Category Archives: A Life in Wargames

Evert wondered about your favourite Games Designer, Miniature Artist, Writer or Painter. Well we delve into their background and tell you all about them.

Interview: Declan Waters

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Declan ‘The Best Big Waagh Player In The World’ Waters is often credited (by me) as the player who put Big Waagh on the map in 3rd Edition, but he’s not exactly bad with his other armies either. So we decided to squeeze some insights on 20 years of competitive play, the future of the game, and his own personal philosophy on having a good time!

Declan winning something – again.

Danny: The big recent news is you’ve made it into the Tsports Champs event [since time of asking, Declan finished 14th, going 2-3 – with all three losses to Seraphon, the poor bastard] – have you decided what to run, and what are you hoping to get out of the event personally?

Declan Waters: I’ve been playing tournaments for 20 years and always brought slightly suboptimal armies trying to get those 3-2s. Most people in the hobby knew I could play but that I wouldn’t bring the latest filth! At one tournament a top player turned to me on day 1 after I went 3-0 with Goblins and said ‘what are you doing up here’ 🤣

With the Covid break we had some players leaving and some new join the scene and my preferred army (Gitz) had gone so far behind I was losing to new players with Seraphon and Daughters, despite [me] knowing the game better. In fact, I helped teach some of them the core rules knowing my poor Goblins couldn’t compete!

So I made the decision that I should probably show the new players that I could play… I took Ironjawz with some success but then tried Big Waaagh and went 4-1 then 5-0.

But to qualify is amazing – I’d love to bring the Gitz but it seems unfair to the Big Waaagh who got me this far so I’ll probably allow them out to play.

The Gitz! And some friends.

I can imagine you saying “i’ve forgotten more AoS rules than you’ll ever know…” 20 years is a lot of experience – in high level terms, how have you seen the game and the community evolve in that time?

The game has gone from rare releases (you could easily wait 10 years for a new army book) to rapid fire (3 LRL books in no time is crazy!!) This means that keeping up with what’s new is difficult, so I think barriers to entry are increasing.

For AoS I remember v1 ‘the wild west’ where Mo saved us all with a point scheme because games workshop only did wounds! So a 14 wound Gigantic Spider cost the same as 14 Goblins! And armour value was ‘free’. It really was strange and a lot of good friends went to 9th age. I dabbled a bit in it as well, but there were as many rules changes there as AoS and my beloved Goblins got hammered again and again! So I switched to just AoS.

For the community it’s been a quantum leap forward, with the ease of communication from the Internet, YouTube channels and podcasts. In 2002 when I played at the Bristol Big Uns there were 4 tournaments – 2 in Bristol and 2 in Nottingham ran by WPS (Warhamer Player’s Society) – now there can be 4 a weekend!

Young whippersnappers don’t know how good they’ve got it! So can we double down on this thought process? As a great player who deliberately avoids ‘the latest filth’ – what’s your advice for people who may want to run fluffier stuff but that might still end up playing 6 dragons and long strikes etc? Or in other words, how do you avoid being frustrated with people who do lean hard as possible into non interactive games?

It’s very difficult and I think it’s definitely something that tournament organisers could help with by giving an indication of what they might expect. We had dragons at a local 1 dayer recently which was completely inappropriate but having said all that, at a big enough tourney you won’t actually fight much filth… that’s the joy of Swiss [pairings]. I’m a fan of comp though like ‘Timmy comp’ when organisers would just say no to lists that were un-interactive! But that doesn’t happen in AoS. 

The world’s best Big Waagh in action.

What I do is make myself little objectives either narratively or (in a 20-0 system or tiebreak) to try to get as many points as I can. For example, I had great fun at BoBo last year despite playing with Gitz because it was 20-0, so even if I was losing I could play for tournament points and get higher up the table. I got quite a few 7-13!

But the key is… know what to expect. Have a look at The Honest Wargamer stats for your army. If a 1-4 is good aim for 1-1-3 not 5-0. And don’t blame your opponents for your poor army (it’s difficult!) I find talking about ‘GW design’ means I can laugh with my opponents about some of the poor things jn the army (Gitz).

That said, Big Waagh are good, and I’ve only played Gitz in 2, 5-game tournaments in AoS 3 because of the book.

For new players I would say have a look at which armies are doing well and pick something in the top third. It is much more fun to have an army that can compete rather than playing with one hand behind your back!

