Monday, 14 March 2016

Army Builder: WFB3 - v2.5

Version 2.5 of the WFB3 army builder data files have been published. They can be downloaded through a licensed Army Builder or at the link below. Just open the file with AB and follow the installation instructions.

Version 2.5 is available for download at https://db.tt/Z9xO2SJy and includes the following features:

Version 2.5 10th March 2016

  • FIX: Manticore max fly range from 2 to 24 inch.
  • FIX: Removed +1 save when mounted on war beast
  • General: Added all spell summeries.
  • General: Added compatible Chaos Dwarf army list from 4th/5th edition.
  • High Elves: Added compatible units from 4th/5th edition.
  • Dark Elves: Added compatible units from 4th/5th edition.

Submitting Bugs

PLEASE include the race the problem occurs with, and any info I need to reproduce it (e.g. units to add etc.). You can report bugs on our blog or here.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Skulzinschitte: a Prologue

In the spirit of my newfound mediocrity, I finally scrape around to the next installment (pre-installment?) of Skullzinschitte. I will finish this report!

***

Dieter pinched the bridge of his nose, closed his eyes, and shook his head. He stood like that until silence filled the barn. Sighing, he opened his eyes again.

Sasquatch was lying down, his eyes alert and hopeful. Beneath his colossal paws lay the collapsed remains of a spinal column and a ribcage. Seeing Dieter looking at him, Sasquatch snatched up the nearby skull as his bulbous tail began to thump on the floor.

Dieter raised an eyebrow.

Suddenly, Sasquatch raised his hindquarters, his sting flailing from side to side as his anticipation grew. His teeth clutched at the skull, snapping again and again, daring Dieter to take it from him.

Snap!

Snap!

Dieter sighed. "Fine."

He put his left hand on Sasquatch's muzzle, before wrapping his right hand around the skull in the giant beast's mouth. The manticore's teeth clutched at the skull in anticipation, the bulb of it's scorpion tail crashing into the floor on each side as it wagged.

In the blink of an eye, Dieter wrenched the skull from Sasquatch's jaws, cast his arm right back and hurled the skull through the door of the barn. A cacophony of chaos followed as Sasquatch railed against the floor, his claws desperate for purchase, trying to turn his massive bulk to chase the skull which had flown over his head. His wings spread and he roared at the thrill of the chase. A cloud of dust followed the spray of hay and stones as the beast crashed through the barn exit. Both wings slapped against the barn walls as it passed through the exit, causing the whole building to shake.

Then it was gone.

Dieter smiled as he spied the creature gnawing and clawing at the skull before batting it off into the distance to chase it. Then he looked down at the scattered bones that were all that remained of the skeleton Sasquatch had mauled moments before.

"Why is it so hard, Ludwig?"

Ludwig shrugged. "I think you make it hard for youself," the vampire replied, a brief smile crossing his face. "Personally, I find the whole notion of a manticore repugnant. They're stupid, vicious, smell-"

"I'm not talking about the manticore!" Dieter barked. "It took me two weeks to train that bloody skeleton how to groom Sasquatch! He screws it up just once and gets his head ripped off as a result, leaving me with having to bloody well train another one!" Dieter spread his arms in frustration. "What I don't get is why necromancy is so terminally bloody difficult? Has no-one found the means to summon intelligent skeletons yet?"

"They don't have any brains, Dieter," the vampire replied, his voice level. "They are splendidly stupid, which is surely why they excel as servants?"

"It's just that Kadon and Nagash were all on about the benefits - the eternal life, the unbound power, armies that needed no sleep or food..." Dieter sighed. "They didn't say anything about the fact that the undead just collapse all the time. Or that zombies carry on decaying. Or that skeletons are just so fantastically stupid that they can barely walk in a straight line, let alone swing a sword!"

Ludwig smiled. "Or groom a manticore?"

Dieter shot the vampire a pained look. "Yes. Or groom a bloody manticore. I mean, why do they even need grooming anyway!"

"This is what I'm saying, Dieter. You make it hard for yourself. You could just use a horse like everyone else."

"A horse? A horse! I'm the Doomlord, I am! Not some common necromancer without the wits to even  summon a monstrous steed of some variety!"

"You do know that the a skeletal steed can go through walls?"

"A manticore can go through walls just as well, thanks very much!"

Ludwig shrugged. "It's just, well... y'know..." The vampire trailed off with a dejected gesture to the manticore, which was now chasing its tail in a storm of dust. "It's not the sharpest tool in the shed, is it?"

