Tuesday, 29 December 2015

The True Meaning of WoffBoot

"What is a WoffBoot?" - the question asked on the very first post on this blog (I'm sure you were all reading it back then). In brief, it's the phonetic pronunciation of WFBT - an acronym for 'Warhammer Fantasy Battle Tournament'.

The technical word for this is a vocologue - that is, a word shortened to an acronym, then lengthened to a word (such as 'okay', 'emcee' and 'deejay'). If you're interested in such things, there's lots more on the Haggard Hawks etymology blog.

Stay awake, there may be a test later.

And that's the way we've been for the last four years. Until I recently got thinking: not anymore we're not.

As you will see by glancing upwards, the menu of our little blog has recently changed. Previously we listed all the Warhammer Fantasy armies our group had amassed (and we nearly got them all - damn those elusive Bretonnians), with a catch-all page of 'Miscellany'.

Except it was becoming clear that the miscellany was a sizeable chunk of our output: Dungeon Saga, Frostgrave, Age of Sigmar, SAGA Viking Age, Lord of the Rings and Warhammer 40,000.

More than a third of our battle reports this year were for games other than Warhammer Fantasy. Half our most popular posts were for non-WFB topics. Our annual get-together will still happen, although what we'll be playing then is anybody's guess. This year, more than any other, we have strayed from the true faith.

I don't know if it took the Age of Sigmar shake-up to make this happen - 40K and LotR are hardly new games; I had already picked up SAGA before the End Times finished, and our communal Dungeon Saga sets were ordered last summer. But there certainly feels like a lot more choice out there, and when we now decide to play a game, the next question is: "Yes - but what?"

So this is no RageQuit of Warhammer 8th - it was, and is, a cracking game and expect more painting updates and battle reports to come. But perhaps it is also a statement of expansion, of openess to new games and new systems to come.

So perhaps WoffBoot now stands for 'Whatever we Feel like Battling Today'.

I heartily agree with Stylus!

Hello - Kraken here, chipping chirpily in. We're not the only ones in the blogosphere who have found that the demise of WFB earlier in the year made us examine other options. There weren't many others who tried the all-new Age of Sigmar and found they enjoyed it, although as far as I can tell it's had a good launch. Lots of people painting and posting on the Facebook group, for example. 

Not more than the SAGA or Frostgrave groups, mind you! It's a good age to be a wargames nerd, right now. Great games and fine miniatures abound, and the internet ties us all together like an invisible unit coherency rule. As a geek, I feel safely surrounded by my geeky kin! 

Kickstarter has had some great stuff this year, as previously mentioned in the advent roll. There's an all-Halfling army just finished that looks great, for example, and every week has some new treat to tempt the wallet. 

GW seems to have turned some kind of corner too! The new management might not have reversed any of the pricing or relentless marketing decisions of the departing CEO. I get a lingering impression of a thaw in their 'ignore the customer' policy. Specialist games are coming back, there are occasional White Dwarves containing new rules or scenarios for their games (sandwiched between this month's catalogue, I'm sure, but it's something), and the olive branch of free rules for all your now-obsolete armies during the AoS transition - it all felt a little warmer than the last few years. 

This graph shows GW's market presence

It's not been enough to bring me romping back to the fold, though. Now I've stepped beyond their plate glass doors, the world outside Warhammer is far too interesting for me to go back. 

And for the year ahead, what new endeavours shall we find? X-Wing is supposed to be good, I'd like to try that. Especially after seeing The Force Awakens, which I loved. A bit of 8th Ed, to slowly progress the narrative campaign we failed to get going earlier in the year. More AoS, SAGA and Frostgrave, for sure! And Dungeon Saga. 

Perhaps a return to RPG, which I've neglected in favour of tabletop stuff for a couple of years now? Pathfinder remains an old favourite. The Star Wars roleplayer by FF tugs at my heart strings like a padawan practising Force Pull. The Old Warhammer World is fondly remembered. I've won some 3D dungeon tiles, it'd be good to use them for their intended purpose.

And homebrew - Kasfunatu and I are working on an entirely new and original board game, currently in mid-alpha. Once we get some balance issues sorted, expect a beta report on this very blog. 

Roll (for initiative) on the New Year! 


  1. I like it.

    I must say I enjoyed Frostgrave last night too.
    Agreed it would be good to get back to the odd 8th and continue the narrative and progressive campaign that has had its first few battles; but options have been good.
    Yes, I hear good things about XWing - apparently quite cheap to start (although limited until you open up wallet).

    Speaking of Woffboots and with 2016 approaching, and Easter being suspiciously early this year, do we want to start cross referencing diaries for a potential weekend?

  2. I'd add a vote for X-Wing (pre-painted models may seem anathema, but at least they won't add to the leadpile).

    Looking at the range of games, I'd say 8th Ed is now least suited to campaign games - everything else is smaller, faster and better accommodates scenario play. I'd look to 8th if I wanted a 2,000-3,000pt pitched battle every now and then.

    For WoffBoot X, I'd opt for a date closer to Whitsun than Easter - my priority for the next few months may be sleep.

  3. I agree with Stylus. And Kraken. ...And Kas.

  4. No reason you can't re-paint a pre-paint! Lime green Millenium Falcons all round, right?

    1. I've seen that done - squadron markings on Tie Fighters etc - but that smacks of Expanded Universe, and our Overlords at The House of Mouse have decreed all such indulgences void.

    2. Mickey ears on all Death Stars?

    3. Yes, but look what people do when allowed: http://bit.ly/1JfvkEJ

    4. It looks like a packet of Opal Fruits.
      (which would actually make sense why they renamed it 'Starburst')