Sunday, 8 January 2017

2016 Hobby Review

I was planning on doing a bit of a review of White Dwarf once we were six months in but after reading January's White Dwarf, which includes a 2016 hobby review, I thought I'd do my own.

2016 saw some huge changes from Games Workshop. Their out look, their community engagement, their output, the Horus Heresy time line pushing on (and even a look at what comes next), but firstly, what do you guys think of the new White Dwarf? Personally I think it's a massive hit. As a long time Games Workshop hobbyist I get all misty-eyed when I remember the good old days of White Dwarf and this new incarnation is essentially that.

Battle reports, painting tutorials, new miniature reviews, interviews, fluff. It has it all. I'll be picking up a subscription for my birthday this month.

What about Games Workshops output? It seemed phenomenal to me. It seemed like every month had a game or a campaign book being released. Like some floodgates had been breached and suddenly all of this creativity came pouring out. Generally I only prick my ears up at Horus Heresy related stuff these days, but there was so many shiny new products being released I couldn't help but take notice.

One thing I do think is that The Beast Arises should have been much bigger than it ended up. Everyone I have spoke to that picked it up said it was fantastic, but I think there was so much else going on that it got a little overshadowed.
Image result for the beast arises

In terms of boxed games and campaign books, we were absolutely spoilt for choice. There really was something for everyone this year. We had:

February: saw Curse of the Wulfern released. As a massive Space Wolves fan I should have been excited but the look of those Wulfern miniatures really put me off and didn't tempt me back into 40k. The Realmgate Wars was also reinforced for AoS this month.
March: Deathwatch Overkill was released and gave us new Death Watch marines. This game is great fun and really easy to pick up and get your 40k fix for an hour or two.
April: Renegade Knight was released. Slightly over looked in my opinion but where else can you pick up two imperial knights for such a fantastic price?!
May: Death from the Skies tied in nicely with Stormcloud Attack box games which were released in June. And lets not forget Silver Tower. We all loved Warhammer quest, so this was a fantastic release!
June: also saw the release of Lost Patrol. I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one who had mixed feelings about this game. The miniatures were simply re-releases of some pretty old sprues. However, like Gorechosen and Kill Team, the game is pretty easy and quick to play with a decent amount of strategy, so great for getting your 40k fix over a beer or three.
July: more Realmgate Wars fun for AoS
September: Gorechosen and Kill Team, both quick and easy to play with friends over a beer.
November: Blood Bowl (oh my days how cool is that) and Burning of Prospero (lots of lovely Mk3 plastics) box games.
December: Wrath of Magnus expansion came along to close out the decimation of the Space Wolves and set us up for the Fall of Cadia in January 2017.
Honestly, Games Workshop has been knocking the ball out of the park every single month this year, something it hasn't been doing for at least 5 years I would say. Long may it continue (even if I don't have the funds or time to buy everything!).

In terms of Horus Heresy goodness, not only did we have the Burning of Prospero box game but we also had 2 Primarchs released this year. Any other year that would have seemed like a bumper year but in 2016, there was so much going on that I forgot Corax had been released way back in January. Obviously I had my eye on Leman Russ Later in November.
Image result for leman russ, forgeworld
This year we've also seen a lot of upgrade packs, including the Space Wolves shoulder pads and torsos, we've seen the mighty Mastodon released, the Stormbird available at events and I think 3 different limited edition miniatures (the Sorcerer being my favourite).

Community engagement is also going from 0 to 60 this year. We've had numerous websites launched, including those dedicated to Armies on Parade and Golden Demon, as well as the very funny Regimental Standard. That website alone sums up GW's new stance of being able to embrace the comedy that threads through their universes, rather than the ever serious face we've seen for a while. Lets not forget GW's support for external tournaments like Adepticon, something we saw withdrawn a number of years ago. I cannot fault this new openness. One thing that sets Warhammer and 40k apart from every other games system is the community, and if we're paying premium prices we expect a premium level of community support, and that's what GW is bringing us once again.

Highlights for me this year have been Burning of Prospero, Deathwatch Overkill and the Leman Russ miniature. 2017 is already looking like a cracker, but it is gonna have to do a lot to top 2016!

What's been your highlight? Let me know if the comments below.

Dave - a blog dedicated to The Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40k

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