Sunday, December 30, 2012

Looking Back at 2012 and Looking Forward to 2013

I want to take a brief moment to reflect on the past year of hobby news, posts, and occurrences while also looking forward and lay out my hopes for the next year.  2012 was a year that saw some pretty big releases for my favorite game systems.  I also decided to take the plunge into historicals, made the tough decision to sell off a large portion of my miniature collection, and committed to several kickstarter campaigns.  2013 looks to be an interesting year and while I'm laying out many hopes, plans, and schedules I'm certain they are all for naught since, *Big News* my wife and I are expecting our first child around Memorial Day 2013.  We are both extremely excited ti take this next step forward but obviously it means less free time to play and work on hobbies.  You know what?  I'm okay with that.

Let's take a look at what 2012 held for me and what 2013 may bring!

I'll be honest.  In January-March of this year I almost closed my blog down.  It consumed too much time that I could have been spending on either housework, hobby, or time spent with the wife.  So it languished for months before I finally decided, "I'll give it one more go".  I did a small redesign on the site, refocused my content less on news and rumors and more on tactics, rules, and with a little bit of my own hobby inserted.  It worked.  This year I made some of my most popular posts ever (sadly, most of them are 40K posts and not Fantasy).  This gave me the strength and willpower to keep trucking forward and overall, I enjoy my blog more than I used to when I largely wrote news, rumors, and weird editorials.

Warhammer 40,000 6th Edition
Love it or leave it, 6th edition of Warhammer 40k changed the game dramatically by adding in several new components such as purchasable fortifications, flyers, and dramatically expanding universal special rules while still managing to keep the game streamlined, quick to play, and enjoyable.  It isn't for everyone as I know the tread-heads out there are still upset at the addition of Hull Points, but me personally?  I love the new system.  Would I like tweaks?  Absolutely, but the overall mechanics of 6th edition are so much more interesting than 5th edition.

Warhammer Fantasy Empire Armybook
So while not as huge as a new edition of 40k, the Empire book was the largest fantasy release of the year and Games Workshop managed to keep up the trend of having all the 8th edition armybooks pretty well balanced with each other (it's only older books which are dramatically over/under powered).  They also added a great deal of flavor to the Empire army by throwing in the wizard-mobiles, Witch Hunters, the beautiful gryphon model, and the wonderful demigryphs.  So while the rulebook didn't match the rumors, I quickly moved past my initial disappointment.  In fact, I've added building an Empire army as my next Fantasy project because I love this book so much.

Infinity/Malifaux Resurgence
This year saw me expand my Malifaux and Infinity collections.  With Malifaux I added two new crews (Collette and Ten Thunders) alongside my already large Rasputina collection.  With Infinity I expanded my Nomads and expanded my small Haqqislam army to a legal force.  Now I just need more time to actually play/paint and I still need the Paradiso book.

Turning the Page on History
I'm a big history buff.  Here's a little known fact about me, I'm actually a published historian as I've written several articles for professional journals over the years, despite the fact that I am still working on my advanced degrees.  Knowing that it shouldn't be a shock to hear that I finally merged one love with another and dived into Historical tabletop gaming.  Well, diving sounds too rushed... this is far more like tentatively dipping my toe into waters to test the temperature. To date, all I have done is order books, practice games with proxies, and write out lists.  Miniatures will be ordered and bought but I have a few other priorities to work out first.

The Non-Contest
2012 saw my first blog contest and one that I will not forget since I only had two contestants.  I'm very appreciative that I had those two contestants but I learned a great deal about my blog with this contest.  Should I have advertised it more?  Should I have linked up with other blogs?  What happened?

A Fond Farewell
This year said a fond farewell to an old gaming buddy of mine.  No, he didn't die but he left town so he could pursue an advanced degree program.  This guy is largely responsible for pulling me into Malifaux and reminding me of why I enjoy WFB more than W40k.  He's a great guy, a great friend, and while I wish him the best of luck in all his endeavors I do hope he comes to visit from time to time so we can grab some Chinese spin up The Walking Dead on Netflix, and get our WFB on.

New Friends
As people leave others usually enter to fill the gaps.  This year saw me making some new friends both online and in person.  I finally attached myself to the gaming crew up at the local game store and played in a couple of the local tournaments (without much luck).  I also made some good online friends on forums like BoLS and through my own blog (like both of the contest entrants)!  Here's to new friends, Huzzah!

Wow.  The amount of cool wargaming projects listed on kickstarter is amazing.  I started with the Reaper Bones kickstarter and it has expanded out from there to include Larry Elmore's Art Book, Kingdom Death: Monster, and the Malifaux RPG.  I'm excited to see all these cool projects micro-funded but I do urge everyone participating to do their due diligence, check out each project thoroughly and ask the question, "Is this too ambitious for the target amount?"

