Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Review of 2013

I realise this is a pretty predictable post for this time of year but I enjoy looking back at the year and seeing how well I got on with my blog, gaming and hobby resolutions. Tomorrow I'll tie it all together with my New Year's hobby resolutions as the first post of 2014!

As ever I'll start by looking at how From The Fang did this year. My former Dark Eldar blog called Kabalite somehow then turned into a porn site after I'd deleted it last year!! With Kabalite gone I finally gave up on the idea that From The Fang was an exclusively SW blog (it hadn't really been for a while) and redesigned the banner. I'd love to do something flashier with it but I lack the artistic skill and the inclination.

This year I've posted 158 times (including this one) which is a 50% improvement over last year and nearly a post ever other day! A big chunk of these were certainly my reviews for the Tau, Eldar and Space Marine codices as you can see by the big spike in April/May. When I look back at the stats from last year's review there's clearly been a huge increase in the hit rate on the blog. I've racked up a massive 340,000 pageviews this year which is far more than I got in the first two and a half years that the blog existed!

I'm probably going to less blogging in 2014 as there's plenty of distractions in the form of my new son, postgraduate course and actually trying to paint some miniatures!

Last year I was thrilled to be able finish a tournament undefeated with the old book but obviously this year was a huge one for Tau. At first I was excited about the prospect of a new book which breathed new life into my Tau army. There's no doubt that they're alive and well now but sadly they've perhaps gone too far the other way. Whilst I've enjoyed using them at tournaments throughout the year they're usually met with groans of despair by my opponents.

They did give me my first ever tournament win (sadly it was my own event though) but towards the end of the year I decided that I'd probably played them to death and moved back to Dark Eldar for a while. The spike in interest did give me the motivation I needed to get the vast majority of the army up to tabletop standard though including the two new riptides and new pathfinders.

Dark Eldar
I've recently rediscovered my love for Dark Eldar after I took them to a tournament at the Outpost in Sheffield and managed to finish second after only narrowly missing out on first. Pretty good way to finish in my last event of the year and I plan on taking them to the Outpost against the weekend after next to see if I can start 2014 off in a similar fashion.

Sadly they're still my least painted army (aside from DA perhaps) which is a shame considering how long I've had them and how besotted I still am with the models. I'm sure something will distract me again from getting them finished but I'd love to think that this time next year I'd have a fully painted DE force ready for whenever they get an update.

Space Wolves & Dark Angels
Despite being my first love in 40K these guys have spent the vast majority of the year on the shelf. They'll be making an appearance in January though as we try out the new Tyranid codex. There's something about a battle between wolves and nids that really excites me.

The main reason there's been no action for my wolves this year is that despite being strong they are now the only Space Marine codex that doesn't have access to a flyer. Granted the DA (my other SM army) aren't in a much better position but it frustrates me that SW are still without a plane of some kind.

The Dark Angels have barely been off the shelf either. Perhaps I just find xenos armies more interesting and I certainly found the DA book to be frustrating. It really paled in comparison to every other release since. I think the only time my DA models have made it onto the table top this year was as a proxy for White Scars!

New Armies
You might think that I've got enough on my plate with four armies but being easily distracted I'm sure I can be persuaded into starting at least one more this year. I've always liked Tyranids actually so I'll pick up the book with my tournament winnings from the 2nd place and see if it grabs me.

I'm always toying with the idea of getting a codex space marines army to act as allies and effectively give my wolves the air support they deserve. I'm also considering starting a completely new SM army with a custom chapter I've been planning. Whether or not that materialises remains to be seen but I did pick up a Stormwing boxed set that is currently collecting dust....

GW Battle Brothers & Outpost Doubles
We've been attending these for a while now and have often been frustrated with the nonsense scoring system that includes favourite game votes in the overall score. This year, however, we were the beneficiaries of this system and won the April event to give me my first ever tournament victory (even if I had to share it with Matt). I'm far more proud of this achievement that I am of the embarassment of winning my own event in November. Later in the year we were back to being frustrated by the system missing out on a top 3 finish thanks to votes.

