SRM’s 2021 in Review

You know Rob’s Road Through 2021 posts? This is like a year of those, all at once. I caught you smoking a cigarette, and by gum I’m going to make you smoke the whole pack. Not to open this with a battery of navel-gazing, but allow me to ponder said navel for just a moment. If we look at the past 12 months by the numbers, I:

  • Moved 2,981 miles
  • Painted 202 models for 8 distinct game systems
  • Read or listened to 19 Black Library publications of wildly varying quality
  • Received 3 doses of the COVID vaccine
  • Lost 1 job I had worked at for 7 years
  • Taught 3 people how to play at least 1 flavor of Warham
  • Attended 1 Goonhammer Open
  • Recorded 32 regular and bonus episodes of my podcast, The 40k Badcast
  • Written or contributed to 58 posts here on Goonhammer Dot Com

That’s pretty good, I think! I did not keep track of games played in the same way, but my gut feeling is about one every other week on average. After an uneasy introduction to a stranger browsing the paint rack at my FLGS, I found myself making new friends in a new town, and new friends interested in the sundry flavors of Warhammer to boot. Said FLGS eventually started holding open weekly miniatures gaming nights, and with that the local hams started coming out of the woodwork. I breathed a sigh of relief as I found My People, and my wife breathed a sigh of relief as she didn’t have to be pressganged into playing Warhammer with me, but more on that later.


The Margaritaville Manglers. Credit: SRM

I had this notion that 2021 would be “The year of Specialist Games” and for the first few months, I was more or less right. I had been gifted a Halfling team for Blood Bowl from a Secret Santa right before moving, and I got to painting them before my furniture got here. Sitting at the kitchen counter, hunched over an unfolded newspaper plastered with ads for the Angus Thickburger, I painted these little idiots knowing full well they were not going to see the tabletop anytime soon. Yes I painted tiny Hawaiian shirt patterns on all of them, and yes I counted their little counters as models for my hobby progress tracker.

The Sisters of Mercy. Credit: SRM


The Sisters of Mercy. Credit: SRM

I had a small hoard of Escher models and bits that I had amassed, and after years sitting in boxes they finally saw the painting table. The lady with the green hair and the rifle over her shoulder was my test model, and I had a joyful time replicating her scheme on a small group of her sisters. This was the start of the Sisters of Mercy, a gang that too has not yet seen the tabletop.


Wyld Runners, Death Maidens, and Phelynxes. Credit: SRM

I had so much fun with the first few Eschers that I got to painting more of my backlog whilst also contributing to it with the Wyld Stallyns Runners, Phelynxes, and Death Maidens box. More fiddly, more ghastly, and more detailed than the standard gang sisters, they bulked out and diversified my particular group of scummers.

Escher Gangers. Credit: SRM

The previous group of weirdos is where I refined the scheme, and then applied it to more regular gangers shortly thereafter. I started a final group of 5, including a gang leader. They have been sitting in a box with the metals blocked out for the past 10 months. If I ever finish them, the whole lot will be featured in a gang showcase for Necromunday, Necrosomeday.

Fallout Survivors. Credit: SRM

Looking for a change of pace and something I could paint quickly, I bashed out these survivors for Fallout: Wasteland Warfare from the PVC plastic starter set. These models are gummy and weird, and I have had them since 2019. I have never played the game.


Firmly burned out on my Eschers for the time being, March is where things got weird.

Paladin Danse, Knight Captain Cade, and an Eyebot from Fallout. Credit: SRM

In stark contrast to the starter set jobbers, the resin casts for Fallout: Wasteland Warfare are good. Really good. I painted this trio, with Knight Captain Cade and his Megamind fivehead, a cute little Eyebot, and my wife’s favorite videogame Husbando, Paladin Danse. I followed my own tutorial from 2020, which my genius brain had written before actually painting a single model. My mind palace contains multitudes.

Mercator Sanguis Slaver Entourage. Credit: SRM

Not wanting to stop my rust-and-resin streak, I painted the Mercator Sanguis Slaver Entourage for Necromunda next. When I first unboxed these bois, I took one look at the resin flashing between literally every tooth on their chainweapons and promptly returned them to the box they were living in. Almost a year to the day I had done this, I finally built and painted them. They are spindly, fragile, and have never seen the tabletop. I love them.

