Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Oh please dont let it be so!

Everyone who knows me knows that i have been hankering for the new Dark Elves since the release was practically confirmed a month ago. I am very impressed by the majority of the new miniatures that are being released, and know i will probably be replacing my current Crossbows and spears with the new spearmen miniatures as i really like their look, since they tie in with the look of the Cold One Knights perfectly. however here we come to the crux of my current dilemma. two of the rumored rules changes (of which, i am told, their are many)

1. Hydras are losing regeneration, moving to special and must purchase their breath weapon:
Now i don't get this decision. The Hydra was, in the last incursion of the book, massively overpowered for its points. However in an army with average armour saves of 5+ and toughness 3 the Hydra was the bulwark that could help take the edge off this problem with its toughness 5, 4+ armour and 4+ regeneration saves. By removing regeneration it is now very vulnerable to small arms fire. I hope it has dropped at least to 150 points for this loss, but i doubt it. Also it is a giant bloody serpent from the dark places of the world where only the shades dare venture, how is it suddenly not hard to find!

Now anyone who wasn't a fluff fiend like me might be jumping for joy about acquiring such a powerful special rule. Merging with the Elves high initiative they will now be a threat in prolonged combat on a scale that was just not their with hatred. However it will, in one fell swoop, remove the best part of the Dark Elves, their hate. They are NOT poncy High Elves. They are the bitter and twisted kin from across the sea who hate everything about their current situation, and blame their haughty-taughty kin for their predicament. The only way i think Games Workshop could pull this back and say "see, SEE, we had a plan all along" would be to then go and give the Wood Elves ASF too, making it an inherent trait of the Elves in General.

Whooo, since i generally like to give the benefit of the doubt with rules changes its not often that i rage about them. I just hope it pans out in the general scheme of things, and that they haven't just striped one of my favorite races of their most defining features... Heres hoping


Congratulations Joshie boy for getting the second quiz question right. I will grant you the boon of the silver goblin next time im round for a board games evening. For those others who were a little on the fence again, here is the answer

How many English Monarchs (after the invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066) have been assassinated?

Well the answer is: only two!
Almost 950 years of rule and 41 Monarchs, yet only 2 of them were successfully assassinated (i know James and Victoria both were attempted too, but they were very lucky). Who were these unfortunate individuals you might ask? they were:

Edward II (reigned: 1307-1327)
Remember the lick-spittle of a prince in the movie Braveheart? That was Edward II. After a reign marked by financial incompetence, constant military defeat at the hands of Robert the Bruce and plenty of scandals Edward was killed at Berkley Castle on the 21st of September 1327. It was almost certainly ordered by his wife Isabella in order to put their son Edward III on the throne. No one can quite agree exactly how he died but strangulation or suffocation are widely regarded as the cause. Their is a story that he was killed by a red hot poker up the anus but this was most likely an erroneous tale in order to further discredit him.


 Henry VI (reigned: 1422-1461 and again from 1470-1471)
A pious and Peaceful man, he tried to end the 100 years war with his marriage to Margaret of Anjou. however he was not prepared for the dynastic war that broke out half way through his reign known as the war of the roses. After a mental breakdown at the loss of Bordeaux in 1453 Henry was an absentee monarch for a year, as he was completely unaware of everything happening around him, including the birth of his son. During this year the Duke of York pressed his claim as a more worthy ruler of England, so that on his return to sanity in 1454 the Duke raised forces to press his claim. even though the Duke was killed in 1460 Henry was imprisoned and his family were forced to flee to Scotland in 1461. Margret led a successful campaign in 1470, with the backing of the French king Louis XI and the Earl of Warwick, to put Henry back on the throne. However 6 months latter Henry was once more in prison and his son was killed soon after at the battle of Tewkesbury. He Died in mysterious circumstances on the night of May 21st. The Yorkist's claimed he died of a broken heart at the news of his sons death, yet many now agree that the Duke of York had ordered his murder before his coronation the day after.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Okie Dokie; Quiz Mrk II

Here goes after such a ridiculously hard question last week i thought i would make this weeks question somewhat easier (at least one that a guess could quite easily be attempted). Now as before i am going to be trusting and ask you to have a go without looking it up online, as that's no fun. Pretend your at the pub in the middle of a quiz there (maybe drink several beers beforehand to really further this illusion). Nice and tipsy? OK here goes...

How many English Monarchs (after the invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066) have been assassinated?

