Friday, April 21, 2017

Player Spotlight : Matt H.

Hey Everyone!  This week I wanted to begin a 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 Matt who is a consistent member of a local group based in Pittsburgh, PA.  I am dragging him back to Twitter so follow him here as well!

Matt (Background) and myself at Adepticon 2017

Hey Matt,  Thanks for being my first test subject for my new Blog Article Series.
"No Problem.  Happy to help and talk about Age of Sigmar anytime!"

So Matt how did you begin in this Hobby?
"It started off with going over to a Lan party focused on RTS, specifically Dawn of War.  I spent hours playing before the party and afterward I was introduced to the lore of Warhammer 40k by a friend.  A few years later I got the itch to try painting some of these models.  I went to my local Store and Picked up a unit of Space Marine Devastators.  I spent three weeks painting five models.  A  friend who was into 40k and he convinced me to pick up a few more models to play a game!  Many months of painting and preparation later I played a game in which I got my the tar kicked out of me. I picked up the Age of Sigmar Starter box and I didn't do much with until I met you."

What brought you to Age of Sigmar?
"You did! To be honest, I was in love with the rule set at the start.  As long as you trust your opponent and participate int he social contract you can have fun in the game without getting too serious."

Some of Matt's Dispossessed

What armies are you currently playing in Age of Sigmar?
"I tend to dabble across the board until I find an army to match my play style.  Currently, I have Dispossessed, SCE, Nurgle, and recently began Slaanesh."

In regards to Open, Matched, and Narrative play where do you fall?
"I don't like the idea of focusing on one.  I feel all three are very important to the hobby.  To prevent any fatigue it is best to play them all!  Matched play is the easiest and more common way to play it the Open and Narrative play are overlooked but are essential to explore the full extent of the creative side of the hobby."

Are there any aspects of this Hobby that you really enjoy?
"The delightful banter between a friendly opponent!  I really enjoy the community and friendships built through this game. Of course playing the game and list building are near the top as well."

On the other end, what parts do you perhaps not enjoy?
"I do not enjoy players who play strictly to the Meta simply to win.  I feel the game is more fun if people take lists they think are interesting despite power.  Tactics of lists!  I do not enjoy the amount of time Painting takes me.  If I could get quicker to have table top results faster it would be marvelous!"

Matts Scheme for his Current Army Project - Stormcast Eternals

What is your Dream Goal for yourself in this Hobby?
"I would love to be known as The Dispossessed Player.  I want people to look to me as the be all end all of the Army.  Also going to Warhammer World would be nice."


Can you share with us a memorable experience within Age of Sigmar?
"I was playing against My local Warhammer Store owner.  It was my Warden King against three Kurnoth Hunters with Swords.  It took 5 rounds, but he managed to kill every one of them while only taking one Wound.  there was plenty of Ribbing and John Cena References being flung across the board to my opponent!"

Matt's entry into a local Painting Competition (Random Hero and paints were given to use)

Where do you see the U.S. Age of Sigmar Community regards to Locally, Regionally and Nationally?
"I haven't delved deep into the National or Regional scene, but as far as local it is interesting.  I have the dichotomy of my local group and your local group.  My scene is an odd mix of Hobbyist who play once a month but enjoys the painting.  I also have the aspiring Tournament players who are trying sharpen their game as well as a few High-End Tournament Veterans who come in and show respect to all players despite experience.  It is a diverse community who gets along even if they don;t agree on Armies, Play Style, Or game but they come together over the Hobby.  Your scene is more of a club but shares the same love for the Hobby despite the game and gather around each other to build friendships.  A commodity if you will."

What would you like to see in the U.S. National Age of Sigmar Community?
"I would like to see a ranked system.  While competitive isn't my focus giving us a chance to talk smack about ranks could be fun.  Mostly,  I would love to see points of contact within the U.S. scene to help guide it all and assist new groups/players would be a strong influence to get the U.S. growing in a positive way."

Thanks again Matt.
"Sure thing Chuck."

