Wednesday, 15 February 2023
Autism and the Gaming Community.
Tuesday, 23 August 2022
I'm at a tournament admiring a display board, it's been made by a prominent player and it's gorgeous. No real surprise, his boards are always excellent. He's made a booklet, full colour that has his army background in it. Quite nice to see actually, backgrounds seem to have gone out of fashion. It's very detailed, I skim through it.
The player walks over, he has a big grin on his face, and an aerosol can of compressed air in his hand, he squeezes it. Pssssht Pssssht... Wind effects I puzzle? He starts talking me through his army, it's all very impressive. He tells me all about the mini's he's used. Pssssht Pssssht. Painting style. Pssssht Pssssht. Their background. Pssssht Pssssht... This goes on for a while.
I start to look closer at his board, it's actually not as good as I thought. He's scattered dungeon tiles from Advanced Heroquest all over it. Unusual. Also there's no miniatures on it currently, perhaps they are still at the table from his last game?
The player regains my attention, our eyes meet, his grin grows impossibly wider. His hand gently caressing and squeezing the can. Pssssht Pssssht...
And then I wake. It's 4am and my wife is snoring in the bed next to me. Pssssht Pssssht. I nudge her and her snoring increases in volume... I gently pull her arm suggesting she sleeps in a different position. "STOP WAKING ME UP!" She exclaims, the decibels rising. I decide it's probably better to let sleeping lions be, and spend the next hour thinking about writing a blog the next day...
Monday, 20 June 2022
Northern Kings GT22 Review
This weekend gone I pottered over to the NK GT, it was their first event in a while and it was at a completely new venue.
First up, for me the location was pretty ideal. I loved the drive there and back again with my hobbits, beautiful countryside. I went from Cheshire to Derbyshire to Lancashire. All lovely.
The hotels aren’t right on the doorstep of the venue, but it didn’t matter. I enjoyed the walk back to the hotel each night with Matt Hobday. The venue was in the town centre with some excellent food options nearby and some terrible karaoke! We needed to get Matt James singing! (no, not Diggy diggy hole... Which was on repeat Sunday morning.)
The venue itself was spacious, plenty of room to move around. Toilets were good. (you cannot assume this) The bar could have been open earlier, but it wasn’t a big deal, and it was very cheap! It was cash only, but as we knew in advance, I brought enough.
The terrain was beautiful, Nick went above and beyond here. I loved every piece and each battlefield was both gorgeous and very practical. I especially loved the walls, which could be picked up from their base, all walls should be like this. The hills were good, my favourite being one with stone bricks built into it.
The guys deserve absolute praise for this, they used a shoestring budget and went above and beyond. The fish and chips on the Sunday was my favourite of the lot. I actually missed that tea and coffee was available unfortunately, I really could have done with a cup of tea Saturday morning!
For any TO’s reading this, please, please, please charge an appropriate amount for your costs. Add £5 on top of what you think it will be even! If this event had been £70 I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid and still been more than happy.
They went the extra mile in almost every way, we got mimosa cocktails on arrival, cakes to nibble mid game, goodie bags with sweets, a sprue from Mantic, all sorts! There were numerous prizes for randomly everyone to win too! Honestly every TO does not need to go this level, but hey if you want to, feel free!
The new website Nick had built for this was fantastic. There were some technical issues. From a player perspective these were a non issues as they were resolved via a workaround very quickly. I love how the site had the scenarios with full descriptions, and it even had all the terrain heights! (I liked the height 1 ponds)
Fun stuff, Friday was very messy! On the Sat it was nice to keep the majority of us together, I enjoyed the quiz, and called the Yorkshire answer for nearly every question of the last round!
I was really pleased to see a UK event that actually encouraged us to make an effort with hobby. The wide selection of awards was lovely. For the rest of the UK’s TO’s, more of this sort of thing please!
It was really nice to see everyone and hang out, I had some great games. I enjoyed every single one despite a horrible hangover on the Saturday… Maybe I’ll drink less on the Friday next time?
Friday, 15 October 2021
Toxicity on the scene and List shaming.
When is something not just a joke? When it’s carried on too far, when people are actively upset. This is the time to draw a line and say no more, or at least nothing hurtful. This last week since the events around the Clash of Kings UK, I have sunk into a pit of depression and helplessness. Honestly near suicidal. This is not easy to write.
