Sunday, January 31, 2016

So what about that 2015 eh…

Looking back 12 months ago I can see a year filled with a measure of confidence and a hint of common sense. Did I manage to achieve anything from my plan?

Flames Of War 
Yeah, let’s cut to the chase there and say… no. Most, if not all of the items on my list did not progress very far at all. I still want to do my British Comets and got to see how good a list they can be when handled well at FlamesCon last year. The Masters were a wish that I never even came close to achieving after only heading out to a handful to tournaments. I feel a bit guilty about that given I work for the company but I do get to spend my days thinking about all sorts of Flames Of War goodness that it's nice to have other things on the go.

Dust Tactics 
The hiatus continues on the Dust front. I have my extra Steel Guard units now (Thunderbolt and Lightning) but haven’t had the enthusiasm to get them primed and painted. I blame Victor for not organising some games for Andrew and I.

WarmaHordes – aka The Year (Decade) Of The Troll.
I actually did a decent amount of painting last year! I didn't finish my 50 points but I made more progress on it than any preceding year. My friend Chris Baker gave me some wonderful pointers on airbrushing 28mm figures and I was able to do a pretty decent job of remembering some of his tricks. Certainly the army (half finished) looks really good and given a concerted effort I think I could push my way to 50 points for the next big tournament that I am likely to get too (in August/September). I also took the half-finished force out to Lords Of Ruin in Wellington last year and it was excellent. Almost every game ran the full time on the clock making for hard fought, exciting games where I felt like I had a chance to win – unlike most of my WarmaHordes games. The recent nerf to Warders has dented my enthusiasm a little, but being competitive in WarmaHordes is not a priority so I am sure I will bounce back.

X-Wing (and Armada)
Loving it. Having less hobby time now than in the past I am really enjoying the casual nature of the game and the low requirements (i.e. zero) on my hobby time. I took 3 Phantoms to the NZ Nationals last year and had a blast. It was not a very competitive list (could have been the Squadron Leader?) but it really surprised a few opponents. The NZ meta is quite variable with a good mix of lists, so vs low pilot skill hordes it was awesome, whereas elite high pilot skill squadrons it suffered. Taking such a wacky squadron made the day loads of fun. Looking forward to seeing what 2016 brings after the release of The Force Awakens.

Building Battlefields
Yet another year went by on this front… in the middle of 2015 BF moved offices and we lost our massive gaming/hobby space and I have not been organised (or incentivised?) enough to make a space at home where I can leave everything laid out for a while as I paint and flock up a pile of stuff. I still want to tackle all my Battlefield in a Box product though and get them all flocked up as the roads and forest bases (especially) look better with a little flock on them. I did spend some time on my Tablescapes Urban Tiles and the sample tiles are coming along nicely!

So What Happened?
I was sitting on the train heading home one night last year and found myself getting annoyed at how little gaming and “hobby stuff” I’d done over 2015 and I realised that there were a number of things getting in the way.

1.    “Life” –The average week day looks like this; Get up, shower etc, organise breakfast for my son, walk to train, catch train, walk to work, work, walk to train, catch train, walk home, have dinner, play with my son, bath (for my son), put him to bed/do dishes and tidy up, and bang, its 9pm at night, watch TV or play some World Of Warships to decompress after the days activities and it is off to bed. Another day done. Weekends have more time spare but 70% of the week looks like this.

2.    “Laziness” – Looking around my traditional gaming group (which goes back over 20+ years to university days) that instead of gaming we tend to sit round playing Clash Of Clans during our usual catchups. Instant gratification, no effort, and when you are all playing in the same Clan you get a similar feeling to tabletop gaming where you can discuss raids, plan for Clan Wars etc. Our “group” decision was that this year we will make much more of an effort to put down the tablets and play a game or two a month. So far it has worked.

3.    “Kids” – My son is three and a half and loves playing with dad so there is plenty of time kicking footballs, playing with lightsabers, watching Thomas the Tank Engine etc. We have also recently added another member to our family and as time passes I am sure he will want to do the same thing. Bottom line, less time and less energy for hobby stuff.

4.    “Work” – Some (or more than a usual amount) of my blog energy last year seemed to be directed towards stuff for work. Whilst there was no one project that consumed it all, it was a thing here, an article there, and some painting for that. 

I am envious of my friends that have similar constraints on their time but still seem to do it all. Guess I need to train up the kids to paint.

So Whats The Plan?
I’ll cover this in another post but I am heading into 2016 with a realistic take on things, but still deluding myself that I’ll get a lot done. Team Yankee, Terrain, Trollbloods, and US Marines are all on the schedule for this year and that’s taking into account an almost four week old baby at home.

However the one New Years resolution I plan on keeping is that this year there won’t be so many posts on the blog starting with “So its been a while since I posted anything…”