Author: Conrad EJ Gonsalves

Do you feel if a game company ……

Following on from my purchases from Salute where I bought the Age of Magic rules, the accompanying Chaos and Magic dice, the Saga Battle Book and a Deep Cut Studio 6×4 playing mat, the question occurred to me today –

“Do you feel if a game company appears to have stopped supporting a game that you are less likely to play that game?”

This came on the back of mulling ideas about AoM forces without spending lots of money. It amuses me that as we have gotten older and that having no doubt spent an absolute humongous amount of money on gaming over the years, that we are trying to do stuff now without spending a load of dosh. Moving swiftly back on topic, I am disappointed that I have stuff lying around that I will probably never use so how can I use or re-use stuff. With the introduction of AoM I can see figures that I have being used for small AoM forces. It upsets me that games like Wrath of Kings may not get played much any more in my gaming group. I enjoyed the game immensely and had great cinematic games with my regular gaming buddy Nick. I have a second (unbuilt) force – the Shael Han and I figured I would never get to use them. In addition I bought in to the L5R miniature game when it first came out. I bought some boxed sets of one of the factions. The idea of a Samurai setting game really appealed to me as I was a big fan of the original Bushido RPG when it first came out (but ofc never played it!) Myself being of an age and era that included classics like the Water Margin and Monkey then clearly stuff like these figures/games would appeal to me. I think with the dawn of AoM I have found a probable use for some of the figures.

I’ve re-used my WFB dwarves successfully in my Kings of War army and this game has allowed me to buy some super cool minis from companies such as Scibor Miniatures, (Lord riding a bear), MOM Miniaturas (rock dwarves as Earth Elementals) and West Wind Productions (pig cavalry).

I have a Godslayer set of miniatures which are doing nothing at present possibly begging to be used in AoM. I also still have my WFB demons as well as a load of minis sitting in the garage doing nothing.

I suppose at the day it’s about the type of gamer you are and if you can get the support from like minded gamers. I mean EpicA has a good (but small) community still playing what is a great game. Blood Bowl when it was OOP was still heavily supported by the community as was Necromunda and Mordheim. 9th age is still being played as is Oldhammer. With other games, support for the game from the community will drop off and possibly even die. It saddens me now that this happens. I think with the dawn of Kickstarter and other crowd funding tools, it was as I said it would be, despite it being a golden age of gaming, there would be casualties along the way.

Ultimately though I do feel that I am going to have to go through a purge again this year to offload stuff that is just taking up space with a view to streamlining the game systems old and new that I play but that is of course down to how much free time I have.

2019 A New Hope

I could go on about how I want to do this and do that as far as hobby is concerned and god knows I tried last year. I had a good think about the last few years as far as hobby and more specifically painting is concerned. One thing sprang to mind and that was that I wanted a complete force for this game or that game. So this year quite simply for me as far as painting is concerned, I want to FINISH stuff. There are specific things that I want to finish as they have been WIP for a while now.

  • Bolt Action British force
  • Epic Space Marines
  • One minion force for Warmahordes
  • Middle Earth Strategy Battle Games (MESBG) Isengard force

The above are the main things that I am aiming to complete this year. In addition I think I would like to be able to have a completely painted dwarf Kings of War army. This involves painting a few odds and ends to add to my old WFB army. It may be a few things but it still involves time. Progress on my Brock Riders which are actually dwarves on pigs can be seen below. I’ve really enjoyed painting these so far but they are not finished yet.

I’d also like to make a start on painting my 40k Ad Mech force but this would be a stretch goal for me. Along with this stretch would be to make a start on painting my AoS Beastclaw force too. I’m also sure that along the way this year will involve me painting one or two Warhammer Underworlds warbands. I absolutely love this game at present and have already started to paint my goblin warband for the game.

The warmahordes and MESBG forces have the added incentive of me attending events this year – namely the 10th anniversary for the Welsh Masters (warmahordes) and Ardacon for MESBG. I’ve started my MESBG force by painting a test piece based on the original colour scheme of the painted figures that I already have. I’ve also started to paint some of my warmahordes force for the Welsh Open.

So there we have it. 2019 is the year for me finishing stuff that I have begun. Simplez.

The birth of the Splog!

I decided to look up what blog actually means on the internet before writing my next article.

blog

noun
1. a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.

verb
1. add new material to or regularly update a blog.
“it’s about a week since I last blogged”

Note the explanation of the noun and the word regularly. I decided to dig a little more and look up the word regularly.

regularly

adverb
1. with a constant or definite pattern, especially with the same space between individual items.
“regularly spaced buildings”

2.at uniform intervals of time.
“the reunion has taken place regularly every two years”

So I am now wondering if there is a word for an ad hoc update of a web page. A sporadic update a SPLOG!

So I think this should be renamed a SPLOG site and also the a sporadic podcast should be called a SpodCast!

On to my 2019 hopes and aspirations (still), next, soon, honest.

2018 Review

My last post was June 2018. Clearly I’ve absolutely neglected posting here since that time. The intentions were there but I got waylaid.

How did my 2018 go you may ask? Not too bad is my answer! Based on my 2018 articles (yes there were 2 as I forgot some stuff on the first one), this is how I did.

