In 2015 I wrote a blog entry about my top Ten 40k Gaming Related Events in 2014. I did’t do one last year as the show was shut down. But I stumbled across the old article and decided to do it again this year. It has been a crazy year both inside and outside of gaming but this list focuses on what I loved about the Warhammer 40k scene over the last year.
So here, in no particular order is my Top Ten 40k Gaming Related Events of 2016.
1 - The Return of The Independent Characters
Apparently I was the last one to realize that this would indeed occur. When I broached the topic of restarting the show with my wife, she replied “Duh.” I feel like a bit of an idiot when it comes down to it.
However, the reception we have received upon deciding to come back has been insane. More downloads and interest than ever before, and if I am being honest I think we have had some of our best episodes recently. The show is still very important to me, but stripping away a lot of the satellite things (running IC events, videos, live shows, etc) has allowed me to focus on ensuring that the show is the best it can be. I only have limited time to do this while spending time with family, friends, gaming, etc. and I need to stay focused to make sure we don’t screw it up.
In 2014 I said “our download numbers have swollen to the point of bursting!” I clearly did not know what “bursting” meant back then, because our numbers are easily 3x what they were then. I usually do not really share these numbers publicly, but I figured I would give you a glimpse of how the Show of Force: Dark Eldar show performed.
2 - Colin vs Carl (Admech vs. Death Guard)
I love my 40k Death Guard army. It is probably the army I have played the most times. Though Ultramarines are a close second. So when Colin suggested we do a Chaos vs Admech narrative game that he had written, involving Scabbathrax, I said “Sign me up!”
That first game was incredible. And it showed how a narrative game can still be competitive and cooperative at the same time. I truly believe this is the 40k “sweet spot” but it isn’t always easy to hit, and not everyone can do it.
I wrote the second game in our series, and following up Colins awesome scenario wasn’t easy. However, I had this idea for a long time where I use my Zone Mortalis tiles to represent the interior of buildings on the table. Since 40k is generally about 6 turns long, this doesn’t leave much time for exploration. I wrote the scenario, ran it by Colin and we gave it a run. We made some quick small adjustments as the game progressed (to streamline entering and exiting buildings) and things went amazingly well.
This could have been a terrible game - but turned out to be one of my favorite games of the year.
We need to set up the third game in our trilogy now…
3- Getting my office space/painting area/recording studio set up
As many listeners know, I have moved (am still moving) in the last few months. This is a real pain in the ass, but comes with many great opportunities as well. My new gaming space is one of those opportunities that will be realized in 2017.
But for now, I needed an office slash painting studio slash recording studio (slash place to retreat!) in the new place. We picked a room that would work well for it an after getting a guy in to paint the room I started filling it up with a new desk, display cases, artwork and gaming material. I really love my new office and I spend quite a bit of time in it. Sometimes just thinking… and occasionally painting.
The Astronomicon (as it is now called) has proved to be a decent recording studio, although there are a couple of challenges that we didn’t have in The Boiler Room. Namely barking dogs, people talking outside the door, etc. But all in all, I love the place and I am really happy to have it.
4 - Jordan Raskopulous and the Story Club the Podcast
Many of you now know that Jordan from The Axis of Awesome has gone through some major life changes over the last two years. I am lucky to count her as one of my friends (yet ANOTHER friend I made through the Podcast!), and this year she shared a great story about attending the Las Vegas Open (LVO) after coming out as transgender.
The story features a couple mentions about myself. I am flattered and honored that Jordan thinks so highly of me. If you haven’t listened to this Podcast. Do yourself a favor and do so. It is only about 15 minutes long but you will laugh, and hopefully it will make you think a bit about women in our hobby as well.
5 - The Warhammer Community Team
What a difference a year makes! This team has knocked everything OUT OF THE PARK as far as I am concerned. I am absolutely thrilled with their level of community engagement and how active their various social channels have become. It started out with the return of their Facebook pages (which GW should have never closed in the first place) but expanded quickly to their YouTube Channel with painting tutorials, sneak peaks, and rumor displacement. Then it culminated into the release of their Warhammer-Community website and live streaming channel!
