Monday, 4 April 2016

Better Know a Blogger- Part 1: From the Horus Heresy to Infinity and Beyond

Hi everyone, and welcome to what I hope will be a regular new series on the blog- Better Know a Blogger.
My own little blog is coming up for one year old at this stage and has received some great support from some of the great bloggers out there through comments and advice on a regular basis.  I have a whole list of other blogs that I read regularly, ones that provide interesting and unique content (check out my blog list to the right for some examples), but we rarely get to find out about the man (or woman) behind the blog.
Who are these valiant titans of the blogging world? What drew them into the weird world of wargaming and 40k? I don't know about you, but I was certainly interested. I thought about stalking them online, finding out where they live, monitoring them and raiding their bins for answers, but that seemed like too much work, time that could be better spent hobbying and blogging! Turns out it was much easier to just contact them and see if they would answer a few questions.
My first Guinea pig interviewee is Rob who writes "From the Horus Heresy to Infinity and Beyond".
It was quite appropriate that Rob start off this series. As relatively new blogs on the block, Rob and I both started our blogging adventures at about the same time. In fact, Rob's blog turns one year old today!
This idea was inspired by Rob's own Blog Recommendations series that highlights some of the other great blogs out there and why he likes them (St Andrews Wargaming was fortunate enough to be featured in an article). These articles inspired me to do my own homage to the series (which sounds a lot better than "I just flat out stole the idea").
From the Horus Heresy to Infinity and Beyond has gone from strength to strength. You should definitely check it out for his amazing looking armies (love the Death Company) and for his great new series of 30k unit and army reviews. Rob is putting out articles at a fantastic rate, so there is always something new to read on a regular basis and is now a regular contributor to Spikey Bits (I must admit, I was extremely jealous when I heard he had been asked to do this, but it is well deserved!).
Rob was kind enough to agree to answer my list of questions I had formulated (replied to with lightning speed!) that you can now read below:
1. What age did you get into gaming and what started it off?
I got into gaming around 6-7 I would say, I don't really remember a time clearly I wasn't into Games Workshop to be honest! Plus, even before I found GW my Dad had built an amazing fort out of cardboard tubes and boxes, with a working drawbridge over a moat with fairy lights in the towers. We played with little coloured 15 mm fantasy archers and knights, with no rules just playing for hours with my brothers and sisters. My parents have always been big into heroic fantasy novels (read David Gemmell!) so fancy fantasy models sucked us in.

