#warmongers #miniswap 2014 is GO for launch!

Well the deed is done #warmongers, I’ve just sent out the pairings emails for the 2014 round of the #warmongers #miniswap! 18 lucky people are now paired up and will be sending each other a lovely miniature (just the one mind, this isn’t a regiment painting service!), to apply some paint to.

There are plenty of pairings from around the world this year (twice as many as last time): Norway, The Netherlands, USA and UK are all represented and I’ve tried to maximise the far-flung pairings so that where possible people aren’t swapping with a next door neighbour. I’ll be reporting back on progress as the swaps take place and keeping the #warmongers community up to date on who’s swapped what and with whom. For now, the match-ups are:

  • Archaeolas
  • Jamie
  • Jaime Barron
  • Richard miller
  • Harry Brown
  • Oliver Maclean
  • Patrick Harms
  • Jay Richardson
  • wouter lute
  • Rich Taylor
  • Lee Parry
  • Aj
  • Art steventon
  • Sarah Gransee
  • Faron Adams
  • Darren Bogus
  • Nigel Bartlett
  • Tom van de Ven

Cheer them on when you see them talking about it on Twitter, prod them for progress if they aren’t!

I’m sad not to join in this time but the numbers didn’t quite work out (it would’ve been odd swapping with myself I suppose…), but this is a great little project that will hopefully continue to grow until finally, IT TAKES OVER THE WORLD!! Er, sorry, maniacal tendencies put back in their box, for now…

Resolve

As it’s 1st January 2014 I thought I would write a post, like last year and the year before, listing my new year’s resolutions.

Looking back at last year’s resolutions I didn’t do too badly. I did become a dad. The Shell Case Shorts Anthology did get published. ODAM is still running and it’s the best fun you can have with a Skype app. We did do another #warmongers Secret Santa and it was twice the size of last year. I did paint stuff – albeit not quite as much as I’d like – and I did get some games in. I did make it to Salute 2013 and I spent an embarrassing amount of money.

The areas I struggled with is sadly the area that I enjoy the most. Writing. Nothing got finished and as demands at home took their toll the site suffered. I’ve already talked about this in my New Year’s Eve but my contributors are awesome and I owe them a great deal.

All this, and my wife’s ever lengthening list of resolutions got me thinking about the word behind the behind: resolve. It resonated with me and not just for its poignant use in the recent Batman comics.

resolve

Or, more to the point, what it means. Courage. Steadfastness. Intent. Willpower.

So this year I’m not going to make too many promises. Although I can say I’ll be at Salute 2014 along with Lee, Mat & Reece and yes we will all be wearing shirts. Instead I’m going to have and show more resolve. To make this site better, improve ODAM, to do well at my new job, to be a good husband and father and to continue in the hobby that I love. And to not blink, bend or break in the process.

Basically to stop having good intentions and instead have positive actions.

What Kind of Year Has it Been?

The Shell Case has had its third Christmas and 2014 will see the site turn 3 years old. It’s been an eventful 2 and a half years and that certainly goes double for the last 12 months.

So, to repeat the question: what kind of year has it been?

A very mixed one.

In March I became a father. Whilst being a dad is awesome it inevitably had an impact on The Shell Case in so much as I couldn’t write as much as I wanted or as often. I did my best but inevitably I lost readers, some of which never returned. Between my time being hammered more than Charlie Sheen and some truly twatish comments on the posts I did put up I seriously considered closing the site. Until Erin (@sixeleven) suggested that to take the pressure off writing a post a day – which I was doing and then some – I bring in contributors.

It was a painfully obvious solution to the problem and have the added benefit of discussing topics and parts of our wide and varied hobby that I have no experience in. Bringing in contributors has seen mixed success with the initial team signing on and then almost immediately leaving again after they realised that when I said 1 article a week I actually meant it. We’re not quite there yet as all our contributions are a little up and down (mine included) and I’m still on the hunt for a couple more talented people to round off the team, but progress is being made and we’re slowly clawing our way back to where we were. And hopefully beyond.

Three months ago Lee and I, rather ambitiously, began A Tale of Two Armies. It’s been a lot of fun, if slightly stressy at times, to get back into Warhammer and actually do hobby and play games with any regularity. The narrative is developing nicely and as you’ve hopefully seen, Lee and I have been working hard to flesh out the entire thing. Check out our ‘Genesis of a’ posts.

I do have to extend huge thanks to Reece, Mat, Lee & Adam since coming on board. They’re all integral parts to the grand plan for The Shell Case and I’m not joking when I say this site wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them. And to Jason, Ashley, Adam (again), Nate & John for agreeing to take part in my hair brained scheme to create a multi-national podcast. 10 shows in we’re starting to find our feet and the new year should bring some more exciting changes and possibly some TSC exclusive content.

I also owe a huge and un-payable debt to my sponsor, Firestorm Games, for supporting me these last 18 months. Again, without them I wouldn’t have been in a position to keep pace with our ever-changing hobby or have been able to run A Tale of Two Armies.

Thank yous also go out to Amera, Chris Wraight, Gav Thorpe, Nick Kyme, Sarah Cawkwell, Megalith, Studio McVey, Ainsty Castings, Avatars of War to name but a few. Getting to know you all has been a pleasure and your support of my humble site rather mind-blowing.

I’d planned on spouting on about the state of the hobby and all that had happened over the last 12 months but actually, what’s done is done. The next 12 months is what interests me with some big releases from the Games Workshop, Spartan Games, Megalith and many others. I can’t wait to get to Salute 2014 and go batshit crazy for the up and coming games. And I can’t wait for my daughter to sleep through the night so I have a bit more energy.

All that’s left to be said is to thank readers of the site, old and new, as you’re the reason I’ve pretty much given up sleeping. I wish you all a happy, healthy & prosperous 2014 with many toys, games and, occasionally, some painting.