Thursday, December 27, 2018

2018 Year in Review

Time once again for my annual year end gaming summary and evaluation.  As usual this is a rather silly exercise that I take a unusual amount of pleasure in.  As always I started the year with several ideas about what I would like to do or accomplish over the course of the year.  It is also a bit of a prediction about what I will be interested in.  Not surprisingly I am often wrong in my predictions.  Lets jump in!

Sci-Fi Gaming

At the beginning of the year I had expected that GW's Shadow-war Armageddon would a be a well played game for the year.  It turns out I was way off base on that idea.  This game did not get played at all and is, unsurprisingly, dead.  The main thing that killed it was GW's release of the new Kill Team edition this year.  While I did not get into Kill Team it was made clear that SWA was just a flash in the pan to sell you old models.  I did, eventually, purchase Kill Team but it has not been played.

I had very low expectations at the beginning of the year for Necromunda Underhive.  I knew I would be spending lots of cash on the game and I did, but I did not think it would see much table time. That is where I was wrong.  This turned into the second most played game of the year for me and we even managed a short campaign.  For purchases I bought the Deathray Designs wall set and manage to build it all and paint a lot of it.  These wall really make the Zone Mortalis games so much better.  I bought all the gangs, cards and books released this year and I even managed to acquire some of the Forge World stuff.  It was a very exciting year for this game.

I had some hopes that 40K would see a lot of action this year as I do like the 8th edition rules a lot.  Sadly I was only able to get in two games.  I blame this relative inaction on GW waiting so long to release the new Ork codex.  Had this been out earlier in the year I would have been more motivated to get games going.  My friend Tim got me the Speed Freeks game for my birthday and we did get in one game of that.  I also managed to paint a few more models for my Ork collection and I got sucked into the Space Marine Heroes blind buy thing.  All in all not a bad year but more games would have been better.

As for non-GW sci-fi I had thoughts that CAV: Strike Operation would see some table and paint time this year but that did not happen.  I am kind of over this.  The models are cool and cheap but the game is really incomprehensible and I am just too old to decode complicated rules.  I thought that the Fallout game and the Star Wars legions games would be a major distraction as well but I managed to resist them both.  The Fallout game really had some release issues that kind of turned me off.

WWI/WWII/Modern

This is a very broad category that covers lots of periods and games.  In the past this would have been dominated by Flames of War but times have changed.

We played a very large Flames of War Great War game for the 100th anniversary of the end of the war.  The game was about 3000 points to a side and was great fun.  It is the first WWI game we have played in more than a year, maybe two years.

I had expected that Battlegroup would be a big game this year.  We did play one game early in the year and as usual it went well and was fun.  But it just did not catch on.  My friend Tom decided to drop the game and I did pick-up his collection of books.  I really hate to see this game go away but I have to figure out how it fits with our game group.  I think this game needs to be run as as scenario game similar to Black Powder and not as a points match game like Flames of War.  Not a good year for this game.

Tom and I played one game of Flames of War v4 this year.  This was the first time I had played with the true 4th edition rules.  I purchased the Afrika Korps book and cards and even the command cards.  The game went well and was fun but it played very different and will take some adjustment.  We both discovered that purchasing the books it a waste of money as just about everything you need to build an army is in the unit card decks.  I really want to enjoy this and maybe even love it but it is still leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

TANKS and TANKS; The Modern Age did not go much of anywhere this year for me.  I managed one game of TANKS.  I purchased the modern age set and built the tanks but I didn't get in any games.  This was a little bit of a let down.

I purchased the new edition of the Fate of a Nation rules and read them.  This game looks really good and it inspired me to plan updating my army to the new edition.  There is a lot a buzz with my friends about this game but we did not get it to the table this year.  I really wish Osprey was doing all the rules for the Flames of War game systems.  They have such a good handle on how this should be done.

