Friday, July 21, 2017

Player Spotlight : DJ

Hey Everyone!  This week I wanted to continue my new segment where I talk to a club mate about his Hobby and his efforts in Community Building.  Today I will be talking with DJ who I have known since I began playing Warhammer years ago.  DJ has taken on a large task within our Local Community.  While I have been trying to grow and develop my local club, DJ has been embracing Wargaming, Board games, and Tabletop RPG's by creating a group for everyone to chat and discuss all the tabletop goodness.  The group he has created is Called Westmoreland Gamers Guild and the local clubs I run and/or play which slot in nicely to this larger and more collective group to help grow as a community.


DJ, can you let everyone know a bit about yourself?
I live in Western PA. and enjoy all types of Tabletop games, D&D, Warhammer 40,000, Age of Sigmar, X-wing.  You name it I will play it.  I am usually around on Wargaming Forums with the name IGMeatShielf or SkullSplitter.

How did you get Started in Wargaming?
I was in 8th Grade at the time and I discovered Warhammer Fantasy and not much after that I found my way into Warhammer 40,000.  I kept with it for a while until I was Deployed to Iraq, but when I returned I stepped right back into the games.

What armies do you play in Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000?
I have always played and loved Tomb Kings.  Thankfully I have a large army of them from my Time in Warhammer Fantasy.  As for Warhammer 40,000 I play Imperial Guard as well as Thousand Sons.  I really enjoy the narrative of The Thousand Sons so I will stick with them for a while I think.

Do you have a favorite Hobby memory?
There was a tournament up in Erie, PA which is a four-hour drive or so from my house.  I was young and drove early in the morning to attend so I could meet the (at the time) cast of 40k Radio.  I got to talk with them and play a few games.  It was really great.

What about your worst Hobby moment?
I was traveling to my first tournament outside of the local club.  It was a long drive and shortly after one of my games began it was discovered that my opponent was cheating to win.  Being a newer Wargamer at the time I couldn't understand why anyone would cheat in a game built for fun and it really put a sour taste in my mouth.  I don't remember the details anymore, but I remember the feeling and I strive to play the rules correctly in all my games to ensure I don;t ever give anyone that feeling by accident.

What is the Westmoreland Gamers Guild?
WGG is a unifying group to connect gamers all across the county I live in (Westmoreland county located in Western PA).  It allows gamers from all types of games get to chat and possibly share their game systems with others in the group.

Why did you decide to start the group?
It started as a Facebook page in order to connect groups I knew of in the local area to plan games and events.  After seeing the Wargaming community begin to grow again I realized how much I missed large events with everyone smiling and having a great time.  We use to have tournaments for Warhammer with a minimum of sixteen players on a regular basis, but it fell off for quite some time.  I wanted to step up and do my part of growing the community again.

What is the goal of the Group?
I am hoping the group will gel and eventually we can have a large presence at major events such as Adepticon and Nova with Team shirts and having a great time together.

If you want to find out more about the group you can find the Facebook page here.  Have a great weekend everyone and if you haven't done so already the rooms are available for Adepticon so be sure to get a reservation soon!  Until next week you can find me on Twitter and Happy Hobbying!

Thanks for coming on DJ.  I look forward to seeing the group grow!
It will be exciting that's for sure!  Thanks for having me.


If you are in Western PA I highly recommend you join the Facebook group to get on board.  Have a great weekend everyone and until next week, feel free to follow me on Twitter and Happy Hobbying!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Weekly Hobby Update : 7-19-17

Hey Everyone!  My Hobby is finally starting to gain some momentum.  Considering Nova Open is about five weeks away it is about time I try to kick it up a notch.  My recent vacation time has invigorated me to get back at it as well.  Spending a week away from my Hobby table was the best thing to refresh myself and make a push to finish my Blades of Khorne.

My Club held a Shadow Wars: Armageddon event this past weekend with the store kit and it was a fun and relaxed day despite there being prizes to go along with the event.  My Squad of Harlequins set out for Glory that day and did not disappoint. 

I came home with best overall as well as a second place award in painting.  It was a very fun day with five great opponents just rolling dice and having a laugh.

Recently my wife agreed to paint her first model, but she said it had to be an Aelf!  Austin from Shadowclaimer minis hooked me up with the model while I was at Adepticon.  If you haven't checked out his Live streams you should as he does great work!  She has always loved the lore of Warhammer Fantasy and her and I played the MMO quite extensively when it was up and running, but she never dove into the Hobby side of everything.  She still has washes and highlights, but she has grasped what took me years to learn pretty quickly.

My Wife wasn't the only one to get some paint flowing either.  I managed to take my primed Blakes of Khorne and begin layering on two thin coats of Ulthuan Grey.  It was maddening as it felt like I wasn't doing much at first, but after the second coat, it really began to smooth the models out.  Next up is some actual colors!