  • Health – this has improved greatly. I suffer from pustular psoriasis on the heels of both feet. At it’s worst, this caused cracks in my feet of up to 2 inches. It was like walking on broken glass and was extremely painful at times. Inevitably it caused me to adjust the way I carried myself when walking or running. This puts a strain on various joints (mainly the knees and back). The result of this was that I strained the tendons on my left knee when running for a train. I can tell you that was something I don’t want to repeat!

    I eventually got referred to a dermatologist and after agonising whether or not to take the drug she had prescribed for me which is potentially life changing due to the possible side effects, I’m in a much better place with this awful thing. It’s no cancer but if you go join one of the support groups you will soon learn how drastically it reduces your quality of life.

  • Weight Loss – I got no where near as far as I wanted to with this. I dropped from 14st 7.5lbs to at the lowest 13st 10lbs. I’m currently 14st 1lb after putting on 4 lbs at Xmas. I suppose its good that I’ve tried to lose weight and I’ve pretty much managed to maintain a weight of below 14st. I will continue to pursue this in 2019.
  • Better paid job. On Dec 10th 2018, I started a new better paid job. The only issue is that its on the complete other side of the M25 to me. Hey ho you cannot have everything!
  • Build more Ad Mech – I managed to do this enough to facilitate my taking part in the club 40k campaign and also the brilliant Apocalypse game we held to finish this campaign off. The other brilliant thing about this finale was that everyone who took part wanted to do another Apocalypse game. So much so that the club had another one at Xmas which was store staff  (see more about who these are in the section about the club keeping going) versus all comers. We are due to have a follow up Apocalypse campaign game in Q1 of 2019.
  • Complete painting my BA British Army force – this did not happen.
  • Get some paint on the Ad Mech – this did not happen.
  • Continue to play and support the 40k club narrative campaign and to play 40k in general – I did this throughout the year but I ended up playing less 40k towards the back end of 2018 due to the fact that there was so many good things happening at the club to support and play.
  • Attend at least one Bolt Action gaming weekend event – this did not happen.
  • Play more Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit – well it should be called MESBG aka Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game. A bit of a mouthful but I guess Gdub wanted to cover both LoTR and The Hobbit genres of armies/forces. I’ve played a fair amount of this in 2018 once the new ruleset was released. Its a great game and I love it. We are going to be running a map based narrative campaign in 2019. I’ve also got tickets booked for an event called Ardacon for 2019 to go to an MESBG event too!
    LOTR Game
  • Paint LoTR figures – this did not happen.
  • Play more Kings of War – this happened big time too mainly because the club is running a slow grow narrative campaign. Its been a huge amount of fun and we about 2/3rds of the way through this with armies currently about to fight at 1350pts. With the new Clash of Kings 2019 released by Mantic, we’ve got more stuff to look at and a new set of scenarios to play for the rest of the campaign.
    KOW Brock CavalryKOW Game
  • Play more Wrath of Kings – sadly this did not happen. It riles me a little as I bought some of the new figures and I also bought some of the WoK cards too. There were a few small events that I heard about during 2018 and it would have been nice to have supported this. Too many games.
  • Gaslands – there was an initial flurry with this game shortly after it was released with some club members invested in playing at the club. I ended up buying some terrain for the game and I envisage using the campaign rules that were published in a wargaming magazine to run a club campaign in 2019.
  • Dystopian Wars – the intention was to keep an eye on the new game as Warcradle Studios had taken over the IP for this game. I’ve been watching the rules development and have downloaded and read some of the versions of the rules. Its being done in a very iterative and community friendly way but I have not had a play test of the new rules at all. No time. I’m still keen to see and watch and possibly get involved (lets not kid myself here!) with a play test game or two.
  • Regular board games session once a month – well this kind of happened. There were times when we could not meet but I would say that we probably met at least 6 or 7 times during the year. Its been good fun and I got to play some good board games 3which included the Game of Thrones board game which I really liked.
  • Continue to grow and support Tanelorn Wargames Club – wow this was an interesting year for the club. EXP Leisure, our previous hosts, essentially folded. This left Magic Madhouse who had floor space in the EXP Leisure rented facility high and dry too along with us and other people who came to play games at EXP. What unfolded was that Magic Madhouse, London was formed which took over the venue for a while before moving one floor to a different size area on the 3rd floor of the current venue. For a month or two things were touch and go as to whether the club would lose it’s venue and have to fold in to storage for a while whilst we found another venue. Thanks to Magic Madhouse, London we have survived (thanks Gav, Tim and Luke @ Magic Madhouse, London) and continued to grow. Club membership has marginally increased and we have run 2 Warmahorde events at the venue too which included the London Team Event too. I hope that we can survive 2019 now!
  • Relic Knights V2 is due out in 2018 – it hasn’t turned up. There is much negative feeling towards ninja Division but my take on this is it will either happen or not. I did play test and provide input in to the V2 rules when Justin Gibbs was at Ninja Division so I do have a feel for the new version of the game. It’s a real shame that Ninja Division have provided yet another KickStarter experience which may be perceived as unfavourable.
  • ebaying excess schtuffings – I’ve had some limited success with this but it is hugely demoralising doing this. I made some good money which I re-invested in to the hobby in the form of an AoS beastclaw army. I’ve nearly build a 1000pts of this now too. I need to continue with this in 2019.
  • I suppose the other thing to note is that I have probably built stuff that isn’t covered by any of the stuff above. The AoS stuff for example was a new buy. I’ve recently bought in to Warhammer Underworlds and I love this game. So much so that I have already started to paint some of the warband figures. I’ve also actively taken part in the club monthly vow. I don’t always achieve it but I’m doing stuff.
    LOTR_Terrain

On to my 2019 hopes and aspirations …….

