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Mcthew - Signing Off


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At the weekend I indulged in a AoS palate cleanser and picked up Dystopian Wars 2.0 for the first time in years, playing a soda and pretzels game with my eldest son. The experience was fantastic, probably the most fun I’ve had at the table-top in months, and because of that, quite revelatory.

Here we were, playing a game that reintroduced me to table-top wargames again six years ago. And a game that I hadn’t played since Spartan Games unfortunately ‘rolled a double-one.’ These were out of date rules played with out of date models, with passion, and it was so much fun. And so little pressure to play.

Less so than Age of Sigmar.

So that got me thinking. It wasn’t that Dystopian Wars was a better game than AoS. It’s not, in my opinion. But it’s that lack of pressure on DW compared to AoS that made it more… fun. And what is a hobby if it isn’t fun, or relaxing?

One of the comments made to me recently during my AoS 3.0 navel gazing, has been to step back from the hobby. Initially that made me think about hanging up my dice like many have recently, but there are other ways to step back. One of those ways to understand why I’m not enjoying my hobby, and make those changes...

 

GW are, and for the most part since the late 80s, been completely driven as a business to get you to invest in the next new thing. Their priority is for profit, and getting you to buy more models and books is that thing. It’s capitalism dressed up as a hobby. That doesn’t bother me, nor does GW turning a profit; they make good models and product.

What does bother me is the relentless marketing, promoting and pressure to buy a product. We are all responsible enough to step back from this, but it’s knowing when to. AoS 3.0’s relentless promotion, divisive rules and points changes, designed to rebuild armies rather than complement them has stopped me in my tracks, I’ll be honest.

I’ve pre-ordered Dominion, but that’s with the knowledge that 3.0 will be the last edition I buy. In 4 years time it’s likely I will be doing something else, hobby-wise, once my kids have moved on to other things. I won’t be starting a new army, and I’m unlikely to rebuild the ones I have to fit AoS 3.0. I’ll just enjoy what I have now, and hope I get good games out of them. If not, then eBay will be a busy place for me. 

I’m at this point because of the aggressive practices from GW has meant an out of date game has been more fun to play (Dystopian Wars) rather than an up-to-date edition for what is supposed to be one of the most popular table-top games out there (AoS). I’ll still be playing AoS, but GW will get very little more from me (I’ve even discouraged my youngest son of investing in 40k – by telling him that an army will cost as much as a Ninetendo Switch and an Xbox!).

But you know, the pressure on my hobby isn’t just coming from GW

 

I’ve said this a lot over the years, but my love of AoS is in the models, the lore, the mechanics of the game. The fun. And yet recently I’ve been embroiled in debates that have been interesting but actually pointless. 

For example, having debates with LRL players about broken warscrolls and odd points increases across the board, has, in hindsight been a waste of my time. None of my friends have an LRL army. None of them are interested in building one. It’s doubtful I’ll ever play one, so I’m asking myself why debate it? Does it affect me that I think some units are broken? Actually, really, no. Does it bother me LRL might get nerfed or not nerfed in the future? Actually, again, I shouldn't care less, as it it’s not something I intend to invest in.

Do I think our debates will impact GW decisions? Again, that’s a no (see previous comments!). So why do it?

While this forum has been a great place to get advice, and the debates have been interesting, I’ve found there have been more negative experiences than positive. I don’t mean just from those complaining about their factions being nerfed, but also from those who complain about players who have been on the sharp end of the changes, but whose own factions are sitting pretty. In some respects, behaviours have been entirely selfish, and it’s not something I will indulge further.

I am a beer/soda and pretzels player essentially. I don’t do tournaments. I don’t play at the local store (to be honest, I do very little at the local GW store, including buying stuff). I play within a friendship group. However, debates and arguments seem to be driven by those who do play competitively, and like to be loud enough to shout down those who do not. I’ve even been guilty of doing that sometimes. But it’s exhausting trying to be objective when so many players are not even attempting to.

