Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My 2016 Warhammer Top 5

Let us be honest 2016 has been a terrible year, but the shining gem this year has been Warhammer.  I honestly doubt I would have survived this trip around the sun without all the good going on in the Hobby.

Now on to my Warhammer Top 5 for this past year.

5) Games Workshop Reaching Out:
         When the year started no one could have predicted the cultural change at Games Workshop.  Age of Sigmar was still a bit of an unknown, but now it is a thriving and continually growing community of great Hobbyists and Gamers.  Rumors are put to bed quickly with witty videos and high quality pictures from the Warhammer TV Team.  Facebook is a place of true interaction with quick and quality posts and responses.  We even have daily Painting Tips with the Lord of Layers himself.  What else could we ask for?  Well if we think of it we should ask because we will probably get it!

4) Community Growth:
         After the Generals Handbook dropped people took notice.  The Naysayers all but gave up as players left other game systems to come try and ultimately fall in love with Age of Sigmar.  Some players are those who left during the End Times and it is great to see their return.  Others came over from Warhammer 40K and are bringing a fresh perspective along with them.  We have also seen an influx of people new to Wargaming entirely and it has invigorated some local scenes in my area.  It has been rewarding to help these players out and watch them grow within the Hobby.

3) The Generals Handbook:
       What can be said for this that hasn't already been said?  Not much.  The community before the Generals Handbook was tight knit and supportive.  After the Generals Handbook it has only grown.  I myself was worried that Ultra-competitive players would come in and take the joy away, but I have been happily wrong as The Generals Handbook is all encompassing.  Let us look forward to next version of this resource!

2) Hobby Milestone 412 (and maybe more) models painted this year:
       I set out this year to paint one model per day on average and I managed to blow this out of the water.  As of 12/28/16 I have 412 models painted for the year across Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40k.  This total is based on model count alone.  Monsters, Heros, infantry all counted as one model.  This next year I am going to slow it up a bit and put more time into individual models and focus on more quality then quantity.  I am proud to say I crushed my goal and hope to do the same with next years Hobby Resolution.

1) Warhammer Live:
         The latest and greatest thing to come out of the Community Team.  I subscribed during the free week because I had faith that the content would be quality and exciting.  Think about that for a moment.  As a long time fan and customer of Games Workshop who dealt with *insert the old usual issue here* on a regular basis I now have blind faith that they will do right by me and the community.  I am not the only one considering how lively that Chat was on day one.  This has become my usual evening entertainment and I look forward to see where it will go from here.  Major League Wargaming here we come?

See you next week as this blog begins going weekly! Until next time Have a Happy New Year and Happy Hobbying!

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Importance of your Hobby Space and Future Content

Happy Holidays everyone!  Today I wanted to take some time to discuss your Hobby Space and give you some insight to future content I will be putting out (with help) to the community in the coming year.

Where the hobby happens...

Above you will see my new dedicated hobby area (Video Tour here).  There is still more lighting to add as well as general improvements due to it being my basement, but that will come with time.  While it will always be in constant development I could not be happier to have my entire hobby (except models I am displaying) consolidated into one space.

My hobby space, like most, started out as some newspaper on my kitchen table.  Sometimes I miss that simplicity of those times.  Just sitting down with a model, some paint, and a worn out brush and taking a few hours to myself to create what I felt was top quality work.  While I enjoyed this time of my hobby career there was a lack of commitment on my part.

As I grew within my abilities and commitment to the hobby I eventually put in a permanent table opposite my computer desk.  I felt this finally legitimized what I was doing with my hobby.  I was able to make a mess without care and leave projects on my desk until I finally completed the project.  This space gave me a constant reminder to build and paint while giving me a comfortable area with which to work.

The one unexpected benefit of a dedicated hobby space was the bubble of hobby it created around me in that dedicated space.  Times when I didn't feel like hobbying were easier to overcome when I sat down at my table.  I knew the space was for building and painting miniatures and just by being in that space got my hobby juices flowing immediately.

A while ago I took up Airbrushing and that meant I needed to set space in my basement strictly for airbrushing.  This worked splendidly, but I only did the minimum with my airbrush due to it being so far away from my main hobby space.  I can tell you lugging models from my basement to my second floor and back again began to get old quick. So I made the decision to move everything to the basement and I have not been more energized to paint in a long time.

