Thursday, December 27, 2018

2018 Year in Review

Time once again for my annual year end gaming summary and evaluation.  As usual this is a rather silly exercise that I take a unusual amount of pleasure in.  As always I started the year with several ideas about what I would like to do or accomplish over the course of the year.  It is also a bit of a prediction about what I will be interested in.  Not surprisingly I am often wrong in my predictions.  Lets jump in!

Sci-Fi Gaming

At the beginning of the year I had expected that GW's Shadow-war Armageddon would a be a well played game for the year.  It turns out I was way off base on that idea.  This game did not get played at all and is, unsurprisingly, dead.  The main thing that killed it was GW's release of the new Kill Team edition this year.  While I did not get into Kill Team it was made clear that SWA was just a flash in the pan to sell you old models.  I did, eventually, purchase Kill Team but it has not been played.

I had very low expectations at the beginning of the year for Necromunda Underhive.  I knew I would be spending lots of cash on the game and I did, but I did not think it would see much table time. That is where I was wrong.  This turned into the second most played game of the year for me and we even managed a short campaign.  For purchases I bought the Deathray Designs wall set and manage to build it all and paint a lot of it.  These wall really make the Zone Mortalis games so much better.  I bought all the gangs, cards and books released this year and I even managed to acquire some of the Forge World stuff.  It was a very exciting year for this game.

I had some hopes that 40K would see a lot of action this year as I do like the 8th edition rules a lot.  Sadly I was only able to get in two games.  I blame this relative inaction on GW waiting so long to release the new Ork codex.  Had this been out earlier in the year I would have been more motivated to get games going.  My friend Tim got me the Speed Freeks game for my birthday and we did get in one game of that.  I also managed to paint a few more models for my Ork collection and I got sucked into the Space Marine Heroes blind buy thing.  All in all not a bad year but more games would have been better.

As for non-GW sci-fi I had thoughts that CAV: Strike Operation would see some table and paint time this year but that did not happen.  I am kind of over this.  The models are cool and cheap but the game is really incomprehensible and I am just too old to decode complicated rules.  I thought that the Fallout game and the Star Wars legions games would be a major distraction as well but I managed to resist them both.  The Fallout game really had some release issues that kind of turned me off.

WWI/WWII/Modern

This is a very broad category that covers lots of periods and games.  In the past this would have been dominated by Flames of War but times have changed.

We played a very large Flames of War Great War game for the 100th anniversary of the end of the war.  The game was about 3000 points to a side and was great fun.  It is the first WWI game we have played in more than a year, maybe two years.

I had expected that Battlegroup would be a big game this year.  We did play one game early in the year and as usual it went well and was fun.  But it just did not catch on.  My friend Tom decided to drop the game and I did pick-up his collection of books.  I really hate to see this game go away but I have to figure out how it fits with our game group.  I think this game needs to be run as as scenario game similar to Black Powder and not as a points match game like Flames of War.  Not a good year for this game.

Tom and I played one game of Flames of War v4 this year.  This was the first time I had played with the true 4th edition rules.  I purchased the Afrika Korps book and cards and even the command cards.  The game went well and was fun but it played very different and will take some adjustment.  We both discovered that purchasing the books it a waste of money as just about everything you need to build an army is in the unit card decks.  I really want to enjoy this and maybe even love it but it is still leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

TANKS and TANKS; The Modern Age did not go much of anywhere this year for me.  I managed one game of TANKS.  I purchased the modern age set and built the tanks but I didn't get in any games.  This was a little bit of a let down.

I purchased the new edition of the Fate of a Nation rules and read them.  This game looks really good and it inspired me to plan updating my army to the new edition.  There is a lot a buzz with my friends about this game but we did not get it to the table this year.  I really wish Osprey was doing all the rules for the Flames of War game systems.  They have such a good handle on how this should be done.

Bolt Action was also on the radar and on the game table this year.  I did not get in a lot of games but there were some important milestones with this game this year.  The big one was the completion of my long suffering Point 213 game.  Time and I have been working, off and on, on this game idea for the better part of 10 years.  A couple years ago we got this project back on track and kicked out a large terrain collection as well as completing all the models for the game.  We played the game in June and it was good fun but things just did not turn out as expected.  The Germans got slaughtered in a very one-sided action.  This is a result our test games did not exactly predict.  Another major milestone for BA was the completion of my US Marines to a playable level.  This project was to be our starting point for converting over to the 2nd edition rules.  Things took longer than expected for the guys but Tim and I managed to play a 500 point Marines vs Japanese v2 game last week so check that off the list.  It was a really good year for this game.

