Friday, December 21, 2012

2012 Gaming Year in Review

Another year has passed (nearly) and it is time for me to look back and see how my game plans stack up against my game reality.  Back in January I posted my thoughts and plans for 2012 (you can see that post if you like).  I do this every year mostly just to show myself that I really have very little idea where my hobby will take me over the course of a year.  So, without further delay...

Terrain

I really planned on this being a major focus for the year.  I had thoughts of all sorts of projects from scratch built terrain to GW terrain kits.  Lord know I have lots of kits to build.  Things started slow but by April I finally got around to working on terrain.  The first project was the Normandy roads.  I am really pleased with how this project turned out and these roads have seen lots of table time this year.

The next project came in September with the fields.  This was super easy project.  In fact, it was so easy I have trouble calling it a project.  This was a long overdue effort that has also seen lots of table time this year.

For the most part this is all I have really done for terrain this year.  I did sign up for the Battlefront house subscription but I have been very disappointed with this.  So far I have received 4 houses, which are very nice, but I should have received 6 by now.  Poor planning and mismanagement on the part of Battlefront have seen delays and production schedule changes.  I have fears that there will be more issues before the final 8 houses in this deal are delivered.  Oh well, I guess my issues are rather petty.

I did recently acquire some cool 15mm terrain items for the East front and for Italy.  I think I will have some cool stuff to post next year on this.

My ideas of creating some hex based terrain never made it off of the drawing board.  In the end it just seems like too much trouble.

Lord of the Rings SBG

This has been the 'game' for me and my friends for several years and back in January I had no real reason to believe this would change.  It is true that even as early as January I was starting to cool on the game but that was mostly due to some mild burnout from painting my Dwarves last year as well as maybe playing it too much.  Leave it to GW to drive a stake through the heart of this game for me.

Just before Gathering in the Desert in February GW pulled the Legions of Middle-Earth book, which was the source book for point matched games.  This book was awesome and the only complaint I had was there were some models listed in some of the lists that had no stats and no models.  GW decided to release 5 new books to replace the one LOME book.  Each of the new books was focused on a grouping of factions and contained stats and army construction rules.  They also contained new scenarios.  These books were thin and expensive and nearly half the contents of the books were the same across all 5 books.  To me this was just a huge money grab by GW before retiring the game later in the year for the new Hobbit game.

Needless to say I hated the new books.  To be fair I did give the new concept a try and even played in a local store tun tournament using the new armies.  The kinds of armies that were played and the stuff you could no longer do legally with the new ary construction just reinforced my dislike.

At around the same time GW  snuck in a doubling of the miniature price by halving the number of plastics in a box and by the Finecast price increases.  All of these changes come so quickly and all being o negative really put me off from the game.  I have not played it or even looked at it since March.  I have no interest at all in the Hobbit game because of all this and the fact that that game is even more expensive.

Flames of War

This was the real bright spot in the hobby this year.  I knew that I would be a big focus for the year but I really had no idea.  We got a new version of the rules early in the year and Battlefront's free rulebook offer really helped keep me interested.  Tim and I got in dozens of games with the new rules and we even played in our first Flames of War tournament.

On the painting and modeling side I painted more of my Fallschirmjagers as well as a few more Germans tanks for North Africa and Italy.  I never really got started on a mid war Soviet tank army but I did build a new Soviet models from Plastic Soldier Company and Zvezda.  I started a series of posts on planning a new Flames of War army.  This planning got off to a good start and I even collected the first of the models but a new distraction derailed that a bit (more on that later).

I had lots of great times with this game this year and I really hope this stays in the game rotation for a long time to come.

28mm World War II (Bolt Action)

Back in January I had big hope for some 28mm World War II action this year.  I have been trying to find the 'perfect' rules for this period/scale for a loooong time.  It seems that every time a new set of rules comes out there are big hopes and then things fail to pan out.  At the beginning of the year I had some high hopes for the Kampfgruppe: Normandy rules and Tim and I got in a game (check out the batrep).  We both actually enjoyed the game a lot but it seemed to be lacking something to get use really fired up.

I really wanted to get Rules of Engagement back on the table.  Tim and I had played a some games a couple of years ago and it was an OK set of rules.  I really wanted to give them another look.  After rereading the rules I came to the conclusion that I really hate them.  I also looked over Rate of Fire again and felt about the same.  Things were not looking hopeful.

When I heard that Warlord games was finally working on rules to go along with their Bolt Actions line of figures I was a little ho-hum about it.  When I heard that Rick Priestley and Alessio Cavatore were the authors I took notice.  I generally like their work and I had a feeling they could put out a really good game.  Over the summer my local shop got a play-test copy of the rules and a few of the regulars started playing.  It seemed like every time I heard the guys at the shop talking I really hated what I heard.  Then I would read an article by Rick explaining the game and I would think it sounded cool.  All this kept me from getting too excited about the game.

I did pick-up the rules when they came out and read through them.  The game seemed a little simple and the army lists were kind of generic.  The first couple of games that I played were fun but I still had trouble getting excited.  I really wanted to see what they would do with the army lists.  When the Armies of Germany book came out my friend Jerry had an extra copy and he gave it to me (thanks Jerry!).  I think it was this book that really helped me accept the game and start to get into it.  I really like where they are going with this game.

I have managed to get in 4 games of Bolt Action and each one has been better than the last which is amazing because they have all been really good games.  I really think I have found the game I have been looking for for 28mm World War II.

Warhammer 40,000

I started the year with a bad attitude about this game.  I knew a new version was on the way and I knew they were going to charge mint for it.  I also knew I would buy it.  I think my feelings of anger about a new version had to do with feeling like I have not gotten my money's worth out of 5th edition.  Even though 5th had been out for 4+ years I really hadn't played very many games and the ones I did play I really enjoyed.  I thought 5th was a great version and did not need to be changed (and I still feel that way).

The first thing that GW did to draw me into the idea of the new rules was the flyer release.  The new Ork Bomber is freakin' cool!  Once I saw it knew I must have it and if the new rules made these things work I would have to step up to 6th.  GW are evil geniuses when it come to getting money from me.

So I bought the new rules and the new Bomber kit.  I painted a bunch of Ork models to expand the army and I got in some games against my friend Lonnie.  As a whole it has been a nice year for the game but I am a long way from being excited about it.  I have a generally negative view of the GW hobby right now and like a junky I am trying to break the habit.

28mm Ancients

I thought I might get something do for this in 2012.  Aside from starting a re-base project for my Saxons I really did nothing.

Black Powder

This is a game I have dreamed of getting on the table for a couple of years.  I hoped that this year would be the year.  Finally, a couple of weeks ago , we got in an ACW game.  It was a real blast t finally play and everyone had a great time.  I really think this game has a bright future and for the last several days we have all been chatting about what project we should do.  This was probably the best single game of the year for me.

All the Other Games

I had mentioned a whole bunch other other games that I might jump into or start collecting.  Turns out that I spent so much time and money on the stuff above I didn't get to anything else.  Which is fine because I had lots of good times this year.


3 comments:

AHunt said...

It's funny how things change. I'm looking forward to my retrospective. This has been a year of monumental gaming changes for me, some the same as yours.

I hope to see more BP and BA games next year.

Da Green Skins said...

and no Lord of the Rings.

Scott said...

These kinds of retrospectives are interesting and with blogging its fun to look back and see what you did over 12 months!

Shame you have drifted from LOTR... In some ways I wish it had been taken up by a different company... we may well have had better 'service', and more realistic pricing...

All the best for 2013