Sunday, 3 December 2017

This was the long Goodbye

"This is the long goodbye, somebody tell me why....."

Blah blah blah. Thanks Ronan for the blog title :D

Several months ago I did a blog with a similar title, it made everyone think I was quitting until they actually read the blog. I got a lot of sighs of relief once they had read it and realised I wasn't.

This time, I am.

Like, legit.


A good friend said to me recently that I am not active enough in my blog posts on here, and I need to drum more content into it. And in essence, he was correct.

But it got me thinking. Not just about the blog, but all of the different media outlets I use for my hobby.

And I realised, sitting down and writing a blog just is not me. I don't enjoy it and it isn't time efficient. Nor does it create the response I am looking for.

To top it off, I am in the process of reshaping and defining what An Empire Fallen is, and the way it is portrayed. I am not quite ready yet to reveal the new plans, but they are coming.

Between Facebook and youtube, along with a currently dormant Istagram that I plan to revitalise, and a website that is in the process of being built for AEF, I have decided that I just don't have time nor the need for this space as well.

<insert tears here>

Okay, so of what I can share, what can you expect going into 2018.

Facebook will continue to grow as a standard page platform. I expect little to no changes here.

Youtube will hopefully see a growth in battle reports as I free up time for more games.
I will also be introducing something called a "Paintisode", based off the old videos MrMalorian used to make back in the far ago days of WHFB. Basically, it is 45minutes to an hour or me rambling on whilst painting.......hhmmm how many headaches can I cause? lol

Instagram will be revitalised, showcasing the works I do for both myself and my commission work.

And the website, well, thats a secret to stay tuned for.

Anyways, that was a very skeleton style blog without any real flair, as I am yet again on the run with no time to beef it out......who wants meat anyways right?

Thanks to everyone over the past two years who have followed me here. The blog will remain live for the indefinate furture, and who knows, maybe one day I will pick up the long winded written rants that is me again.....or maybe I will save everyone from migraines!

See you on the other side!!!

Stay in touch:

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Yes, I can kill Plants Too....

Little known fact. If you don't water plants, they die. If they don't get the right amount of sunlight, they die. If they are in the wrong growing conditions, they die. Did you know that?

If you could now please turn your attention to the following picture:

This my friends, is a miniature bamboo. Bamboo plants, again if you were not aware, are very hardy specimens.
For a long time, this bamboo was healthy and thriving, and loving life. Then all of a sudden, it just started dying. For no apparent reason. Try as I might, I cannot get it back to life. (Seriously though, if anyone has any ideas please let me know, I love this plant).

This bamboo plant is The 9th Age. Well, no, actually it's just a bamboo plant.
But it's current state is my observation coupled with opinion of where things stand.

Before you turn away, before you starting slamming that keyboard with angry comments, and before you tie me to the back of your undead chariot and drag me through the dirt, please take a moment to continue to read, and understand that this is NOT a rant. This is NOT a venom surge of poison aimed at the community. I just hope that this is the water of life we need.


I spoke recently to a close friend. This (you know who you are) person's thoughts on the gaming community, and wisdom on life, I hold more highly then most (No, I am not about to go build a golden idol of him and bow to it, fuck, what did you think this is, a cult or something?????)
He said something to me along the lines of this:
         "T9A in NZ is sitting on the very unpleasant edge of a cliff. It would not take much for it to       topple over. May it be growth in the AoS community, or KoW just pulling their socks up a little bit. Either, will be the balance change that would push T9A off into oblivion"
Not exactly what he said, but you get the point. And he is right.

We have seen little growth. Maybe a new player into the scene every 2-3 months. And no I am not just talking about in my own little scene. I am talking about the community as a whole. No I am not just talking about attending tournaments (do not get me started on that issue), but from watching not just the interaction online of NZ players, but how many of them decide just to press the goddamn "Join" button on the Facebook Group to be apart of the main social platform for the game in this country.

And guess whose fault it is? No, its not the trolls in the forums spreading their poison. No, it is not the Executive Board who blatantly disagrees with every who puts up a post on the forum with even constructive criticism.

The blame, is yours.

Well, its just as much mine, but today I want to play the blame game.

You stopped watering the plant.

