Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Looking Back on 2011 and Forward to 2012

I'm a little late with the obligatory retrospective on 2011 and forward to 2012.  Oh well, better late than never.  2011 was a good year gaming and modeling wise for me.  The highlight of the year was preparing for and then Game Mastering for the first time the Hail Caesar demo game at Historicon last July, 2011.  I had a blast doing so and plan on GM'ing another game at next year's HCON.  What didn't go so well is sticking to the initial set of goals I laid out for the year - it seems that the course of my hobby is rather random than pre-planned.  There are worse fates

Other big positives from 2011 include:

(1) Watching and helping (in a small way) Ernie's Architects of War business continue to grow.  Each month his business has increased and he's expanded his range of products.  Right now I think AofW if the goto place for 28mm historical gaming. 

(2) Meeting a new group of local gamers led by Dick C and Les M - they are great guys and have a very fun / welcoming sense of gaming.  It's always a pleasure to be invited to game with them and I look forward to more events in 2012.  Dick and Les have a fabulous collection of 1/600 Houston dreadnaught's! 

(3) Participating in the Analogue Hobbies Second Annual Painting Challenge.  This has been a very fun web-event to participate in and it has spurred me to a very high level of painting efficiency 75 28mm figures in less than 2 weeks!  For me that's a breakneck pace.  The best thing about the competition is that it goes through March 2012, so there's a chance I may actually finish my War of 1812 project

In terms of painting production, 2011 was an efficient year with the final tallies being:

28mm: 273 Infantry, 41 Calvary, and 3 Artillery

1/600 ACW Naval: 3 ships

1/1200 Napoleonic Naval: 12 ships

6mm ACW: 684 Infantry, 60 Calvary and 20 Artillery

In terms of era's games I added two to the "ever-expanding" list of periods gamed with the addition of the great SAGA Medieval skirmish rules and a "jump with both feet in" foray into 28mm War of 1812.  Of course my wife has more "choice" terms that describe my hobby range than "ever-expanding", but I want to keep my blog's PG rating.  I do try to point out to her that, as mid life crises go, I choose a rather mild path with toy soldiers and sail boats rather than sports cars and 20ish women.  I think her response with "fat chance" on that last path not taken troubles me a little bit.  Anyway, Mary Beth is actually rather supportive of the hobby.

I am getting to the point that it may be time shed one of the eras that I game, both for storage purposes and the fact that it's unlikely some of these periods will ever be re-visted.

My best modeling output from 2011 were my Sarmatian Cataphracts (Warlord Miniatures) and the 1/600 Alabama and Kearsarge (Thoroughbred Miniatures)


Lets see how I did with my initial set of 2011 goals:

- continue to stress gaming over collecting and host at least 6 games at the house, including running a 6mm ACW campaign game - FAIL: I played in 14 games last year  and hosted only 4 (2 at my house and 2 at HCON) - still to low a number

- revamp my game room to allow for more storage and complete the "man-cave" conversion - FAIL: The game room revamp didn't pass beyond the plan stage due to my son's robotics team's successful year

- build some modular terrain boards - FAIL: No boards built

- finish up the 28mm Imperial Romans and get them on the table - PASS: Finished a Roman and Dacian army

- attend Historicon in July (pending executive spouse approval) - PASS: Went to HCON and hosted two games of Hail Caesar

- participate in a tournament style gaming event (likely FOW) to see how I like it - FAIL: Didn't even play FOW in 2011

- try focusing on finishing armies rather than adding new ones - FAIL: While I did finish the Romans and Dacians, I added two more era's to game

So lets see the tally: 5 Fails and 2 Passes, that's not so good.  Hey wait a minute, I do remember saying that those targets weren't really resolutions - they were more like guidelines....

Despite the poor showing for 2011 goals, oops I mean guidelines, I'm still setting out the following targets for 2012:

(1) Attend and host a game at Historicon (probably one of three options: Hail Caesar, War of 1812 with Black Powder, or Saga) - your thoughts are appreciated here.

(2) Finish my war of 1812 project (both British and US armies) = ok with the Brit's I'm cheating as I have most of them being done on a commission basis.

(3) Host 4 Games at my house - why 4?, because is twice as many as I did in 2011

(4) Implement the planned redesign of my game room (after robotics).  I have a nice space for gaming / modeling, but it can be better organized and made to feel a bit more "clubby"

(5) Remain gaming era neutral - If I add a new era / game system then I need to get rid of an existing one

(6) Finally decide if I want to get back into model railroading and is there a way to link the two hobbies?  How cool would it be to be able to play a war game while having a train running around the table.  I'm thinking either 10mm miniatures with N-Scale trains or something in HO/20mm maybe WWI or WWII.....  This might be a very dangerous course!

I think that's enough for this retrospective.

All-in-all, 2011 was a great year for my family and me and given the times we are very fortunate to be able to say so.  Here's to an even better 2012 for all of us!

Happy Gaming

The "Uber-Geek"


The Angry Lurker said...

That's a good review sir, the painting challenge is fun but also a shot in the arse for painting.....have a good year.

Monty said...

Happy New Year Miles!
Interesting post too, I still remain deeply impressed/jealous of your gaming real-estate (in a courteous way, of course);)
My achievements in comparison are meagre, so you shouldn't feel too bad at all, sir!
Look forward to catching up with your continued empire building throughout 2012 :)

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Similar to you my goals are guidelines mainly due to the fact that I'm sure wargames butterfly or flake however you view it!
Good luck on your goals and go for the 1812 as it's not often covered.


John de Terre Neuve said...

Nice to read, good luck with 2012.


Curt said...

Don't get too stressed on the resolutions - its often more fun to draw outside of the lines.

Have a great 2012!


Ray Rousell said...

A great review, I wouldn't get hung up to mush on missed resolutions. I never make any, so what I accomplish in a year is always a bonus. I'm enjoying the Analouge painting challenge too, its a great intensive to get things done. Have a great year,, play and paint loads!!!

Paul of the Man Cave said...

Its not about pass/fail, its all about fun - which you did in spades! Your demo game has inspired the Man Cave gamers to run a Viking participation game at CANCON later this month, so your influence has reached all the way out to Oz. I love your ships too, wonderful stuff.

Best wishes for more fun in 2012!