Dystopian Wars 2.0 doesn’t have a forum that I know of, and even if it did, I wouldn’t join, for the reasons above. The hobby is more fun without others forcing their views onto you. That’s not a hobby. And it isn’t even interesting, if you really think about it.

I’m not laying the blame entirely on the great and good here. GW’s methods are, as we know, divisive (and even when they are not, trust factors are quite low for them – it’s a reputational thing that they haven’t done enough to address). The division spills over here, whether it’s balance, the cost of models, points, rules, models or whatever. That negativity can often drown out the good because you are looking for likeminded people to share your troubles/sympathy/empathy etc. But equally there are those who won’t...

 

Arguably, if this my last post, then really I could just leave quietly. But I'm posting this because some of it might ring true with others on this forum. They might take away something that will help them. Or others might find nothing of use in this post. I love the passion of the players here. This is a good forum if you are coming to it for the right reasons (and only you can decide that). AoS is also a great game if you deafen the clamour coming from Nottingham, to play and invest on your terms, not GW’s.

So I wish everyone well with the hobby, whether you’re licking your wounds with AoS 3.0, or optimistic for the next tournament. May the ‘bones’ be kind to you all.

Best wishes

Mcthew

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All I can say for input is sometimes it's nice to take a break from your hobbies and find new and exciting ones.  Theres whole worlds of games and activities out there.  And maybe someday you may feel the pull and comeback, or find something else that appeals to you for the longterm.

I've quit Warhammer Fantasy twice so far in life.  First during 7th Edition with the reign of Deamons. I lost focus on what's fun and got to much into the debates back then, much like you are referring to now.  I wasted many of nights on Warseer (cant remember what it was called before then).

Second time I quit over End Times and GWs mishandling of everything around that time.

Overall I think AoS and GW are in a better place then i have ever remembered before but that's only one optimistic longbeards opinion.

 

Anyway hope you have a good time on your journeys to come! 

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3 hours ago, Mcthew said:

So I wish everyone well with the hobby, whether you’re licking your wounds with AoS 3.0, or optimistic for the next tournament. May the ‘bones’ be kind to you all.

Best wishes

As a fellow beer & pretzels game good luck and gods speed.

Played my first live game in over a year this weekend.  Was teaching a new player how to play (2.0) and they’d chosen Slaanesh as their army to be able to play both 40k & AoS.  Had a great time.

But the prospect of live games got me most excited about being able to play games that are NOT AoS.  Thanks to Zoom League over the last year I’ve played more AoS than ever.  3.0 leans into what I like (elites and monsters) so I’ll keep playing but…

What I’m really excited to play when our game group gets back together is not AoS 3.0.  It is Scythe.  Or Wings of Glory.  Or any of the dozens of other games that just didn’t translate to Zoom like AoS, Mysterium and Nine Tile Panic did.  So I truly hope you have a blast with Dystopian Wars 2.0 and discover other great games.

Because gaming should be incredibly fun.  In my experience AoS absolutely can be.  But if it’s not for you, or at least not right now, than we’re all blessed to be living through a gaming renaissance.  

Fully respect if this is your true sign off.  But if you do find another great game please feel free to pop back by and let us know.  I’m always looking for recommendations!

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I recently moved and in-person gaming hasn’t quite revved up here yet. And even when it does, the nearest game store with table space is over 30min away and as an introvert, I’m very particular about who I play with and the environment I play in. So it might take awhile for me to find an in-person AoS rhythm.

That’s why I’ve decided to look into miniature skirmish games with solo engines like Frostgrave & Rangers Of Shadow Deep. I have a table, terrain, and minis already thanks to AoS and I’m excited to potentially repurpose them for a solo skirmisher. Hobby time is hard enough to find as it is. Being able to set up and then pick up and play on my own sounds exciting.

I am part of @Beer & Pretzels Gamer’s Zoom League so that helps scratch the AoS itch somewhat, and I know I will play AoS in-person again this summer but day-to-day, week-to-week broadening my horizons makes sense to me.

Much respect @Mcthew for making the decision that’s best for you. Stepping away from the relentless cycle of AoS marketing is good for everyone sometimes. 

