And what an incredible year it's been too. Such an exciting time to be in the hobby with surprises around every corner to excite & inspire.
I started the year with a now failed hobby goal to attend 12 events over the course of the year, beginning well after attending three between January - March. Then life got in the way and implemented a six month gap onto my hobby ambition. Oh well, resolutions & all that!
Something I'm immensely proud of achieving this year though was the creation of the Hammerers, officially. I've wanted to run a gaming club no matter how modest for a long time, and can now look back on this year knowing that the dream was finally made a reality. The club has not only given me fantastic motivation to get hobby projects & terrain completed, but I've met a great group of guys to enjoy Age of Sigmar with. Miniature wargaming is expensive, & having a place where I get to game regularly gives me a sense of value for money in addition to the enjoyment and escapism from a stressful job.
Looking back, we've been very lucky at the club to be able to enjoy a huge amount of new product & involvement from Games Workshop. A month after the club started our regular games'nights, the General's Handbook was released. The matched play element of the Handbook really helped to boost attendance as players were able to discuss & decide on points limitations for their games through our Facebook page, fighting over a cleverly designed set of challenging battleplans. Personally, the Handbook was by far my best purchase of 2016, & we are hoping to explore the many other features and various campaigns it contains in the new year.
Another enriching experience for the club was the global Season of War campaign, which really helped get everyone immersed into Age of Sigmar. Not only did it inspire the Hammerers to ramp up their painting projects, we also hosted a huge battle on the last week of the campaign where all the chaos gods were represented, as well as the Stormcast, Ironjaws & even Nagash!
The recent release of blood bowl will also make a grand appearance at the club soon, and work has begun on our first ever league. There's also some discussions about a ladder campaign for Age of Sigmar too.
One thing I am sure we will all be doing more of in 2017 is attending events, in as larger number as possible. The narrative events held at warhammer world at the start of the year were a great introduction into the rich story of the new universe, and we also had a fantastic time at the South Coast Grand Tournament - the largest, and definitely the friendliest independent event I personally have ever attended. We were really proud to be at an event that went on to form the backbone of the General's Handbook.
We also attended the Honour & Glory event held by Solent Wargames. A one day matched play tournament that was won by our very own Hammerer Chris Goldsworthy & his devoted of Sigmar!
Our last attended event of the year was the incredible Blood & Glory. Timed perfectly, the tournament really showcased the journey Age of Sigmar has been on throughout the year, and really showed off the competitive element of matched play spectacularly. This was the first event I'd attended that all the top players were involved with having missed out on the Warlords & Facehammer GT events earlier in the year. I learnt a lot about how to play the game that weekend!
Games Workshop have been much more involved in the hobby community this year too, live streaming events, creating community pages & even a TV show! I was made up to see Rob Symes become the face of Warhammer TV after watching such a genuinely nice guy take home the SCGT & deliver one of the most hilarious podcast shows I think I'll ever hear! It really well demonstrates Games Workshops efforts to reconnect with us.
The Grand Alliance community page also had a huge impact on membership for the club, in particular through their ingenious world map of clubs & players. I meet & talk to new players, returning rage quitters & die hard Warhammer fans constantly, growing not only our player base but also inter-club events too. The forum section also helps to iron out any rules questions that come up on club nights.
Now, at the end of the year thanks to the various events & club nights, I've achieved a Warhost of Death, Warhost of Flesh Eater Courts, a Battlehost of Nurgle & a Vanguard of Seraphon all fully painted! Think that's the most I've ever painted in a year!
A fantastic journey in such a small amount of time. We are all very excited at the club for 2017 & all the new hobby it will bring, and I feel very fortunate to start the year with a well attended club to further pursue my passion for campaigns & narratives with.
If your local, or attending an organised event in 2017, or even from another gaming club, get in touch. We are always looking for new players to battle against & often travel to get games in between club nights.
Happy new year!
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