Friday, 19 August 2016

Tom's Adventures in Facebookland - Part 1

There are 3 terrible places where you can find people saying dumb things about 40k. Obviously you can find these people everywhere but these are probably the most notorious:

1) Online 40k Forums
2) The Bell of Lost Souls Comments section (in fact a lot of the article are trash can worthy as well)
3) Any 40k related non ETC Facebook group.

Here is an interaction I had today. I recently joined an Eldar group as motivation to paint stuff, and I came home from a movie night with friends to a monstrously long comments section on debating Warp Spiders wound Artillery.

Tom Leighton: Guys this really isn't complicated. It's not down to player discretion, it's down to actually reading rules. FAQ > Codex > Main Rulebook is how it's always been and how it continues to be, whether or not the main rulebook says 'always wound against toughness' is irrelevant if the individual entry for the weapon in the Codex says initiative. End of story. Pick up your Warp Spiders, find the initiative of the Guardian Crew, and move on.

Random: for 95% of my games its down to that or a TO the other 5% is my mates having a laugh and using the thing that makes sense if it was IRL are you saying that us having fun is wrong? but its FAQ Where advanced rules apply to a specific model, they always override any contradicting basic rules then Codex>main rulebook

Tom Leighton: Uhm, what? xD. Ok, going to address a few points from that.
1) 'are you saying that us having fun is wrong?'. Did I write that in my comment? No. Then probably not :P.

2) 'where advanced rules apply to a specific model, they always override'. Define, 'advanced rules'. Explain how toughness of an artillery piece is a so called 'advanced rule' and the way you wound with a death spinner isn't, and lastly but most importantly, can you find me any rules reference currently in use anywhere to back up the assertion that 'this rule is complex so screw what your Codex says'.

Even for a British guy I'm horrendously sarcastic.

Random: Citation as requested the artillery type is an advanced rule and as such in some cases can over rule codex (none come to mind as im English and its 00:03 and not sure where you are from been British but if its scotland n ireland or walesyoull appreciate the time)
page 468-469 of the digital version

Basic rules apply to all the models in the game, unless stated otherwise. They include the rules for movement, shooting and close combat as well as the rules for morale. These are all the rules you’ll need for infantry models. Advanced rules apply to specific types of models, whether because they have a
special kind of weapon (such as a boltgun), unusual skills (such as the ability to regenerate), because they are different to their fellows (such as a unit leader or a heroic character), or because they are not normal infantry models (a bike, a swarm or even a tank). The advanced rules that apply to a unit are indicated in its Army List Entry.

and on your rules reference currently in use anywhere to back up the assertion that 'this rule is complex so screw what your Codex says'. part did you read the post before jumping in my post before yours ran through all this with the conclusion of .... well ill let you re read and ill wait here for my apology

Tom Leighton: Thank you for the citation random, it makes this much easier 'Advanced rules apply to specific types of models, whether they have a special weapon (such as a boltgun).' and 'because they are not normal infantry models'. That second one is probably the one most closely relating to the artillery, but any of them make my point.
By this definition, there is no denying that the toughness value of an Artillery piece is an advanced rule. However, by the first quotation that I made, the statlines and special rules of any and all weapons are also advanced rules. Therefore we have 2 seperate advanced rules competing against each other, therefore we refer to Codex > Main Rulebook. Therefore wound against each other.

Hence, it really is that simple.

That said, I find it actually hilarious that you are asking for an apology for me not actually reading what you wrote, when what you wrote actively failed to address any of the points that I made in my post, even going so far as to accuse me of being anti fun for pointing out the method of the rules. So you can stuff your apology quite frankly.

I literally lifted quotes from what you wrote and addressed them individually, and yet you accuse me of not reading your post. Alright mate.

Random: so you agree with my original statement,
apology accepted

i'm glad you now realise you only go to the codex rule if it specifically over rides the rule book not just assuming that it automatically does

Tom Leighton: Yeah I did, hence why I was a little bit surprised :P. However not as surprised as I was to click back onto Facebook and find dozens of comments on a very basic rule ^^.

