Thursday, January 01, 2015

2014 in Review and 2015 Plans

As it's the first day of the new year, it is clearly time to take stock of the year just passed and to do a little planning for the new one, just begun.  The place to start, of course, is with this same post from a year ago.

Rhys preparing to slaughter me at Gruntz.

First off of my goals for 2014.  I think they were modest, and I largely failed at them.  This was mostly due to a prolonged bout of PTSD which re-surfaced and kept me from doing much of anything for several months in the summer and fall.  Happily I'm coming out of the funk, thanks in no small part, oddly, to the Vth Annual Analogue Painting Challenge.

I only posted up two goals, to play about the same as in 2013 and to paint 240 miniatures, 20 a month.  I failed in both of these.

On the gaming front I played a lot of X-Wing with both boys, adding ships and pushing their skills as the year progressed.   I have most of the ships so we can build any list we like.  It's really just have time and desire to get it out and play.

I got in a handful of Lord of the Rings/Hobbit games, and I still love this system.  I picked up a pretty large dwarf army for a great price.  I haven't started painting it yet but it has most of the models I want for that army.

I taught Rhys to play Gruntz and we got in a handful of games with his slowly expanding company.  I also got in a couple of games with adults, which were fun as always.  There are a handful of 15mm Sci/Fi players at the local shop so it's really just a matter of coordination rather than lack of opponents.

The most played game of 2014.
The surprise hit for the year was a board game.  I bought the Lords of Waterdeep last year.  Not only did my cousin and his kids love it but SWMBO and both boys enjoy it.  We've played this a couple of dozen times now and it goes from strength to strength.  In fact, this was the last game of 2014, played New Years eve before everyone got to the house.

The boys and I played through the Village of Homlet in D&D.  They both loved it but want to roll up new characters.  There's a few pieces I want to put in place before we start another D&D campaign but this shows real promise.

Other than that I didn't manage to play an Hail Caesar.  No spaceship games. Nothing else.

On the painting front, well, the less said the better.  I have been on a steady decline over the last three years, since I started keeping track.  In 2012 I painted 155 models.  In 2013 it was 141.  In 2014 it was 133.  The only positive note was that I painted over half of those in December with the start of the painting challenge.

I really seem to have found some painting motivation this year.  All but ten of the models for 2014 were painted during either the 4th or Vth Painting Challenge.  It's a great way to motivate me to paint.  I'm hoping that the momentum I'm building now will stay with me through the year.  I just need to find a way to harness that sense of urgency when the Challenge is over.

This year also so me assemble the fewest models ever.  I went from well over 500 a year in the past to only 122 in 2014.  The one positive aspect is that for the first time ever I painted more than I assembled.

Another area that has been an important part of my hobby since 2012 is exploring new rules.  In 2014 I didn't really get any new rulesets.  Until Christmas that is.  I got Lion Rampant, Dux Bellorum and Ronin for Christmas.  I backed the Kickstarter for the new Kings of War, since I'm really feeling the need for some mass Fantasy combat.

That's enough of looking back.  If you've read this far then you really want to know what I am planning for 2015, if for no other reason then to read this same post in a year and exult or commiserate with me; (though it will be more likely to be the latter, sadly).

1st game of 2015.
The boys and I played a game of Lion Rampant today.  Both boys picked up the mechanics pretty quickly and the movement is fairly easy.  I can see us playing more of this in 2015.

Rhys' Raiders infantry listening post.

Gruntz will still be a mainstay game, both at home and at the shop.  I will be adding models to all three of my armies as well as helping the boys to build up theirs.  I'll also need to pick up more terrain for this scale/genre as anything modern and up needs lots of cover to keep your models alive.

I'm terribly, terribly excited about this.
In February Star Wars Armada is supposed to come out.  I'm beside myself with excitement for this game.  I'll be buying in, and doing it in a big way.  This game will get played in 2015.

I'll also be adding to my X-Wing collection and playing more of that.  It's just a great game with great models and I can play it with the boys.  I also have dreams of a linked campaign using Armada, X-Wing and Gruntz.  I doubt that will happen this year but I hope to be able to get the details worked out and the pieces in place.