Awesome advice. That was a slightly selfish question too.

People (including our own website) often talk about specific rules/units – which is essential, of course, but what do you think are some of the most fundamentally important aspects to playing Warhammer? For instance – is it in probabilistic thinking? Having a plan and sticking to it? Staying calm?

Scenario! Always play the scenario. Read it, check both players understand it and remember it! There’s no point killing Archaeon if the Varanguard are holding the key objectives. Along the same vein, build your list to get battle tactics. I’ve won loads of games because people have tried to kill the Maw Krusha because its big rather than the warchanter on an objective!

Age of Sigmar isn’t about killing things (unless you take Dragons and Raptors) it’s about movement and placement.

With Thondia, we’re seeing the introduction of narrative Seasons for AoS – but models like the Incarnate bleed into mainstream matched play and unless i’m misremembering, we’re looking at 2 GHBs a year now.

I have a couple of questions about that – the first one is simply how do you feel about it?

It’s not good in my opinion.

GW have always said they are a miniature company who make rules but it’s getting expensive for the rules with a main system reboot every 3 years, army books and 2 GHBs. It seems a change aimed at the small number of people who play lots. In a normal year I play at 4 tournaments and 2 GHBs makes those tournaments a lot more expensive.

There also seems to be a refusal to have narrative only models which would give more design space. I like Gotrek as a model for example but making matched play rules that match the novels is very difficult.

It would be better if he were narrative only and then you could send an army of Gitz at him (for example) and they could still make him even better than now.

I get you. So some models are hampered by having to ‘make sense’ in matched play, stopping them from actually ‘making sense’ narratively?It feels in general like 3e is doing a much better job at making good rules that also feel fluffy though

Obviously the nightmare scenario is anything resembling the state 40k is in right now. So my next question – do you think more ‘matched play or death!’ players should try narrative?

I don’t think there are many matched play or death players… but narrative is something you have to want to play! There are some great events which are narrative or semi narrative where scoring encourages non standard or ‘weak’ armies but if that’s not your idea of fun I would definitely not want to force anyone! That said if you’re bringing the top tournament army to a small one dayer at your local club… then maybe a quick rethink… or try out some other toys!

Last question – James Workshop tells you he’ll grant you one AoS wish. What do you wish for?

Gitz to be playable as Gitz, Troggs, Squigs, Spider or soup! Remove the keyword bingo!! 🤣🤞

John Stallard – A Life in Wargames

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It’s been a little while since I last posted to the A Life in Wargames series, for which I can only apologise. These articles take a lot more effort than the others I write and unfortunately I’ve simply not had the time for the research recently.

John Stallard, from the wonderful city of Cardiff in Wales is a Games Designer who for 27 years worked with Games Workshop. In 2007 her left and set up Warlord Games along with Paul Sawyer (who some of you may remember from White Dwarf).

John lived in Cardiff until he was four years old, at which point his family moved to Scotland where his father was working for BP, eventually at the age of ten John and his family moved to Worcester.

His cousin introduce him to military models and toy soldiers after his cousin thought he was much to grown up for such things handed John his collection. John set about expanding his collection by making weekly purchases of Airfix kits with his pocket money.

The first set of rules that John played was the Airfix Guide to Napoleonic Wargaming written by Bruce Quarrie (1974), which he then followed up with Skytrex’s Middle Earth Wargames Rules (1976).

Airfix Guide to Napoleonic Wargaming (1974)

After university John moved to Nottingham a move which was prompted by reading a job advert in White Dwarf. After a successful interview John joined Bryan Ansell‘s Citadel Miniatures team, initially working in the Mail Order team reporting to Rick Priestley.

John learnt about customer service from Bryan Ansell and his wife Diane. Games Workshop was very forward thinking at the time where orders would be sent as soon as an order form was received, meaning the customer often had their orders within the week rather than the 28 days advertised.

After a year John left the Mail Order team to retake his exams, which he failed. He put this failure down to playing Warhammer all the time. John then worked in a freezer warehouse during the summer where in a forklift truck accident he lost most of the toes on his left foot. He then attended the Wargames show in Manchester on crutches and saw Rick Priestley behind the Games Workshop Mail Order stand. Rick Priestley asked if he wanted his job back and he returned to Citadel Miniatures.

