Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015 in review

Love a good graph!

Back to Blogging
Since I rebooted my blog, in October I've been averaging just over 1000 views a month. I'm reasonably happy with that, although in April this year my blog got 800 hits by itself! I've got plugged into two networks (40k kings and international house of paincakes) and they've bumped my hits up a bit. plus I've been putting it on twitter and Facebook groups as well. I'm not obsessed with page views, but I need to figure out more networks to be a part of and how to keep people coming back. Does anybody have any suggestions? 

I think my 40k year has gone well. Painting wise, I now have a decent sized howling griffons army. A big step up from splashing them with salamanders. Gaming wise, I've survived the choppy last 12 months reasonably well, only "needing" one new codex. That doesnt mean to say i havent bought models, but as much as i can i try not to buy directly from GW. At least if i buy from a FLGS then it gets a cut, or from ebay where im helping the secondhand market.

They did not hit that flyer at all
I'm still a bit nervous that games workshop are going to blow up 40k like how they did with fantasy, but if they do that I'll just keep playing 7th ed. I feel tactically I've improved quite a bit, thou I am still slow at playing the game I'm speeding up little by little. I wouldn't say I win every game by any stretch but in 40k tournaments this year I have had a very happy return- Winning 9 and drawing 2. I'll expand more on the competitive and painting side of things below. 

2015 was a year where I really took the plunge into a new games system for the first time in a long time - X-wing. Not since 2010 when I played warhammer fantasy have I tried a new non-40k system in any depth and never have I picked up a non games workshop game. It turned out to be a great boon for my hobby, giving it a new lease of life as well as a new concern for my wallet. In general, the reason I would now recommend maintaining a second different system to anybody is variety. Having to think differently has really developed my tactical thinking, allowing me to see beyond the you go / I go 40k-ness. 
This is what it feels like to play X-wing

In addition to this, X-wing is a great game and I love it! The rules make sense, there isn't really any opportunity to abuse loopholes and there isn't the laziness that games workshop are guilty of with thier ruleset.

Bolt action 
Whilst yet to feature in a blog post, I do have fledgling bolt action force. British army, with some paratroopers. My main problem is that they are very fiddly to put together. I really like the ruleset, and the idea of having some sort of historical wargame. I also quit enjoyed the rule book (I know that sounds odd!) But it is currently third choice, especially when it comes to wallet or painting. 

I don't know where this will go in 2016, a lot of the guys at my club (leciester sabres) have it - in fact they very generously gave me a free hit of plastic crack to get me into it. It's just not grabbing me as much right now.

Something I've been trying out this year, and it seems to have gone well. Part of the reason i got back into blogging actually, I felt the two tied together quite nicely. My top viewed vlogs so far are my review of the x-wing mat i bought and my k-wing repaint. Overall, id rate this as a success. It's been positively received and is a good way to interact with people - be that those i see regularly or hardly at all.

In the new year i'd like to expand a bit, maybe doing more tournament reports, and prehaps the odd battlle report. its quite difficult to keep fresh actually, being in front of a camera puts you under a bit of pressure! I think generally speaking they've improved dramatically even over the last 10. If there is anything you'd like to see, let me know and i'll see if i can vlog about it :)
Us at BWX (me on the far left)

Ive had a reasonably successful 2015 tournament wise, having used many relationship points to attend tourneys far and wide (doesn't help when you play more than 1 system let me tell you!) I did reasonably well, finally getting the monkey off my back and placing in the top 3 on a couple of occasions (something I've never done). Here's a summary breakdown:
  1. Placed 3rd for 40k in the student nationals 
  2. Placed 4th and 14th at blog wars 9 + 10. (It also means that I only ever lost 1 game at blog wars tournaments, and that was my first ever game. Damn space monkeys!) so my total return at blog wars was W16, L1, D1 across 6 events. 
  3. Attended 2 X-wing store championships, making the cut the first time and then getting knocked out. That means I ended up somewhere between 5th and 8th out of 32. For the second one I came like 7th out of 8 ppl. 
  4. Place 3rd in an X-wing store competition in November at weekend warlords in Loughborough. Gotta love tlts :)
I feel likes there are more events that I've gone to but I can't remember. That's 6 at least! Blog wars are the still the highlight in my calendar, and it's really nice accross the events to meet new people and catch up with old friends from other blogs. I'm really looking forwards to Double Trouble that alex is planning to run in 2016.

Not really sure how I got on with this one. I pretty much paint as my main pastime now so I'm painting almost everyday. I didn't set any specific goals but I feel like I've moved away from being the guy who is proxying unpainted models so much. At least in my mind anyway. 

I know I've painted loads (probly most of my howling griffons army) but I didn't have a to do list. I haven't operated like that for a long time, I'm much more a buy it, paint it, buy the next thing kinda guy. So actually I paint for the love of it. I'm going to try making a list for 2016, but I then might ignore it on a day to day basis as I think it'll add pressure. 

Until I went home and grabbed a bunch of old models from boxes at my parents, I didn't have a list of models that I wanted to paint. I do now! Most of them won't serve any key game purpose but are cool models, such old games day models - I even found a model from the "skullz" campaign that they did.

So there we have it! Tune in over the next few days to catch a look at what ive got planned for 2016 :)

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