I have watched so much as people in the community put up their hands saying I want to do this. And then never do. Or start to, and just let it fall flat. Or people in the community who have the ability to do things to grow the community, but just chose not to.

Guess what people, wake up. Its not the T9A Exec board's responsibility to come off their high horses and do it. It isn't the job of your club board to do so. Hell its not just the responsibility of the leaders in your gaming community to do so.

If you want to see the game grow, If you want to see more players, new players, then just water that goddamn plant. Take the finger out of the arse and do something.

And yes, I know right now you are probably sitting behind the screen thinking "thank God he isn't talking about me". Well guess what, you are absolutely wrong.

We took it upon ourselves to become part of this community and to play this game (and no, I do not want any "Its just a game, don't take it so seriously" comments, because that's just an excuse for lack of motivation). We don't get something without giving something. That doesn't happen. That is not how life works.
We got a community, and it is our responsibility to continue to put back into that community. It's our obligation. Not just the higher powers role, but everyone's.
You don't just get a plant, put it in a pot, and expect it to live into eternity. You have to give back to it, to feed it and grow it. Unless you got a fake plant, in which case I openly judge you for it.

I can tell you openly and honestly, that if we do not start seeing changing in the motivation of this community, we will wither and die. THIS IS FACT.
I also know for myself in person, I cannot keep carrying the torch when so few others are even willing to raise a hand.

And now comes my favourite excuses: I work. I have a family. I have study.
Okay, sarcasm and shit aside, I actually respect that far more then you are currently thinking I do.
But it doesn't take much........bring out the trumpets please.....
I work 40-50 hours a week for an employer. I own and run a business that takes up another 30-40 hours of my week. I have family and friends too.
But I am still here, running with an ever dying torch, because it is just as much my responsibility as everyone elses, to grow this community.

Now that thought is running through your mind as you angrilly reach for the keyboard to write.."You want to grow the community yet you write such a negative and harsh blogpost about the community we already have, you fucking asshole"....
Yes. And you are right. I am a fucking asshole. And thank God for that. Why? Because someone has to be. Someone has to be willing to say what needs to be said in the interest of progression. Otherwise we may as well just be the T9A Exec Board walking around with blindfolds on and washing our hands clean of it all.

I want to see a continually growing and thriving bamboo plant on my bookcase. And I want to see our community do the same. But I am really, really out of ideas anymore people on how to push you to build this community. I really am. And it's the appalling lackluster of people in the community, that is slowly taking away my love for this community.

Warbanner is in a few weeks, and I cannot wait.
Invitationals are following, should I get there.
I have demos I am working on getting booked in at my local hobby store over the next little while, which will be awesome fun.
And I am still sitting on the fence regarding my application to ETC18 (for other reasons).
There, I even gave you a mini hobby update....I am good at multitasking.

Well guys, if you read all the way through this and didn't get distracted by a shiny tumbleweed passing your window halfway through, I thank you. Regardless of whether it was because you saw reason in my words, or wanted to have the full capability to destroy me from behind a screen, I thankyou.

And I do humbly thank the few in our community who have taken up torches with me to try and drive this, without you, none of what we have accomplished these past two years would have happened, and you have done an amazing job. I truely look forward to working with you in the future, well, that is if you still talk to me after reading this blog post and don't ban me from your dinner table.

I hope, in my own way, I have hit home to at least one person out there. If not, then thankyou to the Internet for giving me a place to leaving writing on the wall that no one pays attention to until it is too late.

And with that,

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Tournament: Sheep of the Dark Ages?

As you now know, I recently attended my first tournament for this year, Panzershrek.
It was a fantastic event and a lot of fun, and it was great to get back onto the competitive scene.

The tournament was run as a generic tournament template, and its new TO did a fantastic job of it. However across the weekend, and later, him and I discussed how sportsmanship and paint scores effect the scoring, and if there is both an easier and more efficient way of doing it. This then got me thinking.....

The standardisation of Ninth Age tournaments (along with many other platforms competed in its like), run a scoring of Best Paint and Best Sports. Both of these are then calculated into percentages, added to the battle points, to give you the positions of Best Overall. Most events do not have a separate award for purely Best General based on battle points, so the impact of your sportsmanship and your painting skill effects how you will place.
You may be the top scoring player in an event when it comes to battle points, but maybe your ability to paint is terrible, or is not the reason you are in this hobby, and because of this, your placing in the event can be effected.

