Plans for 2017!

Well, as anyone following me on Twitter will know, I’ve very excited for hobby in 2017!  I have a dedicated hobby desk set up, I have a whole horde of Bloodbowl models assembled and primed, and made a start painting them!

But thats not a plan – thats the situation!  Whats my overall hobby plan?  More painting and gaming, basically, which is easier said than done!    One key is focus, which isn’t my forte!

40K

Here, I plan on 2 main armies to focus on throughout 2017 (at least until I’m happy with them!)  I plan to work on my Imperial Guard until I can field an infantry army!  I’m enjoying painting them, and there are enough quirks and odd platoons I like to keep them interesting.  In addition, I love Sisters of Battle, and new releases like the Canoness and the rumoured Saint Celestine will keep me busy, together with starting a new army if they actually go ahead with a plastics release.  The mix should be varied enough to be interesting, but focussed enough to make progress.

Blood Bowl

This is the joker in the deck, and may dominate the year if I’m not careful (or heck, if I just enjoy it that much!).  I don’t know what we’ll see in terms of a release schedule, so it may be busy or just occasional flurries of hobby here.  I think this may well end up being my game of 2017 though!  At present, my main goal is to get some key teams painted up that myself and my regular opponent will enjoy, together with humans and orcs for any intro games.

Warmachine

Warmachine is an odd one.  I love the models and the fluff, but I don’t have any regular opponents, and the hardcore gaming nature and new version is a little off-putting when my gaming is pretty irregular.  I suspect if I found a regular group I’d love it, but as it is, I think my Warmachine stuff is going into storage this 2017, with maybe some minor painting for fun!  I quite like the triple Haley pack ūüôā  Go swans!  And if there is a army paint and auction for WAAC this year, I’ll probably look at taking part again.  I may look at eBaying my cygnar off at some point if my interest doesn’t take back off.

Malifaux

I really need to study back up on my malifaux!  I have a wonderful set of Resurrectionists that just aren’t seeing action at the moment, though a local gaming group may let me kick off with them!  I have a few other unassembled bits and pieces, but I really need to just try a few games here before anything else.  I may reach out to Twitter and get some recommendations for tweaking my Ressers and target a few upgrades, but I’m not planning on Halifax models particularly at the moment.

Guild Ball

Guild Ball is a bit of an odd one – I’m not sure if it will sink in my hobby year as Blood Bowl fills a similar slot.  I think I’ll get the 2 player starter, and see how that goes before making any decisions.  The teams in the starter aren’t my personal choices though, I quite like Butchers.

Star Wars – Imperial Assault

This is going to be big for me this year!  I’m hyped for Star Wars after Rogue 1, and the minis are brilliant.  I’m booking in some games of this already, and especially if they go well, I think its going to swing in and dominate my painting after the initial Blood Bowl rush.  Loving the models.

Star Wars – X-Wing

I enjoy X-Wing, but I think Imperial Assault is going to be my main Star Wars game going forward.  I’ll fit in any games I can, and the fact I don’t need to paint the models is a big draw with limited time!

Star Wars – Armada

Not sure on this one, oddly.  Minimal painting needed, which is good, but individual games need a lot of space and take a lot of time – I think its going to overlap with 40K.  Its high on my list in theory!

Fantasy Battle/9th Age/Kings of War/Age of Sigmar

Fantasy gaming is an odd spot for me, as I love the armies and battles, but don’t really have much in the way of opponents, and its a slot I struggle fitting in time wise.  I think in terms of fantasy, the focus is going to be individual heroes and undead.

Dungeon Saga

Dungeon Saga fits into the same sort of slot as Imperial Assault, and has the bonus extra of solo play.  There are some cracking models to paint up, and there are some great options for other companies models too.  Its really exciting, especially for Undead, as it goes into the next game

Zombicide Black Plague

This is a fantastic game, lets me use zombies from Dungeon Saga and others, and lets me get some solo games in too.  Going to be big for me in 2017 as a co-op game with a few mates as well.

 

2016 – A Tabletop Gaming Retrospective

Well, with Christmas out of the way, its time to look back at the last year, before we start looking seriously at hobby plans for 2017!  I’ll start with my thoughts on the hobby in general!

Well, the big change in 2016 has to be the sudden change in GW’s approach to community engagement.   Bringing back old models periodically, classic games like blood bowl, opening up multiple routes on social media, a genuine sense of humour in things like dealing with leaks and the regimental-standard.com – its been fantastic.  They aren’t perfect, by any means, by they’ve massively changed their approach from almost actively antagonising wargamers to reaching out, and engaging us again.  With the release of points in the General Handbook, popularity of Age of Sigmar has soared, giving them a credible fantasy alternative again.  I’ve personally been a little disappointed with AoS, both as I find the ruleset a little clumsy with the loss of any speed variable in combat (and I like fast Aelves!), and the lack of any Aelves for about 2 years, to be followed up by essentially just releasing the old starter set.  I’d been very excited by the Mistweaver from Silver Tower and the aesthetic there, so it feels a bit of a cop out.  I still want new pointy ears!

