Friday, 29 December 2017

Rolling a Natural One: 2017

Often, as one year closes and another one starts, we become reflective and look back at the year that was. After 6 years of gaming pretty much weekly, I've had to take some time off due to various events and my own mental state. 2017 is the year depression and anxiety has kicked my arse.

It did'nt start well, personal life hit a shitter straight after Xmas, and a few months later my photography studio, also the then home of our gaming club, was hit with a break in. I lost my Space Marine army, Genestealer Cult, Daemons... Several of the club members lost armies too and this hurt me more than my own items being pinched. Knowing how many hours I'd put into painting, but more so how much time others had put into their collections broke me plain and simple. three or four weeks later I received a phonecall from a local second hand shop, and luckily most of the things that were taken were returned. But at this point, I still felt done.

I considered selling it all, as I'd already given up and seeing it ever again and just wanted away with it. The thought of continuing to paint what had now been tainted just affected me more than I could have imagined. Suddenly the hobby that had been my escape from depression became the source of it. Thats a world turner right there I can tell you. The thing with depression is the lack of feeling anything. When I would game I'd become passionate, inspired, creative... without that I had little to do, no motivation to do anything and literally just wanted the world to swallow me. I'd wake up, and immediately want to go back to sleep, or not wake up at all. Any little thing that goes wrong feels like you've been defeated for days, lose a fiver, drop some food, thats it. Day gone.

Things people would say to me would be analyzed beyond need, negative thoughts resulting from the smallest of comments even if they'd be reaching out to try and help. I would things in forums or threads and even if it wasn't aimed at me, I'd look into it far too much and believe things were. When people and gaming are driving you into deeper depths of depression you shy away from all things related to them, not going to see friends, not conversing with them online, I didn't paint for several months and I probably forgot how to roll a dice.

Getting back into the hobby has taken a lot of time. I'm still not 100% back to where I was before this all happened, but I'm getting there. I still take things to heart, I still don't always feel motivated to pick up a brush and theres certainly days where waking up is the last thing I want to do. But the thing to remember? This is all okay. I've suffered depression at various levels throughout most of my life, and I've been through this before but never had it affect me with something I love doing.

The first models I painted since the burglary were these and a new human Blood Bowl team I picked up at UKGE 2017. They're still not finished to this day, but Blood Bowl is what got me into the hobby, and its whats kept me going. In recent weeks my enthusiasm has come back, as you've seen from previous posts on this very blog. Necromunda has helped fuel my passion, 40k is also making its way back into my hobby as I'm currently painting some scenery, namely the Armoured Containers (which I'm enjoying painting). 

No matter who you are and what you do, if you suffer from depression, try to learn how to cope with it. I've never found a true way of dealing with it, as its always there in the back of my mind and any little thing can trigger its implosion and rear its ugly head. If you need someone to talk to there are onlive services that can help, even feel free to give me a shout. I feel experienced enough to offer advice or even just listen/read what you have to say and tell you, 'you're not alone'.

Its funny to me that we often look at numbers to tell us where we are and think 'when it goes up one, things will get better'. But as 2018 I truly believe that. 2017 has been an absolute shitter, and while I know there will be more moments to come where solitude seems like the best thing, it will not be another 2017. This coming year will be different and Death By Die will be a much more active place going forward.

May your 2018 not be my 2017, be safe everyone!

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Armoured Boxing Day

Ahoy there tabletoppers! Hope everyones Xmas was good, mine was alright but glad its over to get things back to normal. Feeling productive this morning after last night I watched the new Netflix original, Bright. Not a bad film and am hoping they can go somewhere with it as theres a lot of scope with the story! While watching the film, I put these together!

The armoured containers for 40k were good fun to stick together, nice and simple too! 

And todays progress has been to base them  along with some of the Necromunda terrain. I've gone for a mix of colours, all to be weathered and rusted up hopefully! I've got the Thermal Plasma Reactors to put together and get based too along with so many other things!

Have to give a shout out to my sister who as part of my present got me a new set of D&D dice, first roll was a 19! Now the eternal struggle to find somewhere to use them!