It’s been a LONG time!

I looked back at my last blog post date – it was February 2018. My bad! So an update on whats going in with me ….

The monthly gaming concept continued on into May.

March – Epic Armageddon
April/May – Hordes/Warmachine aka warmahordes.

Mike’s already told you about the EpicA event that we went to where I finally managed to win a game against Mike. I did feel it was a kind of gotcha moment as Mike had never played corner deployment before. I felt bad beating him but I did feel that I played well too. It was a really interesting event for me as I learned so much about activation order and more about my list itself in terms what I could do with it. I really enjoy playing Epic and enjoyed playing it at the event too. The intention is to go to at least one other this year. The other thing that this spawned was the fact that I painted a devastator unit and transports post the event. This was more a trial of painting the colour scheme in EpicA scale as opposed to a concerted effort to finally get my EpicA Imperial Fist force painted. It turned out to be a hugely enjoyable experience with a longer term aim to try and do a unit a month thus allowing me to mix and match stuff up and stop the boredom painting wise.

impfdevs

Why Warmahordes in April/May you ask? Well thats an easy one. Myself and 3 other club mates normally attend the Welsh Masters (formally the Welsh Open) at the South West Gaming Centra aka Firestorm Games in Cardiff. For us it’s like an annual pilgrimage followed by a ritual of cinema, meal and drinking Friday night,  gaming until usually 7 or 8pm on Saturday so a meal with one drink and then more gaming Sunday and home. There is always the conversation about lists and games over the weekend and how if we did this, things would have been different or the claims that we will try harder for next year. It never happens because we dont have the energy or committment to play the game to death as we did in Mark 1 warmahordes, when the club was a force to be reckoned with in the competitive world of warmahordes. Taking part and winning some and losing some is the way of our warmahordes world now. So April and some of May would essentially provide us the opportunity to have some practice games with our lists and re-learn the rules and play the Steamroller 2017 scenarios which some of us had not even played! I should add that I have been to all 9 Welsh Open/Masters events and if you count the very first one in the Scout shed – then it’s 10. Next year is the “real” 10th anniversary of the event and it will be when the TO Martyn Jenkins finally hands ownership of this great event to someone else (hopefully!)

For me the lead up to the Welsh was an interesting experience. The first hurdle I had to overcome was to allow myself to enjoy the actual game of warmahordes again. I had been dreading this on the lead up to the Welsh to the extent of contacting Martyn and potentially offering my services as a helper for the organisation team. I decided to give the game a try again. I had become burnt out from playing it the previous year and had no real love for the game any more.

I started with my default faction, namely Cygnar. I played my fellow club mate Nigel who plays Cryx. The game left me on a real downer and it was at that time I decided that I would go and look at my minions again (my gators)! I did a little research using WarRoom2 to decide on a caster that grabbed my imagination from an aesthetics point of view. The normal “power” casters did not really interest me – Rask and Maelok. I was interested in the female Jagga Jagga gator(wo)man caster. Over the coming 6 weeks before the Welsh, I probably played about 10 games and I slowly iterated each list to a list that I was finally happy playing with before going to the Welsh. I should point out that after the first game I had with my minions pre the Welsh, I found my warmahordes mojo again. I was excited about list building. I researched the various casters and documented points of note about them and looked at unit cards in WarRoom2 to find out more about the minion figures that I did not know much about. Its the most research I have ever done for warmahordes ever and I enjoyed it! The natural thing to happen for me at that point was to think about the hobby side of things. I had managed to paint a high quality/standard Cygnar list back in the day. Many of the events I had played since that time was playing with bare metal eg silver. I was determined to get some paint on my figures. Add to this the fact that the Welsh was DC0 but needed 3 lists (that means you need 3 legal lists using different casters but there was no requirement to play all of these lists, you could just play one list at the event), it meant that I only really had to work on one list. And so it started. Initially it was a quest to ensure everything was undercoated. To this end I bought some Army Painter green undercoat. At least the army would be green! But then it went on as I pretty much finished a unit of gatormen (5 figures, one of which is a unit leader) and then went on to paint about 13 bog trog shamblers. I found myself speed painting these figures but then embelishing them to bring the figures up to a slightly higher than table top standard. The BIG thing was that I enjoyed painting these figures despite the numbers. I stopped there but was really chuffed with what I had achieved and I wanted to do more!

bogtrogs

The Welsh itself was great fun. There were about 150 players. I played 7 great games and went 2-5. I learned lots about the game, my army and the scenarios all over again and rather than be disillusioned I came away from the event wanting to play more! On the way back we discussed each other’s lists and games as stated and I now have yet another iteration of the Jagga Jagga list and will be playing this a bit more. What’s super exciting for me is the fact that I have come away knowing that a Rask list using some pretty cool figures is something that is a viable option to play with. This means that if I can master playing this list, I have a 2nd minion caster that I can play with and I will be playing with some cool looking figures too that I dont use much any more. This will lead to me painting these figures. I can foresee substantially more minion figures being painted this year.

gatormen

I intend to try to do better at the 10th Welsh Masters. I won the Worst Minion Player award this year. I might just try to get the Best Minion Player next year. I won’t be going hard core playing warmahordes lots and lots but I will be in a place where I know my list/s and can play them well. With the Steamroller 2018 pack due soon, we have another element of the game to re-master as new scenarios and victory conditions will be included in SR2018. I’m looking forward to it. I intend trying to make a few one day events too during the year.

welshgame

The other thing that this new found interest in warmahordes has sparked is that Tanelorn will very probably be running a 16 man event later in the year. Watch this space!