"Sir?"

The two turned to face the speaker.

"What is it, doctor?" Dieter asked.

"It's the zombies," Dr. Darkington-Black said. "They're starting to collapse. We need to get some more. I fear we've rested too long."

"See?" declared Dieter. "See? I can't stop for ten minutes before I've got to go and rebind some or other stupid undead thing. I should be taking over the world with all this unstoppable power I supposedly have, but I'm constantly raiding stupid little villages trying to get some undead that will stick together for two weeks without some kind of maintenance!"

Dieter removed his skullcap to scratch his head. "What's next on our shopping list, then?"

Dr. Darkington-Black produced a faced map. "If we travel north-east, we'll hit the village of Skulzinshitte. If we leave in the hour, we'll be there just before nightfall. Murder the villagers, raise them all up, I'm sure we'll be done by midnight and you'll be able to have a good night's sleep, knowing your forces are filled with, uh, fresh blood. Yes. Fresh."

Dieter looked at Ludwig, who nodded.

"Fine. Doctor, prepare us for the march.  I'll get Sasquatch ready..."

***

"Thirty one quadrillion, ninety-nine trillion, ninety-nine billion, ninety-nine million, nine hundred and ninety eight thousand, four hundred and four bottles of beer on the wall, Thirty one quadrillion, ninety-nine trillion, ninety-nine billion, ninety-nine million, nine hundred and ninety eight thousand, four hundred and four bottles of beer-"

Hornlust Sinbiter clutched at his head. "Please make them stop."

"-and if one of those bottles should happen to fall, Thirty one quadrillion, ninety-nine trillion, ninety-nine billion, ninety-nine million, nine hundred and ninety eight thousand, four hundred and three bottles of beer on the wall!"

Irongrind Dragonhacker didn't say anything. He'd long since found that the passed much better if he didn't engage Hornlust in any direct conversation. For a follower of Slaanesh, who, Irongrind was lead to believe, was a god that made every experience super delightful, there was an awful amount of complaining coming from his champion. Either, Hornlust was full of crap, or indeed, his deity was full of crap.

Iron grind raised an eyebrow to the sky. Come to think about it, they were probably both full of crap.

"Thirty one quadrillion, ninety-nine trillion, ninety-nine billion, ninety-nine million, nine hundred and ninety eight thousand, four hundred and two bottles of beer on the wall, Thirty one quadrillion, ninety-nine trillion, ninety-nine billion, ninety-nine million, nine hundred and ninety eight thousand, four hundred and two bottles of beer-"

"Will you lot just shut up!" Hornlust barked at the singers.

What Hornlust's misguided god had clearly failed in was to provide the wittering idiot with any sense of appreciation for a marching song well sung. Surely, if he'd spent less time with the coconut oil, the fire shrimps and the oar, he'd finally learn to appreciate the plague bearers and their cheery delivery of  rhythm to the army.

"-aaaand if one of those bottles should happen to fall, Thirty one quadrillion, ninety-nine trillion, ninety-nine billion, ninety-nine million, nine hundred and ninety eight thousand, four hundred and one bottles of beer on the wall!"

Irongrind grinned inside his helmet as he slithered along to the beat. At least his god had sent some daemons.

Count Mordrek spurred his steed on, coming alongside Irongrind. "Skullzinschitte is just over the rise."

"Finally!" Hornlust spat.

"Finally indeed," Irongrind said, his eyes settling on the scruffy goblins that were waiting in the lee of the hill. "Well? Are we in time?"

The goblin shook his head. "We are not, m'lord. I'm afraid the Doomlord has already visited..."

Irongrind sighed. "Bollocks."

The goblins's dirty face broke into a grin. "But he hasn't left yet!"

"-Thirty one quadrillion, ninety-nine trillion, ninety-nine billion, ninety-nine million, nine hundred and ninety eight thousand, three hundred and ninety eight bottles of beer on the wall, Thirty one quadrillion, ninety-nine trillion, ninety-nine billion, ninety-nine million, nine hundred and ninety eight thousand, three hundred and ninety eight bottles of beer-"

"Really?" said Irongrind, looking at Count Mordrek, who nodded. Irongrind slithered forward, passing between the gap the goblins created on his approach, and slowly dragged himself up the hill.

It was indeed true. There, ambling as only the undead do, were the late citizens of Skullzinschitte, their bodies and souls already claimed. Equally, there stood skeletons and even mummies, all quite motionless.

