Author: Matt Spooner

@uberspoons

Apocalypse, New

See what I did there?? Comedy genius.

For those of us that are followers of GW, you’ll be aware that this coming weekend is Warhammer Day. There’s some bits and bobs that are going on sale and all sorts of shenanigans at local stores to support the day and the slight rebranding with a new logo.

What has got me excited, however, is it’s also the day that the new version of Apocalypse goes up for preorder.

Back in the olden days, those of us that played 40k often had collections that exceeded the normal 2k points or so, or fancied putting 2 or 3 armies together in a big game. GW listened and bought forth the first version of Apocalypse. It provided a framework to have massive armies including titans and other superheavies.

It was ok. Really just a different force organisation chart but still used the standard 40k rules. As such, games bogged down once they got too big and time could run out (or it got boring as your opponent moved his detachment of 200 Ork boyz).

The old geezers amongst us just said ‘Play Epic if you want that sort of game. Epic wasn’t supported but you could still get the rules from specialist games.

40k moved on and became a more streamlined game as it went through a couple of editions (IMO). Lots of new models and a couple of new armies were added. Gamers be gamers, we continued to collect armies waaaaay bigger than we needed.

So, what about Apocalypse, now? (I am brilliant!)

From what we have seen, this is a stand-alone ruleset that allows you to use your oversized 40k armies to play big games. There seems to be a deck building element (that has been used very successfully in Warhammer Underworlds) although initially it seems all cards can be bought at the outset.

The squad seems to be the lowest unit size (no individual model removal that I can see from the teaser vids). The rules look very similar to the Epic rules with a touch of AoS/40k streamlining included.

GW are also making all the datacards for all armies available online.

It has certainly piqued my interest and I shall be ordering it on Saturday.

I have had the idea of an Inquisition led Crusade force for quite some time, played with the idea in Epic but it looks like it will happen in Apocalypse now. (It’s the joke that keeps on giving!!)

(Battle) Field of Dreams….

As some of you will know from reading Mike’s earlier blog and following us on Twitter, we really like Saga – Age of Magic.

There appears to be a lot of similar, like minded people out there so I thought I’d make a step to see if we can create a bit of an event scene for it.

I’m running my first Saga event on the 24th August at our old friends, Battlefield Hobbies to see if we can get a bit of buzz going. It’s called Here Be Dragons (it’s uncharted territory and, well……..dragons!!) and if there’s enough interest it’s one that we can take in the road to other venues too.

The aim is to create a friendly environment for people to come and play new people and show off their warbands under the guise of a vaguely competitive event. Much like the 7TV and Dragon Rampant days that we have attended at the excellent Board in Brum (go there if you are in the vicinity!!).

This link to the rules pack may or may not work, but it’s in the Saga FB group or ping me on Twitter if you are interested…….

https://www.dropbox.com/s/narr5zssijgota8/HBD%202019.pdf?dl=0

Practically adequate in every way……..and Rock week

This post is a Bit later than planned but I went with the missus to see Mary Poppins Returns recently.

Ordinarily not something that I would rush to see but given that anyone with an ounce of compassion loves the original and Emily Blunt (hubba hubba) I was keen to give it a whirl.

I’m generally not a fan of remakes/reboots or apparently unnecessary sequels I tried to have as open a mind as possible. It also helped that BBC2 had helpfully had Saving Mr Banks on a couple of days before which gave some interesting context of what PL Travers thought the story was really about.

MPR has a difficult act to follow and a difficult path to walk. I thought it did all of that well. Emily Blunt does a good turn, Jack the lamp lighter has a dubious accent, the kids are not too annoying. MPR strikes the balance perfectly of respecting the original without losing anything due to that reverence. The animated scenes are as pleasant as the original and the song and dance bits are every bit as competent as the first time around (but we’ll come back to this).

Interestingly, the core of the story – the Saving of Mr Banks Jr is slightly more overt (albeit still superbly done) than the original and it is clear throughout the adventures, that the losses within his life are the ones to be resolved.

As I came away, as good as it was, I couldn’t help thinking that something was missing from making the film a ‘modern classic’. The songs.

Whether it is through years of rewatching or because I’m old and cynical now but the songs in MPR just didn’t stick in my mind or feel like instant singalongs for me. They were ok but there was no ‘Spoonful of Sugar’ or ‘Supercali-etc etc’ that had you humming along. Given the impact of the music from The Greatest Showman that I hear every bloody where, it just feels like it’s a missed opportunity to take it to the next level of fan adoration.

Enjoyed it though.

