Wednesday, 31 October 2018

SHO 2018 Report

Image result for better late than never?

As per usual it seems, I get distracted, busy or unmotivated and suddenly my plans of posting regularly just don't happen. Nonetheless, as the title suggests I'm going to do my best to give an overview of my games across Southern Hemisphere Open. I'll do another post about Skulls 2018 and then give my thoughts on the Tallyband. On to SHO!

SHO 2018
Game 1 vs Yordan
As mentioned previously, SHO 2018 was a one day tournament put on by Objective Secured on 24 September 2018.

My first game was against a well-known player in the local scene called Yordan. Yordan has a reputation as being one of the more competitive players in our scene and, while being a bit nervous going into the game, I was looking forward to it. Unfortunately I can't remember for the life of me what the scenario was, but he was playing a Gore Pilgrims list. He also had the bloodthirster that can do AoE mortal wounds.

This game ended up being close in objectives but ultimately I lost out. The game progressed much as I thought it would - I grabbed the objectives early, and it was then up to Yordan to shift me. To begin with it looked like he might not be able to do it, but towards the end of the game my units were overwhelmed and he was able to catch up.

There were a few things I learnt in this game. To begin with, I forgot that I could cast Glorious Afflictions to halve movement. Given how tight the score was at the end, holding a unit off for a turn could have made the difference.

I otherwise generally learnt about how pile-ins could be used in interesting ways and to watch out for flying units charging into places I didn't expect them to be. His bloodthirster got into my backfield without me expecting it, and if he had some better dice it could have done a world more damage. While I was eventually able to take it out, I was lucky with the limited damage it did. While it was an intense first game, it was highly educational.

Game 2 v Kieren
My second game was against a guy called Kieran who was also new to the scene. He was running a Seraphon list with the follow (probably not everything):



3 units of Skinks (10's I think)

A unit of Ripperdactyls

2 x Bastilidons

1 x Engine of the Gods

1 x Balewind

I have never played against Seraphon, but I listen to podcasts, and knew that Kroak and Bastilidons are bad news for daemons, and I was running a complete daemon army. I knew that I was going to be up against it, but I was up for the challenge; I don't really get into bemoaning how poor of a match-up a game might be, or whether something is fair or not. I enjoy the challenge because I want to get better, and the way to get better is to get smashed up and learn from the mistakes I make.

We were playing Total Conquest, which is the scenario with the weird blocky deployment. There are four objectives, and claiming an objective that belongs to your opponent is worth more than holding your own.

This game ended up coming right down to the wire, but I got pipped at the end and went down. My lack of knowledge of Seraphon definitely worked against me in this game, particularly in relation to how Seraphon can teleport, and how skinks can retreat. Early on in the game, we were fighting over the two objectives near the thin deployment zones on the board. He went after mine with ripperdactyls and skinks, and I sent a large block of plaguebearers after his. One of the big issues for me in this game was how to deal with the bastilidons, and the crazy summoning that Seraphon can do. Early on, I decided that my best option to try and deal with the bastilidons was to send my Great Unclean One after them. I decided this on the basis that he was not going to be effective at holding objectives, and if he managed to get into them then the witherstave would give him some limited protection. I'm not sure if this was the right idea or not; their ability to teleport made it very difficult to truly protect against them, and I couldn't zone out the board in a meaningful way because I needed bodies on objectives to contest against the skinks.

The two big learning points in this one were to be more careful with my position to block out summoning or teleporting. In turn 4 I left a gap for Kroak to teleport outside of 6 of my back objective and he wiped out the plaguebearer unit holding that objective. If I had been a bit more careful I could have mitigated it to a degree and may have got up in the end.

The other big one was in relation to a Beast of Nurgle I summoned. I forgot that it could retreat and charge for two turns in a row. This could have done 2D3 mortal wounds to the skinks I was fighting, and had the potential to allow me to steal the objective back. At the end of the game though, we had both had a fun game that came down to the wire. I'm looking forward to playing Seraphon again to see if I learnt anything from this experience.

Game 3 vs Matthew
My final game for SHO was against a Legions of Nagash player by the name of Matthew. Neither of us had won a game at the stage so I think we were both up for a nice easy game to see out the weekend. We ended up getting Shifting Objectives as the scenario, and I was the only person to outdrop his 2 drop Legion list all day. From memory, Matthew had:


Lord of Bones

2 Morghasts Harbingers

30 Grave Guard

30 Skeletons

10 Skeletons

There was probably some other stuff as well.

