Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Tree Hugging in the Land of the Dragon

Armed only with the background knowledge that they like to give beautiful enchantresses to vainglorious vampires whilst having a tendency to jump into any random portals they come across, twinned with the gaming understanding that their lists are almost invariably identical (ok, not strictly true, but truth gets in the way of good (never mind merely passable) narrative, so let’s move on) I decided that Tribute was the time to wander into the dusky forests and see what all the fuss was about with fantasy’s very own hippies.

The incomparable Dave is an army painting machine, and very kindly lent me the army. Which is handy, or not sure this would be a very long post.

Cue a good few days of trying to write a list that was not “the” list, and was instead different and fun enough to be enjoyable.

And then I remembered Waystalkers and decided that I wanted to take 4.

Now, some people out there could list the almost innumerable ways that 360points could be better spent. And they would be right. All of them.

But I think they’re cool. So there.


In the end I went with a ‘bit of everything’ approach, a tasting menu of woody goodness, if you’d like.

The proud Raf Hunt gathers, ready to sweep anything not very good out of its way, and more than prepared to hide like a little elf should anything actually scary be going on.


Spellweaver: (General) Power Scroll; Obsidian Lodestone; Level 4 Wizard; Lore of High Magic
Spellweaver: Dispel Scroll; Moonstone of the Hidden Ways; Level 4 Wizard; Lore of Shadow; Asrai longbow

Glade Captain: Battle Standard Bearer

15 Glade Guard: trueflight arrows; musician; standard bearer
5 Glade Riders: trueflight arrows; standard bearer
5 Glade Riders: trueflight arrows; standard bearer
5 Glade Riders: starfire shafts; standard bearer

5 Wild Riders: shields
5 Wild Riders: shields
5 Wild Riders: shields
5 Deepwood Scouts: trueflight arrows
5 Deepwood Scouts: trueflight arrows

8 Waywatchers

2,400 points

So, 5 deployments, including characters, which *should* help in going first. A big deal from what experience I have, and one of the few things the interwebs agree on.

But before all the gaming nonsense there was the unique experience you could call the Cardiff Meta – also known by some as “Friday Night”. This a terribly tricky meta to tackle correctly, but suffice to say that the infamous Woody is a true legend.

I could tell you all stories about Heelan, but you wouldn’t believe me anyway…


Flashforward to bright an early Saturday morning and a Game 1 vs the lovely Mr Hugh Allen and his Orcs and Goblins beckoned.
 No, that army is not set up for display. It is deployed. And entirely frenzied Orc army castled up in the corner (this is what happens when the general of an army is more level headed and, well, good, than the troops he commands).

Annoyingly, Hugh was worried about encirclement, and pretty much cornered his army, save for a flanking force of a Mangler, a chariot and some Savage Orc Boar Boys.

One thing became apparent to me as I surveyed the battlefield (because I am awesome at this game) – t5 characters are a real pain to snipe.


I am pretty sure there is an Orc and Goblin army around here somewhere…. Dammit! – that’s a long way to walk! The downside of a limited deployment drop list – you opponent gets to choose where the game takes place!

The game was relatively tit-for tat. I was worried about the spider – it’s a real pain to kill from range when you don’t have all that much shooting. Not as worried as I was by the doom divers though – I think Elven armies where most units are only 5 strong do not like them (I mentioned I rock at this game right?). I focused on killing them - the issue was getting in range to do so whilst not losing the stuff trying to do it.
That, and the opportunity cost. Do you shoot a lot of Orcs when you have reduced their toughness, or try to shut down a doom diver when you need 6s to wound? (I struggled with the whole "roll 6s" bit). I think I made a mistake, and should have focused on killing Orcs.
Silly Raf.
This was the first (of many) games where the true annoyance of Frenzy raised its head.


The (at the time apparently critical) moment when the Trolls failed their stupidity test and wandered into the woods, negating their own steadfast. Carpe diem!