Overall I am highly impressed with the work that the team are doing over there. Thanks for making all of the players of your games feel like a part of YOUR gaming group again!
6 - Praetorian of Dorn and The Master of Mankind
The Horus Heresy is moving forward in a big way and we are on the verge of The Siege of Terra! These two books really moved the story forward in my mind. Let’s talk about them one at a time:
Praetorian of Dorn simply blew me away. I need to speak to John French about it because there is one particular angle that confuses me a little bit, but what a ride! Alpharius, Dorn, Alpha Legion, Imperial Fists… what isn’t to like about this book? Intrigue and a stunning ending, that some fans are still arguing didn’t happen.
This was followed up by Aaron Dembski-Bowdens, The Master of Mankind (Some people tend to drop the “The” part in that title. I don’t know why it bugs me so much when they do!). This book has created a ton of controversy as well. I won’t offer any spoilers here, but let me just say that it was a masterful take on what is going on with The Emperor, Custodes, Sisters of Silence AND Mechanicum on Terra… and outside of it. I personally loved the novel and I am going to hit it up with a second read through as well. A lot of reveals in this one!
7 - Thousand Sons and Chaos Legions release
I’ll mash these together because they are so related and were released so closely. Chaos Legions is something the Chaos Space Marine community has been clamoring about for years. And man is it great! I have read several people complaining about the lack of top-tier power level (usually saying anything but Death Guard aren’t good), but I couldn’t be happier with this Codex Supplement. It adds flavor and new, extended life to a Codex that, let’s face it, struggles with unit cost quite a bit. (I mean it’s no Tyranid Codex, but still…)
Not only that, Chaos Legions allows me to field my Black Legion, Death Guard, Thousand Sons and even my 30k Word Bearers (with some minor additions), in games of Warhammer 40k! I was not around during the “glory days” of the 3.5 Chaos Codex, so for me this is an incredible time to play Chaos Space Marines.
Speaking of Thousand Sons. Holy Hell! Let’s start with the incredible model release. Long overdue for Rubric Marines, but now Scarab Terminators, Tzangors, and a host of other things coming (Blue Horrors). The models are beautifully detailed and just a dream to put together.
What? Oh yeah. I forgot to mention Magnus The Red! A Daemon Primarch in the flesh (or plastic as the case may be) has now graced the tables. The model is incredible, regardless of your stance on nipple horns. To make your life easy, they have fully sculpted his torso so you can leave the breastplate off if that isn’t your thing. I started painting mine towards the end of 2016 and fully expect to finish it in the first week or so of 2017.
Chaos has risen to be my primary army again. I just need to get enough painted up for a massive Apocalypse battle.
Also, I neglected to mention the chuckle I got when reading the Word Bearers force organization example and saw that it referenced over and over Carls Chaos Space Marine collection. I’m still not sure who over there I need to thank for the nod. But every time I ask all I get is a winky-face response.
8 - White Dwarf returns to glory
While we are being honest, I will tell you that I had expected this to happen much sooner. The weekly version of the magazine just wasn’t what people wanted. It certainly wasn’t what I wanted. But this new monthly magazine has really stepped it up from previous versions! Full battle reports, beautifully edited and formatted, with articles that are interesting and insightful, this is the magazine we wanted to see back when Geoff and I did the episode about White Dwarf then and Now (Episode #72).
I was really happy to re-subscribe to White Dwarf after several years of letting my subscription lapse. Th eonly bummer is that it hasn't arrived as early as many would have hoped each month. I thought the subscriptions would get here slightly ahead of release in the stores. It may have something to do with being in California... but I doubt it.
All that aside, the magazine is back and it is strong! I can't wait for it to arrive in my mailbox every month.
9 - Loopy creating Carlus Tuttus Vindicator Company Formation which goes horribly viral
If you missed it, click on the image here. Loopy released this fake formation as a joke. I guess not as many people had heard about Carlus Tuttlus (dubbed the laziest Space Marine name in the Galaxy by Aaron Dembski-Bowden), and my extra vindicator as he thought.
