Annnnd we’re back online, 2123 days later. Buckle up.
Stunningly, as well as a little sadly from this side of Age of Sigmar, nearly all of that game time was spent with WHFB 8E. There was a little 7E before the new edition hit in the Summer of 2010, and I may have messed about with other game systems here and there (I think I played two 1000 point matches of 40k), but my hobby time for the last 5+ years overwhelmingly went to the final edition of Fantasy. And it was great.
In five years I built, painted and ran three armies through various tournaments:
Tribe Far Crag Ogres (Updated 6E Army) – Though significantly improved by 8E’s changes to Monstrous Infantry and Psychology (that BSB reroll), I never really wanted to do the work to get my Ogres up to full 8E strength. They continued to be a fun army at 2000 or less, but were too top-heavy at 2500 without painting more ironguts or going full on deathstar, neither of which I totally committed to. Still love the big pale dudes, and they kick serious face in AoS (maybe too much!)
Nurgley Skaven (Updated 7E Army) – The army that I ground through 8E, taking it to multiple tournaments and always ending up about dead in the middle of the pack. I eschewed the OTT Skaven builds (which often feel like the only ones you ever saw) for a more combat-oriented, often MSU-ish approach (spoiler: Skaven are a shooty, magicky, horde army). Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, but there was always a lot of dice thrown and a lot of mayhem, one way or another. The picture here is from the last Crossroads GT the Skaven went to, when I rolled out the Verminlord for one more ride. Again, didn’t do great, but had fun. The green things went into semi-retirement afterwards, as I was sick of dealing with their short comings … and was working on newer, more actually daemonic things.
Daemons of Tzeentch (Late 8E) – Growing up playing Warhammer, this was the army I always wanted to make, but couldn’t afford because of metal horrors, plus Tizz daemons were far too powerful for me in 7E anyway. Come plastic horrors and a much toned down power level and I was in! It also gave me an outlet for all those lovely 1988 Chaos sculpts I'd been amassing, especially my favorite Chaos Renegades skulking about and posing as heralds and champs.
Because Chaos! From build to paint, this army took me almost two years to complete, and wouldn’t have made it without a club escalation league and the Spring 2015 Crossroads GT to spur me along. Certainly a labor of love; my only lament is that while I wanted a weaker army, the late game 8E meta is/was brutally tilted against this list, thanks to Light magic, cannons, deathstars, 1+ armor and so on. So though I wanted a softball army that required work and luck to win, what I got in tournaments was being heavily countered time after time. It’s a bummer feeling like you have half a chance at best. But I hear Tizz daemons are rather bonkers in AoS??
Over the years I’ve written dozens of battle reports covering the exploits of these armies, which you can find on Dakka here. You’ll also find a few Warriors of Tzeentch 8E games in there, but that was really my late 7E army. WoC became pretty boring to me in 8E, and that army was sold off before it ever got painted.
Looking back, WHFB 8E was easily my favorite edition (I started at the tail end of 4E when I was 11), measured however you like: models painted, games played, reports written, tournaments attended, etc. It’s not a perfect rules set – I admittedly phoned it in for a year in the middle, focusing on the tighter tactical play of WarmaHordes out of disgust for the Yahtzeehammer side of Fantasy – and my biggest issues were probably 1) the meta and 2) the magic system (‘IF FTW’ is pretty lame), but I came to embrace the random factor and the mass carnage. Neither of those things are really offered by all these skirmish games that have ‘replaced’ WHFB, and I legitimately like rolling dice. (KoW may be the answer. More on that to come.)
While I largely ignored the End Times – I don’t really care much for Fantasy’s fluff, and it all seemed too ridiculous, too fast to take seriously – it became pretty clear that something big and potentially painful was happening to Fantasy. I was less upset than the average square baser when AoS extinguished WHFB in comet-like fashion … because I’d been in mourning for almost six months at that point. YMMV. Although whatever you think about AoS, I think one of the local AoS players summed it up well: one of the worst things that GeeDub could have done was release a new, fantasy-based skirmish game during the death throes of an old, beloved fantasy system.
I keep circling around Age of Sigmar, so: what do I think of the new kid? He’s ok. AoS is fun, simple, fast, and easy to model for. I’ve played a handful of games – most of which you can read about on Dakka above – and enjoyed them all. I have a big box of orcs I’d like to someday build up for playing AoS on the road, though they’re pretty heavily backburnered at this point, because, to paraphrase a reply on BoLS or Blood of Kittens or somewhere, AoS is a fun enough game but not rich enough to be a hobby. Hobbies live with us, beyond the table and the workbench, we think about them, strategize around them, scheme up lists and possibilities and future purchases and make plans around them. I’ve done that for decades with Fantasy and 40k; I can’t do that with AoS. A lot of the problem is the lack of a points system – I’ve never played an uncomped game of AoS, and I can’t see why I would – coupled with not having any of my club to play the game with.
So I suppose I’ll stick to rolling out my ogres for AoS events that fall on weekends I'm not busy? Where I know I can get 3+ games in in a day, and who knows, I haven’t played many scenarios, which people say give the game some depth. Admittedly, I also miss battle reporting, which isn’t the same with AoS, particularly not my written style (though all the flair on the warscrolls adds some descriptive flourish in a pinch).
Instead of GW, in the hobby time I can scrounge up, I’ve been focusing on Malifaux along with most of my club (Ten Thunders for me, focusing on McCabe), and really enjoying it, though it almost hurts my brain it’s so complicated. So you can expect to see some of that on here. And I’m also diving into Kings of War, a system which I’ve found little interest in up until very recently, when I discovered the online army builder. I’ve been scheming up tons of lists Warhams-style, and will be shoving off on a Varangur 1000+ point force of Khorne nutballs over the next few months. Haven’t played the game and won’t until the first 1000 is built and primed, but you’ll hear all about that here as well. I’d be lying if I said some WHFB 8+ wasn’t a possibility as well, so stay tuned, and thanks for reading that wall of text!
PS: If you're here for 40k content, it's unlikely to happen, beyond very random sci-fi modeling. The game has left me and my CSM behind - but you can be damned sure we'll be back once Age of Horus hits XD