Bolt Action was also on the radar and on the game table this year.  I did not get in a lot of games but there were some important milestones with this game this year.  The big one was the completion of my long suffering Point 213 game.  Time and I have been working, off and on, on this game idea for the better part of 10 years.  A couple years ago we got this project back on track and kicked out a large terrain collection as well as completing all the models for the game.  We played the game in June and it was good fun but things just did not turn out as expected.  The Germans got slaughtered in a very one-sided action.  This is a result our test games did not exactly predict.  Another major milestone for BA was the completion of my US Marines to a playable level.  This project was to be our starting point for converting over to the 2nd edition rules.  Things took longer than expected for the guys but Tim and I managed to play a 500 point Marines vs Japanese v2 game last week so check that off the list.  It was a really good year for this game.

Horse and Musket/Old West

This is a game setting that has been dominated by dreams of huge games of Black Powder.  This year marked a slight change from the usual pattern.  Tim and I played a couple of games using the points system and played smaller games on a 4x8 table.  These games were actually a lot of fun.  We also played probably the largest BP game we have ever hosted - The Battle of Salem Church.  This was the third and final battle in a three year Chancellorsville campaign.  American Civil War figures turned out to be the most painted items for this year as well.  I added several new units and guns to the collection as well as some cool vignettes.  I also purchased a large collection of figures from a friend so I now have a massive 28mm ACW collection.

I managed to paint one more unit for my very sad attempt to get into the Napoleonic era using Black Powder.  I purchased the Clash of Eagles supplement and I would really love to do some games but I have really run out of support for this kind of project so no real progress was made.

Tim and I played one game of Fistfull of Lead for old west and had a blast.  Afterwards we discussed playing the Hores and Musket version of the game set in the ACW.  Tim promptly put together a Confederate force but I did not get to putting together a Union force.  This could have been better but I think there is a future in this idea.

Fantasy Games

When it comes to fantasy games I always seem to struggle.  Ever since the demise of LOTR years back I have been trying to find something to fill that hole (and LOTR ain't it incase you were wondering).  This year I really thought this would be covered by Frostgrave and perhaps Kings of War.  Well I didn't play either game this year.  I did manage to buy some Frostgrave items but no gaming.

I have been talking about Age of Sigmar as being something I am interested in learning more about and I thought this year might be the year I jumped in.  The new Soul Wars starter set with the absolutely amazing Nighthaunt models finally got me.  I actually ended up buying the 1st edition set as well as the Soul Wars set.  In a matter of a few months I went from never playing the game to have three armies for the game.  I have about 1500+ points of Nighthaunts painted as well as about 1000 points of Stormcast eternals.  I have about 1000 points of Khornate Slaughterhorde.  This was my most played game of the year and the second highest in the painting total.  I am pretty sure it wins the most money spent award as well.  I really jumped all in with this game this year and have really enjoyed every minute of it.

Board games and other stuff

By board games I really mean the special type of board game that bridges the gap between miniatures and more traditional games.  This area has been pretty interesting this year.  We got in a fair amount of time with the original Warhammer Quest and it was great fun as usual.  I purchased a second-hand copy of Warhammer Quest Silver Tower and we played the introductory scenario.  I liked it but everyone else was not impressed.  I painted one of the figures to use in my Stormcast army so not a total loss.

With the popularity of AoS in my group it was almost inevitable that Warhammer Underworlds (aka Shadespire) would get some attention.  I got the Shadespire set for my birthday in November and it has really caught me friends attention.  I have two painted factions done and I received Nightvault and the Sepulchral Guard expansion for Christmas.  This game is good fun and marks a big win for the year.

As previously mentioned the Speed Freeks game made its appearance in November and while only one game was played I think it has real promise.  The game works well as a stand alone game that is much more than a throw-away game.  We plan to play some more on New Years eve so this is just getting started.

I also played a couple of games of Bloodbowl this year.  These were only my second and third games ever but it was a alot of fun.  I don't own the game and I have no plans to but I did paint a team last year so it was fun to use my own team.

I was very tempted by the Blackstone Fortress game but its late appearance in the year ensured I would not get to it.  It looks amazing and I am sure it will be in my future.