Edited by Televiper11
grammar
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I'll miss your voice on this forum, @Mcthew. I always thought you had good, reasonable and well considered takes on most topics.

But really, who could fault anyone for taking a break from a hobby or focussing their energy elsewhere when they feel like they are not getting what they want out of it. From your recent posts, I could tell you have been stuggling with the direction of AoS 3. I think taking a step back and taking a break from AoS and particularly AoS online communities seems like a good idea for you and I hope it helps you keep your enthusiasm for the hobby alive 🙂

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It can be so easy to lose sight of the fun when you get heavily into a game. I burned myself out on Malifaux during the playtests for their third edition, and AoS was my low-pressure 'rebound game', much like it sounds Dystopian Wars will be for you. A change is definitely as good as a holiday.

Best of luck in your future hobby endeavours!

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I'm a wargamer not a warhammer player so, to a degree, I am insulated from much of the pressure from GWs marketing and weekly release train becaue I can pivot to be hyped for a new historical time period or a new rule set to reuse my existing figures completely divorced from any sales cycle. A 6mm Roman is broadly the same regardless of which manufacturer I choose to buy from and those products are on the market all over the place. The back catalog of Infinity models is huge and the Corvus Belli method of delivering rules means barrier to entry on following a passing whim or interest is incredibly low.

I can just sit down and play games with what I have or jump onto a new thread of my own personal hype train rather than be tied to years long release cycles while waiting for something that excites me about 'my faction'.

I still play AoS every now and then, it's just such a big community that it's easy to get games practically anywhere rather than having to build a community locally for something less well known. And they do still produce some nice models, nice art and good emotional hooks to get you invested in a faction.

There's tons of games and just stuff of different scales and focuses and genre and historicity and fantasy and whatever out there to be engaged and excited by to follow your own hobby whims. I hope you have a great time indulging on those whims :)

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Usually I'm the forum guy to just post sarcastic goodbye gifs whenever someone decides to take their toys and go home. But I feel a lot of the same sentiments and thought I'd reply with unsolicited advice typing thoughtlessly into the void. Yea I got those vibes for 3.0 too, that zeitgeist saying "There is no more time for 1st and 2nd Edition fun. This is serious competitive 3.0 time, y'all*". Maybe it's why I prefer playing alone, where if I ****** up a rule I can just let it fly. The Coherency Rules just get me. It shouldn't be something that does because they make sense, but I just know some people, if not myself, then new people, are about to walk headfirst into being the victim of the 2018 LVO Controversy.

I'll start with the basic self-help: Get off social media. Social media is basically a soapbox for anyone to air their grievances to the world. When it's not just ignored, aired grievances usually just makes whomever hears them feel worse (either agreeing about the 'state of things' or disagreeing and starting the stressful act of 'Let me tell you why you're wrong.")

Second piece of advice, stop retooling your army. Some good models become must takes, and some become inefficient point whirlpools. Build the army YOU want and then mold it to fit the rules. If you've done it right from the beginning, you should be dropping models/units instead of getting new ones.

Third point: Take some time away, at least until you find that spark again. I started with a pledge to build all the boxes I had and that went out the window in March. I only just got back on in May and I had to sink to the lowest point (Trying something new modelwise and the plastic models I glued with plastic glue just fell apart in my hand halfway through painting)

Maybe check out a few PLOGs, see what everyone else is doing. I'd say follow people on Twitter/Instagram, but sometimes people use that for their own political opinions and that's what we're trying to avoid. Stick with here.

Hope to see you back on the Hobby Train again!

*Author's Note: Canadians and Yoopers please substitute in "Eh" in place of "y'all" in order to make this sentence better translate to your regional dialect.

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I have played Dystopian Wars from 1.0 to 2.0 (literally since the time where the game had about 5 factions and about 5 naval units each. It was the main reason why I hadn't played WHFB during 8th Edition.