I’ve just returned from a week’s holiday in Bulgaria. It was a nice relaxing time in the Pirin Mountains in Bansko. The air was clean and fresh. We had good weather too and it was immensely quiet as this was a ski resort essentially and we had visited it out of the skiing season! We got to go to Greece as its only a 3 hour drive away and see an old Byzantine fortress in Kavala and a Roman aquaduct too. Interestingly enough close by to this place is the archaelogical site of Filippi which is a site named after Philip II, father of Alexander the Great. It is also has links to christianity as it is the place that Saint Paul visited too. I wish I had known about this before visiting the fortress! We also got to go and see beautiful monastery in Rila dating back to the 10th century but had grown and been built upon over the ages. Absolutely stunning place to see.

rila01

kavala

And so we are in June now. There is no concensus of opinion on what the June monthly game will be as yet. Its likely to be warmahordes plus another game too. I do have a real urge to play 40k again and that is a good thing too as we are coming to the end of the Tanelorn 40k Club Campaign soon. I’ll be playing a doubles game, possibly a 1500 pt game and a huge Apocalypse game too.

Talking about the club, last month we started a vow scheme whereby players vow to complete x over the coming month. Its had a really big take up in May. New vows have been pledged in June and I think in general players have been doing well with meeting their vows. My vows for June include building some models for warmahordes (already done!), undercoating some figures, painting another unit of bogtrog shamblers (blue one this time), painting a tactical marine imperial fist epic armageddon unit and getting some stuff ebayed. Wish me luck with all that! I do think that by the end of 2018 I would like to see progress with my minions, epic imperial fists and bolt action British forces. I’m expecting at least one of those forces to be fully painted with another close to fully painted too!

rorshandbrine

Things that I am really looking forward to this year are the new version of Relic Knights and the beta test of Dystopian Wars. I’ve recently been amazed at the new Idoneth Deepking AoS models from GW. Then they go and announce a new version of AoS too. I’m fairly certain if I get some spare cash, then GW will be getting some more of my money!

Until the next time!

 

 

What’s Going On ….

I’ve been meaning to write my blog post for the last 2 weeks but Mike beat me to it with his Bonescon post. Now that is a good start – why didn’t I go? Simple answer is that I am being very canny with the pounds and pence and will choose wisely what I attend this year. That didn’t mean that I as soon as I saw info being posted on tut social media about the con, I regretted not going. Just being able to hang with Mike and Spooner and/or go and do some gaming myself too – they played Wrath of Kings there for lards sake! Its also the camaraderie and bants and drinking. I spent a very memorable evening at Smogcon 2016 I think, with some great company at a local nearby pub. We had such a laugh and I drank far too much. When you first attend these cons, its all about the gaming. Then eventually that changes to hanging with buddies and perhaps getting a game in now and then. Hopefully there will be next year.

However on the event front I am attending an Epic Armageddon event in the shape of Full Scale Assault (and Pepper). This is an EPIC-UK event being run by the folks from EPIC-UK (unsurprisingly) in the manly form of Dave Bartley. If you want to know more about EPIC-UKevents go visit their events page.

So why EPIC? Well Nick and I have started to adopt the “game of the month”. January it was Bolt Action. February it is Epic Armageddon. So I have been playing and learning all about Epic and really enjoying the game system. I think it has a lot of tactical depth too and an elegance about it. Of course there is the fact that it is a GW game system and I’ve had loads of rules queried which have been able answered by a friend that play EPIC a lot more regularly than I do! I’m really looking forward to the event and very probably getting smashed off the table but I don’t care as I am going there to get some more games in. There is a down side to this as 4 of Tanelorn are attending this event which means the club wooden spoon is in play ie the lowest placing player from the club gets an entry in the club wooden spoon count for 2018. Who cares as I have won it a few times before any way – the wooden spoon that is, not an EPIC event!

Of course going to this event means that I have to have stuff painted. Everything has got some paint on it and I have been reliably informed that this is good enough. To get to this state I ended up putting paint on my two Warhound Titans, two Thunderbolts, a space ship (battlefleet gothic) and my objectives. Its nothing fancy, just some base coats and washes for now. I’ve also gone back and added a finer sand to the bases of all the troops that I am using. I would love to be able to go back to each stand and adjust the yellow to be more yellow than green and put a base colour on the base, but I am just not going to get the time to do this.

