Kick Off 2022

So, let us kick off into 2022! We did a sum up of the last year earlier this week, now let's focus on the new year and opportunities.

Chaosbunker - Dennis

If this is the first time on this blog. Welcome! My name is Dennis (aka SiamTiger on some boards), I'm a wargamer for more than 25 years and ran blogs and portals on that topic for about half that time. I enjoy writing about wargaming, especially reviews of which you can find about 300 on here, and am supported by Daniel / Dino on topics like Mortal Gods, Gaslands and Blood Bowl. As we're wargaming dads and most of our wargaming friends are, time is a precious commodity, that should be well spent. That means for us, having a fun time around our hobby; narrative scenarios, painted miniatures, foods, drinks and not having to argue about a dice throw or manoeuvring motion.

With that in mind, you'll find articles on mid to late 90's Games Workshop on here, Bolt Action, and some other game systems not from Nottingham, coverage on conventions, shows and day trips.

What was the biggest challenge of 2021?
In all honesty - to stay positive with the hobby. I talked about some of the challenges in the Oldhammer article, and how Brexit, new regulations on imports and such made buying second hand miniatures a lot more difficult. And on top of that the overall development of prices. If something new, that has been optimized and better than the old kit / model / whatever is more expensive, than the predecessor, that is something, that I can cope with to some degree. But out of the blue, pseudo-scarcity and "because it sold one time on eBay for that price" is rather annoying and drains the batteries a lot.

Sorted out Boxes and Paper Sold Items

And due to the preparation of the move, the lack of actual wargaming events, most of my interaction was online, selling overstock. Most of those, especially in closed communities went well, but on facebook that is incredibly annoying and includes a lot of wasted time (people not cancelling, booking lots they didn't have the money for the first place, needless negotiations). Yet, preparing these sales was a chore. You have 2 hours on your hand. Painting? Building? No, going through boxes, making lots and taking pictures to put them online. On top of that, I scanned a lot of documents and wargaming print products, that I didn't need as a physical copy. Not the most creative or inspirational work. Yet, freeing up the space and having less boxes to carry was kind of motivational.

Even outside of the trade spaces, a lot of negative energy was and is still floating around, as people seem still to be unaware of how niche our hobby is and how dramatically lock downs, Brexit, Evergreen and all that hit the manufacturers. These amazon prime same day delivery expectations and the moaning that stuff, that was ordered yesterday still didn't arrive. And if you don't have the chance to counter balance these experiences with some social hobby activities, you're left with just that - people heckling. Because of that I began to actively use the hide, block and ignore functions on social media more often, along with reducing the consumption as well.

Tops and flops by wargaming companies in 2021?

I am pretty amazed by some of the 3d / STL patreons that grew over the last year and a half. Wraith started a series on Warmaster, covering older ranges of ~10mm miniatures, but introducing 3d printed miniatures as well, and among those I am very amazed by ForestDragon and his elaborate range of armies for the small scale mass combat. Small scale is really something that works surprisingly well with 3d printing. And it is impressive to see, how much Grim Dark Terrain has grown. I covered the old Instagram account with some previews back in 2019, and nowadays if you see Adeptus Titanicus terrain on instagram or other social media 7 out of 10 times you see some of his work used on the table.

It is a shame, that I don't have the space to set up a resin printer safely around here. As there is so much that I like to make. For that reason, I am really interested to see how 3d printing services will develop in future.

Wraith Crypt - Warmaster Gryphon Knights Forest Dragon - Warmaster Vampire Army Grim Dark Terrain

Honestly, I am very amazed about how thoroughly constructed the Oathmark range is. Most of the races have at least two or three plastic kits available, that make for a great core of an army. The detail is absolutely sufficient for a 28mm mass combat and fits so many uses, from the retro gaming of 6-8th edition of Warhammer, Kings of War, Oathmark itself. I have to actively detain myself to start a project. Along with the blister codes for heroes and champions, the only thing missing is warmachines and you would be able to field a around 2-2,500 points of Warhammer for 120 to 150 EUR. Absolute stunner of a range, with a lot of mixing and kitbashing possibilities, and it is simply impressive what they have achieved, as I had the expectations that for example Mantic should have been the ones to provide this kind of product to the market.

Oathmark - Skeleton Infantry Oathmark - Goblin Infantry Oathmark Elf Infantry

Flops were the further "miss-use" of crowdfunding. If you need 50k to put your idea into reality and you don't have that kind of money or your bank won't give you the credit, but you have a strong idea. Then crowdfunding is fine and a proper solution. But if you need 500 Euro and there isn't even an entry barrier for your idea, just do it on your own. Set up a website / online shop, whatever, but don't use Kickstarter. Same goes for the big companies, that just use that kind of marketing to channel their revenue past a network of distributors / store owners and want to make sure to get all the margin. Honestly, at a point where the last three Zombicide campaigns gathered more than 3.000.000 USD (!) - with the exception of Night of the Living Dead - do you really need an interest-free loan from your customers for the next one?

