2021 in Review

Big Stompy Robots / ATNEUK – Full Striding (or Warp Displacing if you’re that way inclined) into 2022. Weapons – and reactors – running hot!

2021 has been a funny year for the group. Being in and out of lockdown somewhat tempered the momentum that had started to build in the community and made it difficult to plan effectively for a lot of the things that we wanted to do. That’s not to say it’s been a bad year for us. Far from it. 

When we launched the group before lockdown, we would see attendance of 3-4 players from a group of 6. We were running fortnightly and it was fairly steady. Since then, we’ve moved to a weekly games night, with a playgroup nearing 20 regularly filling 3 to 5 tables at Battle Bunker in Sunderland – our regular venue. We’ve also brought new games into the group, including similar small scale games like Aeronautica Imperialis.

We’ve squeezed in two Titanicus events – Walk Beyond the Wall 01  and Festive Fight Club 01 – both at Battle Bunker. The events took very different approaches to the game. Walk Beyond the Wall was played in the ‘standard’ format of 3×1750 point games over the course of a day, whilst Festive Fight Club distilled the game down to 3 fast paced 60 minute games of 750 points played at one of our game nights. Both events were a success, and we’ll be running more throughout 2022. 

As a collective, we’ve spread beyond Battle Bunker, running demos and intro sessions at a number of other venues across the region. 

Despite lockdowns, periods of self isolation and everything else that made physical meetups difficult, the community has still been able to come together virtually on platforms such as Facebook, Discord and WhatsApp. 

So, at the close of ’21 what plans do we have for ’22?

  • Continue to build the community
    As mentioned, our player count has seen steady growth over the past 18 months and as a community we are almost 100 strong over the various platforms that we use. We have representation in at least half a dozen gaming groups throughout the area and have solid relationships with a number of local stores and venues. We’ll be continuing to run demo and intro games at these venues, with the aim of bringing more players on board, whilst also looking for further groups to bring on board.
  • Start the Narrative Campaign
    Players at Walk Beyond the Wall were introduced to Los C’an, Gelidus, Carthell, Aernall and the Jarkan Wastes. These regions will form the initial stages of our narrative campaign based in the sector of Atrox Pandinus. Set early in the timeline of the Horus Heresy, Atrox and beyond will see events that shaped the 40k universe unfold in a previously unexplored corner of the galaxy.  
  • Bring more variety to our gaming nights
    We’ve seen success with a number of formats at our gaming nights and events, so we’ll be looking to make this a more regular thing – providing list building challenges that help players think outside the box. Ideally, we’d like to put a rough ‘calendar’ together, highlighting nights where an alternate format – or narrative campaign session – will be taking place. ‘Standard’ format games will still be well represented, in both casual / pickup and competitive style for players that are that way inclined.  
  • Develop our event series
    Taking on board the feedback from our events this year, we are planning to hold a number of events throughout 2022. The aim is to run events bi-monthly/quarterly, rotating around the venues and playgroups that are part of the community. In time, these events will feed into, and help shape the narrative in our corner of the galaxy.  
  • Attend other events as a group
    There are a number of thriving Adeptus Titanicus communities throughout the UK, each running their own regular gaming events. It would be great for us to get out and about as a collective and play at a whole range of venues. Locally, there is a great variety in the ‘meta-game’ – but travelling further afield will really open up the game in terms of tactics, list-building and generally ‘good old fashioned  fun!’
  • Battle reports and more
    A big push we’re all keen to make this year is into the social networking / digital world. We now have the equipment available to record, edit and output video content, publishing online (either in real time as a stream, or pre-recorded and edited) to YouTube, Twitch or elsewhere. Initially, we’ll be looking for a couple of volunteers to be involved in early recordings, where we can develop our own style / format of content. Alongside battle reports, we’ve had suggestions for painting guides, reviews and discussions on tactics and lore as topics we can cover. We’ve also been asked to look into PodCasting as a compliment to the video creation. 
  • Group Specific Products
    Dice have long been known as ‘loot for gamers’. The sheer variation in size, colour, finish and theme is immeasurable and an item where every player could bring a unique set to the table. And that’s only dice! In a previous life, we’ve produced a range of alternate art cards, acrylic templates and tokens for the xwing game as well as group branded clothing for our xwing playgroups. This year, we’ll be launching our Big Stompy Robots ‘merch’, starting with a range of in-game aids and clothing such as t-shirts and hoodies. All profits from this range will be fed back into Big Stompy Robots, and used to further build the community and its resources. We’ve got some samples on a boat at the moment, once they arrive we’ll be looking for some feedback 🙂
  • Add other Games
    With the launch of our narrative campaign, many people have suggested bringing other game systems into the fold. Pre-assault bombings with Aeronautica, Planetary Bombardments with Battlefleet Gothic, Precision strikes with Kill Team and Joint Arms actions with some form of Epic system. Although the core of the group is the Robots that are Big and Stompy, each of the above games could be used to add flavour and purpose when the God Engines walk. With that in mind, we’ll be looking to add these systems to our ongoing calendar as both demos and open play initially. We’re also open to adding other games into the mix, either as one-offs, or something more long term.

In conclusion, I’d like to take the chance to thank everyone that’s been involved in the community this year. If anyone has input, suggestions or feedback – it would be great to hear it. Drop me a message on your platform of choice, or catch me at one of the gaming nights. Also, if anyone wants to get more involved in a particular area I’ve mentioned above – definitely let me know.  

Wishing you all the very best for 2022. 

Stu

**UPDATE** Whilst putting this plan together, we found out that Battle Bunker will be closing at their current location in the second week of January 2022 – with a view to opening at a new site as soon as possible. As soon as we know more, we will keep the community informed as plans develop. In the meantime, we are chatting with a couple of local venues to see if we can find a space to keep our regular gaming nights going. 

We will be running a Titanicus event at the Bunker as soon as the new venue opens, so it would be great to see as many people as possible turn out to support Jus and the Battle Bunker team at the new site. 

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