John progressed from Mail Order to Trade Sales, followed later by becoming Sales Manager and later became Head of Sales and then Sales Director. He stayed with Games Workshop until 2007 when he set Warlord Games.

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 Warlord Games came into being because I had always wanted to do historical military models. I’ve been fascinated with them since I was six. I kept on saying to two consecutive bosses at Games Workshop that the company should start to do historical models. I remember Tom Kirby, a man I admire very much, saying to me, “John, I’ve done a study and if you add all the historical gaming companies together it comes to £2m, there’s just not enough money in it.” Being older and wiser than me, he’d actually done the research. I said, “But Tom, that’s because it hasn’t really been done before. What was the market for Goblins with spears fifteen years ago? Bugger all! Citadel and Games Workshop made the marketplace by making great models and banging the drum and producing wargames rules.”

– John Stallard

John teamed up with Paul Sawyer (White Dwarf Editor in yesteryear) who’d also been made redundant by Games Workshop, they contacted Renedra Ltd, the plastic manufacturing company who has previously been Games Workshop‘s plastic manufacturing arm. They also bought on board Bob Naismith to make their figures.

Warlord’s upcoming British Starter Set for Black Powder: Epic Battles

It takes around four months for the complete manufacture of a set of plastic models. During the period after the final designs were made for their Warlord Games plastic models (Romans), John found out that the Perry twins also had an upcoming plastic release. They were still working for Games Workshop at the time but they had set up Perry Miniatures in the background (which was allowed within their contract). They were going to release some plastic American Civil War figures which would be made as either Confederate or Union troops. There release would be the first ever 28mm plastic historical wargame figures, beating Warlord Games by only two or three weeks.

John Stallard’s work:

Solo Wargaming for your Favourite Games

I’m in the process of creating a series of Wargaming Aids which allow players to play their favourite games in a single player format against an AI controlled enemy army. To find out more on this click here.

For as little as £1 a month (the price of a chocolate bar) you can help support me in this endeavour and receive cool perks as a thank you, such as access to our Discord Server as well as downloadable copies of the gaming aids which you can print out and use at home.

Why not pop over to Patreon and sign up and help me in this project? Money raised will go towards making these as physical products.

The Woeful Brush Painting Competition Sponsored by SCN Hobby World

Closing date for entries 30th November. £1 entry, win your choice of a Start Collecting or Combat Patrol box set!

LINK

Don Featherstone – A Life in Wargames (1918-2013)

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Donald Featherstone is perhaps the most influential Wargamer of 20th century Britain. Because of him, Britain came to enjoy miniature wargaming as a pastime.

Don born in 1918 got into miniature wargaming after playing with H.G. Wells’ rules Little Wars which were introduced to him by his father. In 1939 Don signed up to serve in the Royal Tank Regiment after trying unsuccessfully to find service in first the RAF and then the Navy. Don feared service in the infantry following stories from both his Father and Uncle. Don managed to “negotiate” service in the tank regiments with the recruitment officers.

Once in the 51st Battalion of the Royal Tank Regiment, Don’s skill with words and the ability to type at a reasonable rate saw him move to the HQ and was appointed as clerk in the Orderly Room. Don’s battalion was posted to the Gothic Line in Northern Italy. It was here that Don had his brush with death when an enemy shell landed inside their camp where Don and his comrades were eating a meal. Don was the possibly the only one to walk away uninjured from the attack. Eventually Don left the army in January 1946.

In the 1950’s Don came across Wargames Digest produced by American Jack Scruby. This reignited Don’s love of miniature wargaming and bought back his memories of playing Little Wars with his 54mm tin soldiers. Also around this time Don met Tony Bath, who would be (beside his brother) his first wargame opponent. Tony would later become the manager of the miniatures company Miniature Figurines.

When Jack Scruby ceased producing Wargames Digest Don and Tony decided to co-edit it for Britain, followed by Don’s own Wargamer’s Newsletter which he started producing in April 1962 and continued to do so each month for 18 years until 1980. It was unfortunately discontinued due to rising costs and a declining readership.

In 1962 however players of wargames were scarce and so finding opponents particularly difficult to do. Therefore Don set up the country’s very first wargames event inside his own home, in which virtually every Wargamer at the time attended. The following year he stepped the event up and hired a function room at the local hotel, this time there were around 20 attendees. The social features included a recreation of Wells’s famous Battle of Hooks Farm using photographs from his book Little Wars on an overhead projector, while a background narrative was read from the book. The first of the National Wargames Championships Conventions originated here, where a silver salver presented by Airfix Productions Ltd was fought for. The attendance of the events gradually increased each time.