Seizing upon a turn when the Troll unit failed its stupidity test in the woods, I launched Wild Riders at it, promptly routing the trundling beasts, before being hacked down by an angry Warboss.


 Diemed that carp.
Alas so Diemed was it that the overruns proceeded to be massive, with the end result that an angry Orc on a squealing pig beat them all to paste. Clearly Carp are very dangerous fish.

Other things of note is my first "on the table" experience of the fun that is Withering + Wild Rider charge. Turns out that's one way to kill massive 8 wound spiders. I'll file that under "Good To Know". The game was not overly eventful in some ways (though fun to play). I focused most of my fire on his largest savage orc unit, eventually removing the last remnants with the help of an errant Foot of Gork.

Whilst all this seemingly positive stuff is going on though, doom divers were wrecking my face. Badly. Combine this with the forced overruns leading to needless Wild Rider massacres, and things were looking extremely bleak.
Evil incarnate. Some say that when the devil once more walks up this earth he shall be wearing a pointy hat, goggles and spend his time randomly falling on people. These people are correct.

Add in a stupid risk that probably ended up costing me 160 points where, worried about failing panic checks near the table edge, I chose to stand and shoot at the last 5 (Toughness 1) Savage Orcs. Cue only killing 1. Cue the Big Stabber ruining me. This cost me both my Scout units, and is unforgivable bad play. Naught Raf.

All in all, not well played by yours truly, and a 8-12 loss vs the ever lovely Hugh.

WAYSTALKER WATCH: 1 wound on the BSB, some savage orcs, a Savage Orc Boar Boy and redirecting duties.

Game 2 rolled up and I had the Fist of Fury himself, Mr Cowlin with a Dark Elf list.

This was a bit better. He had (roughly) Dreadlord, lvl4 (life) and Bsb on steeds, two masters on pegs, and a lvl2 on light. Large Dark Rider unit, xbow unit, corsair unit, cold one knight unit, three bolt throwers and big warlock unit.

Ok, maybe not 'better' – this was fast.

I decided the best course of action was to distract him and make him waste time in his corner whilst I shot him as much as elvenly possible. I knew I had to shut down the RBTs as a high priority, they do mean things to elves. With this in mind I decided to suicide some Wild Riders units, pushing up, hampering his vanguards and generally being a nuisance.

Sacrificial Wild Riders off being all sacrificial off in the distance. That unit of 15 Glade Guard puts out a decent amount of firepower, setting up a solid firebase with the capability of handling out crippling blows to any Dark Elf unit.

The rest of my forces were on my right and proceeded to implement Operation “shut down RBTs” (the Wood Elves are not famed for their ingenuity in name-giving). Maybe a better name was called for, as the shooting was really poor, my entire army *just* managing to kill one RBT. Keen to show how it was done, 4 BS10 Waystalkers shot the lvl2 (presumably a scroll caddie) in the face. Bosh. That's how it's done.

The middle game was somewhat cagey whilst Tom dealt with the two wild rider units (one managed to clear up the xbows before a Peg Master came to the rescue). In those middle turns I focused on units – killing off the Dark Riders and then the Warlocks. Unfortunately the Waystalkers were off having some fun celebrating their turn 1 success and failed to kill any squishing steed characters.

And then it happened. My lvl4 Shadow wizard – who I shall from now on name “Pyro” – decided that a 4 dice Withering was all the encouragement she needed to blow herself into oblivion (taking with her 10/15 Glade Guard), and ending the just-cast Withering… Sigh.


I miss those 15 Glade Guard, turns out 5 is not so much of a fire base... Pyro’s death perks the remaining Dark Elves up, and a full on cross table dash is about to begin.

This was effectively a quarter of my shooting gone. Sensing blood, Cowlin pushed forward and implemented Operation Dwellers (given the name, assume it’s another example of Wood Elf naming genius), where he moved forward and SixDiceDwellers for 3 turns. I stopped 2, and managed to avoid the last one with my lvl4. Waystalkers managed to kill off one of the pegs, whilst the other got stuck ineffectively fighting Wild Riders (it is impressive the drop in performance when Masters don’t get rerolls). There was one remaining Glade Guard at this point, and I was not sure about keeping him with my lvl4 (who had some 4 High Magic counters at this point) to better survive shooting, or split to avoid the dwellers threat.  I split them, and the final shots from the Dreadlord’s crossbow impaled the hapless archer.