This game was the only game where my list worked exactly as I intended it to; I think this was for two reasons. Firstly I had a better idea of what I was doing with the list by this time, and secondly I was up against another army that was more suited to grinding.

In my first turn I ran my guys onto the objectives and basically set myself up to take charges. Matthew obliged and the centre of the board turned turned into a melee. We didn't finish the game, but the main points were discovering how much damage Black Guard can do (quite a bit), and seeing how slow Black Guard could move after learning how much damage they did (2" as it turns out). Shackles were both annoying and very useful in this game; something I hadn't considered is how annoying it could be to move around the endless spells.

At the end of the day I had won 1 game, lost 2, and had played against three people I had never played against. I was feeling a bit down on the list at this point in time; the lack of damage in the list was frustrating, but I also think I didn't get the most out of my Plague Drones - a lot of the time they seemed to be buzzing around somewhere that didn't matter rather than getting stuck in. I was pretty exhausted by the end of the day, but I ended up being voted the second favourite person to play against which was awesome.

In considering whether SHO was a run well, I don't think I really have the experience to say whether it was good or bad. In the end only 10 people ended up attending which was a shame, and there was some discussion about how to get more people to come out to events. I think our local scene is building at the moment, and I hope it continues to do so, but we seem to be split into a number of smaller communities. I'm hoping that somehow we can connect these scenes are start to build to local tournament scene.

That's it from me for the moment folks, but I (hopefully) will be back soon with another post.

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

SHO 2018 & Skulls 2018

Southern Hemisphere Open has been and gone, and while I didn't place particularly well, it was an enjoyable event to participate in! It was run smoothly by Mike and Emma over at Objective Secured at Perth's Ascot Racecourse. I've never been to Ascot, so it was a good excuse to check it out; mind you I went to the wrong venue on the way and each of my games ran the full round length so I didn't have a great amount of time to explore, but the view overlooking the racecourse while we played was pretty great. I'll go through each of my games in a future post, but I thought I ought to set out why I took certain options in my list. I have another tournament this coming weekend, Skulls at Outpost 6030, that I'm going to take the same list to so I'll give a review of it after that.

My List

As mentioned in my previous post, my list is as follows:

Allegiance: Nurgle
Realm: Shyish


Great Unclean One
  - General
  - Plague Flail & Doomsday Bell
  - Command Trait: Pestilent Breath
  - Artefact: The Witherstave
  - Lore of Virulence: Glorious Afflictions

  - Artefact: Wraithbow
  - Lore of Virulence: Favoured Poxes

  - Lore of Virulence: Favoured Poxes


Plaguebearers (30)

Plaguebearers (20)

Plaguebearers (10)

Plague Drones (3)

Plague Drones (3)


Tallyband of Nurgle


Chronomantic Cogs

Geminids of Uhl-gysh

Soulsnare Shackles

List Choices

In building the list (the theory of which I discussed here) there were a few places in the list where I could play around. The core of the list (to meet the tallyband battalion) had to be a Great Unclean One, a Poxbringer, 3 units of Plaguebearers (for battleline) and a unit of Plague Drones. From there, my choices were primarily:

1. What load out did I was on the Great Unclean One?
2. What did I want my second artefact to be?
3. Did I want my Plague Drones in a unit of 1 or 2?

There is also room in the list to drop a poxbringer, the cogs and the shackles to bump the unit of 10 plaguebearers to 30, which I think I like the idea of, but I don't own enough plaguebearers to make it an option.

Great Unclean Load-out
This was probably the most straight-forward choice. I knew I wanted the Doomsday Bell for the 3" movement buff, so that was automatically in. Choosing between the flail and the bileblade was more difficult, and I'm not entirely sold on the choice, but I decided I wanted the GUO to have the ability to do some damage in combat. The trade off of his Massive Bileblade (3 attacks / -2 Rend / 3 damage) for the Bell (4 attacks / -1 Rend / 1 damage) is already a fairly significant hit to his damage, and I didn't want him to be a complete potato in combat so I kept the flail. An interesting side note is that the bell doesn't get any worse the more injured the GUO is, whereas the Massive Bileblade drops attacks, so the difference didn't end up being as extreme as I feared.

The Witherstave is an amazing item, and has such a large area of effect that it fits really well into my overall gameplan, so that was an easy choice.