We had a small community of 6 people during 1.0 and 1.5, sadly later in 2.0 their were only two players left. In case of DW you really had the feeling the game got better with editions (simplifying the Linked Weapon rules, the way that the tiny fighters got Movement trays and refueling got simplyfied so the Tinyfighters especially Divebombers and Torpedo Bombers could make more than one bombing run (since in the old game they had to land on the carrier and start the next turn)

I still have nearly anything from the 2 main alliances (except for maybe the latest release of denmark or some of those large robots Spartan Games had created in the end.

The main problem from Spartan Games was that they got bogged down by all their systems and licencing the Halo game was most likly the last nail to their coffin.

I followed Warcradle losly, but actually didn't liked it that they reduced the factions to 8 and changed the scale of Land units so something like this isn't possible anymore:

ACtC-3c_TRtGEdNiqREEgP8RJwUZ7F7e1-MhwXHw

On 6/22/2021 at 11:31 AM, Mcthew said:

Dystopian Wars 2.0 doesn’t have a forum that I know of, and even if it did, I wouldn’t join, for the reasons above. The hobby is more fun without others forcing their views onto you. That’s not a hobby. And it isn’t even interesting, if you really think about it.

Spartan Games had it's own forum and Warcradle should still have one, but I doesn't really follow it anymore. In our german communities gw-fanworld and tabletopwelt their are also still subforums for the game

 

On 6/22/2021 at 11:31 AM, Mcthew said:

I’ve said this a lot over the years, but my love of AoS is in the models, the lore, the mechanics of the game. The fun. And yet recently I’ve been embroiled in debates that have been interesting but actually pointless. 

For example, having debates with LRL players about broken warscrolls and odd points increases across the board, has, in hindsight been a waste of my time. None of my friends have an LRL army. None of them are interested in building one. It’s doubtful I’ll ever play one, so I’m asking myself why debate it? Does it affect me that I think some units are broken? Actually, really, no. Does it bother me LRL might get nerfed or not nerfed in the future? Actually, again, I shouldn't care less, as it it’s not something I intend to invest in.

Do I think our debates will impact GW decisions? Again, that’s a no (see previous comments!). So why do it?

While this forum has been a great place to get advice, and the debates have been interesting, I’ve found there have been more negative experiences than positive. I don’t mean just from those complaining about their factions being nerfed, but also from those who complain about players who have been on the sharp end of the changes, but whose own factions are sitting pretty. In some respects, behaviours have been entirely selfish, and it’s not something I will indulge further.

I am a beer/soda and pretzels player essentially. I don’t do tournaments. I don’t play at the local store (to be honest, I do very little at the local GW store, including buying stuff). I play within a friendship group. However, debates and arguments seem to be driven by those who do play competitively, and like to be loud enough to shout down those who do not. I’ve even been guilty of doing that sometimes. But it’s exhausting trying to be objective when so many players are not even attempting to.

I know what you mean. I've got a little quiter here as well because of the discussions here (and using the german communities more at the moment). I'm more narrative focused so "meta" doesn't interest me that much.

Threads like this show what I partly dislike:

I have read around 55 of 65 pages until now. The thing is, I have the feeling people simply want to rip the new edition appart before it started without knowing the full picture (like everytime when some rule snippets are revealed) as a excample ("Unleash Hell", before knowing that each Command Ability can only be used once per phase.) And with the Sentinels you could start a drinking game. Some time I have the feeling that their is way to much focus on future releases, where little is known instead of what we have now.

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Good luck!

I know there is at least some talk about Dystopian Wars recently, so (apart from fora), there's probably a Reddit somewhere.

As for a lighter touch ruleset, maybe Oathmark would work for you? Though the existence of 3.0 doesn't invalidate what you have. Especially Cities and the core rules are a nice self-contained ruleset.

As for games to play with kids, Rangers of Shadowdeep can be cooperative, as can Stargrave's solo mode. Stargrave would also fit that 40k hole at half the cost (or less).

I enjoyed our discord here, and wish you the best!

