Sunday, 22 April 2018



Not a new conversation I appreciate but, hopefully, a different point of, personal, view.

For any gaming system there is always going to be a prevailing Meta. The state of that Meta often seems largely out of the hands of those playing within it. Outside of the regular Meta debate it's always going to have an effect on the players within it.

It's accepted by most that Tier 1 X-Wing is currently about Ordnance, particularly Harpoons and Bomblets,  Rebel Jank and Palp Aces. There's probably about a half dozen top end build templates out there. Compared to previous eras that's pretty good.

For many the issue lies in the FACT that the gap between Tier 1 and everything else is currently more of a chasm. Stray away from Tier 1 and rather than the fight being uphill it's now a cliff. Factor in a much larger competitive playing base, within which there are a lot of players putting in a lot of reps, there seems to be little space left for the dirty casual flying a "fun" list.

For many gaming buddies this has become a negative play issue and a move away from the competitive X-Wing scene. That's a fair choice. Up until recently I had drifted away myself. In hindsight that was also for a number of real world issues. I was clearly in a place where I, subconsciously, wasn't prepared / able to make the necessary commitment to keep up.

Initially drawn to the ranks of the saline doom-sayers I decided to step back in to the game to form an informed decision. The short version of the results are as follows;
- X-Wing is still fun.
- I am now a fully committed Dirty Casual rather than the competitive player I once was.
- I can accept flying more Meta lists but draw a personal line at those I feel are a Negative Play Experience.

Having attended a couple of events recently I've confirmed that that I'm not alone in that approach. In fairness I never thought I was and my club-mate Ian is in that same place with me, which has been hugely appreciated.

Last Sunday I played five rounds at iBuy in a Quarter 1 GNK. I ran Dengar / Thweek that Ian and I found online and having been raving about ever since. I went 2-3 with two auto-losses, a close loss which was an excellent game, a decent win which was another excellent game and a walkover win which barely broke a sweat. I placed 21 of 28 which was outside of the alt arts. I had a decent day. Flying Thweek better would have helped but that's down to me and not the Meta. With all thing a few more reps wouldn't hurt.

I've accepted that that's how X-Wing is for me know. I'll fly what I'm prepared to fly as well as I can and take it from there. As a result I'm less likely to be rocking up to big weekend events but we'll see what happens ;)

Fly Dirty (Casual)

Thursday, 5 April 2018


Hello people??

Yes, another unintentional hiatus....I pretty much ran out of anything to say that I felt had any relevance. Also, the foray back into 40K didn't really work out, which was genuinely disappointing.

In short I do now feel like I have potentially relevant things to say.....lucky you!

In fairness I'm not expecting any rapturous applause, or any applause at all. The blog has always been symbiotic with my personal "Hobby Mojo" and has waxed and waned on that basis. Currently I'm on an up and wanting to maintain the climb and thus posting again. Yes, it's all about MEEEE!! :)

Status Drift:

Following a bit of a hobby meander I've got a purpose back and made some decisions;

1. 40K hasn't worked out. I'm finishing up the paint and selling up.
2. Netrunner is now a dormant game for me. Not selling up though.
3. I'm back in the saddle with X-Wing and Armada. They will be my main focus for the foreseeable.
4. Legion is the new cool kid on the block. I've played a couple of games and will finance investment from 40K.

As such I'm returning to the Rule of Three whilst getting the necessary brush-time with Legion. Accepting this has been a reasonable step and also allows some regular guilt free X-Box time. It feels rather cyclical and ALMOST like growing up??

Weekly posts is the plan. Brace yourself (Optional) ;)

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Inexorable Advance

Rejoice once, Rejoice twice, Rejoice THRICE!!!

Nurgle be praised I have finally finished up some Death Gaurd, specifically the Malignant Plaguecaster and the two Hellbrutes :)

As previously mentioned it took a while to work out what I was doing with the paint / wash balance so reverted to my tried and tested method of finishing up the bases to give context. It worked a charm!
So that leaves;
1 x Lord
1 x Noxious Blight bringer
21 x Plague Marines (3 7 man squads of course!)
1 x Rhino
2 x Blight Drone
As such I of course spent some payday moola sorting out a winged Daemon Prince which after an afternoon's construction is just requiring final detailing and a suitably bubonic base. I've had my eye on the Maggoth Lord kit for a while, was a dream to work with and has supplied a wealth of spare parts for further character conversions. An E-Bay Plague Drone provided the wings which, by fortune, suit him particularly well. The level of detail is fantastic to the point where I'll struggle to add too much more. The 40K twist will likely be subtle and mainly from the base.