Pestilent Breath for the command trait is primarily to give me flexibility. At it's heart it is a horde killer; 1/3 of a unit taking mortal wounds is excellent. That being said, it is highly situational and is short ranged. I'm not sure whether the ability to manipulate the dial with Grandfather's Blessing is a better choice - it's something I'll keep an eye on and will mix it up at some point.

Second Artefact
I had a really good time going through the Malign Sorcery book and thinking about what artefacts were open to me and what I wanted. After a fair bit of consideration I came down to deciding between the Tome of a Thousand Poxes from the Maggotkin book and the Wraithbow from the Realm of Shyish.

The tome gives spells cast from the Lore of Nurgle +1 to cast. The uses for this in my army are limited but significant. There are only two spells that would be affected; Foul Regenesis and Favoured Poxes. Foul Regenesis is important because it allows wheel manipulation, and Favoured Poxes is an incredibly potent debuff; -1 to hit, wound and save. Both spells are cast on a 7+, which means they had a 20/36 chance of being cast (or 55% chance). By taking the Tome, this increases to a 26/36 chance, or a 72% chance, as well as providing some assistance against dispels.

The Wraithbow is an artefact that is used in the shooting phase. You pick an enemy unit within 18", roll 6 dice, and they take a mortal wound for each 6 rolled. What attracted me to this item was that:

1. It has a good range;
2. It can be used after running; and
3. It isn't affected by negatives to hit.

One of my concerns is my ability to pick off characters. I have a few ways in which to deal D3 mortal wounds (spells primarily) but it isn't significant. This bow is quite variable, but the ability to ping a wound off here an there was very tempting. I also thought the item seemed fun, so I am going to give the bow a run for a while to see how it goes.

Plague Drones in a unit of 3 or 6?
The decision here was whether the have one unit that would benefit from the GUO command ability, or whether it was better to have two separate units acting independently. I'm not sure which way I prefer as yet, but I'm going to try having two units; I think it will give me more options and more roadblocks if necessary.

It will be interesting to compare how this list performs in an event that uses full realm rules (Skulls 2018) vs one that didn't (SHO). My initial thoughts are that I have a good number of casters to take advantage of the realm spells, but I have too many endless spells which are points that could be spent elsewhere. I'm looking forward to forming testing some hypotheses, forming some opinions, and seeing how they compare with internet wisdom.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Southern Hemisphere Open 2018

Today's post is about an event coming up in Perth this weekend called Southern Hemisphere Open (or 'SHO'). SHO is a put on by Mike and Emma from Objective Secured and it hosts a number of games and systems of the course of a three day weekend here in Western Australia.

The event that I am most excited about is called 'Battleshock' and is a competitive AoS event being run on 24 September 2018. As I am just getting back into the AoS scene, I've been trying to get a sense for how large the community is, what attendance at events is like, and the kinds of armies that are likely to be played. While I enjoy the hobby side of Age of Sigmar, I'm a competitive player at heart; the idea of executing a cunning plan on the battlefield is what got me into tabletop war-gaming and trying to anticipate what my opponents will do is what keeps me engaged; that's not to say I'm any good at it yet but it's a goal.

However, while I am competitive at heart, I don't have the ability to buy and paint an army that I think might be optimal. I also am a big proponent of doing my own testing and forming my own opinions rather than accepting the wisdom of the internet. Bearing this in mind, I decided that the best thing I could do for this event would be to assess what models I have, and to then make the strongest list I thought I could from those models.

When I was playing during 8th Edition, I primarily played a Chaos Daemon army; I had a mixture of the four chaos gods represented, but my main interest was in Nurgle. After looking at what I had, my choices were to field either a mixed chaos Daemon army, or to run a daemon based Maggotkin of Nurgle army - I decided to play the Maggotkin.

List Building for SHO

SHO is a three game tournament, 2000 points each game, using 3 of the 18 scenarios that will be randomly determined before each game. The randomness of the scenario's made it a little difficult to anticipate what elements would be absolutely required in my list; some scenarios require heroes, some require wizards or heroes with artefacts of power, and some have up to 6 objectives that can be controlled at once. Nonetheless, there are some common themes throughout:

1. Whoever finishes setting up first has the choice of first turn;

2. Aside from a couple of scenarios, you control an objective by having more models within 6" of the objective; and

3. Whoever has the most victory points (obtained by holding objectives) wins. Ties on victory points are determined by who has killed more of the enemy.