I hope you all enjoyed my first Player Spotlight article and perhaps got some insight into how who Matt is an Age of Sigmar player.  Feel free to message me here or on Twitter if you have any questions you would like me to ask in future Spotlights or let me know what you thought of this series!  Special shout out to everyone attending South Coast GT this weekend, good luck and I can't wait to see Twitter coverage!  Also be sure to keep an eye on the Games Workshop Coverage on Twitch.  Until Next week, Happy Hobbying!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Weekly Hobby Update : 4-19-17

Hello Everyone!  I have made the decision to take my blog from once per week to twice per week.  I want to have a short post about what hobby I have going on or a short hobby related topic every Wednesday, which is the post you will see today.  I also plan to continue bringing you longer more in-depth posts at the end of the week on Friday.  If you have any topics you would like to see covered in my Shorter Tuesday posts please let me know.  Today I want to share with you all the projects I am currently working on as well as what is coming down the pipe for my hobby.


My current army project is Blade of Khorne and I could not be more excited.  I have settled on a White/Gold color scheme and plan to work on my Airbrushing skills with this army.  Expect to see a Bloodthrister from em soon as the pictures above are just the beginning!





I have had a small Sylvaneth grove in my backlog since the beginning of AoS and I keep adding more to it slowly.  The assembled Treelord and Dryads were originally meant to be part of my 8th Edition Wood Elf Force, but with the separation of the army.  They, as well as three Citadel Woods, are sitting silently on the side for that rainy day.


Aelves are my first Warhammer love and I eagerly anticipate the first Aelf army that will join the fight in The Mortal Realms.  I have picked up the Balewind Vortex, a Mistweaver, and a Shard for when the new Aelves are finally released.  I currently have an  Aelf army consisting of models people gave me after The End Times when they decided to "Quit the game for good".  I used the army to practice my airbrush skills and jump on the Concept Army Bandwagon that was all the rage.  However, I plan to go back and give them a proper paint job soon.  Possibly in an AOS28 style!  



A humble Liberator Prime sits waiting for me to begin a side project I am very excited to being.  This hero is slated to be my first Nonmetallic Metal model.



Outside of all the painting, building, and buying, I am also prepping for Nova Open as well as planning out my  event for Coalescence on June 10th that I finally committed to running for my local club.  I have a lot of focus on building communities right now so these events are usually at the forefront of my hobby thoughts. I have come to learn recently this game is so fun and exciting because of the players and growing that aspect will only further the game.

That's all I have on my Hobby Table at the moment, but it is ever changing and growing.  Let me know what you think of this new addition to my blog schedule so I can put out the content you wish to see.  As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and until Friday.  Happy Hobbying!



Friday, April 14, 2017

Adepticon 2017 Age of Sigmar Championship

Hello everyone!  I wanted to take this week’s post to run down my games from The Age of Sigmar Championship that I participated in at Adepticon 2017 this year.

I decided to take the Stormcast Eternals to the event.  My intention was to take the Warrior Brotherhood, but after the changes that occurred in the new book, it simply wasn't a worthwhile option in my opinion.  With only a limited amount of time to adjust my list, I decided instead to use the Hammerstrike force. Because the Hammerstrike force acts similarly to the old Warrior Brotherhood, I decided to go with what I was more familiar with.  An added bonus was that it also meant I only had a few late painting nights to be prepared for Adepticon.  Now on to the games!


My List for the Event
                                                                             

Game 1 - Opponent: Steven, Army: Sylvaneth



Steven and I had a great game, despite my nerves at playing my first tournament game at Adepticon.  He made sure that we had a good time playing.  The game really had a back and forth sequence, with no one ever gaining the upper hand until the final turn.  In this first scenario, we were to fight over pieces of terrain each round in order to score points.  I decided to play very aggressively and kept him from ever leaving his deployment zone.  I was able to keep my objective secured, but due to how the scoring worked with battle line units versus non-battle line units, I was behind on points.  Sadly I was unable to kill off his Kurnoth Hunters quickly enough in the remaining rounds to prevent him from capturing his objective for one round giving him the win in the end.  I really enjoyed myself and Steven was a great opponent.  My only real criticism was his substitute GW forests.  He had cut the shape of the Citadel Wood on a Mousepad material and was using them for his forests.  It took a bit away from his army and since there were no trees in his forests or even circles to represent where the trees were supposed to be.  This really allowed him freedom of movement and line of sight that would have otherwise would have been obscured.  That said, I would happily play him again in the future if some more accurate representations for forests were used.
                                                                             