In 1962 Don also wrote his first book War Games which went on to sell around the world.

Don’s first set of rules

This set of rules would be the first of 40+ publications by Don and launched him to become an iconic wargame writer of the 20th Century. Backed by his own military experience, his study of history and his excellent writing ability Donald Featherstone can truly be called the Father of Wargaming in Britain and the entire wargaming community owes him so much for where we find ourselves today.

Don always said that wargaming is a social hobby and that players everywhere should never forget that.

Normally I would list a few choice selections of the designer I’ve covered in the article. However, because of my deepest respect for this man I decided to list every ruleset he has written.

Don’s Rulesets

I wanted to close with some of Don’s advice on military service.

Don’s Military Advice

1) Never volunteer for anything. War is dangerous, if volunteers are asked for, the task must be really dangerous.

2) Never join the infantry, they take the casualties.

3) Never take unnecessary chances.

4) Never go into any building first, even if they enemy have retreated.

5) Never be in the first tank.

6) Never ride on the first tank.

7) Officers go first, they get the medals.

Bryan Ansell – A Life in Wargames

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Bryan Ansell started with his life in wargames by founding and designing for his own miniatures company Asgard Miniatures. He also had his own fanzine named Trollcrusher.

In 1979 Games Workshop approached Ansell to found their own miniatures branch Citadel Miniatures. The company was set up to allow Games Workshop to be self reliant for its miniature purposes, allowing her to create the miniatures for all the games which Games Workshop had the license for at the time. This took their reliance on other miniatures companies such as Ral Partha away.

In 1980 Ansell wrote his first wargaming rules called Laserburn which he had published via Tabletop Games. Although only a foot note in gaming history, Laserburn contained many elements and wargear of the future Warhammer 40,000 game, such as Power Armour, Dreadnoughts, Jet Cycles and Bolt Guns.

By 1982 Games Workshop was depending on the sales of Citadel Miniatures and Bryan Ansell brought out all of Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson’s shared in Games Workshop and all the operations were eventually moved from London to Nottingham.

Laserburn which you can still find today as a PDF.

Ansell worked with Richard Halliwell and Rick Priestley on Games WorkshopsWarhammer Fantasy Battles. This was originally designed to be given out for free to encourage customers to buy the new Citadel Miniatures range.

Along with Rick Priestley, Alan & Michael Perry, Jervis Johnson, Richard Halliwell, John Blanche and Alan Merrett, Ansell was responsible for the Warhammer boom of the mid to late 1980’s.

He later left Games Workshop to Tom Kirby in 1991 and instead focused on his own company Wargames Foundry, a company which sells historical miniatures. These miniatures were originally sculpted by the Perry Twins for Citadel Miniatures, but were no longer sold as part of the Games Workshop fantasy ranges. Ansell took a number of figure molds used for historical and fantasy figures under Citadel Miniatures and Games Workshop, and they have become part of the Wargames Foundry range. Wargames Foundry continues to sell a range of metal figures for historical, sci-fi and fantasy war gaming.

Although not as prolific a writer as some of the other people focused on in “A Life in Wargames” Ansell has been involved in the rules development of 15+ games.

References

Wikipedia – Bryan Ansell

Wikipedia – Laserburn

Wargames Foundry

Board Game Geek

Rick Priestley – A Life in Wargames

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Rick Priestley alongside Jervis Johnson, Alessio Cavatore and Andy Chambers is perhaps one of the most well known game designers of our era.

Rick Priestley grew up in Lincoln and dtart d writing wargames as a teenager with his friend Richard Halliwell. In 1979 the pair wrote their first game Reaper while still in school. Tabletop Games (a small games publishing company with no sales output) printed their rules and they contacted Brian Ansell who worked for Asgard Miniatures at the time before his move to Citadel Miniatures. Brian Ansell put them in contact with Nottingham Toy Soldier Shop who agreed to sell the Reaper rules.

Halliwell & Preistley’s first game

With one rulebook for sale, Halliwell and Priestley collaborated on a second effort, a science fiction miniatures wargame titled Combat 3000, also published by Tabletop, that used 15mm/25mm “space marine” miniatures from Asgard. Around this time Brian Ansell left Asgard Miniatures, and with backing from Games Workshop set up Citadel Miniatures.