Random: lol i know why i went into full sarcasm mode with you because even tho you were correct no need to talk to people like that its better for advanced players like yourself to help people if they only play with their friends then its fine to play it as it affects the gun in anyway they find enjoyable but point out if they play outside that group most people will do it this way because of then point it out in the rulebook

Tom Leighton: I'm sorry mate, you seem like your heart is in the right place but I cannot take that seriously. Of course people are welcome to play the game however they enjoy it, to suggest anything else is ridiculous. The conclusion that Warp Spiders wound against initiative had already been asserted on multiple occasions, and yet no-one heeded it. I took a different approach and broke the whole thing down, in my own sarcastic way. I even made this very clear that I was being sarcastic, and therefore my tone was not to be taken seriously, but at the same time i had to be firm with it, because it was clearly the only way to get through. I am a little bit perturbed that you are now trying to lecture me on behavior after trying to acknowledge an apology that i explicitly did not give. After all, my sarcasm was noted and noticeable (i literally wrote that I was being sarcastic) to avoid upsetting or offending anyone, yours was not.
Also, I never assumed automatically that the Codex overrides the rulebook. What I perceive to know is not always the same as what I actually know, it's merely a rhetorical device to lead those interested to that conclusion. I've been playing far too long and at too high a level not to know that xD

I'm an ETC player now. Why. The Fuck. Do I still have clowns. Trying to debate rules with me, and then personally attack me?

Friday, 12 August 2016

Forge World and its Relationship with Domestic Tournament Play

So the ETC’s over for another year, the dust has settled, drama has been unleashed, and many tired
and sweaty gamers have returned to a few weeks of not thinking about 40k. Because I’m crazy
however, I am already preparing for next year. A new Wraithknight’s torso sits atop my desk (I’m
striving for nice paint jobs this year, after the abomination I was using previously), a new list in the
works to try out at a tournament at the end of the month, and a slew of tournament packs on my
desktop to pick through at a later date.

One such rules pack is that for the 2016/2017 GT. The GT has somewhat been a bogie event for me,
despite attending 3 finales now, I have never actually qualified top 50% from a heat before
(FeelsBadMan, I know I suck). This year however it’s looking a little better for me. A new look
committee has moved one of the Heats to Bristol, so I now do not have to endure either a hotel or
my parents’ house in order to compete. The biggest change however, is that the GT is now moving
to an ETC format.

I personally really like this change, not only for my own selfish reasons, but for the benefit of the UK
tournament circuit as a whole. It has however kicked up a few issues regarding the exclusion of
Forge World, which a number of people are upset about. I am personally very much in the ‘against
Forge World’ camp, and the aim of this post is to explain why I believe this. The comments section is
open for discussion below and I will be paying attention to it.

Why ETC Format?

The primary reason for the exclusion of Forge World from this event is very simple, the ETC excludes Forge World, and the GT is attempting to mirror it. The question then can be broken down into 1) why does the ETC exclude Forge World? And 2) why does the GT want to mirror the ETC?

I’m going to start with point 2 first, as it is easy to break down. The 6 nations of the UK, Ireland and
Belgium, send a combined total of 48 playing members to the ETC every year, add on coaches and
mercenaries and you come to a number that easily exceeds the 50 margin. Then count the number
of players harbouring ETC ambitions, the number of players interested in the England squad for
example will figure in the dozens. So for just 1 of those 6 teams, you have dozens of people who will
want to play ETC format events.

Therefore, ETC events in the UK are incredibly popular.
Caledonian Uprising 2016, the single largest 40k event to be held in the UK this year, was an ETC
event. It held side events such as the highlander but the single largest was the standard, which was
pure ETC (no Forge World). In addition, many of the players that were in the highlander and other
such events were only there because tickets for the standard had already sold out, and many
expressed their desire to have instead played in the standard to me personally.This change therefore is a good choice from a ticket sales perspective, as ETC format is the most
popular in the country.

In addition, the ETC is arguably the biggest prize available to British players, and therefore it is held
with a degree of prestige. The GT too was once considered one of the most important events in the
Country; however with recent changes to the points and the allowance of Forge World, it removed
itself from the ETC style which people are so eager to prepare for. Therefore, Caledonian Uprising
became the toughest tournament to win in the Country, simply due to the number of top players
that it attracted. The switch back to an ETC format is an attempt to move back to this status of ‘main
domestic event’.

