Monday, 11 May 2015

POST 500 - "Why Am I Here?" - A glance fore and aft.

"Why Am I Here?" was the title of my first post, seven years and four days ago, and it seems apt to bring it back for today.

But first, 


POST 500! 
Hooray! 
...and thank you for swinging by!

It seems crazy to think that we're still doing this, seven years in; it seems crazy to ponder how many hours I've spent on this blog and how many friends it's brought me. Thanks, everyone.

I've got a whole raft of things I want to say and do in this post, but that'd get silly, so I'm going to limit myself here to three significant things, and then use the rest as content over the coming couple of weeks. The three things are as follows:

  1. Issue the 'competition' to win a star prize;
  2. A brief look back at each of the four previous centenary posts, (and this week's goodies) and,
  3. An announcement.

Firstly, then: the competition. 

Actually, it's not a competition so much as a draw, and it's really simple (because I've little to offer as a prize): please leave a comment at the end of this post, and if you'd like to be in with the chance of randomly being picked as a winner, then just mention it. I won't take offence if you don't! The prize is as follows:

I will paint up a unit for you - free of charge - and cover the postage too, as best I can. You know that unit that you really cannot be bothered to paint? I'll do it. You know those models that you need to be finished at some point but they're right at the bottom of your priority list? Send 'em to me. The caveats are: (1) I'm not brilliant at painting - I'll do a serviceable job, but it's not pro-quality, and (2) it'll take me a while. I promise I'll give it my best shot, though...

There you go! Free painting for one unit. Not a bad prize, if you just need stuff painted!

Next, a brief look back at previous centenary posts:

Post 100 - Drax's Guard Army [link]:
This was the first group shot of the glorious 2/24th Cadian. Ah, glory days indeed! This was almost a year after starting the blog and about seven months after moving from Norwich to sunny Devon.

Post 200 - Drax's Army Painted [link]:
By this point, we'd had the first addition to our family - our eldest daughter - but I still managed to describe the 2/24th as "my pride and joy!" Incidentally, this shoot is the one my current blog header comes from!

Post 300 - Drax's Whole Army [link]:
In June 2012 I was lucky enough to be frequenting the now-defunct Giant's Lair in Plymouth: the only time in my almost 25 years of wargaming that I've been able to play regularly. By the way, if you weren't around during this period, I recommend checking out this post: there are some cracking pics! I really like this one: 

Post 400 - Day 4/14 - the 400th Post [link]:
Wow - this is truly mundane! I did genuinely enjoy bashing out fourteen posts over the course of a fortnight though: it was a fun (and very popular) challenge, the 'Forced Fortnight' - it also got me to plough through a lot of hobby work. By this time, I'd had another child (Daughter #2, the tubby ginger one) and I'd taken a demotion at work, to give me more family time. Great decision! 

The sprue, by the way, is from my Matilda II, which I've yet to paint properly...it's waiting in the wings, trust me. I've got plans for it. This is symbolic, really, of my move away from 40K and towards historical - in this case, Bolt Action in 15mm.

That leads me, as it happens, to where I am now: I now have my core force assembled in 28mm Bolt Action...and there's more on the way! Here's a pic of my core, legal 'reinforced platoon' - with luck I'll have about 1000pts' worth by the end of the month when I nip up to Kirton Games for my inaugural Bolt Action games!
L-R; Front-Back: Cromwell, Sniper & Spotter, 2Lt, FOO, PIAT & Loader, 1 Section (in two teams so as to be force-legal) and a Recce Carrier with pintle-mounted Bren. 
There'll be far more posts about these puppies over the coming weeks, trust me!

Finally, an announcement:

I think it's time for me to quit 40K. I've not played with my army for literally over a year...and even then I had to dust them off. It was an absolutely blinding game against Gravis, but it was a last hurrah under the old Codex, and before GW went properly, finally batshit crazy. 

