It has been an incredible year. I have attempted to sum up my top moments as they relate to gaming.
1 - Horus Heresy Gaming at Warhammer World
What could be better than playing Horus Heresy with great friends, the actual creators of the game itself, and on amazing terrain at Warhammer World. Nothing really. I’ll let the picture speak for me, but there was over 10,000 points on the table...
2 - Horus Heresy Game: Word Bearers vs Space Wolves with Jason Mullins
Maybe it’s that it was so recent. Maybe it’s that it was with one of my favorite people. Maybe it was just that this incredible game swung back and forth so heavily and was full of moments that had us cheering and screaming in equal measure. Either way it was one of the most enjoyable games I have played in this hobby, hands down.
3 - Private dinner with Alan Bligh, John French, Aaron Dembski-Bowden, and Eadwine Brown
One of the many great things about running The Independent Characters is that it has afforded me the opportunity to meet so many great people over the years. This single evening was full of so much laughter, beer, good conversation, beer, insight into the hobby, and beer that it easily made this list. Many people would kill for an opportunity like this. I may have left a trail of bodies on my way…
4 - Meeting Jordan Raskopoulos from Axis of Awesome and getting crushed
This was the year that I was introduced to Axis of Awesome for the first time. For those people who have known who they are for a long time (Awesome Hipsters), it will come as no surprise to you that they are fantastic. When Jordans wife reached out to me to wish him a Happy Birthday on the show, I had no idea who they really were. This introduction eventually led to Jordan and I planning to play a game in Southern California while he was in town. It was a seven hour drive for me, but an even longer flight for him. So I figured I could suck it up and drive.
What an incredibly nice guy Jordan was. Even as he systematically destroyed my Ultramarines with his Death Guard. On top of all that he was generous enough to invite me to participate in one of the bands YouTube Videos. If you don’t know Axis of Awesome, prepare to have your mind blown.
5 - Completely painting my Word Bearers in record time
I even surprised myself with the speed at which this project finally came together when I put my mind, and my one hour a night to it! As a side note this has stroked my massive ego even further when people on The Overlords Facebook Page began using the hashtag #TuttleTime to represent their one hour a night of hobby progress. It’s flattering and embarrassing at the same time, since really, it was Paul Rudge of Forge World and Justin Keefer who promoted the idea with me.
And while I want to go back and add more details later, the Word Bearers were painted to an “above tabletop standard” which I was happy enough with to bring to Warhammer World and use. Another feather in my cap for my fifth fully painted army.
6 - Getting the Chelledar painted by Dave Paints
Seeing the results of this commission paint job speaks for itself. My wife was incredibly happy with the work done. I had another fully painted army on the table in The Boiler Room. And Chelle even began playing Warhammer 40k with me again. While it was not cheap to do, it was totally worth it to me. Dave made the process a lot of fun as we talked out the paint scheme and went back and forth on test models. Seeing how fast the painting progress went made my jaw drop.
I thought they couldn’t possibly look better than the amazing pictures that were being shared, but when they arrived at the house we were thrilled to see that they surpassed our expectations. Everyone who looks at them, walks away impressed. I have learned a lot about painting from this experience as well.
7 - 40k Game: Tyranids vs. Salamanders with Josh
Early in the year, shortly after the Tyranids were released, I played a massive game against Josh (local friend from Santa Cruz) and his beautiful Salamanders (since sold to another local friend!). The Tyranid Codex had been declared a failure by the community, but it has always been an army I have appreciated.
This game was unbelievably fun, with incredible moments. Josh is a great player and was able to keep his cool as my flying monstrous creatures descended on his Space Marines, eventually turning the tide in his favor. One of the best moments of all time was watching as he shot my warlord flying hive tyrant out of the sky, then his drop podded stern guard vets gunning it down with poison ammunition while it was on the ground. Only to have the entire stern guard squad devoured the next moment by my Mawloc bursting through the ground beneath them! It’s interesting how some games stick with you forever. This was one of those games.
8 - Getting Doug (aka replacement Geoff) into our group
No doubt about it. Losing Geoff to Virginia was a blow to my fragile state of mind. We had become really good friends over the last five years and I was sad that he chose to return to his home state.