Guildball has continued to expand, though we’ll have to see how it does now a 800 pound gorilla like Blood Bowl is back on the scene.  I’m struggling to keep up with the rule changes every season, but as I’m not actively playing, it may just seem harder than it is.  I don’t find the same issue with Malifaux, though, and I haven’t really been actively engaged in that either.  The horde of gremlin options on the market is particularly fantastic ūüôā

Big names have continued to sneak into the war-games market, with Star Wars doing particularly well with Imperial Assault, X-Wing and Armada.  Star Trek and Halo have pretty credible entries too, and Aliens vs Predator is a really solid game, together with the The Walking Dead in the zombie sphere.  Its an interesting time, where major franchises are competing with entrenched systems – I’m worried it’ll hammer smaller systems and model makers particularly hard.

I think one of the trends I’ve seen is a distinct breakdown into 3 types of model buyer.  You tend to see collectors, who either play rarely or just play for fun with fluffy games using some of their more obscure models and have enormous collections.  You see players, who are increasingly moving to skirmish games with much lower model counts.  And tournament gamers, who play the larger systems but with much more focussed armies than ever before. 

Its unusual – in the past, I knew 40k gamers with loads of models and different armies, and I’d see them field a different one almost every game.  Now?  Even if they collect them, they just have one actual force they play with.  Its too much time and effort for them to keep up with the rules otherwise.  Games like Rogue Stars, Open Combat, Frostgrave, Malifaux, Imperial Assault and Kill Team are massively more popular than ever before.  It’ll be interesting to see if this changes up with a rumoured 8th edition this year.

I keep hearing the good thing about AoS is the low cost of entry compared to WFB, but all the games I see people playing and talking about are exactly the same sort of size as WFB ever was – I just hear a lot of current or former 40k players loving the models, collecting and painting them too, which didn’t use to be the case.  Even if I’m not a big fan of the system, I’m glad to see it do well, as I think the market needs a range of different fantasy games.  I hope we don’t see model creep stopping people getting excited for it in the same way we did with WFB, but I think the really well priced “start collecting” sets will help there.

With moving over 150 miles to a new home, all my local stores and clubs are different, so its really thrown my normal gaming options out in the latter half of 2016.  Hopefully I’ll find plenty of options to get my game on in 2017!

Bloodbowl! Dark Elves!

Well, with the announcement of a re-release of Bloodbowl from Games Workshop in 2017, there’s a lot of excitement about the game! ¬†It’s worth noting, though, that there has been lots of activity in the Bloodbowl area for years, even without GW support, so here’s a look at some of the cracking teams and options that are out there. ¬†Rather than breaking it down my manufacturer, I thought I’d break it down by race! ¬†First up, Dark Elves!

NB – As I come across more bits and pieces, I’ll hopefully keep this up to date with new options and models.

Complete Teams

Tanatos Dark Elf Team (MK1881)

http://www.comixininos.com/blood-bowl-teams/elfos-oscuros/complete-teams/dark-elves-dark-elf-team-of-16-players-mk1881.html

This is probably my favourite looking Dark Elf team at the moment. ¬†Its a vicious looking greek style armour, with all the positions you’d want for a Dark Elf team, and the slightly unusual theme really makes it distinctive (with a solid nod to the original 2nd edition GW team).

Honos Dark Elf Team (MK1881)

http://www.comixininos.com/blood-bowl-teams/elfos-oscuros/complete-teams/pro-elves-pro-elf-team-of-16-players-mk1881.html

This team is quite neat with some very dynamic poses.  To me, though, it feels a little bland with the slightly generic elf but spiky look.

Dark Elf Team (Uscarl Miniatures)

http://www.comixininos.com/miniaturas-por-fabricante/uscarl/dark-elves-team-of-15-players-uscarl-miniatures.html

The sculpts aren’t up to the standard of some of the more modern style teams here, but there is lots of character in there with a decent range of positions and poses.

Wicked Elves (Shadowforge Miniatures)

https://www.tritex-games.co.uk/product/shadowforge-female-wicked-elf-team-x-11-players-2802/

This team has been on the market since before GW stopped selling BB! ¬†Its a cracking set of sculpts, if a trifle cheesecake! ¬†Still nice to be able to field a female team on the pitch though! ¬†I must confess, I have a full set of these ūüôā ¬†And if you do a lot of the skin areas as lycra, they actually look pretty fun.

One useful note – there are a wide range of extra models for the team beyond the core – both extra poses for the various positions, but also for the various support roles, such as cheerleaders, mages, coaches, security and so on.

