Monday, 15 January 2018

Better Know A Blogger: Part 45- SDFnet 40k

This week's Better Know A Blogger features Steve from SDFnet 40k.

I first discovered Steve's blog when he started following my own. I tend to check someone's blogger profile when they follow me, so that I can see if they write their own blog or what blogs they follow.

Steve posts on a wide variety of subjects, including Battle reports, reviews, army builds and general musings on the state of the hobby. 

1. What age did you get into gaming and what started it off?
It’s hard to put a specific age on when I first became aware of miniatures/wargames, certainly pre-teen, maybe 9 or 10? I had 2 friends from school each of who owned games that I played a different game that I played at different times. I believe my first exposure to miniature games was Heroquest, I can’t be sure if the set they owned was incomplete or if I/we were just too young to play the game unsupervised but while I have distinct memories of setting up the board etc, I don’t remember playing it too much/the game capturing my imagination. The game I do recall really grabbing me was Space Crusade! The Sci-Fi version of Heroquest from MB Games, my imagination was captivated from the outset! I loved the models, the dividing walls, the setting… I was hooked and always wanted to play that game when I went round that kids house.

As time went on I picked up ad-hoc bits and pieces of 40k stuff but nothing coherent, I had a copy of 2nd edition 40k which the books got such a beating as I would take them to school in my bag and just read the wargear book etc. I also remember owning the old metal Ghazghkull model at one time. I inherited some Space Marine (epic… before it was called Epic 40k) stuff from my cousin at one point who out grew the hobby, I had Eldar stuff, my younger brother had the Imperial, we never really played Epic too much as my force consisted of a bunch old (old design) falcons and guardians, 1 phantom titan, and a small handful of other tanks, while the Imperial side had 2 Imperitor titans, 2-3 warhounds, a reaver 2 warhounds and something like 50 land raiders! So… a mix of my and my brother’s ages and the imbalance of armies meant we never played too much.

Anyone who’s read my blog will know how I go on and on about Necromunda, that game was and is very close to my heart, I also have a really old copy of Space Hulk, but the models are not the cool sculpted ones, they are the naff ones, I liked that game too! Unfortunately, as I aged through school, a mix of studies and social pressures caused me to drift from the hobby, a common story for wargamers.

2. What was the first model you ever bought/painted?
That’s easy, I remember it vividly as I’d very proudly saved up all my meagre pocket money, it was an old-school baby rhino with the round hatches. I still have it! I have stripped my original paint job since! I’m waiting for that one pride of place project to use it for. If Lion El’Johnson can ride in a Rhino when is model is released, that’ll be his ride!

3. What is your favourite aspect of gaming?
For me it’s painting. I openly acknowledge that I have a skill of a drunk baboon, but I find the process relaxing and engrossing. For me it’s the ultimate chill out. I play 40k, amongst other miniatures games and I enjoy that aspect, especially 8th edition 40k, but in honestly, I would still enjoy collecting and painting just as much where the models never played. My least favourite part of the process is building models! A necessary evil with the backlog of projects I’ve got, but one I resent as building takes time away from more enjoyable aspects of the hobby.

4. Fondest memory in gaming?
On the table top, I love those really cinematic moments, as an example, in one apocalypse game there was an epic moment where an Imperial Guard saw off a charging squad of Chaos Chosen at the cost of all but their Commissar. Not that we really expected any result, but I bullied my team mate, the Guard commander, into taking a pot shot with his puny Laspistol (that had no business doing anything to a veteran of 10,000 years of war) as he was just going to let the Chosen go. The shot landed and the Commissar delivered the Emperors justice to the cowardly traitor at which point all players erupted into shouts and cheers for the hero of the game! A few month’s back I produced some battle reports (hopefully more on their way!) whereby I applied a narrative description to the proceedings which I felt bought otherwise run of the mill games to life. In short, I can’t think of a favourite single moment, but am always open to the opportunity or something epic to happen!

5. What are you working on right now?
It feels like just about everything! A negative side effect of wargaming A.D.D. is there’s always a new exciting project pulling at your attention. It also doesn’t help that I have armies for just about every 40k faction except Tau and Sisters of Battle! Not to mention the other gaming systems I have diversified to! I was until recently making a concerted effort to get my Orks painted, but that somewhat fell behind until my motivation for the faction is reignited by the codex release or a particularly narrative YouTube batrep. At the time of writing, however, I have actually on my desk, some Kings of War Dwarves, some Rebs for Deadzone, the virtually assembled contents of a Dark Imperium set to bolster my Dark Angels and Death Guard, approximately 120 Catachans and a Baneblade that I received as a Christmas gift and has now motivated me to work more on my Guard!

6. When you are not conquering the tabletop, what do you do?
Employment wise I work in finance, low level admin stuff, nothing flashy, just a cog in the machine. For entertainment other than miniatures related activities, PC gaming, I love Diablo 3, Civ5, Dawn of War 1&2, Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO. I also like certain TV and films, TWD & GoT, the DC TV lineup, the Marvel film universe. Stuff like that. On rare occasions I’ve been known to exercise, but I try not to make a habit of it!

7. What would you say about your blog to someone who has never read it to draw them in?
A difficult question as I am my own worst critic! I have a relaxed friendly writing style where I aim to talk with you rather than just at you as the reader. I make stupid jokes, I poke fun, all good natured. I’m not a professional blogger, and in truth I don’t really have much to say that you couldn’t see or hear more concisely presented elsewhere, but if you want to read a post from a friend, something you can really get your teeth into (it’s not uncommon for me to top 10,000 words in a single post) from someone who has genuine passion for the hobby and who’s solitary agenda is sharing my interest from my perspective, and hoping you (as the reader) can find engagement in the hobby as I have… swing by, join or start a conversation!