Alongside of this, apart from knowing what time you need to be at the venue, player packs have become almost copycat pieces of paper that do not require any attention. I say this, as apart from the randomisation of what game type is played in each game (something I no longer pay attention to until just before the game itself), there is no difference between them.

In a sense, I feel as tournament goers and tournament organisers, we have become stagnant.

Have we become sheep? Has creativity in ideas become unwanted? Are we sitting in the Dark Ages of tournaments? Have we given up looking into the progression of how to evolve events?

Four years ago when I set out to establish Warbanner, which in its first year saw only 6 players, I opted to aim for difference. Every tournament in the country, and almost across the world, was using the standardised 20-0 system for Warhammer Fantasy.
However, a major USA event called Brawler Bash, was using a different scoring system called Carnage. This system threw out the 20-0 scoring, based your tournament points on your victory points per game, and the end results were not effected by sports and paint. It also utilised very creative and different scenarios, which were designed by the TO to force players to think differently.
Although in its first year this was frowned upon, and the second it was somewhat questioned, by adopting this style of tournament, Warbanner was able to create a major point of difference in the tournament scene.

Okay, so now you are sitting there thinking, "Oh so he thinks the tournament he runs is better then the others?" "This is just pride and vanity talking".

The answer, is no.

Warbanner's design was a needed stepping stone away from standardisation, and to hope move stagnant waters. But it is not perfect, and as each year goes on, I work hard to tweak and amend its systems and style to better create the event.

What I am saying, is for tournament play to progress, we need more creatively designed events.
I am not saying that every event needs to move away from the 20-0 out of the book style format. That still has an integral part in the tournament scene.
What I am seeing is that we do need to see change.

When a great painter but poor player gets ranked higher then a slightly better player because he has been painting for 10 years and the other player on a matter of months, there is an issue.
When a player amicably questions or disputes a rule issue, and is right, but gets knocked down in placings due to a poor sports score by his opponent, there is an issue.
When the venue time is all that really matters in every single player pack, there is an issue.

Do I have the answers? Absolutely not. I wish I did. Warbanner for me was the start of change, but by no means, the end all.
For real change, it requires those who wish to see the evolution of the tournament scene take the time and energy to work to develop new systems in how they run events.

My intention is to run a new Napier event alongside Warbanner. This event is yet to be named and will likely be held at the end of next year's April holidays. Although I have no idea as of yet how to break the tournament wheel with something else that is different yet competitive, I aim to work tiresly to do so.

I know this blog may annoy some competitors, and in particular, tournament organisers.
But I also know that change does not occur without the ruffling of feathers.

Until next time,

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Hobby Update July'17: Let's Roll

It seems like forever ago already since Panzershrek, yet this time last week I was being dragged down to the Irish Pub just a block from our Palmerston North accommodation. So much has happened since then, both in the business world and the plastic world.

But we are only here to talk about Plasti-crack.....

Since leaving Palmy, things have gotten really full on on the painting table.
I have picked up another commission, well, sort of the end of an old commission so to speak. My tournament partner has decided that it is time his frozen Ogre Khans collection was complete, not just as a single army but in a way that he can take anything off the shelf and put it on the table, and it is painted.
So to kick it off, I have 45 gnoblars to paint with stand out unit fillers. How do we make frozen gnoblars? Well, really they are Eskimos, though politically correct we must call them Inuits, like it is politically correct to call these miniatures cave goblins, but really they are gnoblars......#mindblown
I have also picked up a secret little project that involves a High Elf, an Orc and a Beastmen (no this is not a poor reenactment of the Three Hunters of Middle Earth!).
This little side project has me excited, as it will allow me to explore more techniques, and increase my experience on freehand.
To top it off, my Empire have returned to the painting table (Sound the horns, beat the drums!), as I get working on the army of the Queen of Promissa Terra. As many of you may know, I started this collection back in WHFB, but never really got far with painting it, minus a little bit here and there. It follows in the paint style of the old Altdorf of WHFB, but will not be designed around the typical war-stricken fantasy army.
I am looking forward to posting photos of these many works in progress.