Thankfully part of the set up is an old workbench that was in the house when I moved in.  After moving my upstairs hobby table to the basement I opted to build a third table for a bit of extra space.  I have only had this space set up for a few weeks, but I have already begun painting and building and I am happy as can be.

Having a dedicated hobby space  really allows you to grow and offers you a constant reminder to keep the paint and glue flowing.  If you do not have the space to set up a full table for your hobby I would recommend purchasing The Citadel Hobby Box (or other MDF/Plastic options that you can buy around the internet)to give yourself a small space that is easily stored to allow you to get up and hobbying quickly.  Sometimes the setup can be the biggest hindrance to wanting to hobby.  Get creative and you could build your own setup to suit your needs!  If you do I would love to see pictures in the comments below!

Until Then Happy Holidays and Happy Hobbying!

Future Content Update:

Hey again everyone.  I wanted to take a moment to fill you in on some of my plans for 2017.
My initial goal is to move this blog from monthly to weekly.  I tend to keep my posts short and instead of a longer monthly post I would rather offer the shorter length more often.  Please expect this to take place in January 2017.

My other goal is to begin putting out content via Youtube in the form of Tactical Battle Reports, Breakdowns, What if scenarios, etc...  While this blog leans toward a hobby focus I cannot lie that I am a competitive gamer at heart.  I will be working with a very good friend to get this going sometime within quarter one of 2017.

I have also tossed around the idea of doing a monthly podcast with my local group in a open talk format to discuss our games and hobby, but at this point it is only an idea as I do not want to over reach my time constraints, but who knows what could happen.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Airbrushing: My First Steps.

Weeks ago I decided to finally begin Airbrushing in earnest.  Until that moment I was honing my skills with a brush (and even did a lot of priming with a brush) with  a plethora of techniques to still learn.

Here is my weapon of choice.  Found a great deal online.

I managed to find a great deal on the brush above and purchased it without a second thought (over one year ago).  Then I let it sit in the box unopened for about eight months.  To be honest I was intimidated by the thought of starting down the path of learning this new tool.  After my eight months of fear I decided to open and examine the device and shortly realized I needed an air compressor (which allowed me to delay a few more months as I searched for the right compressor).  Shortly after Christmas and Birthdays rolled around and my friends and family bought me everything I could need to begin airbrushing!  I had no more excuses so I delayed a few more months anyway and finally began.

I decided to go right into it by priming models from minute one and after some trepidation I began to get a feel for the flow and flew threw my Army to what you see above.

After the initial night of airbrushing I was fully invested and I spent the entire next day creating the concept Aelf Army (Dubbed "The Survivors of Rhana Dandra") you see above.  I created a black to white gradient in about 5 different layers using all the techniques I have heard about over the years.  To top it off I did a spot color of Electric Blue with a small highlight of blue mixed with a bit of white.  I don't feel this army is done, by any means, but I plan to go back to it soon with some subtle washes to add the illusion of color to a few more pieces of each model.

With my motivation high I tackled a few more small projects with some Dark Angel Terminators, an old White Dwarf model and some converted models below.

I had a few Witch Aelves left over from my Dark Elf army and converted them up to be a Mistweaver Saih and a Tenebrael Shard to lead my Concept Army.

Currently I have moved sprayed a sea of Green as I have begun my Orc force for Age of Sigmar.  Let the WAAAAGH Commence.

Looking at it all now I can say the thought of airbrushing is much more frightening than actually airbrushing and I encourage everyone (if able) to look to add this tool to your painting tool belt even if its just blocking colors as you see me here.  Listen to podcasts and pick up insight they may offer and I can highly recommend checking out Kenny Boucher and his weekly Twitch stream(Here is a link to his YouTube Channel).  His stream is was great encouragement to finally begin airbrushing.  Kenny and the podcast he is on The Long War is a great source for Warhammer 40,000 tactics and they are committed to "Bringing Hobby Back".