Priestley joined Games Workshop in 1982 as part of their subsidiary company Citadel Miniatures. At that time Citadel produced the miniatures for use in Dungeons and Dragons. Brian Ansell the manager of Citadel asked Richard Halliwell to develop Games Workshops’ first in-house game, Warhammer Fantasy Battles and Rick Priestley and Tony Ackland developed the product. Warhammer Fantasy contained many of the core mechanics or Priestley and Halliwell’s earlier game Reaper. Warhammer Fantasy was released in 1983 and was a huge success.

It allowed them a vehicle through which they could sell their own Citadel Miniatures. Earlier miniature wargames were designed to be played using generic models that could be bought from any manufacturer, but Warhammer Fantasy’s setting featured original characters with distinctive visual designs, and their models were produced exclusively by Games Workshop. This paved the way for Games Workshop to become the company it is today – all thanks to the three men who developed that first game.

Since before his time at Games Workshop Priestley had been working on a set of rules of Spaceship Combat called Rogue Trader which mixed Science fiction and fantasy elements. Priestley incorporated many aspects of this setting such as the lore and space travel into Warhammer 40,000 and dropped the ship combat element due to not having enough room in the book.

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader

Games Workshop planned to sell conversion kits for their fantasy line to make them useable in Rogue Trader but eventually decided to instead dedicate an entire production line to the game and in 1987 Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader was born.

During his years with Games Workshop he was involved in the design of virtually all of their top games such as Necromunda, Mordheim, Warmaster, Lord of the Rings, Gorkamorka, Mighty Empires and Warhammer Ancient Battles (affectionately known as WAB by those in Historical gaming circles).

Warhammer Ancient Battles (WAB)

Rick Priestley left Games Workshop in 2009 stating that the corporate culture had grown too focused on sales and no longer cared about innovation in Games Design. He expanded on his view of Games Workshop in an article with Bell of Lost Souls in March 2015. In that, his thoughts on where Games Workshop was heading, was as a manufacturer of collectible miniatures and not games design.

After Games Workshop, Priestley co-founded Warlord Games which after Games Workshop is arguably the next biggest games and miniature manufacturer in Europe.

With Warlord Games, Rick Priestley has continued to develop fantastic wargame rulesets and being no longer held back by Games Workshop, these have included historical as well as Fantasy and Sci-Fi. The biggest games at Warlord such as Bolt Action, Black Powder, Gates of Antares, Hail Caesar, Pike and Shotte and Warlords or Erehwon have all been designed with Priestley’s input.

Bolt Action

In 2011 Rick Priestley was elected to the committee of the Society of Ancients. The Society of Ancients is a non-profit organisation that intends to promote interest in Ancient and Medieval history and wargaming.

This man is a true legend of Wargaming, is the father of Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 and has done a lot that Games Workshop fans and historical wargaming fans have to thank him for.

I have tried to give a flavour of the 115+ rules and add-on’s he’s developed below. But as with Jervis’ article, this really does not even scrape the surface as to the lore and depth of his many games. Rick, thank you! I can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

Sources

Board Game Geek

Wikipedia – Warhammer 40,000

Warlord Games

Bell of Lost Souls

Wikipedia – Wargame

Wikipedia – Rick Priestley

Wikipedia – Richard Halliwell

Solo Wargaming for your Favourite Games

I’m in the process of creating a series of Wargaming Aids which allow players to play their favourite games in a single player format against an AI controlled enemy army. To find out more on this click here.

For as little as £1 a month (the price of a chocolate bar) you can help support me in this endeavour and receive cool perks as a thank you, such as access to our Discord Server as well as downloadable copies of the gaming aids which you can print out and use at home.

Why not pop over to Patreon and sign up and help me in this project? Money raised will go towards making these as physical products.

The Woeful Brush Painting Competition Sponsored by SCN Hobby World

Closing date for entries 30th November. £1 entry, win your choice of a Start Collecting or Combat Patrol box set!

LINK

Gav Thorpe – A Life in Wargames

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Born in Hertfordshire, Thorpe joined Games Workshop in 1993. Where he stayed for fourteen years, holding various positions, but being most known as a games developer, background designer and author of background fiction. He left Games Workshop in 2008 to concentrate on being a full-time author and has produced many novels and stories for the Black Library.

