Hobby Blues

Well it been a while since I last wrote anything as I’ve been having a major hobby downer recently. One of those periods when you spend far more time on the XBox (replaying Diablo III for the umpteenth time) than hobbying.  Fortunately I seem to be out the other side of it now and am actually being more productive than I have in years.

It all started going downhill in the run up to the Malifaux Welsh GT.  As it got closer and closer I got less and less enthused about playing but as I had forked out a load of money on tickets and travel I felt I had to go through with it.   In the end I walked into the venue on the day and just couldn’t bring myself to play – it would have been a miserable experience for both my opponent and myself – so I dropped out (thanks Martin and Luke for making that painless)   The most wonderful David Brown also agreed to take over the running of the Malifaux Team event (ITC) which meant for the first time in 5 years I didn’t have any Malifaux commitments – strange feeling.

Then it was Salute and Mrs Marshall came along with me for the day.  Wandered around, chatted with some people, bought some bits and bobs and came away with the Gangs of War starter box which Matt and I had been talking about playing.  We were both very enthused for this, so much so that I finally finished up my Roman / Greek temple that I had been working on for a few years and then built a whole board to go with it.  Great stuff.  However (and didn’t you know there was going to be a however) the sales model that GoR is awful – I’ll be ranting about it another day – and that basically killed the game for us stone dead.  Ah well, back to the drawing board – or the XBox in my case 🙂

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Then the funniest thing happened.  A friend of mine, Dan, has recently got into Moonstone and asked if I wanted to go over and play a game and have it videoed for his You Tube channel.  Why not I thought, hadn’t played it before but the models are very lovely and I hadn’t actually played anything for ages.

Well it was like a switch had been turned on.  The game is masses of fun, with some awesome mechanics – I especially like the sword fighting components – and I will definitely be playing it again but the simple act of playing a game was enough to lift me out of the hobby funk that I had been in and get me away from the console and back to the painting table.

With MAGE II coming up I had set myself the task of having fully painted crews for all the games.  This of course meant actually painting stuff but after playing with Dan that no longer seemed the chore that it was previously.  So in the last couple of weeks I have finally finished off my Dead Mans Hand posse of Father Wilson and the Educators and I am now cracking on with the OGAM project that has been knocking around since 2014.  Just got a few more vikings to finish.  The beauty of this one will be that it gets me half way to having a fully painted SAGA force as well which is again something I have wanted for years but have always managed to come up with creative ways to avoid getting.

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Then it will be on with Burrows and Badgers and finally a Guildball team (I will probably end up speed-painting these as I can’t see myself playing a game beyond the one at MAGE)

Will keep you updated as I crack on, and who knows, we might even record something

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.

Hobby Heroes

Over the weekend Games Workshop announced the winners of the their Warhammer Heroes initiative – congrats to all of them – but I must admit this was the first time I had heard of the program, which is a shame as its a very interesting concept.  Who are the people that have given the most back to the hobby and deserve at least some small recognition for their efforts – though I’m pretty sure, knowing some of the winners that recognition is the last thing on their minds.

Well it got me to thinking, who would I have nominated and I kept coming back to the same person.  The person who I believe has done more for wargaming and community than anyone else in the UK.  The person who will slip into an event and be greeted by everyone as a long lost friend.  The person who takes for ever to get around an event like Salute as everyone stops him to say hello, how you doing, what you up to.  He is, simply put, a legend and a man who I am very very proud indeed to call a friend.

He is Conrad E J Gonsalves

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Lets look at a few of the things he has achieved:

  • One of the first people to build an internet gaming community when the internet was still in its infancy.  You can directly trace a line back from the work that the Warhammer Community team do now to the work he did back in 1995 (which is a scary amount of years ago)
  • Long time podcaster across many different shows and for many different games (Boosted Damage, Malifools, Fools Daily as just a few)
  • Was fed up having no-one local to play so created a wargames club off his own back which is still up and running today (and that he is still heavily involved in)
  • Playtester for more games than you can shake a stick it and fundamental in helping shape many rules sets over the years.  Look though the GW output of the early 2000s and his name will be there.  Old Warhammer Ancients players may well remember that his name in the credits had to be put in the errata as Jervis couldn’t spell it 🙂