Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Review of 2014

I'm interrupting Matt's review of the Blood Angels codex with my traditional end of year post. This is the time when I look back over the year of gaming and see what I've achieved. If you ever really achieve anything by playing with toy soldiers that is?!

Well, as you can see from the graphic on the right, this has been a bumper year for From the Fang. I had my highest monthly figures in August with just over 59,000 pageviews. That's unbelievable really. It was mainly down to the codex review posts as I think that's what a lot of people search for once the new books are released. They're a lot of work but they really help me get to grips with the new codices and work out what I'm likely to run in my own armies or face in other people's armies.

Clearly having a child has affected my blogging time though as I've only posted something like 120 times this year. That's still a lot but it's down from last year. Still, looking back at last year's review post I can see that I've racked up a whopping 431,630 views this year which is nearly half of my all time figures so perhaps the quality of my posts has improved eh?

I'm actually planning on scaling my blogging down a bit in the coming year. You may have noticed I'm rarely posting battle reports from my friendly games and shortened reports from tournament games. They take a hell of a lot of time to write up and I'm not convinced people really take the time to read them. I intend to keep reviewing the new books though as it will help me keep abreast of the new rules and units. I'd like to include more hobby content on here but I think I say that every year.

Hobby Progress
Well having read Garfy's post over on Tale of Painters I'm thoroughly depressed with my lack of painting this year. As ever it's been a year of half finished things. I think the key problem is that I don't write enough about my hobby on the blog. If I forced myself to complete projects so that I could post about them I'm sure I'd actually get things done. My main motivation for painting is usually to get things ready for a tournament. I painted up two SW drop pods and a stormwolf for an event at the Outpost and a Skyray, Farsight and some drones for the team event. Of course, none of them are finished but good enough for a tournament.

That's kind of the issue really. When I look into the cupboard at all my models on shelves I struggle to find anything that's actually finished. There's my Kabalite Warrior test model that's pretty much done but the basing is half arsed and there's some details I haven't done. It's the same story with my most "complete" army the Space Wolves. All of them need their faces doing, more of the gold details painting in and company markings adding. Of course the issue is time. I actually get a decent amount of free time but painting is often way down my list of priorities. At the moment I'm getting back into video games in a big way since I bought an Xbox One. This means most of my evenings (once my little boy and wife are in bed) are spent playing Madden, Halo, etc instead of blogging/painting.

The thing I'm most frustrated about is that looking at my gaming table I can see it's pretty much all still grey plastic scenery with very little painted. I'm absolutely determined that this is the year when I start playing with some fully painted scenery. Jamie will no doubt find this funny since I've been saying this for a long time.

Part of the problem has also been this relentless release schedule. I was inspired to start painting my Orks only for Space Wolves to come out. This prompted renewed progress on the Wolves until the DE book to hit shortly after. I've got a pile of kits that I bought with the book releases for both DE and Wolves that I haven't even taken out of the shrink wrap!

Despite what I said last year I have no plans on starting a new army at the moment. I had toyed with the idea of a Tyranid force but I really want to get everything finished that I already own. To that end I've decided to sell my Dark Angels so expect to see a plug for some eBay auctions in the near future. I simply have no love for them and the money would be better spent bolstering my other armies, particularly DE and Wolves. It's a shame that I actually put some time into painting the Ravenwing but I can't see me sitting down to finish them and they're just collecting dust.

More Big Changes to 40K
In last year's post I was talking about how there'd been big changes to 40K in 2013. Well who would've thought we'd be sitting here now with all but one army having a hardcover codex? There's been an insane number of new books this year and I don't think any of us truly expected 7th edition to arrive so soon.

Generally speaking the new books have lost quite a bit of their character but there's a definite streamlining too them and some nice new ideas. My biggest disappointment of the year was losing so many special characters for several books but most notably the Dark Eldar codex. We have had a few extras I suppose but it's a shame that they came at the expense of Vect, Duke Sliscus and others.

I'm quite optimistic for the game in the coming year though. If they start to redo some of the hardcovers into this new datasheet format we might see a bit more balance in the game. I think the new books feel pretty well matched against each other (although DE are still on the weaker side). It's only really when comparing them to the powerhouse books like Eldar, Tau and Necrons that they look poor. Matt and I had a great game of BA vs SW yesterday as a matter of fact.

Tournament play has been a bit of a bug bear for me this year. The 7th edition army selection system is frankly stupid and it's meant a huge disparity between what different TOs are doing. Our FLGS now alternates between LoW and non-LoW tournaments so we only tend to go to the non-LoW versions after some bad experiences playing in the others.

We took part in our first team event this year though (which made up for the absence of 40K doubles in the latter half of the year).

Blog Wars
Blog Wars 7 had a record attendance and BW8 was probably the best event I've run to date. Suffice to say I'm looking forward to 9 and 10 and I hope a lot of you guys are too. It's becoming increasingly difficult to create a rules pack that pleases everyone but I hope I'm still doing a decent job. I'll be posting more about the events soon so stay tuned.

I started playing X-wing last year and I'm completely hooked. We'd promised ourselves we'd avoid playing in tournaments to keep it friendlier but I'd be surprised if we make it through 2015 without dipping our toes into the competitive scene.

I currently own at least one of every Rebel ship (barring Tantive and Transport) and multiples of several. This gives me a massive amount of variety in the squadrons I can put together. Matt has a decent range of Empire ships too and we've got Scott interested (who's collecting Rebels). We're also hoping that Sam will pick up some Scum and Villainy ships. Incidentally we're meeting up on the 10th for 6 of us to play X-wing which will hopefully sell it to some more people and therefore create a bigger gaming group for us. I've gone on at length about what I like about the game so I won't gush any more here.

Finally, I'm just slightly shy of one million pageviews for the blog so I'll be running a little giveaway to celebrate once I pass that milestone (which should be in the next couple of days). Keep an eye out for that and for details of Blog Wars 9 which I'll hopefully finalise soon.

I'll post up my resolutions fairly early on in the new year. As ever, thanks to everyone who reads this little blog and for all the comments. Keep them coming.


  1. Just want to say thanks for the hard work. As a father to two children under 5, I know how hard it is to find time for hobbying. So a big thanks for spending some of that limited free time keeping us entertained.
    Enjoy the blog, and like reading battle reports by the way.
    Happy New Year and all the best.

    1. Cheers for that. Nice to know people appreciate the effort I put in. Happy New Year to you too.

  2. Alex painting scenery? Never. Ha ha. I was pleased with the amount I got done, maybe I need to concentrate on some of my to do list this year.

    Happy new year all readers and Fangers from all at Weemen

    1. Seriously, this is the year for my scenery. I know you (and many others) don't believe me but watch this space! Happy New Year mate.

  3. Happy new year! Always a pleasure to stop by!


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