Characteristics of a Nurgle Daemon army

From my reading, my analysis of my units, and from my experience playing with Nurgle daemons, I have found that they are very resilient, they can be fast (with the assistance of a Great Unclean One) but they have poor to mediocre damage output.

Between the way in which objective scoring works, and the way that Nurgle daemon's play, I have formed a couple of hypotheses:

#1. A Nurgle daemon army cannot fight opponents off of an objective. If there is a single model on the objective then they can swarm it to take it through weight of numbers but if there is a horde there they do not have the damage required to fight an opponent off an objective.

#2. A Nurgle daemon army cannot afford to be pinned in its deployment by an opponent; it doesn't have the damage to break out. This typically happens against an alpha strike army, or something that has fast elements.

#3. Resilience only matters if you are preventing your opponent from getting something they want. This could be holding up a combat unit from attacking what it really wants to attack or it might be preventing opponents from getting onto an objective.

Forming a game plan

Given that the game is an objective based one, my top priority had to be that I would score victory points; if I don't score I don't win. When I then considered my hypotheses on Nurgle daemons, particularly #1, my only option was to get on the objectives before my opponent; this had the additional benefit of hitting the brief for hypothesis #3. Hopefully, I can then hold the objectives for long enough to get a lead that my opponent can't catch up to.

So how to achieve this? There were a couple of considerations:

1. I needed first turn; if my opponent goes first and beats me there, then I'm not meeting my game plan; and

2. I needed the speed to get within range of the objectives in one turn.

Tallyband of Nurgle

The first issue was how to get first turn. Thankfully, this had a relatively simple solution; the Tallyband of Nurgle. If I could fit my whole army into one battalion, I would then be able to drop it all at once. The only lists that could outdrop me would be single battalion lists, and that would be on a dice roll. The Tallyband is also a defensive battalion, which supports my game plan, and it utilises the models that I own, perfect!

Need for Speed

The second issue of speed is also one that was relatively easy to find a solution for.

In most scenarios, the objectives are either within each player's territory, or they are on the border of the two territories. The objectives are set up symmetrically, and for the most part if you control one more objective than your opponent, then you will win. Armies set up either 9" or 12" away from their opponents deployment, which means that for objectives in the centre, I would need to be able to move either 4" or 7" to get within 6" of the objective; ideally I would go further so that I can take up board space around the objective and prevent my opponent from claiming it.

Plaguebearers, my primary objective holders, have a move of 4" and a minimum run distance of 1". This means that I could guarantee claiming objective on some maps, but not all, and ideally I want to have models directly on top of the objective.

I have three options to increase their move:

1. A doomsday bell on the Great Unclean One: +3" for units within 7";
2. +2" on the Cycle of Corruption (a Nurgle Allegiance ability); and
3. The endless spell, Chronomantic Cogs; +2" to move and charge for ALL units.

The bell on the Great Unclean One is a guaranteed option, and I definitely wanted to take a Great Unclean One so that was an easy choice; Plaguebearers are now moving a minimum of 8". The Cycle and the Cogs are a bit trickier, as enabling both is reliant on spells that cast on a 7. Nurgle has spellcasters, but is limited in its options to improve their spell casting. Ultimately I have built both options into my list by way of redundancy, I will always be able to get within range of an objective, but I may not be able to sufficiently inhibit my opponent's ability to contest the objective.

Cogs is also a double edged sword, as it allows my opponents to reach me more easily, which is a problem as outlined below.

Risks of weaknesses of the game plan

While getting on the objectives early enables me to leverage my units resilience, it does open up some significant disadvantages:

1. Firstly, and most significantly, it opens me up to counter-attack. My units are going to be half the board closer to the enemy, and combat armies that have deployed on the line are going to be able to hit my plaguebearer units. While my unit's natural resilience will help, if I don't support them in some other way then my opponents will have multiple turns to deplete them before I can get a big enough lead.

2. I give up control of the game. This way of playing is essentially a challenge to my opponent along the lines of 'do you think you're hard enough?' It's a race; can they kill my units before I get too far ahead.

3. In games where objectives become worth more the later the game goes on, I'm going to have to hold the objectives for an even longer period of time in order to retain the lead by the end of the game.

4. If I don't get my early game right, I have limited ways to catch up. I need to identify the biggest dangers to my army and neuter them as best I can, either through good deployment or good use of my units. Funnily enough, I'm excited about this weakness; this is a direct example of where my ability as a general will impact the result in my game.