I've played 40K since - I played Zzzzzz-style, chez Zzzzzz, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable game, but I didn't need 4500pts' worth of Guard to play it - in fact, I didn't even use a single one of my models. And still had a blast. 

Now, I love my army, but they take up room...and I not only haven't kept up with the pace of change in 40K (I can't afford to!) I've also realised, on a fundamental level, that I don't want to. I just don't want to play their games any more. Literally AND figuratively. I strongly dislike the recent shifts in aesthetic, and I don't even like where they've taken the fluff these days: something GW's always done well. No. Alas, there's simply no part of the GW hobby that still attracts me. 

Except Zzzzzz-style gaming, because that's really fun.

So I'm left with a sprawling, painted, uniform, outdated, archaic Cadian Imperial Guard army that hasn't even been reworked for the current codex. I will probably have to sell it, and I cannot imagine for a second that I'll get a good price for it. I also have the issue of the couple of units I'd wish to keep...just for the memories, y'know...but I suspect this is all a post for another day.

Anyone want to buy a Guard Army? One very careful and loving owner...

Sorry if this feels like a betrayal to any of my few remaining 40K readers, but it doesn't mean I'm going to stop enjoying your posts (assuming the internet is functioning well enough for me to enjoy them...!)

So.

Here endeth the 500th lesson.

The Emperor Protects.

- Chris/Drax.

56 comments:

  1. Congrats on reaching 500 posts, very impressive milestone! Great to see you following whatever brings you enjoyment, the only constant is change. Postage is a bit horrendous between NZ and the UK, so I'll pass on the draw, but I'm sure some lucky winner will be delighted to have your services :-)

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    1. Cheers, Paul - and thank you for your more recent patronage, my antipodean counterpart!

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  2. Very nice army sir I would be interested in what you would consider selling it for. Please contact me at ostuni.t@gmail.com Thanks!

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    1. Thanks, Tyler - you'e got me thinking about just that: keep an eye on your inbox.

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  3. Congrats on the milestone Drax old chap.

    Its a shame about 40K, but I share many of your thoughts and moods on the current (and recent) GW approach. Living in the land of Oz hasn't helped when the price gouge kicked in hard and the ability to import was removed. If it wasn't for the local boys being around, I doubt I'd have continued this last two years when I now have the young sprog to take up my time with.

    Even if I don't live the experience with you when it comes to Bolt Action, I can appreciate your enthusiasm for it (and X-wing) which comes across in your posts, so you maintain an avid follower (if only sometime commentator).

    Congrats again Drax, and I do encourage you to keep back some of your minis as mementos if nothing more.

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    1. Very, very much appreciated, Muppet! 'Local players' are what I lack here, but even so, I feel sure that GW still would've taken a back seat!

      Cheers, Cobber.

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  4. Huge congratulations on reaching 500, that's certainly something worth celebrating and you should feel rightly proud of quite the amount of material, and quality, that you've produced.

    I can see your point about getting out of GW, its certainly shifted a bit since the days of 4th and 5th Ed and I think there are a lot out there that would love to see a shift back somewhat towards the older fluff and stories rather than the new hyper-extreme world they seem to be building. The only word of caution I'd give is make sure you hang on to any units with special significance, there's a few units out there in the wild that I'd give a lot of money to have back but sold off in a fit of needing to make space/money.

    No matter what, I will always follow the blog just to see what you are getting up to.

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    1. Thanks, mate - and I do.

      Like many others, you offer wise counsel and trust me: I shan't ignore it!

      Cheers for swinging by as much as you do!

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  5. Nice one on reaching the 500! As far as leaving 40K behind I would say it probably happens to all in time as the appeal pales after a while for more meaty fayre. Keep on keeping on! Nice post.

    BTW what is Zzzzzzz gaming?