2. What was the first model you ever bought/painted?
The UNDEAD! I was hooked on the undead and vampire counts from the moment I picked an army. I remember the first model I painted was a skeleton rank and file soldier. White! For a first colour? Nightmare, which would be so much more easier with washes today.
3. What is your favourite aspect of gaming?
I'm not really sure which single aspect of the hobby would be my favourite, but when you have a game with two armies that have been put together with thought for background and character, and then you play a game where you make chainsaw and explosion noises. That's just plain cool.
4. Fondest memory in gaming?
Even though I've been in the hobby on and off for a long time now with my current stretch at nearly 10 years, my fondest memory came quite recently in November 2015 when I attended Blog Wars X, which sadly turned out to be the last one. It was the friendliest event I've ever been to, in part through friends of the blogosphere also being there, including nefarious Scottish characters.......(who could that possibly be?- Mike). My stand out memory though is having a cigarette on the fire escape with 2 other gentlemen who had just been polished off early in round two, and we had a friendly bitch at our opponents' codexes, like wizened old generals. War was better in my day!
5. What are you working on right now?
Right this moment I am polishing off a small 30k Mechanicum army that I'm taking to a tournament (you should really check out the fantastic work Rob has been doing on his Mechanicum army-Mike). However, I've just bought some models to take it up to 2500 points so that might keep going a bit longer. Other than that I have lots of to-do jobs to finish off a few forces. But my next big project is to go full steam ahead with my Alpha Legion army, which I have all the bit for now.... Be afraid!
6. When you are not conquering the tabletop, what do you do?
I am a research assistant at the University of Bristol whilst doing a PhD part time in Opioid Pharmacology. Its rewarding work but it can drive you insane! (having done a PhD myself, I can attest to this- Mike). My boss is an old school Glaswegian professor who can be a terrifying thunder of a man. But a smarter man I have yet to meet (typical Glaswegian then ;) - Mike).
I am a big time anime fan as well as computer games with my housemates. We are currently 4 late 20 year olds sharing a house getting drunk and playing Starwhal (look it up, its amazing). We also play DnD as a house taking it in turns to DM. Drinking also occurs here, but it is mostly mead.
7. What would you say about your blog to someone who has never read it to draw them in?
That's a tough question. To be honest, every day I get views I am amazed people are reading my brain words thrown at a screen. I guess I like to think I have a fairly interactive style as a blogger and like to chat with everyone. I'm always trying to up the quality of my armies and do little different original things as much as I can. Ugh, that's like writing a personal statement.
8. What is your favourite article that you have written?
I wrote an article recommending the wares of Heresy Miniatures which is run by Andy Foster. The man does some amazing work, is a lovely bloke and has dedicated his life to his craft. This is currently my most viewed blog post ever and it just makes me really satisfied that lots of people have hopefully gotten to see and buy his stuff through that.
9. Which rule would you like to see changed or removed entirely?
I'd like to see some sort of modification to the Invisibility psychic power. I mean I'm just being picky here, but personally I've played a few games and seen many more where Invisibility has brought a game down to- can my opponent get invisibility off- yes, I'm buggered this turn. But hey, it's not like its ruined my life, I generally love 7th edition and think it's the best rendition I've played. There are critics of the clunky mechanics or too many rules, but I love that over the top detail, so when you roll your feel no pain, you know it's because that badass squad sergeant just shrugged off a killer wound like a boss. Yeah.
10. Which of your armies is your favourite?
Up until recently, my Death Company army has been my pride and joy, its now probably my least good looking army, but I'm still massively happy with how it looks as a force on the battle field. But I think it is being displaced from its top spot by the newcomer army, the Mechanicum. I am having so much fun both painting and playing with these guys, they are really great fun.
11. Secret wargamer or loud and proud?
Loud and proud these days, though much quieter about it in yesteryears but not so bothered anymore.
12. Any hobby tips or cheats to share?
Never be afraid to ask or be put off by impolite critics. I credit my blog and getting guidance from a diverse group of friendly people who are happy to help is what has pushed my painting skills higher. Sharing your work on forums is fun when you have a good crowd and you can get such valuable feedback and advice in general.
13. Tournament or Casual?
Becoming more tournament based, but that's more the social scene and meeting people. At heart I like fun, themed, narrative games where you can still bring your A game but you both have fun and no-one cares!
14. Nintendo or Sega?
That's a really tough one. I think I will have to go Nintendo for my precious Zelda games. But the Sega Saturn and the Sega Mega Drive are two of my favourite consoles ever.
15. Xbox or PlayStation?
PlayStation for me with a brief swerve into Xbox territory with a 360. But PlayStation has been with me over 4 generations now and its seen the key point of my gaming love from Final Fantasy 7-8, to all the Metal Gear Solids and now to Bloodborne. Good times.
16. McDonalds or Burger King?
Burger King sober and McDonalds drunk.
17. Coke or Pepsi?
Coke. I've taken the taste test and I can taste the difference!!!
Thanks Rob for taking the time to answer my questions. I thought it was very interesting to see the responses and get some insight into his blog and hobbying, I hope you agree.
If you have a blog and would like to take part in Better Know a Blogger, let me know (, or just wait and check your emails, I'm sure I will get to you in good time!


  1. Ok, I am going to make a "Dr" badge for our blogs, there are a few too many of us with PhDs for it to be just a coincidence :-) Great article!

    1. That would be pretty cool actually, I wonder how many of us there are out there?
      Definitely drop me an email Marc and I'll have a set of questions winging their way to you soon!

    2. Even with two degrees I'm starting to feel underqualified in this rarified company!

      Great idea for a series mate and I'd certainly be happy to take part if you're looking for more test subjects!

    3. Don't worry Nick, you were already on my list to contact!

    4. Email sent and I am working on that badge... ;-)

  2. I am only educated to degree level and currently undertaking a masters and working full time. No intention of doing the PHD though! Hang on if my nickname counts I am a DOC of sorts?? Anyway to matter at hand nice article, always nice to get into this conversation and it inevitably leads to a smile on your face.

  3. Thanks for inviting me to do this Mike! Really good fun dredging up those memories of early wargaming, ended up having a good natter with me dad about it as well!

    @Marc Excellent idea! Though I've still got 18 months to go...

    Just goes to show that wargamers should rule the world with our big boffin brains ;)

    1. We could rule the world, but we spend all our free time painting and blogging, so don't get organised to do so- "the revolution will need to wait till next week, I have a tactical squad to finish off this weekend....."

  4. Awesome. A great blog (and bloke) everyone should read :)

  5. Yeah great idea mike! Love it! Really good read.

  6. Nice to get a bit of a look behind the curtain, as it were. Thanks!