Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year in Review Final Day: Muggins - The great devourer has come

This happened when I tried to explain Warhammer to my mother-in-law.
2011 was a pretty great year for me with my hobby and personal life. I was inspired to start this blog (and invite the rest of the team, without which none of it would be possible) by the continued success of Dark Future Games and MI40k. We do a lot of great things here in the Flint area, and I really wanted to show them off.

I also feel that we have a great Warhammer 40k 'scene' that is still growing, but sometimes suffers from being disorganized. A club of leaders going forward like we have in FC40k (and a partnership with game stores such as Gamers Sanctuary) will help to get players involved and move from a more casual once-a-year hobby shop visit to a great hobby experience where they hopefully take ownership and volunteer. (Warhams being outgoing? My word!).

Throughout this year we here at FC40k (and at GS) have made a lot more friends via the hobby. I must admit it can be tougher once you're out of college to get out and meet new bro-friends. Most of my college friends moved out of state or live an hour north. I drive an hour one way to work every day and visiting Bay City all the time isn't really in the cards.

I feel like there are a lot of different subsets (castes?) of wargamers based on current life timing (high school, college, post-college) or professional status. This isn't to look down on anybody, but a lot of us have 8-5 jobs where we can play at night once a week, or varied hours where we have to schedule times to play with others. I feel like with FC40k I've met a group of gamers who are very like me; we're all professionals who are ~30 years of age or older, and some of us are starting families or have families already.

When I text Adam or Brian I don't have to worry about getting some weird LOLCAT in return, or when we game together I don't have to deal with social awkwardness, or smelly people. All of us have the ability to show people how to play the game; all of us can go out of our way to talk to someone who is new. When someone walks into GS and is watching us play, I always ask them if they play, what army, etc etc. I feel like there is a gamer attitude to just ignore those dudes, instead of helping them or talking to other people (gasp!). Like I said above, I've found a group of gamers (leaders) very similar in mind to me and I love it.

Gamers Sanctuary has also played a huge part in my renewing the hobby. Like quite a few others, I gave up the hobby when I went to college (chicks, dude). I renewed my love of 40k and other wargames when I got out and got a job in Lansing; I started driving to Swartz Creek when we bought our house here and I found Flames of War at GS.

Gamers Sanctuary has kindled a really great community here. Chad and his staff have a love of modeling and painting that shows in everything they do, and consistently inspires gamers to do their best. So much so that when my wife and I casually talk about moving anywhere I think to myself "Self, there is no way we could move away from this place and GS. This game store is huge for your hobbies. Self, change the subject."

So that was definitely a ramble. What else did we do this year? We ran the Reth campaign. I kinda wish we were a bigger blog at that time, because I think we really did something special with that campaign with the fluff and story-driven battles.We built the Candidus Capillus and used it for boarding action in the Apocalypse game. It'll be out for Badab War this spring.

Players loved the Reth purity seals

Brian also ran a campaign before that, and Scott a campaign before that. I have to say that from reading around the net that most campaigns either die or don't get nearly the participation. We had 22 people on one night playing story driven campaign games!

I built up a huge tyranid army through 2011. I now have something close to 15,000 points of Tyranids. I've figured out that they're "my army" for 40k. I gobble up the fluff related to them anywhere I can. I have painted a ton this year, mostly dipping. The entire Reth campaign was based on Hive Fleet Muggis taking over the Reth system.

I sold my Blood Angels. I wasn't really happy with the direction of the new codex. Perhaps it was my hipster side who also wanted to play something that not everyone was playing. I financed most of my Mantis Warriors with my BA sales.

After bleating about power armor for months, yelling at people who shelved tyranids for grey knights or space wolves, and screaming in outrage at the price hikes for GW models, I became hypocrite of the year and started my Mantis Warrior army. Badab War vols 1 and 2 got be extremely interested in this army - I love the color scheme and the 'tragic' nature of their history.

This has gone long, so I'll just keep it to 40k for now. What can you look forward to in 2012? More interviews, fluff reports, strategy articles (now that we have Scott aboard!), organization articles, and of course painting photos. Fresh Coast 40k has a lot on our plate for this year, personally and hobby-related as well. I know I'll be a patriarch in July 2012 :)

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