5. If I don't win the major victory I'm very unlikely to win the minor on victory points; my army doesn't kill things especially well so I expect I will always be lower than my opponent on victory points.

My List for SHO

Bearing in mind the above, the list I decided to run was:

Allegiance: Nurgle
Realm: Shysh


Great Unclean One
  - General
  - Plague Flail & Doomsday Bell
  - Command Trait: Pestilent Breath
  - Artefact: The Witherstave
  - Lore of Virulence: Glorious Afflictions

  - Artefact: Wraithbow
  - Lore of Virulence: Favoured Poxes

  - Lore of Virulence: Favoured Poxes


Plaguebearers (30)

Plaguebearers (20)

Plaguebearers (10)

Plague Drones (3)

Plague Drones (3)


Tallyband of Nurgle


Chronomantic Cogs

Geminids of Uhl-gysh

Soulsnare Shackles

I'll do another post prior to SHO regarding why I have made certain choices in the list and where I think there is room to make changes, but overall I am excited to take this list and to see whether my game plan comes off in the way that I have imagined it.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

An (in)glorious return!

Well here we are, three and a half years later, and I'm returning to my blog as an outlet for my own creative tendencies. A lot has happened in this time, I'm a lawyer now, engaged to my girlfriend (it took me nine years to ask), have a mortgage, am no longer playing WoW (a lack of time being the primary culprit - I miss my WoW friends) and I am taking my first steps into Age of Sigmar 2.

One of the primary motivations for returning to write a blog is to get my own thoughts out of my head and into something slightly (hopefully!) more legible. This is primarily in relation to Age of Sigmar at the moment but other topics may pop up every now and then.

However, in order to truly fit in with the internet community, the most important change in my life is that I now have two beautiful cats, Harvey and Leo - they can be terrors at times but they are best of friends and provide a great deal of entertainment. Here's a picture and who knows what my next post may be about!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The End is Nigh!

For those that stay in touch with Warhammer Fantasy you are probably aware that over the past 5 or so months Games Workshop has drastically progressed the Warhammer world's timeline. It has been akin to a Game of Thrones episode; death, destruction, drastic change.

While most people who are interested in such things are up to date with the story, I was away in Europe for the Glottkin and and Khaine instalments. As such, I missed those books, and more importantly for my own completionist tendencies, the hard back version of these books. As such this post won't be so much about what has happened, because for one I don't know exactly, and for two, because I have gone to great lengths to stay as uninformed as possible about the story progression after Nagash, and I don't want this to be another spoiler filled post out there on the web.

What I want to talk about is some of the rumours that I have heard regarding 9th, and through this, what Warhammer means to me. This is something that I had been thinking about for a little while now, but Greg over at the Hoodling's Hole helped crystalise some of my own feelings about Warhammer.

Overall I am excited about the End Times - the progression of the story is exciting, although I wish I was in a position to be enjoying all the scenarios, new models, and new rules. Some of the joint armies sound like they could be quite fun to play with. However, I do have some fears regarding what may happen come 9th.

There have been rumours that 9th will be a game where, due to the great cataclysms the world has gone through, various armies will be amalgamated into others. The current legions lists are toted as being an example of how this might pan out; chaos all together, undead together, humans and dwarves likely to be joined, and so on and so forth. There are a few outliers in this model (lizardmen being the big one) but I'm not going to delve into that side of things. My concerns come from the fact that I really really like having more army books rather than less. I like the extra rules, the extra fluff, and the extra models that can come with separate army books. It also allows for more individual and characterful differences to be highlighted between armies. A prime example of this is Bretonnia and Empire: one is based on feudal French knights, and the other is more Germanic in nature. With the possible amalgamation of armies some of these characterful differences might be lost, and the potential range of models for use may decrease.
This fear primarily stems from the fact that I own a partially painted Bretonnian army, and I have never had a chance to really play with it. With the destruction caused by the End Times, and the rumours surrounding 9th, I worry that my opportunity to play with my Bretonnians shrinks bit by bit. I recognise that I could still play with them using 8th edition even should new editions come out, but if I'm honest with myself, I like to be playing what is current.

There have also been rumours of Warhammer including rules for a skirmish game, similar to the way 40k is from what I understand. While I have no particular issue with that being added into the existing format, if it were to replace the current model I would probably move away from Warhammer completely. The reason I play Warhammer, rather than 40k, is that I like the aesthetic of large units being manoeuvred around a battlefield. Having to plan movement in advance is something that greatly appeals to me; it is hard to react quickly with units should they end up in unfavourable positions because a large unit takes time to change its facing. I imagine it is similar to how armies would have reacted in medieval times, and given that I prefer medieval fantasy to science fiction, Warhammer Fantasy in its current form is more appealing to me than 40k.