Game 2 - Opponent: Gabe, Army: Stormcast Eternals




Game 2 put me in a mirror match of sorts.  I have always had the Achilles heel of not being able to beat my own army, in a matter of speaking.  Gabe was still new to Age of Sigmar, but his commitment was obvious as he had an exceptionally painted Stormcast Army.  In this scenario, we were fighting over 4 objectives and we deployed spread out knowing we each had a Hammerstrike Alpha-Strike waiting in the wings.  He had the initiative which meant I had to blunt his spearhead.  He devastated my right flank with shooting and Paladins.  The survivability of my Concussors, and a few brave Judicators who punched above their weight class allowed me to essentially take his large paladin unit out of the game.   I targeted his flank in the opposite corner from his Alpha-Strike with my ten Retributors and deployed my Protectors on his other flank.  I was gambling here as my Prosecutors were killed off, but both units made clutch 9" charges to get me into combat and gain the upper hand.  With his Retributors essentially removed from the fight and mine cleaning up, I just had to stall his battleline with mine to claim victory, which I successfully accomplished.  Another great game under my belt and I went into game three 1 -1.
                                                                             

Game 3 - Opponent: Cody, Army: Sylvaneth



I went into game three feeling great and I met Cody at the table and felt a bit worried as I saw Sylvaenth yet again and I feared I would suffer the same fate as before.  The scenario involved waiting for meteors to arrive, so turn one went quickly, but we had traded some shots between our forces.  I had some lucky rolls on my part, as his dryads were removed entirely from the board.  Cody had deployed entirely in the center section which paid off for him as his meteor arrived in the center of his army, while mine fell to my left.  I was able to put a strong defense on my objective and I knew I had to break through his army to prevent him from scoring to try and take the win.  Once again I found my Prosecutors dead after turn one, but some great charge rolls from my Retributors, Concussors, and Lord Celestant on Dracoth allowed me to strike into the heart of his army and begin fighting toward his objective allowing me to prevent him from scoring for a few turns.  The game got very bloody and we were cheering each other on the whole time as we removed our toys.  I took off most of his force, but Allarielle wouldn't fall.  She remained steadfast to the end and even managed to kill off my General in the last round for a moral victory.  I took the game, but found a great opponent, and had one of the best games of Age of Sigmar I ever played.
                                                                             

Game 4 - Opponent: Gavin, Army: Flesh Eater Courts





Scenario four saw us fighting over multiple objectives once again, and I knew I was in trouble due to the lasting power of Flesh Eater Courts.  I went as aggressive as I could, and threw everything I could at his line.  He held on and began to regrow which put me on a back foot for the rest of the game.  I managed to throw some curve balls at him managing to keep the scenario to a draw.  In the end, though, he came out ahead on kill points which gave him the win.  Sadly, this was my least memorable game and it did not have anything to do with the army or how it was played.  My opponent didn't seem to want to participate in the game.  I tried cheering on his Zombie Dragon eating my Retributors, but was denied any response.  When I finally whittled down the monster, I was met with a grumble as he removed his model with irritation.  I felt this could have been a much more exciting game, but the social contract was not met, so I put my hopes on my last game being a more memorable ending to the event, win or lose.
                                                                             

Game 5 - Opponent: Peyton, Army: The Legion of Azgoth



Game five paid off as Peyton was my favorite opponent of the event.  He played exceptionally clean with his entire army and he was one of the finalists for painting which meant I got to play against one of the best painted armies I have ever seen.  The last scenario had us running for three objectives in the middle and holding onto them to score while keeping them away from the enemy.  We both went very aggressive and I managed an early lead.  However, the number of points you scored was based on the turn number so even with an early lead, it was anyone's game.  Peyton baited out my Alpha-Strike and kept my Paladins out for most of the game.  This was a bloody game like the others, but with some power stances and clutch rolls on defense and offense from both sides.  The game was thrilling all the way down to the end.  With each of us holding one objective elsewhere on the board, the game came down to my Lord-Celestant and lone Judicator Prime chasing down his General who held the third objective.  He had one wound and all I had to do was kill him to take the win.  I rolled max attacks for shooting and melee and Peyton stepped up and rolled every single save allowing him to retain the objective and win the game!  This was a thrilling and memorable end that I had hoped for in my final game.
                                                                             

