So the image we opened with is of ‘Illic Nightspear’, an outcast of the Eldar who is armed with the deadly sniper rifle, Voidbringer, which supposedly has a 120″ range!

Also included are images of the new Flyers in the Eldar Codex, of which we have a lovely shot of the fighter variant embedded below.

Also featured in the image can be seen the new plastic Farseer, and some Spiritseers. Some better shots of the Flyers can be seen below, where we have the fighter variant on the left, namely the Crimson Hunter, and the bomber variant the Hemlock Wraithfighter on the right. Notice the smooth sweeping edges, and how they have managed to capture both the feeling of the Eldar as promoted by their existing range, notably the Falcon, and how this shared aesthetic can be seen echoes of Dark Eldar design as well.

However, this isn’t what you’re here to look at. Quite simply, behold the majesty that is the $115 Wraithknight. It is gigantic, looking to b about 8″ tall on the tabletop.

Discussion on these can be found on the forums themselves, here: http://onthestep.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=3186

Many thanks to Dakka Dakka, being the original source of all the information represented here.
http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/463557.page

Specialist Games Being Discontinued?

We’re hearing some awful and plausible rumours that Games Workshop are killing the Specialist Games lines. It appears that existing stocks of Specialist Games models (regular and Forgeworld) are being run down and will not be replaced. Damn dark day.

Rumour has it that with the full switch from metal to finecast, the Battlefleet Gothic, Epic, Necromunda and Inquisitor ranges are just going to die out. No restocks, just the remorseless running down of the existing inventory. No mention of the fate of Blood Bowl, which does soften the blow slightly.

I’m really hoping to be proven wrong on this one.

Two Irish Blood Bowl Tournaments Announced

We’re getting totally spoiled here. After all my quiet hoping, we’ve got two Blood Bowl tournaments in the first quarter of the year. I’m liking you, 2013, keep this up.

Chubby Bowl I (Galway 19/20 January)

This is shaping up to be a well-sized tournament with a strong local scene likely to push numbers into the double digits/ mid teens. It’s a two day event which is fairly unprecedented and I’m quietly optimistic about it.

The rules set is very interesting, based on the White Isle Star Bowl system. The game doesn’t change but the weaker teams get more starting perks to even out the odds. The mandatory inclusion of Star Players and higher starting gold make for some unique starting teams. I also feel the rules level the playing field between the teams as some Blood Bowl races (Amazons…) can field starting teams that outclass most of their counterparts.

Check the details here.

All-Ireland Blood Bowl Championship (Bangor, 17 March)

 I know, I know, it’s on Paddy’s Day but that just means you probably won’t be working that day. It’s a NAF-approved event which means that those funky custom block dice and memberships will be available on the day. The North may seem far away but it’s also very very cheap. There are sixteen tickets available and it looks like almost half are gone at this point.

The rules set is standard NAF which means that your normal starting team will work just fine. I’m also going to take the chance to point our Nordie brethren at NIBBLE, a forum for Blood Bowlers in Northern Ireland. I believe the tournament idea was spawned over there.

Check the details here.

Rankings HQ: Bait and Switch

Today, I was not very surprised to hear that Rankings HQ are switching to a fee-based system. I won’t replicate the entire letter here but it runs some like “case for sympathy, blah, blah, if you don’t find a sponsor for your national rankings, then each player must pay a $12 fee, blah, blah, hard regrettable decision”. It’s the classic bait and switch gambit that, let’s be honest, we were warned would happen when the decision was made to go with Rankings HQ.

I’m curious as to whether an alternative Irish rankings system will be created, some poor sucker convinced to sponsor the Irish page or whether it’ll mark the death-knell of the rankings system. I’m leaning towards the latter. It was originally intended to be a fair method of ETC team selection (despite claims otherwise) in a charged atmosphere. It’s fair to say that a lot of the heat has gone out of the selection process over time and this year, some captains are more likely to be troubled by a lack of potential players rather than an abundance of volunteers.

