Posts Tagged ‘40K’

Chapter Approved – Good Value or Not?

Posted on December 13th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

Greetings all, time for a look at one of the hot topics in gaming circles at the moment – Chapter Approved, and more specifically, is it worth the money or should it have been a freebie FAQ/download. I’ve seen a lot of stuff recently knocking the book and some of its content, and the choice taken by GW to make it available in this format so I thought I’d take a proper look at what’s included.

Be prepared for quite a bit of text here I’m afraid, cos there’s quite a lot stuffed into this book!

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Insight and Clarity into the Arch Warhammer and Spikey Bits Drama

Posted on December 12th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

I don’t really like delving into drama, unless it’s my own, and digging deep into the hot air produced to see if there’s anything valuable is never worth the time I’ve spent doing it. However, I would like to point out some bits and pieces I’ve noticed in calming my own rampant emotions on the topic.

As ever, the caveat to this is that everyone on the internet is wrong, particularly blogging teachers who really should be getting more than 3 hours sleep a night. And who should really be writing their Christmas reports, rather than adding to internet drama.

For the uninformed, well done for avoiding a waste of time that’s better spent painting toy soldiers. But if you must know what happened, Spikey Bits published an article about bullying in 40K. Arch Warhammer responded to this. Both sides made some fairly outlandish claims, that perhaps make sense in the context of the drama. To an outsider, it’s very much a storm in a tea cup… on both sides.

I’m a teacher, and therefore professionally obligated to sit on the fence. It’s not up to me to tell you what to think, only to present models on how to think. I work with children, and because of that I need to be careful about accidentally implanting ideology into their heads. However, in this case I can safely say I’m on neither side, and will refuse and refute any claims that there is a battle to be had in the first place.

I am going to take this opportunity to criticise Spikey Bits, both as a consumer and writer myself. There is a reason for doing so, but please indulge me some bitterness/saltiness as an ex-reader: the adverts break my laptop.

My work laptop is not the strongest machine around, but it runs most web sites well. In fact, in runs nearly every web site well. The only two it flounders on are Spikey Bits and Bell of Lost Souls. The pages are stuffed to the brim with adverts, so much so I cannot in good conscience recommend it to my students. My work laptop throws up so many warnings and works so hard to load each page, I’ve actually written to my IT department to check if it was okay to visit the site.

The verdict was; looks okay but maybe best to avoid. It looks very much like a spam site, perhaps unfairly so as sometimes the content is good. I get the reason for it, as they need to make money to produce content, but I think Spikey Bits and the model they work on is no longer tenable.

As such, I will repost the article that started the drama here, and pick out some points for discussion. It took ten minutes to copy and paste individual paragraphs.

The fact is, there are bullies everywhere, even in tabletop gaming. Some of this bullying may come off as passive aggressive behaviors, or posts to the local community page, but it still shouldn’t be tolerated. It takes one person to stand up and take action, but if no one takes that role then nothing is going to change.

Off to a terrible start, both in asserting that bullying is a problem in table top gaming because there are bullies everywhere, and in taking the frankly school-boy stance that you need to stand up to it. That’s not the way, and dealing with bullying requires monitoring and working with both sides to resolve issues. The implication is also that this writer (remaining anonymous for professionalisms sake), is going to be the hero standing up to the problem. I know he doesn’t state that, but I think the implication is clear.

There is no hero needed, or fight to be had in the case of bullying. The idea of beating back an aggressor, or evil person, presumes the person bullying to be evil. That’s only ever true in the most extreme cases of human behaviour, and at that point you’re well into criminality, and far from bullying.

The writer is setting the stage for conflict, not resolution. Perhaps he believes conflict to already be there, but I will lay a case for them to be mistaken.

I’ve personally watched our veteran players opt out of leagues and tournaments locally here because of one individual. Yes the league stays alive because there is always going to be new players getting into these games, let’s be honest, but the community here has slowly been shrinking in size, and there’s a major rift now…

Surely one individual bully can be spoken to, privately. When teachers find out cases of bullying, the first thing we do is have chats with those involved. In most cases of perceived bullying we don’t have to do much. Quite often it’s just social disputes, and whilst we keep a close eye on it, we have to let the children learn to sort it out themselves.

Obviously if we think harm might occur we step in, but we have a duty of care to children. I would have thought adults would be able to work things out for themselves… and those that they can’t would be criminal cases.