All I can really ask for is that Games Workshop don't destroy the game I love. I can only hope that they are as invested in their product, its story, and its history, as I am. Whatever the future holds I will at least give Games Workshop the courtesy of trying their game, with as little pre-judgement as I can. Until then I will keep garnering the enjoyment it gives me now, and hopefully I will be able to play with my Bretonnians just a little before their future is revealed. 

Thursday, 19 March 2015


Apologies one and all! Life rather suddenly become busy for me and something had to give for a while, which ended up being this blog; it wouldn't quite work to stop playing WoW but keep blogging about it now would it.

In an effort to bring me back into the fold the guild leader of my WoW guild - Frostwolves (Saurfang) - nominated me as one of her 'Liebster' victims. The way it works is that a blogger will give 5 other bloggers 11 questions to answer. Those nominees must then answer those 11 questions, provide 11 facts about themselves, and then put 11 questions to 5 other nominated bloggers. I'm not sure if I know any other bloggers to nominate but at the very least I can do the first two parts! So here we go, the 11 questions from Navimie of The Daily Frostwolf:

1.  Who is your favourite villain and why?

I think my favourite villain would have to be Agent Smith from the Matrix. While never truly evil, he is hell bent on riding the Matrix of its human interlopers. This coupled with his ability to evolve and adapt make him one of my favourites.

2. What sport do you wish you were really good at?
Basketball. This could be in part from watching some basketball anime recently, but it is also a sport where there is both significant teamwork, and opportunity for individual excellence. On top of that there is the capacity to out-think and out-play an opponent. Otherwise it just looks like fun!

3. Tell me who is your favourite Disney character and why?
Rapunzel from Tangled. Apart from just being an excellent movie I like her boundless optimism, her adventurous nature, her non-judgmental acceptance of people, and her abilities with a frypan!

4. If you were granted one wish of anything you wanted, what would you wish for?
Invulnerability. I would want the ability to go anywhere, do anything and not be harmed by it. I would also want to live for a long long long time. Both of these stem from the fact that I want to know what is out there in the universe, and to explore the depths of our oceans. Both are unknown and full of potential wonder, however both have huge risks involved. The pressures in the deep ocean are immense, and if anything goes wrong death is the likely outcome. Similarly out in space if something goes wrong no one will be out there to help, you are on your own. Also space is huge.  There are suns out there that would take over 1000 years in a jumbo jet to circle, so even if we could currently explore the depths of space, it would be an exploration as a species, not as individuals as the time frame is just too large.

5. What is the dumbest thing you have done in regard to your computer?
I was building my computer from parts for the first time, and had just finished screwing everything in. Sam and I plugged it in, flicked on the power, and nothing happened. In my ignorance I thought that maybe the switch on the power source itself needed to flicked as well. So I flicked the switch, there was a pop, a smell of smoke, and the sinking feeling that that I had just made the problem worse.

6. If you had the ability to go back in time, who would you want to meet and what would be the one burning question you would ask them?
I've never really thought about this kind of thing, which is might be stange given that I did a history degree. If I had to choose I would probably want to speak to Terry Pratchet, and to ask him how he developed such an interesting way of viewing the world.

7. You have won a Nobel Prize! What do you wish you won the prize for?
Creating a successful model for a world government. Following on from question 4, if we were to ever colonise other planets we would need a structure that allowed for the whole of the human race to be governed - the reason for governance being that if we wanted to maintain our societies ethics and morals while such vast distances from Earth it would be necessary to have governments in place. As our species spreads further and further national boundaries and governments would become mroe insignificant, and governance on a global scale would become more efficient and necessary. In order to achieve something like this without conflict would require huge obstacles between cultures being overcome. There are obvious ones such as Isreal and Palastine, or the USA and China, but there would also be future concerns such as how does Africa fit in to something like this. Should they ever rise from their third world status would the be mechanisms to afford their representatives a say, and the influence they deserve. The EU is an interesting prototype in this regard, and how they come out of their own financial difficulties will be telling on the underlying strength of their model.