I believe I FINALLY managed to kill a second bolt thrower, but that was effectively it. When all was said and done – 10-10. Given that I had effectively blown up 550 of my own points, I guess that’s fair enough.

WAYSTALKER WATCH: Lvl2 Light Wizard, Peg Master


Game 3 and it was Watchtower time vs Aaron “Wildman Magnet” and his Cavalry High Elves.

The scenario was capture the tower – person who held it with 5+ models at the end of game got an additional 800 points. The game lasts 6 turns, and goes on for a 7th turn on a roll of a 4+.

As I mentioned, Aaron was running cavalry – and a unit that must hit list a ton of bricks – 9 Dragon Princes (with “the Banner”, obviously), 4 Combat Characters, a Lvl4 on High with “the Book” and a lvl2 on Beasts. Supporting this he had some silver helms, some Reavers, four bolt throwers and two units of archers (for building duties). Aaron “won” the right to be in the building.

And then a classic thing happened. Aaron believed this was an extremely good, open/shut case of good matchup up for him (due to banner protection). I knew that whilst this was technically true, I had some armour ignoring none-magical goodness, an ability to destroy his banner and was far more likely to capture the building. Once again I suicided two Wild Rider units to threaten the Bolt Throwers, forcing him to focus on them rather than shoot my vulnerable archers. The Wild Riders did their job – both (just about) survived the turn of shooting and then proceeded to kill three of the bolt throwers and one of the archer units. Aaron in response shut down my Waywatchers with an epic Soul Quench (20 or so S4 hits will do that to 8 T3 models).

Meanwhile, around the ever-so important tower, after two turns the 10 brave elves in the building were dead, and the carnage was about to start. Waystalkers shot out the Prince from the unit as a sign of things to come. I managed to get Arcane Unforging off on “the Banner”, and the unit’s doom as certain. Over two or three turns I managed to wither the Dragon Princes, whilst my Waystalkers, now positioned in the Watchtower with some Scout friends, picked off one character after another. The end was an utter rout, with just one bolt thrower left alive.
Top tip: Sniping characters on a 2+ to hit and a 2+ to wound with nor armour saves is fun.
Take my word on it.

It should be said though, that Aaron’s dice were mad. 3+ armour saves were failed 75% of the time, panic tests were almost ALL failed. There was little he could do in the end. A gent of an opponent.

20-0 win to end the day with is always fun.

WAYSTALKER WATCH: Prince, Archmage, BSB Noble, Noble.

Cue Saturday night and, well, insert anything you can think of happening in Cardiff  on a night out (for those who don’t know – Cardiff is a university city that is utterly full of people having their Stag and Hen nights out) and it probably (definitely) happened to someone.

A painful Sunday morning dawned, though somewhat mollified by one of those epically massive breakfasts that just seem to *make sense* on mornings like that.

What did I have to face now that I finally returned to the “right” side of the room? Steve Smith’s beautiful Ogre army.

SlaughterMaster (Heavens), BSB (Runemaw), Firebelly, Butcher (with HellHeart), Ironguts, Bulls, 2x2 Mournfang, 2 Ironblasters (I remember the good old days when they were comped), 2 sabertusks and a Thundercow rounded out his list.

The mission? Blood and Glory (800 points to the first person who broke their opponent).

I was worried about this game. I suspected (correctly) that the big Irongut unit would have the Runemaw, which makes it an utter pain to try and kill. Shooting T4 stuff is dicy (and sniping T5 characters is just not fun). Factor in the additional 3 inches onto the table they get for the scenario and things could go very wrong. This would have to come down to me breaking him, which would involve killing the Guts and the Bulls. Doable maybe, but time would be short.

