Friday, December 29, 2017

2017 Year in Review and a look ahead...

Hey Everyone!  The year is coming to a close and a new year is about to arrive with abundant blessings from Papa Nurgle.  If you haven't seen the Nurgle reveals head over to the community site to check them out, especially the video from the Warhammer Community Team.  As typical at the end of another great Hobby year, I want to take a look back and make share my hopes for the year to come, but instead of focusing on releases I wanted to look at it all from a Community standpoint!

We came into the year in stride as a community.  We were growing and connecting more than I have ever seen and more and more people began putting out content for us all to enjoy.  We were secure in the knowledge we would receive a new Generals Handbook and we have some great releases like Blades of Khorne, Disciples of Tzeentch, and Kharadron Overlords to keep the meta constantly evolving on our tabletop.  While the release of The New Warhammer 40,000 did pull some players it hasn't done much to slow down the pace of our community and honestly the break-in Age of Sigmar releases was a good chance for us all to catch our breath as we readied ourselves for the coming year.

Locally, my club went through some changes as well over the past year.  We had lost the gentlemen who organized our events and we began to band together once again due to an illness.  A few people began to try and get some momentum again, but they tended to focus on only Warhammer 40,000.  Other games such as Age of Sigmar were stagnant despite the overall positivity and a large number of releases.  It motivated me to take the reins and organize the club.  While there were some who didn't like the changes I was trying to make or the direction I was trying to steer the club in I had supporters.  Those supporters were more often than not the younger players who are our future and their enthusiasm really kept me going.

My local club now has a great new venue, multiple club days each month that let us play all of our favorite game systems, and now new club shirts for us to wear when we all venture forth to events like Adepticon this March.   I am happy to say our club is working together better then we have before.  There is still plenty of room for improvement and the road ahead isn't any less difficult, but seeing this turnaround has been one of the most satisfying hobby accomplishments I have achieved to date.

New Banner for my local club

While I am excited about my local group it is hard not to be just as excited about all the positive changes going on elsewhere in the country as well.  We have seen multiple new(er) Regional level events in Midwest Meltdown, Nashcon, Renegade OpenSoCal Open, and Battleshock Bash to name a few.  I am sure there are some I missed but as Age of Sigmar grows more and more events keep popping up and the National events such as L.V.O., Adepticon, and Nova Open are seeing more and more players for Age of Sigmar each year.

We can't neglect that Narrative play is firmly part of the scene now as well.  Coalescence was a great success, we have seen the release of Battletome: End Times, other great narrative events such as R.A.W., Nova Open Narrative, and the upcoming R.O.E. and Adepticon Narrative are really solidifying Narrative play as one of the three pillars of Age of Sigmar just as much as Matched play has been for a while now.  They have begun stepping up their blog as well with more regular posting so be sure to check it out!

The greatest thing we have received this year is the chance for us, as a community, to recognize our Warhammer Heros.  We all have them in our lives and Games Workshop is giving us the tools to acknowledge them and their hard work all so we can enjoy this game to its fullest.  To be nominated by anyone is an honor as it lets your hero know their effort is having a positive effect on you, and your community.  There is still a few days left as of this post going up so if you haven't done so be sure to nominate your Warhammer Hero.

So such a great year behind us, what do we have to look forward to as a community?  We have already seen that Nurgle will be getting his own Battletome to put him on the same footing with Tzeentch and Khorne.  The Malign Portents clock is continuing to count down with a few reveals of the mighty champions we will be adding to our armies.  I suspect that Slaanesh and Aelves will see some sort of a return this year as well either in a new army or at the very least a bit more lore about what is going on with that plot line.

We also have even larger events to look forward to as well!  Adepticon and L.V.O. are reporting the biggest Warhammer Age of Sigmar turnout seen to date.  It is promising that more and more players will join our community over the next year as the popularity of the game continues to grow.  The Regional events will most likely be larger and even your local scene might see more fresh recruits or returning veterans to the roster.  Knowing that we will be receiving another Generals Handbook in 2018 as it is officially a yearly release will reinforce to newer and returning players how supported this game is and that Games Workshop wants to continually improve the game with the support of the community.

While we know that Games Workshop will continue to reach out to us and us reaching back to them to help grow and improve Age of Sigmar I want to talk about a project you can look forward to coming out shortly after the new year.  The U.S. AoS Community Modular Pack.  I and many other U.S. Age of Sigmar players, community supporters, community leaders, and content creators have been working together since an initial meeting with Games Workshop at Adepticon last year.  I am happy to say that the project is coming into the final stages and soon will be released.

Just some of the U.S. AoS Community Group

The pack is created by U.S. Age of Sigmar players for U.S. Age of Sigmar players.  That's not to say it doesn't have merit elsewhere in the world, but there are unique challenges that the U.S. faces with growing our community and where this game could grow that we hope to answer.  There will be more details to come soon, but the pack will break down into multiple modules such as sports, scenario selections, painting, and much more while focusing on the three levels of play we see here within the use due to our countries size being Local, Regional, and National so please look forward to it very soon.

Last, but not least we should take a moment to congratulate the Warhammer Community Team over at Games Workshop.  They have really stepped it up this year with their involvement directly with the community.  Creating great content int he form of Daily Painting Videos, fun release trailers, and openly talking to us through all forms of social media.  They keep setting the bar higher and higher and they keep reaching for me and I cannot wait to see what the year to come has to offer.

I hope everyone has had a similar great 2017 with Warhammer Age of Sigmar and that your hopes are even higher for an even better 2018.  I do want to take a moment to thank you,, my readers, readers for continuing to be my motivation to improve this blog and keep to the twice a week schedule.  I am very happy with how far along my blog has come over the past year and, but there is still parts I am looking to improve in the coming year.  I am happy with where the blog is, but I am not satisfied as my goal is to continue to improve for you and myself.  Let me know what you loved best about 2017 and what you might be hoping for in 2018. 

Happy New Year and as always, Happy Hobbying!