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Wow, what a weekend! BOYL 2016 was amazing – I travelled up on Friday with my pal Ross, and had far and away the best hobby experience of my life. I’m still slightly blown away by the whole weekend, so I’m just going to photo dump and get my impressions and experiences down in print while it is fresh in my mind:


Friday – Arrived at Wargames Foundry at around 5pm, and had a mooch around the shop and display cabinets. Met Bryan Ansell and talked through some of the amazing minis on display (many of which I recognise from the pages of White Dwarf issues from my teens). Met folks at the Rogue Trader table – planned some RT mayhem for the morning. Also had a really lovely chat with artist Tony Ackland, pouring over examples of his lovely work and discussing vagaries of the hobby as each image nudged the conversation in a different direction. Chatting with Tony was actually a real highlight of the whole weekend – he’s such a lovely chap, and I just hadn’t realised how deeply some of his images are engraved in my memory! Here are some pics of the miniature display cases, but sadly none of Tony’s work (too damn busy gawping and talking!):




Saturday – Arrived at 9am, unloaded my Rogue Trader lead Praetorian army for a bit of RT action, and after a bit of house ruling from Curtis (of Ramshackle Games – top bloke who arranged the Rogue Trader table), I played James’ awesome Evil Sunz Orks. What a fantastic army, full of Orky Know-watz, and using the frankly insane ‘Ere we go!’ list & rules. Playing a fully painted army with my own fully painted Praetorians on a decent table is a real bucket list item for me, and as an added bonus, it was against a brilliant opponent in James, and it was Orks!!! James has done a brilliant write-up over on his blog,  so I won’t repeat the endeavour in detail here, but James’ report is well worth a look. Suffice to say that the mayhem and carnage was suitably intense, and included memorable incidents like having a whole flank denied due to an expertly placed Pulsa Rocket, and having a Chimera exploded by Snotling farts, (killing practically everything in a 1ft circle)! I think the tanks and guns of the 215th carried the day in the end, (plus the combat prowess of Rogue Trader Arturo), but luck also played a huge part, and it was right to the wire. James was a gracious and worthy opponent, and good fun was had by all. My Rogue Trader went directly from the battle field and into the display cabinet that was the holding pen for the OldHammer painting competition, pausing only to wipe the worst of the Ork blood from his power armour… more on that later, but here are some pics from that battle:


Anyway, after a spot of lunch and a natter, I got the chance to sit with the amazing Kev ‘Goblin Master’ Adams, and had my face sculpted onto the mini of my choice. I’ll get that mini painted and shared on a subsequent post, but suffice to say that sitting and watching a bona fide master push putty is a wonderful privilege, and what a dude! We had a really good natter about the ‘good old days’ at GW, and all the crazy shit that went on… I won’t divulge details on here, but let’s just say that it was all those creatives in one place made for a very rock’n’roll work environment…

Shortly after that I was incredibly lucky to grab a vacant spot at a GM-led game of Rogue Trader about Inquisitor Cynole’s investigation of an alien artefact. The game was set up and run by an awesome guy called Aiden, who provided all the scenery, models, scenario, plot points, etc. He also GMed it, (with a little help from his son)… what a legend! The game was amazing… six (I think) factions, all with hidden agendas and secret plot lines. I led the Mercs, and started out killin’ Natives for the Trade Guild before learning that the natives were actually trying to contain a world-ending Daemon that the greedy Nobles, Trade Guilders and Mechanicus were in danger of unleashing. I threw in my lot with the Inquisitor & Natives after that, and set about exterminating those who might unleash the evil, (including a butler and some journalists… ‘Leave no witnesses!’). Half of my squad got chomped by a giant jungle beast that sneaked up on me, but the other half ended up killing their way into the temple itself while my leader, (lone survivor of a beast attack… actually, he left his men to die and legged it!), lurked around an antiaircraft battery. The body count was horrendous, and little did we realise that the Daemon in the artefact had actually possessed the Inquisitor! A bloodbath around the artefact ended up fully releasing the creature before the natives could perform the bonding ritual, thus dooming the planet. A lone Trader managed to escape by Ornithoptor, despite my attempt to shoot it out of the skies, (though I did down a ship that the Mechanicus leader tried to escape in, just for badness).

Phew! What a game! It had literally every cool thing you could think of…  Jungle beasts galore? Killer robots? Space Marines fighting skeletons? Spaceships and magic? Daemonic possession? Natives with bazookas? Backstabbing and subterfuge? Yep… this game had it all. I literally can’t thank Aiden enough for making this game possible – truly the finest example of a GM-led Rogue Trader game that I have ever had the pleasure to play. Here are some pics:


Oh, and guess what else happened… We took a break half way through the Inquisitor Cynole game for the painting comp results, and I found out that my Rogue Trader had taken runner-up spot in the single miniature category!!! Flippin’ ek! I just couldn’t believe that I got a look-in to be honest – the standard in that cabinet was absolutely brilliant. To think that my mini was closely examined by Bryan Ansell, Tony Yeats and Tony Ackland is incredible enough to me, but then for them to like it enough to put it in runner up spot is just jaw-dropping…  I won a very exclusive master cast of a green that Tony Yeats had brought with him – literally cast that very day, specifically for the painting comp… I think they did another run for gifts here and there, but it’s going to be a rare thing, and getting a master cast (i.e. cast directly from the original Green) is pretty darn special! I don’t want to spoil the surprise so I’m not giving any details on who or what the mini is, but I’ll be painting it up very soon, and will do a separate post on it :-)

The rest of Saturday was spent mooching, chatting, and generally soaking up the atmosphere. No photos I’m afraid, but there will be many floating around on the interweb I am sure. The ColdHammer game was incredible, and there was a massed Fantasy battle that must’ve had thousands of models per side. I saw, Adeptus Mechanicus, Advanced Space Crusade, Advanced HeroQuest, and so many other cool games… Finally, after a full 12 hours of gaming heaven, it was time for bed.

Sunday – Arrived 9am again and did a bit of shopping, chatted more, and watched James’ Orks take on a really nice and compact Space Marine force to rescue/kidnap an Imperial Administrator, (a painted example of a freebee mini from Curtis of Ramshackle – again, I’ll paint up and present mine in a post soon). I was really pleased to see the Orks come out on top this time – the expert use of the Pulsa Rocket was key in this battle, pushing the objective closer towards the Orks, and making their job just about easy enough! I snapped a few pics of these lovely Marines:



And a couple of shots of Curtis’ Nurgle force (which I didn’t get chance to play against unfortunately… next time Curtis!):


I also looked in on an incredible Fimir battle that was mostly using Geoff’s exquisite army, (divided into warbands for multiplayer madness), and was blown away by Geoff casually describing how he learned to bind books in leather, just so he could put all his Warhammer editions & associated publications together… Seriously, the artistry of the man is just mind-bending – so much so, I forgot to take photos again!

Before Ross and I knew it, time was up! Lunch time rolled around, and we hit the road to get home to loved ones and grown-up stuff. Our hearts were heavy, but our creativity was fizzing, and we solemnly vowed to return next year. Seriously, this was an amazing weekend – I met so many cool people, and saw so many amazing hobby things, it was all too much to absorb really! I must extend a huge thank you to all the people I met, gamed with, laughed with, etc. What a brilliant community. Finally, a special thank you the Ansell Clan for their hospitality and kindness throughout – they are true heroes of the hobby.

Next post will certainly be sharing painted goodies from the weekend – see you from orbit!