Monday, April 24, 2017

Hobby From The Sidelines

I think I may have picked the wrong year to go 'hobby-lite'.

In January this year I started a Masters Degree, and it has been a very busy four months already! Would you believe, the whole endeavour has proved a bane to my hobbying. I've only painted one or two models in that time, which feels like nothing compared to the back-log of projects I have waiting for me.

Not only that, at least three new armies have dropped for Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, each one significantly changing the meta-game, and I have no idea how they play! It's the first time I have had my finger "off the pulse" and it feels weird.

So I've been doing what I can to stay involved, because there is so much exciting stuff going on with AOS in New Zealand right now, and some very cool news coming out of GW HQ.

One of the things I have been neglecting is this blog. So now that I've just finished a round of assignments, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on what I have managed to get up to in the world of wargaming this year.


On reflection, it's actually been a full year with tournaments. Mostly because I committed to them last year, before I got busy!

I helped run ValleyCon in January. I ran Over The Top in February. I attended and won a few prizes as Equinox in March. Attendance numbers have been growing and growing, and a tight cadre of regulars have formed. Even more exciting, there are new faces at each event.

In June (Auckland) is NICON 2017, where we have 37 signed up players. This is by far and away the best attended event yet, and shows just how far the competitive scene has come along in twelve months - we had eight attend NICON last year. I am hugely excited for this, even though it looks like I will not be able to play - with so many new players and brand new armies, it is going to be just as awesome to watch from the sidelines.

NZ's first teams event, the NZAOS Team Championship, has just been announced for September. This will be held in Hamilton, and has already seen some very good interest! 

And lastly, there will be our first Masters event in December.  

All this, and there are a ton of events that I have to miss out on.

Rankings Website

One of the things I have managed to get going this year is a rankings website for our local players:! I have got it to a minimum point I am happy with, but the plan for next year is to kick it up a few notches.

The Oldhammer Collection

With thanks to the bargain-hunters in my gaming group, TradeMe and eBay have been scoured for items for my growing collection of 4th Edition Undead.

These models are from the era that I started getting into the hobby. I spent a lot of time wishing I had these models - my worn out 4th Edition Undead Army Book is a testament to that. And I have many more models yet to reveal.

You might recognise this Gary Morley sculpt. The head is the original one. The story goes that the Marketing dept at the time wanted something more skeletal at the last minute, so he made a joke one, expecting them to reject it and go for the original. They didn't. However, one or two pre-production heads made it out into the wild...

Latest acquisitions include these guys:

I'm not yet sure what my end goal is. I don't think I will field these on the table, but they will be painted and will have pride of place in my collection display. I plan to use the old 'red era' colouring used by 'Eavy Metal back in the day, rather than going for gritty and realistic. I can't wait until I have some time to get to this project. Perhaps I will do the odd model.


The Black Libary has released some absolutely cracking novels for AOS this year. Dare I say it, some of them have exceeded the quality and scope on the Old World setting. The most notable of these is The Undying King, by Josh Reynolds. This is a sacred tome only available to buy from Warhammer World in store. I hope they make it available to the wider public someday, because it adds so much to the depth of the Realm of Death. In a Heart-of-Darkness-style descent into the depths of the Shyish, a poor unsuspecting Rotbringer army is drawn into the horror that is the Undying King - a god who is assumed to be long defeated, but who turns out to be anything but. The mortals remaining the Realm are drawn into the machinations of the Mortarchs, who though divided in their scheming, are united under a sinister will.

Another notable read which truly exceeded my expectation was Pantheon. Those of you who need a bit of an 'aelf fix', who maybe miss Teclis a bit by now, might find this an interesting read!


Outside of tournaments, I do manage to get the odd game in during the monthly AOS day at our local gaming store. My preference is for Open Play, and we do have a Path to Glory campaign running. Most players are just as busy as me though, with a few exceptions. It's nice to take models that don't normally see the table.

Watching Warhammer TV

Rob, Eddie and the team have created something very special. Something that has been missing from GW's offerings for a long time - community.

The jewel in the crown is their Twitch Channel, where I can watch Warhammer played on TV while I study. 

To everyone involved - THANK YOU. I may not catch every broadcast, but I never miss a show.

Getting Excited About Rumours

So, Shadespire. Super excited for this. It looks like what X-Wing Miniatures Game should have been - objective based, so as not to get stale, and with some gate-way hobbying in the form of a smaller scale warband project. The recently-announced Deathrattle warband has me very excited indeed. Not just for this new game, but also for a potential AOS Battletome.

I think I spend way too much time day-dreaming about the potential for this army. GW, if you are reading this, hit me up. I have some amazing ideas for you.

Hamilton Immortals Painting Competition

Oh yeah, I ran this too this year! The full gallery can be found here, but here is the winning entry:

So, it appears after all this that I have in fact managed to fit a lot in this year after all. Even if I don't have much to show for it physically, I've certainly been a part of the world, and look forward to the AOS story-line resuming this year.

Now, I just need to learn what these new rules are. Does anyone know what a Skyfire is?