8. Which would be more devastating, loss of hearing, loss of vision, or loss of both hands.
I think the loss of both hands would be the worst. I prefer doing things to talking to people, and I like a level of independance. Should my hearing go I could still write, type, paint, and play computer games, it would just be a less fulfilling experience. In the case that I lost my sight I could still play music with others. However if I lost my hands I could no longer paint, type, play music, or be independant - I would have many more difficulties in every day chores such as cooking and cleaning, or even hugging my girlfriend. I think the loss of both hands would easily be the worst.

9. In World of Warcraft, who would you like to see as a boss encounter one day, and how would you design that fight.

I would love to fight Genn Greymane, the faction leader of the Worgen. Every time I see him on the loading screen he makes me want to play Worgen, so it would be fun to fight him, and to get loot that could make me look like him!

While I'm not sure on the specifics I think I would want the fight to involve the worgen curse somehow. I'm thinking that it would be a no tank fight, whereby DPS has to manage threat in a way that allows pretty much the whole damage portion of the raid to be attacked by Greymane at some stage. I think I would achieve this by having Greymane place a stacking debuff on a player he aattacks, maybe once every 5 seconds. While Greymane himself would only do nominal damage, this debuff would reduce healing by 15% or so per stack, and if you reach 5 stacks you are transformed into a Worgen, essentially being mind controlled and attacking your allies.

The way to beat this fight would be to use tools such as fient, feign death, BoP, vanish, tricks of the trade, misdirection, and others, to transfer threat from player to player. You would also need to make good use of personal defensives for the later stages of the debuff. For normal I would not make the DPS requirement too high as inevitably the weaker DPS classes may end up being benched for a  fight like this, but I think threat is something that has become fairly irrelevant in today's WoW so this would be a chance to explore it again as a fight mechanic.

10. What is the most embarrassing thing you've said to someone you wanted to impress?
Thankfully I seem to have erased most embarressing things I have said from my memory, but one embarressing thing I've done that springs to mind involves when I was first getting to know my now girlfriend.  We met playing in a youth band together, it was auditioned each year so I hadn't met her previous to rehearsals starting for the year. After a couple of weeks we started hanging out after rehearsal (after 9:30pm) before heading home. In the second week of this I was feeling particularly energetic and in the mood to impress and I suggested we climb a tree.
So up I went, climbing particularly well I must say, and we ended up sitting on a branch roughly 3m off the ground. We sat up there for 30 minutes or so, swapping stories and such, and then decided it was probably about time to head home, so we needed to get out of the tree. I was still feeling particularly bold and thought this would be a good opportunity to further impress with a smooth, athletic dismount off the branch. It was only as I started swinging under the tree that I realised this tree had quite large thorns! In my haste to ascend the tree I had managed to miss this crucial fact, and it was now quite an issue.

As I swung underneath the branch, with my hands and legs over the top holding me on, I managed to get some of my clothing caught on thorns. Initially I had planned to release my legs, hold on with my hands, and then drop the reduced height to the ground, being careful not to roll my ankle on the roots at the base of the tree. These thorns caused me to hesitate, and wonder how I was going to dislodge myself. My as yet not girlfriend asked, with a mixture of concern and humour, if I needed a hand getting down from the tree. As some of you males out there may understand, this was like a red rag to a bull; there was no way I was going to accept any assistance getting out of this tree! I spent a couple of seconds seeing if I could dislodge my clothes easily, but nothing was willing to move.

Now I swear this was a case of my brain skipping my conciousness and sending directions straight to my limbs, but rather than continuing to work my clothes loose my body decided that the best course of action was just to completely let go, so thats what I did. In front of the girl was trying to impress I failed to dismount elegantly from the tree, and instead clumsily fell like a stone, straight onto my back from a height of about 3 metres. Thankfully I didn't have to endure the ignomy of injuring myself on top of all this, and in the end it all worked out, but that would be the most embarassing thing I can think of doing while trying to impress someone.

11. You've been chosen to go onto a game show! Which game show would you go on?
 It would have to be the Block. While I have no particular interest in going on a renovating show, my girlfriend is dying to go on it, but I don't wish to apply until I actually know something about renovating. So if I had the choice it would be the Block, because while I have no particular game show I want to go on, I would be in trouble if I chose differently!

11 Things you didn't need to know about me.

1. I'm a Law and History Graduate, recently returned from a year in the UK and currently  looking for law related work

2. I've been in a relationship with my girlfriend for over 6 years now. She was the first girl I ever worked up the courage to ask out, and despite her being the only girlfriend I've had I have never wondered if the 'grass might be greener' so to speak.