I think I’m getting off track though, but I wanted to give people insight into how bullying is dealt with in schools, by professionals who have training in it. It’s a procedural, yet compassionate approach, which doesn’t have the banner waving glory associated with the Hollywood show down. It’s also fairly wearing on the person working with bullies and victims, and leaves you tired rather than content.

I need to pick something out of that paragraph though, because I’d like to point something out about the direction the community is heading in… and how it’s actually positive.

Yes the league stays alive because there is always going to be new players getting into these games, let’s be honest, but the community here has slowly been shrinking in size, and there’s a major rift now…

That’s interesting. The Spikey Bits community is shrinking, but being kept afloat by new members. There is also a major rift, and I think that rift is potentially between new players and veterans, rather than between… bullies and victims? The writer is not specific.

I think the reason for the shrinking community can be attributed the Spikey Bits web site itself. In addition to the advertising problem I’ve encountered, the kind of content that drives traffic is no longer best found on websites like Spikey Bits. As a blogger, I know what drives my hit counter more than anything is rumours and news of new products.

Unfortunately for Spikey Bits, Warhammer Community does that from an official mouth piece.

Warhammer Community has been dropping official leaks and new product videos for about a year now, and it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that other websites are starting to feel the drop in views. I know that I wouldn’t get nearly as much of the hits as I do without some kind of analysis to go with the latest rumour, and I know from researching articles for the blog here that a lot of rumour articles on BoLS and Spikey Bits amount to little more than an image and a sentence. I don’t think there is a market for simple image sharing anymore, not when it comes with advert spam.

Since Spikey Bits is losing traffic that way, it would follow that the community would also begin to drop. Rather than going to a third party community, people will naturally go towards the official community of, well, Warhammer Community. There are less strings attached to that one, and to support it all you need to do is buy models. I’m willing to bet that if an official forum were to be released, Spikey Bits and Bell of Lost Souls would entirely fold as a business.

This is nothing but a net positive for the hobby, as Games Workshop takes it’s customers more seriously, and offers the kind of end user support needed for such a time-intensive hobby. The time for amateur guides and reporting is gone, replaced with much higher quality and more accurate press releases and training.

Which puts the editors and writers of Spikey Bits in a scary place.

I don’t think they’re full time writers, as the income from such niche pieces without the weight of model and magazine sales is barely enough to keep a hobbyist in base paint, let alone provide for a family. It also wouldn’t be clear as to why view counts are dropping… surely with all this extra interest and community engagement from GW, business should be booming.

And what might be very hard for the writers and editors of those sites to come to terms with, is that their content isn’t actually that good.

I make no secret about how limited my opinions are, or how little I understand some aspects of the hobby. I’m not a professional writer, and fully expect even this article to be full of spelling and grammar mistakes. What I try to do is give interesting perspectives on tactics, lore and testing ways of painting miniatures. I try to make it as good quality as I can (although I sometimes catastrophically fail in that), but again, I’m not relying on this to feed my family… I have a 24/7 teaching/boarding house mastering/Duke of Edinburgh coordinating job for that, with a scarf business on the side.

Put simply, I can afford to botch the odd article here and there, and I can miss daily deadlines (such as right now… End of Term, writing reports, a sick wife etc.). Whereas BoLS and Spikey Bits are now in direct competition with professional copy writers, working for the Marketing Department of the company whose product they have built their jobs around. Without relying on click bait rumours and managing the news flow of the hobby, they will now have to focus on the quality of their prose and ideas.

If the article dissected above is any indication, they’re not going to do well in that competition.

It sounds as if I’m trashing Spikey Bits, and I am, but I really don’t intend to be mean spirited about it. It’s the same criticism I point at myself, and I am equally guilty of dropping click bait articles with little content. I don’t say these things to be cruel, but to be honest… in my poor, and ill-informed opinion as a fallible human being.

So, with all these factors coming together, a falling view count, falling numbers of community participation, and with all the usual tricks not working, looking for something to blame or to excuse the misfortune becomes paramount.

The threat of online bullies is something that has been in the news for a while. Ironically, they’re an easy target, and present an opportunity to galvanise your community. You create a new layer of identity to those that self-select to be part of that group, one that is attractive and clothed in high moral superiority. You present them, and your community leaders a nice target on which to lay all the problems you are facing.

Truth is a lot of time it just takes one person to say their sorry to help get things back on track. The answer is not refusing to apologize, pushing blame back on others, and telling them to grow thicker skin! 

This is OUR hobby, we don’t let outside influences tear us apart, why are we going to let something or someone inside our hobby tear us apart. We’re better than that. Stand up for your local community and the people in it. If you don’t who else will? 