EpicA

What else has been going on? I’ve continued to build my 40k army up and have built my 3 destroyers, a metal enginseer and am in the middle of building by 2nd dunecrawler too. So some success there. I will be playing my 2nd campaign game at the club on the 25th against Iron Warriors. I had a game against them the Sunday just gone and I got shot off the board. After playing my opponent, I went away and starter to watch some Ad Mech youtube battle reports and have realised a few things about my army comp and style of play. I need to tune things up a bit but to do that means I will need to build more stuff. The 3rd campaign game will be a 3000pt game. I already have a knight that I need to build,  but this lasted 2 turns in the game that I just had so am wondering if what I in fact need to do is invest in another starter Skitarii boxed set to get me a 3rd crawler and the relevant troop kit models to make me some arc rifle armed troops to bolster my existing troops. I could then hold off on the knight build. I also need to build Belisarius Cawl as this character seems to be an integral part to any semi-competitive Ad Mech list. Yes it’s great getting blown off the board, but when you leave your opponent stating that perhaps he should tone down his list for our campaign game, I kind of thought that I need to do a bit more work on the army to actually give my opponents a game. Food for thought.

devs

What else? Well there is Gaslands. We’ve had a few games at the club including completing a whole Death Race with 5 players running a 25can team each. Immense fun. We’ve learned so much about the game in all our little “lets give this a try”, learner games where we never managed to even get past the 1st gate. We’ve managed to feed back in to the FAQ too. We’ve influenced the output of the Gaslands Vehicle Creation Tool allowing players who use this tool to print these out (when at 40-50% print size) at a size that these dashboards fit in to a plastic sleeved wallet. The last thing is one of our club members (Adam Bunn) has designed a brilliant vehicle dashboard card which is blank and universal enough for players to use and again will fit in a sleeved wallet. I’ve enjoyed every game of Gaslands so far and I can see a campaign in the future at the club.

Other things – I built a troll for LotR and have played a game of it at the club. I lost 5-3 but it was such an epic battle versus Rohan. I’ve managed to finish another piece of club terrain too.

clubterr

I’ve no idea what March will bring game wise, but I am looking forward to it!

troll

What A Feeling ….

Take your passion
And Make It Happen

Parts of lyrics from Flashdance sung by Irene Cara and as far away from hobby as you have thunk!

“Get that man his frog pills!” shouts Spooner and Mike!
“No! It’s okay, I’m not having one of my moments … honest! says I.

What’s this all about you may ask – perfectly legitimate question. Well I appear to have the embers of my hobby mojo slowly returning. I’m excited about doing stuff. These last few months have felt a chore to be quite frank. Building for the club 40k campaign, trying to fulfil the painted BA army quest for 2017. It all just seemed like I had to do it because I was chasing that dangling carrot again. So what’s changed then? Well I’ve started 2017 playing Bolt Action. We’ve been playing a lot of 8th edition 40k and as much as I love the game, I’m playing my current 1500 pts with a few blank bases. That too me is as much a reminder and downer of the fact that I have not built the stuff. This should have a positive effect on me to spur me on and build, but it really hasn’t done that at all.  So Nick (my regular Friday gaming partner) and I have gone back to playing Bolt Action and it’s just so refreshing and surprising (still) how good the game is. Add to that the fact that all my models have paint on them but some are just undercoated , but it feels valid and complete playing with the army unlike my Ad Mech in 40k.

20180112_215725

However we are in the throws of the 2nd round of the 40k campaign and I have to build my 1500pts and preferably 2000pts. Playing the BA has helped me because the army has stuff painted and built. I’m even thinking about quick ways of getting some base coat and washes on the Ad Mech to at least have them there with some colour for later this year. The big thing is that I am slowly getting there. I’ve just finished building my unit of Infiltrators and they are absolutely gorgeous figures.

20180114_005900

Then along comes Gaslands. I’ve been longing for a good car game a la Mad Max. I played Car Wars, Battlecars and Dark Future in the past. Each have their issues and niche in my gaming past. Dark Future certainly came the closest for me in terms of being that game but the rules mechanics were very detailed – but still fun. At the end of the day you need to play these things regularly to ensure the lurv. I’ve been watching the buzz on the Facebook Gaslands group and seeing the pictures of people’s creations, and quite frankly its really inspiring to see this stuff. I had my first few games in the last week (25 cans only) and have got a real feel for the game and it has my juices going. There are a few interested parties at the club too as I demoed the game with some club mates 2 Sundays ago. We’ve got stuff wrong for the first few games but I’m fairly certain the next game which I will play this week will go to 50 cans.

But the big thing is that I grabbed my Route 666, Devils Highway cars which I had got from the Kickstarter and have prepped and undercoated and put paint to at least one vehicle. I’m so looking forward to completing this and I got to use my airbrush again and chipping fluid!

20180114_235039

I’ve also been using my airbrush on club terrain for the 40k campaign. Its all fairly basic MDF buildings but when you add some paint to them, it brings them alive. The building in first pic below is complete, and the 2nd are WIP. I need to highlight them, do some stencilled letters – both via the airbrush and then use weathering magic on them, varnish and then on to the next ones.

20171227_165005

20180113_144517

I played Epic today at the club and realised how much I love this game and want to play it more. I’m seriously considering going to the one day Full Scale Assault EpicUK event which you can find more about here. It would mean just putting an undercoat, base coat and wash on 2 warhound titans, 2 thunderbolts, an imperial commander, a spaceship and 2 drop pods. I’d have to base stuff where appropriate but the army is yellow with a wash and is good enough to put on the table. I can go back to it to do any fancy stuff. I think I will okay the day out with SWMBO and go as the event will spur me on to put paint on the above models.

