Friday, 11 December 2015

Fighting my backlog head on!


I have slowly come to the realisation I have got a stupidly large backlog of unpainted models. Now I would say this year has been an expensive hobby year. Mainly down to having a load of new gaming friends and getting caught up in new projects spurred on by a pack of excitable hobbyists!

AOS boxed set
Floaty rocks (stuff already bought to make)
2 Realm gates
Ophidian Archway
Battle of Calth

Raven Guard:
tac squad
2x Vet boxes
2x Sternguard
3x Drop pods
2x Storm Ravens
FW Libby
FW Korvydae
Converted captain
10x sniper scouts with Elysian heads

4x Yoagats
4x Roduks
1x Zerat sniper
1x Suryat
1x Raktorak
5x Fusileers
Umbra Legates hacker
Neoterra starter set
Neoterra Bolt box
2x Armbots
Aquilla guard HMG
PanO starter
Akila HMG

Now I'm not setting a time limit, but I have put a stop on buying more stuff. I have been away from 40k long enough for it to feel new once I get onto the Raven Guard. The GW stuff is going to be done in blocks starting AoS this weekend. I think Ill tackle the Infinity models by painting in between the GW systems to break it up.

The dream is to be able to buy a pack of minis and only have that to paint!

Finished this guy off last night.. picture sucks and the Dulcote is still drying..

Thanks for looking!!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Opening a Gaming Store - After action report


I got a request to do an after action report on my experience of Siege Tabletop, so here it is!

I don't care who you are, as hobbyists we have all dreamed of owning running and a successful hobby store. The truth is, running any kind of independent shop has its own set of issues you have to consider before taking on such a project. The dream isn't to run an unsuccessful shop after all.

The first thing I did was to look at what is already out there, see if you can open up a niche and exploit it. I decided my angle would entertainment, I would make the place completely relaxed. I gave anyone who walked through the door the amount of attention they deserved and built a re pour and friendship for people.

The next step was to offer them something they maybe didn't have at home. Gaming tables were built with great looking terrain to play on. Even Xwing had proper star mats, to hopefully add that little bit more game immersion. I was charging people to play and the only way you can justify that is to give people a place they WANT to come and use. So I went all out on the terrain (also bumping into Rich really helped as well as he took on projects as well!).

I had the luxury of being able to dip my toe in and not going all out with a massive ton of stock or extra rent/rates etc to pay. My situation wasn't as risky as other people but being apart of successful independent retail for ten years, its something I'm am well versed in.

I feel I successfully fulfilled the friendly and great terrain part of the plan. The next part is probably the most important.. Social Media.. I never really used or liked Facebook before all this so I had to change my thinking. I tended to have a good laugh with people over the forums and blogger, so it was a simple case of transferring that to a facebook page and more importantly a closed group. This was the lifeblood of running the place. I ran events, let the customers design there own events. Everyone felt apart of the place and the customers slowly snowballed gathering pace to a point where we were busy every time we opened. We even had people happy to put some mileage in to visit the place.

Now this is where my plan falls down a little bit. My hope was that because we had an awesome gaming venue people wouldn't mind paying a little more for the models than the online discounters. I started out with Xwing as at that point it was by far the most popular game. On the whole people did buy without a massive discount, but it was always a conversation point. A negative that I got a tired of. The next issue I came up with and something that 99% of gamers wont see as a negative. People are not just playing Games Workshop anymore!!! In fact I can count on one hand the amount of 40k games that were played. I wasn't forceful enough on deciding which games that were going to be supported. The most popular games being played were Bolt Action and Xwing. These two systems were probably the worst ones to buy in. Xwing waves are a nightmare. Customers who would happily have bought models from me had to go elsewhere as I couldnt get the stock in. A kick in the nuts when you are enabling players. Bolt Action, its a tricky one. Very popular around our area (I dont play personally) and I was hovering over making a massive order, but then I had a niggle in the back of my head that not all the armies people are using are Warlord models... in fact most players had a big mixture.