So thats the Boxing Day update, hoping tomorrow will mean these are starting to look a bit more weathered and make a start on some of the details. I'm really fancying some 40k again soon so may try get some painting done on the Genestealer Cult or Daemons too then throw some challenges down. 

So looking towards future posts, I've been tempted to scour the internet each week and perhaps put together a little highlight post about the best things I've seen to do with tabletop each week, would this be interest to you readers?  Let me know and I'll see what I can do!

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Santa Khorne

Happy Xmas everyone! I know you're more likely to be enjoying a quiet/frantic evening/night of relaxing/wrapping/prepping before a busy Christmas Day but I don't think I've shown much of the skull love here. I picked up a Khorne Daemon army up from a fellow club member after he was downsizing (I mean downsizing in a loose term) and while most was painted already (and I'll probably go over a bit) there was some fresh there to go on with. Including a Khorne Herald from the Skull Cannon kit. I fancied an alternative one on foot so stuck him on a suitable base and painted him up quite a while ago!

I was working on Mazarall the Butcher too, but having been broken into, losing all my miniatures and then regaining them the motivation to game and paint had become almost non existent. More in that in a different post though! With my motivation coming back I'm gonna slap some paint on these brutal looking Bloodcrushers soon!

Rumours abound that after Xmas we'll be seeing a Codex Daemons book coming for 40k so I shall finish rebasing the army (Most of it was on the old fantasy square bases) and then getting more painted to go with the book. Surprisingly theres not an awful lot of Chaos forces at the Gwent Reavers although our resident Blood Angels player, aptly surnamed Angel, has painted up some very disgusting Nurgle Death Guard (which I'll have to grab some pics of some time along with other peoples armies to show off on here) so some Daemon support for him would be well appreciated I'm sure. Never used Daemons in 40k before but it will be interesting to see how they play in the new edition. I can get Mazarall finished and use him as a counts as Skarbrand plus I have a Blood Thirster who needs re-attaching to his base (Not looking forward to that) and some other units to get upto standard. 

2018 is looking to be a busy year hobby wise and I can't wait to get stuck into all the projects I've been putting off. Blood Bowl, Necromunda, Warhmmer 40000 and perhaps another attempt into the realms of Age of Sigmar. Then the heaving under all the board games and rpg's that will be out I'll want to get stuck into too! 

Expect a couple more posts before the new year, hopefully I'll have some progress to show on the Escher, finish the Goliaths off and get some terrain done too for 40k and Necromunda. Beast mode will be initiated! First though, the pickings of roasted Tzeentch, seductive Slaanesh stuffing but certainly avoiding those Nurgle sprouts! 

Merry Xmas for tomorrow all!

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Xmas Wishlist

Good grief, Xmas is just 2 days away! I was pondering about what I fancy getting myself for Xmas as the old biddy asked so picked up a couple of the small scenery kits for 40k, the containers and the plasma engine thingys. But it made me wonder, what would I REALLY like for Xmas, if money wasn't a problem and it was hobby related? 

Lets start small. An entire Chapter of Space Marines please. Cause who doens't want the 100+ Space Marines, various HQ models and vehicles? I'd also like them painted ready for use in colours of my choosing please. 

Ah a Leman Russ. But, I don't want a Leman Russ. I want a company of these bad boys! 9, to group in threes, along with a Tank Commander. I'll paint these myself though, but perhaps include a few Basilisks to go with? Failing this Epic scale Leman Russ tanks to paint up so I can have a couple companies of them and play those massive tank battles I always dreamed of as a kid.

Next up, I'd like a Forge World voucher because there will be a lot of Necromunda and Blood Bowl models released I want in my hobby needing clutches.

Also, Games Workshop store birthdays to bring back the buy two get one free deals they used to have that I remember so fondly. They were good days!

A personal Land Speeder for general use getting around. I know it'd be cold and the wind insane, but imagine speeding over the roads not caring about roads? Thats living the dream! Also if theres some twats about blasting them with a multimelta shot surely isn't a bad thing.

