Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Weekly Hobby Update : 5-24-17

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Over the past week, I have finished all my terrain in preparation for my Coalescence event.  I have also been working up fun teasers for my event to hint at what my places could expect during as the narrative unfolds.  My Club also held a terrain build/repair day that I will dive into more detail during my Friday post.  I also received a nice surprise from a local commission painter and club member!

Teasers for my Coalescence Story!

A Club mate who goes by BrushForHire painted this up for me.

Finished all my personal terrain in preparation for Coalescence.

My Local club showed up and put in work!


Let me know what you have been working on and follow me on Twitter.  I have some travel coming up for work so the Travel Hobby will be in full force along with pictures from my travels.  See you with Fridays Post and Happy Hobbying!

Club Day : Terrain Building

Hey Everyone! This past weekend my club held a very important event in place of its standard gaming days.  We had determined at our Town Meeting that our terrain was in need of a facelift and we committed to repairing, repainting, and if needed replacing terrain from our club collection.  I also committed to painting up all of my terrain so when I am running Age of Sigmar events such as Coalescence I can also bring a few extra tables of quality terrain as well.



I went to this project with the mindset that if I am unwilling to paint my own terrain how could I possibly motivate others to fix up our community terrain?  While painting my own terrain was motivating for the club as we came up to the club terrain day it really began to stretch my endurance.  While some terrain like the new Games Workshop has a lot of fun little detail to spend some time on other proved to be monotonous with priming and dry brushing becoming the standard.  All that said it was educational going through the process on my own terrain.  

I also spent time using a hot foam wire cutter and some sharp knives creating hills along the way.  I cannot express how easy these were to create and very friendly on the wallet as well.  If you are needing some simple terrain to get on your or your clubs table I can honestly say you could have a table full of line of sight blocking hills done to a decent standard in an afternoon. 



Our local library which is our normal meeting location was completely booked through the month.  Thankfully we had another FLGS nearby with a lot of space who was willing to host us as we got to the task.  I picked up the clubs terrain early from our club FLGS and headed over to the hosting FLGS.  I arrived and one of our younger members Luke had already arrived and was eager to get going so we began unpacking and setting up shop.

Over the next hour or so more and more club members became coming in to help out.  It was great to see every rally around a single task to improve the club as a whole.  There was a wide variety of hobbyists as well.  The hardcore gamers, the high-level painters, and the casual group all joined it.  The time really passed quickly as we all chatted hobby and upcoming releases.  It was a real bonding experience for those who were able to attend.



I think the key detail of the day was who showed up to begin taking our club to the next level.  While it is worth noting that a few members who let me know there were schedule conflicts and they couldn't attend I noticed that those who showed up were the younger players.  I feel I was able to relay to them how important they are to the future of the club as it will be them leading it one day.  They are enthused about what I have been pushing with taking the club to a higher level and growing once again.  It wouldn't be possible without the support of the entire club, especially the younger players.

The fruits of our labor paid off as we managed to repair and repaint all of the club terrain in about six hours of hard work.  It was great seeing the looks of accomplishment on everyone's face and the care with which everyone put the terrain away in its boxes to be transported back to our FLGS.  The club showed up and took ownership and they will see the fruits of their labor during our next game day when we play with the terrain.



If your club is in needs to up their game tables I can recommend dedicating a single day to repairing and even building new terrain.  It is a great way for everyone to take ownership in the club as well as bond as a community.  If you do have a day like this coming up let me know as I would love to check out some pictures or offer any advice I can.  Follow me on Twitter if you would like to see pictures from the next club game day where we will begin using the freshly updated terrain.  Until next week Happy Hobbying!

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Hobby Journal

Hey Everyone!  This week I wanted to take the time to discuss the value that I have found in using a Hobby Journal.  Earlier this week I also put out a Poll on Twitter to ask the question "Do you use a Hobby Journal"  I will dive into the results, but while there was a lot of votes for no it seemed those who did use a Journal were passionate enough to discuss how they use this handy tool.  Hopefully, by the end of the post, you will run out and start a Hobby Journal of your own!


When I first picked up a Hobby Journal it was with the intent to be a painting journal.  A place to record paint mixes, army color schemes, and even order I apply different layers to my models.  For a while, that was its one and only purpose.  After a few months, I started using it to write down ideas for my blog.  In fact, the ideas and concepts that lead to the creation of my blog are in the journal!  Later it became a notebook for conversion ideas, custom scenarios, army schemes, and community building ideas.  While it has begun serving other duties it still serves as a painting journal.