Until next time. #OnlyTheFaithful

Also I promised big news in the last Post.  I am planning on starting a YouTube channel the beginning of next year.  Keep and eye out for updates!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Follow Up: Preventing Hobby Wobble

This is a follow up to a previous post entitled "Preventing Hobby Wobble between Projects"

It has been just about 2 months from my previous post regarding hobby wobble and I wanted to discuss how my attempt at embracing the wobble in a controlled way to knock out smaller projects went for me.

Over these past few months I have managed to knock out the following projects.  Two Battlefleet Gothic Fleets, Ten Dark Angel Terminators, Five Stormcast Judicators, and a handful of one off individual Models. Check out my Twitter feed for pictures! (@odiamh)

Pro Tip #1: Completing a bunch of one off projects doesn't feel this good.

I must admit that the ability to jump between different models and games was a refreshing change for both myself and my brush.  At times it felt as if I was not making meaningful progress, but over time I saw the mini projects begin to fill up my shelves and it was a relief to get these one off projects completed.

However, I found my motivation slipping away as the time went on and I spent fewer and fewer evenings at the painting table.  The issue I had was a lack of excitement in completing a large project.  That feeling of seeing an army 90% painted on the shelf with only a few bare models begging you to finish them so they can join their brothers and sister in glorious battle!  That very high sense of accomplishment simply was not present in my hobby.

Over that time I have managed to purchase a small Sylvaneth Force, five more Judicators, a Lord-Castellant with Gryphound (in fairness this was for a local tournament), the Harlequins from Death Watch Game, and The Burning of Prospero box.  (I also managed to base my Large Orruk Army that is up next on my army projects List).  Lastly, I have committed to a Chaos Force Path to Glory Campaign (yet another army).

Pro Tip #2: Do not buy more then one army at a time (This also annoys the spouse)

Overall I made great progress and put myself behind the eight ball once more as I stacked up multiple army projects.  With no current army on my mind I felt free, but perhaps a bit to free and I managed to get myself in over my head a bit for the future (time will tell).  What I have taken away from this experience, however, is a new found willpower.  I can go into my FLGS and walk out with only the paint I went in for and not that character model that I want to paint because "it looks fun".  Time for the next army....WAAAAAAAAGHH!

Pro Tip #3: Waaagh!


!!!!!Keep a look out in the next few months as I have some big plans coming your way!!!!!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Armies on Parade 2016

It is that time of year for us to muster our forces and display them proper in Armies on Parade!

Every year I watched as hobbyists across the globe created armies and display boards for their local Armies on Parade.  Seeing the projects was always a great way to get my hobby mojo going either through the White Dwarf or Online posts by the community.  This year I finally have a Games Workshop location within driving distance and I am finally able to participate.

I decided to use my Stormcast Chamber (The Reik Eternals) as they are one of my newest armies and only had minimal work to finish the army from a painting stand point.  Then came to the decision of designing my display board.  Such began the process...

The outline of my board

Thankfully I work in the building industry so foam insulation board is easy to come across.  I gathered a few pieces and after some wire and glue I had a base.  I decided to go with a raging river on my display board to represent a variation of the River Reik.  The foam was a new medium for me and after some guess work it began to come together.  I cut the River into shape and used a candle to create the wavy pattern for the river you see above.  After adding some foam rocks created from the scrap it was time to paint!

The color blocked out

The river comes alive!

I have to admit painting the river was an exciting challenge.  I know there is plenty of room to improve, but I am proud of what I was able to accomplish.  After some quick drying with a hair dryer I was able to flock and trim the board which admittedly was my least favorite part.

With added scenary

I even added a sign complete with sloppy hand writing!

The whole process took me 3 days from start to finish and while there is much I would like to redo I am very happy with the finish product and will take my knowledge with me to next years display board to make it bigger and better!

Good luck to everyone participating this year and I look forward to seeing your work online (I hear rumors GW is putting up all pictures from the stores on one website)!  I will leave you know with a few shots of my Army on Parade and I will report back if I manage to pull out a podium!


Update:  I took 1st place!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Preventing Hobby Wobble between Projects

Hello again everyone.  Sorry for the delay between posts recently, but you will be happy to know I will be back to my regular posting twice a month!