It’s scapegoating.

Arch Warhammer is responding to this, with some scapegoating of his own, claiming that this is part of some grand conspiracy by Social Justice Warriors, Feminists and other elements of that political branch. He’s equally taking a stand, and gearing up for a fight.

There is no conflict though.

Arch Warhammer is fighting political phantoms undermining his community. Spikey Bits is fighting phantom bullies, undermining their community.

It’s a situation that cannot be resolved by attacking a perceived enemy. Spikey Bits simply has to realise that they might not be good enough anymore. Warhammer Arch is going to have to stop agreeing with this delusion, and acting the part of antagonist.

The only way to get through this is for Spikey Bits to up their quality of content. What they’ll need to do is… well, let’s have the Spikey Bits author finish us out:

This can all be solved by rebuilding, everyone taking a step back, and realizing we’re all here for the same reason, to have fun! The solution is not yelling at individuals, or public humiliation, and anyone seen doing or threatening these things are the reason strong communities fall apart.

Who wants to play with someone that acts this way? Who wants to play with someone who constantly has an issue with you if you have a different opinion than theirs? 

This isn’t anything new. In this hobby we see communities come and go. But we never actually take the time to see why the community failed. Instead of giving up on the community, try to find out what or who the problem is. Maybe the event can be reversed and handled differently, or the individual doesn’t know what they’re doing is causing a rift. Or maybe it’s just they think they know what’s best for the community, when in actuality they’re the reason for the fall and ultimate destruction of a once great community 

That’s all I have to say about that. Until next time.

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Using Oil Piants

Posted on December 11th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

I have been following an artist on Facebook named James Wappel.  He is an amazing artist and has been posting videos on using oil paints on miniatures.  I decided to give it a shot on my Big Mek model and happy with the results.  I only …

Using Oil Piants

Posted on December 11th, 2017 under , , . Posted by

I have been following an artist on Facebook named James Wappel.  He is an amazing artist and has been posting videos on using oil paints on miniatures.  I decided to give it a shot on my Big Mek model and happy with the results.  I only …

Hobby update 11/12/17 – commission bloodcrushers & sector mechanicus

Posted on December 11th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

Greetings all, welcome to the frozen wastes of Terra, and this week’s look into my lair at what I’ve been up to.Naturally I’m afraid at this time of year, hobby time is at a premium, and although I did get to sit down for a while on Saturday, I also ha…

‘nids part 230 – Greenstuff Rippers BABY!

Posted on December 11th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

So I’m currently painting my Trygon and  Broodlord, but my focus is supposed to be on what I need for GT3 and having not yet decided on what I’m taking, or coverd it on the blog I really thought I should focus on one of the two things I will need …

Tallarn Leman Russ Battle Tank

Posted on December 10th, 2017 under , , , , , . Posted by

I haven’t managed to finish up the Shadespire minis. Screwy head and lack of focus made working on them a little difficult. Tanks are easy, though, so I finished up this Leman Russ tank that’s been haunting the edges of may painting desk for far too lo…

Tallarn Leman Russ Battle Tank

Posted on December 10th, 2017 under , , , , , . Posted by

I haven’t managed to finish up the Shadespire minis. Screwy head and lack of focus made working on them a little difficult. Tanks are easy, though, so I finished up this Leman Russ tank that’s been haunting the edges of may painting desk for far too lo…

WIP: Ultramarines Company Veterans / Command Squad #2

Posted on December 9th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

I realized I haven’t posted a follow-up for my Ultramarines Company Command Squad yet. I put them on hold so I could start my Sepulchral Guard, but not before completing the two models in the front (well, apart from static grass and transfers). How do …

Chapter Approved mission review – Recon

Posted on December 8th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

Greetings all, last night I got my first game in with the new missions from Chapter Approved, my opponent (Dave) and I played the recon maelstrom mission, so I thought I’d do a detailed review of the mission and my thoughts on how it changes things up, along with a brief section on what actually happened in the game.