3. I don't drink carbonated beverages. Ever since I was young I have always retched at the feel of bubbles on my tounge. Testing of this occured in the form of coke being left out for three days to go flat; no success, it tasted as bubbly to me as a freshly opened can. For some reason this also applies to guiness, which my Irish friends assure me has no carbonation. This preference of mine has led to my girlfriend canvassing my family and friends to see whether I should be forced to drink champagne at my wedding; its a losing battle for me but I shall endure until I prevail!

4. I don't really know how to make friends without my twin brother around.

5. I love reading, thought it tends to be in a fantasy genre. My favourite authors include, Robert Jordan, Terry Pratchet, J.R.R. Tolkein, Branden Sanderson, and Terry Goodkind.

6. I enjoy reading rules. Whether it is different class abilities in WoW, Army and Rule books in Warhammer, or a 200 page D&D supplement, I love thinking of the different ways rules can interact, and on a surface level, what combinations are strong.

7. I am currently learning how to play the saxophone.

8. I prefer Alliance to Horde. My very first character was a dwarf, and my favourite two races are Dreanei and Worgen. I've always been more of a 'good guy' kind of person, and while I hold great admiration for characters like Thrall and Cairne, and have very fond memories of them from Warcraft 3, I still prefer the Alliance. However, despite this preference, I have been a member of the Horde faction since Wrath of the Lich King. Initially all my real life friends were Horde players so I swapped over, and since then I have just ended up in Horde guilds.

9. I like looking at the stars and just taking in the moment.

10. I think very factually; I don't tend to believe a persons story on face value, and like to know the circumstances surrounding it. This is odd in that I also tend to automatically trust what people say, and struggle to disbelieve them. I guess the two can be reconciled with point 4; While I think the best of people I also know they can get things wrong, thus any inconsistencies are honest (as opposed to malicious) mistakes, so while no one is actively lying, often people are incorrect despite their best intentions.

11. I worry about being a nuisance to others - I normally won't push my own interests for fear of creating inconveniences to others. This also transfers into job-hunting - my base assumption is that people don't need any more employees and that me dropping in applications is annoying for them. Looking at it objectively I can see that there are huge holes in that methodology, but I still cringe initially when thinking about it.

Questions for others
1. Dogs or Cats?
2. Are you a grammar Nazi?
3. Is skydiving your kind of thrill, or is it just a foolish way to risk death?
4. Lawyers; societies leeches, a necessary evil, or welcome members of the community?
5. Where is the best place you have ever visited?
6. What is the appeal of clubbing?
7. What would you prefer - money, fame, or power?
8. If the Prime Minster of Australia came to you offering to give you his or her place in government (and the relevant party had no objection etc etc) would you become the Prime Minister of Australia?
9. Do you like being the bad guy/girl?
10. Karaoke; Super fun or a mortifying experience?
11. What song title best describes you?


I'm afraid I don't have any specific nominations, however instead I would invite anyone who reads this blog to answer the questions, and then post in the comments section with a link - it's up to you if you want to participate, and I would be very interested to see anyone's answers!

Friday, 6 February 2015

The unexpected generosity of guild mates

This post will be a fairly short one, but I just had something really nice happen to me so I thought I would share.

I logged on to WoW, as I normally do, and I had mail. How exciting, we all like mail! I don't tend to use the Auction House all that often so I knew it wasn't a failed auction or something like that. I figured I must have missed something and the handy dandy postmaster was returning it to me. In the end it was neither of these but was mail from my guildie Luxy!

I wouldn't say I know Luxy really well but we did our dungeon hero achievements together, and she is part of the regular group of people I check with when doing challenge modes and other 5 man things. I do know that she is an avid achievement hunter (she currently sits at  23,135 achieve points!), and is quite the pet battler.

In this mail she had sent me 100 chocolate cookies, which for those that don't know they are used in the achievement 'You'll feel right as rain'. I was really touched by this because Luxy had gone out of her way to peruse the achievements I hadn't obtained yet, seen that I hadn't eaten a bunch of cookies yet, and then went out of her way to make them for me! Consideration and effort went into a totally unexpected and unlooked for present, and for that I was touched and very grateful. It is nice having guildies who see you as more than just another body to raid with, and through her doing something like this, I am more motivated to pass on the consideration and kindness.

Have any of you out there in internet land experienced something similar? If you haven't perhaps you could be the starting link in something nice! :)

Thanks Luxy :) you made my day