So that'll be plenty for now. Typhus and some Mantic Zombies will drag themselves onto the Christmas list but need to be earnt first.

Happy days ;)

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Rule of COOL

So, three weeks later I have;
- been busy....again
- had a stinking cold for 10 days
- actually almost finished some Death Gaurd
- got my Death Gaurd scheme sorted in my head
- played a load of games!

Some of these things are better than others but I'm happy enough and more than comfortable with my more relaxed approach to TOYS.

With the Death Gaurd the two Hellbrutes and the Malignant Plaguecaster are all but done and just await final touches. Taking my time with them I'm now happy with the scheme and techniques to be employed so things should speed up from here on in.

A close combat squad of Plague Marines have been added and battle tested. Disgustingly lethal against vanilla Marines. I've also 90% settled on what I'm going to do for Poxwalkers and planned a fantastic Daemon Prince conversion. More about them later in the week.
Meanwhile the Dark Sphere X-Wing League has kicked me back into gear and got me trying out some different lists, generally featuring a whole lot of Guri, which will continue unabated post mega-nerf.

I've also been playing a fair bit more Armada, enjoying myself fabulously, which will be the vehicle for my musing......

Myself and former Nordics National Champion Nigel Gray have received entry been decrying the ever increasing race for activations via Flotilla spam. In short its a negative play experience but one that wins tournaments, and has been for some time. With Thrawn and two alternate ISDs spoiled I was frothing like a proper fan boy,  HUGE Thrawn fan. I was also interested in the option of twin ISDs.

Chatting in the car on the way home from plastic crack we felt that we were going to refuse to join Flotilla spam. On that basis if you're not going to compete for activations why not go completely the other way and make the most of it. We agreed that a tanky ISD was a prerequisite with support to taste. With London Masters hosted at Warboar this weekend just gone and Wayland's monthly event the week before we had our challenge.

Nigel went for a Victory II (Disposable Capacitors for long range punch) with an Ace-ball. I went elsewhere apeing the Motti ISD Bomber-ball tactic with a Quasar rather than triple Gozantis. Building the Quasar for purpose it could push 6 squadrons a turn with 4 Defenders, 4 Bombers and 2 Jumpmasters as the attack wing. The ISD was tanked to the max with a Damage Control Officer and Reinforced Blast Doors.

It appealed on multiple fronts as I've previously tried to make Bomber lists work and failed, who the hell flies a Quasar and two activations a turn is much easier on my brain across a day of Armada. Also, anti-meta seems to be a "thing" these days.

It's wasn't entirely pink and fluffy with a 24 point initiative bid and the intent to hit hard and then either run away for the win or mop up stragglers, given that 7-3 wins are also now a thing.
On the day we both had a lot of fun and held oir own going 2-2 for 23 and 24 points over four rounds. I had quite a few compliments on the list, as well as "that's brave", with some good post game analysis from interested parties.
First game I was indecisive and paid the price, second I tabled my opponents with the assistance of hot dice. Third I won 25-0 against double ISD with both of us scared of the other. Final round I only just list in round 6 having lead since the initial engagement.

Themes of the day;
- I gave up almost every mission by only having two ships / activations.
- Aggression paid dividends WHEN EMPLOYED CORRECTLY. Approach to initial engagement and target priority was key.
- Mid game Squadron orders on the ISD are strong.
- The anti- meta shock effect is strong
- Less decisions to make was helpful
- I really enjoy the list and it has legs

In short I had a great day. With more practice / better flying I can see myself running it for a while. Thrawn double ISD will be the next step. Minister Tua and Reinforced Blast Doors is effectively 11 hull with Motti.

Rule of Cool engaged! :)

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Creeping Death

So, I've actually been doing some painting, a fair amount if painting actually and pretty much al of it Death Gaurd. Happy Days!.....literally :)

I've stuck with the relatively experimental pre-shade and wash technique that I wanted to try out and it's worked pretty week so far. Using the Rhino as a test piece I've worked out the basic principles and issues to the point where everything, bar the poxwalkers is at the initial shade stage.

