Tuesday, January 01, 2013

2012 In Review and 2013 Plans

How's that for an inspiring title.  I love seeing what everyone else plans for the year, and how last year's plans panned out (or more often did not).  Since a large part of my keeping this blog is to keep track of my hobby, I also look forward to seeing what the last year held for me.

This was the biggest accomplishment of the year.
The year started off with my return from Afghanistan.  I got home December 28th, so it fit almost perfectly.  The nice thing about this, (from a hobby standpoint, there are lots of nice things about coming home) is that everything I've done in the hobby is in one easily definable span of time.

First of I started the blog back up.  I originally started keeping this in 2009, running part way into 2010.  I posted 48 times over those two years.  I dropped it completely when I found out I was deploying.  The first part of the year, for the blog, was really just me getting my feet on the ground.  I changed the style and figured out how things worked.  I've tried several things and dropped them.  I started the year with eight followers, all of whom I knew.  I'm ending it with forty four.  That's quite an improvement and I'm really pleased that you guys come back to read this space.  Thanks for your contributions.

I immediately got back into the local club, upon my return, and we rolled into a Lord of the Rings league.  It started strong and lost steam, as these things will tend to do.  Still, it introduced me to two of my three main opponents for the year and it got me back into gaming after a year and a half pause.  This year also so Keith, the man who introduced me to LotR gaming, move to the other side of the mountains.  It has been sad to have him gone but he should be moving back in 2015.  

LotR has seen its ups and downs this year.  I don't like the warbands rules very much.  I'm appalled at the prices for the Hobbit game.  I received the box set for Christmas, and I like the changes to the rules.  I will not be starting any new armies for the game, barring something truly spectacular.  I will be adding models, here and there, to flesh out some of my existing armies.

This leads to the biggest change of the year for me.  This year I changed the type of gamer that I am.  I had been a GW gamer pretty exclusively.  I hate the 40K rules.  I used to love Warhammer but lost it with 8th edition.  That still left me with LotR, which is pretty much all I played.  When the new Empire book came out this year I bought it, read it, set it down and realized that GW had no place in my life anymore.  

The freedom this brought was heady and I took full advantage of it.  I spent the year as a gaming magpie, collecting rules books, picking up new miniatures here and there and everywhere.  The only army I finished was my Harad for LotR, but I bought models from all over the place, just to see what they looked like.  

I love 28mm but this year I also branched out into 15mm for Sci/Fi.  28mm is still more satisfying to me but it's hard to get past the price and variety that you can only get with 15mm.  I'm happy that I made this decision, even if I have yet to game with the models I picked up.

The other, greater milestone was my switch to historical gaming.  I haven't given up on science fiction and fantasy, but I've added historicals to the mix, a change which was way over due.  The number of rules sets out there had always held me back.  I took the plunge and went with Hail Caesar.  I liked the rules and I even got a single game in this year.  I also bought the first units for my Early Imperial Roman Army; an army I've been dreaming about for years.  I got two units painted, and I'm quite pleased with the results.

In terms of rules bought, the year was very full.  In addition to the Hobbit and Hail Caesar I picked up Gruntz, Dux Britinarium, Fanticide, Kings of War, Saga, Tomorrow's War, Bolt Action and a bunch of free sets off the internet.  While I have armies for Kings of War the rest require me to collect, so it was more buying rules than playing with them.

I also picked up a few board games this year.  I finally got a copy of Lord of the Rings Risk.  I bought Agricola, which the family has been enjoying.  X-Wing was the big, sunrise hit of the year.  I've played quite a few games both at the club and here at the house.  The boys love it and the Traveller is hooked as well.

A big part of the year was spent trying to scratch the gaming itch for Rhys.  This finally succeeded, both with X-Wing and with his "Dungeon Game", Castle Ravenloft for Dungeons and Dragons.  We played a lot of this game and he and his brother both love it.  For Rhys' birthday we got him the Drizzt game, which he loves even more.  He promptly gave Ravenloft to Owyn and we played both games several times over the holidays.  Rhys still wants to play LotR/Hobbit, and we will keep working on that this year, but he's very happy with his dungeon game.

I gamed a lot, though not as much as I would have liked.  What else is new?  I assembled 525 models, probably a record.  Sadly I only painted 155 of those.  My goal was 240, 20 a month.  I fell well short of that.  My blogging has gone well with 144 posts this year, most of which are probably worth reading.  My most visited post is my entry for Frontline Gamer's meme, The Games that Define Us. I'm pleased with this as it is one of my favorite posts to look through, myself.  The rest of the top posts are battle reports or posts that cover new arrivals, which I'm guessing people got to through Google searches.  X-Wing (again), Defiance Games UAMC and my battle reports all closely follow the number one entry.

I didn't make any goals for 2012, so there's nothing really to go back and check.  This year will form the baseline for going forward, so what do I hope that journey will look like this year?

Just like all of you, I'm hoping to game more this year.  My focus will be on playing Bolt Action, Gruntz (finally), Kings of War, The Hobbit and Hail Caesar.  That seems like a lot but I think it's reasonable.  I have armies for two of the three games (KoW and Hobbit), and have started armies for the other three, Bolt Action will be started in 15mm.

I plan to buy three new rules sets, with more no doubt coming down the line.  First off will be Pike & Shotte.  I've had an unreasoning need to build pike blocks for almost as long as I wanted to have an EIR army.  I have a ready made opponent in Jonathan, who has started a Scots army for the period.  I'll also be picking up Black Powder and Albion Triumphant, the Peninsular war expansion for it.  Finally, Collectormania has just announced that they will start carrying Drop Zone Commander.  I'll certainly pick up the book.  This will also give me a chance to look at the models in the flesh.

Now to the important part, new minis.  I will continue to add to my 15mm sci/fi stuff.  I'll also be adding bits and bobs to my Hobbit armies and buying rather a lot for my EIR.  As far as new armies though, I'm looking at three for the year, though only in small scale for 2013.  I plan on buying a starter Pike & Shotte army to be build as Parliment.  My goal for the year is to have three infantry regiments, one artillery piece and one cavalry unit.  That will be enough for a trial run of the rules and serve as the core of an army to be expanded.

I will also be picking up 28mm WWII models for Bolt Action.  This will follow the start of the year pretty closely.  A platoon of infantry for US and Germans with some heavy weapons and one tank each should be enough to get started.

The third will be either Napoleonics or American Civil War, I'm torn.  Both projects will have to happen at some point but only one will fit this year.  Whichever way I go the build will look much like the Pike & Shotte TO.

I'll also be adding to my terrain collection as my current fantasy terrain doesn't work well for any of this new stuff.

2012 was a great hobby year and I have high hopes for 2013.  Thanks for coming by, and for reading this wall of text if you've gotten this far.  I wish you all health, jobs and happy gaming for the new year.


  1. Replies
    1. It was indeed. I just hope to top it this year.

  2. Nice post Aaron. Great job getting 144 posts in the last year. I am still struggling getting on a regular posting schedule.

    1. Thanks Russ. It was a great year for hobby all the way around. What helps me is that I get on my blog every day to look at everyone else's blogs so it motivates me to post, as long as I have something to say.

      I hope you find your mojo.

  3. Well looks like a good year for you, hope you achieve your 2013 goals


    1. Thanks Ian. I kept them pretty simple, so they should be achievable.

  4. Happy New Year. and I look forward to seeing if 2013 is just as successful.


    1. Thanks Tony. I look forward to that as well. Thanks for stopping by and I hope I can keep your interest next year.


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