Hopefully, these close ups can help you see the difference between the Grey and White on the model.

I would love to see what is on your hobby table so feel free to hit me up on Twitter and be sure to come back Friday as I do another player Spotlight on a man after my own heart who is working on building a stronger community in my local area.  Happy Hobbying!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Falling for Chaos : Part 1

Hey Everyone!  If you have known me for a bit you will know that I prefer to play the "Good Guys".  Aleves, Duardin, and more recently Stormcast Eternals are my mainstay.  I enjoy their background and how in The World That Was Order was typically the underdog and on the backfoot, but despite the inevitable End Times they still fought and tried to save it all.  Whenever I would buy a starter set or a bundle I would always sell or trade off the Chaos without a thought.  I never truly identified with those armies, but that has all changed.

Now that armies are quicker to get on the table and my skills as a hobbyist has improved I found myself looking elsewhere than Order.  However, nothing really came out of that looking around.  I attempted a large Orruk force I got a great deal on, but soon lost my inspiration for the project.  Part of it was due to most of the units being compendium and the other just an overall wanting to go back to my Stormcast and hope for Aelves to be released.  I did manage to keep enough motivation to create a small war band that might one day grow, but for now, is being used as my force for Skirmish.

I was looking for a fun side project to work on with a few friends and Path to Glory seemed like a good fit.  Everyone seemed keen to all pick a Chaos god for our armies and I agreed.  After the decision was settled I was put with Khorne due to my lack of dedication I took who the god who was left out.  I looked at Chaos, but never let anything sink its hooks in other than passing interest in the fluff without examing the army play styles.  So I was gifted the Khorne Bloodbound from the Starter set since I had traded mine off long ago.  However, I wanted the iconic Bloodthirster and a few Daemons to add as well and looking at building a 1000pt list for the total of our event it seemed like I was set.

Shortly after they announced The Blades of Khorne Battletome and I knew I was going to do well in the campaign by having a great way to mix my new Daemons and Bloodbound into a cohesive force with army specific abilities.  A few weeks later I attended Adepticon, which was my first Major event, and I was lucky enough to get an early look at the Blades of Khorne Battletome.  This is when the Damn broke and my Fall to Chaos went from Bunny Slope to free fall without a parachute.  I fell in love with the army and what it could do as far as fluff and playstyle.  I am happy to say I have over 2000pts with plans to add more in the future.

So far I have built and removed the mold lines for the army and have begun priming the force in preparation to paint.  I am hoping to complete the army by Nova and take it along for some narrative or pickup gaming.  As I paint the army over the next few months I will be bringing you my insights, hobby, and plans for the army.  I don't consider myself an expert on the army in any way, but I am excited to share my experience.

I hope you will join me in the coming months as I bring you Road to Nova and Falling for Chaos series.  If you have any insights into the army I would love to hear them and if you are attending Nova Open 2017 I would love to say hi so let me know if you will be around.  Until next week, BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD, and Happy Hobbying!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Weekly Hobby Update : 7-12-17

Happy Wednesday Everyone!  Vacation season is upon us, but that doesn't the Hobby has to stop.  Hopefully, your summer is full of fun in the sun as well as plenty of Hobby!

Reading list set for Vacation.  High Elves on the Beach!

It has been very humid and hot in the Northeast U.S. lately and it has stalled my project work as I have been unable to prime for a week or so, but I was able to get the primer down just before leaving for vacation.  I am using my vacation to step away from touching a model in hopes it will ignite my hobby in a way it hasn't been since Adepticon. 

I need to really get a move on with the army as to not fall too far behind Miles for our little wager or a beer for the upcoming Nova Open in seeing who can paint more models before the event.

When the weather is too bad to Prime it gets weird

Despite the weather, I finally got the white primer down on my army

Hope you are enjoying the summer and getting more Hobby done than I have as of late.  As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and until Friday, Happy Hobbying!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Age of Sigmar : A Two Year Perspective

730 days, three armies, 756 models painted, countless games played.  No matter how you define time with your Hobby it is a fact that we have had Age of Sigmar for two years now and what has those past few years looked like for all of us in The Mortal Realms?  I hope to share my view on the past few years and my hopes for the following year to come in today's post.

In order to grasp where we are now, we need to look back at where this all began.  The ending of a world.  I won't go into the full details of the End Times, but it was decisive in the community at the very least.  Some players like myself really enjoyed the unfolding events and the drastic changes that let Warhammer Fantasy go out with a proper bang!  Others did not like the changes to the gameplay and fought hard to hold on to what the game was and avoid what it might become.  As that world ended we also so a community end along with it.