Overall I really enjoyed the scenarios as well as the Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Objective system.  My only critique is the scenery needs and update.  It was clearly built for eighth edition fantasy and lacked Line of Sight blocking terrain.  Alex who T.O.'d the event has already acknowledged this and plans to correct the situation.  Alex put a lot of heart and effort into running a great event and from my perspective, I can say he succeeded!  I managed to place 44/104 in the end and scored well in Sportsmanship and much better in painting then I expected.  This has become a must-attend event for me yearly and I look forward to what next year will bring to the Age of Sigmar Championship!  Feel free to follow me on my Twitter so we can meet up next year if you are attending.

Until next week Happy Hobbying!

Edited by Grudgegamer


Scenarios and Secondary Objective List:

Friday, April 7, 2017

Building a Community : Part 4

Welcome to Part 4 of my "Building a Community" Series.  If you have missed Part 1, 2 or 3, please check them out in the links below.  Today I want to talk about how I will attempt to bring unity to my local club.

Later this month my local club, Ligonier Legions, will meet as we usually do.  However, instead of setting up immediately for a gaming event, I have set up an open forum to let members determine the future of the group.  After speaking with a few dedicated club members, I believe an open forum is my best option to bring us all together.



I see three major cliques that make up our club that I hope to have a meaningful discussion with at the meeting.  In previous articles, I spoke about a small subsection in my local community who were poisonous to the whole with how they wished the club to be run while not actively stepping up to run events themselves or thinking beyond their own short term goals.  On the opposite side, I have another small group dedicated to my vision.  The third group is the majority of the club.  They are made up of younger and newer players.  I wish to let everyone voice their opinions so they get their points across and let the group as a whole react.  My hope is that I can perhaps bring them around to my long view approach to growing our club.

The majority appear to be enjoying the current games that we conduct and do not seem to mind too much one way or another how things are run or handled.  This majority is just looking to show up and have a few games with some friends, but I hope this will give them ownership in the club and help get us all moving in the right direction.



My major concern is that the small group, who does not appear to be happy with the recent changes, speaks out in a negative non-constructive way.  What I predict is that they voice their displeasure without offering any positive ideas on how to improve on my ideas to grow the club.  I hope I am wrong, but I am preparing to lead the conversation away from negativity to be sure we come up with positive ways to enact any change members wish to see in the club.  While I am preparing for this inevitability, I have hopes that we will be able to clear the air and find the common ground that I am sure is there.


While it may seem that the point of the meeting is to get the grumblers on track with me, I am more focused on the younger members.  The younger players are the future and will one day take the wheel and lead this club.  I want to make sure I lay down a solid foundation for them to build off of when the burden is placed on their shoulders.  I need their input so I can try to set the club up for future success.  I want to see what they like and what they do not like.  Perhaps we are playing a game that is getting to much focus, while one they really want to play isn't getting enough attention.  Is gaming the only thing they want to do when we meet?  Would more hobby days be in order or more seminar-style events to teach better tactics?  Do they want a competitive or narrative focus?  This majority is my focus and I look forward to what they will have to offer.



After Adepticon, I have come to realize just how different my club’s mindset for this hobby is compared to me.  At Adepticon, I was surrounded by so many people who cared about every aspect of the hobby.  There were beautifully painted armies, strategically satisfying games, and opponents who want to have a fun game instead of focusing only on winning.  My local club is lacking in these philosophies and I have set my path to correct these failings.  It has to start somewhere and it needs to start with me.

I will be reporting back next month sometime to let you know how the first open forum club meeting went.  After that, I will be focusing on other articles besides the Building a Community series so I can put a light on different subjects.  If you have any tips, advice, or have done this within your own club please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@odiamh) as I would love to talk more about this before the meeting.

Until next week Happy Hobby!

Edited by Grudgegamer

Building a Community Series:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Post Adepticon 2017 Impressions

Hello, everyone!  I have recently returned from my first Adepticon and I wanted to share an overview of my time at the convention and run through my experience.  Spoilers...it was great!

