Sunday, 29 December 2013

The 10 Highlights of 2013

Now that I have the disappointments done with, lets move on to the 10 things that were the highlight of my 2013 in the land of hobby, again, in no particular order:

10. Malifaux: Here is the opposite to Warmachine, Malifaux by Wyrd Games. When I was looking for an interesting new games system, I was looking for a skirmish-type game because I felt that my grand army itch was already being scratched by 40K, this is where I found Malifaux. A Skirmish game set in a Wetern Voodoo Steampunk setting, dice are out and replaced by a deck of cards and your crew all comes in one box for roughly £30 or less. With the advent of Second Edition that has been released at the back end of the year, all of the crews are being updated to plastic, and they are really some of the best miniatures out there. I can't wait to start painting up Lady Justice and her Crew, at which point I will then buy the Viktorias, then just end up buying a hatful more as they are all great. Even the game is interesting, as you pick two of five randomly selected missions that you can keep secret and try to complete during the game. They are that good that you can end up losing on the table, but winning on points as you can draw missions that give you victory points based on a selected miniature being slain by different types of enemy. Definitely a game I will look to be playing more of in the coming year.

9. Codex: Eldar: Well, it had to be here didn't it? Being a Farseer of Ulthwé, I didn't get that many new toys to expand my army, I mean, it's not like I can't (or haven't) added to my army, but it feels a bit more like an Iyanden update doesn't it? But we were blessed with the two best looking flyers in the game to date, a massive titan-esque centerpiece, and finally, some plastic Wraithguard. Even the rules themselves didn't disappoint, sure there are a few units that don't quite recapture their glory days, and I would prefer to have less reliance on Wraith units, but there are so many combinations in there that I will probably be spending most of 2014 fielding them and trying to figure out what works best.

It's nice to have what is competitively considered one of the strongest books on the shelf, and now we can take a Revenant Titan in normal games, perhaps the single most game breaking unit ever. Sure it won't win me many friends, but you have to think, soon, new books will be out and the Eldar may have the weakest army on the table, so lets make hay whilst the sun shines.

8. Painting Competitions: Sometimes, it's hard to believe that I have only really been fully into the hobby since the introduction of sixth edition 40k, which makes the success I have had in painting competitions all the more surprising. Starting the year off by running the Tales of Many Gamers competition to the wire was a highlight in itself and gave me the confidence to really push on and the belief that I can paint to a high standard. Taking first place in a handful of the monthly competitions at the local store were welcome results too, but the icing on the cake was taking the 'Best Single Miniature' award at the Invasion tournament, especially when informed that the vote count was pretty much a landslide. Sadly, Invasions are no more, but I am aiming to keep pushing myself forward in the new year as I am setting myself the goal of entering all of the painting competitions at the local store throughout 2014.

7. Variety: Have we ever seen a year like this one before? Almost a new army book release each month complete with high quality miniatures to boot. We will always complain about the price, because we always want the most for our money and are always aware of getting bum deals, but when you look back over what we actually got on the shelves over the past 12 months, it really hasn't been too shabby and has always improved month after month.

6. Friends: Soppy time. Miniature wargaming is truly a social hobby, and I am proud to say that this year I have met some really top notch people that I can call my friends. I'm sure none of us would continue in the hobby if we didn't have those fellow mental patients along with the ride to complain about GW's business practices, compare who has the worse dice rolls and generally help drag you through the tough times and give you a target to improve your own hobby. You know who you are, so thank you for an enjoyable 2013.

5. Ahriman: I've not really delved into the Horus Heresy much, but this year (because my job involves a lot of travel) I started on two of the audiobooks Prospero Burns and A Thousand Sons. We all know that I am not the greatest fan of things in Power Armour, but I felt myself drawn towards the character of Azhek Arhiman. The tragedy of the Thousand Sons has really captured my attention and how Ahriman will change from how he is in the Heresey, to how he will be in the 'modern day' will be interesting to read. Who knows, it might even be the start of a Chaos army for myself at some point.

4. Gundam: Moving away from the tabletop, my holiday to Japan at the end of November reignited my love for the Gundam franchise. It was a great break as I had not had a holiday in many a year and work had taken it's toll on me and I was ready to collapse from exhaustion. But to visit Gundam Front Tokyo and gaze upon the scale replica of the RX-78-2 Gundam, then visit the museum just reminded me of how much I love giant robots.
So I returned home, full of vigor, a suitcase full of gunpla and a new drive to kick on in my hobby. Two weeks later I had increaed my Tales army from 7 models to 43 and (as was announced yesterday) took the win for that check in.

3. Fire Prism: If the Falcon was the one unit that I couldn't find a use for, then the Fire Prism would be the complete opposite. It lost the focus fire to the Apocalypse formation, but it gained the lance shot, and in doing so, I would say that it is the most versatile unit in the entire Codex. I would even go as far to say that I would take this over the Wraithknight. If you are struggling to find an answer to a certain unit, the answer will always contain the Fire Prism. I always consider building lists based on the ease of removing Tactical Marines, the dispersed setting on this thing will do it on 3's with no reply, and it only gets stronger. Against a Land Raider, 3 to glance, 4 to pen. I love this thing.

2. Phil Kelly: So, not only does this guy hit the jackpot with 6th Ed Codex Eldar, I picked up Codex: Dark Eldar and it is another book that I can see myself using in the future, then finally, to top it all off, takes over Jervis column in White Dwarf for the December issue and suddenly I am engrossed in someone who is talking about their hobby and it doesn't fall back to bloody Space Marines.

If ever there was a guy that I would like to buy a beer and talk hobby with, then this is him. I guess I have a first hobby hero?

And finally, at number 1:

1. You: I started this blog around April this year just as a way of showcasing what I do as a hobby. I thought that maybe a few people would read it that I know in real life and it would just be something that would sit in the dark corner of the internet. Well, I have had about 5'000 page views to date and get roughly 100 when I update it and those are numbers that I never expected in a million years.

So from the bottom of my heart, thank you for reading, thank you if you ever left a comment and thank you for taking an interest in what I have done, whether you have liked what you have seen or not.

So, that finishes off this year in review, I've decided that I will do two more posts looking towards 2014. The first will be things that I will be looking forward to in the coming year and finally, a kind of hobby resolutions, what I hope to achieve in the coming 12 months.


  1. Cool stuff. I have a few mew malifaux miniatures too but have never delved into the game. Too many other games started. Got the undead samurai and zombie guys. Very nice models and I love all things samurai. Thousand sons is my favourite HH book to date ( and I am a space wolves player). An excellent story that really bring the characters to life and embellishes the already engrossing 40k history.

    1. The thing which got me in A Thousand Suns, was just how unlikable the Emperor is, he really came across as something of a hypocrite and a tyrant in what is the tragedy of the Thousand Sons. Everything they seem to do is out of loyalty, but it ends up with them on the wrong side of the line.

  2. Yeah it is hard to tie together the idea we all have of a benevolent emperor with the being who is full of flaws and tbh screws up pretty bad. I agree that they were loyal and I think they still hold some loyalty to the old emperor (not the corpse god) as evidenced in the creation of the blood ravens (who are purported to be a thousand sons successor chapter). There is a really interesting podcast episode by deepstrike radio that does a look at the blood ravens and talks about their link with Ahriman and the thousand sons.