Unfortunately for me Steve  won table sides, which made a massive difference – one side had lots of buildings and narrow channels an attacking army would have to go through, the other had gentle rolling hills and some woods. That was a big dice roll to lose.

What we have here is the Lesser Spotted Deployment Mistake. I should have deployed all my scouts on the other side of the table and teleported across with my glade guard, giving the Ogres a literal mile to cover. But I didn’t. I am not sure why. I blame my hangover…

Trying to work out what to do, I loaded up on Wild Riders on my left flank and my archers and characters on my right. In hindsight I could have dummied my deployment far better. My initial plan was to launch three turn 1 charges into the Thundercow and Mournfang units in front of me (they, along with an Ironblaster) made up the units on my left, the rest of his army directly in front of me). There were risks though – either I don’t make it and get counter charged (needed a 9 on the dice), or I make it and fail to roll enough 5+s to wound the Thundercow (more on failure to roll 5+s in a later game). I wimped out – am not sure what the right call was. Instead they veered right to threaten the units barrelling towards my infantry.


I believe the “push it 12” forward” is called “Doing an Ogre”.

What proceeded was a fairly normal Ogre experience of them barreling towards you, avoiding, shooting and, in this case, charging some stuff with Wild Riders. Alas frenzy hurts. When forced into a necessary charge there was nothing to stop some stupendously long overruns and the subsequent loss of the unit.


Damn that Frenzy and the forced overruns/not being able to flee. This time an angry cow takes advantage. The fact it was butchered the following turn does not make me any happier. Damn, using Wood Elves seems to be turning vegetarian.

Still, they killed the Thundercow and forced a Mournfang unit to run away (though annoyingly it rallied on the table edge)

Things were going “OK” – though the Ironblasters were being very very annoying – not only with the shooting of my Wild Riders, but in the simple ability to deny board space. I wiped out the bulls and butcher quickly, and now was in the process of killing Ironguts, when Pyro decided to play. Cue Dimensional Cascade – which she survived! Alas… the explosion robbed her, the general, the bsb and 4 waystalkers of their look out sirs….

Cue cannon ball to her face.

She probably deserved it.

Though I had been hoping to cast MINDRAZOR :(

The classic way of ruining Ironblasters (a flank charge) failed when the beaten Ogre held a Glade Rider charge. As the last turns wound down it all came to a few dice rolls. The remaining Wild Rider unit (somehow still at full strength) failed a 5 inch charge onto Mournfang, and survived the counter charge! The now free Ironblaster had a tough choice – charge the remaining waywatchers/characters for a chance of wiping them all out, but if fail the charge do nothing, or take a nice easy shot across 4 unprotected characters. Steve went for the shot… MISFIRE. Sometimes I love dice. On the other side of the table the Glade Guard FINALLY killed the Gut unit, breaking Steve. His characters, miffed by this, brutalised the poor hippy archers in record time.

Ended up a 16-4 after the points for breaking, 10-10 on the table. 

WAYSTALKER WATCH: 1 wound on a Mournfang


On to the final game of the weekend, a good ol battle line vs Northern Ireland’s very own Barry, who had been rescued from the local Chinese place the night before.

His list was a stupendous filth fest.
Lvl2 Death on Daemonic Mount (general) with extra spell, lv4 Tzeentch Disc Wizard, Unkillable BSB, Tzeentch warriors, big troll unit, two chariots, two Hellcannon.

The threat of a turn one panic bomb off the table was a very real one. Barry telling me "it never happens" did not help. 
Barry put a Hellcannon on either flank, the trolls in a massive long line with the intent of sweeping me into one corner. Chariots in the centre. Sensible stuff.

My turn one I yet again zerged the Wild Riders - this tme so that they were right next to the Hellcannons, the plan being to shut them down for a turn or two if possible.


The quiet before the storm – though not sure how ‘quiet’ a long line of marching Trolls would really be.