Classic Goliaths. Credit: SRM

The end of March saw a particularly galaxy/genius brained idea from Rob, Goonhammer ’96. As a True Oldhammer Murderhead, I busted out the Necromunda starter set models I acquired in 2008 and got to work. I even wrote up some tutorials on how to paint them and replicate that wonderful Goblin Green basing.

Classic Orlocks. Credit: SRM

I wrote an article on how to paint Retro Orlocks as well but you’ll never see it. Probably. Maybe I’ll publish it tomorrow. Maybe it’s already out. Maybe I’m lying to you. You’ll (probably) never know.


April is when the doldrums really started to set in. I hadn’t played an in-person game since December 2020, when I had a farewell game with my friends Jimmy and Kyle as well as Goonhammer’s own Dylan and Cody in Dylan’s garage. The garage door was open. There was snow on the ground. We were all in our full winter weather panoplies. Everyone was masked up and at minimum 6 feet distance from each other. I had to remove my glasses for the entire game to keep them from fogging up. We drank extremely strong and outdoor temperature beer. We ate pizza laid out on the hood of my 2016 Kia Soul. It was one of the most bittersweet afternoons of my life, with 4 of the sweetest people I have had the good fortune to know.

Untamed Beasts. Credit: SRM

As I was working through my collected backlog of weirdos, I finally painted a unit usable in a mainline Games Workshop game, Age of Sigmar. These Untamed Beasts were my first real experiment with Contrast, specifically on their whips and bone clubs. I made the mistake of Contrasting them first, which meant I rubbed off most of the paint with my greasy mits during the painting process. I had to repaint their bone weapons and varnish the models afterwards. Lesson learned for the second batch, which is still primed in my closet. I wouldn’t play a game with these models for 8 months. 

The Dread Pageant. Credit: SRM

I picked up the latest Warhammer Underworlds box at my FLGS as a treat for myself, since I was feeling unhappy with both the world and myself. I experimented and found joy in this scheme which would replicate beautifully across a Hedonites of Slaanesh army, as well as tie in to my existing Slaves to Darkness force. I built a Hedonites army in Tabletop Simulator and played a game with my friend and Necromunday contributor Cody. I was promptly placed in the dumpster, as is tradition in games between the two of us. The Tabletop Simulator mod featured a tiny Vegeta that would yell “It’s Over Nine Thousand!” every time he was interacted with. I cloned thousands of them and crashed the program.

Over 9000 Vegetas. Credit: SRM

I later priced out the 2000 point army I took and found it would cost over one thousand American dollars.


The timing here does not fully match reality, but it will make for better narrative flow so bear with me. With May came hope. I received my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and became a Pfizano, as so many other millions of sensible human beings had. Standing on the poured concrete floors of the Deschutes County & Expo Center with my wife and hundreds of our neighbors was the closest I’d come to feeling like I was at Adepticon, PAX, or NOVA in over a year. After receiving my first dose from a kindly woman with the same name as my own mother and a second dose from an army medic with the pugilistic last name “Punch”, I was able to start gaming in person again.

Ultramarines vs. Adeptus Mechanicus. Credit: SRM

Kaitlyn, a Badcast listener from elsewhere in Oregon, made the lengthy drive to play 40k with me. We played a small game inaugurating a minor two-person Crusade, my own game space here in Oregon, and our own friendship. We spent many hours playing a small game, learning the ins and outs of 9th edition. Afterwards, we had burritos and played Speed Freekz, a woefully underrated palate cleanser of a game. We would continue to play more games as the year went on, both in person and virtually.

Ultramarines vs. Orks. Credit: SRM

Around this same time, I was browsing the paint rack at my FLGS. I saw a fellow balding, bearded, tattooed individual browsing the various shades of green available for purchase. I said hello. His name was, and continues to be, Cassidy. We exchanged numbers during this playground-esque introduction. He had just gotten back into the hobby during the pandemic. We played a small game and had a grand time playing. We have continued playing together since, and a friendship has blossomed. He has a cool dog.

Around this time, Warhammer Quest: Cursed City was released, and then abandoned like the beautiful vagrant baby it is. When I called my FLGS to pre order a copy, the nice lady on the phone told me it would be “Like two hundred dollars.” I replied “Buddy, this ain’t my first rodeo.”

It was indeed not my first rodeo.