There is the possibility of a retailer taking the hit and sponsoring the page but I suspect that it will be hard to justify the cost as it’s not exactly going to boost their profile or sales. I’ve seen several other ranking systems sputter and die which suggests that a home-grown system might not succeed.

Personally, I’m now a staunch convert to the “rankings are evil” camp and will be hoping that this will prove a badly needed death-blow which will end the era of the rankings and let us all return to happy, simpler times.

Flames of War?

Ah, Flames of War. There’s been a sudden surge of interest in the WWII war game during 2012, and with the hope of finding something to mix up my war gaming routine I’ve picked up a few bits and pieces and played some games. Here’s a few thoughts for the beginner by the beginner. A lot of this will be from a 40k perspective, so should be familiar enough to most people.
Great rules. Fluff is sometimes a little unbelieveable.

Entry
While it used to be an expensive game to play a few years ago, smart people like the Plastic Soldier Company spotted this and started to produce excellent plastic kits for the most popular (and a few really bizarre) core choices in the lists. A typical platoon or unit will cost €24 if available, most contain five vehicles or a company of infantry. Depending on the choice it could be a considerable chunk of a list. 

Cheap and excellent quality.

The real winner here is the starter set “Open fire”. Containing an Allied mix of American and British tanks and infantry and German infantry supported by field guns and tank hunters, a full colour rulebook, dice, tokens, markers and probably the best start up rules I’ve ever seen. And clocking in at around €60 it’s a steal. Coming from 40K the price to play is remarkably lower. There some units that still require battlefront metal or resin models, namely artillery, but it’s about the same as GW prices.


So many of…everything!
Painting
This is quite different to 40K. Where you were judged on individual figures, here it’s all about the cohesive look of the force. Like most military engagements of the time the individual mattered much less then the overall force. Washes are your friend even more at the 15mm scale, a simple green uniform, back boots, face, hands and metal gun washed liberally with a brown ink produces some excellent results. This isn’t to say you can’t do the level of detail seen at the 28mm scale, there are some amazingly painted models around locally.
Simple, and great looking as a platoon
Lists
So you’ve picked up your starter, swapped one side with another person, and it’s off to write up some cheese flavoured bentness. But hang on where do you get a list from. Well this is one of the few hurdles in Flames of War. There are many, many books with lists available. Each focuses on a specific part of the war, Normandy, Battle of the Bulge, Eastern Front clashes, and contains army lists based on the historical forces that took part. The most famous example I can think of is Easy Company from Band of Brothers which were released in Nuts, focusing on Bastone.
To play most german lists a dictionary is required at the start.
These lists have a slightly strange layout referring you to pages further back in the book, very different from the self contained codex page of a GW book. Some lists might look very similar, different Panzercompanies for instance, but small differences in organisation based on available resources or specific training make the key to spotting the really good stuff a little more difficult.
There is a website. A very good website that has a program similar to army builder but uses the force org charts as templates and lays everything out very clearly, and the output has all the stats in a very readable manner. This website is called Easyarmy. For a donation of one to two dollars per book you get access to a build any list from it with the website along with all the free books and PDFs released. Extremely worthwhile even for one book to get going. The basic forces one if free too!
The other thing with Flames of War is the names. Everything has it’s army designated title, which is fine for the English speaking countries but gets very complicated when looking at German or Russian lists. There’s a slight learning curve with it due to the slightly more technical nature of the naming than 40K but it starts to make sense after seeing it in action.
A lot of the terrain comes prepainted too!
The Table
After battling through the army lists trying to work out why one should choose a Panzercompanie from Grey Wolf source book over the Basic Forces book, we arrive at the table. And what a table it is. Forget about your GW building and hills, Flames of War has some of the most amazing looking tables out there. Russian villages, French countryside, bocage, railways, cratered roads, vineyards, churches, little houses with chimney pots and outhouses, the list goes on and looks better then the last. Reasonably densely terrained, the game plays very well with tables set up with historical semi-accuracy.
Some lists have fortifications included.
The Game
No, not that game. So you’ve got your tiny, tiny men set up in foxholes, tanks ready to roll over the French countryside with your artillery zeroed in, keeping the enemy pinned in place, what next?
Well it’s very similar to most turn based games. There’s a movement phase, with difficult terrain of various types, vehicles potentially getting stuck. All quite standard. The shooting phase is where things start to get interesting.
Pewpew tanks!
In Flames of War the roll to hit an enemy is based on their skill not yours. This is to represent the ability of veteran soldiers to dig in better, use cover to the fullest extent compared to a green rookie, poking his head up and silhouetting himself. It’s a strange one to get used to alright.
Cover works slightly differently with various effects resulting in penalties to hit not affecting your save. Saves are very similar to cover saves in 40K, you have a set one you either get or don’t, unless you’re a tank. They have a slightly different penetration mechanism not hugely different from 40K.
Assault is brutal. No being held in combat here, you either break the enemy or they break you. And being forced to fall back is no joke. Luckily to balance this there’s defensive fire at the unit making the assault, which with enough hits can be stopped dead. Leaving them in trouble indeed.
Infantry making a mess of armour.