Rules and Preorders came out this day for the Game we love

When Age of Sigmar was released there were those who were hesitant.  Some people outright left the Hobby or the game and a few went to make their own game to continue the torch of rank and flank fantasy battles.  A very small group, myself included, picked up the game day one and began to build and search for anyone who wanted to play.  The release was not smooth or handled in a smooth way in regards to Public Relations and Marketing.  It is clear with the recent release of #New40k that Games Workshop has seen the issues and corrected them for how they launch a game and when Age of Sigmar dropped they were still what we consider "The old GW" as opposed to "The New GW" they have become.  Either way, the community shrunk, drastically and there were very few safe havens for those of us wanting to play and talk about Age of Sigmar.  Then Twitter saved the day as the community gathered there and we could all enjoy each others hobby and games played and discuss anything and everything in The Age of Sigmar.  This foundation of the community would grow in the following years as we have seen.

One of the biggest issues was the lack of a point system to allow players to play pickup games and have a fun and relatively balanced game.  In the U.S. this is a large way in how we play as with such large regions we rely on a community driven standard on what size army to carry along to an FLGS in order to get a game going quickly.  While it is important to have a discussion with your opponent before a game for many reasons the need for a point system and general points played at saves a lot of time as part of the conversation would be solved before it began.  We saw a number of point systems develop to help give us what we need.  SDK, MO-Comp, etc... all came about from within the newly forming and still small community.  We heard about these systems through a few different channels via Twitter, Podcasts, and Blogs.

We saw a large number of Podcasts and Blogs being created as well.  Some have survived and going strong while others silently disappeared and a few have decided to take a well-deserved break to focus on life outside of the hobby.  A few over in England really took the bull by the horns and worked directly with Games Workshop in order to create The Generals Handbook.  Heelan Hammer, Bad Dice, and Facehammer were all involved and are still involved with each iteration of the book.  When The Generals Handbook released it was a game changer.  Suddenly interest for the game was growing and people wanted to play.

Shortly before this time is when Games Workshop came back to Facebook and social media.  We saw the creation of the Warhammer Community Team as it is now through small videos here and there.  After a while, we saw Warhammer TV develop with daily painting tip videos, weekly streams, and success in taking the wind out of rumor sites and posts online.  The availability of Age of Sigmar was at an all time high.  I could hobby while watching live games and let us not forget the Warhammer Age of Sigmar App for tablets and Smart Phones.  It has changed since its first iteration, but for the better.  We can view all the rules, unlock points, and build our forces conveniently on our phone with added options such as being able to name and take custom images of our models to print out the lists.  While this was a great change to the app we cannot forget Tony P. and his gift to the Age of Sigmar world with Scroll Builder, which is now hosted and incorporated into the Community Site.

Games Workshop has also stepped up their presence at independent events across the globe as well.  They offered great support to the LVO with Terrain on top of running the Age of Sigmar event as well as streaming.  They continued this trend into Adepticon and soon Nova Open over here in the States and South Coast GT, Facehammer GT, and soon Blood and Glory in the UK.  They even brought back their own Age of Sigmar Grand Tournament with multiple Heats throughout the year.

While the community team has been driving forward we have received plenty of updates to our Armies in an ever evolving Battletome format that keeps getting better.  We saw the conclusion of the initial Campaign "The Realm Gate Wars".  We had a fantastic Summer Campaign with The Season of War.  A full Skirmish update has come out and a full Path to Glory supplement is on its way.  We even had the announcement of the next version of The Generals Handbook (2017).

All of this has inspired many great pursuits, projects, and events from the global community.  We have seen more Grand Tournaments come about with Nashcon, SoCal Open, Midwest Meltdown, Battleshock Bash and of course the Global Event of Coalescence.  We have seen many groups get together to grow Age of Sigmar even more with support and acknowledgment from Games Workshop which was unheard of just a few years ago.

While we have been through a bit of a lull as #New40k was being developed and released I am sure we are right around the corner from much more Age of Sigmar and honestly, the small lull was a bit a nice break to cool those Hobby engines a bit for what is next.  I can't wait to see what is coming this year, please be Aleves, and as a community, we should be excited and rally around this game we love along with each other.  The Age of Sigmar Community is one of, if not the best, Wargaming Communities out there with a great back and forth between us and Games Workshop.  The Warhammer Community team are a small group of wonderful people doing great things and we are a large and passionate audience that could accomplish even greater heights by working together as we have been doing so far.  Consider what you might be able to do for your local club or possibly a larger area of your region to grow the awareness of Age of Sigmar and build your community beyond where it currently sits.

Just a small part of the friendships I have made in this Hobby (I need pictures with more folks!)