Barry, being the true gent he is, helped out by misfiring both cannons turn one, and losing all crew both times (annoyingly passed both monster reaction leadership tests – I liked the idea of them just buggering off, but seems quite a lot to ask for).

This was perfect. I could now bring the Wild Riders to threaten the ground element Chaos elements – two or three units could wreck a lot of havoc whilst the odds were good the Hellcannons would spend most of the game running around madly.

That was the plan.

In fact what actually happened was two failed restrain tests in a row.
Cue throwing Wild Riders away into Hellcannons for the sake of it.

Later in the game the third unit liked the look of all these uncontrolled charges and charged into the Trolls, just to be promptly destroyed.


After killing the chariots I was not confident in my ability to get all that much else – other than that pesky Wizard. After 7/8 Way Watchers were pulverised by Gateway the Way Stalkers took some vengeance, hunting down the disc wizard ruthlessly (got to pick on those T4 characters when you have a chance!), eventually getting him as the game wound down.

Meanwhile in Hellcannon world – my Withering attempt was dispelled. Trying to make up for this, the charging Wild Riders promptly hit 15/15 times. And as promptly failed to role a single 5+ to wound. Sigh.

On the other flank things went much better, over a few turns the Wild Riders left it on one wound – it was then shot off by some ambushing Glade Riders.

Good ol’ Wild Riders. The central unit (see last picture) decided that they too should join the frenzy charge game, ploughing into the Trolls (just as my flaming arrows finally arrive on the table), promptly get massacred and allow the Trolls a massively ground-gaining reform. Good times. Yay.

As the game ground down he was finally reached me, and I cold have been in real trouble. Thankfully my characters just about managed to reach a wood and teleport away to safety, and some scouts threw themselves away on chaffing duties.

In the end I had killed a Hellcannon, two chariots and the lvl4. It felt like a lot more work than that sounds!

With a panicking Waystalker failing to rally, Barry had scored just enough points for a 10-10. A fair result, but given my turn 1 luck it should have been far better than that…

Still great game against Barry.


End result, 15th out of 64ish, and Best Wood Elf.

Which is fine – could have played better and there were some luck swings involved.

Importantly, for the second Tribute in a row I had a fantastic time. Of note elsewhere at the event – Russ absolutely smashing face and scoring 92/100 battle points with his Warriors and Adam’s failure to be a competent human stopped him coming 2nd overall (his late was late and in the wrong format).

Great as ever to catch up with people, and the nice laid back, fun atmosphere that is Cardiff does make it THE destination of WFB tournaments in the UK.

Thoughts on the Wood Elves?

Fun actually. Rather matchup dependent, but with a different list I think you could have good, effective fun. Obviously drop the waystalkers (and maybe a lvl4 as well) you get a decent amount of stuff. Wild Riders need to be in slightly bigger units – I think 7s could work. Would be nice to get some Warhawk Riders in there as well (like the idea of 3 units), to project more forward nonsense to annoy the opposition.

I would do them full time – but they are elves. And I am still hoping that rumours of a Bretonnian book comes out soon otherwise may have to do something drastic for next year…



Anyway. Thanks to all my opponents, the people I hung out with, the venue and the organisers, and Dave for the loan of the beautiful army.
A fantastic time was had!

Until next time


Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The Race to the (UK) Masters. And a hashtag.


To me, at least, the essence of the Renaissance Man (enlightenment notwithstanding, one does not read much about the Renaissance Woman, but am pretty sure the concept remains broadly the same) is the epitome of the pinnacle of human achievement. To be able to discourse knowledgably, productively, and at length on any given topic with equal eloquence and confidence is a far cry, in my view at least, above the vast majority of humanity in this day and age – a time, where quite simply, we have the capability to know more than any ancestor could ever dream of knowing, commanding, as we do, the sum total of human knowledge literally at our fingertips.