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    1. 40K, that is, on a MASSIVE scale. Like, Epic-scale battles but with 28mm models. I kid you not:

      http://admiraldrax.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/375-what-i-did-at-weekend.html

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    2. And only in the loosest sense. BS 3 needs 4 to hit, T3 needs 4 to wound and most stuff moves 6". And that's about it. We make the rest of it up as we go along. Tea and Bacon become more important than the assault phase at my age.

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    3. "Tea and Bacon become more important than the assault phase at my age"

      Never have truer words been spoken, that is a quote that may have to be stolen.

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  6. Congratulations sir! Ya know you were one of my inspirations for stating up a blog of my own! I'm right there with ya on 40k, though I'm keeping a few small combat patrol sized forces with which to take to the field once in awhile.

    Speaking of, I'm sure there's a unit of my beloved (if gutted army of) Orks that would like to be painted. DLWDG would be mighty to proud to have one of their blogging inspirations taking a brush to them! (and no worries, I don't have any green tide sized units either)

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    1. Aw, shucks! Thanks, Cheef!

      As it happens, in the second game of the only two I played last year I was playing Orks - a first for everything, eh?

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  7. 500, impressive. as you may or may not remember, i was also a guard player with a similar sized collection and i always enjoyed your blog a great deal. i too came to the conclusion that 40k isn't ever going to get better again and stopped playing long ago. i could never sell my army though, i just love it too much!
    btw, i have nothing which requires painting, so please leave me out of the draw, i just wanted to say hello :)

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    1. Thanks, Atreides - it's been a while, now, hasn't it, old chap?!

      Your profile pic says it all! Still, times are tight and I have no storage space at all...

      Delete
  8. 500 posts! Wow! And here I just started! Pretty inspirational to us new comers! Love the blog community, such a welcoming and friendly group of painters and modelers, and just great people.

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    1. Cheers, Greg!

      Funnily enough, I've never once been tempted to quit the blog...I suppose that's indicative isn't it: just such a wonderful and supportive corner of the internet!

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  9. Drax, we've been around since the begining (or so it seems), I first posted Nov 08, and I remember getting to see your blog around about then, glad I battled the Guard at Giants Lair, shame it's defunct. Well, my 40K grows bigger, you move on to other pastures. Hopefully we'll both keep an eye on eachothers blogs! I must try some new games at some point, but getting a game of 40K is hard enough! I wish you well with your new non-40K endeavours.

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    1. I frequently swing by, y'know, mate, and playing against you really was an absolute treat - one of my best games ever, in fact - thanks!

      Do you ever get back down the West Country?

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    2. Yes I do sometimes but only for work. Hopefully I'll be land based and an occassional trip to the west country for a battle can be done on a saturday! I'm in Southampton now, so its only a 3hr drive.... those pesky penal troops still haunt me now.

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  10. If I divested myself of armies I didn't use for over a year then at the mo' I'd only have my Corsairs.

    Jus' sayin'.

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  11. Congrats on reaching 500 Drax! That's a lot of posts over the years with some great work on the guard. I agree with comments above, keep a few of you favorite units, maybe enough for a kill team game. Look forward to your continued work on bolt action

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    1. Thank you, Joe!

      I'm frankly stunned by this response (even after all this time), and I'm cogitating hard at the moment about what to sell/retain and how...

      Thank you for visiting - stand by for Bolt Action-a-plenty!

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  12. Congrats on 500 posts, Drax. It can certainly be a grind, getting things typed out and sorted for a post, as you know, but sticking with the process for that long is very cool indeed. Well done, and thank you for all the supportive posts for my own blog over the years!

    And of course I'd love to add a piece by Drax to my collection : )

    Cheers
    Dave

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    1. Thank you - your kind words brought a smile to my face, as ever they do.

      Cheers!
      - Chris.

