Friday 30 December 2016

2016- A Year in Review

With 2016 drawing to a close, I thought that I would take a look at what has occurred in the last year, both in terms of my gaming/hobbying and for the blog itself. 

This has been quite a productive year for me in terms of my different armies for 40k. I have managed to get games in with most of my armies over the course of the year, with only my Vampire Counts suffering from a lack of games. 

My White Scars army certainly got the lions share of the gaming this year. They are really my tournament army, so I need a lot of practice with them for the various events that I attended this year. Back in August I actually completed all the models that I had for my White Scars, with almost 5000 points of Marines completed. I also re-based the entire army from a plain green base to a nicer brown base with static grass attached. 
I often get some nice compliments on the army whenever I go to different tournaments, which is always great to hear. They have performed pretty well for me over the last year and I will continue to use them and evolve the force. Right now, I have several Bike-mounted Librarians to paint up to add a Librarius Conclave to my force. 

This year, I have also started two new armies- the Deathwatch and Genestealers Cult. Regular readers will have seen the progress that I have been making on the Deathwatch, both in the painting aspect and the gaming aspects. I am really enjoying the army and hope to continue with it in the new year. 

The Genestealers Cult have not appeared on the pages of the blog yet. I have a ton of models bought and ready for assembly. At the moment, my focus has been on the Deathwatch, but the purple-skinned menace will be featured heavily on the blog next year, so keep an eye out for some interesting battle reports and hobby Sundays. 

2016 has been a great year for my hobby work too. Not only did I complete an army, I have been expanding my hobby skills this year as well. 

This year, I have continued with the magnetising of larger models to have multiple options, writing guides for both the Stormhawk Interceptor and Imperial Knight. 

Another new aspect of hobbying has been the striping of painted miniatures for re-painting. This allowed me to purchase cheaper models on ebay and re-purpose them for my existing armies, helping to build the forces further. 

The biggest change to my hobbying this year has been my attempts to improve my painting skills. For years, I have been viewing painting as a means to an end, simply to make a better looking army on the tabletop for my games. Most of my armies look pretty decent on the tabletop and I get a fair number of compliments at the local gaming club, but I have never tried pushing myself all that much.

With the start of my Deathwatch army, I decided to try and change this and have a go at some edge highlighting. I had never tried this technique before, preferring to highlight with simple drybrushing. For the Deathwatch, I wanted to try for a better looking army and to try and expand my skills. I have really been enjoying this foray into the unknown and I think I am on my way to making a good looking force on the table. It's not going to win me any "Best Army" awards, but I do think it is a step up from my usual forces.

This year, I have been able to complete the following models:
White Scars
5 Vanguard Veterans
9 Devastators
10 Assault Marines
10 Scouts
3 Tactical Marines
3 Bikers
6 Scout Bikers
Landspeeder Storm
Stormhawk Interceptor
Land Raider Crusader
Librarian on Bike
Re-basing most of my White Scars army

Re-basing most of my Ravenwing army

Drop Pod
30 Veterans
5 Bikers

Imperial Building
2 Forest Bases
40k Foamboard Tower
Two sets of 6 Objective Markers

Magnetising the Imperial Knight
3 Spirit Hosts
30 Zombies

Quite a good haul for 2016. Hopefully, I can continue in 2017 and get my Deathwatch and Genestealers Cult armies completed. 

This last year was also a bumper year on the gaming side. This year, I have managed to document around 55 battle reports. At just over one game a week, this is great as I know that many gamers struggle to get in a game a month. 

I was also able to attend five tournaments this year and Nick's fantastic Hero for a Day, 24 hour gaming event.
My best showing this year was at Stronghold V in Glasgow, where I placed second with my White Scars. I was really happy with this as I played 4 really tough games of 40k against some great opponents.

I was also sad to be leaving the fantastic Dundee Wargames club, who have provided some great games for my battle reports over the past year. Unfortunately, real life got in the way, but I am now in Newcastle with some great local clubs to attend and get some more games in over the next year.

I also completed my long running 40k map campaign, the Medusa IV campaign. This was a fantastic experience, with the campaign running for 11 months and featuring 18 players. If you are interested, check out my article on Frontline Gaming with some advice for running your own 40k campaign.

Hero for a Day was also a great experience. Not only did I get to hang out and play games all day with some fellow bloggers and new friends, I also got to help contribute to the great cause that Nick (the Burning Eye) raised a lot of money for.

I look forward to 2017 and getting lots of games in with my two new armies.

Games Workshop also had a fantastic year in 2016, in my opinion. They had some fantastic releases and have been engaging with the community in a way that would have been impossible to believe at the start of the year; active on social media, looking for FAQ questions and answering them in a timely fashion, putting out some amazing games that were a bargain for the models included.

On top of all of this, there were some great codexes and supplements released in 2016, some of which I reviewed on the blog.

Angels of Death was a nice bonus for Marines, giving them access to some great new formations, Relics and psychic powers for many of the Chapters in the game.

The Deathwatch and Genestealers Cult armies were ones I didn't think we would ever see. I had initially purchased both codexes to review them on the blog and then sell them on. However, I enjoyed both books so much that I was tempted to start both armies. The army design and ways they played seemed very different to anything currently available and I was keen to have a go with both of them.

I also purchased the Death From the Skies supplement, which was a bit of a let down. The idea was interesting, but added too much complexity to an already complex game. Some of the scenarios looked pretty good, but very few players own the number of flyers needed to make playing them possible. I think this was one supplement that was pretty much rejected by most 40k players.

I look forward to seeing the direction that GW take things in 2017.

2016 has also been a fantastic year for me and St Andrews Wargaming.

In the last year, I have hit over 300,000 views and over 100 followers. Thanks to everyone who follows and contributes to help make the blog what it is.

I have also had the great opportunity to write for Frontline Gaming, helping to contribute with army unit reviews and some comedy articles over the past few months.

2016 was also the first year that I featured Guest Posts on the blog. This was a great way for readers and other bloggers to share their content on the blog and I look forward to more great guest posts in the following year. If you would like to have your own gaming guest post on the blog, simply get in touch and we can sort something out.

I hope you have enjoyed a quick review of the last year. Next week, I will be taking a look at my hobby goals for the following year. 


  1. That's quite the list of completed hobby work. Pushing yourself with painting is great. I have been doing the same for the past few years, and the reward of it is awesome. It can be frustrating and aggravating for sure, especially when what you were doing previously worked, but the payoff is well worth the effort.

    Of course, grats on all the other work you've done this year as well.

    1. Cheers Thor. I think the Deathwatch are coming along really nicely, myself. I'll need to get a picture of the army together once I've completed the last couple of units.

  2. Great year, and I've loved your expanding White Scars, not as big as my Relictors... yet! Ha ha

    1. Cheers Siph! No more White Scars for me at the moment, got plenty of other armies to work on.

  3. 2016 was a busy year for year. Keep up the great work. As far as best painted goes keep at it. I pushed myself for best painted. Practice makes perfect.