Despite these previously unimaginable technological advancements that are nothing more than normal to us fortunate present-day dwellers, I sometimes feel we have, as a race, failed. At least, the average commuter on the Northern Line (for those readers who have the privilege, nay, the God-given fortune to not know what the Northern Line is, or to have experienced its unique ‘character’ at 6.30am on a workday… well, let’s just say that if the passengers on those trains were anything other than human it would be an illegal form of transportation), the average shopper on Oxford Street (seriously, what’s the attraction?) or even one’s distinctly average work colleagues fail to live up to the ideal. It seems at times people are full of nothing but malformed opinion and ignorance.


To be fair to the, I guess it’s technically information, and not knowledge, that is so readily assessable to us all – and as I think Einstein once said [pause to Google whether it was indeed the wiry haired letch who said it],  Information is not Knowledge.




Bit of a snobbery-infused tangential meandering there. It’s been one of those days. I should point out I associate myself with the lamentable lack of knowledge. It is the norm, most of us suffer from it. Every now and then, however, this hobby throws up an incandescent comet of awe-inspiring awesomeness that makes the self-conscious and overly pensive amongst us even more self-conscious, more pensive, at times aggressive and generally envious.


This colossus will take the scene by storm, casually destroying aspirations and hobbies in its wake. Petty things like practice games, the rules and perceived norms are abandoned in the face of this implacable force. Picking seemingly random armies at each event, mastering them instantly, whilst dropping out of events randomly and with the smallest of provocation… there is no explanation, this is Rock & Roll reborn. Frequently spoken about in international multimedia platforms – never by name, simply by hashtag. Such a brilliant star can only surely only burn for a limited time…


#BenDiesel terrifies all before him, at the head of his very own propaganda machine. Experienced players quake at the very tho…



Oh… wait.

Wrong hashtag.

Damn it.


I was meant to be writing about #FatCraig… pretty sure all the same applies though…



Why on earth would I do such a thing?


Well, we are coming up to the traditional climax of the UK tournament season (UK rankings can now be found here: ) and I thought I would have a quick look around to see what it shows us, and what the race for those Masters spots are shaping up.


Most importantly, it shows I have not been to enough events this year! Thankfully the last few months of the year look to be jam packed with tournament goodness.


In less me-centric news, Hashtag sits proudly at the top of the rankings, as he has done for pretty much the entire year. Rankings systems have all sorts of detractors, understandably so - but I won’t get into that right now. Now, being ranked number 1 is not overly newsworthy (hell, even I have done that before!) - there is such a degree of luck and other factors involved (relative  strength of fields/schedules, being ‘carried’ in a team event, gaming the comp system, one of your scoring events being Downfall :) ) that all it can really be taken for is a mark of consistent good performance by a player during one calendar year.


No. What I find interesting is that Craig’s top four scores have come from four different armies. This is something I have always wanted to do. Unfortunately my allergic reaction to all things hobby related means that the likelihood of me being able to take 4 different armies to events in a year I, well, rather unlikely.


The ability to pick up an army and do (relatively) well with it given limited practice is an interesting topic in itself. A lot of people understandably don’t understand it. The skillsets involved are often rather different than people expect, in my experience at least. Army flexibility is far less about knowing the rules inside out and back to front. Rather it requires more of what I would call an artistic brain – you have to have a feel for the table, the relative power of the opposing forces (built up less from in-depth study of the books, but through have played against things over the years, allowing you to have an understanding of capabilities, what has killing blow, that sort of thing), a rough understanding (rather than mathematical certainty) of what will happen if two units engage, and what impact potential available buffs/hexes could have. I notice as I type that I have digressed into babbling about how I view the table. I have never been a ‘fractions-of-an-inch’ player (which largely goes to explain my utter hatred of 7th edition WFB), and rarely look to be overly tricksy on the table (during the vast majority of tournament games I will not conga-line or slingshot stuff around, for example. Even railroading is something I rarely set out to do), rather preferring to take a birds-eye view of table – treating it a as a battlefield in pseudo-realism I guess. Having over the years played quite a few games, I know, subconsciously, what impact a given unit should have in a situation (helped of course, that this information can be transposed from similar units in different armies). Of course, this will, on occasion bite me on my posterior when I get it wrong, or someone tries something I have never seen before, but that’s ok with me.