But in the centre, on the single road, he spied the Doomlord's banner.

"You are harvesting in fields that are not yours, Doomlord," Irongrind said under his breath. "And I have come to collect the master's due..."

"-and if one of those bottles should happen to fall, Thirty one quadrillion, ninety-nine trillion, ninety-nine billion, ninety-nine million, nine hundred and ninety eight thousand, three hundred and ninety seven bottles of beer on the wall!"

***

Deployments

The village of Skullzinschitte.

I randomly determined who got the village (the Undead) and then crafter the story around that. Once I had an idea, I then decided that the only way I couldn't 'outplay' myself, was to completely deploy the undead, without knowing where the enemy would come from.

Then, I randomly determined the direction the Chaos force would come from, giving them the advantage that they could deploy based on the disposition of the Undead.


The real problem the Chaos force would have was the inaccessibility of the town, surrounded as it was by hedges, with well defended bottlenecks.

Undead Deployment

My plan with the undead was really just to use the natural bottlenecks of Skullzinschitte to prevent the chaos forces from really leveraging any support. What I couldn't know was where they were coming from, which meant that I had to split my elites (the mummies and the wights) so that each was on one side of the village. I also realized that once they were on one side, their chances of getting to the other side (with a movement of 3" and no march move) was pretty much will, so I'd have to make do with just one elite unit.



It was my bad luck that the chaos force turned up on the opposite side of the mummies, who would now pretty much be excluded from the battle...


Still, the wights had Oppa-ra in support, so perhaps it wasn't that bad.




The Doomlord's manticore sits crouched in the centre of the army.







Chaos Deployment

The Chaos deployment was actually a bit of a mess. Although they were able to deploy in open space, the bottlenecks around Skullzinschitte were just punishing.

The other problem was fear. Of course, the undead have always caused fear, but fear in 4th edition was, well, terrifying. Powerful units like the chaos knights could easily be slaughtered if they lost a round of combat because of outnumbering and there are no pushback and predictable break moves like in 3rd edition. You roll dice to see how far you go, and if you get caught...


So that's why the daemons and the trolls lined up to go into the town through the easy route. The daemons were immune to psychology and (I thought) all had magical weapons so could actually deal with the Wraith (the champion of the unit between the hedges) and were themselves immune to psychology.


The trolls were really there to lend a hand




The goblins were actually just in the way. I wanted them in a wide formation so they could shoot, but equally, I wanted my forces to get stuck in. I also didn't think they would be effective in hand to hand, but still couldn't deploy easily to get them all shooting and shooting well.


Ahh... chaos knights. So much more fragile in 4th edition...




I reasoned that Grom and Broggin (the stone troll) would be about as fast a flanking force as I could muster and should easily be able to get around to the road to get into the town from the east. This, plus the fact that they could easily get the charge against the undead and that chariots are devastating in 4th compared to 3rd, all made a huge amount of sense.

No really. It did.

Anyway.

There.

The forces are deployed and we're ready for the frightening brutality of Warhammer Fantasy Battles 4th Edition. See if you can guess how many turns the battle lasted...









Sunday, 24 January 2016

2016 - The Year of Mediocrity

Hi.

Happy New Year, I guess. 

Better late than never. I mean, if you wait long enough, it will be a new year somewhere, right? Now that I think about it, maybe you should check your ego at the door - its entirely possible I wasn't talking about your calendar...

Like many, I got around to a little contemplation, in the fashion that only new years get one to do.

I though about world peace. I thought about cancer. I thought about losing weight. I thought about where I might get some new weight to replace the lost weight. I thought about family. I thought about my spiritual existence.

And I thought about this blog.

Now the thing that has been plaguing me about this blog, which I didn't realise until 2016's round of contemplation, is perfectionism. The desire to do the best possible thing, for the most impact, with the highest quality. 

"Perfectionism?" I hear you bark at me. "PERFECTIONISM?"

"Maybe if you suffered from a bit more perfectionism, Skullzinschitte would be finished. New figures would be painted and we wouldn't have to look at the same bloody figures repurposed purely through the awesome power of narrative. What we're thinking, Gaj, if we're honest, is perhaps a little bit MORE perfectionism!"

Well, I didn't mean it quite like that. What I mean, is that I tend not to get around to posting updates here, because I don't think I've done enough work to deliver a quality post. 

To deliver something you'd actually like to read

So. 