Storage space. Lots more storage space and cases to put everything in! I've got limited room as it is and running out of space its getting difficult, so perhaps a complex to store everything and play games in would be nice?

A good white paint. I know they exist, but I always seem to get a bad pot. It dries too quickly inside the pot, goes lumpy, and I weep like a Blood Angel going through the red rage. 

No Xmas would be Xmas without some cheese. And quite often cheese visits us in our tabletop games too. So for Xmas, NO CHEESE! I'm done with competitive gaming, when people take lists to obliterate others with its just no fun. I understand the tourney scene but what happened to having fun? Over the past couple of years my gaming time has gone down as a result of this. Its not even spam lists, but rules that seem a little ott and when people take advantage of that then grumble if said rules get nerfed somewhat. 

A job at Wizards of the Coast working on campaign ideas for Dungeons and Dragons. Self explanatory really, but I have so many ideas swirling around in my head for campaigns in D&D that they're falling out before I can write them down. A party accompanying awell known Bard touring Faerun, visiting all the big cities as he performs for the rich and powerful. A Shadow of the Collosus style compaign where a party of monster hunters are tasked with destroying a number of monsters that themselves are absolutely massive. There are so many, and one day I shall write them down and detail!

I think for now thats it. That'll do for now but whats on your Xmas list, fantasy or realistic? Let me know down below!

Friday, 15 December 2017

The Kick Start.

Nope, nothing to do with crowdfunding, this is a kickstart of my own motivation to hobby. And talk about hobbying. Its been a while since this very blog has had some consistency, but this is all about to change. After a shockingly shit year, things are slowly starting to fall into place and motivation to paint models and play games is slowly coming back. Don't believe me? Well stick this in your eyes!

 I have a whole gang of Goliath gangers almost painted up, all upto this standard. Didn't expect that did you? Whats more I have 10 Eschers on the way, plus another box worth of Necromunda to build and paint up. Why so many gangs Kev? IMPERIAL GUARD GANGS. Yeah.

See, I wasn't sure if the Guard... sorry, Astra Militarum Codex, was what fit with my idea. Then I remembered thinking the Genestealer Cult codex was perfect for a gang based army, so I shall possibly try using that codex instead of the Guard one. We shall see! Also...

The Ostermark Oracles.

If you have been a reader of this blog for many moons you may remember my old human team, the Mordheim Raiders. Well I decided to go for a bit of a change and the Ostermark colour scheme looked unusual and bright so I plumped for them. I'll post better pictures of all these plus a few other projects I've been working on in the future, this is just a wee taster!

So what exactly can you expect from Death By Die? Well, I'm trying to coax some members of my local club to contribute from time to time. Whether its through their own words or I may interview them about different aspects of the hobby, or probably both down the line. Speaking of Interviews, I will be having one soon with Blood Bowl and Necromunda rules writer James M Hewitt which I'm axcited about. I interviewed Andy Chambers a few years ago and it was an absolute joy, so interviews are something I'd like to try fit in here and there if possible. 

Dance with the DM will be chats with DM's I know personally (or have yet to meet) about the running of a D&D campaign. Advice, guides, tips, and just general fun stories from the world of Dungeons and Dragons. Expect some other roleplaying bits too, along with hopefully some narrative reports from games we play like 40k, Necromunda, AoS and even Malifaux. Who knows what else though, I'm still having ideas sporadically slap me in the face before running away before I can put pen to paper. 

Otherwise thats it for now. Expect a couple of posts a week, whether its topical, works in progress, interviews or just thoughts about tabletop gaming. If you have anything you'd like to see from the blog then comment below!

Its good to be back!

Saturday, 11 February 2017

The Glory of D&D

Welcome, to a somewhat rambling yet glorious honouring post dedicated to one of the most iconic tabletop games of all time. 

Dungeons and Dragons.

Over the last few years it has regained an incredibly popular following like much of the tabletop scene. Geek and Sundry has helped with its Critical Role series, a weekly show starring voice actors playing Dungeons and Dragons and putting on an entertaining 3-4 hour session. Stranger Things has also placed the game in the public eye after capturing the imaginations of millions on Netflix. Celebrities like Vin Diesel, the late Robin Williams and Kevin Smith also among those being fans.

