2016 – The year of Change

Well its been one hell of a year if you are a hobbyist!  Going to take a look back over what I have been up to, and maybe a small look forwards to 2017.

So my year started off with Age of Sigmar in its infancy.  At a club level we had devised our own ‘slot’ system for ease of play, and also added a maelstrom of war deck for variety.  I headed off to Nottingham early in the year, eager to see how others around the country were playing the game.  A box full of stuff alongside my Bro, it was a doubles event,so if anyone wanted to be ‘that guy’ we could be ‘that guy+1’.  Thankfully it never happened, and although we worried a few of our opponents, with our box of goodies,  a great time was had. (also met some really cool folks who I caught up with throughout the year).

At club interest was kinda on and off, 40K was doing well and only a few of us were regularily playing AOS.  I was certain it was a good game, and tried to convince folks of its merit.  I signed up for a couple of events, one of which was SCGT, and tried to get a few of them to join me.  No one else was interested, so I would be flying solo,  which was pretty scary.

img_1190The first major part of 2016 though was my first independent AOS event, which was held down in Weymouth, so very local to me, a major selling point. Run by Mr Chris Tomlin (of The Black Sun),  I was nervous, but also very excited to get out and see what was happening.  SCGT comp had just hit and we were playing the missions for the first time.  Chris was running this as a warm up to SCGT, so I thought I doubly good as I would also meet a load of folks going to that.

Gotta say this is my favourite event of the year, for a variety of reasons.  I met so many cool people,  who were so friendly and welcoming I cannot describe.  I made a concious decison beforehand to introduce myself to as many gamers as I could, and find out about their hobby etc, this paid dividends for my gaming year for sure.  Chris was an awesome TO, really helped me get over my nerves.

Big thanks to Matt Clarke for smashing me off the board game 1,  I killed about 4 models total as his stormcast decimated the forces of Tamurkhan!  Yes I took the big fella, and a load of his FW followers, which actually helped me as they created a talking point.  Also I would point out Sayl was flying him around well before he got a rep for Stormfiends!

Somehow I managed to bounce back from that, and finish 4th in my first event, not quite sure how when I look back at the list I was using 🙂  I would say a big thanks to Chris for getting me off on this awesome year long escapade, and to Matt, Gary, Andy, Dom, Russ, Terry, and all the others I met for the first time, you were true gents for talking to the wierd loner at his debut event.

fireslayer-army-5I won’t go into every event in detail, but my year continued with SCGT,  where I faired really well.  The enthusiasm at that, I don’t think was matched at any other event in 2016,  people just wanted AOS to work, and it certainly did!  I fought 6 great games and met a ton of new folks again,  catching up with people from Rain of Stars and my GW experience.

The main thing I gues that came out of these 2 events was Club nights.  So many of the gamers I met were local to me, it was odd that we never actually interacted or played games.  So first Chris, then Matt headed down to club on a Thursday, followed by several others.

Witout AOS, this would never of happened.  We went from maybe 8 gamers up to 14 or so, and now at a peak we get 20+ on a thursday night.  It’s simply amazing, best time to be in the hobby.  Whilst AOS started it, other systems have followed,  variety has hit the club  Dropfleet, Bloodbowl, Infinty, Dropzone, k47  they are all played.  The big loser though has been 40K,  everyone is sitting waiting for the AOS hammer to hit it and then they can jump back on, come on GW DO IT!

bossfestBossfest – Yep that was awesome.  If you haven’t heard of it check out my blog here

Also the main summer happening, The Generals Handbook, hit the shelves.  GW listening to the community?  This was new territory and just teh start of so many great things from them.

GH debut games were at Bossfest, played about 10+ and loved it.  So many new things to try and think through.  Summer of 2016 was a massive turning point for AOS,  where big things really started to happen.  At club gamers who were mildly interested suddenly started playing again,  lots of new army ideas were forming and hitting the tables.

Warlords was announced, GW back in the competative game arena!  I swiftly signed up, along with a ton of other events.  Live streaming hit, which of course was the precursor to Warhammer Live (I will get to that later).

bullgorAutumn was crazy, I did so many events it was crazy.  Warlords, Facehammer and The Warchiefs event (all in 1 month, thanks to Chris who also did all 3, it was really a manic 4 weeks!).  Also Blackout, Brothers of Sigmar and GW Deadwalkers.

The other thing that happened was our club got a name, we are now The Dorset Doggers!  Cheers to Matt and Chris for that one.  Never has a name generated so much contraversy, thanks Adam for having a strop, but now fully embracing his dogger nature 🙂

Club T-shirts have arrived, as have the dice. (I however don’t like symbols, they confuse me, especially with GW being idiots and using the 1 for the symbol). So if you are playing against me that’s why I dont use club dice.

The years came to a finale with RAW2016, and Age of Santa.  Both memorable for different reasons.  RAW was amazing, the first proper narrative event for AOS.  I probably have 3 MUST go events in the year and RAW is one of them.  The effort the awesome foursome of TO’s put in was increadible.  The boards were superb,  true works of art,  games were hilarious and ridiculous, at the same time.

santaMy final event Age of Santa,  was such a great way to finish the year, memorable for many reasons.  Firstly as it was the first big showing from ‘The Doggers’,  7 of us made the trip.

Also my first trip to cardiff, an amazing venue, will be back for future events for sure.

But mainly for my first podium, 3rd place, but more importantly a Best Sports Trophy, so happy to recieve that.  Of all the awards you can get this one is the one I think means the most for me.

Was a really chilled vibe,  everyone had a great time,  Will ate the biggest mixed grill ever,  Rich and Tom went to bed at 6 on the Saturday after their Friday drinkathon.  Was just the perfect way to round off the year.


Also, rankings apparently are a thing.  Never knew anything about them until 3/4 the way through the year.  But it turns out a few of our club gamers are doing rather well!  Ricky has qualified for the masters in 8th, Chris is just outside at 17th, Matt at 20th, and somehow I managed to end up 24th!  For our tiny club down in deepest, darkest Dorset 4 players in the top 25 is increadible.

So that’s it, my 2016.  Such a great year, 11 events, quite a few miles and hotels!  AOS has evolved into a huge hit from a shaky start,  GW has changed its whole attitude.  We now have the awesome Twitch Channel, community interaction,  a real buzz around the hobby in general.  In all my many years (yeah I’m that old)  never seen anything quite like it.  I am looking forwards to 2017 already!  Have a few events already booked in, and will be trying to do 1 a month next year.

What am I wanting from 2017 – Elves, wanna see some of these boys (or girls) hit next year at some point.  GH 2  to tweak some issues.

So to all who I met throughout the year and made me feel so welcome, I say thank you.  Hopefully we will meet up again next year and play some more great games of AOS.