Edited by zilberfrid
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First of all: Thanks for the great post @Mcthew! I wish you the very best for the future and hope you will settle with your hobby in a way that gives you the best experience! :)

I also think that GW Systems feel currently oversaturated due to the bloat of book releases and the evershifting meta which triggers endless debattes in the internet. The fact alone that one doesn't know if the own army will be fun to play after the next battletome is something that really want's me to sell all my AoS/40k stuff, too. But from my experience there is a huge gap between the discussion boards and the real game club. The internet debattes are often loud, doomtelling and tend to sacrifice creativity and fun for sake of efficiency and winning. Meanwhile, most time I meet with people to play, it is about having a good time and putting the newest painted models onto the table. And also, especially when it comes to GW, the community is really loaded. There are plently of people that have a weird relation to GW which doesn't help the overall discussion. Trying other games is here really a good solution as there are many other fun game systems which really profit from each single player supporting it. 

 

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On 6/22/2021 at 11:31 AM, Mcthew said:

(I’ve even discouraged my youngest son of investing in 40k – by telling him that an army will cost as much as a Ninetendo Switch and an Xbox!).

Breaks my heart. My kids are not quite old enough yet, but I'll be darned if I do not do everything I can to get them into a cool hobby instead of playing CoD on Xbox all the time.

40k is more popular than AoS still and more easy to find other players and friends. With the added content around 40k such as stories and games, it also more easily holds the attention of kids. I have many of my best memories from the local youth center playing warhammer, tabletop games and other RPGs and still as an adult keep in touch with the friends I made.

The anti capitalist point of view as GW being the villain but Nintendo or Microsoft being a better option here does not make much sense to me either.

Some people like waterskiing, some buy a motorcycle, those are very very expensive hobbies. Playing, painting and collecting warhammer has always seemed like a highly efficient hobby to me, in relation to money spent and enjoyment, but to each their own. Also no reason to "quit" a hobby, just take a break, it is not a relationship or contract after all.

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I got quite fascinated recently with fan-made material, be it in tabletop games, RPGs or even PC games. The quality that some fans produce in their spare time without getting paid is astounding. I also feel like they are often closer to what other fans want, and they often use feedback from the community and discuss openly the rationale behind their  design decisions. I think the professional  content creators can/should/will have to learn from that in the future.

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I wish you the best man. Hobbies and games like this are meant to be fun and if you’re not having a fun, why stick around? Personally I’m pretty excited for 3.0 and starting the new crusade system my my gaming group, but I can totally get why you might be turned off. I’ve had moments in the past while playing video games where I realized I wasn’t enjoying key components of the game such as grinding, and it dawned on me that why should I spend my leisure time doing something I didn’t enjoy. 
 

In this hobby I try and focus on the things I enjoy and avoid what I don’t. There’s a lot of drama online which I try and avoid as it doesn’t better my experience with the hobby, and rarely actually impacts my gaming community. This is an expensive hobby that I do for fun, why seek out negativity. But If a major shift happened and I found I no longer enjoyed Warhammer, I’d leave too. 
 

I hope you continue to find enjoyment in other games and maybe we’ll see you back here again in the future. 

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I agree with many of your points, and wish you all the best. Have fun with dystopian wars, I've always thought that looked like a fun game, but never got into it sadly.

I'm on the fence about 3rd edition too. I don't think I can be bothered with it, given the miniscule amount of time I actually spend playing the game. I'm enjoying the lore, and will probably keep getting books to keep up with that, but I'd like to step back and decouple myself from the GW release hype a bit. At present I've got enough models to last me a year or more of painting fun, and nothing that I want seems particularly endangered.

I dislike the rate at which the edition cycle goes, so am seriously considering just making a rule that I only care about even numbered editions or something like that. I have no interest in playing competitively, so keeping playing 2.0 until 4th ed comes out shouldn't be too much of a hassle, indeed the thing I'm most excited about at the moment is to try to arrange a Tomb Kings vs Bretonians game with either AoS 1 or WFB 6e rules. I guess if Chaos Dwarves do come out then that might convince me to buy into 3e, but we'll just have to wait and see on that one.

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Absolutely understandable desicion.

