Following on with our series of interviews, this week I talk to Declan (@rightangle79) about his gaming history.
Ok, first question. When did you first get into wargaming?
I first played in 1989 on the floor of a friend’s living room! We played Space Marine 1st Edition (the Epic game that came after the Titan only version). I played Blood Angels (unpainted) and he played Ultramarines also unpainted!
Already getting ready for Heresy!!
So was Space Marine the first game you collected an army for?
Yes, blood angels but I didn’t really know what I was doing. I bought 2nd Ed warhammer and played some 2nd Ed Blood Bowl but it was the 3rd Ed warhammer starter set with Goblins and Elves that got me collecting… and I immediately knew I wanted to play goblins… which was great because another friend liked the Elves.
Do you still have those first Goblins you bought?
Definitely have some of them. They are the monopose ones with spear and bow. I have a unit of the bow Gobbos in my AoS Gloomspite army.
So what drew into the hobby? What do you find it gives you?
I love all the many facets. I first did it to play with friends then at Uni I only did the painting side as there was no club there (but I got into board games there). Now I paint in the evenings so I’m not just staring at a screen all day and then go to some tournaments. With COVID this was obviously not allowed but my wife is very good about me going to tournaments at weekends so I’ve got quite a few organised before Christmas.
What’s your most memorable gaming moment?
I was playing GG with allied Gitmob grots at Sheffield Slaughter against Nurgle with their first book. It was against a GW employee who I won’t name as they get enough grief! His Great Unclean One had a -1 to hit within 12″ bubble. My shaman cast a spell on 60 Gitmob archers, who walked into the 12″ range, fired at the GUO and took it off! He was a little shocked but took it very well!
You’ve been to many tournaments now, are there any armies you particularly fear when you see their name on the list?
I’m okay with most although if I’ve got my Gitz there’s a fear for all of them! More seriously it’s more the player than the army in most cases. Sure Tzeentch/Archeon before the FAQ or Nagash and friends is very difficult but they aren’t pick up and play lists.
The worst thing for me is playing against a shooting army that can’t be caught or can do so much damage I can’t get close enough. I think GW routinely underpoint shooting units. Still I have a unit of 60 Shootas which are almost as expensive as 30 sentinels so they must be as good! 🤞
Hahaha! So if Gloomspite were to get a new Battletome what changes would you like to see?
Removal of ‘Keyword Bingo’ – Fanatics are not Grots for example and the Fungoid Shaman can’t have the Wizard Artefacts. A few bonuses to cast. Giving back some cheap units (we lost units of 5 Hoppers and 6 Squigs in the GHB2021 but Aetherwings are still allowed in 3s!) I’d like to see each of the four ways to play the army work (Grots, Troggs, Squigs, Spiders). New models for Spider Riders and Spider Boss. Simplify the Gobbapalooza. And give us a theme rather than just ‘comedy’. And finally… they need to point random movement correctly. Boingrots seem to be pointed like they always roll a 12″, so either reduce randomness (6+D6) or reduce points. Sure it runs the risk of everything working and us being unstoppable for one game in 36… but stops us losing the other 35!!…. I’ll get off my soapbox now 😀
It would make sense to point random movement a little more than the average dice roll in my opinion.
They definitely point it as if you get the maximum! Definitely not the average. Bounders are 7″ movement cavalry but pointed very high!
So apart from Age of Sigmar, which other games do you play?
I play a lot of board games and keep track of them on Boardgamegeek. This year there’s been a lot of Hanabi, 7 Wonders and Terraforming Mars. I find it really interesting to see all the different rules available the interactions and how theme is dealt with.
For wargames I like historical but haven’t played recently. I have a 2000 point ‘War and Conquest’ Saxon army and loads of painted Greeks and Macedonians. This game was designed by Rob Broom who was head of GW Historical before they stopped the line.
I also play lots of Warmaster and have an Empire army and recently painted Goblin army and a Macedonian Army for Ancients. Its such a great rules set that generalises the units and make maneoveur and where you charge the key element.
Have you ever been tempted to write your own rules for a game?
I keep thinking I’d like to design a board game but with so many releases now it needs to be good to be a commercial success. Normally I’m happy to play with rules friends are using… during lockdown I Painted a 15mm army for ParWars for example just to give me more potential games and opponents.
What was the last game your played, and against who?
2000 points against Will’s KO at the club (Chumps). I was trying out my Gitz and he was trying a slightly off meta KO list with some units deployed on the board not in boats.
I made a deployment mistake with my Spider and he killed it turn one, but such that I couldn’t counter in my turn 1. I also wasn’t aggressive enough with my unit of 60 Shootas as I was worried about Unleash Hell. When I did charge though it was fine! It was a close loss and very useful game.
What are you working on at the minute, and do you have any pictures?
I am doing some scenery for Kill Team having just finished a quick Genestealer Kill Team (which is an article!!).
Name five GW games that aren’t AoS or 40k.
Warmaster, Epic, Battlefield Gothic, Blood Bowl, Necromunda.
Name one game you would love to see be remade by GW.
My gut feeling is warmaster because I’d like to see the toys they would sculpt, but I would be worried about them changing the game… so I’ll say Battlefield Gothic or a re-release of Cursed City.
Magnus did nothing wrong! Yes or No?
Magnus — He did nothing wrong!
If you were to fall to chaos which power would you devote yourself to?
Nurgle… I have in the past played a small Warhammer Fantasy Chaos army in a very fetching putrid green!
Goody Goody Two-Shoes.