Plastic Craic: Don’t Call It a Comebaic

Why bother? Why spend hours and hours writing about Age of Sigmar, when you could be attacking the grey plastic or playing more games? Why put yourself out there time and again?

We do it because we love it. And put simply, I don’t think there’s enough good-quality writing about Age of Sigmar right now. There’s certainly a huge volume of dismal clickbait; and definitely some decent stuff I enjoy reading myself. I certainly haven’t been shy about linking and promoting other blogs on here. But that’s the thing: I want to read well-informed, entertaining writing about Age of Sigmar all the time, and it can be hard to come by. Too hard.

I’m an avid podcast listener for sure, and there’s so much positive energy around YouTube, but there are times when you want to read about Warhammer instead of tuning in. And maybe it’s because writing can be more time-consuming than flicking on a mike and starting to talk, maybe it’s because it’s harder to monetize than switching on the ads on YouTube; but when push comes to shove: you want a job doing properly, you do it yourself.

So Plastic Craic is coming back: bigger, stronger, better, faster. We’ve got a 2+ save, a 3+ ward and a 16″ flying move. 1st Edition Plastic Craic was largely a one-man show, with me (Peter Atkinson) bashing away relentlessly at my keyboard; but there’s only so much one man can do. So this time around, we’re bursting out of the blocks with a hand-selected crack team of writers, to keep the content flowing like warm honey.

What You Can Expect

We’re aiming to consistently publish 3 articles per week, covering all aspects of the hobby while tilting the table towards competitive gaming. We’ve got a fantastic spread of writers, so although I’ll still be personally biased towards focusing on the Destruction armies I know and love, you’ll have people banging the drum loud and clear for their own favourite factions and local competitive scenes. We’ve got competitive players representing Australia, the UK and the USA; a maths and analytical specialist from Europe; and some world-class hobby tips from the winner of Coolest Army at Cancon 2023.

Some of the recurring articles we’ll be publishing include:

  • Competitive Lists: Breakdowns of what we’re working on and what we’re playing, from the quirky to the cutting edge
  • Hobby Tutorials: Hobby hacks and shortcuts, plus advanced techniques from one of the world’s leading artists
  • Meta Analysis: Our takes on new books and releases as they land, plus tournament coverage from around the world
  • Monthly Listbuilding Challenges: Plastic Craic’s original signature article, and a chance for you to flex your talents
  • Power Picks and Coolest Lists: Our own List Review format, picking out the strongest and coolest armies from upcoming events
  • The Sunday Session: Off topic and on the warpath, with a selection of AOS content shout outs, off topic ramblings, pop culture flexes, dad jokes, social media score settling, unprovoked insults and a look at our slate of articles for the week ahead

Introducing The Team

Some people can play the game as well as us, some people can write as well as us, but I think it’s pretty rare that anyone can keep pace for both.

We’ve got the credentials from our tournament results.

We’re not afraid to put ourselves out there and call bullshit where we see it.

We won’t always agree with each other, so we don’t expect you to agree with everything we say either – but we understand the game, we understand the meta and we’ll always make a case to back up our opinions.

Peter Atkinson, aka The Original Plastic Craic (Australia)

I’ve been playing Age of Sigmar since the early days of 1st Edition, and I’ve played every game with Destruction. Not a lot of games – not most games – all of my games. Every single one.

I believe that you don’t choose Destruction, Destruction chooses you, and I’ve been proud to represent my favourite armies year after year. I regularly play here in Australia against the top players on the top tables with the top armies, always repping the Boyz in Green, and usually grabbing a 4-1. If you attend tournaments in the southern states of Australia, you’ll see me rocking my trademark full Adidas tracksuits (on Day 1) and debilitating hangovers (on Day 2).

I’ve qualified for Australian Masters on a couple of occasions, and was rapt to make the Australian team for the ETC 2020 before it was canned by COVID. I’ve done all this while picking up a couple of Best Opponent trophies and even a cheeky Best Painted Army along the way, and that’s what I’m here for: winning games in the right way with the armies I love. That, and hanging shit on Order players, obviously.

Calvin Rarie, aka Calvin, aka “Yes the Bonesplitterz Calvin” (USA)

Howdy from America! I’ve been playing since the tail end of 2.0, where I played mostly casually before deciding to take Bonesplitterz up right at the start of 3.0, and from there I went on to play that army competitively for basically all of 2022, getting Best in Destruction with them at both the FLG Cherokee Open and the NOVA Open! After LVO I’ve retired the Bonesplitterz in favor of pure meta chasing, taking Troggs to a hair’s breadth of a 1st place finish at the FLG Cherokee Open this past February. I have been on the hunt for the Golden Ticket ever since.

