Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Thoughts on the Year Ahead

2012 is here and it time for me to ponder the gaming year ahead. This is an exercise that I, and many others, indulge in every year and it is generally a pointless exercise. This is a terrible time of year for me to be thinking about the future. I am totally burned out from the holiday madness and I have yet to get any inspiration. This means that this is all just a huge guess.

Even though this is a guess there is some thought and reason behind it. This year will be a tough one for the hobby budget. My wife is returning to nursing school and that will soak a lot of the mad money for the majority of the year. That means that new projects might be tough to get started. With that said let the pondering begin.


This is going to be a major focus for the new year. I have a great love of a beautiful table. Probably even more than my love of nicely painted figures. To me, miniature gaming is the whole package; figures, terrain and rules. Lately I have let the terrain projects slip. In fact, it has been a couple of years since I have worked on a serious terrain project. There a a few categories of terrain that I hope to make progress on this year.

28mm - The first area I want to work on is 28mm terrain for WW2 games. I will be working on some Normandy terrain. I really needs Bocage, French builds (farms, town and churches) and some good roads. This will probably be the first project I work on.

15mm - Flames of War has inspired me to expand my terrain collection to include 15mm elements. I got rid of lots of this stuff years ago when I got out of 15mm gaming so now I must start from scratch. Since most of my gaming for FoW is North Africa and Mediterranean that is where I will start. I am planning to do some items for Tunisia with hopes of getting use out of them for other areas. I need mostly buildings and roads.

GW Terrain - I have quite a few GW terrain kits I would like to build and paint. Since I already have these I am sure I will be working on them as it will be cheap to do.

Hex Terrain - I have been thinking about this for a long time. I was a huge fan of the old Geo-Hex system and have always wanted a nice setup. Years ago I built a lot of the 4" hexes from GHQ fo use with micor-armor. I really loved that stuff. My friend Mike has a jig for cutting hexes and he made some very cool terrian hexes. I want to do this badly but I need to figure out what kind of terrain and for what scale. Right now I think this would be a great addition to the 15mm Flames of War collection. Stay tuned for this one.

Lord of the Rings SBG

This is has become the old standby game. I have no major plans for this game this year other than playing in the Gathering in the Desert GT in February. I know that I will be playing it and since I will be playing I will be painting. And since I have a large collection of figures to paint it is an easy area for a tight budget.

Flames of War

Flames of War got a lot of table time and painting time last year. I had a lot of fun playing and the painting was quick. I want to keep going with this game this year. There is a new version coming soon and the rules will be free to those who have the second edition rules book. Free fits in the budget. I don't have any major new army plans but I am sure I will sneak in some new Plastic Soldier Company models. If I were to start a new project it would be a mid-war Soviet tank force for Kursk, otherwise I will just keep addint to the 8th Army and Fallschirmjagers.

I would like to do an Infantry Aces campaign with my usual gaming group but I am affraid that most of them have cooled on FoW (if they were ever really hot for it to begin with). There seems to be a lots of different reasons why they are not feeling it. Maybe the new version will help spark some renewed interest. I will just have to keep working on them.

28mm World War II

Oh how I love thee 28mm WW2! I know I talk a lot about this but it seems I don't do much with it. That is because I do talk a lot and I don't do a lot. I am always whining about rules and such and I expect that to not change in the year ahead. I have great hopes that Warlord games will release there WW2 rules this year and it will be everything I have ever wanted. As the saying goes "Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment."

I have been reading the Kampfgruppe:Normandy rules a lot lately and I really like them. I was a but put off by the army lists as they are strange but I think I can get past that. I plan to get in a couple of test games soon.

I would also like to get a couple more games of Rules of Engagement in. I liked the rules but they got poo-poo'ed by my usual opponent. I my have to try them out with someone else to get a fair assessment. Likewise, Rate of Fire needs to see more table time. The first test of these rules left me a little flat but I think they can be fun with a better understanding of the rules.

The good news is that the painted collection is big enough to be able to do just about anything for rules testing and gaming that I would like. I also have lots of unpainted to keep me busy. I made one last order from Crusader USA, at the end of the year, to fill in a few gaps. Expect to see some newly painted stuff throughout the year.

I realized when I was doing the summary post for last year that I have never properly documented my 28mm collection on the blog. I have done some posts on the new items I have added but nothing on the entire collection army by army. I plan of doing some posts to correct that oversight soon.

It is my secret hope that 2012 will be the year of 28mm WW2...crap I just told the secret.

Warhammer 40,000

I am not even sure what to say about this. Rumor has it that there is a new version (6th) due out this summer. Whoopidydo! I can honestly say I couldn't care less. I really like 5th edition and I don't see any reason for a new version. I say that as a player who only plays against friends and never in tournament so I really don't know much.

I have shit-gobb-piles of figures and models. I have enough Orks to do several thousand points. The same is true of IG and Space Marines. I am sure one of my four armies - Orks, Space Maries, Dark Angels, Imperial Guard - will catch my fancy and I will go on a painting/modeling binge. Last year I was sure I would work on Orks all year, instead I painted a pile of Catachans.