More recently my Journal became a place to record games played.  So far I have only used it for Larger events and not simple friendly games, but I might change that in the future as I playtest armies for events such as Nova, and Adepticon.  I try to keep it simple otherwise I would get so absorbed into tracking the game I would forget to play.  I jot down the opponents name, their army, any formation they might have in their list,  and I put highlights from the game.  A failed charge or a 12" charge could be huge to the outcome of the game and those are the moments I write down during play.  After the game, I will record if I won or lost and by how much as well as any comments that might be more important in hindsight.


I ran a Twitter poll this past week regarding the subject on whether or not people used Hobby Journals.  Near the end of the poll it was 40% yes and 60% no.  It was a much closer split then I immediately expected.  Looking through the comment threads it seems most people are using them solely as a place to record paint recipes and paint schemes.

While I have combined my Journal to be multi-purpose I think a lot more people will split their journals to be more dedicated and focused if they are choosing to have journals for different aspects of their hobby.  For example, Ben Johnson keeps two separate hobby journals as he expressed on twitter.  One is for painting and the other is games played.  You could easily have as many journals as you feel you need.


There are plenty of options as to what journal to buy?  You could get a large book that will last for years to come or you could get something slimmer that might only contain your thoughts for a short span of time or perhaps a single project.  I have gone with the humble pocket journal for ease of carrying.  Going with a pocket size has allowed me to carry it with me everywhere.  Going out with friends, working at the office, or sitting at my hobby desk I always have it with me in case a hobby related idea strikes me.  It is great to always have a piece of your hobby with you and I feel you cannot go wrong with a pocket Journal.


I hope you consider picking up a journal of your own soon as this tool will be a great way to look back on past hobby and help plan out your hobby future.  Feel free to follow me on Twitter as always and until next week.  Happy Hobbying!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Weekly Hobby Update : 5-17-17

Hey Everyone.  This past week of hobby saw more work on painting my Terrain in preparation for Coalescence as well as finally getting back to some gaming.  Outside of that, I have been planning out my posts for the next few weeks as I have a lot of travel for work coming up, but you can still expect my usual Wed and Fri posts along with some nice pictures of my travels and travel hobby.

My Garden of Morr made its way from The Old World into The Mortal Realms

Some Classic Terrain pieces I touched up

My recent purchase of a Hot Wire Foam Cutter has paid off

Small and Large practice games were had this past weekend

Let me know what yo have on your Hobby Table and follow me on Twitter to see my future Travel Hobby Projects.  See you on Friday.  Happy Hobbying!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Coalescence Preparation

Hey Everyone!  Today I will be following up from my Guest Post on the How to Neo Blog on TGA and will be discussing how I plan to run the event itself on the June 10th.


The best way to prepare for a large event is to take time the day before to set up the gaming area.  I am currently planning to head down to the Library the evening before to set up tables as well as lay the mats and terrain.  The quicker I can get to the venue in the morning and the lighter I am able to travel the better.  I have been asking players for my event to register with me via email and a good number have done so, but it is inevitable that some local players will show up without having registered which is not an issue but this eventuality needs to be part of my preparation.  Hopefully, I will have enough tables set up for the day without eating up any extra space for the other game systems going on that day at the club.

So I am all set up and get to the venue early.  Now it is time to lay out all the prizes and set up a   small space for myself so I can lay out any documents to hand out to the players.  One of the best parts of any event is the excitement right before it all begins and if I am fully prepared I can spend some time chatting with everyone before we kick off the first game.  I also plan to have the players sign in and determine what Faction they are fighting for within the event as well as note their army.

Once the players are settled it is time to begin and in most events, I would set up random pairing followed by Swiss pairings for each round in most events, but most events I run are matched so I can have a bit of fun with this step.  I plan to look at the players and their armies and mix them up so everyone can play someone new in each round as well as pair players up based on general skill or army capability.  This may seem like a bit of micromanaging, but with a narrative event focused on story over winning I think it could lead to some exciting moments with not much additional work on my end.

One item I am currently planning out is game time length and this is a bit tricky as each game is of different point sizes but with a narrative focus, it is hard to predict how long the games could take.  Finding the happy medium is key as I also need to allow time for lunch and judging of Armies and painting.  Do to the venue we must wrap up by 4:30 to give ample time to put tables away and store the terrain.


