Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Micro - Raf is back, back again

Well well well, it has been a while!

I'm back now though!

Who knew that going on honeymoon, doing write ups for the peerless Clash of Swords event and changing jobs (and the subsequent requirement to actually do work (at least initially)) would adversely affect the flow of blog posts?

Yeah, it surprised me too.

What also shocked me is that going out so late in Cardiff the night before Clash (losing my wallet and all my money in the process) that I got about an hour’s sleep before round 1 did not impact me too much when it came to taking photos of my games (it did, however, have a very significant impact on my ability to play (or, come to think of it, walk, talk, stand and generally live)). Returning the digital picture taking device (I think they call them mobile phones) to my old company when I left (whilst forgetting to send them to myself as planned) does, however, rather impact my ability to use said photos. There must be something about Cardiff that has this effect on me. Maybe it’s the accents.



I just wanted to drop quick note to apologise for the dearth (good word that) of posts and let you know the plan going forward.


This whole “working” thing will make it harder to write the ramblings posts I sometimes find myself posting, but short, sharp, insightful posts lacking in tangential deliberations should be fine. Alas I am writing these, and as such can’t promise any insightfulness, and I definitely wouldn’t count on sharpness, but I will try to keep them short.


In the pipeline for the next couple of weeks (in no particular order):


·         Rundown of my experiences at Clash of Swords (at least the ones I remember)

·         End of Times: Nagash fluff review

·         Race to the Masters - a look at the players competing to qualify for this year’s showpiece event

·         End of Times: Nagash list thoughts

·         End of Times: Nagash implications to the broader game

·         Easyhammer – an article I have been working on about the Elven menace we are currently living through

·         Upcoming events I am going to this year (Tribute, London’s Calling, Blood & Glory and Bjorn) and the lists (and reasons why) I intend to use

·         Random spouting of things as they occur to me.

I also have some other projects in the pipeline that will reveal as and when they come to fruition – just as well I have so much spare time!

Sorry about the delays, I feel almost as bad as this kitten

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Random musings of the day


I was listening to the excellent Heelanhammer this lunchtime as they did their coverage of their (and gravel-voice Hoen’s) experiences of Clash, and a couple of random things occurred to me.

Firstly, I would like to apologise once again to Wayne for the whole forgetting-to-maybe-kill-the-terrorgheist situation. I felt terrible about that, and I know he was gutted. My defence, for what it is worth (which is not much, in all honesty), is a combination of the state I was in (I was pleasantly shocked I could remember how to breathe, never mind play ‘hammer (yes, I blame the city of Cardiff, or, at the very least Hard6’s very own Jay Hopkinson), and the fact that after the Ghoul King was killed so swiftly for the third game in a row (spoiler alert) I was immediately focused on the potential 20-0 loss-enabling crumbles that were about to crash down around me. As such I didn’t even give the King’s goose a second thought until later in the game.

When Wayne pointed out the mistake on Sunday morning I, as previously noted, felt terrible, and offered to change the score as he saw fit. He kindly, and correctly, declined. The issue here is that this happened in the very first turn of the game.

The reason I bring this up, other than for a good ol’ bit of public internet flagellation, is because it made me think about the usual cries of despair you often hear post game/event. “If only I had rolled an [insert number here] I would have won/finished [insert appropriate placing]. Apart from in very rare situations, this is an impossible rabbit hole to travel down.

Take our game as an example. Does he wound the terrorgheist (can’t remember the strength of the cannon)? Do I make my regen save? How many wounds does it do? How many wounds are now caused by the crumble (given this will happen after), especially as was within BSB range? Given how things turned out, if applied retroactively, there is a good chance that the goose dies – cue 600 odd points to him. But it’s not that simple of course. There is as much chance that I pass the regen as there was of his Abomination getting up again (which it did (which then allowed the Abom to reposition itself to completely halt my forward push on his lines, and furthermore allowed the rat swarms that followed to eat 100 odd points of necromancer (neutering my magic in the process)). Assuming one would fail is as dangerous as assuming Aboms never get back up (and we all know they always do).

Even assuming the goose goes down, given the early nature of the game, there is every chance I go hell for leather for his jugular (as opposed to the pseudo defensive game I played in the end). What happens then? Sure, I probably lose, but who knows?

So, a somewhat disjointed point, but it is worth noting that “what ifs?”, whilst therapeutic, is often pointless when reflected upon the cold light of day.

All that said… Sorry Wayne!


The other point (‘interesting’ is, after all, a matter of perspective) made on this particular episode was Dan’s unhappiness (if not too strong a word) at winning all five games and yet finishing behind two other VC players who did not. A complaint I have uttered myself on occasion, and an understandable one (unlike most of my other complaints to be fair).

This got me thinking – what is a win? Stupid question of course. The rulebook tells us 100 points. The issue is that this is pretty unpopular with a lot of people who fear the “victory snipe” (to coin a phrase). The (from what I have seen) happy medium seems to be 300 points to get a win. This has more of a taste of a “real” victory.

The 20-0 system, much beloved the world over, is great for many things (well, namely for registering degrees of victory). The issue of course is that in a good matchup (be it player or army) you can rack up the easy 20-0s, whilst your rivals are less fortunate. And this is a very real issue. I have for a long time believed that if you want to finish in the top 10 of an event and win your first few games, the sensible thing to do is lose game 4. Drop down tables, and hopefully smash people on the way up (sounds simple… and it sort of is).

That to one side it begs the question: What is a victory (subtly different to a “win”)? I, for example, do not consider a 11-9 (or even a 12-8 really ) a *win* (or, conversely, 9 points a loss). When you get into the 13 bracket things then yes, that feels right. 450 points is a combat unit, roughly 20% of your army.

What the “perfect” scoring system is an interesting debate in itself – I think I like a mix of Win/Loss/Draw with some scenario elements (though capturing terrain with banners gets a bit old). I can see the attraction of something along the lines of Win/Loss/Draw incorporating a Strength of Schedule component. Not sure how this would be done, but think it is probably the “fairest”.

Though maybe not – guess that depends on your definition of “fair”.

As I wrote the above I realised the biggest, most obvious, benefit of the 20-0. It is the only current system that rewards you for minimising loses – some of the greatest games of Warhammer are when something goes so badly wrong you know you are going to lose, but you manage to turn a 0-20 into a 7-13 (or whatever). W/L/D doesn’t offer this.

What is true (as much as it is the least helpful point in the world, and runs counter to a decent debate), is what I am always admonished when I complain about victory conditions – “you have to play the system you’re in”. If the system rewards 20-0 wins, make sure you can make those happen (well, 16s at least). Logically of course, this means everyone should be bringing smash lists.

Thankfully in reality there are plenty of people like me that will just take whatever they want to take, and in all probability won’t even know what the scoring system is.




Anyway, I seem to find myself rambling here – an occupational hazard clearly.

Enough of this.


Working day is almost over – time to get ready to go and FINALLY get my hands on the Nagash book and start compiling a large order with Element Games!



Until next time,