Black Widows (Impact Miniatures)

http://www.impactminiatures.com/index.php?option=widows_profile&id=BW_TM3

I’m not terribly enamoured by these, as there isn’t enough different sculpts, and the clothing choices are … odd. ¬†Mind you, paint the exposed skin area as spandex and it’d actually look pretty good.

Dark Elves (Neomics)

http://www.gaspez-arts.com/dark-elves/neomics-team-dark-elves.html

Elfe Delle Tenbre (Gaspez Arts)

http://www.gaspez-arts.com/elfi-delle-tenebre/team-elfi-delle-tenebre.html

Night Talons (Esair)

http://www.esair.baueda.com/shoptalons.html

I really like the look of this team. ¬†Its pretty unique, like an armoured madonna team ūüôā

Star Players

Hubris Rakarth Alternatives

http://willyminiatures.com/product/dark-elf-star-player/

Roxana Darknail Alternatives

http://willyminiatures.com/product/witch-elf-star-player/

 

http://www.gaspez-arts.com/team-captain/witch-sarah-darksoul-special-edition-2nd-ttc.html

 

Eldred Sidewinder Alternatives

http://willyminiatures.com/product/hypnotic-eyes-elf-star-player/

 

Hobby Roundup (Week 6)

Well, unfortunately the joys of real life meant I didn’t get time to update the blog as much as I’d like, so you’ll notice a bit of a jump to week 6! Hopefully I’ll get a chance to pop in a few notes for weeks 4 & 5 retrospectively! ¬†In fairness, though, pretty much no actual hobby except for some vicarious dribbling actually took place, so you didn’t miss much!

I’ve decided I need a bit of an OTT hobby project after being called “sensible” the other day, so I’m currently looking at a fully decked out Deathwatch squad from a range of different chapters. ¬†Mind you, given the rumours of a deathwatch/genestealer cult game coming, I may well hang on. ¬†I am tempted to go sillier though, with an Ork Nobs mob called Wotcha Deff! ¬†Painboy, silvery robot left arms, black armour…. muahahahahaha!

Also considering an Eldar Revenant titan for ludicrous scale silliness! ¬†Knights just aren’t enough!

Currently very into looking at getting Bloodbowl teams sorted out, and Bear¬†has been painting his Armada models which has got me excited to paint up my Armada and X-Wing too. ¬†Time is very difficult at the moment though, with 2 little ones and we’re in birthday season!

I thought the new Space Wolf stuff might get me excited for some old school marine action – my first RT marines were wolves! ¬†The Wulfen pics I’ve seen look like were chicken poses in biker spandex, so not floating my boat …. though in fairness, GW pics are often a bit under par and don’t do models justice. ¬†The new character models are nice though, but I already have Krom from the limited campaign set.

Struggling getting excited for guildhall going through the rules and options, and its the same hangup I have a bit with Malifaux¬†too. ¬†I generally prefer systems like frostgrave or mordheim, where the war band slate is a blank. ¬†Having to pick established characters doesn’t get me into the game quite as much. ¬†Cracking rulesets¬†though. ¬†I was looking at trying to field an all female guildball team, but can’t work out a good way of doing it without losing too many team synergies. ūüôĀ ¬†Mind you, I never win anyway!

Anyways, onwards and upwards!

Hobby Roundup (Week 1)

Well, the first week of hobby in 2016 is over, and what have I done? ¬†Nothing! ¬†Or, at least, very little! ¬†I’ve been looking through what I have, rather than getting active hobby in.

I’ve opened Imperial Assault and the Force Awakens X-Wing starter sets that I got for Christmas, though have to pop tokens and sleeve the cards still. ¬†I have to say, I am blown away by the quality of these sets. ¬†Great value, cracking miniatures, clear rules, good introductions, and easy to add to. ¬†Really looking forward to trying them out – I play X-Wing already, but looking forward to getting a couple of new x-wings out with the falcon!

I’ve also started my 2016 involvement in #WAAC, with the purchase of Lanyssa from the Minions faction in Hordes (from Privateer Press) to be painted up for a charity raffle later this year. ¬†Obviously the plan is Green and White colours … and I do enjoy painting elves!

 

With the announcement of Bloodbowl from GW again, my enthusiasm to get some teams painted is through the roof!  I may have acquired a team of Wicked Elves from Shadowforge this week.

I’m probably going to go with a bodysuit colour rather than flesh, making them a little less wicked! ¬†Blue and Yellow Darkside Cowgirls are planned! ¬†I also got a set of elf catchers I was missing to finish off my Elf ladies that I plan to paint in the red and blue of the Galadrieth Gladiators!

Looking forward to trying out some Vassal Malifaux and Guildball to get to grips with the rules too!