Being a narrative event the awards are also based around the narrative and as such the judging is a bit more involved.  Some of the awards will be player chosen, others will be chosen based on impartial judges, and a few will be determined by myself.  I will be asking players to track some statistics on their sheets, but the best way is always to be around the tables.  One to answer any questions and to see the stories develop myself!  Each player will be experiencing their won story, but I have the fortune to watch the overall narrative develop as all the games are being played.  This will let me see who could be best suited for some of the awards being given out by myself at the event.

Another possibility to be ready for is to play the ringer.  Typically it is best to have a second person help you be the ringer, but with a narrative setting I will be the ringer myself if needed



After clean up, we will head over to the FLGS to hand out prizes.  Norm who runs the shop (The Toy Soldier Gallery) will be helping me present the winners their awards.  This is what it is all about!  The excitement of announcing the winners and explaining what each award represents is the fulfillment that makes running events worth it.  Expect to see pictures posted on my Twitter from the event as well as going Live on Twitter to hand out the awards!  

When the awards are all handed out, there are only one thing left to do.  Head over to the local bar to share a drink and talk about our victories and defeats of the day.  This is a great time to ask the players what they enjoyed about the event and what they did not.  The info you gather at this time is paramount for the last step of any event.  Planning for the next one!

Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter with any questions you may have.  Until next week Happy Hobbying!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Weekly Hobby Update : 5-10-17

Hey everyone!  Here is what I have kicking around on my hobby table this week!

In preparation for The Global Coalescence event, I have been painting up all the gray terrain I have had sitting around for the past few years.  This mixed with the terrain repair/build day coming up for my local club we should have some nice looking tables for the event and for ourselves going forward.



I also took my Display board and Imperium Force to be judged for the upcoming Inner Circle Event coming up this weekend at my local Warhammer Store.  I am looking forward to going after on of the medals up for grabs!


I also picked up a few odds and ends at my FLGS as well.  My White Dwarf, Khorne Battletome Cards, and an old Blister of Metal Catachan Leaders so I can make one into Sly Marbo for quick Armageddon games.


Feel free to follow me on Twitter and let me know what you are working on.  See you with Friday's post!  Happy Hobbying!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Player Spotlight : Comrade Aleks G.

Hey Everyone!  This week I wanted to continue my new segment where I talk to a club mate about their journey in Age of Sigmar and this Hobby.  Today I will be talking with Aleks who is part of my local club Ligonier Legions.  He hangs around twitter so follow him here (or on Instagram here)!


Aleks being carried by me (just like our games)

Hey Aleks,  Thanks for being letting me chat with you for a bit.
"I am happy to be with you"

So Aleks how did you begin your journey in this hobby?
"It started when I was about 12 or 13 back in my homeland Russia.  There was a little hobby store near my school that I always visited.  One day I bought the cheapest models I could and the cheapest paint and began painting.  The owner of the shop was a commission painter who helped me quite a bit.  I remember painting a small goblin with about 3 colors total on it."

What made you decide to make Age of Sigmar your main tabletop game?
"I was introduced to Warhammer through Dawn of War on PC.  I asked my dad to send me a kit Moscow where he was working.  He sent me some Orks.  I soon found Fantasy and got an Orc Battallion I messed around with, but when 8th dropped I picked up The Island of Blood and fell in love with the High Elves.  Soon after I moved to the US and I brought my High Elves with me and found the local hobby store where I bought more Elves.  I choose to paint all my models before I played.  Actually, you were my first game of Fantasy when we played High Elves on High Elves.  I remember using my Russian Rulebook it was a mess.  I kept with Fantasy through Age of Sigmar and haven't let go.  We knew each other, but really became friends when Age of Sigmar dropped.  You were the only one in the area who pushed to play Age of Sigmar from the beginning and I don't want to go anywhere."

Aleks has a large custom Free People's Halfing Army

What armies are you currently working on or playing?
"I am playing High Aelfs, about 2000pts.  I still have Skaven around 2000pts.  I am currently working on a Free Peoples Halfling themed army.  I also have an extensive Moon Clan army.  My biggest focus currently is building Disciples of Tzeentch."