People know me on the scene and hopefully most would say I’m a nice enough guy, who gives a fun a tactical game. I like to take powerful lists usually focused on melee and speed. Preferably with less painting involved. :p
Back in August I was looking at the Halfling beta list on Easy army I noticed that Aeronuats were not irregular. I fed this back to the RC and was told they were going to leave it how it was for now, and see how it went.
In September I spoke with a good friend of mine Matt Hobday, the list had still not been updated, so Matt contacted Mantic direct and was told the list would not be changing, I also contacted Mantic and found the same. I knew they were going to be made irregular going forward so thought this would be a fun chance to take a very unusual army to Clash of Kings, hopefully one that would be fun for me and my opponents. (They are speed 7 without Nimble, so even a cavalry army would outpace me)
Also at the time of writing there was going to be no other changes to Aeronauts other than Irregular, so thought if the unit did turn out to be slightly too good (as I had reported in my feedback) It could be slightly nerfed. I have since been accused of lying for wanting to provide feedback because I did not run them as if it was irregular. I wanted to provide feedback on Aeronauts, not the specific list, and yes I wanted to take the strongest list I could.
I mentioned my list to one member of the RC and they had no issue with it, I mentioned it to another RC member and they thought it would be hilarious and actively encouraged me! Buoyed on by this I spent nearly all my free time for around 2 weeks painting and building the army.
On the day of list submission I get messaged by an RC member in front of a group of others who said I was being a dick taking the list. I felt shamed by this and somewhat confused, the other two RC had had no issue with it. Several people in that group reached out to me, saying they were on my side, and that it looked fun. I started to feel down, should I pull out, would others have a go at me? Chatting with the others we agreed it was so random I probably wouldn’t get more than say 4 wins, I agreed, but thought since Matt Hobday had printed the army for me, it’d still be fun at least.
I asked how the RC member had got my list and it turns out the RC had been sent my list, and at least 1 playing RC member in fact had all of our army lists, so they could “validate them”. I pointed out this was unfair, and was told by Mantic that all our lists would be made available. Knowing this, I decided to put my list and some pictures on KoW Fanatics for all to see.
The Feedback was mostly good, I got various likes and laughs. The majority left amusing comments/memes. However I got responses from two members RC saying the list did not look fun and from one that I was “Exploiting the F**k out of the list”… Again I was confused where the hate had come from, the other two RC I had spoken with previously had no issues.
Of course as it turned out the other lists were not posted, giving an unfair advantage to those who got to see and study them without anyone else even being made aware…
Clash of Kings
On arrival Friday I was told that an RC member had already been talking shit about me and my list, apparently, I was a dick for taking it. RC why did you not just change the bloody list if you had a problem with it being taken…
My weekend already tainted, I pressed ahead and finished painting the army.
6 games over the weekend, and mostly good games, I did get an outburst in one game saying I should just admit the list wasn’t fluffy and themed. I immediately said well sure it’s an insane bullshit spam list, I was joking... I was taken aback by the vitriol in this, from someone who is normally very mild mannered and friendly.
Many people take spam armies, be it Zombie, Badgers, Shooting spam, Knight armies. Do they get shamed and called a dick by multiple people? No or at least they shouldn’t be.
After the event, with everything that had occurred I felt pretty down. I’d brought a legal list and been shamed for it. I also did worse than if I had brought a normal balanced list. I ended up going 4 and 2, exactly as I and others expected.
I posted on Fanatics saying how random the army was and although fun I would not recommend it as a serious tournament army. I got a response saying that some of my opponents had not. This worried me as I want everyone to have fun, so I reached out, I got reassuring comments back from all bar the one person who had got upset in the game.
Now I do want to say here, that person did say how they normally enjoy playing against me, and I genuinely like the guy! However they said that “The overwhelming view I heard from people about the list, was that it was "a dick move, made to try and win the event at the expense of your opponents experience” also comments saying what I had said was rubbish. So now I didn’t know what to think.
I apologised in any case, and said I had no plan to bring such a list again, I felt more and more depressed with the whole situation. I considered reaching out, wrote something up. Then deleted it. I didn’t have enough emotional energy to keep refuting and arguing with people who decided quite unfairly I was a dick and a liar.
But that wasn’t the end of it. Over the next few days people posted comments about Themed Fluffy armies, some may have been jokes, but with everything over the weekend they hit me hard.