How does Hashtag do it?

He’s a gamey b*****d, obviously.


More seriously, Mr Hashtag does his prep for events. He makes sure he will get the painting points available, and will make sure to get the benefits on offer from a given comp pack.

Is that enough about Craig? I thought so too.



A look at the runners and riders


Bridesmaid Terry has continued with the consistency from last year into this by the ingenious use of daemons. A lot of daemons. A lot of the time. He is walking proof that taking the same overpowered daemon lists to an event every other week will get you a good rankings spot – and if one of those is AGOM you may even make the number 2 spot your own.

I jest, of course (or do I? I am still bitter about him turning my Slann AND Tetto into gold…).

Terry has done well, and sails into the Masters on the back of a good SCGT performance, and doing well in three other events I have barely heard of.

No. Not bitter.


Luke has been smashing stuff up North for a wee while now with one of those interesting things that always puzzle me. An obviously powerful list (commonly rocking out with a Herald-heavy Plague Bearer block) that people keep underestimating and getting smashed by – I honestly think people don’t know how to play daemons sometimes – reminds me of a couple of years ago when Nick Pym was running people over with 90 Bloodletter lists… No, this is not to take anything away from Luke (The fact he has done all this with Daemons does that already…), he has proven highly consistent and is now all set for (what I think is) his first Master’s bow.


What can be said about Mr Goodwin that is polite enough to publish? The big bad England ETC team made him take Chaos Dwarfs (quite a unique form of punishment really), and he sits there proudly the bearer of the Best Chaos Dwarf Icon (turns out anyone with rambling fanboy scribbled book can have an icon these days). Interestingly enough his ticket for the Masters was not earned with a single Chaos Dwarf point, rather Will has gone back to his old reliable – Empire, Daemons, and a Net List, to get the job done.


Andi “The Anointed of (the Foot of) Gork” has been rocking it this year, both with his trusty foot template and, more interestingly, with the Beastmen. Sure, I think he made some of those events up, but all points count! Recently relocated from the *literal* middle of nowhere (well, with the caveat that this is the UK, so to our colonial cousins he was just down the road) to a far more reachable location, I look forward to seeing more of him next year. Every Masters event should have a friendly giant.


Amit “the Terror from London” has been having a very impressive year. Do I attribute that simply to the Dark Elves’ new book? No, of course not! Only about 75% of it is down to the book I reckon :) Amit, being the superstar he is, has also broken up the mundanity of it all by taking the odd full on fun list to events like Clash. In short, Amit is a superstar, but it should never be forgotten he has made our club legend Sami rage quit Warhammer in one player turn down the store, so he is, above all, a Bad Man. Don’t forget that.


Stuart plays Empire and High Elves. Which is just too exciting a combo to get excited about. Even the consistency of his performances are so Empire/High Elf in nature. On the plus side, the Black Sun like to get his name wrong deliberately, so that has to count for something, right?


Friend of the blog and ever present twitter argument provider (for when you need distraction whilst at work), Captain Bulgaria has only ruined the enjoyment of everyone in the vicinity in three of his seven events this year. Which is fantastic news! Well, ok, two of the four remaining were using Daemons, but I understand weaning oneself off Dwarfs must be difficult. How comes all the worse habits (and there are fewer than rocking dwarfs) are the hardest to quit?


At number 9 is some blog writing chump. Thankfully after my first three events I had done well enough to make Masters qualification likely (barring any madness this will be my 4th in 4 years of tournament play, which I can’t really argue with), and this has allowed me to take silliness. Maybe this year I will event take the Masters seriously… probably not though…



That being said, as has been discussed on twitter, this is in and around the mark that could well be the cut off point for Masters qualification this year. With over 4 100pt events still to come this year, there is no knowing what will happen. Generally speaking, in years like this, with a lot of events everywhere (and therefore a lot of different winners out there) there is far more fluctuation and chaos than in more ‘traditional’ times when Jack, Russ and Ben would share two thirds of the big events between them. As a result all those players below here (and potentially Hristo and myself) are in danger of not making the cut – obviously, the further down the list, the more danger…)



Mikey had a great start to the year, and this will probably be enough to see him through to the Masters. The madness that has been his return to the scene after a few months off (you wouldn’t believe the dice luck if I told you) is quickly becoming a legend in itself. I just feel sorry for those people at whatever event his luck finally changes at. Looking to make it his third Masters in a row.