The Nerd Rage that erupted over this formation on various Facebook Groups was absolutely priceless. As Jason Mullins likes to say “I sat back with my popcorn and started munching.” Pretty quickly I realized this was getting out of control and I started responding to posts on groups with a canned response I had written, explaining how it was fake and what the reference was.
It still amazed me that people would argue WITH ME about the validity of the formation, even though my name (Carl Tuttle) and the formations name (Carlus Tutus Vindicator Company Formation) were REMARKABLY similar.
Still it made me laugh something fierce to see this thing get legs.
10 - Group Trip to London and Nottingham in April
A whole lot has been said about this trip on various Podcasts so far. I was able to convince Blake and Ed (Life After the Cover Save), Adan (The ICs of course), Doug (Tablewar!), Loopy (Masters of The Forge) , and Campbell (Camhammer) to go on a trip to London and Nottingham. Seeing all my friends over there and getting to spend time with them while gaming and just hanging out was great.
Listen to Episode #132 for more information about what our experience there was (or listen to their various Podcasts). It was a great trip though. To show others what I had been talking about for years was a real treat.
Two really great things stand out for me on this trip though. The first was meeting Dave of Dave Paints. He is the commission painter that painted my wife stunning looking Eldar (The Chelledar). Dave was a great guy, we got in a great game with his friend, and he is a pleasure to hang out with.
I also got to play a 30k game with my Word Bearers vs Black Library library author Justin Hill and his World Eaters. His army is beautifully painted, Justin is an incredibly fun opponent and an all around nice guy. I finally got to field my heavy weapon squad and their autocannons, which were devastating to the World Eaters units. The game was heavily in Justins favor early on but my Word Bearers stuck it out and ended up turning the tide. We are going to do a rematch when I return in April for sure.
I don’t know how Teras from Geek Nation Tours does it though. I am not cut out to be a tour guide and it was never my intention to set everyones schedule there. By the end I was exhausted. This was my 4th trip to Warhammer World, and my first one not going alone. My next one will be a solo trip where I am not responsible (or feel responsible) for anyone but myself enjoying themselves.
These items were awesome but didn't qualify for one reason or another, or were just beat by other events.
- Though not Warhammer 40k related, our annual Geekend this year was off the chain! We had 23 guys playing games for 4 days in a beautiful house. What an incredible event.
- Faultline 40k, a group of our local gamers with high requirements on painting and narrative play launched Zachs “Alien Skies” campaign. It was an amazing event and had me breaking out (and actually painting) my Tyranids.
- Being invited to be a guest on Teras’ Geek Nation Tours Miniatures in the UK event. It doesn’t happen until September 2017, but it promises to be a blast! I am truly honored that he asked.
Acquiring a Thunderhawk through Ebay and beginning to convert it to a Chaos Thunderhawk. I’ll have this done in probably Q1 of 2017.
- Space Hulk: Deathwing releasing! Look, PC games are a bit buggy. This is why I am primarily a console gamer these days. But I couldn’t wait for this game on console so picked it up to play. Despite a few bugs here and there, the multiplayer gameplay is fantastic fun!
- The "Blind Deployment" series of games at Game Kastle, run by Doug Neale. I had always heard of this and wanted to try it. It’s just as much fun as you would think it is! Highly recommend this as a way to play sometime.
- “Discovering” Metallic Sharpies. Having been told about it and not believing in it for some time, it has proven to be an incredible tool and has really helped me get ahead on my Black Legion army!
- Taking my Tablewar miniatures case with the Painters/Hobbyist set up on a trip I took to Oregon proved invaluable as I was able to do painting during the down time. What a seriously great and useful product.
- Having Horus painted by Israel Sanchez - even though I don’t play Sons of Horus. It’s a great model with a fantastic paint job!
- Adding units to the Chelledar which taught me a lot about blending with my airbrush. Thanks to Dave Paints for all of the advice!