I love this game, and through it I’ve met great people like Peter and the rest of the team here. I also love analysis, either looking at it from a numbers game like Theo or through the lens of playing the game in-person/online. I’ve written for the blog before, having slammed out thesis-length breakdowns of an army consisting mostly of naked green psychopaths strapped to pigs so if you’re interested in that kind of thing I’ve got more on the way.

I help lead an AOS game club down here in Atlanta, Georgia (the state, not the country) called the Georgia Warband. We run events year long and even have a traveling competitive team that plays nationwide. Coming up this year we’ll be running a Team Event and our first GTs, which I will be writing about on here as the events come and go.

If you’re ever in the Southeast and want a good time playing Sigmar, hit me up on Discord @Calvin#6383.

Patrick Nevan, aka Generic Gore Pilgrim (Australia)

“..sometimes there’s a man… I won’t say a hero, ’cause, what’s a hero? But sometimes, there’s a man.”

The Stranger – Big Lebowski

Hey gang Patrick here. I got into this blog business to gratify my love of quoting movies, supplying footnotes,1 living out my writing fantasies and appeasing a deep seated need to win the approval of others with humor.2

I’ve been involved in various forms of hobby since D&D basic and Heroquest.3 I got into AOS in a big way just before the Generals Handbook and it has more or less taken over what life I have. I’m based in Bendigo, Victoria and got this gig by virtue of living an hour or so away from Editor Pete.4

I play competitively to a reasonable standard, most famously with Khorne but I’ve had some success with Ogors and Nurgle and own a few more armies. I’m also a stalwart of the mighty Measured Gaming Club and an all too frequent guest on the infrequent Bush Radio Podcast5

My plan for the all new Plastic Craic is to engage in a bit of (hopefully comic) ranting, raging and whinging mixed with the odd kernel of insight and analysis. The literary equivalent of a bowel movement produced three days after eating Corn on the Cob. For the record, whatever my feelings on the state of the game I love the community and wish nothing but the best for my fellow Gamers. If I write something about a member of the design team needing to be dropped on an impaling stake while the others are made to watch it’s not meant to be taken as a serious suggestion, incitement or personal attack. I’m just railing against the idealised shadowy figures that influence our lives. I save the legit personal attacks for my friends.

1. I caught the bug growing up from the excellent Flashman series by George McDonald Fraser. Susannah Clarke is another master of the craft.

2. Its a family trait. My brother Mick Neven is a pretty good stand up comic. You should check him out.

3. The only thing better than Heroquest is more Heroquest, and working a bit to death.

4. An hour’s drive is two incomprehensible regional dialects away in the UK but it’s just around the corner in Australia.

5. The podcast features a lot of drunken crudity and is Not Safe for Anything, you have been warned.

Pete Brizio, aka AOS Pete from the Internet (UK)

I played Warhammer Fantasy as a kid, stopped, nothing much happened for 20 odd years and then I jumped into Age of Sigmar again in 2019. During Covid I helped set up a gaming group called The Essex Mawtribes and began regularly smashing out events in the cutthroat UK scene. I managed, through sheer number of ranking events, to achieve 2nd in the rankings for Ogor Mawtribes, punching out some strong results along the way, and then decided I wanted to win something and piloted the filthy SCE Dragons and Longstrikes combo to a 5-0 result.

I veer wildly between wanting to be a serious player and win, and just wanting to get absolutely smashed at an event and make new friends (I can’t do both! All my strong results have come at the expense of drinking!). I moved home about 18 months ago and recently helped set up a new gaming group in Manchester (UK) called M.A.D. I jump between armies like I change my Nike sneakers (i.e. a LOT) and list building gives me brain ache. People seem to like me as over the course of a season I’ve picked up many Best Sports / Fave Opponent trophies/awards all while running filth lists, so that’s something.

Sean Benson, aka seanzor (Australia via USA)

I have travelled the wilderness and gone to the brink of insanity to find the path to enlightenment. The path is lined with plastic, miniature duders and beasts. A veritable Renaissance man, my goal is to build cool armies, kick some arse with them and doing that all while being a stand up gent. My miniature gaming career now spans two decades: my AoS journey began when I bought into Ironjawz in 1.0, sold them, rebought them in 2.0 and then followed my ultimate descent into madness creating “Waaaghnarok” – a Heavy Metal Mad Max Apocalyptic Orruk Death Cult following the prophetic Krosh the Worldender.

