I started putting the first touches to the Heresy Weekender this week, the first thing I addressed was the biggest complaints, which were poor coffee and unpainted armies.

For the coffee we will be taking along a Tassimo machine and be offering people Costa coffee from that, it does mean we will have to charge for those, 50p for an Americano and £1 for a Latte. I don’t drink coffee so I hope this will suffice, and of course we will still be offering instant coffee for free as well, because I want to give people the option. And the instant coffee and tea will still come from Ringtons, so it has a North East favour to it.

And for painting we have introduced a 3 colour and based minimum painting standard, I understand that some people felt their immersion was spoiled by unpainted armies being on the table and I totally get that.

We didn’t want to put off players, because people do have different demands on their time, whilst for me, I have all the time in the world to paint, I know people who are teachers working 80 hours weeks, and have kids, so finding time to paint for them is a struggle.

But the people who came spoke, and the majority wanted painted armies, and they are after all, the people we put the event on for.

We also looked at the points levels, for the past two years we have done 3500 points, but this year we have decided to drop it down to 3000 points. Gregg of The Imperial Truth runs his events at 3000 points and they work really well, it still allows people to bring the nice big toys, but will help us with timekeeping. Oh and we have abandoned the sideboards in favour of a much simpler thing, just allowing people to bring two different lists.

Not sure if we are doing doubles again, this is fun, but it did take a long time and some people didn’t have as much fun for various reasons, we still need to discuss this however, because doubles can be a lot of fun. It’s something up for discussion anyway.

At Raid on Angstrom XI Graham trailed a possible way to run the campaign, based on the Shadow Wars system. The biggest issue we had this year was that sorting out the results and the narrative outcome took a long time, and having set missions let people slip into tournament mode a little, so hopefully this will work and resolve the issue. If that doesn’t work we do have a plan, but it will take a lot more work, as we will be basing it on a tree campaign system.

We also want to introduce some more environmental effects to give the tables a bit of personality, still figuring out ways of doing this, but I think we can manage something, I have seen a few good ideas in the Warhammer 40k Open War Cards.

I am also sending off Megan’s mum to a local butcher, Bolams in Sedgefield to see what price we can get for the meat we need, they sell meat sources from local County Durham farms and we are after all trying to give the event as much of a local flavour as possible. We are charging a bit more this year, so we may as well see what we can to put some of that into the food and improve its quality.

Some of the extra money is going to be used to hire tables, so we can have a uniform flatness to the table without a ridge interfering with the mats, and also allowing us somewhere to eat. The venue has less tables than they did last year so it’s now at the point where we need to hire them, plus it looks a lot better and a bit more professional.

It’s still six months to go, but the sooner I get the organisation dealt with the easier it will be in the long run, this includes a few under the hood changes to the Edge of Empire website which will allow us to sell the tickets and take your money.

This week I need to get sorted with working out the final budget and seeing what we can do to make it an amazing weekend for people.

Oh and tickets go on sale on the 11th September.

What I am Modelling

I have built some Ad-Mech stuff this week, I spent my Saturday night building a pair of Kastelan Robots and their Cybernetica Datasmith, all of which were rather decent models to build, so far I have enjoyed building each of the Ad-Mech kits, and I have built one of them all now.

I also built a Tech-Priest Domius which I bought this week as well.

I have done some painting on the Inceptors and they are now about 80% done, my painting mojo has been quite suppressed this past week.

What I am Reading

I finished listening to Sons of the Forge and yeah, the second half was just as muddled and bad as I remember when I read it.

The biggest issue it had is that it’s simply got too many characters for such a short story, too many threads that don’t get fully explored properly, and there are too many cliched tropes in play.

Really a quite poor book, and it solidified my opinion that Nick Kyme is not one of Black Library’s better authors.

I then listened to the Eagles Talon, a book I really enjoy, the whole Imperial Fists undercover and sneaking round a ship I find quite cool, when I first listened to it, I was still deciding on what Legion to build, and this almost made me go with a Recin Squad based Fists army, but I hate painting yellow!

I also finally got round to listening to The Heary of the Pharos, which was originally published as The Dark Between the Stars, but was hastily retitled because they forgot to check the title wasn’t already in use.

I am not a big fan of Laurie Goldings writings to be honest, but this was pretty good, it being set in catacombs underneath the Pharos meant that they were able to do great things with the sound effects in order to create an atmospheric audio drama.

The story fills in a lot of holes about the run up to Pharos and really should have been released prior to that, but I suspect it may have been a victim of the poor organisation that was going on at Black Library during the period in which Pharos was published. Plus it kinda links in with the Scythes of the Emperor stories that were written by Golding as well, which are set 10,000 years later.