I followed up over the last week by catching up on a trio of older movies that I missed the first time around all of which starred Dwayne Johnson. It was a Rockfest.

I watched Jumanji 2, Rampage, and Baywatch.

Jumanji 2 (yeah I know it wasn’t actually called that but f##k off) – enjoyable enough. Some funny bits, borrowed some body swap tropes from elsewhere. Jack Black played Jack Black in a hat. Not awful but only a 6/10.

Rampage – more enjoyable in a ridiculous B movie-sequel plot free action flick style. Jeffery Dean Morgan seems to be a new Billy Bob Thornton. Naomi Harris dials in a performance. CGI is good. Stupid but fun. Sammy (my 8yo boy) lived it and I guess that’s the target audience.

Baywatch – in order to contradict what I said above, I enjoyed the Jump St remakes and tolerated The A team, so really had no expectations of Baywatch. I never really watched the TV series, although was aware of its popularity and why. The movie acknowledges the ridiculousness of the pretty people playing at lifeguard/detective while still giving plenty of eye candy to look at. It was an opportunity for DJ to play a more comedic role (there is action in slo mo – of course) but actually, there is some really snappy and funny dialogue in there too. Made me laugh lots, made me look at boobs lots. 8/10.

More stuff soon,

Kisses

Matt

New Year – New efforts

2018 sucked. It was fu##ing awful.

The world became a less tolerant, hate filled place. We argued over Brexit, Trump, race, faith, money, sport, food and everything in between.

Even worse, Mike and me barely played any games, didn’t record and barely blogged.

2019 will be better.

Probably.

As is the tradition for this time of year – hobby pledges must be made.

I have 2.

The first came about through realising that even though had had played very few games during the year, I still spent a f##k tonne of money. I have piles of stuff that I have no intention of using. Armies that I want to use that I need to paint.

Hence #costneutralhobby2019. A ridiculous idea that I want to try and get through the year without having spent any money on the hobby. With the amount I have to sell, I should be able to fund the small amounts I need to buy. Ambitious – yes. Ridiculous – hopefully not.

The second pledge is #12projects12months.

With the amount I have to paint, I’ve set myself the goal of completing stuff this year. Some linked to events, some just linked to a desire to complete. My 12 projects are:

A Saga 6 point Norman force

A Saga 6 point Crusader force – different stuff to the Normans

The Samurai ‘Good guys’ army – 36 points of Dragon Rampant

The Samurai ‘Bad guys’ army – as above

2000 points of Seraphon for Age of Sigmar

2000 points of Freeguild for Age of Sigmar

2000 point 40k Army

A standard 7TV cast of 50 points

Bloodbowl Nurgle team

A pulp 7TV cast of 50 points

An Epic 40k 2000 point army

Necromunda Van Saar force

I also want to record with Mike and blog more, we’ll see how that goes……….

love and stuff

Matt

X

Ascension Strikes Back.

Kira settled herself on the rise and slowly scanned the town in the distance with the binoculars.

It looked like every other town they had visited, abandoned cars in the streets, occasionally the blackened husk of a burnt building but most importantly, no signs of movement.

Dave squatted next to her.

‘Ascension Township. You will never find a more wretched hive of…..’

‘Don’t!’ She hissed through gritted teeth.

She snapped an angry look at Dave, his smirk quickly disappearing.

‘The world has ended. Everyone I’ve known or loved is dead, dying or a walking corpse. Civilisation doesn’t exist. We live in a world waiting to die. We’ve walked for 5 days to get here. We haven’t eaten for 3 days and the water ran out yesterday. I’ve got less than a dozen rounds left. I’m tired, I’m hungry, I’m thirsty, I’m scared and if you keep doing Star Wars quotes, I bloody kill you and then I’ll be alone.’

She looked back at the town, and grabbed her pack from the rocky ground.

‘Let’s get down there before night falls, you fricking moron,

She strode off, down the escarpment, kicking gravel and she stomped off.

Dave stood and sighed.

‘ I’ve got a bad feeling about this ‘ he muttered as he jogged to catch up with her.

A Warlord’s price

The village was still smouldering as the column of samurai approached through in the afternoon sun. Bodies were strewn through the pathways between the buildings and the wounded stood and bowed as the daimyo and his entourage made their way to the centre.

‘My lord, we were not expecting you so quickly’

The junior officer was shaking as he stood in the clearing, head bowed.

‘The gaijin approached under cover of darkness and fell upon us without warning. We mustered as quickly as we could but they came at us from all sides. Those that stood to first, were cut down. The rest of us barely were able to fend them off.’

