Guy’s Year in Hobby

Guy Haley is one of Warhammer’s best-known writers, with a whole host of well-known titles under his belt, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, he’s a pretty keen hobbyist too. Join us as we catch up with Guy about his year in hobby…

Hobby come, hobby go.

2017, where did that go? As I age, and my green skin becomes more scabrous and gnarly, the years dance by on ever nimbler toes. It’s doing my head in, to be honest, so let’s talk about models and gaming.

Truth be told, these last six months have been busy ones for me, and fitting in painting – and lately, even gaming – has been quite the task. But I persevere, for I crave my precious Warhammer time, and though the hobby desert is wide, there are a few, shining oases studding the unforgiving sands. Here’s quick round up of what I’ve been up recently, and what I have planned.

I’ve now played the new edition of Warhammer 40,000 plenty of times, and it’s getting more fun with each battle. I’m enjoying the synergy between the various units in my Death Guard army greatly, but my favourite aspect of the game has to be the Stratagems. These little cards, so innocuous, so simple looking, add a ton of chuckles to the overall death-bolter-shooty fun time. Famed games designer Sid Meier has oft been quoted saying, “a game is a series of interesting decisions”. Though some hold this statement to be overly simple, it is applicable to the kind of tactical games we all play, and how you spend your Command Points is definitely an interesting decision; a deliciously agonising one.

I haven’t added anything since we last looked at my Death Guard, but I have expanded my 41st Millennium scenery set-up. As you can see below, I introduced my finished Forge World Genatorum Nexus to the mix. I painted it to match my existing terrain, and when it was done, I applied generous lashings of Forge World’s Dark Sand weathering powder. These powders are brilliant tools, but they do need to be fixed in place. I use a very dilute 8:1 PVA mixture, sprayed from a plant mister (a tip I got from Mr. Gav Thorpe, author, who used it to fix flock to his mini gaming board). A couple of goes over holds it down perfectly and preserves the dusty look of even quite deeply applied patches.

I’ve assembled a lot more bits of the excellent Sector Mechanicus scenery, and it is now undercoated and ready for painting. Soon I’ll have enough terrain to consider starting a Necromunda campaign, but that’s for later.

I dedicated this last year, now dead and gone, to making war in the 41st Millennium. However, no-one may accuse me of neglecting the Mortal Realms. Although I’ve not played Age of Sigmar for several months now, I’ve been steadily adding to my Nurgle forces, including a whole horde of Daemons that I can use for both Warhammer Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000, as my next article will be dedicated to the Maggotkin, there will be plenty of pictures.

Sometimes it can be invigorating to set hobby goals. By spring of 2017, I (along with my regular opponent, the ever diligent Steven) had accumulated two nicely painted armies of Vanguard size. We don’t play huge games, as we only have the course of an evening to war over, but we’re hankering after something bigger. As the year wore on, we agreed that we’d paint up a whole load of extra Warhammer Age of Sigmar troops and then pit them against one another in an epic clash. This showdown between the forces of Papa Nurgle and the blood-mad worshippers of Khorne is an event I’m eagerly anticipating. As well as reinforcements to my army, I’ve prepared some Realm of Battle: Shattered Dominion boards for painting. We bought two of these while they were available during 2017’s Armies on Parade. I didn’t really need the whole set, as I already have the original Realm of Battle, but having a few extra gives my set-up a lot of flexibility.

I was a latecomer to the Strategy Battle Game, but after some intense sessions at my local gaming club a few years ago it became one of my favourite games systems of all time. Last month I was delighted to see the new edition of Battle Companies released for Middle-earth. I snapped it up and starting this very day I and a few others will be playing a campaign. I already have a sizeable Rivendell army and, of course, hordes of orcs, but I’d like to paint some new models, so I’m going for Rohan. Here’s a starting battle company of Gondorians I’ve painted for my dad to play with in the campaign.

And finally, I’ve been playing Blood Bowl with my son. He has a Skaven team, I have Orcs. He beats me every single time. His Star Players are two Gutter Runners named Mr Whiskers and Mr Twinkles. I hate them.

He’s nine.

The less said about this embarrassing gaming farrago, the better.

Thanks, Guy! If you’re looking for a new hobby project to kick off the year, why not join in with the Malign Portents muster? You can find out more about it here.

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