Monday, 4 July 2016

Better Know a Blogger- Part 14: The Path of an Outcast

This week's Better Know a Blogger features Pawel (AKA Swordmaster) from "The Path of an Outcast".

I first came across Swordmaster's blog when I was getting back into Warhammer Fantasy and was looking for some Vampire Counts battle reports to get hints and tips on how to expand my army. What I came across were some of the best Warhammer battle reports that I had seen online.

Anyone who enjoys my 40k battle reports has Swordmaster to thank for them. A quick look at his battle reports will show many similarities between his style and my current style, with his reports being a big influence on how I wanted mine to look on the blog. In fact, Swordmaster was the one who pointed me towards Battle Chronicler, the program that allows me to draw my maps for all my games.
His reports are well worth a read, even if you don't play fantasy. They include a run down of his army, a run down of the opponents army and comments on each unit and the threat they bring, maps for each turn and some after battle thoughts on how his army performed and what could be improved.
Swordmaster was an expert on the Multiple Small Unit (or MSU) approach to High Elves, competing in many Australian Fantasy tournaments and placing very well in most of these.

With the release of Age of Sigmar, Swordmaster has turned his attention towards Kings of War. This is a fantasy wargame from Mantic Games that has the bonus of having the basic rules and army lists free online. Pawel is trying to adapt his very successful MSU style of fighting over to Kings of War, and the battle reports and developments of his lists into the new system make for some interesting reading. I haven't had a chance to try Kings of War myself, but I hope to sometime in the future to see what all the fuss is about!
There is not a huge amount of hobby content on the blog, but that has been changing recently as Swordmaster has been detailing some of his attempts to create new scenic bases for his units for Kings of War; one of the key points of the game is that individual models are not removed from units during the game, but the whole unit is diminished and then removed at once. This allows players to model unit dioramas or have elaborate bases without having to worry about removing single figures.
I for one, would love to see more hobby and painting work from Swordmaster, as what you see in his painting tutorials and in his game photos shows an impressive looking army.

Here are Pawel's answers to my questions:

First of all I would like to thank you for the honor of being invited to contribute to the great “Better Know a Blogger” series. In particular that I don’t play 40k, that is the main focus of St-Andrews wargaming blog. Thanks a lot, I greatly appreciate it!

1. What age did you get into gaming and what started it off?
Me and my younger brother (also a blogger were always into some war games. It started with board games as these were available easy, but I think the real beginning was with Warhammer Fantasy 4th edition. He bought a starter set and it didn’t take long for me to follow. I was 19 back then.

2. What was the first model you ever bought/painted?
As we started collecting Elves, I tried to paint a plastic Archer from the box in order to learn how to paint. I remember I used probably every single color from the small amount of paints we had and it didn’t look well at all :D But I enjoyed it and kept painting and I guess I improved my skills a bit since then.
The first model I bought was Eltharion the Grim, beautiful metal miniature even today, when the quality of these is far better than it used to be!

3. What is your favourite aspect of gaming?
Surprisingly (especially considering the content of my blog) I like many varied aspects of the hobby for their own unique reasons. I like gaming for the chance to engage in a contest of mind-war and trying to outsmart my opponent. I like painting because the visual aspect of the hobby is very important for me and I enjoy this creative process.

I like a bit of modelling because it adds more personal touch in addition to painting. I like storytelling and that is why I like writing battle reports in a more narrative form. I found taking photos of the miniatures either for the purpose of showcasing the new painted model or for the new battle report also very intriguing, etc.

And I keep discovering that there is even more diversity to that hobby than I thought. There are still many things I haven’t tried yet. For example, I keep reading about campaigns and I think it would be simply great to take part in one. Especially combining multiple systems. On the other hand I keep dreaming about my own gaming table one day and that will require some terrain making! (I do love a good bit of terrain making!- Mike)

4. Fondest memory in gaming?
I think there are definitely a few. One of the earliest was when I fielded a fully painted army in some local tournament! Ending up 4th Overall at CanCon 2013 and qualifying for Australian Masters 2013 felt absolutely great. And having all these super nice opponents contacting me to have a game on Universal Battle, as I met fantastic people from all over the world there!