The Heroes of Cursed City. Credit: SRM

From May through June, Cursed City was my hobby. Each hero, a new challenge. Each villain, a new opportunity.

Radukar’s Court. Credit: SRM

I had sketched out an idea in my head for a unique villainous scheme, leaning heavily on this sea green. The heroes had some overlap for sure – similar leather, metal, and skin recipes – but the bad guys had to be more uniform.

Cursed City Objectives and Critters. Credit: SRM

I had a pattern which helped prevent burnout on this monstrous project. I would paint two heroes, then a unit of villains. The characters were little treats, always dangling just at the end of whatever slogful unit of creatures there was to paint. This reward system triggered something animalistic in my brain and I was able to knock the entire set out over the course of these two months, averaging a model a day.

Cursed City Zombies and Skeletons. Credit: SRM

The skeletons were joyful bone buds, as delightful as they were macabre. Anyone who tells you these zombies are fun to paint is a liar. The zombies were an exercise in pain and misfortune, only offset by the promise that, when they were done, I would get to paint a luxurious hero character. I detailed my full journey in an Army Showcase article, should these couple thousand words not do it for you.

None of these models have ever seen the tabletop.


Dominion was on the horizon. Suddenly, Stormcast Eternals were starting to actually look cool to me. Blame the Greekaboo phase I was going through because of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Hades, but suddenly the idea of high fantasy hoplites was getting to me. I had ideas for antiquated bronze armor, inspired by the aforementioned games as well as 1997’s formative Age of Empires and 2006’s historical documentary film 300.

The Farstriders. Credit: SRM

I was driving through the Cascades mountain range, one of the most picturesque and mythical feeling places in North America. I parked on the side of the road and walked into the brush to take a much-needed pee break. Whilst stretching my legs and emptying my bladder, I felt the enormity and lushness of the Oregon rainforest around me, and the idea for my Stormcast basing came to me. This basing wasn’t just going to be grass flock or Goblin Green basing, it was going to be lush. Some model railroading supplies and a perusal of my FLGS’ basing supplies later, and I had some test models ready to go. I applied these techniques and materials to The Farstriders, some freebies from the Adepticon that didn’t happen in 2020.

Around this time I was no longer employed, granting me a few more hours a week to spend painting my Warhams. Ultimately this was a good move, as my job entailed designing graphics for people who didn’t care about graphics or design. This spiritual poison had been killing me for the past year or so, and it was hugely freeing to mark the occasion with a new army in a new style.

Ultramarines Heavy Intercessors. Credit: SRM

However, I had a minute before Dominion would be in my hands. I used this time to return to my Ultramarines, the only blue lives that matter. These marked my first 40k models of the year, models for the game my podcast is ostensibly about. They would find their way into many, many army lists, wherein they would hold objectives, not die, and do very little damage. They are my perfect sons and I love them.

Ultramarines Primaris Techmarine. Credit: SRM

If you couldn’t tell, I could barely restrain my enthusiasm for painting red and just had to dig into this Primaris Techmarine. This Techmarine, who earned the name Claudio Xanax in our interview with Black Library’s Mike Brooks, has been instrumental in keeping my Ultramarines motor pool running game after game.

Stormcast Vindictors. Credit: SRM

Finally, I got Dominion in my hands and started by batch painting the 10 Vindictors as one big block of spears. I had developed my techniques for painting metals with all the Necromunda models I had been working on, and the basing was a joyful experience. For probably the first time, I found basing to be the cherry on top of each model. If you do want to know how to paint my Stormcast, I wrote a tutorial so you can do something similar and get a peek into my lizard brain.


Applying a similar logic to Cursed City before it, I painted Dominion in a pattern of unit, character, unit, character, and so on, with Yndrasta as the ultimate capstone. I also yeeted the Kruleboyz into the ether, as I don’t have time for those short-legged goblinoids. 

Lord Imperatant and Gryph Hound. Credit: SRM

The Lord Imperatant seemed as good a place to start as any, with his jaunty baton and cool birbdog. I later found out the baton functions as a gun in Age of Sigmar. I never read rules before painting models because I’m not a coward.