I'll also be playing more LotR/Hobbit this year.  The group down at the shop is starting to pick up steam.  I may have to pick up the new rule book but I have most of the models I need.

That's four new games and three old stand byes.  There's nothing else new on the horizon but I'll leave the option open for a new game of some sort this year.

On the model front, with the exception of Armada, I don't plan to start any new armies.  I'm more interested in expanding the ones I already have.  There are a lot of LotR minis I need to fill out my existing armies.  I need more units for my Romans and Celts for Hail Caesar.  My fantasy armies have some holes that need to be plugged.

I may also go back to Warhammer.  The magic system is what ruined the game for me.  Dave Taylor had a great idea, brilliant in its obvious simplicity, of using 6th edition magic with 8th edition rules.  I will add to that by using 6th/7th edition army books as well.  I'm really excited about this, even if I don't get any games in.  Warhammer is where I started in this hobby and I miss it.

That's pretty rambling, so the TLDR version of my 2015 goals:

- Paint 300 miniatures.  I've utterly failed to meet the 240 goal so why not increase it?

- Play X-Wing, Gruntz, Lion Rampant, LotR/Hobbit.

- Buy one new game, Star Wars Armada with room for one other new game that I don't know about yet.

- Buy new models for old armies.  The only new armies will be for Armada.

2014 was good when I was had the energy to accomplish anything.  Here's to hoping that 2015 is way better.


  1. I must admit I'm excited about Armada too, all the best for 2015.

    1. Thanks Michael. I hope it lives up to both of our expectations.

  2. Sounds like the year ended on a high, though I'm sorry to hear you were having some tougher times earlier on. I find playing boardgames can be a good way to draw yourself back in when motivation for painting has been lacking. Am keen to hear what you think of Dux Bellorum and Lion Rampant when you get a chance to do some plays and write ups. Don't have the latter yet, but the former one is a good fun game.

    Cheers, and all the best for 2015!

    1. The boys and I played a game of Lion Rampant yesterday. I'll get a post up soon. It was fun and simple and both boys picked up the basics in a few minutes. I haven't tried Dux Bellorum yet. It's good to hear that you like it. That bodes well.

  3. Tats a lot of cool stuff to look forward to, particularly as much of it is with your family.
    Armada will definitely be the new shiny. Somehow I missed out on getting into XWing though, which was weird.

    What manufacturer do you use for your 15mm SF? I have some old GZG stuff but it hasn't seen daylight for awhile.
    Really wanted to get some 15mm Hammers Slammers stuff awhile back though. Might have to take a look at Gruntz

    Why not plan for 100 figs and celebrate success? Glad to see you enjoying the painting challenge. I really did last time too and found that it was my major output for the year. Nothing wrong with that!

    Whatever happens, enjoy 2015 and have fun!

    1. You can still get into X-Wing, and it's great with the kids. Not much buy in cost, you can get what you want and the meta is pretty balanced. You don't have to have everything to play. It rewards good tactics and skill more than killer combos.

      For 15mm my models are mostly Rebel, Khurasan and CMG, with some odds and ends thrown in. I've really become a fan of the Ion age stuff. Their pictures don't do it justice. I also have some GZG, though mostly I've bought that as presents for my Cousin's husband. Khurasan makes top of the line stuff but he shuts his shop down regularly to catch up on orders. I have a manufacturer page for 15mm Sci/Fi (see top of page). It has the archived link to the Khurasan page.

      I see your point about the 100 figs but I'm just not wired that way. It's the Marine Corps in me.

    2. So many lovely things on that list of 15mm manufacturers.
      Thanks a bunch, there goes my 'no new scales/genres' plan and its still only the 2nd of January!!!!

  4. Good to hear that you are on the up sir. You should let Curt know that the Challenge has helped. Stuff like that is worth a thousand thank-yous.

    1. I suppose I should drop him a line the next time I put up an entry. Good suggestion. Thank you.


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