Monday, 22 August 2016

Better Know A Blogger- Part 21: 256th Imperial Battle Group

This week's Better Know a Blogger features Steven Burden from the 256th Imperial Battle Group

Steven has been a long time reader and comment-er on my own blog, and I found his own blog after he started following St Andrews Wargaming. 

Steven's blog features a good mix of content to keep a reader entertained. You will find a number of editorials and opinion pieces on a variety of topics, such as Battlescribe, Super Heavy vehicles and creating armies

You will also find a lot of hobby progress and the occasional battle report as well.  

A great addition to the blog is the detailed background on his various 40k armies. This gives some great fluff for his armies and is well above what most players will devote to their game (I don't even name my units or characters, never mind come up with a history!). 

Here are Steven's answers to my questions:
Me with the bairns (the pink thing is the young lady's leg).

1. What age did you get into gaming and what started it off?
I don't remember the exact age I started playing but I was at senior school, so maybe 12 or 13. I remember the first time I saw a figure though, a friend of mine had brought in some RT Blood Angels that he'd bought at a car boot sale. I remember being hooked at first sight and from then on I was pretty much always dropped of at the local GW store whenever we had to go to town, much to the relief of my mum as well I think. I also remember the first time I really read the fluff, when I got the started box set, and I read it several times over, it was unlike anything else I had ever seen before.

2. What was the first model you ever bought/painted?
I remember getting the 2nd edition starter set, with Orks/Gretchin vs Marines. I can still picture standing in the back garden watching excitedly as my dad spray painted the figures, white for marines and black for Orks, just like the book told you. The Orks got the standard red and black treatment and the marines were painted as wolves, not that I suspect, looking at some of my Imperial Guard models I still have, that the standard of painting was very good. Unfortunately, over the years I was at uni and after when I wasn't playing they all disappeared, along with some metal long fangs, a Rhino and all my space crusade (including add-ons) and space hulk games.
Good old card Dread!

3. What is your favourite aspect of gaming?
Right now it's the fluff and modelling that keeps me going, as it's all I get time for. I have always loved the fluff and models, even when I wasn't playing at uni, I still kept an eye on things. I love playing, although right now I only have 3 other opponents who I can play, which can make it difficult to arrange games. Often I have whole campaigns going on in my head, based around what's going on in the game or even before, building up the fluff for my characters, who are all named of course! (good on you, Steve! I know very few people who do that these days- Mike)

4. Fondest memory in gaming?
Couple that spring to mind are taking down a 10 terminator thunder hammer squad with a 20 guard unit. I took down a couple as he moved up, but it all went wrong for him when he charged. I killed the lead termie with overwatch, causing him to fail his charge and the next turn I got Prescience off along with the Front rank fire, Second rank fire order and managed to kill 6 of the 7 remaining termies, when he charges in the next turn he couldn't handle all the attacks against him and was brought down. And all for no losses my side! (Got to love the Imperium's finest- Terminators that is- Mike)

The other moment that stands out was at my first tournament during my first game when a wraith lord wandered into my lines. I managed to get misfortune off and using two 20 blob squads, one Prescience-d and some orders managed to destroy it in just one turn of shooting, my opponent wasn't too happy. Unfortunately, I still lost as the other one took bloody vengeance and no matter what I tried I couldn’t kill the thing! 

5. What are you working on right now? 
Right now I'm trying to finish painting my Hjaltland light infantry guard army, which I'm hoping to have finished in the next few weeks, and starting to paint the Eagle Knights space marines, a BA successor, a bright orange and black scheme, but painting time is limited. 

I'm also trying to work out what I'm doing with my DA successors, the Dark Guardians, who will show up on the blog in the next couple of months. I've started on the bikes and termies, but I can't quite get everything I want in the list, so there's a little way to go before it's finalized.

6. When you are not conquering the tabletop, what do you do?
I'm a full time parent to two children, a 4 year old boy and 1 year old girl. Its not normally too bad, but with the current holidays it's a job and a half keeping the pair of them from killing each other! I also have another blog that I started recently, Dad@Home, although in reality it was this project that got me thinking about blogging in the first place, even though it was the last blog to be created. Its a bit of a miss mash of parenting, DIY, car and other stuff I find interesting. 

In addition, I'm renovating our new house, I've just finished the front room after re-plastering the chimney and fitting a new wood burner, along with a few other bits and am now rebuilding the young ladies room after taking down the old wall to expand the room slightly. Next up will be the shower room (that is some real hobby progress! Still, I'm sure you no have tons of packing material and scraps for making terrain!- Mike)
Wall now rebuilt, along with a new door frame and downlighters.

When I do get some time to myself I've got an old/classic car to play with/drive. My wife recently bought it for my birthday, although I think she's starting to regret that decision! She thinks its a bit of a mid-life crisis thing and a little boy racer-ish, but it takes me back to when use to own one when I first met my wife and then had to sell due to our new jobs a few years later.
MG ZS 180 V6

7. What would you say about your blog to someone who has never read it to draw them in?

The blog is basically my hobby outlet and whilst its very basic in terms of tactical advice and painting examples, its full of my random musings and thoughts on the current game and also lots of my modelling efforts. The whole point of my blog, apart from just being a hobby outlet for myself, was to be a bit of an everymans blog, not filled with exceptionally painted models and the like, but just simple paint schemes and minor model conversions. 