Horse and Musket/Old West

This is a game setting that has been dominated by dreams of huge games of Black Powder.  This year marked a slight change from the usual pattern.  Tim and I played a couple of games using the points system and played smaller games on a 4x8 table.  These games were actually a lot of fun.  We also played probably the largest BP game we have ever hosted - The Battle of Salem Church.  This was the third and final battle in a three year Chancellorsville campaign.  American Civil War figures turned out to be the most painted items for this year as well.  I added several new units and guns to the collection as well as some cool vignettes.  I also purchased a large collection of figures from a friend so I now have a massive 28mm ACW collection.

I managed to paint one more unit for my very sad attempt to get into the Napoleonic era using Black Powder.  I purchased the Clash of Eagles supplement and I would really love to do some games but I have really run out of support for this kind of project so no real progress was made.

Tim and I played one game of Fistfull of Lead for old west and had a blast.  Afterwards we discussed playing the Hores and Musket version of the game set in the ACW.  Tim promptly put together a Confederate force but I did not get to putting together a Union force.  This could have been better but I think there is a future in this idea.

Fantasy Games

When it comes to fantasy games I always seem to struggle.  Ever since the demise of LOTR years back I have been trying to find something to fill that hole (and LOTR ain't it incase you were wondering).  This year I really thought this would be covered by Frostgrave and perhaps Kings of War.  Well I didn't play either game this year.  I did manage to buy some Frostgrave items but no gaming.

I have been talking about Age of Sigmar as being something I am interested in learning more about and I thought this year might be the year I jumped in.  The new Soul Wars starter set with the absolutely amazing Nighthaunt models finally got me.  I actually ended up buying the 1st edition set as well as the Soul Wars set.  In a matter of a few months I went from never playing the game to have three armies for the game.  I have about 1500+ points of Nighthaunts painted as well as about 1000 points of Stormcast eternals.  I have about 1000 points of Khornate Slaughterhorde.  This was my most played game of the year and the second highest in the painting total.  I am pretty sure it wins the most money spent award as well.  I really jumped all in with this game this year and have really enjoyed every minute of it.

Board games and other stuff

By board games I really mean the special type of board game that bridges the gap between miniatures and more traditional games.  This area has been pretty interesting this year.  We got in a fair amount of time with the original Warhammer Quest and it was great fun as usual.  I purchased a second-hand copy of Warhammer Quest Silver Tower and we played the introductory scenario.  I liked it but everyone else was not impressed.  I painted one of the figures to use in my Stormcast army so not a total loss.

With the popularity of AoS in my group it was almost inevitable that Warhammer Underworlds (aka Shadespire) would get some attention.  I got the Shadespire set for my birthday in November and it has really caught me friends attention.  I have two painted factions done and I received Nightvault and the Sepulchral Guard expansion for Christmas.  This game is good fun and marks a big win for the year.

As previously mentioned the Speed Freeks game made its appearance in November and while only one game was played I think it has real promise.  The game works well as a stand alone game that is much more than a throw-away game.  We plan to play some more on New Years eve so this is just getting started.

I also played a couple of games of Bloodbowl this year.  These were only my second and third games ever but it was a alot of fun.  I don't own the game and I have no plans to but I did paint a team last year so it was fun to use my own team.

I was very tempted by the Blackstone Fortress game but its late appearance in the year ensured I would not get to it.  It looks amazing and I am sure it will be in my future.

Closing Thoughts

All things considered this was a really good year for the hobby for me.  As usual things turned out much different than I expected and maybe that indicates a problem with how I set my expectations.  Maybe for the new year predictions I should try and keep things a little less specific.  Move main theme for the year was to keep things simple and try and leverage things I already had and to try and limit myself to fewer game systems.  This was a total failure.  I actually spent more money and acquired more stuff than ever before.  As for the number of game systems, I played 16 different game systems. That is likely the most diversity I have ever achieved which is not what I was shooting for.

In the modeling and painting area of the hobby this was also a good year.  I assembled almost 400 models this year and that is very close to the number of models I painted. Sadly the models built and models painted weren't always the same.  anyway I feel that was pretty good productivity so counts a major win.  I did paint several complete army projects this year which really excites me.

The blog saw a resurgence this year as well.  I loaded the Blogger app on the phone and I used it for a few work in progress posts and it did help keep the blog going.  The app kind of sucks but it is better than nothing.  Overall post count is the highest since 2011 with this post making 48.  It really helps me keep my focus by sharing this but sadly the audience for hobby bogging has all but disappeared.  I really never get any comments of feedback and traffic levels are low.  Meanwhile, people are asking the same question over and over on Facebook groups...smh.