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‘nids part 229 – Trygon & Genestealer Broodlord/Patriarch – Bonewhite & Chitin highlights

Posted on December 8th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

Just because it’s smaller and more managable I’ve focused on the Broodlord. I finished the Chitin and both Bonewhite highlights I highlighted the skulls on the base, I went bleached white so it was a little different to the Bonewhite.If you zoom in you…

‘nids part 229 – Trygon & Genestealer Broodlord/Patriarch – Bonewhite & Chitin highlights

Posted on December 8th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

Just because it’s smaller and more managable I’ve focused on the Broodlord. I finished the Chitin and both Bonewhite highlights then I highlighted the skulls on the base, I went bleached white so it was a little different to the Bonewhite.If you zoom i…

Showcase: Space Wolves Lone Wolf by Big Sam

Posted on December 7th, 2017 under , , , . Posted by

Hey guys, Big Sam from United Painting here again. This guy was a pretty fun model to paint. I really enjoyed painting the woad markings in his face, and in general painting the face was a blast as it was ripped from a Chaos Marauder Horsemen kit.Looke…

2000pts battle report – Tyranids v Astra Militarum

Posted on December 6th, 2017 under , , , , , . Posted by

With GT3 only a couple of months away it was about time we get some games in so Ben and I faced off. Him with Astra Militarum, a more Leman Russ-centric Cadian force led by Pask. While I was running two Battalion of my Nids so I could access more Comma…

2000pts battle report – Tyranids v Astra Militarum

Posted on December 6th, 2017 under , , , , , . Posted by

With GT3 only a couple of months away it was about time we get some games in so Ben and I faced off. Him with Astra Militarum, a more Leman Russ-centric Cadian force led by Pask. While I was running two Battalion of my Nids so I could access more Comma…

Equinox 2018

Posted on December 6th, 2017 under , , , , , , , . Posted by

Plan for the weekend now Guys! Equinox is back on the 3rd & 4th of March 2018.Wargaming Convention with multiple systems. — Auckland Central —Warhammer 40kFantasy Battle T9AAge of SigmarX-Wingand more, with details to come….Read abo…

BREAKING NEWS: 8th Edition Dark Angels Chapter Tactics and Stratagems analysis!

Posted on December 5th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

By the Golden Throne… did the Dark Angels ever come back stronger?! The codex teasers have been revealed over on Warhammer Community, and it’s time to see how the 1st Legion have fared in the shift to 8th Edition. They’ve done quite well…I’m going …

The New Necromunda – first game debrief!

Posted on December 5th, 2017 under , . Posted by

Greetings all!

Last week I had my first game of the new edition of Necromunda (thanks Tuck Shop!).

Headline: It’s just as good, if not better than before!

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The New Necromunda – first game debrief!

Posted on December 5th, 2017 under , . Posted by

Greetings all!

Last week I had my first game of the new edition of Necromunda (thanks Tuck Shop!).

Headline: It’s just as good, if not better than before!

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Serious monument in 40K game

Posted on December 5th, 2017 under . Posted by

This would cause chaos among the Image may contain: textranks,,, 😅

Hobby update – Craftworld and Dusk Knight reinforcements.

Posted on December 4th, 2017 under , , , , , , , . Posted by

Hi all,
It’s Monday again so that must mean updates on my hobby progress! This week real life has intruded a little so I’ve not got quite as much done as I normally would, however I did get some time to myself on Saturday night and Sunday to crack on with assembling the reinforcements I’ve picked up from my birthday funds.

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Hobby update – Craftworld and Dusk Knight reinforcements.

Posted on December 4th, 2017 under , , , , , , , . Posted by

Hi all,
It’s Monday again so that must mean updates on my hobby progress! This week real life has intruded a little so I’ve not got quite as much done as I normally would, however I did get some time to myself on Saturday night and Sunday to crack on with assembling the reinforcements I’ve picked up from my birthday funds.

Read more »

Tallarn Scout Sentinel Walker

Posted on December 4th, 2017 under , , , , , . Posted by

I love these little scout sentinel walkers. I think their fun models and the fluff is fun. I have no idea if they’re at all useful in the game.I’m not so sure the rules match the fluff – I mean, they’re supposed to be reconnaissance vehicles – “The eye…

Tallarn Scout Sentinel Walker

Posted on December 4th, 2017 under , , , , , . Posted by

I love these little scout sentinel walkers. I think their fun models and the fluff is fun. I have no idea if they’re at all useful in the game.I’m not so sure the rules match the fluff – I mean, they’re supposed to be reconnaissance vehicles – “The eye…

‘nids part 228 – Trygon & Genestealer Broodlord/Patriarch – Chitin highlights

Posted on December 4th, 2017 under , , , , . Posted by

Just a quick one, I’ve been pottering around with a number of my projects, my movement trays arrived and I’ve started looking at the Rippers but inbetween I found an hour or two to start some chitin highlights. This was initially on the Broodlord and I…