Overview
It’s a game that requires a little bit of patience, charging down the centre will most sure get you your blaze but very little glory. There’s plenty of tricks and sneaky things, heavy armoured tough units, artillery batteries, infantry blobs, something for almost any play style.
Unfortunately there is one huge balance issue. The German Tiger 1e. This mechanical monstrosity is the terror of tank and soldier alike, coated in nigh impenetrable armour and wielding a weapon more suited to a Warlord Titan, these behemoths continue to ruin games driving straight over all forces in their path. A small black mark on an otherwise fun, informative and great looking war game.

The Beast itself.

How Many Points? The New Flames of War Starter Set

 
The Games Workshop starter sets have always been the bread and butter of their retail stores, self-contained little packages beloved of parents, children and veteran gamers alike. Even after the endless price hikes, they represent the closest thing to value for money in the range. Having experimented with smaller quick start boxes, Battlefront have finally noticed the benefits and released details of their own version.

You could buy two sets for e120 and get two full armies but the prudent move is to adopt the age-old tactic of the GW player. Buy a set, find/make a friend and swop your Germans for their Allies. Aside from the bolstered armies, each player then ends up with a rulebook, tokens, objectives, terrain and dice.

Points-wise, what do you actually get in the box?

Ze Germans

The exact details have not been released but the rear box image details all the contents and it’s not to difficult to identify the components. The Germans get an infantry company backed by tank destroyers and some anti-tank guns. One of the perks of Flames of War is the wide range of army lists, you can build almost anything with the contents of the box. You could go with the desperate rearguard of the  Sperrverband, bog-standard Wehrmacht grenadiers or something more esoteric.

We’re going to go with one of the Fearless Veteran infantry lists to get the maximum benefit from each model. The “Nederland” SS Panzergrenadier division from Grey Wolf (pg.38) seems suitable, a Dutch volunteer formation fighting on the Eastern Front. Let’s add up the points.

Infantry Platoon (3 Squads) = 220 points
Infantry Platoon (3 Squads) = 220 points
Gun Platoon (2 PaK40s) = 120 points
Tank Platoon (3 StuGs) =325 points

That’s 885 points of Germans in a solid list. If the command teams come with panzerfausts, you’ll get closer to 900 points. Considering that a tournament list comes in at 1750 points, a single starter set gets you over halfway. The infantry have a host of special rules to keep them moving under fire and the AT support will mangle all but heavy tanks. Against the heavies, you’ll need to take your side armour shots.

