Friday, 27 December 2013

The 10 Disappointments of 2013

The start of the trilogy of end of year lists begins with the disappointments of the year, ten things that I wasn't keen on during this year of hobby. I thought I would start with the negative, so we can get it out of the way and focus more on the good things later. So, in no particular order:

10. Warmachine: This year I tried some other hobby wargaming, and being the most popular alternative, I went with Warmachine. On the face of it it seems quite good, the unit cards are a good idea, only needing 6-8 dice is a good idea and the clear rules are fantastic. However, the miniatures are awful, it's based around Warjacks, and they all have the same hunchback pose. Not to mention the quality of the plastic is really low. For someone who like to collect and paint more than game, Warmachine doesn't really drag me into it's universe. It also boasts that it can be played with it's sister game 'Hordes', but from what I found, although it can, you really shouldn't. The army I chose to play gets lots of bonuses for fighting the Warjacks, Hordes has no Warjacks, so I had nothing to work with and got trounced. Nice.

9. New Codex, redundant models: The Eldar codex was great it brought the army kicking and screaming up to 6th Edition levels and sits around the perceived top at the moment. But that is not without it's negatives. The Howling Banshees are still next to useless, the Hemlock Wraithfighter is bordering on pointless and you can't effectively take the army without Wave Serpents. Why is the game like this? I would gladly let the book stew for another 6-12 months if it can get released with the possibility of all the models being used. I am aware this is not a Eldar only issue too, Dark Angels and their flyers, all of CSM save the Helldrake? I can understand not taking models because they need to work in a combination with other units, I can't understand not taking units because they just don't work.

8. Flyers: Maybe it's just me, but I rarely see flyers in the game at all outside of the Stormraven (and that's only because one person I play against takes it). I understand the internet venerates the Helldrake too, but every army now has about two flyers each, and every time the rules come out, no one considers them. Does the fact that they can be quite difficult to shoot down mean the writers have to make the unit quite firepower weak in comparison? The Dark Angel flying bricks are consistently derided, the Tau flyers leave a lot to be desired (How about a bomber that can't drop a bomb? Good job that was FAQ'd) The Hemlock is laughable, read the fluff then read it's rules, the two don't seem to correlate.
I'm finishing up the painting on my two flyers this week, with the view to fielding them on the tabletop. I'm hoping that they will come good at some point.

7. Troops: Or to be more specific, the lack of new models. In all of the new Codexes this year, only the Space Marines got new troops as part of their release, yes, other armies got troops from other sections with thanks to unlocking them with a HQ choice or some other gimmick. But I am talking about your rank and file. Could I get some new Guardians, or Jetbikes, or Rangers to go with my new Ranger character please? CSM got some new troops with cultists, but you can't really buy them outside of Dark vengeance and the bargain boxes. If I was a lead designer/CEO/Shareholder of Games Workshop, I would see that every codex update would come with at least one of the troops choices updated. Look at the Eldar for example, everyone is clamoring for an update to the 1992 Jetbike sculpt that no longer fits the modern aesthetic, Jervis Johnson said that he was told that they could have plastic Wraithguard OR new Jetbikes. Why? Whats wrong Games Workshop, do you not like money?

6. Invasion Cancelled: "We have cancelled all Invasion events with immediate effect because we feel that it doesn't give a good experience to our customers"

Cue a flood of angry voices, including those that have bought new armies for the events or even bought tickets and miniatures for Christmas presents, questioning the decision.

Now cue Warhammer World taking down the announcment and palming off the disgruntled customer to the poor chap/chapess at their local store. Not cool guys.

If they were going to end these events, they could have at least let those that were already planned to continue then announce that no further bookings would take place after the date. Instead they cancelled with immediate effect and gave a questionable reason. I feel exactly why this occurred will forever be a mystery.

5. Games Day: I did want to go to this as I have never been. But, I did have one question; "What is there to do there other than spend money on miniatures?", no one gave me an answer, so I saved my £35.
The people that went came back saying it was a bit boring after about 30 minutes and lamented the loss of the gaming area, effectively describing a Market stall situation where you can buy Forge World products early.
At least Forgeworld had the decency to show some of the Work in Progress.
I can't see myself ever attending if it continues in this fashion, as I will spend my ticket price on actual models instead.

4. Price Increases: Riptide is £50, It's a bit pricey, but at the upper limit of what I would call a happy purchase. The technology gone into the poseability of it is worth something at least. Two months later, Wrathknight £70, slightly taller but less bulky, less poseability than the Riptide, can't see where the extra £20 is going. Dire Avengers, half the content, double the price. Games Workshop plastic single Space Marine miniatures costing more than similar Forge World resin? Something is going wrong here.

3. Falcon Grav-Tank: I'm singling this minature out right here. You sacrifice half of the transport capacity of the Wave Serpent to have a pulse laser and another heavy weapon on the turret. But the Wave Serpent has the Serpent Shield along with those twin-linked Scatter Lasers. So it has you beat in transport and firepower, and then the Serpent Shield if not fired can prevent penetrating hits, so it is beat in survivability too. You are also competing in the same slot as Wraithknights, Wraithlords and Fire Prisms, so why do you exist again?

2. Dice: These are going to be here every year I expect. Why do you always roll the number that I never need? Need a 2+? Here have a bunch of ones. Need 6's on a billion rolls? Here, have none! I can understand that the law of averages will mean that sometimes the result will come up but it will always have to be balanced by the wrong result. In my experience, that means I get the bad results, and my opponent gets the good results. For example, I fluff 2+ saves, my opponent makes all of his 3+ saves on twice the amount of dice.

The one exception to this rule is when I play the Master of Sanctity, when games come down to who can roll least worst.

Now the number 1 disappointment, this one is in order:

1. Myself: I have been most disappointed in myself this year if I am honest. I have had some success this year, but there is always room for improvement. I'm still sitting on things that have not been painted, I get to worked up during games (especially when the dice rolls go against me yet again) and I need to get more focused.

Maybe I should write competitive lists all the time, and only write lists for experimentation for games that have been agreed prior to the day. I know I should play more games full stop, but I should also be finishing painting that I have started before moving onto the next project. Again, I am not fishing for sympathy, but highlighting the mistakes I have made during this year, and as the saying goes, "A mistake is only a mistake if you learn nothing from it".

So, that's the negative out of the way. Next I will list the the 10 things that I enjoyed during this calendar year. See you all soon.


  1. Nice summary. I too struggle with piles of unpainted models and am put off by the horrible models produced by PP. Have you tried the x wing miniatures game yet? It has a very easy to learn rule set that has a surprising amount of depth the more you play it. Also the miniatures are pre painted to quite a high standard and look very nice on the table top. I cannot recommend this game enough. Also infinity is a good skirmish game to try. It has a very interesting rule system which is quite unlike anything I have played before. Also the miniatures are absolutely gorgeous.

    1. Without spoiling any future updates, I have found a second miniature tabletop game that I utterly adore, so I could go into more detail in the next update =P

      I am tempted by Infinity too, I like the look of the Aleph, but as with most games like this, I need to find a community first to play with, or at least a few people who are interested in starting at the same time.

      Thank you for reading and your comment =)

  2. If you ever want to try x-wing, dropzone commander or flames of war (maybe other games too) then just let me know. I have at least 1 army for each and can get hold of another easily enough.