Saturday, 31 May 2014

World Building

This week we have been busy preparing for the regional Kings of War tournament that is being held at Asgard Wargames on Sunday June 1st. Back in March when we opened, our local Mantic Pathfinder asked if he could use the shop as the venue for the tournament, and I of course agreed! Little did I think at the time just what that meant...

We are currently still pretty small as wargames shops go, with only 3 6'x4' tables available. The idea with that was to ensure I didn't overreach should things go awry, and so far it's worked out quite nicely, and I've had no complaints (as yet!) about lack of gaming space. Added to that we are open every day, so we can nicely spread out our growing group of gamers over the week. However, it is becoming increasingly obvious that in the near future we will need to transform our upstairs into a gaming hall, but that's for a future post.

The tournament itself will be between six players, and we have the perfect number of tables to host that, handily. What I didn't have, was three tables worth of fantasy terrain, as our boards are split evenly between, fantasy, sci-fi and historical. What was needed was a crash course in terrain making!

Happily I managed to botch together some trees and some flower arranging material (Oasis or its equivalent), and have produced some pretty rough, but suitable terrain! Huzzah!

This is our current set up for Bolt Action. Seen here are buildings and fences from 4Ground, and eBay tees and roads, all on top of a Citadel Realm of Battle.

Our sci-fi board is once again based on the Citadel Realm of Battle, with added 40k scenery. I'm planning on adding Mantic's Battlezones stuff very soon!

My most recent acquisition, sat upon a simple grass mat is our latest terrain piece, the Sewers of Malifaux set from Wyrd (this is a work in progress!)

Once our gaming room is up and running, each terrain type will have a dedicated board to save messing on, but for now I'm very pleased with how things are shaping up!

So my question this week is this, how do you approach terrain in your gaming space? Do you go for the simple yet effective, or are you an all out world builder?

Tips and tricks much appreciated, I'm always on the look out for new ideas! 

Until next time...

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Planning Permission

Here at Asgard Wargames, we are mostly doing two things. The first, of course, is charging our lasguns and loading our bolters ready for Warhammer 40,000 7th edition next week. After the last post, I had come to the conclusion that it was time to enjoy my Jobby (my Job-Hobby hybrid, of course) and really threw myself back into planning and painting!

The trouble, I find with owning a gaming store (apart, of course, from the bills), is that there are so many awesome games out there that my customers are wanting to play, and only so much time I can devote to each! Of course I want to have a bit of everything so i can join in the gaming fun too, but there comes a time when you have to prioritise and force yourself to resist the shiny toy soldiers!

So this week I settled down to decide what my hobby priorities are for the forseeable future:

1. Warhammer 40,000

The new edition has really fired me up. The idea of unbound armies has shocked many into rage-quitting the hobby, but for me, it represents the perfect chance to have all those ideas I've ever had come to fruition! 7th Company of all Landspeeders? Check. Leman Russ Tank Platoon? Check. Almost 300 Gaunts? Sorry Phil Kelly, but no, the gloss alone would drown my hobby butterfly!

So now I'm looking to my Imperial army (as it now can be called) and my budding Dark Eldar army with renewed fervour. Already this week I've painted up my Captain Darnath Lysander conversion and I'm halfway through a squad of Imperial Fist Terminators to accompany him. Alongside them stand my newly painted Inquisitor and her retinue of followers. So my now 1500pts of Imperial Fists, 500 of Grey Knights and 250 of Inquisition stand ready to face any foe! Years ago, this army would have been inconceivable outside of apocalypse, now its not only game legal, but Battle-Forged to boot!

I'm also hoping to take advantage of the Unbound army rules and build myself a nice army of Dark Eldar with all the fun stuff like the Talos, grotesques and the odd Razorwing, just because I love the models!

2. Gorkamorka

One of the best things to have happened recently is, through random conversations in store, to find that my own love of the classic 90's game Gorkamorka, was shared by quite a few others. So, the idea was formed to resurrect this old gem and get some games going of this frankly brilliant game! So was born, GORKAMORKA REDUX!

A quick rummage in the bitz box and I had myself a Rebel Grot Cutta and plans to build myself a warband of renegade Gretchin. If you haven't seen or heard of Gorkamorka, go to google now. Go on, I'll wait.

Good eh? It really was the defining game of my early hobby life, and I suspect is the reason I look for fun in a game first. If I'm laughing about it before having played it, its for me!

So the guys in store have all begun working on their own mobs. We have classic miniatures form the actual game, through to guys using Warpath Marauders and even a toy car converted into something truly orky! Expect a full blog post about this in the fullness of time

Another skirmish game that has recently piqued my attention is the crazy looking victorian-steampunk game Malifaux. Set in a city that sits between two worlds, you lead a band of warriors hunting for soulstones (condensed magic) either to use them for nefarious purposes, or keep them from those who would do so!

