Thursday, 12 July 2018

Better Know a Blogger: Part 51- Aura of Dark Majesty

Better Know a Blogger is back, this time with another first. This week's highlight features Jon from Aura of Dark Majesty

Jon has actually appeared on the series before with his blog, Kaptain Von. He contacted me a few weeks ago to let me know about his new blogging venture, Aura of Dark Majesty. He now has the honour, nay, the privilege, nay, the audacity to appear on Better Know A Blogger once more!

Aura of Dark Majesty focuses on Jon's Age of Sigmar Vampire Counts army. After reading the first few blog posts, I was amazed at how similar our experiences were in collecting the army.

White Dwarf 211 was where it both started for us. This was the first issue of White Dwarf I ever bought. I had just started playing Warhammer and was collecting Orcs and Goblins. However, after seeing the fantastic new studio Undead army, I was sold. I immediately picked up a few boxed sets of skeletons and started a fledgling Undead army.

The second edition of Age of Sigmar has tempted Jon back into the game, with some great new releases for the Undead on the way. You can check out Jon's descent in the wonderfully named "How I learned to stop worrying and at least tolerate Age of Sigmar".

Here are Jon's answers to my questions:

1. What age did you get into gaming and what started it off?
Really young - about six or seven. A Fighting Fantasy choose-your-own-adventure book is one of the first things I remember reading on my own.

2. What was the first model you ever bought/painted?
Probably one of the plastic Orks from second edition Warhammer 40,000 - the Goffs with the swivelling pistol arm.

3. What is your favourite aspect of gaming?
Campaigns. I try to pursue the whole ‘compleat hobbyist’ thing and find something to enjoy everywhere, but I’m happiest when I’m thinking “OK, so what should happen next?” after a game.

4. Fondest memory in gaming?
Three sessions into a WFRP campaign, I skimmed my rulebook across the room in a fit of pique and said “f&!k it, here’s what happens”: one of my players laughed and said “good, it’s a proper Jon game now.”

5. What are you working on right now?
Wrapping up a Vampire: the Dark Ages game that’s run intermittently for six years - it’s been fun but it’s petering out and I want to give it a proper ending. Had something in mind for a while now. After that it’s painting up the new Nighthaunts for Age of Sigmar and waiting for fifth edition Vampire: the Masquerade to drop.

6. When you are not conquering the tabletop, what do you do?
I ghost-write other people’s blogs, believe it or not, and I’m probably going to do a PhD sooner or later - something about how games used to use death as a fail state but the best of them are using it as a storytelling or pacing device. I live in prime cycling and hiking territory, in the mountains of South Wales, but these days my joints are too knackered for a proper yomp.

7. What would you say about your blog to someone who has never read it to draw them in? 
It’s all a bit new: I’m still working it out! Loads of undead. Some meta. Reports! Maybe advice?

8. What is your favourite article that you have written?
The last one, and the next one. I love writing a lot more than I love having written, if that makes sense - once a piece is done it’s out of my hands, the author is dead, and it’s only the comments that keep it alive.

9. Which rule would you like to see changed or removed entirely?
Random charge ranges do my crust in, especially if shooting ranges are predictable and reliable. It’s a punishment for whichever forces or factions have to close the gap to start doing things and having fun. You’re shot up on the way in, of course, and then the dice decide if you’ll be back in the game or finished off at point blank range? Or a whole game turns because of one flukey long charge bringing axe to face earlier than anyone expected? Or a unit charges 17” this turn and stumbles 5” the next? It’s a horrible mechanic. Sooner it goes out of fashion the better.

10. Which of your armies is your favourite?



The Order of the Black Cross, my Vampire Counts. They’re my dudes, the army I played religiously when I was at school and uni. I had to sell them as a starving postgraduate student, and I still can’t believe I got them back.

11. Secret wargamer or loud and proud?
Somewhere in between. Everyone who knows me well knows I game, but I don’t go on about it. ‘s not shame, I just don’t think most people are that interested. That’s why I started the blog - gives me somewhere to go off.

12. Any hobby tips or cheats to share? 
Chap called Johan Huizinga wrote a book called Homo Ludens, and one of the concepts from that book is the ‘magic circle’. The idea is that games and their outcomes are magical and special - but also only mean anything to people who play them, who are ‘in the circle’ so to speak. So chill. Develop a sense of perspective. Nothing we do matters enough to stress yourself - or other people - out over it.

13. Tournament or Casual?
Pretty casual. I need some warmup and cooldown time either side of a game: tournaments doesn’t give me enough breathing room. But I’m not the biggest fan of pick-up games either - they sort of blur together unless I make a story out of them. I like leagues and campaigns - joined up games with a bit of beef to them, but without the pace or the pressure.

14. Nintendo or Sega? Xbox or Playstation?
PC gaming master race! That said, the PS4 has a couple of games I want to try, but not enough to shell out for a whole console and a telly...

15. McDonalds or Burger King? 
Burger King. Nothing quite like an XL bacon double che at the end of a crappy day. Besides, McNurgle’s gives me the trots. I’ve only eaten there about three times in my life and it’s ruined me for a day every time.

16. Coke or Pepsi?
Coke, but let’s not mess about. Red rum and ginger ale for me. Have one yourself while you’re up.

Thanks to Jon for taking the time to answer my questions. Be sure to check out Aura of Dark Majesty

If you have your own gaming blog and would like to take part in Better Know a Blogger, please get in contact at corrm83@gmail.com



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