Monday, 11 April 2016

Better Know a Blogger- Part 2: The Burning Eye

Welcome to the second article of my (hopefully) ongoing series- Better Know a Blogger. In this series, I am asking various 40k bloggers to ask some set questions to get to know them a bit better and see what got them into the hobby and what makes them tick.

This week's Better Know a Blogger is from Nick from "The Burning Eye" blog. Nick has been blogging since 2012, the name of his blog coming from his fantastic Dark Eldar army; the Kabal of the Burning Eye. I think it was this army that first drew me to Nick's blog many, many moons ago.

Nick enjoying a beautiful British summer day?
As someone who has been playing 40k for a long time and blogging for many years, Nick has a few armies that make a regular appearance on his blog. These include his Kabal of the Burning Eye, his Tau Obsidian Enclave and his Iron Fists Space Marines and  most recently, his Dusk Knight Space Marines. He has even been tempted to the dark side of space marine bike armies, though he has some strange ideas about list building (did you know that Space Marine bikers and Bike Command Squads could be armed with anything other than grav guns?!? Heresy!).
Nick also dabbles in Blood Bowl and Necromunda and has just recently started a great series of articles on army building that act as a great guide for players new and old, taking them through constructing a new army and what to think about.  
A fantastic pitch.
Most recently, Nick has been working towards his all day 40k charity event- Hero for a Day. This will be a campaign day to raise money for the Childhood Cancer and Leukaemia Group. If you haven't already, I encourage you to head over to the link and donate to this worthwhile cause.
Anyway, enough of my ramblings, let's see how Nick answered my questions.
1. What age did you get into gaming and what started it off?
Probably a bit later than many, I bought my first miniatures around the age of 14. Being the nosey git I am, I barged in on a conversation between a couple of mates in the playground, one of whom was trying to persuade the other to take up Warhammer Fantasy. Easily swayed and always one to want the latest shiny things, I jumped in with both feet and bought this:

Up until then I'd be interested in the painting side of things, but in the realm of airfix model aircraft (WWII) rather than man-sized rats with halberds and shields.  

2. What was the first model you ever bought/painted?
Aw, now you're talking!

This fella, Warlord Queek, Chief Headtaker of Clan Mors. He was quickly followed by a box of ten clanrats (for £5!- ah, I remember those good old days too!- Mike) and I painted them all up in the most garish, bright, glossy colours in my humbrol collection! I'm tempted now to go back and do an homage to my green and yellow skaven, using my somewhat more detailed painting skills, but that's maybe a project for another day/year!
3. What is your favourite aspect of gaming?
I would always say I'm a painter first- I had a hiatus from gaming at uni pretty much all the way through unitl 2012, roughly 13 years, since I lived in a fairly small place with no gaming club or stockist. Painting kept me in the hobby all that time, though these days now I've found and helpfun MAD Wargaming, gaming comes pretty high on the list too.
The weird thing is that now I come to think about it, whilst all of these things are really high on my list, the one thing I almost never have around the house is unassembled kits. That may be a factor of wanting to paint them so they're finished so that I can get the on the tabletop, but whilst stuff can sit around unpainted for months, or not brought into a game in ages, it never sits in a box for very long.

In honesty, I've got to say that I love all aspects of the hobby, I'm thoroughly lost in all things gaming, so finding one aspect I enjoy more than the others is an exercise in futility.  
4. Fondest memory in gaming?
To be honest I think this is probably quite a recent one. I've got lots of great memories, from those early days in fantasy when my mates and I set aside a couple of days to play a 10,000 pt game, only for the guy bringing half our army to forget to turn up (or even buy it actually!). I worked a Warhammer World one summer whilst at Uni in Nottingham, doing  a lot of the construction work for the Dragonslayer Games Day board.

I think my fondest though is probably last year, when I attended Blog Wars with 3 mates from MAD Wargaming. We drove up to Stockport the night before and had an absolute blast drinking, playing Bloodbowl and Magic the Gathering before finally going to bed in the wee hours, dragging ourselves to the all you can eat breakfast and then having a great three games throughout the next day. Alex organises a great event (hear, hear- Mike) and I was really chuffed to not only finish in the top half, but actually beat an Eldar list with my Dark Eldar!
5. What are you working on right now?
Mainly Dusk Knights Space Marines. I've finally settled on a project that I'm happy to spend a lot of time painting, I already have a competitive Space Marine force, so these guys are getting my full attention to their paintwork. I'm also tinkering with some Tau bits for a game series at MAD Wargaming, adding a few things to my Iron Fists bikes and there's still lots of Dark Eldar to paint. Oh, and terrain of course, lots of terrain!
6. When you are not conquering the tabletop, what do you do?
For my sins, I'm a Planning Officer working in Local Government. I've recently dealt with a couple of pretty big applications for wind turbines and solar panels, which was rather stressful as you can imagine, whilst out of work I've got a very understanding wife and two lovely daughters (one has just turned 3, the other is 7 months old). No time really for any other hobbies, though I used to read a lot.
7. What would you say about your blog to someone who has never read it to draw them in?
It's colourful? I like to think my blog covers a wide range of topics, from reviews to modelling, painting, battle reports and tactics, so whatever your particular preference, I think there'll be something there you'll find interesting.
8. What is your favourite article that you have written?
I think rather than a single article I'm most proud of my army building series. I set out three areas of the hobby and have written a series of articles outlining my approach to each of them. It's still a work in progress but I think it's a great resource for anyone starting out in the hobby, and the later articles will hopefully even bring things to veteran gamers that they'd perhaps not thought of yet.
9. Which rule would you like to see changed or removed entirely?
Ooh, that's a real toughie since I really don't like to mess. I think if you really nailed me down though I'd probably go for something like Bladestorm- not the most controversial I know, but when I've played Eldar that's the thing that's niggled me the most, on a unit basis it's not that scary, but when you look at the whole army, it becomes obscene.
10. Which of your armies is your favourite?
In terms of paintjob, definitely my Dark Eldar. I think it's a really original scheme, using a colour you don't often find on the tabletop with lots of intricate details that really suit the style of the faction.