Its popularity is also strong at our club, the Gwent Reavers. We've gained new members through it, after myself, Gav and Bam started the Mines of Phandelver around a year and a half ago. Its always been something I've personally been interested in, just didn't realise others were too. So we got together and now we have three different sessions run by three different Dungeon Masters going on currently. And thats with a variety of different players too. Some have come to the dark side of tabletop gaming, be it miniature games or board games, some are dedicated to the D20 and the roleplaying aspect. 

So what about Dungeons and Dragons is so captivating? The depth of narrative and background are certainly an aspect that draws people in. There is such a wealth of information out there, be it tips to playing, background to set your adventures in and even guides as to how to create your own world. 

This leads on to being able to create. Like open world videogames you have a lot more ability to do what you want, even more so in tabletop roleplay as it really is just your own imagination that limits you. Not only do your stories get told, but those of the players who create characters that are a huge part of the stories being told. In fact, when dm'ing my own campaign I try to let the players tell the story while guiding them through certain events. You can plan how a certain event will play out, for example how a battle will go with a great beast but the players will always come up with ways that surprise you as a DM and have those events change. Its incredibly fascinating to see how your friends will solve different problems and ace different creatures in battle. 

One other side of D&D that is probably its strongest appeal, is the social side of it. Getting together with your mates to act out these crazy adventures is something you will absolutely love. Running jokes, how you remember certain events and recall those moments is something you have to experience. From deceiving a huge amount of cultists into following us to get out of a Dragon Cult camp, to new interesting ways to pull a kobolds body apart like a christmas cracker its been an absolute joy to partake in the game. 

Being a sufferer of insomnia, creating and adapting stories and guiding players through them has been fantastic. Character development is interesting to watch and hopefully as we play through sessions each player will see their characters grow, and not just through stat building and gaining new skills and feats. Having the characters personalities develop in front of you is incredibly rewarding as a dungeon master. 

Even though many times things you write about and plan for a session may not always happen, its still rewarding to be able to come up with these ideas, even if they never come to light. I've written backgrounds for npc's that the players have hardly talked too, but its helped me to put myself into their shoes better and react and talk more as I feel they should, and hopefully that comes across to the players immersing them even more.

In the future I may share certain ideas about the stories I've created on this blog, things that happen during sessions with other DM's (possibly even their own accounts if I can bribe them with rations and gold) and even ideas for you to use in your adventures.

Dungeons and Dragons, and many other tabletop RPG's are a hugely enjoyable and engrossing thing to do with your mates, whether you play or run the session. Go and try your hand, and have some of the best fun you'll have while rolling dice with your friends.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

The Fractured Imperium

Call the internet plumber for the leaks are out. Roboute Guilliman, the Primarch of the Ultramarines and having been in stasis for thousands of years, is back. With him comes a new Grey Knights (bore) Grand Master and much more excitedly, Cypher.

Cypher looks impressive, and it will be interesting to see where the story lies for these characters. In one of the leaked pictures from White Dwarf, Cypher stands next to both Guilliman and the GKGM even though he was once thought a heretic. The Dark Angels will likely still think this, but my narrative head is beaming with ideas. A couple of other pictures leaked held some very intriguing text. One mentioned that some in the Imperium would be incredibly suspicious that Roboute has been brought from the dead, while the Primarch himself is dismayed at the state of the Imperium. This makes me wonder... will the Imperium split? 

Think about it, not for thousands of years have the Imperium had a figure to look upon as a leader. The High Lords of Terra are mysterious, the Emperor is but a corpse held alive but machinery, who do they look upon? Roboute. However, with the Emperor being revered as a God Guilliman may not agree with many of the Imperiums rules, hence a possible civil war. Depending on rumours with how this Gathering Storm continues we could see the fracture of the Imperium of Man.

