Friday, December 22, 2017

From The Fang Review of 2017

Well it's been nearly a month since I last posted and I've barely done anything hobby wise in that time. That's partly because the hobby I want to do is painting my Tyranids which means getting their basecoats done with the airbrush. Trouble is my airbrush set up isn't fixed i.e. I pack it away after each session. That means I've got to clear some space in the garage to get it set up and do a big batch of spraying. Once that's out of the way they're pretty straightforward to paint so I should be able to make some good progress. It's been a busy month at work though and with various evening activities taking up time I've just not had the motivation to get cracking.

Anyway, as ever, blogging provides a good means of procrastinating so I figured I'd get my yearly review out of the way.

The Year in Review
The most significant thing of the year happened right at the start. My Dad and I finished work on the garage conversion towards the end of February. Looking back now there are obviously a couple of things I might change but overall, nearly a year on, I'm still thrilled with the work we did and it's definitely had a positive impact on my hobby. It's also interesting that I fully intended to sort out all of my hobby gubbins and get organised but nearly a year on that hasn't happened yet. It'd be good to do this soon though to get some stuff on eBay and get some funds together for more nids. I'd like them to be a cost neutral army if possible.

The garage was christened before it was even finished with a big game of X-wing which was the first outing for my Tantive IV. Unfortunately it meant my gaming career in my new custom built gaming space started with a loss. However, it was a fantastic game that could've gone either way right to the end. I don't think I've played much X-wing since though as we've moved to Armada recently. We're hoping to start an Armada campaign in the new year too using the Corellian Conflict box.

Next up we had a big game of doubles 40K with 4.500 pts of Nurgle and Orks taking on the Imperium. The main thing I remember about the game was how bitterly cold the Sanctuary was as a venue in January and also how little my Stompa go to do before it blew up. I'd foolishly put it opposite their Knight and that quickly made the game quite one-sided.

In March I mostly focused on getting my Dark Eldar ready for the Warhammer World doubles. They'd been in need of some more love after my token effort to get them ready for Double Trouble the previous year. In between all that, we found time to start up a four man Bloodbowl league with my Dwarves starting off pretty well. We were supposed to be playing more Bloodbowl this week actually but it was cancelled last minute. We decided to have a rethink of the league anyway as the teams we'd chosen didn't make for a very fun league and the other two guys are new to the game and the teams they started with weren't great.  We might even scrap the league entirely and switch to Necromunda but I want to try out the new rules first to find out if it's as good as it was.

Anyway, the doubles proved to be a lot of fun again but despite winning 4 out of 5 games we only placed 67th! I still enjoy going to WHW events though just for the atmosphere so hopefully we'll get to at least one next year. May and June were mostly taken up with excitement about 8th edition and GW did an excellent job of building it up. If anything they perhaps set expectations too high and only now, six months or so in, are we actually starting to see something closer to what they hyped up. I also visited Warhammer Fest for the first time since the death of Games Day. It was a fun day but I'm not sure whether next year's event will be so enticing as the new edition was a big draw this time.
I closed out 7th edition with Double Trouble 2 which, to me at least, was a great success. It seemed that everyone had fun and the random nature of the event meant people weren't taking things too seriously. I'm bringing it back for DT3 in the new year so stay tuned for details of how you can get tickets. 

At the end of June I played my first games of 8th edition against Matt and Dan. I also revealed my plans to finally start the Tyranid army I'd been wanting for years. I've made very little progress on them in the meantime but they'll be the focus of my attention in the new year so hopefully I'll have some progress to report in the early new year. I'll talk more about this in my obligatory overly optimistic hobby resolutions post. My first 8th edition tournament saw me deploying the T'aunar for the first time but frustratingly it wasn't a well run event and I ended up with a bye for one of my games and didn't hugely enjoy the two I did get to play. The tournament soured me to competitive play in 8th edition and I haven't played in one since (NMTBW excluded).

I did, however, join a Bloodbowl league at the Outpost (my FLGS) and had a reasonable record with my Dwarves. The problem is, I really don't think I'm a dwarf player at heart. Don't get me wrong, I like smashing face as much as the next man but I enjoy the passing game too. I think if I ever play in a league again I'll probably try out an Elven Union team. The new models are lovely and having a diversion from painting Tyranids might be necessary at some point.

The other thing I did during my 40K drought was play several awesome board games. Star Wars Rebellion is a truly excellent two player game and Scythe is fantastic for larger groups. I'm hopefully getting the expansion for Rebellion for Christmas so I'm sure I'll be playing it plenty in the new year.

My year was essentially wrapped up in November when I hosted NMTBW. It was great to play some games again, particularly when I didn't have to worry too much about winning. I also enjoyed running a singles event again. It's been a couple of years now since BWX and I think it was the right time to start over. My next singles event won't feature anywhere near as much comp though as I think GW has actually done a pretty decent job of fixing some of the early Matched Play issues. The problem is that they've also added back in a lot of the complexity that plagued 7th edition. Obviously you're now paying command points for them but I can't help but feel like strategems add an extra level of depth that just wasn't necessary in such a huge system. Still, I need to play more games before I can make my mind up so hopefully 2018 will see me playing a lot more 40K.

Blog Stats
The peak in December last year was a momentary blip in a general downturn in my pageviews. I've had a paltry 160,000 views this year which is less than half of the 2015 total and about 90,000 less than last year. I've only posted about 45 times the year though which I think is probably the first time I've dropped below a one post per week average. Last month's views are only 7,000 which is the worst I've had since the same month in 2011!!

It's not really something I intend to do much about though really. My hobby time is limited and any time spent blogging is usually time I could spend painting. I have just bought myself a new laptop in the Black Friday sales though (which I'm typing on now) so maybe I'll still find some time when I'm watching crap TV.

Hobby Progress
I actually did a pretty good stint on my Dark Eldar (or Drukhari or whatever) early this year. A big chunk of the force now looks at least presentable. I'd still like to revisit them at some point but at the moment I think Tyranids will get most of my attention. There might be some BB Elves at some point and maybe a new Cawdor gang if they get models. The other thing I'm considering is giving the Orks some love. My T'au got some work in the form of the T'aunar but frankly it'll be rare for me to use him in games all that much. There's still a half painted Stormsurge that needs love.

The gaming garage didn't exactly inspire a huge upturn in hobby progress but it certainly made the meagre amount I did achieve a lot more enjoyable.

As I said above, I barely played any events this year aside from the BB league. If the Outpost run another league I'll probably join in. Other than that I'd like to play at WHW at least once in the new year and I'd consider other 40K events if the event pack appeals to me. I will, of course, be running both DT3 and another singles events (name TBC).

A bit of a strange year for the hobby. Despite my initial optimism about 8th edition, 40K has taken a back seat to Bloodbowl and board games. I haven't completely fallen out of love with 40K though and I'll obviously want to get some games in with my new Tyranids. Part of the issue is the problems at the Outpost at the moment. They simply don't have a good set up at the moment and events are few and far between. It's a shame they won't make the same kind of investment that Element did with their NWGC. I can't help but think that if Element were my FLGS I'd get a lot more gaming in. They've recognised that a good venue is essential to build a strong community and therefore a loyal customer base. The Outpost just like to do things on the cheap which I fear will ultimately lead to their demise.

Anyway, come back next week for my resolutions post. Who knows? Maybe next year I'll actually achieve some of them!

1 comment:

  1. I wouldn’t concern yourself with stats mate, post what you want when you want, the hobby should be just that, not a chore. Maybe next year I’ll actually get a game of 8th full stop... have a great Christmas mate and hopefully see you next year at (BW12-name to be decided)


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