5. What are you working on right now?
Drakon Riders for Kings of War and some new bases with an excellent texture rolling pins from Green Stuff World (

6. When you are not conquering the tabletop, what do you do?
Professionally I am kind of this guy:

Not building weapons though :) I have been involved in the semiconductor lasers research for my entire career. Strangely, it didn’t push me towards 40k as the main gaming system (just as well, lasers are dead in 40k, it's all about grav now- Mike).

In terms of other activities I try to stay fit. I have done a lot of different things before but at the moment I really enjoy a form of circuit training, not yet at a crossfit level but getting there one day I hope. 

With time demanding activities I have less of it for reading but I always like a good book about ancient military history (may explain my fondness of battle reports), some fantasy or sci-fi for relaxing or some popular science to sate my curiosity about progress in the world.

7. What would you say about your blog to someone who has never read it to draw them in?
If you like battle reports and stories about battles that aim to be entertaining enough even for those who don’t play particular type of the game, then I would be very happy to offer a few of my own.

8. What is your favourite article that you have written?
That would be this monstrosity:

I spent a month or so writing it every evening, but I enjoyed it greatly. It is not yet Codex Astartes but I really liked to explain my approach to a certain style of wargaming that involves a lot of small units. I was very happy to be able to illustrate the examples with the help of maps from the real games I played.
I hope to write something like that again, this time for Kings of War, but at the moment I am collecting experience and learning the game. The main aim was and will be simply to share my experiences in a more structured way, with nice diagrams and real game examples.

9. Which of your armies is your favourite?
I am that type of player who plays with a single army almost exclusively. I played Elves in Warhammer, then in Warmaster and I am playing Elves now in Kings of War. When I played 40k (2nd edition mainly) I played Space Elves :) (you seem like a nice guy, Pawel, you don't want to play Eldar. Eldar are for people with no friends. Well, it doesn't start that way, but as soon as you start playing Eldar..........;) -Mike)

10. Secret wargamer or loud and proud?
 Probably somewhere in between. I like to share stories of my battles, so I have to go out and tell them! On the other hand I am a rather quiet person.

11. Any hobby tips or cheats to share?
Persistence pays off. It was persistence that helped me to keep the motivation to write the reports or to develop my chosen gaming style or to keep learning how to paint better.

Keep trying new things, learn from others but always aim for your own, personal touch, it will make whatever you do unique. Be it gaming, painting or modelling style.

12. Tournament or Casual?
I enjoy both aspects for their different reasons and experiences but at the moment I think I am more casual player. I do try to go for a tournament once in a while though.

13. Coke or Pepsi? 
Coffee! Any time, any place almost any quantity :)

Thanks to Swordmaster for taking the time to answer my questions. And thanks again for introducing me to Battle Chronicler, the blog would not be the same without it!

If you have your own blog and would like to take part in Better Know a Blogger, please contact me at . As you can see, it does not have to be 40k related to take part, and we can hopefully get you a few more readers and followers to showcase your awesome work.


  1. Thanks a lot, Mike! Thank you for having me and many kind words. I am very happy I could share my passion for battle reports and you definitely created your own, unique way of reporting fantastic 40k games.

    I do hope I will add more varied content to my blog and yours is a great inspiration in that regard too!

    Don't worry, I don't have plans to come back to Eldar, maybe if I wanted to paint something a bit different from fantasy flavor. :)


  2. Thanks Mike for sharing another new blogger! Pawel, it's great to see another engineer :-)

    1. Cheers, Joe! What's your field? :)

    2. sorry for the long delay there. I do embedded systems (hardware and firmware), mostly in the low power wireless areas.