I’m mostly around these parts to help guide the aesthetics of this riffraff and will be chiming in elsewhere when I can. I play to have fun, win when I can, but the most important part of the hobby to me is the 10-15 hours / week I sit alone at my desk shaping the world that I put on the tabletop. Marketing & Brand Manager / Graphic Designer by day, Hobbyist by night…my life is ruled by aesthetics. I’m here to share them with you. Lets fkin go! TCFFTC GG4L

Theo Kik-Jansen, aka Math guy (Netherlands)

I’ve been playing Warhammer and wargames for about 23 years, with a lot of years of Fantasy and 40k in there. I’ve been playing AoS since the launch of second edition and have been playing AoS exclusively and rigorously since. I’ve played almost all factions and still own 5 large armies. I play every week with a great bunch of guys from my home town. Some of my best wargaming memories are our group trips to Warhammer World!

A young family and just life has kept me from tournaments in recent years for the most part sadly. Things were looking up, with a trip representing the Dutch ETC team to Italy on the horizon, then Covid showed up and shat all over that dream. Luckily I could be of service to a lot of players with list advice and coaching during that period and I got to help Darren Watson with his Gnomad tome, which was dreamy to say the least!

But really my true love is analysis of the game. I am an Industrial Engineer by trade/degree and can’t think of more fun than determining the efficiency of units, hypotheses on list strategy, comparisons and theocraticals on game statistics, and so on. I know…

Most of all I like to teach it. So I’ll be trying to help you grasp the statistical and mathematical side of the game. We’ll be covering stuff like mathematical averages, deviations, compounded probability, the works.

The thing I want to share is how you can make use of basic probability, to use to your advantage. How to apply it in list building, but also in a time limited, high stress environment of competitive games. What rules of thumb you should use to make the math work in your favour (or you could just play Tzeentch).

“Mathammer” is often used as a derogatory term, to dismiss the one-sided neckbeard forum analysis of the game. But while maths certainly shouldn’t be the only way to approach the game, it is an essential tool in your toolbox as a well-rounded competitive player. And for a lot of players, it’s where they have room to improve their game the most.

An Independent Voice

Our opinions are not for sale. Over the past couple of years I’ve turned down loads of complimentary review products, offers of free stuff for Tweets and so on, because I prefer to pay for the products I review. So you can be sure that when we say we like something, we do actually like it, and we’re not compromised by any incentive to keep the freebies flowing.

By the same token, we are a truly independent voice. If you’ve been following the blog you’ll know that I’m not here to kiss the right asses, and yet I also have no axe to grind with GW muddying the waters.

When we get enthusiastic about something – as we often will – you’ll know that it’s because they’ve smashed it. And if they do drop the ball, we won’t mince our words. We’ll deliver electrifying praise and constructive criticism where they are both due.

The definition of constructive criticism that I aim to uphold is:

  • Specific, so we make it clear exactly what the issue is
  • Offering solutions for how we think it could be done better next time
  • Play the ball not the man, or in this case criticise the rule, not the writer

I believe that’s what separates criticism from whinging.

I can’t promise that we’ll always get it right, but that’s the standard: it’s what I’ve always aimed for on Plastic Craic, and that’s how it’s going to stay.

What You Can Do To Help

Age of Sigmar is a niche within a niche – if we were here to chase dollars, there’s a bunch of easier ways to go about that. You wouldn’t do this unless you loved the game and the community, and certainly not by launching into the teeth of a new edition of 40K.

So the first and most important thing you can do is keep reading, keep sharing the articles, keep giving us feedback, keep telling us where we’ve got it wrong and keep sending in those lists for the Listbuilding Challenges. I’ve been doing this for a few years now and I’m still grateful for every like, every DM and every retweet. When you pour your heart and a heap of time into something like this, it makes a huge difference to know you’re not just yelling into the void.

If you want to take it a step further, and you value what we do, we’d love you to consider joining our Patreon. The reality is that this does take time – a lot of time – and we’ve all got other stuff (including paid work) that we could be doing. We’ve got zero interest and zero intention of going down the trashy clickbait route, to swamp the site in ads and drive advertising income that way.

So if you value what we’re trying to do here then we’d love to have your support. I’ve had some discrete adverts enabled on Plastic Craic for a while now, and the truth is they’re not even coming close to covering our hosting fees; I’ve been paying to run Plastic Craic out of my own pocket for the past few years. And for that reason, anything you’d like to contribute to keep the lights on would be awesome.

If you’d like to help us continue with our work, we’d love to have your support. Please click here to join us on Patreon.


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