Cypher working with Roboute, is he trying to tell the primarch that the emperor needs to be killed to be reborn? Vulkan could be used as evidence and a potential future release down the line. However, due to the many cults and factions many will not allow this and I can see a brutal war breaking out amongst the Imperium. Rumours abound that the Gathering Storm after this third instalment could see Vect return, along with Mortarion in his Daemon Prince form and a new envisioning of Abbadon, which is well needed. Will they perhaps work together to create an even bigger divide of the Imperium, taking advantage of the inner turmoil? Perhaps Cypher even is creating this discord, its always been said he creates a lot of discord and would suit his character. 

The splitting of the Imperium would be huge. Space Marines no longer allying with other factions like the Grey Knights or the Ordo Hereticus, Imperial Guard could be stuck in the middle, Primarchs vs High Lords of Terra. Having the story arc for Warhammer 40,000 move along after so many years is exciting, so many possibly story lines could be closed, expanded and started that this time next year we could be talking about the fringes of the Imperium battling the empires of the Eldar, Tau and Renegades. Perhaps the Tyranids will evolve and become a republic, leading the other races into a new age of prosperity. Yeah, and Jokearo might fly out of my butt.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Many Moons Have Passed....

Well its been a while hasn't it? Probably not far off a year to be honest since I've posted on this glorious blog. Well, this time I won't be making promises to keep posting regular, as its not worked for me before. But there is hope I will! So far 2017 has been good gaming wise, and it follows a strong 2016. The Gwent Reavers, the gaming club I am part of, has had a good time with gaming and it looks to continue. Many board games have been played, 40k once again is being played, Age of Sigmar is picking up some serous momentum with members and other new games are taking root like Blood Bowl an Tanks.

We've had some new members too which is great, fresh blood is always good to sacrifice in the name of the blood god! Lewis and Adam are both in a similar spot where they've always been interested in the hobby but its only now they're starting to get stuck in and its great to see the enthusiasm. Another new member Patrick is also incredibly enthusiastic about his Necrons and its good to see some 40k kicking of again. I need to get my Genestealer Cult painted up and my Space Marines are also itching for some games... perhaps the setting of Fall of Cadia will be a good place to shoot some bolters and launch some assaults. 

As I mentioned Age of Sigmar is taking off at club although I'm the least enthusiastic about it seeming as I annot get any luck when playing! I've got Khorne Daemons, and heres how the blood thirter looks so far having started painting him yesterday. Trying to get a bit of a blend on the wings, shall be going over it with a wash and seeing how it looks 

If theres something that has got everyones attention at club, its the old faithful roleplaying game, Dungeons and Dragons. We currently have three different sessions at club with various dungeon masters and players, and every session is going well. I'm currently running Out of the Abyss, which is set in the Underdark. The story so far has been a little of my own creation, where a Derro called Buppido, who is in the book and is convinced he is an insane god of murder has killed a couple of the parties allies and they've gone to chase him down. I'll report more on this in another post as theres a lot to speak of! 

Something I've been working on occasionally over the last year is a small warband for an Inquisitor 28 style idea. Blanchitsu is one of my favourite parts of White Dwarf and above is a picture of two models I've melded together. .A large gun servitor on the left, and an adeptus mechanicus chef on the right, complete with power spatula, krootox burgers and some kind of sausage. Green stuff chefs hat too which I was proud of! I'm looking to add more when I can and get some interesting bits to play with.

Over Xmas club stalwart Morg picked up Scythe and its a really interesting game. I find the larger games a bit intimidating to play and really need to get myself in the mood to play them, but from what I have played its a really good game. Some interesting mechanics, a theme thats not in your face and done well with some really nice looking components and a rules system thats not too complicated. The amount of components are scary mind, but persevere theres a good game there!

Higgy and Jay had a large game of Tanks recently too, playing up the board starting off with a beach landing making their way into a town. If you've not played think X-Wing with a simpler system, much cheaper models but still looks really good, the boys are well into it and we're hoping to host a Tanks tournament at the end of February. 

In the future we have possible trips to Warhammer Fest, the UK Games Expo, events we'd like to host too along with many other things. I haven't even spoken about Blood Bowl yet and my Skaven team.

Like I said, no promises about lots of posts, but this is a start and we'll see how it goes!