In painting the Gaslands car, I realised what the blocker was re finishing my BA stuff off. The batch of figures is too big. I need to stick to 2 or 3’s and I feel that I will achieve and see results quicker and that will spur me on to the next batch. Its worth giving a go!

Onwards and upwards, I feel energised and excited about getting stuff done!

Oops …. I forgot some stuff for 2018

Ok its not a big deal but when lying in bed thinking about what I had written I realised that I had forgotten two further things that I want to achieve in 2018. So without further a do:-

  • Relic Knights V2 is due out this year. When it does come out I anticipate playing it so no doubt there will be some painting and playing and building of some sorts during the year.
  • ebaying excess schtuffings – with the great garage clear out, I have stuff that needs to be ebayed or moved on. As many of you know who deal in the world of ebay, this can be a laborious and demoralising task. I guess there are 2 approaches I could adopt, a little often or one huge lot a month. We shall see where that goes!
  • Wonder if any one will notice this little addition to this article (tee hee – tweet if you did 04/02/2018). I’m interested to see where Saga V2 goes so will definitely be looking out for that in the new year!

As an update to the status on my weight, I weighed myself today and the scales showed 14stone 7.5lbs. I’m sure my jeans were weighed down from walking in the rain! So in fact I am looking at losing 2stone 7.5lbs this year!

As a finalle, I thought I would show you the Trello Board I have so far for 2018. Voila!

2018_CEJG_Trello

So Whats Happening in 2018 for “It’s me Conrad”?

The two biggest issues that I have had to deal with, preventing me to do more hobby in 2017 have been lack of time and not having the energy to do stuff. I have to address these to allow myself to progress with more hobby stuff. So to start with as far as energy to do stuff, there are 2 things that I need to do. The number one thing is to lose 2 stones and I want to do this within the first quarter of 2018. Of course I will be supporting Mind too whilst doing this. The other is a combination of not enough sleep, not being fit enough, improving my health and planning my time better and being focused on achieving something within a strict timebox. As I sit here at 23:38 typing this article out, clearly not enough sleep needs some work! Getting fitter should come with losing weight so this will be a quarter 2 onwards goal. My health issues I will just have to trust in the NHS to solve! As far as planning is concerned, I will be using Agile methodology to try and provide a prioritised small backlog to work on in timeboxed sprints (probably 2 weeks to a month). If you don’t know what that last bit means, don’t worry. My current Job Role is a Scrum Master (well actually I’m a Senior Agile Delivery Lead but who cares!) and I’ve been working using Agile specifically Scrum and Kanban to facilitate development team and Dev Ops techies to deliver on work. I’ve been using Trello for a while now to try and help me focus on hobby and after much thought, I’ve decided to continue using this to track and plan my hobby work. I’m going to create a tight backlog of tasks based on my hobby requirements for 2018. This will in the main stay static unless something comes along that is shiny and will therefore force me to re-prioritise my backlog of tasks. Trello is free to use and although I do not like Kanban as much as Scrum, I can’t see using Scrum to deliver on hobby tasks as I am not able to determine my availability well enough during a Sprint. As you are in theory meant to delivery every sprint, that makes using Scrum an impossibility for me. I can feel eyes glazing over at this point as people think WTF are you on about Conrad! Essentially I’m creating a to do list of tasks which is prioritised and then working on the highest priority task, moving it in to an In Progress state. Once that task is completed, it’s moved in to a Complete status. I may elaborate on the status, for example a demo status, where I have to take a photo of the end result may appear.

Other things I would personally like to do in 2018 is to get a better paid job. With my recent promotion I managed to close the gap in salary to where I was when my job role was made redundant back in 2014 from GE Healthcare. I currently work for HMRC (yes I know) but need to continue on my journey, striving to close that gap.

One last thing which I have greatly missed in 2017 is recording Fools Daily. Although Mike has suggested an ambitious 3 episodes a week, actually getting a cadence of 1 a week would be a big move forward, so I would definitely look to start there. I’m really interested in the video/vidcast idea that he mentions in his article but would look for some more ideas as to where that will go before volunteering my time which is already under pressure to allow me to complete my hobby tasks for 2018.

So on to the real hobby stuff now, what do I actually want to achieve in 2018?