Perfectionism. 

That son of a bitch. 

I intend to combat it. I could hardly leave you here with this explosive revelation and then just wander off, my mind at ease. And whilst I can't promise to slouch over to Blogger once a week to deliver a casually sub-standard post, I'll do my level best to try. 

2016 is the year of mediocrity. 

Huzzah!

So what I have is pictures of unpainted lead. Very low bar today. One has some greenstuff on it.


This paunchy fellow is called Mancrates. Mancrates* popped into existing when discussing an unusual contact from Man Crates (an organization that sells crates for men, a situation devised entirely to relieve the millions of crateless men out there, or alternatively, to supply a unique gift that men have to break in to) over on the Oldhammer Facebook group.

It was, in fact, Captain Crooks, from the Antipodes and Funky Wenis Rodeo, that created our fat philosopher. I'm fairly sure that his honorific of UN Ambassador of Awesomeness will be coming through any day now. Captain Crooks', that is, not Mancrates, who is a tiny static pewter figure and whilst singularly amazing in my eyes, probably falls far short of the requirements to become a UN Ambassador, which are vast and diverse. Captain Crooks will certainly have his work cut out for him.


Look, the back of Mancrates. I am thinking of putting a small cat on his base too.

As part of my commitment to low quality, imperfect posts, however, I will not include a picture of the cat, but rather, just let you imagine the thing.


Next up, is a Mummy on a Manticore. It is my opinion that every fashion conscious mummy should get one - it is absolutely the must have accessory of 2016.


Look - it's not even finished being sculpted yet! Hows that for low quality, eh? I'll be putting something under those feet soon. For now, just wire. Pure, imperfect wire.


You might recognize the candidate Manticore as the visually defective creature that Dieter von Helsnicht uses to get around. This one:


And another angle. Because you really need to appreciate this...

....manticore.

Anyway, I've repositioned limbs, I've cleared out all the lead between the teeth and the claws, I've removed most of the mane and started to re-sculpt it so that it doesn't look like a cat that's just discovered a cucumber sneaking up on it.

The main element for me is the considerable learnings I'm making around green stuff. This is the first time where I've used green stuff in stages, to build something up and then have to come back to it once that base is dry.

I always thought sculptors were special people, but I have  a whole new respect for them: sculpting is hard!

Now if one was to present their 3rd edition oldhammer credentials to me and propose that, outside of narrative being king, that Mummies are not characters and therefore don't have access to monsters to ride and the fact that they're stupid when uncontrolled and can't actually choose manticores in Warhammer Armies anyway, so stop being a dick, Gaj, I guess I'd have to agree.

Mummies cannot 'officially' (hah!) ride Manticores in 3rd edition.

But they can in 4th edition...

Anyway. I'll just leave that there. Because I'm now an imperfect blogger who just leaves things lying around for no explanation. Why - yes, thank you - I appreciate your encouragement.

In other 4th edition news, I have also recently taken ownership of a shit-tonne (it was spelled wrong, which is probably why it was archived) of Skaven. I guess the box doesn't really tell the story, but the blister packs are 4 deep and there are loose skaven above and below them too.


I am also nursing interests in 4th edition High Elves and 4th edition Orcs and Goblins. Over and above my 3rd edition High Elves and 3rd edition Orcs & Goblins. And the Chaos. And the Dark Elves. And The Empire. And, uh, Lichemaster.

I will get there.

No, really. I will.

So there we have it. Unpainted lead, half arsed plans, and not a single word more on Skulzinschitte. Coupled with that a dangerous fascination with Middle Hammer and The Red Era of the Cheerleader Pose declared publicly - a decidedly imperfect post indeed.

Welcome to Warhammer for Adults 2016 - The Year of Mediocrity**.

*Y'know? Like Socrates?

**It might perchance be that you already thought the blog was quite substandard and that mediocrity was the order of the day. In that case, prepare to have those experienced mined out and collapsed as we explore a whole new level of underwhelmingness. Look, I just made up a word!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Skulzinschitte: The Harvesters of Chaos

In our last post, we considered the glorious throng of the Doomlord himself, Dieter Helsnicht. In this next (but hardly final) instalment of our exploration of 4th edition, we cast our eyes to his hated enemy: Luther Vangross, Champion of Nurgle.

But then I realised something.

The name is a pun.

And 4th edition, as you may recall, is not about puns. Or wit. Or subtlety of any variety.