Closing Thoughts

All things considered this was a really good year for the hobby for me.  As usual things turned out much different than I expected and maybe that indicates a problem with how I set my expectations.  Maybe for the new year predictions I should try and keep things a little less specific.  Move main theme for the year was to keep things simple and try and leverage things I already had and to try and limit myself to fewer game systems.  This was a total failure.  I actually spent more money and acquired more stuff than ever before.  As for the number of game systems, I played 16 different game systems. That is likely the most diversity I have ever achieved which is not what I was shooting for.

In the modeling and painting area of the hobby this was also a good year.  I assembled almost 400 models this year and that is very close to the number of models I painted. Sadly the models built and models painted weren't always the same.  anyway I feel that was pretty good productivity so counts a major win.  I did paint several complete army projects this year which really excites me.

The blog saw a resurgence this year as well.  I loaded the Blogger app on the phone and I used it for a few work in progress posts and it did help keep the blog going.  The app kind of sucks but it is better than nothing.  Overall post count is the highest since 2011 with this post making 48.  It really helps me keep my focus by sharing this but sadly the audience for hobby bogging has all but disappeared.  I really never get any comments of feedback and traffic levels are low.  Meanwhile, people are asking the same question over and over on Facebook groups...smh.

It was a great year with lots and lots of fun!  I really can't wait for the new year and all the new hobby adventures on the horizon.  I hope your year went just as well!

Models Assembled year to date (includes cleaning and prepping metal figures):

28mm ACW - 81 (3 Guns, 3 Limbers, 1 Wagon, 4 Tents)
Warhammer 40K - 27 (1 Battlewagon, 2 Buggies, 3 Killa Kans, 5 Deff Koptas, 6 Bikes)
Warhammer AoS - 152 (2 big beasties, 6 objectives, 4 Endless Spell)
Warhammer Underworlds - 8
Necromunda - 5
28mm Napoleonic - 24
28mm WWII - 27 (1 Tank, 3 Jeeps, 1 Truck, 1 gun)
15mm Cold War - 3 (3 Tanks)
Terrain - 69 (69 Necromunda wall sections)

Total - 396

Figures painted year to date:
28mm ACW - 159 (3 guns, 3 limbers, 1 Wagon, 4 Tents)
28mm Napoleonic - 24
28mm WWII - 48 (3 Tanks, 1 Half-track)
Necromunda - 12
Warhammer 40K - 12 (1 Battlewagon, 2 Buggies, 6 Bikes, 3 Killa Kans)
Warhammer AoS - 116 (1 big beastie, 1 Endless Spell)
Warhammer Underworlds - 8
Terrain - 12

Total - 391

Game Record to date:
Battlegroup 1-0-0
Black Powder 0-3-0
Bloodbowl 0-1-1
Bolt Action 3-2-0
Necromunda Underhive 7-4-0
Warhammer Quest 1-0-0
Warhammer Quest Silver Tower 0-0-1
Warhammer 40K 0-2-0
Warhammer AoS 7-4-1
Mein Panzer 0-1-0
TANKS 1-0-0
Fistful of Lead 1-0-0
Flames of War Great War 1-0-0
Flames of War v4 0-1-0
Warhammer Underworlds 1-1-0
Speed Freaks 0-1-0

5 comments:

Dagreenskins said...

It was a great year for miniature gaming and I can't wait to see what happens in 2019.

Tim Kulinski said...

Rob,

We did have a great year for hobby projects and games, I will agree, this year we both spent a lot of money, do I regret it, nope, I had a blast. I still read your blog and there are a few that still do, so keep posting. I think your correct when we discussed blogging a week ago, only the serious bloggers are still posting. Look forward to seeing what we do in 2019!

Robert Brightwell said...

Thanks for the comments guys!

Dean Vuckovich said...

I still read your blog :) for me if no one reads it, oh well, it is more of a diary for myself that I can always go back and reference. I had a record year in posts with over 280.

I gave up on blogging apps and just decided to spend $100 on a chromebook so I can blog.

Keep it up in 2019.

Maurice Mickelwhite said...

Ha, I echo those thoughts on a blog :) mine is a record of my own activity as well as a handy location for posting scenarios and the like.

Still, seems like a good year for hobby here. Always good to step back and assess what’s been done and what’s coming next.