First up, a belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all! As you can see, I wasn't around much over the festive period but it's better late than never, right?
Anyway, with the new year now well under way, I thought it was about time I had a look back at what was 2011 and what sort of progress (if any) I made in Hobbyland.
I gave myself 13 hobby-related resolutions at the beginning of 2011. I said that if I could achieve 9 of them, I'd be happy (although all 13 was obviously the ultimate goal). Let's have a look how I did:
1/ Finish painting my Human and Amazon Blood Bowl Teams
Fail. Didn’t even touch them, which I’m a bit annoyed with myself for, because this was one of the easier resolutions to complete.
2/ Add more subs to my Orc Blood Bowl and finish painting them
Fail. No more progress with the painting, and no move to get hold of more models. That’s partly because of problems with my PayPal account leading to my eBay buying completely stopping. Probably a good thing for my bank balance though…
3/ Finish painting all the Skaven figures I currently own (Doomwheel, 8 Rat Ogres, 120 Clanrats, 4 Weapon Teams, 6 characters)
Mixed. I’m going to be generous with this one, because out of the above list, I painted about 50% - the Doomwheel, 30 Clanrats and 10 Rat Ogres. Except that over the course of the year, I bought plenty more Skaven to paint (mostly Clanrats…).
4/ Make a post on my blog at least once every week
Success! Well, at least in terms of quantity - 56 posts over 52 weeks equals at least one post a week. Reality paints a slightly different picture though, as there were several barren periods with no posts at all. Still, a strong finish to the year made up for this.
5/ Paint a Dystopian Wars starter fleet (likely Prussians)
Mixed. Well, it wasn’t Prussians but I’ve picked up a Britannia fleet and they’re about 90% painted. Just the final details to do…
6/ Play with said fleet at least three times
Fail. Not a single game.
7/ Play a minimum of five Warhammer games
Fail. As above, not a single game. Despite much talk, no Fantasy games materialised. I’ll keep persevering with my efforts to get some Fantasy games going, and I’ve a vague plan of organising a Warhammer tournament at the club. We’ll see how that pans out…
8/ Play one game system I've never played before
Success! Although not the game I’d intended to start (Malifaux), we picked up Cutlass and it’s now taken pole position as our Pirates game of choice.
9/ Take part in at least two demo games at wargames shows with Stafford Games
Success! I’m going to call this a success on the strength of Wargamer alone. Fact is that there seems very little drive to do anything other than Flames of War at the club, and even less drive to actually put in the effort required to organise a game at a show. The Wargamer game was essentially the product of the efforts of just two people, Gary and myself. That makes it even more impressive, in my opinion, and the fact that we won Best Demo Game on the strength of our game just goes to show what can be achieved with some effort and drive. At least myself and Gary are looking to continue this into 2012, even if we have to continue going it alone.
10/ Paint at least 300 models total over the course of the year
Fail. I knew this was ambitious at the start of the year, and it turned out to be too ambitious. A grand total of 101 models painted over the course of 2011, which isn’t even close to what I was aiming for but it’s better than nothing (and better than 2010.)
11/ Finish painting my 15mm French Napoleonics
Fail. Only painted 20 elements, all of which were bought after I made the resolutions! So really, my Napoleonics are in the same state as they were at the start of the year.
12/ Paint up the 28mm Arthurian Saxons I've had knocking around for ages so I can get some Arthurian gaming in...
Fail. Talked about them, and me and Gary are still talking about them. Whether either of us will ever get round to them is anyone’s guess.
13/ Sculpt a model completely from scratch
Fail. Just another thing I never got round to. Still something that I want to do though…
Overall, that's a total of eight failures, a paltry three successes and two met with mixed success. Final report? Must Do Better, I think...
But! Onwards and upwards. Even though I didn't achieve anything close to what I wanted, I feel like I still achieved something compared to the past two or three years. Especially towards the end of the year, I've become more enthused about the hobby mainly on the back of the Wargamer display game we put on. We've got plans to take other games around the country in 2012, and I think that will provide me with some much needed motivation.
With that in mind, I've put together a list of resolutions for 2012:
1/ Build/Run/GM/Play in at least two display games at wargames shows with "The Wyrley Retinue" (i.e. Gary and myself)
We want to take our TYW game to other shows throughout the year, and generally improve the game we ran at Wargamer. We're also looking forward to 2013 and are bandying ideas around about running a Condotta game of some sort.
2/ Paint "remaining" Skaven (the unpainted stuff that I currently own; roughly 150 Clanrats, associated weapons teams and characters)
An 'updated' carry over from last year; I painted quite a bit (for me) but this year I want to try and achieve some sort of focus. After reading about the Year of the Empire over on The Hoodling's Hole (well worth a visit, by the way) I'd like to see if I can attempt the same sort of single-minded determination needed to focus on one thing above all others. The Skaven have been on the To Do list since 8th Edition Warhammer came out, roughly 18 months ago, and I don't have a lot to show for it yet. The aim is to have a complete 2000pt army by the end of the year.
3/ Assemble and paint my Man of War, and associated crew
I bought the Ainsty/Dixons Man of War at the Derby World Wargames show (more on that here), and after a couple of months of sitting back admiring it, it's about time I did something with it. There's a lot of metalwork involved, and it's a big ship so it's going to take some time. I don't want to rush it. Of course, a pirate ship needs a crew and this will be the ideal opportunity to paint up the pirate figures I've had knocking around for ages
4/ Finish the Blood Bowl teams!
Carrying over from last year, and dumping them together. This really shouldn't need to be on this list, but I procrastinated and did other things, and the Blood Bowl figures didn't get touched last year. No excuses this time round, they're getting done.
5/ Paint 200 models in total over the course of the year
A sort of compromise with this one; last year the goal was 300, and I painted 100. Setting a total of 200 should (hopefully) see me 'meeting in the middle' - the goal is slightly easier, but still enough to provide a bit of a challenge
So that's it. I'm going to stick to five targets this year; thirteen was too many, and I think split my focus so much that I ended up not achieving many of them. Hopefully, less targets will keep me more focussed, will allow me to achieve these five, and will drive me on to complete other bits and bobs alongside them. Less is more, and all that.
Anyway, with that done, it's time to get started! Tally Ho!