  • Build more Ad Mech. I need to currently move to 1500pts and then 2000pts to allow me to play in the club narrative campaign. We are on to the 2nd chapter of this and it requires 2000pts. Currently I have just over 1000pts. So this is going to be a top priority for me.
  • Complete painting my BA British Army force. This needs to be a slow burn task for me. Small groups to allow progress but not too much to make me become sick of painting them and feeling like it is just one of those jobs that you just do not want to do.
  • Get some paint on the Ad Mech. I have no aspirations as to how far I get on this one. Obviously every gamer’s dream is to play with a fully painted army but I have to be realistic about this. I suspect the first thing to decide upon is whether the resultant paint job is going to be a labour of love or functional and to a tabletop standard. I suspect it will be a mix of both.
  • Continue to play and support the 40k club narrative campaign and to play 40k in general. I can see good things with the campaign and it will result in huge multi-player battles at some point this year. I am really looking forward to this. I have no inclination to play 40k competitively though.
  • I definitely want to attend at least one Bolt Action gaming weekend event. I suspect that this will be either Britcon or the Welsh Open.
  • Play more Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit. With a new revamped rule book out this year (who knew GDub would do this!) and with the recent 3 games that I have had, I really like this game. There is a potentially of attending a LoTR event later this year but that depends on my availability and finances and the point below.
  • Some of my LoTR figures do have paint on them. There are no many figures like BA so I would like to get my force painted. I suspect that this will be mainly to a tabletop standard with more time spent on something like the Isengard Troll figures and commanders.
  • I still miss playing rank and file fantasy games. Gone are the old days of WFB for me and as much as I like the look of AoS, I cannot afford to spend money on another GW game. As such that means playing more Kings of War. There is a new book out on Jan 22nd (Clash of Kings) adding some extra content to the game. With the club picking up a few KoW players too, I can see that I will get the opportunity to play this again in 2018.
  • Another pseudo fantasy rank and file game is Wrath of Kings. I really enjoyed playing this game and love my Teknis figures. I hope to play some more of this during 2018. As much as I would love to say I’ll get these painted as well during 2018, I just cannot see it happening.
  • Gaslands ….. this has really got me stoked. Going back to the days of GW’s Dark Future and Steve Jackson’s Car Wars, the idea of a road combat game a la Mad Max has always appealed to me. I had hoped that Devils Run Route 666 would help me fill that gap but it has not. Gaslands feels like it may do that for me. I haz all the gubbins and I have ready made vehicles from the aforementioned Devils Run game. All I need is to play and see. I am fairly sure too that this game if pushed at the club will get buy in from many of the club players.
  • Warcradle Studios have taken over the Dystopian IP. They have stated that a new version of the game will be out this year. I look forward to see where this goes and that hopefully I can use my current miniatures with the new version of the game.
  • A few of us have decided to have a regular board games session once a month. We started this during December where we played Dead of Winter. I really enjoyed myself. The next game will be BSG which I love too. I see this as an opportunity to get out some of my older board games to show the group what these are like and compare them to the newer board games of today. I know that these sessions will be fun.
  • Continue to grow and support Tanelorn Wargames Club. I’ve been actively involved with the club since it’s inception in 2001. I want to continue to ensure that the club runs and grows this year. It was an interesting year last year with our move to the EXP Leisure Centre which is a dedicated tabletop, e-gaming and board gaming facility and in East London too! I’m hoping that the venue and the club continue to do well.

So that’s it I think? Not much really ….

 

 

 

 

Do Look Back in Anger ;-)

As Mike has eluded too already, we normally do a retrospective of the year that is about to pass in to the mists of time – 2017. I also normally post something up on the Tanelorn Facebook Club page so I’ve taken a part of that and embellished it with artistic license for this blog. More of it will appear as an article about my hobby hopes for 2018.

It has to be said that we normally cover these retrospectives in a Fools Daily episode. The format of these episodes (yes we usually do at least 2 as we cover multiple peoples) is that Mike does the bestest and we get chastised and graded badly for our appalling efforts. The episode is normally linked to our published or recorded hobby hopes for the current year. I do miss recording and I think it’s something I (we) need to resurrect in 2018.

Overall 2017 was a good year hobby wise though as always, it could have been better. Hobby covers X things for me:-

  • Painting
  • Building
  • Playing at events
  • Playing in general at club and with gaming buddies
  • Any gaming related activites eg. Club, event. Gaming community, recording podcasts

So let’s take those in order.

Painting

My main aim for 2017 was to have a painted 1000pt British Bolt Action force. This hasn’t happened. I have a fully painted platoon, a partly painted platoon, an undercoated commando platoon, various painted small teams, HQ and NCO, undercoated Mortar and LMG team and base coat and washed vehicles (universal carriers, a Cromwell and a Humber recce vehicle). For me this is good but I would have liked to have a bit more discipline and finished painting the platoons and teams. I also wanted to finish my Epic Space Wolves force. This did not happen. One thing I did do though is correct the paint scheme on my terminators which will form the basis of the rest of the army when I get around to it. Unfortunately I painted yellow over a brown undercoat thinking that it would be a good thing with the brown allowing a shade in areas the yellow did not get too. Unfortunately the yellow over the brown gave a green tinged yellow to the whole army. With some work I’ve corrected that on two units of terminators.

Building

I feel that I have built a lot of stuff this year.

  • a small handful of Warmachine Cygnar figures to allow me to have some choice in the Warcasters that I play.
  • Dystopian Wars Austrians ships and flyers.
  • 1000pts of Adeptus Mechanicus and I am on the way to completing 1500 pts to allow me to play the new edition of 40k.
  • 700pts worth of an Isengard LoTR/Hobbit force
  • Various MDF terrain pieces for the club’s 40k campaign

Looking back at that list it doesn’t really seem a lot for a whole year. I think that part of this is due to my energy levels being low after coming home from work and lack of time due to other commitments, some of which are gaming related.