I dropped from a future tournament that would contain some of these people who had been/still are making toxic comments.
Lets move on.
As of today there are still posts going up accusing me/Matt of lying and similar. Please everyone I can’t take this any more, can you stop.
All of the people who have made these comments are people I genuinely like, I just want to move on. Lets be friends everyone please, I’m in tears here…
Monday, 3 August 2020
Barksain Boltstruck surveyed the ruins of his capital with sadness, the evil Orcs and armies of Dust had killed his subjects, their sheer brutality shocked him to his core. The lands had been despoiled, surely this was not the Green Ladies will?
|Picture by Josephine Wall|
Thursday, 30 July 2020
|Seizing the Initiative|
|The pond is safe right? HONK!|
|"Brave" Mai-Ladieral encourages Lyffang to engulf the God-Speaker.|
|The current turn of the campaign|
Saturday, 11 July 2020
Battle of Bognor Bridge
The Battle of Bognor Bridge
Exemplar Redeemer on Winged Unicorn, Unit Strength 2!, Brew of Sharpness, Blessing of the Gods.
My army was,
|Barksain Boltstruck - King of the Sylvans|
The Green Lady surely must not want this outcome, and he knew he had her favour as her Avatar had appeared to him to help defend the land!
"Hmm" said Barksain slowly, a deep groaning vibration emanating from within him. "This is the point we must meet them and destroy their forces, we need that to hold that bridge to stop their invasion of the land". "But Sire!" said Gnarlsly, "The humans, they call themselves the Brotherhood of the Green Lady, and Sire...". "They also have a supposed Avatar of the Green Lady herself!".
"WHAT!" thundered Barksain, an electric spark crackling around his branches. "She must not be a true Avatar, unless" He finished thoughtfully... "The Lady wills us to leave this place?". Gnarlsly shifted nervously from trunk foot to foot, her roots trailing.
The Battle Begins
The rest of the Sylvan army sped forwards, they knew they must keep the enemy away from the bridge, and despite the loss of their leaders so early the needed to hold!
|Hold the Bridge!|
The plucky Gur Panthers charged into the enemy all over the battle field, and somehow many of them kept the enemey occupied. The Earth Elementals and Knights seeming somewhat frightful of these large predatory cats. The Knights even wavered briefly and looked to be on the edge of fleeing! But they were too headstrong for that and seconds later, they rebounded into the fray.
On the other flank huge flying monstrosities including the Julius Anguita, the Red Redeemer on his flying Unicorn faced off briefly with the Elven Kings before running away, heading over the Sylvan forces in an aerial flyby display that beggared belief.
The Elven King Mai-Ladieral riding Lyffang.
Spurring the great Lyffang on, he sped towards the flank of the great horde of Brotherhood Knights. Landing with devastating impetus he hewed them with his mighty enchanted Polearm, again and again! The Hunters and Shamblers also engaged the horde, but due to some unknown force they fared poorly and did not even scratch the Knights armour.
Due to this abysmal turn of events the Knights we're not killed and merely began to waver as like the other Order of Redemption. But... Again their headstrong nature swung them back into the action! They hit the Hunters with extreme anger and disintegrated their life energies with ease.
If they had only lasted one more turn, but alas it was not to be. This critical failure meant the Water elementals could direct their attention to the bridge.
The Red Redeemer on his winged unicorn had spent most of his time fighting Gur Panthers on the far flank but then as the day progressed,hurtled back to the centre and started dismembering Hunters of the Wild. Thing looked grim, and faced with mere Men at-Arms, the Elven King Mai-Ladieral decided it was time to leave and cowardly fled the battlefield! It was now the last stand of the Sylvans...
The Red Redeemer had his back to Gnarlsly treating her with obvious disdain. Well she'd show him! With a cunning anger she sped into his rear and hit him with incredible force, and felled him. The Red Redeemer was down!
|The end is nigh...|
With the power of the Avatar, Barksain Boltstruck regained consciousness. With an instant clarity he knew his plan had failed utterly and worse still the inability to secure the bridge meant he had no safe route to his lands. Now a vast army stood between him and his home, and his forces we're sorely diminished. He'd had disturbing reports of an evil alliance of Orcs and an Empire of Dust invading his homeland, but what could he do? Plus what of the Green Lady, what plan did she have for him? A worried frown settled upon his great bark face.