8. What is your favourite article that you have written?
I don't know if I have a favourite article, but a while ago I wrote a piece of fluff for the Emperors Disciples, which might not win any awards, was great fun to write. I keep meaning to write some more to go with the fluff of my armies. I also enjoy showing off my work, the ones I'm most proud of are my Eagle Knights Brotherhoods, the Brotherhood of the Eagles Talons and Hawk Brethren (found here). 
Two brothers.

Not a lot of conversion work but I like the overall effect and backstory, which I'm hoping to expand at some point. Hopefully I'll get around to painting them soon! 

9. Which rule would you like to see changed or removed entirely?
Um, there are a few to add here! The main ones though are; 

Marker lights, mostly in terms of cover saves. I can understand not getting armour/invun saves but I still think that cover saves should be granted.

Eldar D weapons are the other issue. I don't think that they should be taken out but they're far too cheap. The Eldar are a very advanced race and should have advanced weapons, like D weapons but I think they should have the be priced accordingly.

In addition I think that there needs to be a rebalancing of codices as some, namely Tau, Eldar and Necrons, are ridiculously over powered, namely due to some silly formation rules.

I also think the rules in general are getting very bloated these days, with all the supplements and add-ons and I'm hoping with 8th there will be a bit of streamlining of the special rules.

10. Which of your armies is your favourite?
My first love is the imperial guard, and specifically the catachans, harking back to my days as a weekend warrior, I think! While I don't play them as catachans but as either Hjaltland Infantry or Hrossey MechVets, pretty much all my guard models are catachans. After that it's the Eagle Knights BA successors, even if the Blood Angels seem like the forgotten love child of the emperor at the moment. I'm hoping for a nice Demi-Company formation soon, seeing as everyone else has got one!

11. Secret wargamer or loud and proud?
I guess more of a secret wargamer, if that's possible when you have a blog! My family all know but I tend not to really talk about it to people who don't already know I do it. I suppose that like most people I just never see a need to advertise it.

12. Any hobby tips or cheats to share?
Not really, mainly as I'm only a basic painter and modeller, plus I don't get a game very often, so my playing skills are average at best. The main thing far as I'm concerned is that the hobby is all about enjoying yourself, after all what's the point in partaking in a hobby that takes up your free time if you don't enjoy it? (hear, hear- Mike) Whether it's the fluff, modelling, painting or just playing, enjoy it, throw yourself into it and go with the flow. If you're not enjoying the hobby then it's worth taking a step back and having a break, give yourself some time to rediscover your passion and excitement. If that means a week off or a year out, it's worth it.

Also, a good model desk/area certainly makes life easier, something I currently lack! 
Current hobby desk, Jigsaws are not mine!

13. Tournament or Casual?
Mostly casual, as I enjoy the crack that goes with it, especially against regular opponents. Being able to create stories and campaigns in my head, is all part of the fun. I do enjoy tournaments, all the ones I've attended have been very enjoyable. I'm not a power gamer and I tend to make lists that are fluffy and fun and not tailored to a competitive environment, which is why I spend most of my time somewhere in the bottom half!

14. Nintendo or Sega?
Sega all the way. The only console I've ever owned was the Sega Dreamcast, bought new less than a week after release. Spent many happy hours playing away on it and even had a few online games, although running online games through a 512Mb dial up modem isn't anything like the current online gaming experience. Friends had N64's and Playstations, but I still preferred my Dreamcast and my uni days showed that I'm useless at Halo.

15. Xbox or Playstation?
I'm pretty useless at both systems, last Xbox I played on was the original one and I think I once played a PS3? 

16. McDonalds or Burger King? 
I'm a definite BK fan, not that there are any within a couple of hundred miles of me!

17. Coke or Pepsi?
Coke, no question, especially Cherry Coke! (Heresy! Cherry Coke is an abomination unto the Lord! What is it with all these people enjoying it?!?- Mike).

Thanks to Steve for answering my questions. Be sure to check out his blog and give it a follow.

I currently have no other participants lined up for Better Know a Blogger. If you would like to take part, please contact me at


  1. Love these articles...the guard unit taking out the terminators. I'd have cried.

    I did have a fun game vs a fellow who brought ONLY terminators vs my only walker army. That was a good time. (he won by 1 point with 1 figure remaining)

    1. Glad you enjoyed them Greg, but you may have to wait a while for the next one. No more volunteers at the moment, so no more lined up.

  2. Thanks for the article, its a shame there are no more lined up.

    Its strange, but the dad blog has had more hits that the 40k one! Almost doubling the total views in one day!

  3. Cherry Coke FTW! :D

    I should do some more fluff posts on my own blog. I've got a ton of it in my head for many of my Armies.