My only complaint is that Dantioch didn’t sound right, if anything he sounded, healthy and we know that he is not a healthy man.

I have now started listening to Pharos itself, and I do enjoy that story.

What I am Playing

This week I played in the Raid on Angstrom event that Graham organised, and it was a lot of fun, very well organised and really cool. I took my Word Bearers and played with Lorgar for the first time, using a Primarchs Chosen army.

My first game was against Steve’s Primarchs Chosen army of Raven Guard with Corax. It did not go well for me, I was wiped out pretty quickly, my Gal Vorbak deep struck only to be shot to death very quickly. Lorgar did smash some face and took out an entire Terminator Squad himself, only to be shot to death by two Plasma Predators, and in general in went very badly for me. But the game was an awful lot of fun, despite it being very one sided.

My second game was much the same, but against the Iron Hands, the mission requires I deploy everything on the board and could only hold in reserve units like fliers and Drop Pods, so my Gal Vorbak has to footslog across the board.

Was a very tough game and my Xiphon just refused to come into the game, my Spartan was killed very early by a mixture of a Drop Pod Leviathan and Laser Destroyer Rapiers.

The rest of my army suffered at the hands of a squad of 10 Volkite Culverin Heavy Support Marines and three Quad Mortar Rapiers.

In my last game it was a complete reversal, we played Suicide Mission and I had to stop Johns Raven Guard getting into my deployment zone.

My army did really really well, my Volkite Contemtor wiped out a squad in the first turn and I did a lot of damage to a Mor Deythan Squad.

John just kept rolling 1s and 2s, I felt really bad for the guy, whilst I couldn’t do any wrong, my Gal Vorbak came on and smashed face, Lorgar wiped out a unit of Attack Bikes by himself and then he and his squad of Terminators ate through two Contemptors.

In the whole game I lost a single Terminator, a Single Gal Vorbak, my Chaplain, a Rhino and two Tactical Veterans! I like winning, but I don’t like winning like that.

In the end the Traitors managed to edge a win in the campaign and I think both me and Graham were very happy with how it played out. Given us lots of ideas for the Weekender.

What I am Backing

A project that has had me keep looking at it again and again is Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction, a special double issue of Uncanny Magazine featuring stories, poems, essays and art by creators who are disabled. Disability and sci-fi is something that interests me a lot so this is right up my street.

They have some great creators on board and I am looking forward to the production of this awesome issue.

Ogrezine still has a day left to run and has smashed right through all of its stretch goals.

What I am Cooking

This week I cooked a Tex-Mex inspired chilli, I made this mostly to the specifications of the Chili Appreciation Society International which means it was a chilli without beans or tomatoes, I did break the rules slightly and put in a couple of onions but I think it needed it.

The chilli was made with chunks of beef as opposed to mince, and the spice was cumin, oregano, paprika and dried red chillies in a Mexican larger sauce with some dark chocolate.

Megan was very unsure about it as I prepared it and put it in the slow cooker, and she said it was a larger chocolate spice abomination.

To accompany the chilli I made some cornbread, last time I made this I made it in a frying pan which then went straight into the oven, but I no longer own a frying pan that can go into the oven, so I made them as smaller muffin style cakes.

To make cornbread meant getting some corn meal, which is not a normal ingredient in British supermarkets, you can use polenta as a supbsitute, but most supermarkets only sell polenta as a ready made solid block. Thankfully the Tesco Extra in Gateshead has a good selection of Asian ingredients and I was able to get a nice big bag from there.

The cornbread was made with some onion, green chillies and cheese in it, and went down fairly well, both Lindsay and Megan enjoyed it.

The chilli on the other hand was a different story, it was far too spicy, so next time I will use less dried red chillies, and Megan found that it had too much larger in it, so when I make it again, it will be made with half as much larger and the rest will be made up of beef stock.

Next week my meal has to be a bit cheaper so I am thinking of making a teriyaki meatloaf.

What I am Spending

Trying not to spend again this week, but I did but a cheap Adeptus Mechanicus Tech-Priest Dominus, I have up until now been using the Forge World Magos Dominus, but I really like the look of the Games Workshop model and was able to pick it up off eBay quite cheaply from a seller who was breaking up some Start Collecting boxes.

Must get round to finishing off my Ad Mech at some point.

I also finally bought the new Paranoia adventure, Troubles by the Boxload, I have been reading through the books of the new edition, I plan to run some games of this at some point in the near future with Lindsay and Megan.