The local scene is about to light up again, as I have opened registrations for the 3rd year running of the Hawkes Bay Regional Championship! This year 9th Age is back in the event as the main stay, and we are working towards involving Flames of War too!
However on the 9th side, it runs as a 3000 pt open list event, with a few list restrictions over the course of five weeks. The first four weeks see you face off in heats against 4 randomly selected opponents. Following this, in a one night event, the top 4 face off in a single death match semi final, followed directly by a death match final! It's intense!
For the past two years, my Empire have succeeded in taking second place. Let us see if this year is their year to shine!

Although I do not wish to go into too much detail on this, I have also opened up registrations for the 4th annual WarBanner event, a multi-platform event held on the 14/15 October.
This year sees the return of Flames of War, who joined the event for the first time last year, The 9th Age, which has became the fantasy tournament after we switched it from WHFB, along with a newcomer, Napoleonics.
As per usual, I am really excited for the weekend, and am working hard to make it as stand out of an event as possible. For more details or to register for any of these tournaments (or the HBRC above), email

On a final note, before I put the keyboard to rest tonight and get myself lost in reading the mystery that Elon Musk is, it is time to touch on something that I have promised many times before....

.....I am starting a YouTube channel.....

Previously, although inspired, the motivated lacked for me when it came down to the crunch of doing it. Maybe not only that, but a mix of self consciousnesses and perfectionism got in the way.
Recently, I gave a good friend some advice on a written battle report he had created, and pushed him to do them as videos for various reasons. This got us talking further, which reignited my interest in doing it myself.
I have now lined up with him a very awesome and special series of videos that we will be doing post ETC, which gives me the inspiration to commit more.
However, I feel a lot of it will come down to what the community wants. It is all good and well to put in the effort to do this, but is wasted if people do not want it.
So, what would you wish to see? Battle reports from a known NZ player/tournament goer? Pantisodes as the troll-king Malorian once called them, bring a space of addressing recent topics whilst painting? Interviews with NZ and world recognised players? Tactica and Paint tutorials? What would grab your interest? What would make you watch? We all know it has to be a little more then just my good looks and charm right........okay, stomach hurts from too much laughing now.
But please, have your say in the comments! I really want to know.

With that said, it is time to get these weary eyes away from the screen and to the pages.

Until next time, Peace!

Sunday, 16 July 2017

From Last Place to Podium: Three Years at Panzershrek

They were warned. The were told to run. The Blood Hunt returned, and boy were they hungry....

This past weekend saw the annual Panzershrek tournament, a FoW and T9A event in Palmerston North.

My tournament travel partner and best friend, who also turns out to be the guy who manages to get me to drink faaaar too much over tournament weekend, decided it was time to get back onto the scene, after having nine months off after Invitationals at the end of last year.

So, going to a tournament, what does this mean? Well, it means cramming in some last minute painting! I managed to get the paintbrush down at 8pm on the Friday night, after sitting down and doing a solid nine hour stint of painting to complete a few unfinished models, and paint from scratch my beautiful new Gortach model from Mierce Miniatures.

So, with the Blood Hunt packed and ready, and the roads thankfully open, Saturday morning we hit the tournament scene once again...

My first game I had dubbed prior as likely to be the most enjoyable game I have all weekend. My opponent, a very talented player and painter, was the last person I played on tournament, handing me a crushing defeat at Invitationals which cost me the podium. It seemed only fitting to come back to the scene and face him again!
He didn't make it easy though did he. His MSU style Sauian Ancients are got a little "race-confused", dancing around my army and running away like pesky wood elves. I remember at one point in the game looking at the board and couldnt believe how much of a cluster-fucked mess board the table was, with no clear vision of who was where.....everything was just so spread out.
This game landed me a 16-4, and as I had assumed prior to the game, was the most enjoyment I had all weekend. My opponent isn't just an awesome player, but a real good guy to throw dice around with.

