Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Looking to 2014: 10 things

So we turn to look towards the coming year, and the expectations that come with it. I'm not going to be so bold as to predict the next 12 months, simply share ten of the things that will make the year a good one:

10. Next Months White Dwarf: If Games Workshop continue to work at the same level of output as they did throughout 2013, then there will always be something to look forward to in the next White Dwarf. My only hope here is that the White Dwarf team somehow come to the realisation that there is more to 40k than Space Marines and we see some more articles/miniatures/armies showcasing the vibrant universe the Dark Millennium exists in.

9. Playing some damn games!: I've amassed a sizable collection of miniatures this year, and I am hoping that I will be able to start fielding fully painted forces on the tabletop. I've had mixed fortunes this year, with some good wins and some hard losses, all I hope for is an enjoyable game regardless of the result, and the opportunity to start using some less common miniatures.

8. Finish the Riptide: I brought this on Tau release day. It's still not finished. I fully expect myself to finish this in 2014.

7. Finish the Path: 2014 should see the release of Path of the Archon, the concluding part of the Dark Eldar Dysjunction trilogy. The series has been a fascinating insight into the world of the dark brethren and I look forward to reading how it all comes to a close.

It's a shame that the Heresy dominates so much of the Black Library, there is plenty of life in the rest of the universe that I would like to see more frequent releases about non Marine stories as opposed to the monthly Heresy release.

6. New races: Not technically brand new races, but I would love to face off against some new and interesting armies in 2014. Looking at which races are still with softcover books, there could be a lot of cool looking miniatures being released. It would be nice to ask "So which army will you be playing?" for once, instead of "So which flavour of Space Marine is it this time?"

5. Critical Mass: As 2013 went on, the model kits got bigger, and bigger. It's a sign of the times that these behemoths can be built and mass produced to create a varying visual dynamic on the tabletop. It makes you wonder what, if anything, Games Workshop have up their sleeves for this year? Are we going to see more big models? Or has that ship sailed?

4. Kill Team: When this came out over the Advent period I snapped it straight up, being a smaller game (200pts) and having certain restrictions (no 2+ saves, no models with more than 3 wounds) can bring a lot of underused models back into the game. Just looking at the restrictions has caused me to go out and buy a box of Howling Banshees as I can see them being more useful in this arena.

Heck, I may be completely wrong with my assumption, but the thought of mixing up the army selection is enticing in itself.

3. Warhammer Fantasy: Games Workshop has had a huge focus on 40k for a while now, even though the Dark Elves had a race reset this year, but Fantasy seems like a game that needs a boot up the arse or something. Maybe that is a new ruleset? But somehow I doubt it. There is nothing wrong with the game itself, but the problem lies with the numbers needed to field the army and the cost therein. I would love to get some Witch Elves, the plastic models are amazing, but consider that for a unit of 20 (which would be useful) I could buy a Wraithknight. It doesn't add up and it's this that puts me off the game. Come on GW, lets see 2014 bring Fantasy to the same level as 40k.

2. Finecast: It looked like (towards the end of the year) that finecast was done for new models, then they released a handful of new Hobbit miniatures. I would like to see GW do one of two things next year, either sort out finecast, or move to end it. This means replacing the current Finecast selection with new plastic miniatures (why can I see the same number of £24 Aspect Warriors being £35 in plastic?) or sorting out their molding process. I dislike having to cut huge chunks of resin off my minis especially as it runs a high risk of destroying the model I have bought. These are premium products, but if you showed the contents of the box to anyone outside of the hobby, they would think that you've bought some kind of Chinese knock-off.

1. Surprises!: All of this stuff that I am quite looking forward to this year, and yet I am pretty sure that something will happen this year that will take me, and probably us, by surprise. Who would have thought that Titans would be legal on the table by the end of the year? Who would have thought that the Dark Elves would get a Race reset? All I know is that there are two things for certain in 2014, there will be an awful lot of Space Marine content, and the prices will be a little too high. But I am holding out that there will be something next year that will catch the rumour sites by surprise.

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