Stormcast Sequitors. Credit: SRM

I threw off the pattern almost immediately by buying the Easy to Build Sequitors because my wife had the same cool haircut as the unit champion. I purchased a pair of regular Sequitors on eBay to bulk the unit out to a game-legal 5 models. I did not mean to paint a self portrait with the bald bearded one on the middle right, but sometimes we make happy accidents. Headswaps were important here, as almost to a fault, Stormcast bare heads are cooler than their helmeted alternatives. 

Knight Arcanum. Credit: SRM

The Knight-Arcanum is one of the few exceptions to this rule, but I built her, as well as many models this year, whilst enjoying between one and three beers. Resultantly I gave her the (wrong, inferior) bare head, and also left a gap in her robe that required a not insignificant amount of gap filling sprue goo and green stuff. She’s fine.

Stormcast Praetors. Credit: SRM

The trio of Praetors were an easy breezy beautiful group to knock out. Batch painting in batches smaller than 5 greatly expedites the process, which helps when you need to mix as much paint as I did to adequately blend their cloaks. As I was edge highlighting the ribbing on the first polearm, I had the thought “I really should have used Contrast here.” As the French, French-Canadians, and a particular pretentious American Goonhammer writer (not naming names but it’s me) would say, c’est la vie.

Stormcast Annihilators. Credit: SRM

The Stormcast Annihilators, who will now be known as Thicc, Bricc, and Ricc, were unexpectedly the most enjoyable unit to paint in the entire set. Vast expanses of metal, broken only by other, more different expanses of metal and a few pops of color make them supremely quick to paint up. I left their shields off until the last minute, as on occasion I have been known to plan something correctly and intelligently. You may notice that they break up the unit-hero-unit-hero rhythm I had deftly defined, and that is because of this particular jerk:

Knight-Vexillor with Banner of Apotheosis. Credit: SRM

Had I known the supremely vexing Knight-Vexillor would be such a challenge, I would have saved him for last. You see, I painted the entire dude before switching to Thicc, Bricc, and Ricc. It was not hard, and was rather pleasant. However, that banner is the stuff of nightmares. Even had I painted it one solid color instead of the patterned black and white stripe/Non Metallic Metal gold combo, merely getting a brush behind his spiky dome and into the folds of the flag is an ordeal. Stabbing my brush violently behind his bespiked helmet very likely cost me the point on my pricey Scharff Series 3000 Supreme Red Sable Fine Line Size 0 paintbrush. The worst part is that I am not even particularly thrilled with the end result, but you won’t see me returning to this banner-waving weirdo.

Yndrasta the Celestial Spear. Credit: SRM

In stark contrast to that last jerk, painting Yndrasta was every bit as satisfying as painting a big centerpiece hero should be. Her base also had room for me to go utterly buckwild with tufts, grasses, and clumps of foliage, whilst weathering the stonework with targeted washes and drybrushes. If I ever paint up some of that fancy Age of Sigmar terrain, it will likely be in the same style. Finally, her wings, aside from being great advertisements for the very concept of subassemblies, were a fun way to reincorporate some naturalistic tones into the model. My highlights on said wings are shaky and not great, but I must continue ever onwards.

Captain with Master-crafted Heavy Bolt Rifle. Credit: SRM

I closed out September by painting my Lazy Sunday Gravis Captain, Bonta Talenti. As a man of taste, culture, and more besides, I stuck a backbanner on him with some repeating heraldry so people can see what his whole deal is.

This summer saw Miniatures Mondays start at Modern Games, which not only gave some weekly structure to the pandemic malaise of every day being a uniform grey paste, but also saw a return to in person games against strangers outside of my house. Some of these strangers became friends. Some of these strangers became familiar faces who I’m happy to see each week. Some of these strangers remain strangers to this day, but time may change that. This expanded my play experience hugely, letting me try new things, play against new armies, and skip the laborious process of setting up my own board every game. It also gave me time to brush up on 9th edition for this summer’s marquee event, which your eyes will likely already have drifted to due to the bold typeface below:

The Goonhammer Open

This happened before painting half the models above, but we’re firmly in medias res, baby. Labor Day weekend had myself as well as dozens of Goonhammer contributors, patrons, and adjacent folk gathered in Rockville, Maryland for the Goonhammer Open. I spent my nascent years in Bethesda and remembered very little aside from the Silver Diner and the arcade at the no longer extant Rockville Mall. The quarter century between the GHO and my previous time in Rockville undoubtedly saw changes both big and small, with urban renewal and denewal in constant flux even before a once in a lifetime plague upended our entire civilization’s collective steez. I should have written a recap of the event when it was still fresh in my mind, but this is the best either of us are going to get.