Landing on table two, I was up against my first ever T9A tournament opponent, and his flying circus of chicken...okay okay, Highborn Elves. Although confident I could secure a victory in this game, the idea of double phoenix and double sky sloop running circles around me, was a concern going in. I mean, the Blood Hunt is fast, but these Elves had their share of Red Bull, as they had wings!
So with some fast moving up turn one, and punishing magic rolls, by turn two we could see where the game was heading. I think had it not been so early in the game we would have just called it there, however finding things to do for 3 hours waiting on the next game, would have been boring.
I took out a 20/0 victory in this game. My opponent is a great young player, with a real obvious thirst to learn as much as he can, both in battlefield tactics and in hobby, and I really hope I was able to pass on a few tips to him.

Sitting at 36/40 points going into the final game of the day, I was on table one against my arch-rival (yep, you have claimed that title now 😛), a player who takes out just about every event he goes to, and whom I have yet to defeat.
Going in there with confidence that I could beat him, even just slightly, held my play together for a while. Up until the start of turn four, it was still easily anyone's game. However, the long march to get to the stunty dwarfs hiding in their corner bore down on my herds, and thinks quickly fell apart after that.
I walked away from this game crushed 1/19, and was ready to settle for a mid pack placing.
We had dinner and beers with my opponent again, and as per usual, he was more then willing to share ideas on some really out there but quite effective list ideas for different armies....looks like my Blood Hunt will be getting a few new units added....and all of them centaurs.....

After my defeat game three, Sunday morning saw my hangover up against my favourite Sylvan Elves player. You have to realise, that games one, three and four, were against three of the top players in the country, and although I have played a lot of tournaments, I have never faced a collaboration of them all.
Going into this game, I knew it would be hard, as although my ETC team opponent's list did not look hard on paper, it had one secret weapon that would tear my army to pieces. But turn two saw tragedy strike my opponent, in what was the biggest upset game of the weekend, as my two-wound remaining Gortach failed a frenzy check, charging his lord's unit of sisters, who failed to add to my wounds with their stand and shoot. Adding salt to the wound, the strength 6 or 7, 5 or  6 attacks lord, flubbed. The sisters managed to get one more wound off, and then the Gortach went to town. At this moment of horror, my opponent accepted that the game wasn't to end his way, and I left the table sitting on 55/80pts, taking a 18/2 victory against the chicken.
My opponent in this game is a really great guy, and that loss was crushing. Although I still currently stand as one of two players he has never beaten, the games I play against him are usually some of the most hands on intense games, and I love it. Another fantastic opponent!

Heading into game five I knew I was sitting first equal to the player who crushed me at the end of Saturday, and needed to score well. But of course, my opponent ad best friend, wasn't going to make that easy for me!
Taking on his ogres once again, I went into the game with the confidence that he had never beaten my Blood Hunt, a confidence that quickly dissipated into nothing as my first three turns saw my army collapse and perish to immense shooting. After a quick smoke and accepting my fate, I returned to the table to face the Khan's Judgement.
And that was when the game turned....
With major failed charges, and his inability to roll high to pursue, his army was left extremely vulnerable. I was able to take out the remainder of his army with just a wounded Gortach, my general and bsb, and a lone razortusk that had done nothing all game, and swung the game back to a 20/0 victory.

Panzershrek '17 was yet another great weekend that just went way too fast, and our TO, did an amazing job running the tournament for the first time. Everyone had an absolute blast.
And then this happened...
Not only was I able to take best painted two years in a row at Panzershrek, with last year's being the last time I took a tournament paint award (I @BlametheDice......get it slishy? #insidejokes), but I was able to not only podium after nine months off the scene, but take the gold!!!!
It was interesting reflecting back on Panzershrek over the years. in 2015, I remember walking away gutted with a last place result, and last year sitting comfortable with mid-pack. To turn my original last place to a gold result seemed quite fitting.

There are a lot of things in the works, and I will be sure to do a Hobby update very very soon, but until then, some eye candy for you of what was apparently the best painted army 😝


Saturday, 10 June 2017

Saying Goodbye and Looking Ahead

Well, that title sounds frighteningly sad. I bet you are all sitting there thinking, how can AEF truely be leaving us? What's happened? How on earth can this be true? What would make him say goodbye to wargaming and leave it all behind??

Well my friends, the answer is quite simple: nothing!
I'm not going anywhere, but I sure as hell got your attention!

However, over the past few weeks I have had to say a few goodbyes. Firstly, I watched as my Tau collection was packaged and shipped to a new and happy owner. This was my final tie to the 40k World, a place which I am unsure if I will go to again, and most definitely not anytime soon.
But the hardest of all, was saying farewell to a collection that was very dear to me...

