Monday, June 7, 2010

Let's talk about little army men.

Hey there,

Still here for post #3? I'm starting to believe you may be masochists. Since A lot(read ALL) of you are probably reading this blog because you know me from my time on 40k Radio I figured I would take a little bit of time and drop a few lines about the game I used to talk about on the podcast.

So...where to begin? Lets talk about the things I've done since I chose to leave 40k Radio...Wait, what's that you say? I was FIRED from 40k Radio? I didn't leave of my own free will after weighing all the options and deciding what would be best for me and what would ultimately make me the happiest? Fired you say? I don't think so. Here's the thing about the internet(and its a lot like CNN): If the truth isn't interesting enough, people just make shit up. Here is the long and the short of it: There were creative and managerial differences between the hosts that led people to say stuff that other people reacted to. Those reactions led to more reactions from people who said stuff and more stuff was said and reacted to. In the end, like many fruitful but difficult relationships, the hosts of 40k Radio decided to part ways after they determined that there was really no way that they could all be happy with the compromises and demands that they were all making. I've been through a divorce and the way this all went down was as close to a 1/8th scale model of a strained marriage and a divorce as you could possibly create. There were problems at 40k Radio that we all knew existed and we all chose to ignore for as long as we could and still function. Then one thing happened and that opened Pandora's box and let out all the chaos that had been neatly contained by us choosing to ignore it. This stuff happens ALL the time when you have a number of creative, talented and passionate people that are all working to try and make something great. How many fantastic rock bands have split up over seemingly stupid issues? Plenty. Do you really think that the one thing that the press release pointed to was the ONLY issue that led to the band's break up? No, you don't because you are an intelligent and enlightened person(you must be to be reading this particular blog) and you know that there was a Hell of a lot more to the story than what was said. That's why VH1 makes so damn many "Behind the Music" episodes and everybody watches them even when they're about bands that sucked. And now you think I should get to the point and or spill the beans. Here's the point with no bean spillage: Each of the 3 primary hosts of 40k Radio had issues with how at least one of the other hosts was handling their end of things. Those issues came to light and that was an opportunity to either start down the road to repairing the issues and making a better show or calling it "quits" and walking away. It became clear to me that I would never get the things I needed to make me satisfied enough so that the sacrifices required would be worth staying on the show. So I called it quits and so did Scott for his own reasons. Not because we necessarily wanted to but because we HAD to. Some would say Scott and I took the coward's way out by not staying and trying to work things out but I am a person who chooses his battles carefully and I knew this was one that would not end favorably for anyone involved. In the words of Kenny Rogers: "You've got know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em....blah blah blah more country gibberish". But anyway, this was a situation in which an amicable solution could not and would not be reached. Am I happy that I'm not on 40k Radio anymore? Not really. Am I relieved that the stress that came along with 40k Radio has ended for the most part? Absolutely. Do I miss being on the radio and interacting with the community in the ways that 40k Radio allowed me to? Damn right I do. Am I confused and upset that 40k Radio appears to have come to an end and is up for sale lock, stock and barrel? Damn right I am. I think its horrible that the situation for Spencer became such that he was not able to continue. When I left I fully expected 40k Radio to continue on and maybe be better than ever in whatever form it took when Spencer took control and willed that new iteration into existence. It appears, for now at least, that it was not meant to be. I sincerely hope 40k Radio lives on in some way, shape or form because I was a part of it and it is a part of me and I don't want to see it disappear. There you go, that's all you're going to get out of me about it. Please believe me when I say that what you've read here is, by and large, the whole story. I know, I know, there are very few details and details are what everyone wants but I'm not going to air the dirty laundry any more than it has been already. A friendship was damaged during this and I sincerely hope to repair that friendship sooner rather than later. Airing dirty laundry and telling my side of the story would not endear me as a friend to anyone as I would not want to be friends with anyone who did the same to me. We all want to look at the car crash as we drive by to see the blood or dead bodies but remember(and I know because I've been to thousands during my career) those bleeding people and dead bodies are real people who have real families waiting for them to come home to them that night. Each and every one of them is someone's everything and that someone's life may never be the same after the moment you are craning your neck to see passes by. The point of all that is this: Keep the car wreck victim analogy in mind and understand that the blood and gory details of the 40k Radio drama won't do anything to further the narrative, they will only temporarily satisfy your morbid curiosity and leave you feeling a little nauseas and disappointed in yourself later on. 40k Radio was a great thing and its sad that its over(maybe) but the explicit details of how it ended won't do anything to make its end more understandable or satisfying to anyone who really cares about it for the right reasons.