I was also about to start up a Magic the Gathering friday night that Im sure would have brought more people in. All the hobby store owners I had spoken to pretty much said its your bread and butter. I think it was at this point I decided I would just run the place as a venue until the building sold as I could only see pit falls and no real payback for the amount of work I had to put in to sell systems, run events, keep the social media going carry the HUGE amount of stock required for the amount of games people are playing at the moment.

If I was starting again, I would make sure I worked on the bread and butter games like Magic. I would also choose a select few games that were able to be played in store, then stock those. That seems limiting but the reality is when you have invested in building a ton of terrain and a load of stock, then young Joey brings in a new game that suddenly everyone wants a part of you have a load of dead stock and unused terrain... Now the inventory of games would be wide and I would go about selling them not as badly as a GW staffer, but certainly in a way that would help push sales for the shop. I would however keep my first key points as a mantra... A place people WANT to use and full game immersion on the quality of terrain!

Twas a great experience..!
That was wordy - sorry...

Monday, 7 December 2015

Opening a Gaming Store - Update 4!


Double post today... I feel like I didn't really put a final post up about on the Opening a Gaming a Store series I made. Once I actually opened I pretty much just moved over to facebook where I effectively ran the social media side of things.

Let me start off by saying I found the whole experience very challenging and one that if I could have kept going I would have. Being the owner of the property already, this was really only more of a lets see where it takes me as the shop was on the market. I basically wanted to make the place look tidy and have all the space used up. But also to actually see if there was an actual community in the local area! The nice thing is I bumped into a club that was run in my town I didnt even know about! 'The Yorkshire Renengades'. The founding member Rich Goss and I managed to use Siege and the renegades to build a flourishing and great community that both benefited Siege and The Renegades. We organised regular events for specific gaming or hobbying workshops that were always sold out. In fact I can safely say the only time the place wasent busy was about the first month, the rest of the time it was a busy hive of gaming! Great!

I have added some pics of the place in action.. RIP Siege Tabletop! Great times!! Thank you all!

....aaannnd back to Infinity!


Sometimes it takes doing something different and coming back again to make you realise how good something is. On Saturday I played my good friend Rich at Infinity. As I have been playing lots of different systems over the last 6/7 months I think i have forgotten what its like to have a game of something where you know the rules fluently and you can actually enjoy the game from a more tactical perspective as opposed to flicking through the rules constantly working out whether you can do something or not. Combine that to a slick and eye wateringly good looking game like Infinity, you are sure to be in for a great afternoon of gaming!! I wasn't disappointed!

We played the mission antenna field that basically means you have to get your specialist models in b2b contact of the objectives at the end of each turn. Five in total 4 in a diamond shape with a main one in the middle.

Mistakes were made, one from me and one from Rich, i dropped a smoke on my anyat as an ARO from a second short skill unopposed, great... Except it was an Ms3 (can see through smoke!!) model so next order my object scoring model died and instead of drawing that turn i lost 2 points!

Next turn, Rich got his TO remote in action. Brand new and freshly painted in the morning... Well he found the joys of climbing plus got the remote in position for a free shot on my yoggy sniper that had been popping caps everywhere, but instead moved its second short skill into my TO remote and soggy hmg! No more aleph remote!

Really good game, i took out nearly all rich's force, but a clever use of orders on the last turn knocked my morat holding the centre objective off rendering him unconscious.... Just goes to show this game is not just about killing the opponent...

I think Ill be playing this game a lot more from now on as I honestly cant find a current game that gives me so much buzz!

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Man O War? Ffs..


This is a slightly frustrated update... But also to point out what a really good night of gaming i had with three of my friends last night. I have a group of vet gamer's now of varying ages and last night Zak was hosting.... A vet of my era... Well maybe a couple more years on me.. ;) Anyway, he is from an era of bright models, spec games, proper metal and rock and an ex staffer to boot. Oh and he still has all his models and games from the 90s... Every gamer needs a Zak..