Twelve years ago, when my uncle drew my attention to the world of miniatures and wargaming, I spent hours rereading the same two white dwarf magazines he had. And one army in particular grabbed my interest of all three Games Workshop worlds. Not only that, my Space Marine loving uncle then went on to buy me my first miniatures from the range. And so, my mighty Dwarf throng begun.

Not only was this collection what got me into wargaming as a whole, a collection I spent many a thousand on and plenty of hours with a brush, but it was also my first tournament army, and the collection that opened my gateway into commission painting. It held the most sentimental value of all the miniatures I have ever owned.

So why say goodbye? Times change. Over the past few months I have gone through a walk of understanding and letting go of sentimental value on all materialist items, and this was the final step in the journey. Since the beginning of 9th Age, my Dwarfs have stayed on the shelf, as my interest in their game mechanics under the rules of the game were not there. I did not like it nor enjoy it in the way I once did. Not only this, but dusty spaces have other priorities to be filled by. And to crate space for new major projects, I needed to clear this place. So alas my stumpy friends, I do bid you a dear farewell, and I hope your new home is one where you will be enjoyed.

*sniffles sniffles* Oh, a tissue? Why thankyou, you shouldn't have....

Okay okay, enough sarcastic sentimental shit. It's getting depressing. Let us look at what is next.....

Firstly, it dawned on me today as I poured probably the hundredth coffee for the day (for perspective, I have only been at work about an hour and half at this point), that Panzersheik is just over a month away! That is crazy!
I pulled out of NiCon this year due to work pressure, meaning that Panzer will be my first tournament back this year, and I have a tonne of catching up to do if I even want a chance of sneaking into Invitationals at year's end! With this in mind, it is time for me to start playtesting a few list ideas I have had up my sleeve, and whipping into shape those extra miniatures needed. As it stands, it looks as though the Beast Herds will be making the tables again, as I attempt to retain my much coveted crown as the top BH player in the country.

On the line of tournaments and events, the WarBanner 4.0 player pack has been released and registrations are open, with the first applicants pouring in! This is fantastic, and I am really looking forward to seeing my baby run in its fourth year.
Alongside this, its drawing close to the time for the annual Hawkes Bay Regional Championship to run for another year, with more information coming very soon!

Well, it is now 8.26pm, and old age seems to be kicking in, and it is time for me to find some much needed beauty sleep.

Until next time my children of darkness....


Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Hobby Update April '17: I'm back bitches!

Dusk settled across the expanse of the great city, shadows darkening as the air chilled over the streets below. Watching from atop the vast walls, all seemed in bliss, as marketeers closed, mothers rushed children into the warm of their hearth, and dogs barked at imaginary life in the shadows. All seemed to be well, all seemed at peace.

But it's in the quiet, that all stories stir....

Miss me?

It has been yet again a long time since I have found the time to attend my blog, and now I wonder if my followers may have found better writers and are too busy pouring over their words written to the screen, to notice the stirring. The stirring that represets the return of An Empire Fallen.

As I have mentioned prior, this year has to this point been an extremely full on one, and coupled with hobby burnout, I have well avoided the tables, both for dice rolling and paint splattering. Hobby updates have been left unnoticed, and my presence has been absent from tournaments (which I am sure everyone was happy not to see the Blood Hunt on the tables!).

But this vacation from the reality of my second love (with coffee being my first) has come to an end, and I intend to return.

So firstly, what is hitting my painting table? Well, amongst the boxes and mess that is my unpacked office/studio, I have managed to find space to set out my Empire of Sonnstahl models. After a lot of repair work on many of the miniatures, I have finally started making work on giving them some much required painting. As the only army that I own that I have not finished painting a single model for (even though it is probably my second largest collection) I decided that it was time.
This collection will be adorn in the colours of Altdorf, a city-state from the history of another tabletop game. This red and blue painted force will not however be led by an Emperor, but by a Queen, and I am sure will open my mind to many more tales to be written.
I am starting off by painting a unit of Handgunners, a unit of Demigryphs (or whatever they are called now), an OOP volley gun and a Wizard of Pyromancy. The reasoning behind these choices will become apparent latter.

