If 2011 was getting back into the hobby by collecting models and reading blogs after an extended absence (mainly due to other real life interests like drumming, ladies and beer, plus playing other good stuff like MTG, D&D and computer games), 2012 was about painting the army and playing some games! I set myself two goals for the year - play in my first ever tournament and finish painting an army up to a playable size. And I did. And then some.
Siege of Sussex
A friendly GW run event at Warhammer World was a great way to try out tournament gaming. Having been collecting models and reading a lot of blogs for most of 2011 (most of which are linked on the right!), I knew that this was not what most would consider a hardcore competitive tournament, but I knew that would come in time. This was to get some experience, and I loved every minute of it.
|Ready for Battle|
I really enjoyed all my games and was surprised to return undefeated, having drawn my first game vs Imperial Guard (throwing away a win after I panicked and made a couple of stupid decisions when the 5 minute warning was given), drawing my second game versus the kings of the hill at the time Grey Knights and all but tabled my last opponent's Blood Angel jumper army in the last game. Good times.
|Mike McVey's Diorama of the Emperor fighting Horus - Epic|
Added to all this, visiting Warhammer World for the first time was just brilliant. Seeing the models from the White Dwarfs I used to gaze longingly at as a kid right in front of me was awesome. I highly recommend it to anyone who can make it to go at least once to have a look around, and also to try a sample of Bugman's Beer (health/religion/wallet permitting!).
But I didn't stop there. Oh no. I wanted more! Between work and family comittments I managed to make it to two more tournaments, one at my local club Walberton Wargamers in August and the other was the 40kUK Heat 2 at Brighton Warlords in October.
|Walberton Final vs Eldar|
Walberton Wargarmers - Hello 6th Edition Tournament
With 6th Edition relatively fresh out of the box, we dived in with a no-comp 1750pts 3 game tournament. By rights I should have probably come second, but thanks to some erroneous rules reading by my opponent in the final relating to handling the Relic (he was a more experienced player than I was so I had no reason to question him!) I ended up winning the game, and so the tournament! I did feel bad, so was glad to accept his challenge to an informal rematch a couple of weeks later (he was flying to Japan so wouldn't be back for a while). I'm relieved to say I won that one too! Thanks to everyone at the club for a great day.
|40kUK GT Heat 2 - The clam before the storm|
40kUK Heat 2
The big one. I haven't made the time to do a write up of this one yet, but the quick version is I finished day one going 2:1:0, playing (and beating!) the reigning Masters Champion James Taylor in the first round random pairings. Nice way to start my first hardcore tournament! Second day went down hill, just missing out on a qualifying place, coming 26/46.
|Standings After 3 Games|
Anyway, I was looking for some hardcore games and I got them! I was very happy with my performance, reaching the heady heights of table 4 and playing against some very highly ranked players, including some of the English ETC team (reigning world champions). I had an amazing time and am really looking forward to attending more events at Brighton in the future.
|Siege of Sussex 1500pts|
I've always enjoyed painting and modelling, but I'd never managed to get round to fielding a full army of painted models. This was the year to do it! A bit of a confession here - As much as I enjoy the hobby side, I tend to find that I find myself choosing to do more relaxing activities (like reading blogs) in the evenings, so having tournaments to aim for really helps me focus on getting models finished.
I think another part of this is that I want to paint my models to the highest standard I can. I can do ok given enough time, but it takes a while. I don't mind lots of coats of dry brushing to build up the depth (my Wolves basic recipie includes undercoat, bascoat, ink (yes ink!), base drybrush x1 or x2 to get coverage, mid-tone drybrush, then highlight drybrush), as I don't really have to concentrate much. I also enjoy basing. It's the details that I struggle to get round to, especially faces. Need more practice and patience...
I built and painted a lot last year. There is still a long way to go before the army is as good as it can be, but I have to say I'm very pleased with the hobby progress I made and its great to be able to finally put down a cohesive force and think, yeah, it did that.
Of course there is my third unstated goal of the year - starting this blog!
Having made a small start around Easter, getting the basic format of the site sorted and figuring out what sort of content I wanted to produce, I then had to go without an internet connection for a few months! This coincided with preparation for the 40kUK, so I wasn't too gutted, but I managed to get started again in November and have managed to keep things moving along since.
I'm going to save most of the blog discussion for the 2013 - Looking Ahead post, but looking back at the content, I'm most pleased with the CONCEPTS: posts. I'm a huge fan of the work done on 3++ and YTTH covering both fundamental and advanced concepts and ideas within the game (if you know where to look!), and by writing these posts I hope to clarify in my own mind what I understand on each of the various topics.
Generally, having somewhere to record my nerdy thoughts is great and I find having the site as my own custom gaming resource is really handy! By the end of 2012 I just tipped 1000 hits (not all of these were me or search bots - I know it!), but things are already moving fast in 2013 so watch this space...
Phew! There we go. 2012 was a big year for me in my gaming career, and I'm really pleased with all I've achieved. I've smashed my two major targets, playing in not one but three tournaments and painting and basing well over 2000pts worth of combined Space Wolves and Grey Knights to a decent standard. Plus I've really got a taste for tournament gaming and now have blogging fever!
Now I need to find more time and money to feed the habit...