The Role of the Club

In late 1998 I was in Mil Sims looking at miniatures when I overheard a discussion between a boy and his mother. He was pointing out the which models he was after, and she was told him, “You need to find someone to play with first”. This struck me as kind of sad, and got me to thinking afterwards: why was there no games club in our area?

 It was true that there were several games clubs around town, but Melbourne is a very big place, and they were spread far and wide. I lived in Bentleigh, and the nearest club to me was DWARF1 in Dandenong – a good 20-30 minute drive away, and a far longer and more difficult journey for anyone unlucky enough not to have a car. The next-closest club was in the centre of the city, above the Games Workshop store in Centrepoint Mall2 – almost as hard to get to, and far harder to find.

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A brief rant on the subject of old miniatures.

I was struck by something terrible today. I was idly thumbing through Citadel Catalogue Section Four1 and I stumbled upon something. The current range of Dwarf miners are in there. Now I don't know exactly when the miners where designed, but Section Four was published in 1994. Doesn't that seem an unusually long life span for a miniature? Sixteen years? Game systems don;t last that long. Space marines are replaced every five or so.

Now let's get something straight - I have nothing against old miniatures per se. Some of them a truly awesome, and I would be proud to own them. The old Beastman in bone armour is a favourite, as are the whole range of 1980's familiars (Of which I own the book on legs. No army should leave home without one.) Some of them are fairly silly (The old Slaan2 frogman warriors, the Imperial Guard beast men, and the dreaded Zoats3 spring to mind), but still fun. What I object to is GW's blithe arrogance in assuming we will be content with a whole range of shiny new miniatures, and then some bozzos from '94 who they can't be bothered updating.

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Forgotten Armies

As I have said in a previous article, Warhammer has been changing over the years. This should hardly be surprising, as everything changes sooner or later. The years go by, editions come and go, players drift into and out of the hobby, and miniature ranges grow old and are replaced. All of this is to be expected, as things have to change if the game is to grow and retain the interest of those already involved. However, for all that there are many positives involved in these changes, there are also some negatives. More specifically, there are some armies that become victims of the process.

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Unreasoning Hatred

(Or A Rant Against Steam Tanks)


I hate Steam Tanks. I hate those hulking, clanking, steaming, grinding, armour-clad monstrosities because they seem to be a regular fixture in many Empire players’ armies, and the only reason not everyone uses one seems to be that not everyone owns one. I hate the fact that every single Empire army I have ever fought in a tournament has had one. I hate them because they’re huge, practically indestructible, and cause Terror for my troops. I hate them because random silly people keep pointing out that any army can field one, because nowhere does it actually say that it must be used in the Empire army. Most of all, I hate them because they seem to break every rule in Warhammer. Nobody can deliberately move out of combat except a Steam Tank. Nobody can inflict up to 15 strength 6 impact hits on a unit except a Steam Tank. Nobody uses the same damage table as a castle except a Steam Tank. We hates it!

Tournaments and the Game

Tournaments have a big impact on the Warhammer hobby as a whole – possibly too big… 

In Days of Yore

For a long time after I started playing Warhammer, I didn’t know that tournaments even existed. I don’t think it ever occurred to me that someone would organise something like that. Even when I discovered that tournaments did exist, it was only through reading White Dwarf (then an exclusively UK publication, which was shipped across for our edification) – so I assumed that while they may have been happening on the other side of the world, there was nothing of the sort closer to home. 

Just Shoot Me

Many experienced Warhammer players could tell you stories of how many rookies they have seen who turn up for a game armed to the teeth with archers, handgunners, mages, cannon and the like, hoping to obliterate their opponent before the game reaches Turn 3. A great many of those players were then sent running with their tail between their legs, having had their hides handed to them by a far more experienced player, using far less ranged firepower. To the untrained eye, the simple way to win a game of Warhammer would be to field as much shooting as you can, and then to simply pulp your opponent from afar. But does it really work that way?

Axeremastered results

Axeremastered is over, and it seems to have gone pretty well. Thanks to everybody who entered, and congratulations to the following winners of various glittering prizes:

First Overall: Andrew Goodman - Daemonic Legion (Khorne)
Second Overall: Ben Morrison - Vampire Counts (Von Carstein)
Third Overall: Sam Webster - Lizardmen
Best Sports: Andrew Noakes - Orcs and Goblins
Best Painted Army: Steve Kelsall - Dark Elves (prize give to Julian Jaksch for his Dwarves on countback, due to restrictions on Military Simulations employees winning prizes.)

The Tale of Suzeraine Trompeur and Escadron de Forban

Here is my army background. I thought I'd embrace my 'cheating' reputation and turn my Brets into a dishonourable rabble of low-lives. I'm assuming that it's an open-list tournament - I'm gonna put my list in. Not like it's gonna surprise you.


The Tale of Suzeraine Trompeur and Escadron de Forban
Putting down his quil, Suzeraine Trompeur de Carcasonne looked up at his henchman Gluant Ver. Trompeur hated being disrupted whilst doing his tax avoidance, but he had almost trusted Gluant since they were young nobles, stealing wooden swords and pantomime horses from the common children. These days, Gluant hardly ever stole from his lord, and Trompeur trusted Gluant almost as far as he could throw him. Gluant was his sticky fingered right-hand man.

Judicious Rulings

Recently a player was telling me about a game of Warhammer that he had watched at the club. This game was between two regular opponents, one of whom had always won in the past. Naturally everyone was expecting the same result this time round, but this time things turned out differently. The game was close, and at a critical juncture in the game, a bystander pointed out to the underdog that he was calculating his combat resolution incorrectly. As a result of this revelation, the player went on to record a historic victory. It also upset the eventual loser of the game, who felt that the game had only been won because of outside intervention. Was the bystander right to point out the underdog’s mistake?

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In praise of Themed Armies

Spang MagakanSpang Magakan It always seems odd to me that most people never name their characters. After all, your general is meant to represent you on the battlefield. It's such a nice way to personalize an army. You may not care if those Orcs over there get pounded to a greenish paste under the hooves of those Khorne Chaos knights. But if it's a case of Skabby Da Skragga an' iz Skraggin' Pals being shredded by Khraraak the Shredder and the Ancient blood-brothers of Shred suddenly it seems more important. Plus you can give your guys silly names. What more could you want?

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