The coward Rob wouldn’t let me say “cum” 6 times per table

It was the distinct honor of my 40k Badcast cohost Dan and I to sponsor the event, and we made a truly comical number of poker chips to use as objective markers. We have since started sending them out to folks who donate to the Texas Equal Access Fund, so if you want to help women have control over their bodies and also make my cohost’s life slightly harder, donate $50 and send us the receipt at Own Dan with kindness, people.

I played in the Goonhammer Narrative, run by said ownable human Daniel Boyd. My first game was against Alex and his Imperial Fists. I’ve been posting in the same circles as Alex since my Something Awful days, and we’ve shared many, many pet photos on the sundry Discord servers we’re both on. He was one of my regular buddies for the long weekend and a joy to play against.

My second game was against Goonhammer’s own Greggles, whose work you may have seen on Warhammer Community. I’m fortunate to be spoiled for choice with delightful Gregs in my life, and Greggles is likely the most delightful of the lot. I first met Greggles at the NOVA Open in 2016, but in all the years since have not had the pleasure of playing him until now. This was a hard-fought battle for sure, but boltering his Dredd Mob to death whilst every third model on the table exploded proved to be a highlight of the weekend.

The night was closed out with a doubles game: myself and Goonhammer’s own Craig Sniffen against Goonhammer’s also own Joey Custodey and a Death Guard player named Bobby. Craig and his Rainbow Warriors would go on to deservedly win Best Painted. Joey would go on to get dumpstered time and again whilst never losing his boyish optimism and kind heart. This game went extremely well for Team Blue Marines, despite the fact that I drank an entire broadside’s worth of the pictured Loose Cannon IPAs. I am not paid to endorse Loose Cannon IPA, but if Heavy Seas Beer wants to sponsor this website or my podcast, their people can get in touch with my people.

My fourth game was against Patrick and his Space Wolves. Patrick had been having a rough weekend, with his armored company of Space Wolves failing to accomplish much. Again, it was bolters vs armor here, but also again, the Ultramarines were able to plink away at every vehicle until it exploded. My Eradicators did work in this one, as you may imagine. Patrick is an absolutely swell fella, and I hope we can get another game in at a future event where the meme-like nature of his army list doesn’t shoot him in the foot quite so hard.

My final game was against Quinn and his Ynnari. If Aeldari are vanilla Elf Bullshit, Drukhari are chocolate Elf Bullshit, and Harlequins are Strawberry Elf Bullshit, Ynnari are the Friendly’s Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake of Elf Bullshit. You see, I had played against Quinn and his Ynnarlequins a few months prior when he was swinging through a neck of the woods adjacent to mine. He came to my house bearing delicious tea and good tidings, and promptly owned me. For this keen-eared listener of the finest podcast I appear on and I, it was a grudge match. So long as I wasn’t tabled and wasn’t utterly bodied, it would be a moral victory. It is my distinct pleasure to report that while I still lost the battle, I brutalized many, many elves in doing so. The game started with me ceding first turn to Quinn, a move that caused him no shortage of real-life psychic damage and forced him to come to me. His highly ineffective first turn gave me space to get points and do damage, insulating myself from the coming maelstrom of psychic powers, special rules, and psychic powers modifying other special rules. It was a huge deal for me to actually do well against Quinn and his ‘quins, and he was a gracious opponent and genuinely enjoyable person to spend a few hours rolling dice with.

The Goonhammer Open was a welcome return to form, and a real John Wick “Yeah, I’m thinking I’m back” moment for myself and, I assume, the greater Goonhammer community. I had not seen many of these people in person since Adepticon 2019, and it served as a combo breaker for the past two years of barely diluted Bad Times.


I had a new spring in my step as I entered October and, with it, commemorations of my 31st year on planet Earth and my 2nd year of marriage to my wonderful and supportive spouse. This is the month where I was firmly owned with kindness and good fortune by one Goonhammer Dot Com, as we will get to shortly.