So when Doug joined the group, we jokingly referred to him as “Replacement Geoff”. This really is a disservice to Doug though. He is a really fun gamer, a great guy, and we have struck up a quick friendship that transcends gaming. He has a great sense of humor (as you may have seen by some of his videos) and a fondness for good beer. He also comes as a package deal with a lovely wife, who seems to get along well with Chelle.
So while Doug could never truly replace Geoff. He doesn’t have to.
9 - Finally interviewing Aaron Dembski-Bowden on The Independent Characters
You have no idea how long we waited for the stars to align so we could get Aaron Dembski-Bowden on the show to talk about one of his books. He is an elusive and slippery bastard. But when Talon of Horus came out, we knew this was our moment to strike! And what an amazing guy and fun interview he was. Talon of Horus was my favorite book of the year (followed by Ahriman: Sorcerer - sorry John - but he DID spend a YEAR writing Talon!) which has led me down the path of building and painting my Black Legion army.
Aaron couldn’t have been nicer during the interview. A true gentleman, despite me calling him a bastard in the last paragraph. His insights into the book were invaluable and based on the feedback we received, I think the audience really enjoyed the interview as much as we did. Doing Forbidden Lore segments wouldn’t be right without Geoff there, so piping him in via Skype was a no-brainer as well.
And just when I thought it was over, Aaron throws a shout out to The IC’s during his Talon of Horus discussion at The Black Library Weekender! In response to a question from the audience he says “Well like I said in my interview with The Independent Characters Podcast….” I may have squealed like a little girl - but it was all on the inside.
10 - Adepticon 2014
This was my third trip to Adepticon and despite some rough patches, it was a great time. Our friend Aaron (Strahd on the forums) was finally able to get permission to join us. We spent a ton of time playing in open games, reuniting with friends we have made over the last four years or so, and getting so many chances to talk with listeners of the show that I began debating wearing a disguise in 2015!
This is such a great event spearheaded by people I have become friends with, that I look forward to it each year. In 2013 I did not attend as I was in the UK at the time, but coming to Adepticon in 2014 was like returning home. I want to seriously thank each and every person that came up and provided feedback about The Independent Characters. It has been an absolute pleasure to meet each and every one of you. I am truly humbled by the experience.
Adepticon Titanicus, while a bit slow and needing some streamlining, was an AMAZING experience! Seeing so many titans amongst such incredible terrain made my tears water with joy. The level of painting for some of those titans was incredible. In particular Rob Baer (of Spikey Bitz) and Dave Taylor (of Dave Taylor Miniatures) paint jobs just blew my mind. I can’t wait for March of 2015!
Coincidentally Adepticon runs over my birthday this year (March 21st), so please do wish me a Happy Birthday if you see me there.
11 - Another year of The ICs - My list goes to 11!
The loss of Geoff was a tragedy to be sure. Ok maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement, but he truly was half of the heart and soul of The Independent Characters. It is hard to believe that an entire year has gone by since he left the program. However, this has been an incredibly successful year for The IC’s. This year we have:
- Introduced more of our gaming group to you, the listeners. Justin, Bryce, Adan, Ken, and others have all stepped into the “second chair” to help out with the show and provide some awesome content along the way.
- The 2014 Hobby Progress Challenge has just wrapped up and the winners have been announced. But it was an incredible journey for myself as well as many others. It was so popular it forced us to upgrade our hosting environment for the forums and the show.
- Introduced the Show of Force episodes which have been incredibly challenging but also hugely popular.
- Interviewed several Black Library authors along the way (Guy Haley, Aaron Dembski-Bowden, John French to name a few).
- I have traveled to several stores and locations, meeting listeners and gamers, which has allowed me to provide more content for the show.
- We have reviewed multiple Horus Heresy and Imperial Armour books.
- We have taken listener suggested topics and turned them into full blown episodes (From Diapers to Dicebags anyone?!)
- We reached the fabled 100 episode mark.
- We started releasing short videos called The IC’s Unbound. To help fill in the gaps during the time between episodes.
On top of all that, our download numbers have swollen to the point of bursting! I am truly humbled that so many people have connected with the show. Thank you all for listening.
In looking back on it all and realizing there are many things that didn't make the Top Ten (or 11 but who's counting) list, I am amazed at what a busy and fun year it has been. I can only hope that 2015 is remotely as good!