A silver goblin will go to the first person to get the right answer, and a golden goblin will act as a bonus for the first person to both get it correct as well as name and date at least one of the monarchs or assassins.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Astartes Ultra – A Complete Ultramarines Chapter

Do you love Space Marines?

Have you ever wanted to own an entire chapter?

Would you like too?

Well you can... for $20,000

I kid you not, games workshop today posted their Astartes Ultra- A Complete Ultramarines Chapter to their online store. A set listed at a WHOPPING $20,685 NZ. I would be surprised (but actually not shocked, i know some 40k players with more money than sense) if they even managed to shift one in New Zealand. Good luck Games Workshop, you have set a high bar to beat for biggest one off blowout for miniature producers everywhere.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Oh Dear...

Well that attempt to start a novel new distraction flopped a bit. To be fair the question was going to be almost impossible even if you knew exactly what it was you were talking about.

the calculation (5×4×3)×(263)×(26!/6!10!210)= was first used in the 1930's to describe what possibility?
Well let me transport you back 90 years or so to the dawn of Arthur Scherbius's new invention. An electro-mechanical rotor cipher that came to be known as.... ENIGMA.
a military issue ENIGMA machine, with plugboard
It was a wonder in its complexity. Used in the twenties by business's looking to keep their internal communications private, it was adopted by many countries like Germany and Poland. By the Thirties the German military had improved immeasurably on the original making a coding machine that was believed to be unbreakable. Typing in a letter sent an electrical signal through three of five possible rotors (of which the first moves every time a letter was plugged in, the second every 26 times the first moves and the third every 26 times the second moves), then back through them the other way to light up a new letter that the coder can write into an incoherent and completely random order. If that wasn't hard to follow, the military issue device also had a plug board that took the final letter and swapped it with another letter, of which their were ten possible pairs and six left over that didn't swap with anything...

Here is where the calculation fits in. It states the chance of working out the possible set up position of the ENIGMA machine on any ONE day! Here is the break down.

(WARNING: This next section contains some pretty heavy maths, of which I fail alot at. I have tried to explain it in as Leymanish a way as possible, but if fiddly numbers give you a headache look away now.)
OK, here goes...
(5×4×3) Was the chance that any three of the five rotors were used, as once one is fitted their is one less to chose from each time.
(263) Since each of the three rotors had 26 connectors it could have possibly been routed through, their is 26 possibilities for each rotors start position. Hence their are 26×26×26 possible setups for the rotors, or 263.
(26!/6!×10!×210) This is the tricky one depicting the switchboard. So their are 26 letters in the alphabet. How many ways can you arrange them? Well 26 ways×25 ways×24 ways×23 ways×22.... you get the picture. This is written as 26 factorial, or 26!.

Now because we only need 10 pairs of these letters we don't need to use them all. So we take the 6 possible letter combinations that will not swap. Since their are less each time we remove one this is once more a factorial number, or 6!.
Then we want to pair up the rest of the numbers, not caring what the two pairs are just that they are paired. Again the number dwindles after each one is set so this is 10!.
When two letters are in a pair, they are always going to swap, so they form a stable set. hence 210 represents the 10 pairs of 2. Lastly we divide all these possible switchboard combinations with the original 26! to get the possible switch board combos for one days setup...

So what was the possible number of setup options per day you may ask, well. it was a whopping
Over one hundred and fifty eight quin-trillion ways it could be set!

Does that not blow your mind! it does not even factor in the three more rotors that the German navy where issued with for their ENIGMA's. How the Polish cryptologists Marian RejewskiJerzy Różycki and Henryk Zygalski managed to break the computation and reverse engineer a rudimentary computer to work out possible combinations is far beyond me, and my hat therefore goes off to them.

Maybe this weeks question should be easier. we will see.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Lets Start a Weekly Quiz?

As i have been working on top secret thingummy whatsits for the past week (and uni has left me with little time for that) i thought why not add a little weekly quiz to see what my friends general knowledge is like. This first weeks question is going to be a real dozzy and i will be so impressed with the first person to get it without looking it up on the internet that i will give them a precursor to the golden goblins i will be bringing to the next tournament (ohhhh exciting). So with out further adieu here it is.

the calculation (5×4×3)×(263)×(26!/6!10!210)= was first used in the 1930's to describe what possibility?
what in the worl... WHAT IS THAT!

And a bonus point if you can answer the equation

Happy hunting, I will post the correct answer and winner in the next few days