Alongside this, I am starting work to compete in the diorama section of the T9A NZ Autumn Paint comp. Although I will not share my creation plans until it is complete, I can tell you that it is also set in a Empire city-state, and I would not like to be the guy on the other end of the barrel so to speak.

As for events, well, things are well underway in the planning of Warbanner IV, which I host in Napier every October. Dates are yet to be confirmed, but the playerpack is underway, and as we aim each year, should be more interesting then ever!

My close friend and tournament travel partner (whose name shall be, Annoymous) has taken it upon himself to run his first event. He has opted for a local slow grow campaign, with simple criteria, designed to teach new players how to play and get them interested. Starting at 1000pts, this campaign will run for 3 months, with the points level increasing by 1000pts at the end of each moon.
It is for this campaign that I have chosen to paint the models I have, and as my intention is to only paint models I will later need in my tournament list, I am expecting to end up playing some very strange and unorthodox lists will getting my Empire painted.

Directly following this campaign, I shall host the Hawkes Bay Regional Championships in its third year, and second year using the T9A rules. Although we have had a decent coverage of players previously, this year I am hoping to see an increase, and the slow grow will definitely aid in this.

Finally, I have just confirmed that Panzershriek 2017 will be my first tournament back. This will be my third year in attendance at this longstanding Palmerston North event, and as with each year, I cannot wait to get back to its tables! Although originally this was to be my second tournament this year, I have unfortunately had to cancel NiCon shortly after deciding I was going, due to, well, let's say the gods demanded more payment.

So if you have successfully managed to read through this jumble of words we call sentences, and haven't been distracted by either unicorns or your knew favourite blogger/storyteller/shittalker, I thank you.

For you may not have missed me, but I have missed you.
And my Blood Hunt, well, they have missed the taste of your blood and flesh as they tear it away from your trembling bones.....

Saturday, 11 February 2017

February 2017: An Empire Rising

Hello, it's me
I've been wondering if after all these........

Yeah yeah yeah, I know. Hey guess what, shock horror.....I'm back!

Well, not really, but I am, but I am not...

As you all know, I have taken the past few months away from the hobby. In truth, I had mentally stepped away from it back in September of last year. As promised, here is why..

The past few months has been a rollercoaster ride for me. As some of you are now aware, I separated from my wife back in late September, and the moved in with my best friend and his family early November.
We then had Invitationals (which all things considered, I am content with where I placed, even though I know I could have placed far better). Following that was Christmas, New Years, my birthday etc etc.
Oh, and did I mention, I finally set up my business! In contradiction to my blogger tag, the Empire Rose, with Empire Coffee Roasters "officially" going into operation. This has been a long term dream for me, and it has finally come into fruition. But with anything, it is only the start, with several more businesses in the works to begin over the next 3 years.

All of these things contributed to a massive hobby burnout. This also included the sheer amount of gaming that I had done, the pressure I had put on myself in regards to tournaments (I have a very competitive streak) and the high volume of painting that I had completed in small amounts of time. This cost me my interest and my heart in the game and the hobby, and I knew that if I didn't step away when I did, I would end up hating it, and throwing it all in the bag completely.

So last night, I finally sat down with my friend and we decided to have a game. To add icing to the cake of my tag, I took Empire of Sonnstahl into my first game of 2017, throwing together a list that looked the way I would like to play them. Faced off against Ogres in a similar list to what as seen in tournaments last year by this player, I was quite impressed with the synergies and the way my army worked, and we had an absolute blast! It was great to throw dice again and some rowdy banter, and enjoy the game.

Does this mean that I am going to be seen at every tournament for the rest of the year, or that I am going to completely paint another 5 armies this year? Absolutely fucking not!

From the painting side, I need to find myself a house as I am currently still living in other people's spare rooms. I need a quiet space to set up, and slowly work my way back into painting. I will be putting all other projects on hold, and starting back slowly painting up my Empire.
As for the tournament scene (which I miss heaps!) I will not be reentering until probably NiCon or Panzer. This comes down to the youth of my business, as this needs to be my main focus at the moment, along with the added financial burden of the travelling.

I am going to leave it at that. Please do not fear, I will return!

Or maybe, that is reason to fear..........