In regards to Open, Matched, and Narrative play where do you fall?
"Absolutely Matched Play!  I feel I am still hung up in the illusion of balance points bring.  I am happy doing custom games or events, but I always like to have points."

Are there any aspects of this Hobby that you really enjoy?
"I enjoy competitive army building.  As a college student, I like to squeeze out the best army possible with least amount of money spent.  I also enjoy converting models to make them unique and my own."

These High Aelves have seen battle against my forces plenty of times

On the other end, what parts do you perhaps not enjoy?
"I do not enjoy painting when I have to paint.  Working to deadlines isn't fun.  I prefer to paint for myself as I take a lot of joy in putting a lot of effort into each model."

What is your Dream Goal for yourself in this Hobby?
"My ultimate fantasy about this hobby is to go to a major GT and win either overall, best of, or best painted."

Can you share with us a memorable experience within Age of Sigmar?
"It is not so much a memory, but a realization.  My favorite part about Age of Sigmar is how Gamesworkshop is handling this game.  The community team, videos, and articles are what is making this game as good as it has become!"

His Abomination is always a must kill for me...

Where do you see the U.S. Age of Sigmar Community regards to Locally, Regionally and Nationally?
"Right now it seems very dispersed.  It is like everyone is in their own bubble in the mortal realms.  Not enough people get together to really solidify the US community due to the size of the country."

What would you like to see in the U.S. National Age of Sigmar Community?
"It would be cool if there was a U.S. ranking system that was accepted by everyone and there was a US Grand Tournament or Masters event."

Thanks again Aleks!
"It's over already?  Thanks for having me."

As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and let me know if there is any aspect of the hobby you would like me to discuss!  Until Next week, Happy Hobbying!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Weekly Hobby Update : 5-3-17

Hey Everyone!  I hope you all have been on a roll with your hobby.  There is plenty to prepare for such the upcoming Nashcon, Coalescence, Socal Open, Cross Roads GTNova and the new Midwest Meltdown (Ask Domus for more info)!  I am still trying to prepare the terrain for my local Coalescence event as well as prepare a Display board for my Warhammer Stores Inner Circle event.


2 day Display Board!

I was able to work up this fairly generic display board in a few days for the local Inner Circle Event as well as having it on hand for anyone to borrow at future events due to their travel arrangements or limited time.  It turned out well enough, but the best part was finding precut 2x2 foam boards at my local hardware store.  It made things much quicker!


Perhaps I will try to get more Sisters.  Really fun Model

I did manage to finish painting my Sister I had on hand, but I might take my Eldar to the Inner circle instead as it is a much larger and more impressive force to display.  The other option is to bring a mixed Imperium list which could be just as fun.  It will most likely be a snap decision.


Blood for the Blood God

I also built some Khorne kits I ha.d on my desk  I am very happy how the War Shrine turned out with the Blood Reavers carrying it.  Now to go buy some Daemons to grow the force and begin painting within the next month or so.

Much to PJSchard's Displeasure

I also decided to redo one of my Stormcast Conversions.  I am already much happier with my new Venator.  I just cannot put the StormBros down it seems.

Let me know what you are working on and as always follow me on Twitter for "up to the minute" hobby.  Until Friday, Happy Hobbying!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Building a Community : Part 5

Welcome to Part 5 of my "Building a Community" Series.  If you have not read Part 1, 2, 3 or 4 please check them out in the links below.  Today I will discuss the recent town meeting I held at my local club and the rather quick turnaround I have seen in members since. 

At our last club day, I felt it was best to hold a town meeting to get everyone together to discuss the future of the club.  I felt a lot of what I was trying to do wasn't being received properly or was being misinterpreted.  I was told that a few people felt I was going to ruin the club!  I needed to get everyone on the same page as me, and I needed to alleviate any fears while finding out what they wanted as well.  We took an hour at the beginning of our Club day and I lead the discussion.


I began by explaining what my views on where the club is at, what I feel we can be, and how I felt we could get there.  I think it shocked a few members when I told them where I felt the club was as a whole currently. Our poor tables and fractured philosophies made us unwelcoming and unattractive to gaining new members or having other clubs come visit.  After I a few minutes of explaining how our current environment was road blocking us it began to sink in and we started going around the room giving everyone a chance to voice their thoughts.  It became obvious that I wasn't the only person who felt our club was stagnant and needed to change as a whole to survive.