 The Yanks

The Allies are an armoured company with infantry support from some paratroopers. This would be about 865 points in a standard American armoured list. But again, there are so many army lists that you can build from this. Let’s go with the Irish Guards Armoured Squadron from Hell’s Highway (p.16). It’s the relief force from Operation Market Garden and the list is, in essence, British tanks backed by British/American infantry, all Confident Veterans.
 

Parachute Rifle Platoon (3 Squads) = 255 points
Tank Platoon (3 Shermans, 1 Firefly) = 375 points
Tank Platoon (3 Shermans, 1 Firefly) = 375 points
That’s a grand total of 1005 points. Once swopped, you’ll come in well over a full tournament list. The regular Shermans are not the world’s best tank but they’re cheap and numerous enough to menace infantry, light vehicles and most tanks. The Fireflies are a threat to all but the King Tigers of this world.
So there you have it, e60 and a friend (who can afford a similar outlay) gets you a full-size Flames of War army and all the little bits you need to play.

ETC 2012 Final Results

Well another ETC has passed and as the dust settles, one thing is for sure: England put a very strong showing in this year, winning the 40K and are rumoured to have come 3rd in Fantasy.

More after the break. UPDATE- now with Fantasy results


Team Ireland have managed their first top ten finish in 40K ETC history. Well done to Mike and the boys for an impressive 3 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses. The final results are here, courtesy of the 40kETC wordpress page.

Congratulations to Team Northern Ireland for finally popping their ETC cherry by beating the Dutch and the Norwegians!

Warhammer 40,000 Results
WFB Final Results

Place – TEAM – VP Total – Actual BP – Modified BP – Penalty
1 POLAND 29978 631 564
2 AUSTRIA 5108 564 536
3 ENGLAND 13102 554 530
4 DENMARK 16917 551 526 -1
5 GERMANY 9381 547 523
6 FRANCE 7874 525 521 -2
7 GREECE 8301 531 518
8 SWEDEN 5835 511 514
9 ITALY 6561 520 506 -1
10 FINLAND 4772 511 504
11 SPAIN 9792 528 500
12 UNITED STATES 1415 490 494
13 MALTA -1746 460 488
14 SCOTLAND 6009 498 487
15 NORWAY 4604 492 485
16 SINGAPORE 1687 491 485
17 AUSTRALIA -81 482 484
18 RUSSIA -6631 481 484
19 BELARUS -1599 468 474
20 NEW ZEALAND -2009 465 474
21 UNITED NATION -7715 444 465
22 IRELAND 887 463 462
23 UKRAINE -7179 457 462
24 CZECH -6923 449 459
25 NETHERLANDS -5609 440 457
26 LATVIA -8494 436 448
27 SERBIA -4364 443 447
28 BULGARIA -3574 424 444
29 NORTHERN IRELAND -10165 429 442
30 WALES -16637 399 441
31 BELGIUM -7529 425 438
32 SWITZERLAND -16728 396 424
33 CANADA -11577 418 418
34 HUNGARY -12761 393 416

Incoming: 40k ‘Starter Boxed Set’

Reports of my death at the hands of Dagestani insurgeants have been greatly exaggerated. 
That cleared them out nicely
As the entire team are currently fighting bravely in the ETC trenches, it falls to me to provide you with this little gem from the GW site.. (Much more after the break!)
As usual for thier teasers, not much content apart from a date. Thank god for the internet as I have found the following, mouthwatering pictures for your consumption.
The Complete Kit.
Close up of the Cultists 
 I really don’t care that some of those are repeated, they’re ripe for converting and absolutely stunning. The ‘Eavy Metal team did a good job on them too!
 Terminators and Bikes
Some of the most dynamic terminators since Space Hulk, most dynamic bikes ever.. don’t forget they’re snap fit. GW shows that is is THE model company once again here.
The Dark Angels
I think I see a few ‘Macragge Marines’ but some new sculpts for the Tac Squad. The heros look amazing. Personally can’t wait to see them in the flesh, they’re going to be superb. 
Also: Mmmmm Plasma…

Interrogator-Chaplain
Rumor has it he’s special edition. Do want.
 Chaos
                      The filthy Chaos scum never looked better and that hellbrute is HUGE!
Kudos to BOLS Forums for the pictures!
What are your thoughts? I’ll be looking to get 2 sets and swap on set of Chaos for Marines, any takers?