We all have experienced Hobby Wobble and as Wargamers we have come to almost accept it as part of the process.  It sneaks into our hobby time like a Nurgling dancing around distracting us from the Great Unclean One that is our current (or next) project.  What are some of the ways to prevent Hobby Wobble? Is it possible to use Hobby Wobble to your advantage?  I will explore these ideas (and maybe more) while sharing my current plight as I finish my latest army and attempt to stave off the dreaded Hobby Wobble.

Ignore the large hobby project behind the curtain!

I am currently finishing a large Wood Aelf Army (also my final army to be on Square bases!  Woohoo!) and as I grind out my last models my mind keeps asking what should I put on the painting table next?  I have no lack of options that is for certain.  I have a few more Stormcast bodies to add to my chamber.  Perhaps I could begin growing my Sylvaneth Wargrove or even begin my Orruk Warband that has been slowly taking shape on my Airbrush Table.  Lets not forget the 40k projects that have been untouched since Age of Sigmar dropped from the Heavens.

Slaughter your Hobby Wobble!

As you can see I am on the verge of; if not dipping my toes into the Hobby Wobble.  I decided to find a small goal (a mini project of sorts).  This has staved off the Wobbly feeling as I shift my focus entirely to painting my Slaughter Priest that came free from the latest White Dwarf for the competition on (Click the link to access the competition being run by Ben Curry of Bad Dice Podcast).

While I plan to spend quality time on this lone model and attempt to paint beyond my standard I know the wobble will come back in force.  So what do I do when it returns?  It may sound strange, but I will embrace the wobble for a short time although with a bit of guidance to the madness.

So here is the plan.  I will gather up all my small projects (be they a single model or unit) and just put them on my hobby table and let my mood dictate which one of the assortment I will paint that day.  I will let myself bounce from Space Wolves to Dreadfleet, but I will set a 1 or 2 month time limit (undecided right now).  Once that time frame hits I will finish the current unit/model I am on and end the wobble and begin working on my Orruk Warband in earnest.  While the other projects might take a back seat they will still be there and hopefully I can use them as a break from the Army project to prevent burnout (another scary hobby predicament) from time to time.

Behold the KanBan!

I will report back in a future post with how this strategy has worked or if I abandon it completely and fell into a larger rabbit hole.  Time will tell, but with tools at my finger tips like my KanBan board (pictured above) it will help keep me focused while being unfocused at the same time.  Feel free to follow my updates on twitter as well ( @odiamh )

Until Next time... #OnlyTheFaithful

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

2016 Summer Global Campaign Plans

The Season of War is almost upon us!

What a year we have had in the Age of Sigmar.  The End Times had come and gone while the remnants of our community clung together and shape our destiny with the new game we loved.  I want to applaud everyone who came through The End Times and stuck with Age of Sigmar particularly the community leaders (Dan Heelan, Wayne Kemp, Russ Veal, Dave Witek, Big Jim, and others I am sure I am missing).  This community focused and maintained course and now we are reaping the rewards!

Right now we have the opportunity to shape the story of our game through a month long Campaign (July 14th - August 14th).  I have the benefit of have 2 FLGS within a 10 minute drive of my house, but the AoS scene was on a life line.  One store supported it fully and so I supported them from Day 1 by buying the starter box and all the campaign books as they came out.  I ran events monthly for the few of us wanting AoS to be a success.  The second store pulled back as the local community reeled from the backlash caused by The End Times.  Their shelves usually reserved for Fantasy shrunk and other systems took over.  I still showed up and played an AoS game here and there to gauge interest and network to little effect and bought the odd AoS item here and there in hopes the community would grow.

I focused my efforts on my FLGS that supported the game and continued to bring in the new AoS models time and time again.  This paid off initially for our small group as Gamesworkshop gave us a nice bit of credit to use for scenery on our tables and some prizes for a small tournament.  I am proud to say we can easily fill 3-4 tables of nice Gamesworkshop Scenery Kits.  The event was small, but a success.

Now with the summer campaign kit out the continued efforts paid off once more as my supporting store got in the kit for the event and handed it to me to run as I see fit for the event.  I took the early copy of the Generals Handbook in hand (expect my review soon) and began to flesh out what we wil be doing and began my campaigning to get more players hooked to try the game out and be part of the story.  In a twist my second FLGS decided it was time to join in and also got a kit and are allowing me to run their event.  Last night I got the ball rolling by talking up the event, game, points system, and free swag being given out.  Long story short it worked and we have over 10 sign ups and models being sold at both locations.