Malifaux was a game that I had decided to stock primarily because it was seldom seen but had an incredibly beautiful range of miniatures. Not only that but the 2nd edition of the game is moving towards plastic rather than metal, and the detail on those plastic miniatures is incredible, far in excess of pretty much any other game out there. There was a lot of interest to begin with but with people not knowing anyone to play against, it made them reluctant to take the plunge.

However, I have now gathered a group together to get some games started, and along with a new terrain board (the incredible Terraclips Sewers of Malifaux set), we will soon be battling it out! Stay tuned to the blog and facebook for more

Finally, one of my customers is hoping to start a Bolt Action Escalation League, starting at 500pts. Having recently invest in a bit of WWII scenery for the store, I am now confident that we can get that off the ground in the near future too, indeed I'm eyeing the Soviet Infantry on the shelf as I type...

So, that's my hobby plans for the near future (not to mention the Wood Elves, Deadzone Asterians, Mars Attacks!, and Dropzone Commander stuff I'm hoping to get into soon too!).

What about you though, how do you organise your hobby? Planned or organic? Lots of games or just the one? Skirmish or massed battle?

Comment below.....

Friday, 2 May 2014

Tribes and tribulations

Afternoon all!

First off, thanks to everyone for looking at the blog. I linked up with Natfka's Faeit212 this week and got a really big boost in viewers, so thanks for clicking!

Today I want to talk about how I have found the community since setting up shop. Before I became the greatest retailer in all of Gilkes Street (maybe), I was a humble wargamer, much like yourself (except shorter and rounder). My own "meta" as it's known, had dried up to nothing since leaving uni, I just didn't have the connection to the local wargames scene (despite its size) and so I continued alone for a few years quietly building and painting forces that appealed to me aesthetically.

About 4 years ago, an old friend returned to 40k and with him, came my first games in about 8 years! It was like starting all over again, but that was fine, because we both had a blast! We would game very infrequently, but when we did, it was an event. A full day trip to Warhammer World, a few casual games, good food etc. We loved it, and you might say, that this was now my "meta".

Fast forward to six weeks ago (in a weird wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey sort of way), and I hit a hugely unanticipated flaw in my otherwise brilliant business plan. I had vastly underestimated just how diverse and how factional wargamers had become. Back in my day, you were a geek for playing wargames, and we wargamers stuck together. These days, there are so many different games going, that little sub-factions have appeared.

I seriously hadn't seen the level of factionalism coming. I felt so judged because I carried this range, or didn't know of another it was bizzare. "Can't we all just get along?" I wondered as rampaging Warmachine players chewed through Mantic games, whilst die-hard Games Workshop fans formed a shieldwall against the onrushing hordes of Bolt Action fans. Well maybe that didn't happen. But it sounds good, and that's the main thing...

On top of all that, I've found myself chatting more and more online with others who are finding it hard to get their "meta" to try new games. All too often I hear "My local club is more of a (insert game/company) club so I can't really play (alternative game/company) stuff." Yet I hear great tales from other about clubs like the Redcar Ironbeards  whose mantra is "If you bring it, we will try it". How cool is that?

Anyway, after many weeks of thought, I decided that as an independent, it was my job to bring harmony to the community, balance to the force, the horse to the well etc. I had two ideas about this:

1. Become a defender of the faith. Basically challenge any and all hatred of other games in the hope that people will simply agree to disagree.

2. Become a champion of the cause. Here I would have to be the flag bearer for every range I stocked, enthusing about every range and every model.

Neither really appealed. I had vowed some time ago to dictate my business, and not the other way round. My customers come to talk hobby and so they should, as long as its about a hobby they are passionate about, for good or ill! So this past week I've had debates ranging from how GW is an evil empire run by bean counters, to discussions about how GW are producing some of the most amazing models they've ever done (seriously have you seen this guy? ). I've chatted about how I feel Mantic Games have a lot of work to do on the quality of their models before I buy an army off them, but I've enthused about how brilliant the new terrain is (and about how I'll be first in line when they release Mars Attacks!)

"So, what's the point, you crazy muttering madman?" I hear you ask.

Well it's my hope that by waxing lyrical about how divided the community seems to be, I hope I'm holding up a mirror to you, the gamer. Ask yourself next time, "Do I really need to hate another game/company so much?", "How bad can it be to just try something new?" or "Why the hell did I read that entire boring blog?" At the end of the day we are all Wargamers and we should revel in the fact that we play war in a golden age when our every geeky whim is catered for.