I do not envision any purchases related to this game this year but those GW b@&%^s will probable get money from me for the new rules. Isn't this great? I have regrets about something I have yet to do...I am such a fool.

28mm Ancients

One of my first major gaming obsessions was 28mm Ancients gaming using the Warhammer Ancients Battles rules. Man I loved that game! I built several armies and play tons of games. We had a great local group of players and held an annual tournament. It was great. But all good things come to an end and interest in WAB slowly died out. Some people might say it was killed off but now is not the time to dwell on this. WAB 2.0 almost renewed the interest in the period but, saddly, WAB 2.0 sucked and you could only get it from the UK. The good news is there are a couple of new rule sets out that could get me back into the period.

The first is Clash of Empires. I picked these up last July and have read through them. I have also watched a couple of games locally and the game seems to be just what the doctor ordered. It is very much what WAB 2 should have been and then some. I think this game could just what I need.

The second is Hail Caesar. I was really excited when I heard these rule where coming out as they are based on the same base mechanic as Black Powder and I love those rules. My mom bough these for me for Christmas and I have yet to dig into them yet but I will very soon. So far, all the reviews of the rules have been positive.

The good news, from a budget perspective, is that I have the rules as well as two painted armies. I also have a third army in the process of being painted as well as lots of unpainted figures. This means little to no expense to get back into the period.

Black Powder

This game is turning into a myth. I have had the rules for nearly two years and I GM'ed one test game. It is another project that I talk a lot about but never seems to materialize. The good news is that I have made progress on the figure collections for the game and I should be able to continue that this year. I still have lots of ACW figures to paint so no new purchases should be required to finish that period. I also have some Victrix French left to paint so I should be able to finish off my starter French Napoleonic force. As for playing, this should be the year where ACW hits the table. My fingers are crossed!

The Great War

Here is another Warhammer Historical game that I would really like to play and a period I have always had an interest in. Late last year the guys and I discussed making this the group project for the year. A few of us were very interested and others not so much. My limited budget for the year may make this a non-starter and I certainly will not able able to do a force of Renegade or Great War figures like I dreamt of. I might be able to purchase an Old Glory late war army to get me started. I don't hold much hope for this project but I am not ready to give it up just yet.

Other Games

Here is the catch all bucket of the forgotten games.

Last year's Poncho Villa project might get some more painting time as I already have the Mexican figures. I will not have the $$ to add in the Americans or the Federales this year. It seems like some of the other Old West players have moved on so I don't expect that we will have our campaign day like we have done the last couple of years. That is too bad as I really like those events.

Legends of the High Seas...hmmm...what should I say about this? I have some unpainted pirates that I might be inspired to paint this year. Again, I have the figures so it is a cheap project.

Blood Bowl was the first game I played this year. I had never played it before. I had a good time and the games seems pretty solid. I could see myself playing again but I will not be building a team.

I wonder if this year might be the time to pull out the Zombies and do some Zombie Apocalypse games? I have tons of cool figures I could paint for this. Something to think about.

I am sure I will get in a few games of BANG! and maybe some other card and board games. I keep thinking about Descent (that is about as far as it will go). Maybe I should play some Space Hulk...I paid enough for the dumb thing.

Blogging and the Blog Community

I have never really thought about my blog and my interaction with others in the miniatures game blogging community as part of my hobby but it really is. I spend more time working on my blog and reading others blogs than I do playing games or painting models. With this in mind I need to take this a little more seriously. I have a bad habit of not replying to comments to my posts and I don't do as much commenting on the post on others blogs. I need to be a better member of the community. I really believe the feedback that you get from the blog is a great motivator.

In the five years I have been doing this blog my posts have mostly been documenting my painting and modeling projects. This is fine and it really is the main focus of the blog but I would like variety. This year I will try and do more writing and not just posting of pictures. I would like to do more battle reports, how-to articles and maybe some book reviews.

Painting Totals from 2011

Here are my final painting numbers from last year. Not a bad year.

Lord of the Rings - 93 (3 mounted)
40k - 104 (1 Vehicle)
Old West - 18
Flames of War - 168 (39 vehicles, 4 guns)
28mm Napoleonic - 28
28mm ACW - 34
28mm WW2 - 16

Total YTD - 461


Dagreenskins said...

Sounds like you are going to be busy in 2012. I am excited about WW2 this years and want to get some games in. I can't wait to see what you do with your WW2 models this year.

Jerry said...

Nice write up. I'm planning on a big 28mm WW2 year... I've got Russians on the way and Japanese to finish out. I'm up for trying different rules, too. I'm also interested in your Hail Caesar review. I have an lightly used Viking army I'd love to put out on the table again.

Looking forward to reading your blog in 2012.

Robert said...

Thanks for the comments. I am pretty excited about the new year and I am hoping to start off strong. I have a history of not doing much the first couple of months of the year.

DuendE said...

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You can follow me too, i got a Painting Blog!