It feels like a true David and Goliath story with this little community exploding into the big guy in town (knocking down x-wing, and 40k in my area at least for a bit it seems).  My efforts are now clear.  I need to run these events effectively and most of all do it in a way everyone has fun to keep the momentum going.  My little core group are ready for the next challenge of shaping our future community as we battle to shape the Story of Age of Sigmar.

Good luck with your events everyone and I encourage you all to keep it relaxed and open.  My events will allow large armies battling on the field to simple duels to help decide the fate.  We even have some people who just wish to paint to provide support to their chosen alliance.  All will be counted and recorded and the new players are chomping at the bit for the 14th to come.

The Realm of Ghyran is ready for War in earnest...and who will prevail in the coming war?  Only The Faithful!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Sigmar wants you...

Sigmar's Storm has come and War is everywhere...

Like most of you I thought War was already here...

I can only imagine this post from Games Workshop's Facebook Page is getting us hyped for the living campaign.  The time will soon be upon us to take our armies to the field and battle it out for the fate of the Mortal Realms and I cannot think of a better time to bring those old and new players on the fence into the game.  There are still plenty of scattered players out there who may not realize how large and connected our community is at its core and I would challenge everyone to invite one friend this summer to join you in this hobby.

A good way to get started would be the Age of Sigmar starter set.  It is a great way to begin a new (or grow an old) army with your friend and not only game with them, but hobby with them as well.  Help them pick out a unit that draws them.  Help them build and paint it if they want.  Then bring them into the stores to play and have a hand in the future of the story.  They will be buying into this lifelong hobby and the actual events of the campaign.

It has been almost one year since Age of Sigmar arrived and the game finally has traction.  Heads are turning and the interest is growing once again.  Those of us that remained faithful need to be the catalyst in getting the scattered groups directed to podcasts, forums, and social media pages so the community can become stronger them Sigmarite.

I am very excited to see what this week brings and I hope the above rambling encouraged all of you just the same.  If we each get one friend involved in this game/hobby then we can enter year two stronger then anyone would have imagined this time last year.


Friday, May 27, 2016

Why I still have Squares...

I have yet to rebase my old armies....and I do not intend to do so.

Over the past months I have really enjoyed Age of Sigmar.  The Campaigns, Narratives, Fluff, and all the new hobby abound have filled my time.  I have seen many people rebase their old armies to the new round bases and it is great seeing people embrace this new system, but I simply could not bring myself to rebase (even my unpainted models) despite them looking much better on rounds. 

I couldn't understand why I was hesitant.  My local scene is mostly square, but they admittedly do not have the time or urge to rebase.  I had the urge (and time) many times, but always chose not to go through with the process.  At first I assumed I simply wasn't entirely done with 8th and would go back to play a game here or there until AoS had an abundance of scenarios and campaigns.  We all know that there is more then enough of these now and I still chose not to rebase.


My painting table currently has this block of Executioners on it ready rank and file to victory, but I truly doubt I will use them ranked in an 8th ed. battle (and I have no intention of playing 9th age or KoW).  I realized that I am pretty much done with 8th ed. and will be playing AoS and if an old scenario from 8th grabs my attention I would rather rework it to fit into AoS then bust out the movement trays.  I realized that I was done with 8th ed. game play, but I wasn't done with the army.  I wanted to pay my tribute so to speak to the 8th armies I had been working on.  I had a vision of what they were going to be and that vision didn't change with AoS.  I still see Ranked Armies in my head and I still enjoy the thought of the army being finished in this way.  So I will finish my Dark Elf and Wood Elf armies on squares because that was my vision.  

However, I embrace AoS Fully with a new army and a new vision that includes round bases.  

Besides I could always use Aelfs...


Monday, May 2, 2016

The New Persona of Games Workshop

Well It looks the same so far....

Over the past year and a half our game has gone through big changes.  We had our End Times both in game and within the community.  As of now the Faithful (#OnlyTheFaithful!) feel pretty happy with ol' GW and for good reasons.  Let's go back a bit and see just how it all has changed (from my part of the world anyway).