On my return from GHO, I very much wanted to paint some Las-Fusil Eliminators. I had bought them in April, my first purchase at Modern Games. With Dominion and my Stormcast backlog finished, I got to cleanse the palette with some decidedly un-stealthy snipers. They’ve gone on to do a few wounds in a few games, but mostly I just got them because they look cool. This is how you build armies the SRM way, which in my unbiased opinion, is the only objectively correct means of army construction.

Aekold Helbrass. Credit: SRM

A listener was kind enough to send me a bunch of Middlehammer models, the first of which I painted up for my Slaves to Darkness. Aekold Helbrass here was a special character in Warhammer Fantasy Battles, but nowadays he’ll serve as either a Chaos Lord or Exalted Champion in Age of Sigmar. There is a delightful legible simplicity in models of this era, and as we explored with Goonhammer ’96, I’m all about that. What made painting this large-hatted weirdo interesting though was that I batch painted him alongside some of the newest models in the Chaos Range, Khagra’s Ravagers.

Khagra’s Ravagers. Credit: SRM

I meant to pick up Khagra’s Ravagers on my wife and I’s trip to Portland in February. We were going to The Container Store to build out a storage system for my office closet in which I could store my armies and terrain. I expected the excellent and warehouse-like Guardian Games to have them in stock, but the city was blanketed in roughly two feet of snow. One thing I have learned in my year on the West Coast is that literally no one here knows what to do when it snows, and that includes municipalities. The roads were unplowed. We had to ford two foot deep snow drifts in our compact SUV and be the first to cut paths in the roads as the entire city dealt with power outages. Guardian Games was closed as they were affected by said power outages. Despite Portland’s alleged 68 beplowed trucks, the city was largely on pause. After missing out on these chaotic lads and lasses, imagine my delight when my FLGS had them in stock. I promptly purchased and painted them to match my existing Slaves to Darkness army. I have never used them on the tabletop.

Black Templars Primaris Marshal. Credit: SRM

Over the following months, I wrote many words on Black Templars. Many, many words. Not as many as this article/post/novelette, but quite a lot. I even put together a showcase of my non-Primaris Island of Misfit Toys Black Templars, who were about to get more reinforcements than I honestly knew what to do with. It all started with the army box, provided for review to Goonhammer by Games Workshop, and then to me by Goonhammer. You can read my review buried in the hyperlinks above, but to cut to the short I think it’s a pretty neat collection of plastic sprues. I started with the Marshal, as he is a spiritual reboot of my first Black Templars Marshal as well as a ripe testing ground for the textures and materials repeated across the range.


November was an exercise in juggling. As any juggler could tell you, juggling one ball is just playing catch with yourself. Juggling two is fairly simple if you can divide your attention and trust your reflexes. Juggling three is where the juggling wheat is separated from the juggling chaff. Reader, I am juggling chaff. I had been working on my Primaris Crusaders and Emperor’s Champion when I was sent the Primaris Castellan with the instruction to have him painted by a certain date in November. Instead of working him into my schedule smartly, I marathon painted him over the course of 24 hours.

Black Templars Castellan. Credit: SRM

In my rush to paint this runner up for thiccest model of the year, I forgot to take my antidepressants for a day. Do not do this. Cold turkey is for sandwiches, not medications with severe withdrawal symptoms. While I lay stretched out on the couch, guiltlessly watching Samurai Jack and drinking electrolyte-laden sugar water to quell the pounding ache in my skull, I learned I had another model incoming with a similarly tight deadline in need of review.

Bastian Carthalos. Credit: SRM

Bastian Carthalos is the first Black faction leader-level character in Age of Sigmar. Bastian Carthalos is a massive win for diversity in tabletop gaming. Bastian Carthalos is 7 feet of daddy crammed into 3 inches of plastic. I love him. I had more time to work on him than the Castellan, but wrote a review just the same. He, along with my entire Stormcast army, have never seen the tabletop.

Primaris Crusaders. Credit: SRM

As a certified brain genius, I batch painted all 10 Primaris Crusaders as well as The Emperor’s Champion at once. I told myself I would paint half the squad at a time and made exception after exception to my own plan. “Maybe I’ll just do their basing all at once” became “maybe I’ll just do the tabards all together” became “maybe just the metallics” until I had finished the squad as well as their cruise missile of a batch painting mate.