Gav Thorpe’s most famous work



Gav Thorpe worked in almost all aspects of Games Workshop, making his way up from assistant games developer to being placed in charge of the Warhammer Fantasy games system. He also contributed to the development and design of several editions of Warhammer 40,000, as well as writing articles for White Dwarf magazine and being the originator and lead developer of the Inquisitor games system. One of his last positions before leaving Games Workshop was an oversight role over all Games Workshop background and IP. His influence on the development of the Warhammer 40,000 background continues at present with the publication of his work for the Black Library.

The Woeful Brush Painting Competition Sponsored by SCN Hobby World

Closing date for entries 30th November. £1 entry, win your choice of a Start Collecting or Combat Patrol box set!

LINK

John Blanche – A Life in Wargames

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My previous articles in the series;

Jervis Johnson

Alessio Cavatore

The Perry Twins

John Blanche is the person I need to thank for two things. Firstly getting me into 40k with the amazing box art from the 2nd edition of Warhammer 40k, and secondly for giving me the inspiration to collect Blood Angels.

2nd Edition Boxed Set

I spent hours pouring over the box art and taking in every minute detail in all its glory.

John Blanche became associated with Games Workshop in 1977 producing the cover art for the 4th issue of White Dwarf and the box art for the British edition of Dungeons & Dragons which the company had the license for. In 1978 he produced the first full colour art cover for the 7th issue of White Dwarf.

Dungeons and Dragons artwork by John Blanche

After 1978 he continued working with the company producing many illustrations for White Dwarf and the cover art for the first edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battles in 1983.

Warhammer Fantasy 1st Edition

In 1986 Blanche was made in-house art director of Games Workshop, a position he has held ever since. As well as producing his own work and commissioning others, Blanche also produces designs for Citadel Miniatures.

John Blanche’s minotaur with miniature Mona Lisa.

Blanche’s style is unique and has been termed by many as “Blanchitsu”, a term which is also used by hobbyists who try and emulate his images using miniatures.

A “Blanchitsu” style miniature

John Blanche’s work has brought many into the hobby including myself and will continue to do so for many years to come. John Blanche can be credited with making Warhammer 40,000 grim dark and for that as a fan, I thank him.

The Woeful Brush Painting Competition Sponsored by SCN Hobby World

Closing date for entries 30th November. £1 entry, win your choice of a Start Collecting or Combat Patrol box set!

LINK

Interview with a Wargamer – Woehammer Declan

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Following on with our series of interviews, this week I talk to Declan (@rightangle79) about his gaming history.

Previous interviews;

Woehammer Ben

Woehammer Dave


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.

Declan’s Warmaster Goblins

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.

Some of Declan’s 15mm miniatures for ParWars

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!

Ultramarines are…..?

Goody Goody Two-Shoes.

The Perry Twins – A Life in Wargames

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Alan and Michael Perry are miniature designers who worked for Games Workshop between 1978 and 2014 and were the longest serving members of the design studio.

As well as this, they are also former miniature sculptors for Wargames Foundry, helped found of Warhammer Historical Wargames and now run their own miniatures company Perry Miniatures.

The Green Knight, just one of many miniatures the Perry’s designed for GW.

They both take part in re-enacting historical battles and have illustrated various books on military history for Osprey Publishing.

During a reenactment in France for the Battle of Crecy in 1996 Michael Perry lost part of his right arm to an accident when reloading a reproduction cannon. However this didn’t hold Michael back and he learned to sculpt and paint with his left hand instead.

The limited edition “Gimli on Dead Uruk-hai” miniature, sculpted by Michael Perry.

The Perry’s own miniature company produces historical figures for ranges such as the Napoleonic Wars, English Civil War, Samurai, The Crusades and much more.

The Perry’s are close friends with Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson and have sculpted him many 54mm miniatures for his first world war collection.

A 75mm figure available through the Perry Miniatures website

The Perry’s are the go to manufacturer for plastic historical wargaming figures and during their heydays at Games Workshop was said to be responsible or involved in 90% of their miniatures.

From left to right, Alessio Cavatore, Brian Nelson, Alan Perry and Michael Perry on set as extras for the Return of the King

The Perry Twins are the most recognisable names in miniature sculpting and have a deserved reputation for the quality of their products.

Using traditional sculpting methods as opposed to the modern 3D sculpting that are used by Games Workshop today these men are true artists in what they do.