No. 4th edition is about SKULLS! And BLOOD! Oh, and SKULLS! No longer do our words stem from the subtle satire that can be generated from the world around us. Instead, they stem from the basic, banal, almost primal grunting of fantasy as told by thirteen year olds. Our words express intent, whilst still attempting to convey the sheer awesomeness and undiluted fantastical... well, fantasy. Thus, we append the names of monsters, or weapons and the verbs that describe their application: Axel Daemonpuncher, or Sir Chopfest von Deathcrunch.

Visceral. Unmistakable.

Awesome.

So let's revisit that:

In this next (but hardly final) instalment of our exploration of 4th edition, we cast our eyes to his hated enemy: Irongrind Dragonhacker, Champion of Nurgle.

The Harvesters of Chaos



Characters


Irongrind Dragonhacker, Champion of Nurgle (Chaos Lord)

Equipment: Nurgle's Cloud of Flies, Chaos Armour, Mark of Nurgle

345 Points

Count Mordrek the Damned (Chaos Lord)

Equipment: Sword of Change, Chaos Armour, Living Damnation, Shield, Chaos Steed, Barding

424 Points

Hornlust Sinbiter (Master Sorcerer of Slaanesh)

Equipment: Chaos Armour, Chaos Familiar, Mark of Slaanesh

Spells: Acquiescence, Slicing Shards of Slaanesh, Chaos Spawn

300 Points
Skullscreamer the Sly (Sorcerer Champion of Nurgle)

Equipment: The Chalice of Chaos, Chaos Armour, Mark of Nurgle

Spells: Shrivelling Pox, Miasma of Pestilence

211 Points

Regiments


6 Chaos Knights

Equipment: Chaos Armour, Shield, Chaos Steed, Barding, Standard

546 Points









8 Chaos Warriors

Equipment: Chaos Armour, Two Handed Weapons, Standard

288 Points
3 Trolls

Equipment: None

195 Points








4 Chaos Hounds

Equipment: None

64 Points

Note: Yes, the picture is from a different photo 'shoot' and there is no beastmaster for the unit. I, uh, forgot to take a picture of the hounds


 

Daemons


6 Plaguebearers

Equipment: Plague Swords

Spells: Stream of Corruption, Fly Swarm









Allies


Grom the Paunch of Misty Mountain (Goblin Warlord)

Equipment: Axe of Grom, Light Armour, Chariot, Niblit

257 Points
Goblin Chariot

Equipment: Scythes, Shields, Short Bows

87 Points
16 Goblins

Equipment: Short Bows, Shields

56 Points
16 Goblins

Equipment: Short Bows, Shields

56 Points
20 Goblins

Equipment: Light Armour, Shields, Standard, Musician

85 Points
Broggin Thicke (A Stone Troll, courtesy of that fine figure of a man, Airbornegrove)

Equipment: None

65 Points










Army Totals:

Characters: 1280 Points (41%)
Rank and File: 1093 Points (35%)
Daemons: 150 Points (5%)
Allies: 606 Points (19%)

A brief note on the selection of special characters:

Special characters. Surely one of the most important concepts introduced into the later editions of Warhammer. Whilst in 3rd edition, the thing that made your characters special was you, in 4th edition, the thing that made them special was Games Workshop. In some cases (say, Dieter Helsnicht), there was nothing special about them at all. You could recreate the character from the army list with exactly the same capabilities for exactly the same cost - they were only special because they had a name.

But in the list above, we see not just one special character, but two! Characters who have something that is not otherwise available in the army list.

One of a kind, one might say.

Apart from one or two (Grom and Eltharion, specifically), I must be honest: I don't like special characters. I really struggle to relate to the super hero like problem of all these one-in-a-bajillion type of characters all being alive and in the same place at the same time, with nothing to do with their amazing super powers than harass and frustrate each other over immature and frankly pointless schemes. I just can't see Nagash waking up to escort 120 skeletons on a patrol to see what Emperor Karl Franz is up to whilst on his morning stroll with his 130 strong body guard.

And I don't like Grom and Eltharion because they're special characters. I like Grom and Eltharion because they come with a narrative which creates an excellent backdrop for gaming a story.

But, because this exercise is objective, academic and arguably (semi) archeogaming, I felt compelled to include special characters, because they were so very exciting and new in 4th edition.

And also, I had the figures.

In the next post, I shall craft a reason for these two forces (and their epic super hero special characters!) to come together at the ill-fated hamlet of Skulzinschitte,

As if you needed a reason in 4th edition...