It was a great year with lots and lots of fun!  I really can't wait for the new year and all the new hobby adventures on the horizon.  I hope your year went just as well!

Models Assembled year to date (includes cleaning and prepping metal figures):

28mm ACW - 81 (3 Guns, 3 Limbers, 1 Wagon, 4 Tents)
Warhammer 40K - 27 (1 Battlewagon, 2 Buggies, 3 Killa Kans, 5 Deff Koptas, 6 Bikes)
Warhammer AoS - 152 (2 big beasties, 6 objectives, 4 Endless Spell)
Warhammer Underworlds - 8
Necromunda - 5
28mm Napoleonic - 24
28mm WWII - 27 (1 Tank, 3 Jeeps, 1 Truck, 1 gun)
15mm Cold War - 3 (3 Tanks)
Terrain - 69 (69 Necromunda wall sections)

Total - 396

Figures painted year to date:
28mm ACW - 159 (3 guns, 3 limbers, 1 Wagon, 4 Tents)
28mm Napoleonic - 24
28mm WWII - 48 (3 Tanks, 1 Half-track)
Necromunda - 12
Warhammer 40K - 12 (1 Battlewagon, 2 Buggies, 6 Bikes, 3 Killa Kans)
Warhammer AoS - 116 (1 big beastie, 1 Endless Spell)
Warhammer Underworlds - 8
Terrain - 12

Total - 391

Game Record to date:
Battlegroup 1-0-0
Black Powder 0-3-0
Bloodbowl 0-1-1
Bolt Action 3-2-0
Necromunda Underhive 7-4-0
Warhammer Quest 1-0-0
Warhammer Quest Silver Tower 0-0-1
Warhammer 40K 0-2-0
Warhammer AoS 7-4-1
Mein Panzer 0-1-0
TANKS 1-0-0
Fistful of Lead 1-0-0
Flames of War Great War 1-0-0
Flames of War v4 0-1-0
Warhammer Underworlds 1-1-0
Speed Freaks 0-1-0

Monday, December 17, 2018

Speed Freeks First Game

I got in my first game of Speed Freeks Sunday.  It was a good time even if the rules are a bit vague.  I really think this game would brilliant with booze.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Steelheart's Champions

This is my Steelheart's Champions faction from Shadespire.  These guys have been painted to match my Stormcast Eternals army for Age of Sigmar.  There are AoS stats for this unit so they will see time in both games.  For Shadespire these guys have done well, winning the first two games.  They seem like a very powerful faction.





Saturday, December 8, 2018

Speedmob #1

I have finally finished the first Speedmob for the new Speed Freeks game.  I previously showed you the picture of the Shokkjump Dragsta.  I have now finished a three bike mob of biker to finish this up.  These are the first Ork bikers I have built and painted and they are almost as much of a pain in the ass as the Deffkoptas.  I am really looking forward to trying out this game and also to adding these models to my 40K Ork army.

Speedmob #1

Biker mob

Biker Nob the leader of the mob

Biker 1

Biker 2

Monday, December 3, 2018

Garrek's Reavers

I have been interested in Warhammer Underworlds: Shadepire (or just Shadespire as it is commonly referred to) for a long time but since it was set in the Age of Sigmar setting and I was not playing Age of Sigmar I never thought about trying it.  But now I am all in AoS and with the new version of the game I decided I should get the Shadespire set before they become impossible to get.  Tim and I tried the game out recently and we both really enjoyed it.  I decided that with such a small number of figures I have no real excuse for not painting them up.  Below if Garrek's Reavers, a Khorne Bloodreavers band that comes in the game.  I went with a quick paint approach and I think they look good.  The nice thing about this game is the figures are also usable in AoS as this same unit.  So basically, I know have one unit for my Chaos army already done.

Garrek's Reavers

Garrek Gorebeard

Blooded Saek

Kasus the Chained

Arnulf

Targor

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Completed Chainrasp Hordes

I knew from the beginning that my Nighthaunt army would have the Chainrasp Horde as the main Battleline unit.  For this I needed lots of Chainrasps and I was lucky enough to acquire three starter sets of models.

I now have 60 painted models divided into three 20-man units.  These have been absolutely fantastic in every game I have played.  These are a must have as far as I am concerned.




Sunday, November 25, 2018

Glavewraith Stalkers

This is my 10 man (ghost) unit of Glavewraith Stalkers.  When Soul Wars was initially releasted this was the unit that got my attention.  The models were really creepy and unique and I was really excited to paint them and get them on the table.  I still like the models, especially the easy build set, but in game terms they are a bust.  I have used them in almost all my games and they never seem to earn their points back.  I have used them as line troop and as flankers.  Nothing seems to work.  I understand why they are rarely used in Nighthaunt armies.  Sadly I will likely retire them soon.




Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Shokkjump Dragsta

This is one of two new Ork buggies included in Games Workshop's new Speed Freeks game.  This is the Shokkjump Dragsta and it is just about the coolest thing ever.  I just don't even know where to start with this.  The style, the vibe, is just perfect.  I have always thought of Orks as space rednecks and this captures that perfectly.  I mean. really, you have big tires, side pipes, a cool scoop and a spoiler, oh and an Ork driver, a big gun with grot gunners and a targeting squig.  It even has a flux capacitor and the grot gunner is using an Atari 2600 joystick for the missiles.  It literally has everything you could want. Perfect.







Sunday, October 7, 2018

Myrmourn Banshees

I have finished my Myrmourn Banshees for my Nighthaunt army.  I have used them a couple of times but so far they have not done much.  I see many players are running 12 of these and they might be more useful in a large unit.  The models are really amazing.  They are some for the best on the Nighthaunt line which is filled with amazing models.










Sunday, September 16, 2018

Chainrasp Horde

The Chainrasp Horde is the heart of the Nighthaunt army, or at least, it should be.  These are some really great figures and the units look fantastic.  In game terms these guys are great.  Keep some key heroes close and go to it.



One controversy around these figures has to do with price an availability.  Since the Nighthaunt army is an entirely new army initially this key unit was only available in the Soul Wars box set.  This is not really an issue has GW always has a separate model set ready to go after a new edition release.  Everyone knew that it was only a matter of time before you could buy these outside of the starter set.  There was also an expectation, based on previous GW practice, that the individual set of Chainrasps would be different from the Soul Wars models.  The expectation on the street was that this new kit would be 10 models and cost about $25-$30.  It was a huge shock when GW merely repackaged the exact same models from the Sould Wars set and priced them at $40 for 10!  Ouch!  I was lucky enough to purchase a couple of the Soul Wars Nighthaunt sets second hand but if I had had to buy these retail my army plans would be very different.  Sadly this is the only real mistake GW has made with the new Age of Sigmar edition.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Spirit Hosts

These are my Spirit Hosts.  These are a battleline unit for the Nighthaunts.  I have used these in my first two games and I really like them.  I can see why these are a popular option.  The models, however, are a major pain in the ass to build.  I thought after building them that I would never add any more to the army but after using them I am sure I will need more.


Friday, September 14, 2018

Grimghast Reapers

More of my Nighthaunt project is ready.  Today its time for the Grimghast Reapers.  This is the first battleline unit for the army.  I am not very experienced with AoS so I don't really understand the ins and outs of the game.  This seems to be the most popular battleline unit for the NH army and I really don't understand why.  Many local players are using these exclusively in their armies and recent national events have seen Death armies using lots of these.  I have used this unit in one game and it did well but I did not think they were worth the nearly double point cost over the Chainrasps.

When I built these I decided to leave out the heads and just go with an empty cowl look.  I think these look really creepy without the heads and it fits more with the grim reaper style.



Thursday, September 13, 2018

Lord Executioner

Today's Nighthaunt model is the Lord Executioner.  This is probably my least favorite model from the Soul Wars set.  I think it is the gallows - just a bit much.  The alternate model they recently released is much better.  I have never used this in a game so I am not sure of its game value.



Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Soul Torment

Today's installment of my Nighthaunt project is the Soul Torment.  This is one of my least favorite of the new models as far as the style is concerned.  I can't really tell you why.  In game terms, however, I think this is a must have unit for your Nighthaunts.



Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Guardian of Souls

The next installment of my Nighthaunt army.  This is the Guardian of Souls from the new Soul Wars box.  Another really cool model and very useful in the game terms.



Monday, September 10, 2018

Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Stead

The first of my Nighthaunt army is complete.  I started this project when the Soul Wars set was released.  This is the Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Stead.  It is an absolutely amazing model.  It is one of the beast I have ever seen and brilliant in its design.



I have already used it in a couple of games and I find it indispensable. Stay tuned for more of this army.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Balewind Vortex

I painted up my first Endless Spell for Age of Sigmar.  This is the Balewind Vortex.  It is kind of a cool spell that granted bonuses to the wizard for casting additional spells and increasing the range of the spells.  The model has been around for a few years but it used to be part of a box set with another model.  It is now available individually.  It is only 4 parts with no sprue.  This tells me GW is still manufacturing them with the old tooling and are manually packing these in  boxes after removing the parts from the sprue.  It is kind of strange and makes me wonder why they do this with other kits.  I think I can also find a use for this for Frostgrave too.