Tetsuo looked around at the survivors. As his glance moved from man to man, they quickly looked down in order to not meet his his steely stare.

‘It seems that the officer in charge of this garrison was ill prepared and it was only that those animals had grabbed what they wanted that made them leave. Where is the leader of these men?’

The junior officer gestured to a corpse by the signal beacon.

‘Akita-san was killed trying to summon reinforcements, my lord’

Tetsuo shifted in his saddle to look back to one of his retainers.

‘Given his death, make sure that my displeasure is visited upon his family’, Tetsuo ordered through gritted teeth.

A lightly dressed warrior jogged into the village clearing and knelt in front of Tetsuo.

‘Lord, they are heading west with wagons. They seem to be making their way back to the border’

Tetsuo turned as was about to call for the wizard, but the wizened old man was already standing alongside the daimyo, where only seconds before there had been empty space.

‘Xin Loi, I will chase the barbarians down myself’, Tetsuo lowered his voice ‘Go to your…..allies and see if they will join me.’

The wizard’s voice was like cracking twigs, ‘You know the price they will ask?’

Tetsuo snapped back ‘Yes! I am not a fool, but they will earn their reward’.

The warlord turned his eyes to the west. These invaders didn’t know what they had started, the cost for his kingdom would be high but what was to come would mean that the army of Tetsuo Fujitaki would be feared across the whole world.

Different Class

Much better album.

I have a masterplan, and its a doozy.

ATOKeGYJ.png

First 2018 goal is the cunningly named #spreadthespoons.

Malifaux is the only system that I have played at tournaments and I want to change that this year. My goal is to play at 6 different system tournaments. 6. That’s a bloody lot. AT the moment the systems are likely to be:

Age of Sigmar – Already booked in for the end of Jan. No army painted.

Epic40k – Already booked in for end of Feb. No army painted.

40k – Not booked in yet but do have an army painted.

Saga – Not booked in nor army painted.

Guildball – not booked in and no team painted.

Game #6 – not sure yet but could be Shadespire, Burrows and Badgers but mostly likely Batman. Crew not painted.

I also have MAGE and Bonescon to work on stuff for so will be a busy few months at the start of the year.

images.jpg

I’m also going to have a crack the #365/365 challenge (paint 365 miniatures during the year) as I have several full scale armies to paint. I want to revisit some historical gaming with NGN (currently planning 10mm ACW and WW2). He’ll want to have a go at Gangs of War too (so far the only new game that I am looking forward to trying in 2018 – and I already have the figures that I need!).

Gonna try to keep count of the purchases and sales of stuff on here too. Gotta show some restraint this year, mortgage to get and all that grown up stuff.

2018 Day 1

Miniatures purchased – 0

Miniatures painted – 0

Miniatures sold – 0

Lbs lost – 0

As Mike said, we must get back into the habit of regularly gaming, and that will lead to recording stuff and we can get into the cycle again. I’m hoping that either Monday or Friday can become a regular gaming day.

Supporting_MIND_logo_English_blue_RGB

Last and by no means least in the #mindovermatter challenge. It has been really heartening to see the support that the Mfx community has put into supporting Mike and my favourite charity. We raised in excess of £1k at a single tournament and hopefully will be able to double that during the course of this year. The number of people in the hobby (myself included) have issues with mental health and as such, we all know someone that may occasionally need help.

Do or don’t look back in anger or not……I don’t bloody know!

My turn, I guess.

2017 has been a busy and interesting year outside of the hobby. Both me and SWMBO have changed jobs, her daughter finished school and we have committed to buying a house together in 2018. I certainly had less depressive episodes during the year, and that is a GOOD THING.

01352b00e1914879039530fb36f1373a--smiley-symbol-happy-faces

Hobby-wise? Same sh*t, different year!

I didn’t really set much in the way of hobby goals in 2017 other than the plan to play Arcanist in Malifaux for 2017 and hope to beat Pete Shepherd (which I did!!).

I didn’t set any goals around painting (which is just as well)! We all had some fun with #FDWHP for a bit but in the end found that it was just too constraining and the old adage of ‘paint what you want to paint’ brought it to an end.

I did, however, get quite a bit painted earlier in the year and put together a decent looking selection of Arcanist models with a return to my first master, Ramos, and his horde of mechanical spiders. Malifaux has been the cornerstone of my gaming for a very long time and the only game that I have ever played competitively (although some will challenge on how competitive I have ever been!!). I found that during the year, I slowly felt that I had lost the inclination to play Mfx and spent some time trying to figure out why.