The State of My Hobby
I had high hopes for 2012 in terms of catching up with my backlog.  In the end, I'm almost horrified to admit how little painting and building took place.  All told I painted a unit of Skaven slaves, two Warp-Lightning Cannons (and crew), two weapon teams, a plague priest, and a handful of other Warmachine, 40k, and Malifaux figures.  All told, I painted roughly 60 small figures, 6 medium figures, and 2-3 large figures/vehicles.  Sad indeed.
Part of the issue is that I am so far behind on painting that keeping my backlog visible actually depressed me.  It was like being buried under a mountain of plastic every time I waled into my Man-Cave.  So, instead, I decided to part with a large portion of my collection.  Currently they are still bagged and being sorted through so I can post them on barter town  eBay  or elsewhere but I'm hoping to move that stuff out of my possession by March/April timeframe.  So goodbye Eldar/Dark Eldar, Goblins, Beastmen,
Blog-wise I need to finish my Skaven tactics articles by tomorrow to his my deadline.  I still want to write a number of other hobby related articles such as converting a chariot out of the war-sphinx howdah, converting a Skaven warlord on a bonebreaker, a step-by-step guide to painting an Ogre Firebelly, and some paint comparisons of the various paints available.

My hopes for 2013 is simple.  I want to participate more in the hobby and game aspect instead of a closet plastic hoarder.  I hope to play more and I hope my friends join me in playing each and every game system more frequently.  I hope I actually manage to work on some fun projects like my Horus Heresy shadowboxes, my miniature conversion, and non-army painting.

My only big plan for 2013 is to attend Adpeticon for the Warhammer Fantasy Championship.  Already things have gone awry with that since I'm far behind schedule on painting Skaven (I still have roughly 115 ratmen to paint) and, after cheking earlier today, they upped the points allowance from 2200 last year to 2400.  So I have another 200 points to play with that were there before.  For some armies like Chaos this isn't a big deal as 200 points is 10-15 figures.  For Skaven, that could literally be 100 new models.  Oh well, at least I won't have to struggle to put my necessary elements into the army.

As I move forward with my hobby I am hoping to take a more sustainable approach to keeping things interesting and dynamic.  I'm not going to purchase more than I can paint and my armies will focus on the models I feel I need instead of having, "all the options".

January to April I will be entirely focused on Adepticon Skaven.  Currently I have my Grey Seer on the block and hope to have my Plague Monks and another unit of Slaves finished by the end of January.  Still a lot of work to finish though.  I have 3 large infantry blocks, a handful of characters, a doomwheel, plus 200 points of additions, I have to base everything, create a display board, and continue playtesting.  All before Adepticon in mid-April.
May-July I'm leaving open since my wife is due in late May.  *If* I work on anything I will likely restrict myself to small projects such as Malifaux, Infinity, Warmahordes, Kingdom Death, or other one-off miniatures (such as my 300+ reaper bones miniatures due to arrive in March).  With any luck I can exit this period with a painted Malifaux band and a painted Nomads force for Infinity (and maybe even a start on the historical side of things).
August-September I plan to revisit, update, and finish my Iron Snakes.  I really let them languish in an unfinished state for too long.  So I will update my list to 6th edition standards (flyer/flyer defense, remove melta-spam, etc), update a few models here and there, and finally finish the whole army with the necessary detail work to make them shine.
October-December will see the rise of my new Void Knights 40k army based around either the Dark Angels book or, if one exists at that time, a revised Black Templars book.  I've had these guys kicking around in my head for quite a long time (4-5 years) and GW is finally releasing rulebooks which I feel can accurately portray their tactics, organizations, and character.  If you followed my blog for longer than 4-5 months then you may remember seeing several examples of Void Knights over the years as I've painted 3-4 models for tests.  I'll try and make it a point to post a write-up for this DIY chapter as well as an aggregation of all the models I've painted over the years.
Backburner - Chaos Dwarves, Empire, Eldar/Dark Eldar, and Horus Heresy are officially on the backburner for now.  Chaos Dwarves I simply don't have the money for at present.  Empire I don't have the time or willingness to jump straight from one horde army to another.  Eldar/Dark Eldar I'm waiting for an Eldar reboot before taking a holistic approach at these (thanks, Allies!).  Horus Heresy is something I've always wanted to do, and thanks to Forge World that is quickly a reality, but I don't have the money or the willingness to work on yet another power armored army after Iron Snakes and Void Knights.

So with all that laid out I wish everyone a Happy New Years!  I hope every one of your hopes, dreams, plans, and schedules work out in the new year.  Speaking of which, what are your hopes and plans for the new year?  Comments open below (and I'll be back later with the last Skaven article).


  1. Here's hoping your plans, while fairly reasonable and realistic, are realized :). I know how distractions can get the best of us all. If it helps, Doug and I are think of some painting nights at his place on occasion, leading up to Adepticon?