Wednesday, December 25, 2013

2013 Review part 1

So here we are again at the end of another year.  Personally, it's been an interesting 12 months...my better half landed a full-time job and has since been promoted...I was laid off then found another job with a much better company that's actually growing instead of slowly bleeding to death like my former one and most importantly, there has been an insane number of hobby releases.  So we'll go ahead and talk about that one.

January seems like a good place to start since that's how calendars work.  The year started with a new book for the descendants of the First Legion, the Dark Angels.  This was big because for quite some time, most everything that the Dark Angels did, there was another codex that did it better and cheaper.  So they tried to fix it...we'll get back to this later.  We saw some new models, some nice tweaks and some flyers that were...well just sad really.  All in all, DA players were mostly pleased...until the fall.

February- saw a dual release as GW did the same they did in 2008 by releasing Demons for both systems together.  It's interesting that they ended up swapping positions as the Fantasy book went from somewhat overpowered to pretty balanced while the 40k book brought us the new most broken thing in the universe in the form of the unkillable screamer star.  Funny how often things like this sneak past the minutes of play-testing that GW does.  Still the new models were typical GW fare...overpriced but gorgeous.

March- had Fantasy stand alone for the Warriors of Chaos release.  We saw some similarities come from the CSM book in the form of the potential to become a demon prince, but with the added bonus of keeping your wargear unlike their sci-fi counterparts who stand there naked and unarmed.  Things were tweaked and while some units changed in their roles the army as a whole still plays very well.

April- goes back to 40k with the much-needed Tau update.  Again we got some great models, though I still prefer the old broadsides.  We also got another very powerful army that quickly became the codex to beat in the tournament circuit.  Sadly, GW broke their pattern of improving useless units in an update as Vespids are just as bad as before.  When the book dropped, I went back to the pile of Tau I'd had since 2008 and finally finished the army.  No, I don't have a Riptide and no I don't miss having one either.  They're good, but I cant seem to see a use for one in the army as I run it.  I didn't do so well at Mechanicon, but I had a blast playing them and call me crazy, but I do this stuff to have fun. 

Of note here, Tau were the first of several releases that had some serious supply issues at launch.  Some independent retailers didn't get their pre-orders for weeks.  Of course when your pre-order window is only 6 days long, there's no real way of knowing if your supply is going to come up short, but GW doesn't really do things with common sense in mind.

May- swung back to square basers with High Elves.  Once again, fantasy is maintaining more internal and external balance then 40k.  High Elves are an army that requires a little finesse, much like the elves themselves are known for, but they can be pretty potent.  Again we saw some great looking new models and a new big beastie dual kit that bore GW's typical price.  Again, we saw some supply shortages, though not as severe as the Tau.

June- brought us the Eldar.   Once again, the newest codex brings a completely new power scale.  On their own, they're really nasty, but with allies (Tau in particular) you have an incredibly potent force that became the new army to beat at tournaments.  They got a big nasty, too and some dirty tricks.  Models released were mixed and we saw the first unneeded gouging as the Dire Avengers box lost half the squad on their way out of the factory, but somehow didn't lose half the cost to go with it.

There's the first half of a very busy year.  At this point we've already seen more releases then GW does in a typical year and there's still 6 months to go.  We still have 3 more armies, some expansions (and some issues with these...) models (and rants) and my first Grand Tournament to cover next time.

Finally, a thank you to the guys at Garagehammer for the shout-out on the holiday episode.  Go check out them if you're looking for an entertaining, informative and fun look at the Fantasy world.

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