Warhammer+. I like the idea, the concept. But it is not very well done. The vault is compared to other similar concepts, like Wargames Illustrated, not that filled with content (goes currently back to White Dwarf 2016, and then makes some larger gaps for individual issues from 2013 and 2014) and not that easy to use. I would hope, that we get some content from the golden era. As for the animation, which are the most dominantly part advertised - yeah - I was expecting a weekly schedule with some gaps here and there. Nope, another week without a new animation. Hammer+Bolter is quite decent, with some proper and not so proper episodes. Angels of Death was a let-down, got into detail on here. I would expect more exclusive freebies. There could be backgrounds, older out-of-production audio books and such. But hey, Black Library even charged you for wallpapers back in the day. And the content beyond that, like battle reports or painting tutorials. Yeah, they have Twitch and a Youtube Channel, both formats are advertisement for their own product range - why do they expect their customers to pay for that? Because the customers do. So, I probably should be angrier about the ones eating it up, than the ones feeding it to them.

WarhammerTV - January 2022 Update

What games did you gave a try in 2021 and what you're looking for in 2022?

Not really anything. But I'd like to give Last Days a try, along with some of the generic skirmish systems. As I intend to have my miniature collection game system agnostic, I want to try out, which rule sets work good with that, especially to fit different time frames and settings (like having half an hour time or the whole afternoon / evening, using 5 miniatures or 20 and so on).

Oh and of course Warmaster, as the small scale really speaks to me. But once again, I wouldn't mind - if I go for miniatures in that scale - to be able to play Kings of War or Oathmark with them as well.

Which video, podcast or Instagrams did you enjoy in 2021?

As mentioned above, social media is a wild ride, and Instagram makes it the most convenient for me to stay in a "just miniatures, no politics, no clickbait or other stuff" bubble and enjoy it. So, for one, take a look at my chaosbunker account and look up who I follow. But I'd like to point three channels out in particular, Anvils of Konor, the magnificent Herr Poom of whom I'm a fan since his 30k World Eater project on TabletopWelt and for the occasional Middlehammer kick WhiskeyandWizards. On YouTube it is more about model making, especially for the Bolt Action inspiration and there simply NightShift is a league of his own. Not everything by Erics Hobby Workshop really fits me, but lately the Middlehammer content spoke to me. And as an endless source for ideas on What-If scenarios at Alternative History Hub.

Instagram - Herr Poom Instagram - Whiskey and Wizards Youtube - Eric's Hobby Workshop

But yet, I am mostly on YouTube for food (and additional background on tv shows and movies that I see - thank you ScreenCrush) - as is my focus on my private Instagram. Enjoying Sam the Cooking Guy (It's not not tacos), for some Italian-American kitchen lately Sip and Feast, my never ending fascination for the uplifting mood of Kenji Lopez Alt, and as a German of course Irgendwas mit ARTE und Kultur, as I love Karambolage.

Do you want to expand the Chaosbunker as a video or podcast, or maybe a discord?

Still no plans for this. But as soon as it is possible, wargaming themed road trips. Think of Top Gear meets Beasts of War. But with Romans, and food, and dice ... and, well, you get the idea.

What was the biggest surprise 2021?

The prices for OOP stock on eBay, along with the rather high chance of some items not being a genuine models ("unreleased" items and such), are just insanity. If I took that seriously, my book collection alone would be enough to buy a new mid-range car.

Price Development

What are your realistic goals for 2022 and how do you plan to realize them?

Applying techniques from lean startup to my hobby. I work in an IT company and we develop individual software. We approach new customers project with the MVP (minimal viable product) technique and that is something, that should be applicable in good way to my own hobby projects. What does that mean? Well, instead of directly building something large, with tons of features and a big budget - start small. What is it your customers / users benefit the most from? And then start with that use case and expand it around that in repeating and steady short periods of time (sprints).

So instead of going for 6.000 points of 5th edition Warhammer or something similar (like the Oathmark mass combat army mentioned above), I stay with smaller chunks like the Project 500 or 18 Miniatures in 3 Month challenges. I should be able to cover one of these per quarter, and along with two fixed dates for painting per week, I should be able to make some progress. Beyond that, as soon as you back in the game and have finished miniatures in front of you, it gets easier to keep going. For that reason, I decided to go with a repaint of a Blood Bowl Team. Chaos in this case, as I already have a fitting paint scheme from my beastmen warband and can build upon that.

Blood Bowl - Chaos Team Realm of Chaos - Hooves and Fur

Any changes planned for the 'bunker in 2022?

Not really. But more hobby content, like in way I covered the units from the Chaos project. I already switched there from just introducing the unit itself to adding a bit of history on the design, as you can see in comparison between the Terminators and the Khorne Berzerkers. Yeah, and that is something that I want to do for most of my Middlehammer collection, as a guide for fellow hobbyists with a fable for nostalgia. Including some rescues and restorations (that will be mostly vehicles, as started with the Rhino and go through most of the Imperial Vehicles).

Warhammer 40.000 - Worldeaters Chaos Space Marines Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Space Marine Rhino Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Space Marine Rhino

And as I have a massive need to get out there again, as soon as it is reasonable and acceptable, I want to pick up the road / short trip idea of combining different wargame related content.

Closing words?

First of all, as I said in the last years - take care of yourself and the people, who matter to you. This is a timeless advice and especially true in the current times.

Chaosbunker - Dennis at the work bench

But another thing to keep in mind, don't stress yourself to be better than somebody else, just try to be the best you can be. And while doing so, don't forget to be awesome!

Posted by Dennis B.

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