The Woeful Brush Painting Competition Sponsored by SCN Hobby World

Closing date for entries 30th November. £1 entry, win your choice of a Start Collecting or Combat Patrol box set!

LINK

Interview with a Wargamer – Woehammer Dave

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Last week I interviewed Woehammer Ben from the channel, which you can read here. This week we’re moving onto Woehammer Dave, also known as our very own Chaos Dave.


When did you first get into wargaming?

My first year of senior school.

And what game was it that first drew you in?

A friend had been given the Epic Space Marine starter box for their birthday. We played a few games together and I got hooked.

But you hate Space Marines!

I don’t hate space marines, I dislike Primaris. Also, back then it was Space Marines or nothing as that was all that you got in the box.

So your first game was epic? What games do you play now?

Currently AoS, 40K and Kill Team are the ones I’m actively working on. With a bit of interest in a few others but not the time. Historically, I played Epic, Adeptus Titanicus, Necromunda, Battletech, Warhammer Fantasy and 40K.

I’d consider non-GW games but there aren’t active gaming communities I’m aware of.

You’re big chaos player, has that always been the way?

Not really. I started out in Epic with Salamanders, I painted my marines dark green because that’s the paint I had. I flitted around with armies in fantasy for a while, between orcs and goblins and high elves (good starter set) before settling on Undead for a long time. When I started 40k my first army was Orks, then I collected Space Wolves.I had a break from the hobby and when I started again I collected Dark Eldar (from the starter set) and then later Word Bearers. In Fantasy I collected Skaven and Empire and in 8th edition Beastmen and mixed chaos.

I started playing Ultramarines later on after another hobby hiatus.

No! Not the Smurfs!

That was one of the reasons I started them. They’re cool and don’t deserve the hate.

When I started Epic the poster boy armies were Ultramarines and Thousand Sons. I would have done ultramarines then if I a. Had the paint and b. My mate hadn’t got dibs

I prefer the twilight marines….. So what was your last game and against who?

Age of Sigmar against @dreadmund (Ed). Slaves to Darkness versus Lumineth.

How did that go?

My take a bit of everything list did not do too well against Ed’s tournament list.

What are you working on at the minute, and do you have any pictures?

Ossiarch Bonereapers for Age of Sigmar. I got an eBay ‘rescue’ army for cheap. I’m aiming to have them finished for end of 3rd October.

Dave’s first OBR model
Rear of the year?

This is the one I’ve finished. No pressure!

What’s happening on the 3rd?

Nothing. It’s just the deadline I’ve set myself.

Love that paint job.

Thank you. I might add some pigments to the base because it feels a little bit flat.

What’s your most memorable gaming moment?

The first Warhammer Fantasy campaign I took part in ended in a big four way battle, which was another first for me. My High Elves and my friend’s Imperial Dwarves versus a combined Wood Elf and Empire army. It was the first time I’d used Wardancers and I remember charging them into a unit of trash human infantry and just blending them. They just kept blending and blending these infantry units which kind of suited our opponents but I was having a wonderful time. It kind of defined how I tended to like to play the game from then on. Sometimes I’ll charge even if it’s a bad idea, just for the blood and glory!

So what do find you get out of the hobby?

I find the painting to be relaxing and a good stress reducer. Also enjoy the banter. Playing the game is obviously challenging to some extent at the moment but I enjoy the spectacle of the games.

Quiz time! Name five GW games that aren’t AoS or 40k.

Warhammer Fantasy Battles. Horus Heresy. Dark Future. Trolls in the Pantry. Gorkamorka.

Magnus did nothing wrong! Yes or No?

Everybody has ‘done things wrong’, especially in 40k. I think his initial motivations and intentions were largely good but also self-serving and hubristic.

If you were to fall to chaos which power would you devote yourself to?

The Lore Nerd answer is all Gods are Chaos Gods. So my answer would probably be Tyrion for AoS as he doesn’t seem, unusually, to be actively shit to his followers. Cegorach for 40k for similar (though less strong) reasons.

If you’re going to hold me to the ‘big four’ though…. my answer is Tzeentch. Or is it?

Ultramarines are…..?

A Legion or Chapter of loyalist Space Marines.


You can follow Dave on Twitter here.

I’ve included some shots of other models below that Dave has painted since I’ve had the pleasure of knowing him.