Friday, 16 October 2015

Skulzinschitte: The Dread Throng of the Doomlord

So the last time I wrote, I mentioned a battle report.

I know. I know.

It was all very exciting - in August. But now it's October, and your incessant inner monologue is probably voicing an opinion about those who chose to skip September. If it makes you feel any better, I began crafting this blog post on the 4th of September.

Still, in some circles, it is claimed that many things are better late than never. With the exception possibly of bullet proof vests and those little puke bags one gets on planes, I suspect the statement is otherwise true.

Don't mistake anything above for any variety of apology - it is not. But - an apology follows:

What you are about to see are two 'sets' of miniatures. Miniatures I've painted... and miniatures I've not. They are painted (if, indeed, that is how you choose to describe their coat) - we'll have none of that naked lead business here, what with being the respectable outfit that we are! What I mean to say is, I've not painted all the figures you will see.

Equally, I have no idea who has painted the things. I have acquired these over my collecting time and have always promised myself that they will be stripped and repainted one day. The day is coming soon, but has not yet happened, you see.

So, sorry. Some of the figures are rightiously fugly.

Nevertheless I thought it best to proceed with the various mismatched figures - because this is how Warhammer was for me when I was a kid. We could only afford a few figures or units each, so a whole army only came together when we all came together and collected our enamel encrusted blobules together for a game. Of course, none of us encrusted our blobules in quite the same way, so it was a beautifully mismatched affair.

Good times.

So, the army you are about to lay your eyes on (and, indeed, the vast bulk of the report), follows in that glorious heritage thick paint, scratched extremeties, goblin green bases and rudimenatary terrain. I'll say sorry, because it is a bit of an eyesore, but I believe I appeal to your inner child as we join together on this curious road down memory lane into the bizarre interior of Warhammer 4th edition.

Let us begin with the forces. In this post...

The Dread Throng of The Doomlord



Characters

The Doomlord himself - Dieter Helsnicht (Necromancer Lord).

Equipment: Chaos Runesword*, Staff of Flaming Death, Manticore

Spells: The Dark Mist, Summon Skeletons, Drain Life, Raise the Dead

725 Points
Dr Darkington-Blackness (Master Necromancer)

Equipment: Skeletal Steed, Barding, Staff of Damnation

Spells: Wind of Death, Gaze of Nagash, Vanhels Danse Macabre

334 Points
Oppa-ra (Tomb King)

Equipment: Blade of Leaping Bronze

150 Points
Ludwig von Bluddenskulls (Vampire Count)

Equipment: Dragonslayer

Spells: Hand of Dust

325 Points

 

 

Rank and File

Two Ghosts

Equipment: None

70 Points
8 Mummies

Equipment: Light Armour, Two Handed Weapons

392 Points
6 Wights

Equipment: Heavy Armour, Shield, Wight Blade, Banner, Musician

314 Points
20 Skeletons

Equipment: Light Armour, Shields, Spears, Banner, Musician

256 Points
20 Zombies

Equipment: Banner, Musician

88 Points
20 Skeletons

Equipment: Heavy Armour, Two Handed Weapons, Banner, Musician

276 Points

NOTE: There is a Wraith  in the unit:
Wraith

Equipment: None

75 Points


20 Zombies

Equipment: None

80 Points









Warmachines

 A Screaming Skull Catapult

Equipment: Screaming Skulls

74 Points
 Army Totals:

Characters: 1609 points (51%) ...This happened because I forgot about the wraith!
Rank and File: 1476 points (47%)
War Machines: 74 Points (2%)

*A brief note on the selection of magic items:

Now I know that there is an entire game that can be made out of just selecting the magic items for characters and units in 4th ed. I know that this is one of the elements that, if not handled in a responsible manner, could make the game absolutely unpalatable for players - I still remember coming across dread combinations that made me quake at the thought of engaging enemy character models.

In this case, I just randomly determined them. I randomised how many the army might have, then which categories they might have and then finally the items themselves. Once I had determined all the items for the army, I then allocated them to the characters and payed the points accordingly.

I found this approach meant that characters had a small choice in their items, but that the opportunity to have a 'killer combo' would therefore only be based on luck. I also reasoned this would be a good way to get some of the more obscure items out onto the field.

Before you ask - yes, I really, really did generate the Staff of Damnation randomly. Yes, I know. That was really, really lucky. It was.