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  13. I have to say I agree with you Drax, with regards to opinions of GW's current state. If you really want to sell your Cadians, then go for it, but for myself, I'll be hanging onto my stuff a bit longer. While I haven't played 40k in a *long* time, and while the rules are always in flux, there's no reason why I couldn't simply go back to playing using an old edition when/if I ever do play again. My kids have taken up so much of my time (in a good way) that I've moved into "preserving my minis collection until they're old enough" rather than just get rid of them (the minis, not the kids).

    In the meantime, I'm slowing building a Bolt Action collection (Americans and some Germans to fight them), as well as X-Wing.

    When I was a kid, I was digging around in the basement and found some old board games that my parents had that looked like fun...but the games were in poor condition and for the most part no longer playable. I'm determined that if at some point my kids dig into my "stash", they'll find games that's good as new, and a blast to play (and with Dad eager to play with them)

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    1. Thanks, Dan!

      I must say that's an angle I hadn't considered, but I will factor it in, I promise.

      In the meantime, on a slightly related matter, would you be so kind, please, as to drop me an email if the chance presents itself? Don't worry if not...

      - Chris.

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  14. Congrats on reaching 500! Not many can say that nowadays. Even though you're not blogging about my favorite army I still enjoy your blogg. BUT, I would never get rid of it completely, you never know how the currents will flow and you may find yourself ready to delve into 40K in a few years time.

    If you do decide to sell off the pieces though... As others have said I would be honored to enclude a platoon of yours in my army.

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    1. Oh, Argos: so damned many conflicting ideas! Practicality must win through, though...

      Thanks for the vote of confidence, and for the ongoing support over the years!

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  15. 500..... woo time flies. Has been a fun ride sir, but I'm glad you've set aside the defunct 40K. Your grown-up historical hobby goings on (And X-wing) are a fitting substitute.

    Have already sold most of my unpainted 40K stuff, just the painted units left. Think you just helped me to decide whether to sell those off as well!

    Norwich!? Did you mention that before? I left Norwich for California almost 14 years ago. Curious... we might have met in real life, and never realised it. @_o

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    1. O and yeah, I have a 15mm tank platoon that would LOVE the Drax treatment. :)

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    2. What strange almost-parallels we seem to have in our lives, Dai! If I could move Norwich to where Plymouth is I'd be the happiest man alive. As it happens, we're heading back to Naaaarch for a week over the summer...

      ..and thanks for your support and online comradeship, by the way!

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    3. "O and yeah, I have a 15mm tank platoon that would LOVE the Drax treatment. :)"

      - noted.

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    4. Also begs the Question.... Will you stay with "Admiral Drax"? Or move onto a new blog title, more in line with this new hobby direction?

      I had 6 years in Norwich from 18-24 years of age. Mid 90's were good times to be a bachelor in Naaaarch. :)

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    5. After seven years I've still never managed to contrive a convincing link between my erstwhile nom-de-plume and the games I actually play, so I really don't think I'll be changing the name.

      And no, I'm not going to start in a more nautical direction, either!

      A revised 'look' will be in order though, albeit not as a priority...

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  16. I'm understanding about the 40K thing. It is, in the end, a hobby, and there's no point in doing anything you're not enjoying!

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    1. Sound words; sensibly phrased. Thanks, matey - it's much appreciated. As is your presence here - always.

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  17. Congrats on the 500!!! And you cannot sell your army!!! After all of the work that you have put in to it, you would only come to regret selling it. Though if you do, I'd happily considering purchasing. Here's to the next 100 posts as well.

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    1. Cheers, matey! - Muchly appreciated.

      If you're serious, do please drop me an email...

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  18. Sorry to read that you're quitting the game mate. But equally: congrats on 500 posts! Since the earliest days of FtW, I've certainly been a BIG fan of your blog and your work. I guess there's not too many of us old time bloggers left now. Much kudos and respect to you though. I'm looking forward to hearing what you're doing in none-40k-land!

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    1. Thank you so very much for the kind words, jabberjabber!

      I often find myself fondly remembering the FtW days, y'know...

      Here's to the future.