The Emperor’s Champion. Credit: SRM

No individual model of these 11 was particularly laborious, but all at once was probably slightly too much. The lot of them have proven themselves on the tabletop in a few games against my regular opponent Cassidy and his Orks, my friend Kyle borrowing my Knights, and local kid Q and his Tyranids. Q told me he thought I was 40. I told him I was turning to dust before his eyes. Both of us were telling the truth.

High Marshal Helbrecht. Credit: SRM

High Marshal Helbrecht is my favorite miniature released this year. High Marshal Helbrecht is the only model I painted this year that I was able to wring not one but two separate articles out of. High Marshal Helbrecht is the most miniature per miniature available for purchase, and I will not explain that any further. If he was the final model I painted this year, I would not be angry, or even disappointed. He is possibly the cheapest centerpiece model available for 40k, at a not unreasonable $45 and a wholly unreasonable for other reasons 160 points. In my games with him, he has slain Ork Warbosses, blown up Imperial Knights, and inspired my waves of idiots to great acts of cruelty and violence. I love him. I also painted the Ork on his base to match the Goffs my regular opponent Cassidy fields. He agrees with me that this is very funny.


Earlier this year, I mentioned that my wife was nearly pressganged into playing Warhammer with me. Typically an RPG and boardgame enjoyer, wargames have never really been her thing. However, spooky ghosts and banshees are extremely her thing. You may be able to see where this is going, but I will spell it out for you in no uncertain terms. Earlier this month, I had a cancelation of my typical Miniatures Mondays game by my opponent. I was visibly bummed, when my wife, who had a small collection of “I just think they’re neat” Nighthaunt models, volunteered to war a ham with me. I threw together army lists for the two of us, rolled out the table, and we got to playing a small AoS3.0 game. Our 700ish points of Nighthaunt and Slaves to Darkness duked it out, with my spiky lads taking the day whilst nearly dying to a man. She seemed to have fun, and the next day excitedly asked when we could play again so she could, and I quote, “fucking destroy [my] dudes”. We have added some Dreadscythe Harridans and Spirit Hosts to her collection, which are supremely fiddly models to put together. I have genuinely no idea how someone with fingers a few microns thicker than mine could assemble them effectively. 

Stormcast Vigilors. Credit: SRM

Whilst my home gaming has only gotten richer, I have continued to grow my Stormhost, The Undying Phalanx, with a unit of Vigilors. I enjoy the Gotta Catch ‘Em All aspect to armies like Stormcast Eternals and Space Marines, and I’m sure Games Workshop PLC enjoys my resultant spending habits. The Vigilors are a fine continuation of the new Stormcast aesthetic, and I do enjoy the soft reboot the entire range got with Dominion. These are archers with a far, far less dumb look than the Judicators before them, and are proof positive that capes make almost every model better.

The Undying Phalanx. Credit: SRM

At the end of the year, I did have a solid 2300 points of Stormcast Eternals in my own Stormhost, The Undying Phalanx. None of them have seen the tabletop.

Marquis de Montcalm. Credit: SRM

For my last models in this meandering exploration of the past 12 months, I painted a gift for my father. As listeners of my podcast or a very special episode of the dearly departed Independent Characters podcast will know, my dad has been playing wargames since the 70s. He has designed multitudes of games for companies such as Avalon Hill and Dad Game Publisher Extraordinaire GMT Games, and you can purchase many of them. I asked him what he wanted for Christmas, and he said he wanted me to paint him a character like Marquis de Montcalm for use in French and Indian War gaming. As no stranger to the period myself, I was happy to do so. The metal model from Warlord Games has a distinctive, flat charm, and stands in contrast to all the massive heroic scale models I painted this year. I based my paintscheme on the piece of artwork the model is very clearly based on, as I could not find any uniform guides like I could for so many other historicals out there.

Final Thoughts, The Year Ahead, and What Have You

If brevity is truly the soul of wit, then thank you for sticking with what was hopefully neither a soulless or witless experience. 2022 is likely not going to be wholly different than 2021 for most people; less bleak than 2020 but still not chockablock with good times. I’m no prophet, but I foresee a year every bit as mixed a bag as this one. Most importantly, I foresee writing a similar year-end novelette in 12 months time, richer in experience and ideally with a smaller burden of unpainted plastic at my back. Hopefully, that will mean more games played, more models painted, more writing for Goonhammer, and more hangs and hams with the folks I care most about.

Happy new year, y’all.

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