There are multiple other reasons too, such as nurturing players for the biggest stage, but the reason
for the use of the ETC format is not the issue that I want to address here. Therefore I am going to
move on, if you have any questions regarding the format selection let me know in the comments
below and I will elaborate on this further.

1) What is Manageable? - Organisation

It is not disputable that there are a lot of rules in this game, we have a large number of army books,
supplements, and digital additions. The ETC already has an independent FAQ of approximately 50
pages, which a variety of different rules questions relating to these books alone. Forge World’s rules
are undoubtedly horribly written, and thus the amount of effort that it would require to incorporate
all of these within the ETC FAQ would be unfathomable.

To explain why I am going to give you a brief rundown on how the ETC makes rulings for its FAQ.
They are all done by committee. So for each individual question, you have to gather together all
relevant parties (gathering 40k players is like herding cats), make the case for and against each
ruling, and then come to a democratic conclusion. Now consider the amount of Forge World rules
that are available, now consider that GW don’t even release any of their own FAQs for Forge World,
now read a Forge World book and tell me how well they are written (in terms of the rules in them
interacting with the rest of the game) and you begin to see that Forge World’s position in a serious
international event is untenable.

2) What is Manageable? – Players

As already mentioned, there are already an incredible number of resources for players to trawl
through, and thus the inclusion of Forge World makes this problem worse, especially when you have
to refer to a massive FAQ every other page. ETC players will often spend the best part of a year
honing their lists to a point where they are happy, even with current allowed resources. Adding
further piles of expensive books to this list not only adds to that time, as players try out different
combinations, but also force them to invest even more practice time after lists are released, learning
what various different things do.

The point I am getting at with this is that the line has to be drawn somewhere, and the line between
what is Forge World, and what is not Forge World, seems a logical place to do it. The moment that
you cross this boundary you are opening the gateway to pick and choose which Forge World you
allow, thus forcing the same situation that you would have had with the Forge World FAQs earlier.
With a simple yes/no answer of course, but the process remains the same.
So there you have a good reason to not use Forge World. However wherever you have people who
would like to use Forge World, you have reasons why they would like to. I’ve come across a few of
these recently, however only one really elaborated on why he believed that Forge World should be
in play.

1) Game Balance – Eldar

Eldar is running rampant over the domestic circuit, it’s not really debatable. The argument that was
made here was that allowing Forge World would create a level playing field where everyone would
have access to more options, and stronger ones at that.
In reality, this doesn’t work. The GT last year allowed access to Forge World, and guess which faction dominated? Eldar won again, and we got to see the fun that is a Warp Spider Wraithknight, and

Warp Hunters. It does not provide a level playing field at all, as Eldar get the same boost as everyone

What it does do however is elevate the game into a ‘Dota 2’ style of balance. If something is too
strong, just buff everything else around it to level the playing field right? Assuming that this was
something that we could do, it would be damaging to the tournament circuit in the long run. In a
MOBA, it is absolutely fine. In a term based game, it reduces it down to who has choice of turn. Of
course, this is only a very primitive view of how this works, but it does take a large amount of skill
out of the game. It is not a Forge World only problem, and it has been a grievance of mine for a
while now, but it does accelerate the issue.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Things Bell of Lost Souls says

Yeah they'll encounter people playing like trash and won't know how to deal with it.

Bitch please.

Thursday, 9 June 2016


One of the things I’ve been looking to do with the new blog is make it more personal. In the past I would take units within a vacuum, cite uses for them, what they work well with, what they don’t, compare and contrast them with other units in the book, etc. This was effective to an extent, it could really show efficiencies and inefficiencies within a book itself.

What it failed to do however was give an accurate representation of how something would play on the tabletop, and as such it often gave the wrong impression. For example, mutilators. On paper they are pretty garbage, however I do not believe that they are the worst unit in the book, far from it. For example, Khorne Berzerkers. They have a distinctive idea behind how they should play on the table, however there are units and setups that simply do it far more efficiently, and with a lower base cost in the first place. Mutilators are the most efficient point per wound value (Toughness, base save, etc) in the book with the Deep Strike special rule. Need a Terminator Lord deep striking but don’t want to have him blown away? Here, take a single Nurgle Mutilator as a meat shield, enjoy.