Irish Wargaming Tournaments Update: 12/08/12

Ireland is a cold, dark, unwelcoming place for non-GW wargames. The tournament scene is held in a death grip by the twin monoliths of 40K and Fantasy. Every convention features one or both, with mere lip service being paid to other systems. So it has been, so shall it be.

But there are some green shoots appearing. Tournament organisers are beginning to run events focused solely on one non-mainstream system and in other cases, allotting reasonable amounts of time and space in their events to such systems.

The massive rise of Warmahordes over the last year has played a large part in this. Infinity saw more play due to the evangelism and hard work of Quozl. Flames of War is beginning to take hold in the North and a certain southern club. We’ve even been informed of Malifaux and Battlefleet Gothic tournaments running later in the year. I thought it would be nice to look at some upcoming tournaments.


 August Assault
26 August 2012
Gamer’s World, Dublin

Ireland’s longest running series of Warmahordes events continues into August. It’s a 35 point tournament played with the Steamroller 2012 rulespack. The main draw is the guarantee of a good player count as it’s a firmly established event.

Click here for more details.

 The Irish Open
 8/9 September 2012
Ormonde Hotel, Kilkenny

The first Irish Open, timetabled for the Saturday, is shaping up to be quite interesting. With players from Leinster, Munster and Connacht attending, there’s going to be an interesting mix of meta-games. It’s also following the European standard by bumping the points limit from 35 to 42 points.

There’s also some manner of doubles event on the second day for those who like teamwork and sharing. Dirty communists. Only sixteen spaces for the Open (of which three remain) so consider preregistering.

Click here for more details.

 Round 5
13 October 2012
Gamer’s World, Dublin

Quozl has announced the 5th round of the 2012 All-Ireland Infinity Cup. This is the latest event in his successful bid to establish Infinity as a regular tournament game. For anyone waiting to take the plunge, I played in the 2nd round with no prior experience and had a blast. It’s an excellent game system and the cost of assembling an army is low.

This event is a 300 points/6 SWC tournament which is an average sized game of Infinity. I also must warn that there’s only ten spaces available so if interested, you should move quickly.

Check here for full details.

 Winter in Minsk
 10/11 November 2012
 Ballymena, Antrim

Now to a popular choice in these parts, Flames of War. This is actually Ireland’s first Flames of War tournament and it’s looking good. Expect a reasonable crowd, including yours truly. It’s quite standard in format, following the traditional 1750 points and Late War setting.

With the Plastic Soldier Company making the buy-in cost for an army extremely low, it’s worth considering. With UK attendees, a strong Northern FoW presence and a big chunk of the Warheads attending, I think it’s going to go pretty well.

Click here for full details.
 

 N.W.G.
31 August 2012
Grand Hotel, Wicklow

I’ll have to admit that I know nothing of Malifaux. I’ve heard it’s big in Cork and I know that the models are very pretty (just google Death Marshals). Since it’s running on a Friday as part of a larger convention and the sign-up sheet is looking healthy, this is your best chance to get some competitive play against shiny new opponents.

Click here for full details.

Braycon BFG Championship
7 October 2012
Bray

And finally, a very very rare event. There’s a Battlefleet Gothic tournament on in Bray this October and the organisers do expect it to fill quickly. We’ve got three players from the small burb of Maynooth alone, so if you’ve got a fleet lying around, this is your chance to dust them off.

The organisers are using the 2010 BFG FAQ which made some beneficial changes to the core rules. With two 750 point and two 1,500 point battles, we’re looking at smallish to average sized fleets.

EDIT: This tournament is now full.

Click here for more details.

If we’ve missed any upcoming events, let us know.

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