Oops. I did it again. I title the blog and then go off in some crazy direction that leaves you wondering why I titled it as I did. I've done that in all 3 posts now and I'm not going to apologize. I put the title down first because its sort of my "goal" for the post. If I was really keeping my eye on the prize and aiming towards making the post appropriate for the title, these things would be short, informative and to the point. If you're looking for that, perhaps this is not the blog for you. I really didn't want to talk about 40k Radio. Really. But, its been on my mind and this blog would not exist if I was still on the radio show. So I guess I felt like I owed it to the blog, its readers and myself to tell the story(without any gory details) in the most neutral and responsible way that I could come up with. I hope I didn't fail at that but I'm sure the folks with the insatiable morbid curiosities will think I'm a tease and say all kinds of mean things about me in the comments here or on their blogs. I'm not going to apologize.

Now let's talk about little army men.

Anyone who listened to the show knows I'm a former Tau player(excuse me, I just threw up in my mouth a little), a Blood Angels player and now a Tyranid player. I built the Tyranids out of desperation because I was invited to play in and cover the Battlefoam Wild West Shootout last year and had no painted army to play. Marines take too frickin' long to paint well and I had way too much invested in my Blood Angels to just slap 3 colors on them and call them "good enough" so I needed an army that I could build and paint fast. I considered Necrons but their codex was just too old for them to be competitive under the command of an unseasoned general. I had lost plenty of games to Tyranids and knew that they could be very competitive and were fairly quick to build and paint so I decided I would go with them. I went from shrink wrap to 2000 points of painted 'Nids in about 3-4 weeks with all the painting being done in just under 3 full days. The Wednesday before I left for the Shootout I painted for no less than 14 hours straight at work(thank goodness for a scheduling screw-up and a slow night) and had them all done by the time I was ready to pack my luggage. It was not enjoyable or artistic but it was done and it was a great sense of accomplishment. They don't look all that bad, either. I read the codex on the plane to Phoenix(really) and played my first game with the Tyranids when I took them out of the box at the Shootout. Once I got the hang of playing them I really became hooked and decided that they would be my primary army with the Blood Angels being my fun army and my painting skill exhibition army. Then the Tyranids got a new codex and I realized just how many new models I would need to be satisfied with my lists. The Blood Angels started to look like they might be ebay bound because I did not have the time or money to do two armies the way they needed to be done. Then the Blood Angels' new codex was confirmed and their fate was sealed. I had to get rid of them. HAD TO. If I didn't I would have been supporting two armies with brand new rules and new models and I knew I couldn't financially or physically support that with the limited time and money I had. It only took me about 2 weeks to get rid of all my Blood Angels and less time than that to replace them all with boxes and boxes of new Tyranids. The new Tyranid models are so impressive. They look great and are fairly easy to build with well-fitting parts. I keep going from love to hate and back to love with the new codex. It has some fantastic stuff in it but some horrible stuff as well. All in all I will give Games Workshop credit that they created a balanced and competitive set of rules for the army that can be played in a variety of ways to suit your play style or mood. I love all the new flying stuff but hate that you have to spend so damn much to give your gargoyles support and make your bigger flying models look good. Who in the Hell would give a gargoyle Lurk as an instinctive behavior? They are forcing you to have either shitty looking wings on your Warriors and Tyrants or spend oodles and oodles on Forgeworld goodies to make a flying list come together and look good as well. I do love my flying list, though. It reminds me of my jump packed Blood Angels and the fun I used to have with them. I'm still not done building all my new 'Nids and don't hold your breath to see them all painted because you'll be mightly blue and feeling lightheaded before that comes around.