I traveled out with my buddy Matt and from Pittsburgh, PA.  We took a predawn drive Thursday morning through a few states; Indiana being the worst due to construction, and seven hours later we arrived at our hotel.  After a bit of unwinding, I headed over to the Convention Hall to Register and explore.

My Arrival at my First Adepticon

First off I was blown away by the amount of Swag I received just for registering.  An entire copy of Runewars, the new Hordes Book, tons of models, bases, and a bunch of other little things.  It was so much I immediately took it back to the car so I could be free of any burden as I walked around.  My first stop was the AoS game hall!

The AoS Vanguard and Warhost events were in full swing and I got to check out all the great armies on the table.  One thing that was palpable on entering the area was the positive energy in the room.  Everyone was having fun playing this game.  No one seemed stressed from the bottom tables to the top.  It was a great thing to see and made me instantly glad I finally came to Adepticon.  As I walked the room I began to recognize people I knew from Twitter and I began introducing myself and being introduced to others as well.  One of the strengths of this community is how welcoming it has been and this was no exception.  One of the highlights was getting to play a fun 2000pt game with Tyler Emerson from The Scruby & Wells Podcast.  His Sylvaneth were a beautiful army and my Stormcast were put to the task in 5 great turns of AoS.  Tyler pulled out the win and his Durthu was the star of the match for him making three consecutive 9" Charges!


Tyler's Durthu had his running shoes on this day

Day 2 began early as my excitement kept me from sleeping all that much.  I didn't have much planned for the day until evening so I really got to explore the convention in earnest.  The vendor hall was fantastic and I was lucky enough to meet some 40k podcasters while spending a fair portion of my funds on all the great miniatures in the hall.  I spent the rest of the day meeting folks  I know from Twitter until my evening when I was lucky enough to attend one of Duncans Painting classes.  This experience was eye opening.  Roger (the man behind the camera) and Duncan were very open and clearly enjoy what they do.  I took away a lot of army painting knowledge from this event as well as insight into how the community creates and posts their videos.  I have learned that in order to get to the next step of my painting skill I have a lot to do.


Roger, Myself, and Duncan

Saturday arrived and so did the AoS Championships, which I will go into detail in a future post, I had three fantastic games of AoS.  I gave out Combat gauges made by 6 Squared Studios to all my opponents who all immediately used it in the games played!  Honestly, they were some of the best games I have ever had, despite a few small critiques.  The time flew by and I pulled our a 2-3 record for day one and felt happy in where I sat.  Later that night I was humbled to be part of the US AoS Community Meeting.  This whole concept began as an idea I sent Tyler Emerson months ago to get us all together to work with Games Workshop in order to take AoS to the next level.  Games Workshop was welcoming and very open and the community leaders really rallied and will continue to help push this game to bigger and better things it the future you can be sure of that!  After the excitement, I managed to get a bit of sleep and head to the next day.


My and Duncans model (He gave me his! On the left)

While most people were tired from the previous night I had another two games of the AoS Championship.  While my first game suffered due to a lack of engagement from my opponent, but he played well and without issue. My final game was easily one of the best games I have ever played in and enjoyed every last moment.  I ended with two losses but ended up 44/104 in the event and for my first event I feel proud and look forward to improving year after year.


The AoS US Community Group meet up (missing a few folks)

After the awards ceremony, I said my goodbyes and was once again humbled by acceptance of the community ad hated to leave, but did so knowing I made a fair number of new friends who continued contact with me via twitter with nothing but excitement for our shared hobby.   I drove home that night with my buddy Matt and arrived home at 4:40 am.  After a night fo sleep and a day of relaxing and recalling stories to my wife, I found a new legitimacy and motivation for this hobby that has yet to die off.  Adepticon is now a must-attend event for me and I am looking at other events such as Nova, LVO, and Nashcon to a possibly attend in the future.


Until next year...

If you have ever thought to attend Adepticon I can whole heartily say do it.  Jump in and join us in this fantastic event.  I meet so many great people and cannot wait to see what the following year will bring to this great game.  I hope to see even more of you next year at Adepticon 2018!  Feel free to follow me on Twitter as I prepare for next year!

Until next time Happy Hobbying!