Who can forget this guy?

There he is, the Silent Guardian.  What seemed like a permanent fixture at Warhammer World was always there to greet those lucky Tabletop Generals who could travel and play at Games Workshop Main.  However, the times would change....

Sigmar Arrives!

An audible gasp was heard across the globe as the statues and wings were replaced as Games Workshop began to push their new baby.  Age of Sigmar had arrived and all bets were off.  Sadly the initial launch was mismanaged and the community suffered for it.  Some held true while others went looking for greener pastures.  Thankfully this error would be recognized by Games Workshop and the upswing would begin!

Back in the game.

Games Workshop is back on social media and interacting with all of us and simply ignoring the hate that may come there way.  The have released the First Draft of the FAQ to ask our input.  They invited some of our favorite pod-casters (Listen to them here!) to come play test and offer input to give us what we needed and have been asking for from the start.  A points system that is official and allows anyone to play someone else easily.  They are running a painting competition on their page.  Recently I was even given direct Games Workshop prize support for my local club to increase of scenery foot print and prizes (as well as a campaign pack to use for the event).  

They are finally listening and those Faithful can be happy as we enter this exciting new time in Age of Sigmar.  More and more new players are getting in and hopefully some of those that left long ago will return.  So lets be ready to put some toy soldier son the boards and throw some dice as our community grows again!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Allure of the WAAAAGH!

WAAAAAGH...and all that...

Orruks (previously Orcs) have always had a special place in my heart.  It was an army I almost began my hobby with due to their comical and bestial nature.  Look at the jolly guy above.  He screams Warhammer to me in all the right ways.

Look how happy he is for a fight

Now we finally see Greenskins return in force to the Mortal Realms and I  cannot be more pleased.  They look great and still held onto the Warhammer Orc Charm that I thought would be lost or adjusted with the new setting.  The fluff bits that are out pretty much cement the fact that Orruks are still the lovable Orcs we knew from The World that was.  They are still scrapin' for a fight and carry the same accent as always, just a bit more armored.

My Orc from WAR

Even with my love and preference for Aelfs (Elves) above all else these Greenskins always found a way to capture my attention and with the new relase I find it harder and harder to resist jumping in for a scrap with da boys.  I happen to have the perfect general(s) as well...

A repaint and rebase would be in order

Now to continue my futile attempt at not joining the WAAAGH. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Living Game Concept

Age of Sigmar is considered a living game, but what does that mean?  For decades we have had a "stagnant" game with Warhammer Fantasy.  While the rules did update and units/characters came in and out of the game the overall setting and story remained the same and if any advancement was made it was pulled back to a prior time to keep the Fantasy Setting intact.

With Age of Sigmar we have a continuously evolving story where each new book can potentially move the story forward, kill off characters, or possibly add new characters.  This can be very exciting, exhausting, and even frightening.  Look back at The End Times to see an (Extreme) example of a living game.

While it can be a roller coaster ride as far as the fluff is concerned the benefit to rules can be great.  My favorite example of this would be X-wing.  The game releases Waves with new ships and cards and even new factions in the case of Scum.  While there is no official story for X-wing they do utilize the fluff from the Star Wars Universe to create their pilots, ships, and upgrade cards.

As I have stated in a previous post I enjoyed The End Times and so far I am enjoying the fast pace of Age of Sigmar.  While my Wallet is still hoping they step off the gas a bit I do hope the living system continues at a consistent pace regarding fluff and rules.  I want the story to move, but not at a snails pace or leaps and bounds and as new Warscrolls are introduced I would prefer they mix up the "Meta" for gaming without turning into needing to buy the newest toy in order to compete.

While I would enjoy having a Grand Alliance Book not be outdated weeks after its release I am not opposed to buying yearly updated copies (at the nicely costed price) as new scrolls are added. I can not complain to much considering the Warscrolls are being printed in White Dwarf and updated in the App, but seeing books being incomplete very quickly is not a trend I would like to see continue.

Gamesworkshop is getting more involved in our community once more and as these issues arise I hope our voice will be heard (above and hate or mocking that may be present) so our living game can continue and evolve better as the Ages roll on.