On a personal note, I want to say thank you to everyone I have met within the past few years through this Hobby and this game.  This game and hobby have become so much more to me through all of you.  I have made what I feel like are friends for life all due to my love of rolling dice and painting little toy soldiers.  It's humbling to think about, but it makes me very glad to know how welcoming and supportive we as a community are to one another.  Finally going to GT's and conventions this year has really opened up the Hobby world for me and I encourage everyone to attend at least one in the coming year.

I am sure I didn't even cover half of everything, but it was enjoyable to just let the memories flow and I hope you enjoyed this little recap of the past few years.  Perhaps I will add more in a follow-up post at a later time if I feel there is more to be added, but for now, I will leave it here.  May the next year of Age of Sigmar be even greater than the last and until next week, Happy Hobbying!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Weekly Hobby Update : 7-5-17

Hey Everyone!  The past few days for me have been full of Games of 40k, Age of Sigmar, and Skirmish.  On top of that, I managed to get some models primed and ready to begin painting.  Let us not forget that yesterday was The Release Anniversary of Age of Sigmar and if you're over in the States it was Independence day!

Another Year in and going strong!

Got a few games of #New40k in at the club meetup on Saturday and loving it

A friend who took a break when Age of Sigmar dropped got his first game in on Sunday (Welcome back Richie!)

I also got to play a game of Skirmish with my buddy Aleks.  My Orruks charged the field..and died to a man...WAAAGH!

Let me know what you are working on this week!  Feel free to follow my Hobby on Twitter and I will see you on Fridays Post!  Happy Hobbying!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Road to Nova Open 2017 : Part 1

Hey Everyone!  There is quite a lot of Warhammer Events coming up such as Midwest Meltdown in July, Slobberknocker GT in July, as well as Heat 3 at Warhammer World this weekend!  However, my focus is on Nova Open as it will be my second Grand Tournament and I could not be more excited.

This time around I will be participating in the Age of Sigmar Team Event on Friday as well as the Championship on Saturday and Sunday.  I also plan to catch up with the friends I have made in this hobby and enjoy the atmosphere of another major event so if you see me around come over and say Hi and talk some Hobby with me.  I really enjoyed connecting with others at  Adepticon this past year and joining in on the sense of community that we are all a part of in this Hobby.

I feel these larger events are the best time to really grasp the idea of the National and Global Community for Age of Sigmar.  We all share the same interest in this game and hobby and being able to share that passion as well as our ideas and projects regarding our local communities.  In doing this we will see all the smaller pockets of groups begin to connect and blend a bit more to really solidify what the U.S. Age of Sigmar players are as a whole, and create a collective feeling of Community.  I encourage everyone to talk, interact, and share your social media groups with each other as well and look at how we can all help each other grow into the following year.  Also, The Warhammer Community Team will be attending in force and they are a great group who I enjoyed meeting and discussing the U.S. Community with at Adepticon and they will be hosting a number of seminars once again.

One that I will be sad to miss will be on Wednesday night about Building a Community and if you can attend this seminar I couldn't encourage you more.  I am sure it will be full of great information and tips to help grow your local scene which in turn will work to improve our National Scene.

I have decided on my Stormcast Eternals again for Nova Open.  I feel very comfortable with the army and always have fun playing them winning or losing and the best part is I have a fully painted army so I do not need to rush to paint the army for the event which allows me to work on my current Blades of Khorne army.  However, I wouldn't put it past me to add a random unit to the army within the next month because I just can't stop painting Stormcasts it seems.

The Reiksguard Eternals return!

My goal for Nova Open is to place top half in the Team event with my good friend Matt who is bringing is Duardin Force and going for the top 25% in the Championship.  My list will be similar to my Adepticon list with minor changes and as of Sunday, I will be going into full Age of Sigmar practice mode.  I plan to play as many games with the army as possible and examining ways to adjust my list to bring the most competitive list I can for the Championship.  The Team event I plan to go a bit more relaxed as the event to me seems to be more about having fun with your partner and engaging in a fun game.  While the Championship will have the same feeling of fun and engagement I don't feel any pressure to win in the Team event.

I also have a little wager with Miles Hamrick.  We are seeing who can paint more models to completion between now and the event either Age of Sigmar or 40k.  Loser buys the other a round of drinks.  I will track this progress in the series as well to see if I can keep up with him and his Hobby!  Follow both of us on Twitter to see use duel it out.

Hopefully, I can knock out enough of these to pull out a win on our little wager

I look forward to bringing you more on my Road to Nova article series as well as coverage of my time there once it is all in the books.  If you are going to Nova please let me know and perhaps we can meet up.  I plan to be there Friday through Saturday and hitting me up on Twitter is the best way to grab my attention most of the time.  See you all there and until next week, Happy Hobbying!