I regularly do TT/online detox and it IS healty for your attidude towards the hobby ( or even life itself).

 

(Not so) fun fact : TGA and its (at the time) positive attitude was a major reason for my last return to the hobby. 

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20 hours ago, NinthMusketeer said:

I think there is a very pragmatic observation to be made here--the company without the relentless marketing is out of business.

Actually I don't think that the marketing was the main problem.

The problem was most likely that they had too many games. I'm not sure about the beginning but the timeframe should be 2008-2017 for all of them.

  • Achtung! Chuthulu
  • Uncharted Seas: A Fantasy Naval game
  • Firestorm Armada: Space Battles with Space Ships
  • Distopian Wars: Steampunk Game with Sea, Air and Land units (with around 20 factions, 7 Large Factions + the rest are smaller once)
    • Their was also a Land + Air game named Armoured Clash using the Air and Land Units in Battalions
  • Dystopian Legions: 32mm Infantybased game with 6 Factions
  • Planetfall: Landbased game from the Firestorm Armada Universe
  • Halo, both a game for Fleetbattes and Groundbattles

My main guess is that Halo broke them in the end because they most likely had to pay licencing fees + many of the games had quite similar rules with other optical concepts. They basicly would have needed a Customerbase like GW to survive.

I think shortly before they went bankrupt they tried to get money for new editons of Dystopian Wars and Firestorm Armada with Crowdfounding but were unable to pay the supplier at the end.

Edited by EMMachine
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I think that you bring up wonderful points and as one of the players on the lower end of the financial spectrum many of your points hit close to home. I typically stay away from balancing debates as I am not a great strategist to begin with but it does seem to be a place in which a lot of toxicity seems to creep. Most of the people I play with are locked into their armies for financial reasons and I am one of the few to build multiple small armies. This is largely because I like the play style of elite factions making 2000 points more viable. Even if the term elite seems to be a serious misnomer on the tabletop.

My goal in getting back into this hobby was really simple. I simply wanted to build, model and paint two roughly equal armies to play with either my partner or some friends. I actually accomplished that goal and through some trades and a little generosity from a friend my second army was actually significantly cheaper than I anticipated. For this reason I have been thinking of starting a third and likely final army... my goal is to pick up Dominion*. I hoped to repay that friend with half the contents, but he is not interested in either faction so I have been trying thinking about trading the Orruks for some more Death units for his army.

The pressure to buy the new hottest thing is always more or less just dreaming for me. A good example is how excited I was for Be'Lakor's new model but it sadly fell beyond my price range. However, I do have a small derpy plastic Demon Prince and in a pinch I can proxy it for Be'Lakor. I am not interested in the competitive side of gaming and just want to share in some fun times with my friends. My small group of fellow players are very generous about not being over competitive. When using my collections, if one of my armies is over powered I will simply let the newer player use them and if I am playing with someone more experienced than we can work out some internal balances.

But the reality is that when this hobby becomes unfulfilling to me I know that I will likely sell my pieces and move on. It will be a sad day but I also know it is the reality of someone in such a hobby with limited budget and shelf space. The fact that I have made it this far is a shock but has been entirely based around smart purchases, second hand models and trades. I do like this hobby enough that in selling my armies I will look for a new smaller scale game... just to have some fun models and something to do on rainy nights. I keep wanting to learn more about Frostgrave as it seems like a nice game size and I have heard good things but sadly none of my friends are interested and still haven't found the models that quite click with me aesthetically. Star Wars Legion is another one that has piqued my interest but I also feel like my love of that franchise will stymie my creative process a little to greatly... maybe I could paint a sith version of Luke or a rebel legion of Battle Droids but I would then want their canon equivalents as well. 😅

But wherever life takes you my friend, make sure to enjoy your hobbies and find pleasure in the things that you choose to do. And if ever you wish to return you have a community here to rehash jokes about Choas Dwarf hats and GW's hotly anticipated release of Critters and Keys.

*Heck this is only possible entirely thanks to being very cautious with my COVID relief money.

Edited by Neverchosen
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