I'm sure we'll be attending more of these events this year providing there won't be Escalation units involved. They're always great fun and we do love a good doubles. Speaking of which we also won the doubles at the Outpost last Summer on the hottest day of the year in sauna like conditions!

Big Changes
This year has seen huge changes to the way 40K is played the Daemons, Tau, Eldar and SM books all had dramatic effects on the game in their own way. The top tier lists have certainly shifted from what they were this time last year. With the potential for Tyranids, Imperial Guard, Orks and maybe Space Wolves and Dark Eldar all being released in 2014 the game is likely to be totally different again in a year's time.

Obviously I'm excited by the possibility of Wolves and DE books but I'm also very much looking forward to the Ork and Tyranid books. There's a big pile of Orks in my cupboard waiting for some new codex love but I'm not sure what they can do with them to make them viable. Incidentally Matt and I have had a couple of escalation games recently (one involving a Stompa, the other a Revenant) that I'll write up early in the new year before discussing the plans for BW7.

Specialist Games
Despite the best intentions to play more Bloodbowl we only managed one session of our mini league. It's amazingly difficult to get four people in a room for an evening to get more games in! I've pretty much totally given up on Necromunda and I never got into Malifaux.

Matt and I did manage to get quite a bit of Space Hulk in though. We finished the campaign with Matt as the marines and hopefully we'll get to play through with the roles reversed this year.

The big change to our "specialist games" repertoire this year came from us starting to play X-wing. I'm pretty much obsessed with this game at the moment. We've only had a couple of game so far but it seems brilliantly balanced and a hell of a lot of fun to play. I love having painted models too! We had a game last week that I'll be writing up soon but I hope 2014 involves lots of X-wing.

Well there's no doubt that this year was a pretty poor show on the hobby front. I painted a decent chunk of my Tau army but otherwise I got very little done. I had big plans for getting my scenery sorted but that fell by the way side too. There's only one thing for it then, 2014 will have to be a mega year for the hobby. I'd love to be sitting here in a year's time looking back on battle reports on a fully painted table with two fully painted armies battling it out. The pressure's on!

To help me in this goal I'm trying to get an airbrush for a decent price on eBay. There's plenty of them on there but I'm trying to get a particular one for a reasonable amount. If I get the hang of it sharpish then it should make a huge difference to how quickly I can paint my models. Normally the hours spent basecoating are enough to put me off spending much time on the hobby. Fingers crossed the airbrush can make the difference.

Blog Wars
This year's events saw the biggest attendances yet despite a change in venue. Sadly, however, they also saw some controversy with the problems that occurred at BW6. Hopefully 2014 will be a bumper year for the event with the best events yet.

A big year for 40K with all of the changes we've seen and a big year for From the Fang too. I'm hoping next year will be just as good. Tomorrow I'll talk about my plans for next year but ultimately I'd like to get more hobby done and write up more battle reports!


  1. 2013 was quite a ride for 40K. Say are you planning to take a peek at Kill Team now that its out (again)?

    1. I've been tempted since the book came out. I'll probably grab a copy and give it a go as I'm trying to get a friend of mine into the game.

    2. I have to say its good casual fun, I haven't had a laid back game like it in a long time... Faced off against my friend's Stearnguard with me Stealth team.

  2. Just got into x wing too and it is fantastic. I love 40k but it is hard sometimes to feel enthused with all the negativity and outrage floating around the web at the moment. A break is sometimes needed to refresh the hobby mojo and get back into a game for the right reasons ( whatever they be). Looking forward to blog wars 7. Nathaniel

    1. I know what you mean, I love 40k but I'm struggling to find the enthusiasm at the moment

  3. Those are some impressive stats again this year. We'll deserved though!

    Who knew what 2013 would do for 40k? 2014 may be just as interesting!


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