Therefore, I would like to get more practical application across in this blog, rather than it just being a documentation of my mistakes in game and a list of units as judged on paper. So, here is a timeline of me in the hobby.

2003: Begins playing the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game at the age of 9.
2008: Changes school, is introduced to Warhammer 40k.
2011: Discovers 40k Podcasting, attends first singles event with 30 Ork Nobz in trucks. Comes mid table.
July 2012: Attends first ‘Throne of Skulls’ event. Gets bodied 1W 1D 3L. First run out with Space Wolves.
December 2012: Meets first high level tournament players at Oxford Gaming Club (BM and MC)
January 2013: Attends second ‘Throne of Skulls’ event. Improves to 3W 2L.
February 2013: Attends Battlefield Birmingham 3. Finishes event 2W 3L.
March 2013: Attends first GT Finale. Finishes event 2W 4L.
July 2013: Attends Toy Soldier. Finishes event 2W 1D 2L. Defeating first ETC player. First run out with Chaos Marines
August 2013: Attends second Invasion. Finishes event 3W 0L. Best Sportsman.
October 2013: Attends first GT Heat. Despite finishing Day 1 on Table 2 narrowly misses out 2W 1D 3L.
January 2014: Attends first Caledonian Revolution. Finishes event 3W 2L.
March 2014: Attends second GT Finale anyway. Finishes event 3W 2L. Best General CSM.
April 2014: First introduced into the England Squad.
May 2014: Attends first War of the Roses. 3W 1D 1L.
July 2014: Attends second Toy Soldier. 2W 3L. First run out in 7th Edition.
November 2014: Attends second GT Heat. After being conned out of 2 games finishes event 2W 4L.
January 2015: Referees at Caledonian Uprising.
May 2015: Attends second War of the Roses, gets rekt.
July 2015: Attends Caledonian Revolution. Finishes event 3W 2L.
October 2015: Attends first Luton event. Finishes event 2W 1L. First run out with Eldar.
October 2015: Attends third GT Heat. Finishes event 3W 3L, after a highly contentious ruling in the last game.
January 2016: Attends second Luton event. Finishes 2W 1L, losing on the top table in the last game playing for the tournament.
January 2016: Attends second Caledonian Uprising. Finishes 4W 1L, finishing 8th in the largest 40k tournament ever run in the UK.
March 2016: Attends third GT Finale. Finishes event 3W 3L, due to narrow losses and crushing victories, finishes 13th.
April 2016: Attends Clash of Lions team tournament. Finishes 2nd.
May 2016: Attends third War of the Roses. Finishes event 4W 1L, losing on the top table in the final game to Josh Roberts. Finishes 8th.

June 2016: Called up to represent an unnamed nation at the ETC.  

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Wargaming with Rampage Reborn

And here comes post number 3 or 4 of this blog’s relatively unpopular series, ‘I’m sorry I’ve been away for so long but I promise there will be loads of exciting and regular new content’. Here is a place that I was once very proud of, the traffic was good and it stimulated a lot for me in terms of how I thought about 40k as a game. Of course, my thinking has evolved since then, and although I stand by a lot of the points I made here, in a lot of cases I feel that the way I went about it could have been much better.

I started this blog at the age of 18, with the aim of documenting my journey into the competitive realm of Warhammer 40k in Britain. To be honest I have skipped huge parts of this. I documented my first couple of independent tournaments but never really continued. There were a couple of reasons for this which I may go into another time but none of them are really valid.

The end goal however was always to win the ETC, and in 2 months’ time I will be making my debut in Athens, without really documenting that journey.

I’m now an IT technician in a fancy school, specifically dealing with A/V and what have you, meaning I have access to all of the fancy software that comes with it. This means I am now capable of delivering the complete revamp that I have always wanted for Wargaming with Rampage. I will be keeping the URL, and all of the old content will be staying up, however otherwise I am hoping to completely overhaul this blog. The 22 year old ETC debutant and GT contender who runs this place is very different to the 18 year old Dakkanaut and Throne of Skulls shitter that created it, and I would like this blog to reflect that. Stay tuned.  