Now back in my spotty teens, my brother and I bought into all the gw games 40k, Space Marine (epic), Warhammer Quest, Hero Quest, Necromunda, Blood Bowl, Space Hulk, Gorka Morka and Man 0 War... Man 0 War... Ahhhh that game made me and my bro repaint our green gaming board pacific blue... This game barely gets mentioned in GW nostalgia, but i can safely say this is the best wargame I have played, its got everything. Simple rules set out on cards (granted large cards.. But that can be rectified!) template movement and cornering, simple shooting template with modifier.... Starting to sound familiar? 'Cough Xwing' GW are sat on a system that could be just as slick AND collectable! That's why I'm frustrated as i really think this is what gw were good at. These are the games my friends played all the time... Not a thousands of pounds worth of hundreds of models on either side.. Just great models, easy to paint and slick rules that don't take themselves to seriously and dare I say even not consider complete balance?

Anyway, the game was between Dark Elves allied with Orks verses Empire and Dwarves. Many laughs... I controlled the Dark Elves with Rich on Orks... We managed to magic the wind against our enemies in the 1st turn which totally messed the Empire up... But after much carnage and a point where we thought we were in top! The dwarves and Empire turned it around... The boarding mechanic is awesome and we did plenty of that! Oh and it was best not to think to hard about how much money these rare models are worth you're handling nowadays... Great game and great paint jobs hope we do that again soon!

Oh just to add, the latest Dreadfleet game is nothing like this, if you get chance to play Man 0 War... Do not hesitate!

Im probably just wearing thick rose tints...

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Facebook Broke Me!


It's been a while since i used blogger as I seemed to naturally move onto Facebook for my hobby logging etc. Well i think im sick of seeing people's Christmas trees going up in November and people telling Jeremy Corbyn is great for this country. I want to go back to a simpler time of me just blogging my hobby. The only thing that was keeping me on Facebook was because of my gaming groups... Most notable The Yorkshire Renegades and the Infinity Northern Alliance groups. I just weighed up that not even that was enough to keep me on stuck on the daily churn of Facebook anymore... So its back to blogger, my fave of the internet blogging thingies... Granted no bugger uses it anymore and Im typing this to myself no doubt.. But still its nice to look back at your works every now and again!

So update time... I opened Siege and it was a mighty success, but really was a smoke screen for us to sell the building and make the property look fully used and tidy. It has now sold... :( The upside is that its had a really positive effect in the local area as it has enabled gamers to meet and become friends. It helped expand the Yorkshire Renegades who now have monthly and are just generally awesome. Ill be blogging all the cool projects we do from time to time.

First update is the Yorkshire Renegades are running a Blood Bowl cup after christmas - fully painted. I decided to dig out my old Skaveblight Scramblers. Now the team was over 20 years old and the paint jobs weren't so bad, but in those days no internet. So no useful painting tips in thinning paint or using washes. It was no good, i had to strip my adolecent paint jobs and start again. I looked over Skaven fluff and saw they had a stronghold called Crookback Mountain... So here begins the journey of the 'Crookback Mountain Dodgers'....

I aim to get these done by next week, as i want to start on my next fad... Frostgrave!

Thanks for looking!

Friday, 6 February 2015

Opening a Gaming Store - Update 3!


Well i am way behind!! To many reasons, but so much work. I never wanted to rush this project open so I havent.

I maybe made a mistake choosing Infinity as my main focus as the terrain is a royal pain to paint. But I think when done the system will sell itself and I can provide a gaming area thats hard to recreate at home so should hopefully inspire people to use the store!

Not to worried about the 40k board or the Wamachine one as that to me me a few evenings work and maybe a batch session with friends.

Im still a bit off completing the Infinity terrain, but Im really getting there now!

Here some update pics of my efforts!

Loving these acrylic markers from Custommeeple!!

Thanks for looking!