Saturday, 3 January 2015

Not another review of the year!





Here’s my little review of the year then – both from a personal hobby and blog perspective.



First up – the Blog.

Having just read a similar concept post on From the Fang I can say honestly that my little blog here feels very small – I reckon I average around a hundred views or so per day, so to see the same stats on From the Fang showing around ten times that I definitely need to improve! Codex reviews and unit reviews are a must for this I think – and whilst I certainly won’t be able to do all the codices (not enough cash to own them all) I will need to resurrect my efforts on looking at the dexes. That being said, looking at the all-time stats, things are on the up, and I even hit 5,000 page views in a month last year, which although small fry for many blogs, I was very pleased with.

· Hit at least 100,000 page views (your help here will be most welcome!)
· Squeeze some money out of google
· Complete codex reviews for Dark Eldar and Blood Angels
· Finish my 1850pt Dark Eldar List
· Re-paint (well, touch up) my Astorath the Grim model after it took a nose-dive onto a concrete floor.
· Paint (and purchase/assemble) the dreadnought wing and jump pack detachments of my blood angels collection.
· Paint my terminator force for the Iron Fists, including magnetising arms to make Strike Force Ultra viable.
· Exceed my 2014 win ratios for both Dark Eldar and Space Marines
· Beat Mj more than he beats me
· Actually get my Blood Angels and Eldar armies into some games.

That being said, I’ve uploaded just shy of 100 posts last year, and my post on DevastatorCenturion Tactics has more than three times the viewing figures of any other post I’ve written before or after.

This year also saw me take the decision to add an advertisement section to my blog – it wasn’t a decision I took lightly but hopefully it’s relatively discreet and doesn’t slow things down too much. The potential for it to increase my hobby spending was too much for my willpower I’m afraid!

My hobby resolutions for my blog next year therefore:

Also, please let me know in the comment section below if there are any changes you think I should be making to the layout/colours etc.

Painting

2014 was an unprecedented year for me, as once I found my local gaming club, MAD Wargames, it brought a whole new focus on having viable tabletop armies, instead of ones that looked pretty. That meant that I needed to drastically re-structure my collection, which started with the Iron Fists. Now I know they’ve taken a back seat for a while and haven’t been mentioned on the blog for even longer – but rest assured they haven’t been forgotten, and will be re-appearing soon thanks to a new 40k campaign I’m running at the club. I can genuinely say that I’ve got a 1500pt collections completely painted though, which I’ve never been able to boast before, and although there’s a lot more to do, it’s definitely an achievement for me.

In the Autumn I decided to re-paint my Dark Eldar collection with the release of the new codex, and after a false start I’ve got a new scheme I’m really happy with, and am making (for me) turbo-boosted progress. Look out for a pic on Monday showing everything that’s done for them so far! As you’ll see later, these need to be finished for a tournament in June, but I’m hoping either to have them done well before then or to slip some other bits in during this schedule to keep things fresh (I do have blood angels to work on of course!)

In other painting matters – last year was the first year where I’ve used ‘serious’ brushes since GW went away from their previous quality. I got myself some Winsor and Newton Series 7’s and I’ve been so pleased with them I don’t think I’ll ever go back (well, drybrushes excepted). One is starting to need replacing now but given how much stick it’s had over the last year I’m not surprised. My 00 and 0 grades are still going strong though after a full year’s painting – not something I could say about my former GW brushes, which probably didn’t last a quarter of that time.

My hobby resolutions for painting next year therefore are:

Gaming

Again, with the regular gaming sessions thanks to MAD Wargames, 2014 brought a desire to actually evaluate my tabletop performance so that I can look at improving things. Consequently for the first time, I actually kept a record of my wins and losses against each faction with each of my own armies, and it yielded some interesting results! I should say that the results don’t include kill team games, nor do they include games where I’ve been ‘experimental’ in my unit selection, and they don’t include games against 30k armies, as I don’t believe the systems are truly compatible despite comments of those I know who play 30k. The Iron Fists have achieved an overall win ratio of 61% (31 games, 19 wins, 10 losses, 2 draws), which includes a 100% record against Chaos Marines (Die, Heretics!). Interestingly, I’ve also got a 100% record against Tau armies with them, over 3 games. Interestingly however, they don’t do so well against other marine armies, with only a 33% win ratio.

On the pointy eared side of things, and with only a 9 game sample size (including 2 games with a semi-experimental unbound army and several playtesting games) my Dark Eldar have achieved a 56% win ratio (would be much better without those two unbound games, as I lost both), maintaining my 100% record against Chaos armies (although one of the two games I played was a doubles game against two chaos armies with a Tyranid partner)

Over the last year, I’ve played lots of games against a close friend Mj, who when I first started at the club beat me all the time. I’ve definitely improved against him this year but want to take that further next year and actually expand my record keeping to games between us.

My hobby resolutions for gaming next year therefore:

Now let’s look at a few of my (very vague) resolutions from last year!

40k – It’s War

Well the campaign went exceedingly well – as I vowed, in the competitive format I chose to use White Scars Chapter Tactics rather than my usual fluffy (and largely pointless) Imperial Fists (I use a lot of bikes, so re-rolling 1’s on bolters isn’t much help when they’re twin-linked anyway). I won all three of my games, bullying the rebel guard faction and playing a very tactical game against Chaos Marines (I didn’t have many models left, but had played the objectives better) before joining up with an imperial guard force to stick it to the Tau and Dark Eldar alliance facing us (it’s good to see a riptide spend most of the game hiding).

Given the success of this campaign, I have decided to expand things a little this year and the early year campaign (delayed from last autumn) is for six players over seven games at ever-increasing points levels leading up to a carnage game to finish.

MAD League Bloodbowl

I can’t deny it – the bloodbowl league fell apart around a third of the way in. Very disappointing for me, particularly since I was leading it at the time, though probably by virtue of having played more games than anyone else.

I’d like to try and do another this year, though this time perhaps keep the number of players lower to make sure it’s the most keen people who get involved.

Necromunda

Although this wasn’t being ‘organised’ by any one person this too collapsed. On this occasion though I think it was the low numbers that caused the issue – with only three players and my gang getting a real jump start to the campaign I quickly outstripped my opponents in terms of quality gang members and the games stopped being even quite early.

Again I’d like to try another campaign but I just don’t think there are enough players locally to support a league/campaign at present.

Events

Well as I’ve mentioned the 40k – It’s War campaign was a success at club, and we’ve managed to run two more events since then, a MAD Sevens kill team night and a 750pt tournament. Sadly neither of these actually completed in the time we had available so I think this year I may need to revise the format to attempt fewer games, or split players into two pools.

Externally, this year I’ve decided is the year I’m going to dip my toe into tournament play – for those of you who’ve followed my blog recently you’ll know I’m aiming to have a 1850pt Dark Eldar army painted in time for BlogWars 9 run by Alex over at From the Fang. I’m really looking forward to this, as it seems just the type of tournament I’d like to attend, Alex seems like a really decent guy trying to run a tournament that’s competitive yet doesn’t stray from the fun aspect of playing games, and I’m also looking forward to meeting a couple of guys whose work I’ve been following online recently (Alex himself for starters, and NafNaf over at ‘objective secured’)

My hobby resolutions for the events side of things therefore:

· Attend and place in the top half at BlogWars9 (winning it would of course be nice, but let’s be realistic…it’s my first tournament after all!)
· Run MAD League Bloodbowl season 2 – with no more than 6 players and more strict schedules
Run more kill team events at club, but drop participating numbers to more realistic levels given the time allowed for games.