Monday, 13 July 2015

New Leads

About 2 years ago, I retired my Space Wolves. The army had seen my from my first forays into the tournament scene (dipping my toe in at Throne of Skulls) to the 2013 GT Finale in May. I was excited by the prospect of a new army now that I was slightly more familiar with the scene, and I loved the Chaos Marine book.

The plan was, that this would be the army that saw me out of 6th edition, and well, it has done that. Admittedly 7th came slightly earlier than I anticipated, but it has achieved part of its goal none-the-less. The aim was also to be, that this army would see me through University, and allow me to put my mark on the tournament scene.

To be honest, I think it's done all 3 of these things. Obviously, I have been using it a year into 7th edition, and I have finished University while still using the army, however, I have had a number of issues with the book, leading to where I am today.

I do believe that it has allowed me to impact the tournament scene. This is mainly because I am known as 'that one pleb who still plays Chaos Marines', but I've also had fun with it. We've won a lot of things together, and scared a lot of people with late game clutch plays. But I think now is the time to put the book back on the shelf.

The book itself all comes down to one fatal flaw: It has very little in terms of appreciable damage output. It could handle itself pretty well in the beginning, Heldrakes dominated for a while, but then came Tau, and Eldar, and Marines, and every other book out there, then Eldar and Marines again. After the release of Tau and Eldar you could see Chaos Marines respective damage starting to fall off, so this really led to the increase in Chaos Marine lists that functioned in a similar way to my old Land Raider one. Don't die.

This basically relies on you trying your best not to be killed until turn 5, where you fly onto objectives and then try to stay alive until the game ends, which is much harder to do than the previous 4 turns.

However, with the age of D-Weapons, and the release of things like Eldar that are more than capable of just melting a Screamer Star with it's 2++ up, it's getting harder. Sure, there are some things you can do (which is why there is a CSM showing at the ETC this year) but honestly, I can't be doing with investing hundreds of pounds every couple of months into an army just so that it might be able to stay alive. With these kinds of Daemon based CSM lists, the entire game can swing on one dice roll, and sure, that's seat of your pants stuff, but it's only ever going to swing one way, and when it swings, it goes right up your booty and it ain't coming out. You rarely kill anything, and you spend the entire game running away from that one dice roll that will screw you, and even then there's no guarantee of anything. All for the low low price of multiple high investments every quarter.

So, that's why I'm retiring my Chaos list, and putting my book away. It's been fun, but head office doesn't seem to care about Chaos (see, Codex: Khorne Daemonkin, a sloppily written abomination to appease Chaos lovers knowing no-one can be arsed to write a proper book), they'd much rather release 2 hideously broken Eldar books than update the central Chaos ones.

Caledonian Revolution will be my last tournament with them, and I will consider it a success if I can get in the top 3/4s. Not been playing well recently, and the book isn't helping, nor is the fact that I'm very bored with it.

Who knows, if a new book gets released I might hop back on CSM, however it is unlikely. Expect updates on what I will be running around with shortly. My new toys are already on the assembly line.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

If this happens at the ETC then...

So the ETC lists have been submitted and released, however due to the fact that I stick the the England squad like a rash I don't really want to talk about them too much. This is entirely to preserve competitive integrity as obviously I've been involved in the discussions both of our lists and regarding the lists of other squads since the release date.

But I do want to make a quick prediction, and release one of my thoughts regarding the eventual victor of the tournament.

I know a lot of readers will be upset about this, and if you have a rational argument to counter my thoughts, or you just want to vent, use the comments below. So, here we go:

I've been having a quick run over the general forum reaction to the lists, and I find the fact that so many people are seriously predicting the USA to win actually hilarious. If USA wins the 40k ETC event, I will personally take 12 nudes of myself using my webcam, and upload them to this blog.

All opinions expressed above are my own and not representative of anything or anyone else. In fact, I haven't even bothered to ask anyone about USA.

Have a nice day.