Some critics had spoken about the game suffering from an element of model bloat, which I want agreed with but did find it increasingly difficult to figure out what people were using and the potential counter to it. This is undoubtably more about my lack of skills rather than the game, but I had barely scratched the surface of Wave 4 before Wave 5 was upon us and I just couldn’t be arsed. Felt like too many rules that changed the mechanics and too many killer combos for me to enjoy. So I stepped away from the game (and Mike did so too which also probably influenced each others decision).

700px-40k-header-8th

8th edition 40K arrived which seems to have solved many of the issues that had made me stop playing that game. I have been a 40K fan since the olden days. I love the mythos and grimdark background of the game and had only been frustrated by the speed of the rule edition changes and the codex creep. That and the lack of gaming time with NGN (my long time 40k opponent) had seen me stop playing and sell up lots of the stuff. The new edition got me suitably buzzed enough to buy stuff to rekindle the Tau army that I had previously owned and sign up to play at a local tournament. I had 2 months to assemble and paint 2k points. Easy.

Procrastination left me with 72hrs to assemble and paint 2k points and then circumstances prevented me from attending the event but I did get the bloody stuff painted. I hope to finesse the paint jobs a bit and attend a tournament in 2018 with them.

AoSGenHanbook2017Cover

The General’s Handbook 2017 came out for Age of Sigmar. It got rave reviews and the AoS community seems to get very excited about it. SO I started collecting some bits with a view of getting a Nurgle Daemon army that I could also use for 40K. Well, that has expanded somewhat and I will have a big pool of models for AoS and hope to attend a tourney or two for that too.

As is ever the case, Mike and I encouraged a number of purchases of new rules and toys, many of which we haven’t yet played. Mike shows them on his post and there are some that I am still keen to try out. Dracula’s America and Scrappers deserve a play.

I did manage to flog off some bits that I was never going to use, and that process will continue during 2018 (especially as I will be moving house and could do with less boxes to move!!).

Saw some great movies, and some that were less good.

Not a bad year, I guess but 2018 will be better!!

Thumbs_Up_Hand_Sign_Emoji_large

Love and stuff to wash out of your hair

M

When it’s good, it’s very good……

….but other times it’s f##cking awful.

 

For many of us, the hobby is what makes us smile and gives a purpose to those slivers of time that we are not working, sorting out the kids, doing chores, doing DIY, pretending to enjoy socialising with the other half’s friends and all the mundane things in life. 

Nothing is more satisfying than the buzz of starting a new crew/team/army/force for a rule set, whether it’s one that you know and love or something new. 

And there’s nothing worse than losing hobby mojo. 

There are many reasons, some of which we have discussed during our waffle. Whether falling out of love with a favoured rule set, loss of regular gaming buddy or being disenfranchised by what you read on FB forums. 

For those of us that suffer with depression, anxiety, PD or any number of other mental health issues it can also be a warning bell. Losing motivation to do the things you enjoy is a common sign of a depressive episode and for us loony hobbyists can be the start of a cycle that is hard to break. 

‘I don’t want to play cos I feel like crap and can’t deal with people and because I haven’t played or seen my mates I feel like crap’. 

Social media can be a double edged sword. Easy and non-personal contact with other hobby people is great. Seeing the bad side of gamer’s attitudes and net-listing can be bad. 

If you’re lucky, you’ll have a gaming buddy that can always pull you out of the murk whether with infectious enthusiasm for something new or (in the case of my best mate), a face that looks damn funny. 

Time to get back on it…..

Been a while since I came in your eyeholes, sorry about that.

DLfYF8kXkAArkMh.jpg

First off….yes I did get the tau all done and then couldn’t go to the event due to a family issue. Joel, Lee and Mike all paid up promptly and I sat comfortably on my moral high ground (well, I may have left it until 72 hrs before the event to crack on but still finished the blighters)

th-8

While they were in the ‘planning stage’ (more like the denial phase) Knight Models released the 2nd Edition of the Batman Miniatures Game. There are new crews in resin and streamlined and updated rules. I have been looking for something to replace Malifaux as my low model count crew type game so I worked hard (wasn’t hard) to get Mike excited about wanting to play.

th-9.jpeg

He has gone for the Joker and Harley Quinn and I’ve chosen Bane but I am fairly sure that we will have a few varying gangs……

The tournament scene for BMG seems quite southern-centric and small but active. Looks like the FD wagon will be hitching itself to this for next year.

The rules are available for free as a download from Knight Models (as are the model cards) and have been updated a couple of times due to errata and updates. They seem good so watch this space and hopefully we’ll do some recording soon.