8. What is your favourite article that you have written?
I can’t be trusted to rate my own work! As previously mentioned I’m incredibly self-deprecating! If I had to choose, I quite liked how I presented my BatReps, however in view-count terms my Asset Drop un-boxing have proven to be the most popular content. I have many plans for 2018 with lots of new and diverse content, so all being well there should be a lot more appearing on the blog going forward.

9. Which rule would you like to see changed or removed entirely?
Where I to have responded to this questionnaire a year ago during the dark days of 7th edition I could have provided you a laundry list as long as your arm. 8th edition isn’t perfect but credit where it’s due, it’s night and day better than its predecessor. If I had to pick something from 8th, a broad mechanic rather then nit-picking, I’d probably say better terrain/fortification rules. Either I own or have access in my family to a whole table’s worth of Wall of Martyrs fortifications and buildings, void shield generators, plasma obliterators, about 6 aegis defence lines and perhaps 2 bastions? The point being, I enjoyed that aspect of the game, and the more simplistic rules of 8th do no seem to support these kits any more. I know there are rules, but they don’t feel like a core mechanic. Terrain has 2 states of being and function in my experience to date, LoS blocking or worthless.

10. Which of your armies is your favourite?
Do you promise you won’t tell the others if I pick just one?! It’s honestly hard to say, I love the fluff of so many armies, from the novels or just the looming threat they represent in abstract such as Necron or Nids. As mentioned I basically collect something from everything except Tau. I’ve an enduring passion for Eldar, specifically Alaitoc. I’m currently working on a big army workup post for them as I respond to this questionnaire. My space elves haven’t seen much table time in the past two additions as they have just been too powerful, it’s taken the fun out of the game, the 8th edition rules have very much balanced that problem on a whole I’m pleased to say. If not Eldar, it would probably have to be Dark Angels, they are certainly my biggest single Imperial force at approximately 15,000 points. But then there’s Orks! Who doesn’t love Orks?

11. Secret wargamer or loud and proud?
I would say probably secret, but that’s mainly as I’ve already ascertained who in my acquaintance circle is/isn’t interested. To save the hostility I’ve seen from some people towards the hobby etc I just keep my business as my own and they can have their fun in their way.

12. Any hobby tips or cheats to share?
As someone who is regrettably mostly devoid of talent for hobby stuff (painting/modelling skills/ tactical acumen) I would say the best tip that someone else hasn’t already or could advise better is these: in my experience, not all superglue is equal, there are many who extol the virtues of buying from bargin stores, others swear by expensive brands. I’m not saying who is wrong or right, I’ve tried virtually off of them and in my experience the best glue I’ve found for adhesion/bond strength/value is Army Painter. However, their dispenser is imprecise and gets blocked constantly. When I open a new pot, I simply put one of these caps in place and bluetac around the base to hold it/form an air seal and I have the control with none of the issues. If the cap gets blocked I can simply replace it! Between uses another bit of bluetac at the nib seems to form a good enough seal to prevent any short term drying out (I can’t guarantee it’ll last years!)

13. Tournament or Casual?
Casual – I don’t have a competitive bone in my body!

14. Nintendo or Sega?
Neither! I’ve never owned a console for either! If I had to choose I’d be Sega, but that’s because they now own the Dawn of War franchise and perhaps by showing them favoratism over their old rivals they might not break the games I like!

15. Xbox or Playstation?
PC – sorry consoles just aren’t my thing! My brain can’t work the controllers! You can find me on Steam playing Civ/Sins of a Solar Empire/Dawn of War/Warframe, or Battlenet Diablo 3. I’ve served my years in the MMO world, Vanilla WoW – Cataclysm but I’m somewhat burned out of MMORPGs now, with the exception of SWTOR, but I play that as an RPG, not an MMO.

16. McDonalds or Burger King?
Burger King – Bacon Double Cheeseburger… XL (because why wouldn’t you)

17. Coke or Pepsi?
Diet coke, unless they bring back Pepsi Cino – but that seems to have disappeared for good.

Thanks to Steve for taking the time to answer my questions. You can find him on twitter (@sdfnet40k) and on his blog, SDFnet 40k.

If you have a gaming blog and would like to take part in Better Know A Blogger, email me at


  1. Nice to see another blogger out there! You must put a lot of work into those articles you write; there is tons of text!

    I haven't seen SDFnet 40k on any of the blog exchanges though. Are you on the one on Natfka? I get a big portion of my hits from there and it really helps to link in with the community.

    1. Yeah, Natfka is a great sight for finding new blogs and drawing in readers.

    2. To be honest, i didn't know there was such a thing as blog exchanges! I'm hopeless at self promotion, which probably accounts for my readership levels!

    3. Yeah, it'll really help your number of hits out, especially in the beginning. I get the bulk of mine from Google now, but most of the hits I get for new articles I post come through Natfka. It also helps other bloggers find you, which in turn leads to comments and inclusion in the community, so basically all the good things!

      My other big tip is the make sure the titles of your articles are something someone might Google. Some of my more popular articles are things like "How to paint Khorne Bloodbound" and most of the hits are from Google. If I'd called it "painting the big red chaos dudes" I wouldn't get a single hit.