The Face is back with a vengeance (though he also seems to have gone to this “Stormlords” event that I am starting to suspect a bunch of players have made up to give themselves nice points… I note he has been painting up his VC, be interesting is he makes a move to wrest back the crown of undisputed VC hotshot in the UK. If people start allowing Undead Legion rules I will be fascinated to see what Russ rocks out to. Russ always qualifies for Masters – whether he goes or not is a different question.


Steve has continued his fine form from last year – though he seems to be abandoning his mantle of greatest Bretonnian player on these fair isles to go to that skill improving powerhouse, the daemon book. Maybe he knew Bretonnia was about to get gutted in the End of Times book, and that, despite initial rumours, there appears to be no likelihood of a new Army Book anytime soon. If so he is almost excused, but not forgiven. Steve is going for his second Masters in a row.


Nav bows to no man when it comes to tournament attendance, matching event for event the efforts of Mr Pike (who I sometimes suspect has that fabled dream job of being payed to attend events). Nav gets all sorts of extra cool points for taking four different armies to the 347 events he has gone to this year. Would be his very first Masters – good luck!


Mark, at some point over the past few years, became the high performing member of the Bad Dice Podcast – who saw that coming? He also has been rocking the army changes this year – in this case down largely to ETC commitments. It was a touching revelation when he remembered that Skaven are utterly broken :) This could either be Mark’s 4th Masters in a row (he may have missed one? Not sure). Watch out of self railroading and/or dice complaints.


Adam occupies the final masters spot right now, and as such easily the most vulnerable. He has had a good year, rocking a nice mix of armies. He also gets bonus points for largely having attended events I have heard of (which in itself should be worth more points). I think this would be his first Masters.



And now a random look at some of the people who will be trying to break into this “elite” (in literally the loosest sense of that word) group.



Marcus (17th) has some great runs of form this year – including a top level performance for England at the 6 Nations event. I’d expect him to make the cut in the coming months (never mind that due to drop outs he is likely in anyway). Would be his first Masters.


Mr Sewell (19th) is keeping himself being busy, in between being grumpy (current hot topic – the boringness of Wood Elves), with taking a lot of different armies to events. This would be cool, but alas he is also a Teclis user, and the least said about that the better. Would be his second Masters.


Matt Yeo (22nd) I include not only for him being an old man (and they deserve our respect) but also because he has kept plugging away at that VC army. I would have gone mad by now. Think this would be his first Masters?


Captain Leggy (24th) has never missed a Masters I believe. Will this be the year? He has been doing well with his march of the warriors on the road to the ETC – only not being ranked far higher because of the size of events he went to. Be interesting to see what he takes towards the end of the year – he is in a tough position as he needs to improve his score by roughly 20 points – which given that his low scores are in the 80s means he has to win an event, or maybe podium/top 5 at two. And time is running out. I for one would not bet against him though. This would be his millionth Masters.


Former Captain Ben (25th) is in at first glance  in a similar position to Leggy, but in actuality he is in a better place as it is easier for him to improve on his qualifying scores. A good shot of getting in really.


Jack (122nd) has only played two events this year. And done, shall we say, rather well at them. No idea if he is going to any in the coming months, but if he is going to at least two, I would expect him to qualify with ease (whether he attends or not is, of course a whole other thing).


Stockport wont know what hit it...




So, there you have it. Two and a bit months left of the tournament season, a lot to play for.

If you are in to that sort of thing.


At the very least, there appears to be a literal cluster fudge of events coming up, so fun will be had.




Until next time,