I am thankful that we had a fairly diverse group at the meeting albeit a smaller turnout than I would have liked, but it was also Easter weekend and the opening day of trout, so it wasn't entirely unexpected.  Competitive members, Narrative members, and Hobbyist members all offered advice on how to improve the aspect of the club they found themselves within.  As the ideas on how we can and should improve were discussed I challenged each of them to implement these action items themselves in order to help the club as a whole become more of what they would like to see.  Ideas such as going out to other FLGS's and clubs to play with them and discuss our local scene and what we wish to do.  Setting up monthly hobby days on Skype with one of our best painters discussing tips and just to work on projects together.  We discussed ways to improve our current table situation and committed to 12 Tables total, with 4 tables having quality terrain within a few months.  Some members offered to us their 3D printer to make nice centerpieces for tables and others generously offered to cast terrain themselves, they even brought in a few painted pieces they had cast they would exactly what we are looking to add to our tables!  The club is also dedicating its next meeting day to repair and create new terrain for our tables.


The biggest change we all agreed on was to remove the original change I had put in place when I began organizing the group.  Originally I felt that dedicating each day to one specific game would help each game grow, but over time it was obvious that people who played one game simply didn't show up if their game was not the focus.  After suggestions from a few of the members at the meeting, we will now be running all three of our main games, 40k, Age of Sigmar, and Flames of War at each club day.  We want to be more attractive to others coming in and what is better than a room full of gamers as opposed to the small groups we were getting with the focused days,

Afterward, I described the meeting as a Minor Victory.  I felt a lot of the misconstrued ideas and plans were streamlined and everyone began to take ownership in that their actions will make our break this club.  It was a week or so later that I saw it was closer to a Major Win.  I saw members going to the other local FLGS's to play games and gain interest in new players to come join us and see what we are doing in Ligonier.  Suddenly the Facebook group began having daily posts and discussions from everyone, not just the same few who were always posting.  I feel energized to put forth whatever more effort I can to improve the club because for the first time I don't feel like the only horse pulling this cart.  The younger gamers, the older gamers, and even those who I felt were poisonous gamers are all going the same way and I could not be more proud.



I will continue posting updates as the club continues to improve, but I feel this is a good place to wrap up this series, for now at least.  If you would like to check out what we are about please check out the clubs Facebook page here or follow me on Twitter.  Perhaps in the next year or two, you might see us at Adepticon or Nova wearing the club shirts we are creating or if you are within driving distance we would love for you to join us one day.  Until next week Happy Hobbying!

Edited by Grudgegamer


Building a Community:



Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Weekly Hobby : 4-26-17

Hey everyone!  This week's Hobby is all about preparing for Coalescence on June 10th.  The word for the event has spread much quicker and farther than I originally thought it would have for my club.  I decided to keep pushing and have been hitting up local stores to hang up flyers I printed off for the event and hopefully get players to register via email so I can get a somewhat accurate headcount.


My Local FLGS's and even my local Warhammer Store has allowed me to put up flyers to help generate more interest in the event.  They all are helping spread the word with hopes that all ships will rise with this tide.  Talking up the event and organizing it is a big part of my hobby right now and will be for the foreseeable future.  I have also confirmed I will have Prize support in the form of Games Workshop Kits for the event on top of the trophies I had planned for the event.



While it is very exciting it is a bit intimating to make sure The Club tables are ready as we are lacking in quality terrain and mats.  This was a topic of conversation at our recent Town Meeting for the club, but I will go into detail about meeting in Fridays post.  Thankfully we have set up a day to work on fixing and building terrain for the club, but I plan to put in as much effort as I can to ensure we are ready!  People have already donated some foam to the cause and I feel confident in what we will accomplish.  I will be using this deadline as pressure to also paint my own terrain collection to finally get it done for myself as well as the Coalescence event.


The other hobby I am getting into is creating a small Display Board for my Warhammer Stores Inner Circle event.  I plan to take some of my Sisters of Battle to display in hopes of getting one of those wonderful Deathwing medals being awarded at the event.  I even have a last minute addition to the force in the form of the Canoness Veridyan.  I cannot wait for the new edition of Warhammer 40,000 after this week's recent news and Q&A session!

Let me know what you are all working on with your Hobby.  I would love to see and be inspired by it.  As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and see you all on Fridays post where I wrap up my Building a Community Series with Part 5.  Happy Hobbying!