In performance terms, my Iron Fists bikes, they're wonderfully mobile and hit like a ton of bricks (even the scout bikers can do a lot of damage- they took out a squad of 8 flesh hounds for me in the last game with a mix of shooting and combat).

As for synergy, which is a topic I love talking about in terms of army selection, gotta be the Tau, the whole army is designed really cleverly to become more that the sum of its parts.
11. Secret wargamer or loud and proud?
Loud and proud these days. I've always like showing off my models but a few years back I decided that I was wasting valuable painting time during my lunchbreaks at work, so I started taking stuff in and painting at my desk- it's definitely increased my productivity!
12. Any hobby tips or cheats to share?
Nothing groundbreaking really, but if you've got models on the shelf you've not used for a while, check out what formations they can be taken in, you may be surprised by how effective they can become- I rarely now see a Tau army without stealth suits, and most of the marine lists at my club now use scouts in landspeeder storms because of the benefits formations have brought to them. Oh yeah, and magnetise!
13. Tournament or Casual?
Mainly casual, but I really enjoyed my last tournament experience and am planning a few forays this year, including running my own Charity event, Hero for a Day.

14. Nintendo or Sega?
Well I never had either (spent all my money on Skaven!) but I did enjoy going round to my mate's house and playing Streets of Rage 2 on his megadrive all night, so I'd have to say Sega.
15. Xbox or PlayStation?
I loved my PlayStation 3. Sadly, I now have neither the money nor the time to justify investing in a PlayStation 4- when would I get to build and paint models?
16. McDonalds or Burger King?
Ah, here's a question I've pondered much over the years during Uni lectures! I think my perfect fast food meal would be an XL Bacon Double Cheeseburger, with McDonalds fries and a KFC Kream Ball to finish.
17. Coke or Pepsi?
Ah, here's a question I've pondered much over the years during Uni lectures......And once again, the answer is 'it depends'. If it's ice cold, then Coke. If it's room temperature, then Pepsi.

Thanks to Nick for taking the time to answer my questions. It's interesting how many of us 40k-philes got our roots from the world of swords and fantasy.


  1. Nice series! Need to have some photos of the actual bloggers too...I finally wised up and changed all my profile pics to myself, as I'd go to events and walk right past fellow bloggers, because I didn't recognize their faces!

    1. Good idea Greg! I'll see if I can tempt some of the future entrants to leave the comfort of their hobby caves for a brief glimpse of sunshine and a get a photo.

  2. Another excellent article Mike! I'm really interested to see who else you've got lined up! Especially so that I can remove them from my blog roll if they give the wrong answer for sony Vs xbox ;)

    1. You'll just need to wait and see Rob, no spoilers on this site! Plus, as per Greg's suggestion above, if you want to send me a photo of yourself, I will add it to your article (I'll give you plenty of time to book the studio and get your glamour shots ready!).

    2. Yeah, you might enjoy might take next week rob ;)

  3. That guy sounds like a top bloke!
    Didn't realise until just now how boring I was being by having an actual photo of me as my G+ profile pic!

    1. I have my photo as my profile picture too, but I get added cool points as I am wearing a Batman costume.

  4. Another great article. I was lucky enough to meet Nick at blog wars and see his awesome dark elder army, really stunning and a top bloke to boot :)

    1. Cheers NafNaf. Even though I'm only two in, I'm really enjoying doing this series at the moment. I find it interesting to see what got everyone into 40k and their different motivations.

      I'll be in touch with you at some point in the future to showcase some of your awesome armies!

  5. I love those pin stripes on the Tau :-) Great article guys. One of the first models I painted was a clan rat, for a friend. He took the WH Fantasy bullet for me I think; I never got into it because I could live vicariously through his collection. The wisdom of warm Pepsi blew me away (room temperature in Sydney is often over 27 degrees Celsius); so true.

  6. Great to find out more about you Nick. One of my laments about running Blog Wars is that whilst it's intended to be a chance to meet other bloggers, I never actually get time to do that myself!