Using the Rhino for stage by stage....
....this is where it currently sits. Pretty much all of the basic detail is blocked in and I've started playing around with some rust and weathering techniques. This will set the bench-mark for the vehicles while I've nearly finished the sorcerer to do the same for the infantry.

All good so far, I've realised that I don't HAVE to pre-highlight and wash EVERYTHING. Standard techniques still apply for detail work. I've been mindful not to let everything become too busy. Between the level of detailing on the figures and my 8ntended level of detailing thers going to be plenty of contrast. Going for grim rather than gaudy.

At some point I'll set up a couple of poxwalker testers but currently I'm still unconvinced about the models themselves.

The club escalation campaign kicked off last night at which point I realised I'd been doing a couple of things wrong and that Assault is just as brutal as billed.

It's a fairly quiet weekend on the horizon so hopefully a few finished figures by Sunday. Creeping death indeed!

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Toxic Relationship?

Hello people,

Long time coming this one, in several different ways. As previously mentioned I've taken the plunge back into 40K with 8th Edition. GW and I had parted many years ago but I've been tempted back by Papa Nurgle.

With any break-up there's a period when you swear that you're not going back, ex's are ex's for a reason. You're moving on and so are they, you tell yourself. You tell other people that you're pleased that they're doing well, just as well as you.....obviously. As time passes you check in virtually, it's not stalking honest, and can admire at a distance relatively safely.

The issue really rears it's head when mutual friends mention them in passing. How they've moved on, how good they're looking, how they're new and improved......a new Edition...

And so it was that 8th Edition was mentioned to me, how it was more streamlined,  less power-cheese, more skirmish, more old school. Though we had turned our noses up at Age of Sigmar, whilst quietly applauding trying something different, as far more juvenile 4OK 8th was somehow retro. The memories of Rogue Trader through to 4th beckoned. Where Stormcast were ridiculous Primaris are cool x 2 and just look at the new Death Gaurd. Didn't you used to have Death Gaurd army? You'd have a great time putting together the new figures? Fancy swapping out a starter set??

So thats a double starter set plus a pair of Hellbrutes, a Rhino and a "spare" set of Plague Marines, E-Bay bargains all, later. With the Codex it made sense to pick up the cards and the plague-ridden dice are rule of cool. Ordering from my local store I ended upgrading to the collectors edition codex because it's just that bit sexier and I knew I'd be dissapointed with the standard one otherwise. Apparently time is my most finite resource these days but £72.50 still left a mark, though it was definitely the right call.

Currently everything but the "spare" marines and 20 Poxwalkers are built and thanks to a number of donations I've kit-bashed them all to individuality, a personal necessity. Painting has begun in earnest with a pre-highlight and wash scheme that I've not used before now approved. I've even play3dchalfa dozen games and rather enjoyed them. Things to unlearn but I particularly like the objective cards adding a random element. The game feels more brutal than I remember and though I'm sure power-cheese is more than possible I can see myself playing on a regular basis.

All on my own terms.....obviously ;)

Monday, 18 September 2017

Spoils of War

Hello people,


So, back from Nationals. As previously mentioned it was a very positive weekend being a geek. I also made out like a bandit for swag;

Alt arts are clearly a big thing these days, I was gifted a full half dozen to go with the gorgeous X-Wing participation Howlrunner and the Destiny BB-8 that I traded for an Armada Screed, Rebel Transport and X-Wing.

Getting a few side events in I gathered enough tickets for the Netrunner mat and picked up Hey That's My Fish! as it's an awesome pick up game.

The Netrunner mat won out over an Armada Howlrunner alt art. Part of that was because after the weekend I'd rather look at Netrunner than Destiny.

I played 10 games of Destiny over the weekend, loosing every single one. I still enjoyed those games but I simply can't compete with the card pool that I have. As much as I'm sure I could have played better I was meeting Teir 1 lists even on the lowest tables, as well as the "casual" side events. Without spending a couple of hundred I can't get close. Not salt, just reality. Still a fun pick up game but no longer an event game for me personally.
Getting back up to speed with Netrunner will mean putting in the effort with game time and going back to a steeple learning curve but that's always been a lot of the attraction for me. As an LCG I can take out the random element of the card pool and concentrate on playing better.

That's the theory ;)