Playing at events, club and gaming buddies

I don’t believe that I have done a lot of playing at events this year. The Welsh Open in Cardiff at the South West Gaming Centre is the only event that springs to mind. I always enjoy this more from the social side of things but I always come away from the event with the same old conundrum of wanting to do better at the event but failing to accept that this is not achievable as I do not play H/WM enough to allow me to do this. I’ve lost interest in Malifaux so have not attended any events for this game. I wanted to attend a Bolt Action event but this passed me by due to lack of money for the Welsh BA event and being on holiday for Britcon. There was no Relic Knights this year for me as far as I can remember as the game is in flux at present and is due a new version in 2018. I did attend a Roots of Magic event which was fun with a handful of people. That was it. Comparted to previous years a very poor showing.

I regularly attended the club ie Tanelorn and we have started a 40k narrative campaign. There has been a huge buzz and interest in the game and with over 20 players signing up for the campaign, you can see that there is big buy in from the club. This meant that we had to invest in some new terrain to help support the campaign and the larger group of players playing 40k. Coupled with this the club had to move premises this year as our previous landlords decided to up our hall costs by over 200%. We are now at EXP Leisure which reminds me very much of the old Firestorm Games prior to the move to the South West Gaming Centre. It’s been an interesting year for the club and it really has been wonderful to see so many of the club members taking both and active interest and part in moving the club forward. There is very much an ownership of the club and I’m proud to have been a part of it.

As far as playing with my gaming buddies locally then that has continued with my mates Nigel and Nick. I have a regular game with Nick on a Friday night and this started with H/WM this year but we’ve spent a lot of time playing Bolt Action. More recently we’ve been playing 40k. BA is a great game as it’s tactical, has a narrative to it every time and is extremely cinematic. We are both enjoying 40k too at present especially with the Matched Play Missions in both the rule book and Chapter Approved now.

When I play Nigel I get to play different games. Guildball, Dystopian Wars, Mythos, play testing of the new edition of Relic Knights, board games and finally my introduction to Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit. LotR/Hobbit has been an interesting journey for me. I already had some figures and built extra to get me to a decent sized force. I’ve only had 3 games of this, the last being a 3 player scenario but have absolutely loved playing the game. Dystopian Wars featured heavily this year too and again this was a game that I got heavily in to. It provided a hugely cinematic experience for me and I loved the air/sea games. I backed the Spartan Games Kickstarter for a new version of the rules plus cards and a faction book. It was hugely disappointing to hear that Spartan Games went in to administration thus enforcing a pause on this new found love of their Dystopian War game. Thankfully I was one of the few that got some of my Kickstarter goods – namely the new rule book and cards. I’m missing a faction book. That is lost and the Dystopian World IP has now been purchased by Warcradle Studios, the people who bought Wild West Exodus from Battlefoam. It was a good buy IMHO – tying together the WWE and DW worlds in to one world – the Dystopian Era. I can only hope that the reboot of the game with the new owners will allow me to play this game again in 2018 or I will have to go and play the game again with the old set of rules or not at all. It’s interesting that at present I play no games using old sets of rules at all though we have talked about playing 3rd edition WFB.

I’ve definitely played a lot more board games this year than I have ever done before. Fuelled by Kickstarters that I had received sitting there gathering dust – notably The Others and Blood Rage. But because EXP Leisure has a good range of board games to play this would include Robo Rally, Colt Express and Camel Run!

I’ve loosely still been involved with community events. I had a hand in a Necromunda club event which was put on in association with Yaktribe Necromunda Community. Seeing some of the tables that these guys played on was really inspiring. There were 2 or 3 really beautiful tables. I’ve been helping EXP Leisure grow their table top activities and the club had helped out by lending it’s terrain for a 20+ played AoS event and a small Kings of War event too. The club didn’t run any events really this year. No Malifaux or Guildball events at all.

It doesn’t need me to say it but I’ve done very little recording of podcasts this year too. This is down to the same reasons as my lack of building, namely energy and time. It’s something I do miss.

Another thing that I should mention for 2017 is the great garage clear out which is still ongoing in terms of me ebaying stuff. This very nearly broke me and I came very close to giving up the hobby completely. Seeing that I had so much stuff accumulated over my 40 years in wargaming was demoralising. Whole armies collected and waiting to be actioned as a project. None (may be one) will see the light of day and need to go. It has helped fund my Ad Mech army though and I will have to continue to do this in 2018 – ebay stuff. The one positive thing is that stuff is more or less sorted out and in plastic Really Useful boxes as opposed to cardboard boxes where stuff could get lost and/or damaged.

Finally I should talk about my physical health. I’ve had various issues health wise these past 10 years. Operations for RSI on both hands thus allowing me to paint again. Last year an operation to correct De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis in my left hand – no smutty comments. I’ve also been suffering from Pustular psoriasis on my left foot. This has got to the stage where the heel and base of my foot cracks and it becomes extremely uncomfortable to walk and stand. I will be starting phototherapy for this in late Jan next year for a period of 3-4 months and if that does not work I will be administered some sort of drug that effects my immune system which I’m not happy with but I’ll take it one step at a time. I don’t think gaining 2 stone will help my foot and this is something I will be addressing in quarter 1 of 2018. I’m looking to drop 2 stone in that time period.

With all that said, I’m still positive about 2018 and am hoping that it will be a good year. As for 2017 I’m sure Mike would mark me as an E!