Speaking of Blood Angels...after I got a peek at the new Codex I was pretty happy I had sold all mine off before that thing came out. Its amazing that I could love a 28 page free pdf codex so much and hate the full meal deal printed and bound codex so much. With a few exceptions I just do not like the new BA codex. Some of the new Dreadnought stuff is cool and a couple of the HQ choices are pretty sweet(although prohibitively costly for a small list) but I just didn't like the way the new codex felt. I wish I could site something more tangible but I can't. Maybe if they dropped a few of the cool units in the book or at least some upgrade sprues along with other new stuff I would have been happy but it seems to me like they put a lot of great things in the codex that weren't supported with actual models. I really, really hate being told that I can play a unit but I can't BUY the unit. Scratch building and proxy models are not my thing so if its not in a box, I'm not playing it and I think that's inexcusable. GW knew the codex was in the works long before we did so why didn't they make a couple new 'dreads and the Stormraven so that the new models that were released along with the codex weren't mostly just updates of old stuff we've had for years?

Whew. I've gone on for quite a bit longer than I'd anticipated so I'm sure fatigue and exhaustion made that last bit suck a lot more than the earlier bits. Not that the earlier bits didn't suck, the last part just sucks more.

Remember in post #2 where I said I'd pay you for your time with some awesome thing or pearl of wisdom? Me too. Here it is:

I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.
Groucho Marx


  1. Nice, classy explanation of the "Fall of 40K Radio." I, too, hope you can repair friendships. Whether a podcast comes out of it or not.

    Your foresight re: the Blood Angels 'dex (getting out before your wallet cried at all the cool new models) worked out extremely well in your favor, considering your dislike of the revised book. Any chance you could pull the same Karnak-ian ability on the WFB Ogre Kingdoms army book for me? I've got 2000+ points on the sprue and can't figure out whether I should keep 'em or not.

  2. crayolasmoker! Its awesome that the first blog comment is coming from you. The fact that its not damning or critical is really awesome too. In regards to the Ogre Kingdoms stuff that you're on the fence about: The Magic 8 Ball says......"Reply hazy, try again later". What I've arrived at in my own life and hobby is that you can really only support one BIG army if you have any kind of life outside the hobby. I am branching out into some other game systems with Malifaux being the first of a few I'm keen to try out so I've decided to go big with my Tyranids and leave all the other 40k stuff alone for now. I will be discussing my plans for the last remaining Assault on Black Reach set I own(still in shrink wrap...ooh, fresh) for when I'm bored or need a break from bugs. Ultimately, if you are honest with yourself about whether or not you will actually be able to build, paint and play the army in the reasonably near future then you will know whether you should hang onto them or let them go and spend the money on stuff you'll be able to enjoy sooner.

  3. I'm still out on the ledge about the Blood Angel Codex. Like you Chris, there something there that makes me aperhensive. Regardless to that I ended up getting suckered into an army build. A challenge was issued to select and build a 1500 point army during June. Each of the participants "drafted" the codex of their choice. I was out of town on business and ended up with Blood Angels. We’ll see how this goes.
    Having grown up with a mother who was a medic on a rural fire department in Ohio and having been an EMT myself, I have seen my share of car accidents, shootings, stabbings and one dude with his cock stuck in a camp stove. The 40k Radio car wreck was surprising and upsetting. Hopefully it will all work out in the end and friendship will be intact.

  4. Nice to see you are still around Chipley! I feel your Blood Angel dilemma, but in my case it is Dark Eldar.

  5. Hey Chipley. Thanks for the new post, and thanks for clearing up the general fall of 40kRadio. Its a shame...but these things happen from time to time. As for your bit about the armies... I am in the same boat in a way. I really want to do Orks and Marines, but ultimately I can only support one army so I might as well make it a good looking 'big' army.

    As for other little games, have you had a change to look at Firestorm Armada? I looks to be a really nice solid replacement for BFG and you really don't need to much to play either.

  6. I have looked into Firestorm Armada and actually had the book, cards and a starter fleet to build but its currently not in my possession and I don't know if I'll ever get it back. I may just have to bite the bullet and buy it all again.

    I talked with the Privateer Press guys and watched some Warmachine demo's that really turned me on to that game too.

    Then, of course, there's Flames of War but I don't know if my financial and time budgets will support all of those game systems.

  7. As one of the few people to directly benefit from Chipleys "Every Marine Must Go!" sale. I say, "Drop me a line when you dislike the Nids..I will buy those too!"

    In all seriousness, it is good to hear from you again and I will keep your Sons of Medusa on a shelf next to the Ultramarines I am making of the rest of your Models :P