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  19. Congrats on getting to the hallowed ground of 500 posts! Its quite a commendable achievement, if I say so myself. Great idea going back to the older century posts, wish I'd thought of that?? I'd love to be entered into your competition. Cheers!

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    1. Thanks, Ray, and thanks again.

      Yeah - post 400 was a bit anticlimactic though, wasn't it?!

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  20. Hearty congratulations on the 500, Drax! I definitely think of you as my inspiration to start blogging way back in the day (and your painting chart idea is a constant hit with everyone that sees it), and I always look forward to seeing your newest projects. 40k or not, keep up the fantastic work my friend!

    Here's to the next 500!

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    1. Aw, thanks, mate: I only wish I could match your prolific output...or at least the odd model painted so well as you!

      That reminds me - I must get around to a Bolt Action Painting Chart...Cheers!

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  21. Hey Drax,
    Congrats on 500 posts! You're an inspiration to keep plugging away! Anywho, I'll put my name in the hat for the competition, but honestly not sure what I'd have painted if I won haha!

    Hoping you're going to come back for the 2nd Annual 6MMRPC!

    Cheers mate!

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    1. Thanks very much!

      6MMRPC-II might well happen now the bairns are older and less hassle in the evenings, but it depends when it starts. For example, I work as a GCSE examiner too, and that's just about to get a whole lotta busy...

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  22. Heya Drax!

    I'd like to throw my hat into the ring as well. Loved your progress with your guardsmen over the ages. Cheers :)

    -Oak

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    1. Consider your hat well-and-truly ringed. And "Over the ages" seems just about right!

      Cheers, Oak.

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  23. 500 posts eh? I've enjoyed every single one I've been privileged enough to read. Certainly one of my favourite blogs.

    Now I can't imagine there's much I can say to stop you selling your army (a damn shame I might add) but what I will say is this. How about we see them off in a way fitting such a glorious regiment. ON THE FIELD OF BATTLE!

    I'd happily drive down your way from Dorset with my Praetorians and perhaps with a little persuasion we could even coax Gravis to team up with me in guard v guard apocalyptic battle!

    Do let me know :) also id be honoured to have a unto painted by yourself. I'd most certainly have to send something exciting to be painted.

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    1. Jeez, are you only in Dorset?

      Yes, then: what a simply blindingly great idea - a last hurrah for the 2/24th and I'd get to see your beautiful models first-hand too!

      Now...if only we knew someone almost exactly halfway between Dorset and south Devon who could host us...someone with an interest in Guard...someone who - I dunno - maybe even has his own gaming store where we could amass the troops...Hmm...

      Yup: I think it's time to send up the Gravis-Signal over Gotham City.

      I'll get on it - I need to speak to him anyway before I see him on the 30th...

      Would you be so kind, please, as to ping me an email (on my profile)?

      Cheers,

      (and great thinking!)

      - Chris.

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    2. Jeez, are you only in Dorset?

      Yes, then: what a simply blindingly great idea - a last hurrah for the 2/24th and I'd get to see your beautiful models first-hand too!

      Now...if only we knew someone almost exactly halfway between Dorset and south Devon who could host us...someone with an interest in Guard...someone who - I dunno - maybe even has his own gaming store where we could amass the troops...Hmm...

      Yup: I think it's time to send up the Gravis-Signal over Gotham City.

      I'll get on it - I need to speak to him anyway before I see him on the 30th...

      Would you be so kind, please, as to ping me an email (on my profile)?

      Cheers,

      (and great thinking!)

      - Chris.

      Delete
  24. Well done on 500 posts Drax - shame about losing interest in your guard. I sold all mine off about 8 years ago along with all my hobby stuff. I didn't get back into it for a while and when I did I went a different direction. But I regret selling some of my stuff - like the BFG ships I've been slowly buying back for years. I guess I'd just caution you on doing anything too hasty, that you might regret in 5 years time!

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Thanks for taking the time to comment!