Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2019: New Year, Fresh Start

Painting Station In Action

Blowing the leaves off this dusty thing...

2018 Recap

2018 wasn't a bad year for gaming. I enjoyed a few Warmachine tournaments, some (but not enough) historical games with that group, and attended both Enfilade and Lock & Load. I didn't get to attend nearly as many weekly game nights as I'd have liked; scheduling and distance made it inconvenient or impossible to make it out to the game nights at Guardian Games, Rune & Board, or Portland Game Store.

I painted almost all of my new Grymkin army for Warmachine, but then went and bought new  (well, second-hand) Trollbloods, Legion of Everblight, Mercenary, and Khador armies. I also gave in and bought the new Crucible Guard faction. Outside of Warmachine, I bought but did not paint some 15mm science fiction figures, BattleTech, Starfleet Battles, a goodly amount of terrain (mostly pre-painted), and at the very end of the year I picked up some stuff for the new version of MonsterPocalypse.

Hopes and Goals for 2019

Finish Some Projects

My big goal this year is to just finish a whole lot of projects. My lead mountain is a molehill compared to that of a true grognard, but it's bigger than I'd like. Here's what I've got:

28mm samurai figures, for a friend. Top priority, as they've been sitting on my painting queue for the better part of 2018.

Assorted Warmachine collections, in order of priority:

  • Crucible Guard, as I very nearly have everything I own painted. All that remains are four units and four solos - a mere 29 figures!
  • Grymkin, again because most of it's painted. I need to finish off four solos and six units, and the faction will be complete - at least until the Clockatrice releases in February, as I'm certainly getting a couple of those. But they should also paint up quickly.
  • Khador and Legion of Everblight. These get equal billing as they are small collections, partially painted, and shouldn't take too much work to get done.
  • Skorne. I've stepped away from Skorne for all of Mark 3. I still have quite a lot of unpainted stuff - mostly beasts, but a couple of units, plus a pair of large models (Xerxis 2 and a Siege Animantarax). Since Skorne's gotten some love in the last few months from PP, it'd be nice to get this collection into a playable state... which is probably going to involve a fair bit of repair work and touch ups.
  • Trollbloods. I picked this lot up second hand, and some of them are very nicely painted. That's a bit annoying, as it means I should try to match the quality of the paint scheme with the ones I do... Also requires a bit of repairs. About a hundred figures, I think. And most of them need tartans.
  • Mercenaries. A small Rhulic army, mostly warjacks plus two battle engines and a colossal. This one ought to be a bit of a doddle to paint, and fun airbrush practice. The second part of this lot, however, is a stack of Cephalyx, and that means about 70-odd infantry. Definite speed-painting practice.
  • Minions. A hodge-podge of units, beasts, and support models that I've collected since I started playing Warmachine. Even if I get all of these painted, I won't really have a playable army, but I'll be happier about it...
  • Cygnar & Cryx: I bought the mystery boxes for these, and as a result have starter boxes, colossals, and a bunch of 'jacks for each. (Plus some Stormguard from the Company of Iron box). Super low priority, and probably more airbrush practice.

MonsterPocalypse. My newest acquisition, this looks to be a good side project. It's giant monsters fighting each other in a city. Very low figure count, and they look to be fun to paint. So far, I've only two monsters and around a dozen smaller critters. Probably high priority, so I can start playing it and getting other players going in the community.

BattleTech. Low priority, but easy. Mostly I want to build some cool hex boards for it. Have about a dozen unpainted 'mechs, all of which need hex bases, and another dozen painted and ready to play.

Starfleet Universe. I've Romulan, Federation, and Klingon ships from ADB. All of them are very nearly completed; I've no excuse not to finish them in a week of evenings or whatever. Also have starfield mats (with and without hexes), and assorted rules sets (Federation Commander, Call to Arms, Starmada). Got to get some games in!

6mm Napoleonics. A few years ago I bought a very large second-hand lot of 6mm Napoleonics. About half were painted, some based on 3" squares for Grand Armee. I want to get them all painted up, based on 60mm x 30mm rectangles, and start playing some Blucher (and possibly other games).

6mm World War II. Intent is to base these on 30mm squares for general use, and specifically for Sam Mustafa's Rommel. This needs more purchases before I can really put on some proper games, unfortunately...

15mm World War II. Based individually for platoon-level games like Bolt Action and Chain of Command. I have completed German and British platoons, and other nationalities still in the box. I'd also like to get a number of tanks painted up for What a Tanker! The chief thing here is to get terrain, which is why I'm collecting some Battlefield in a Box stuff for buildings and what not. Completing this will be quite a project; getting it to playable, much less so.

15mm Science Fiction. A project I've been sitting on for several years now. I have a bunch of unpainted figures, a Monday Knight sci fi shanty town, and a couple rules sets I'd like to use (mostly Gruntz, maybe StarGrunt). Just need to get it all painted.

15mm Ancients. Oh, this is the big one. I have two painted armies - Romans and Seleucids - and several hundred unpainted figures. I also have Carthaginians and Gauls/Galatians in the backlog. Since I do have completed armies for these and can (and have) put on a game or two with Sword & Spear or To the Strongest!, I think this one should be approached more as a palate cleanser. Knocking out a phalanx or some elephants between other projects sounds appealing.

15mm American War of Independence. I bought a second-hand lot of these that was fully painted! All they need is some basing work... and some terrain. And a good rule set. Rather looking forward to messing around with these.

Saga - 28mm Viking Age and Crusades. I've had a fully painted Crusaders force for a few years. I'm not really happy with the paint jobs, though. Sitting on the shelf are some Saracens to oppose them, entirely unpainted, and a nice little batch of Bad Squiddo's Shieldmaidens to be my Viking army - again, unpainted. Since most of the local Saga players focus on the Viking Age, I should probably paint the Shieldmaidens first... Also, need some terrain to match; I have plenty of woods and rivers, but need a few buildings, hills, and some Holy Land terrain.

28mm Renaissance, specifically the Pike & Shotte starter set from Warlord. To be honest, I bought this on a whim, thought I'd paint them up for the 80 Years War, and really don't care that much. Super low priority, though there are a few players of Pikeman's Lament around here to make it worthwhile.

28mm Fantasy. Assorted figures (including a lot of undead), but mostly a Games Workshop Lizardman Seraphon army (well, the Start Collecting box plus some odds and ends) that I'd like to get finished before Saga's fantasy supplement drops. And I'd like to try Age of Sigmar - I've heard enough good things about it that it's overcome my initial distaste for the game, not to mention GW. Plus I like dinosaurs. Not a very large project at the moment.

Get Better At Painting

I'd like to become a better painter as well. Right now all my work hovers at tabletop level. I'm happy with that for the most part, but I'd like to bring up my skill so I can paint stuff that I actually consider competition-worthy. I also want to get the hang of using an airbrush, especially to up my speed painting. That's a lot to get through up there.

Get More Games In

Seems pretty straightforward. Other obligations and the usual difficulties of scheduling kept my gaming to at best one or two a month last year. I'd like to play more.

Travel to More Conventions

To that end, I'd like to hit more conventions and tournaments; they're the best way to get a few guaranteed games in a day or two, and it's nice to meet fellow gamers from other places.
  • Ambuscade: Not really travel, as this is very local, but hey! It's convenient. February 9.
  • Adepticon (March 27-31) or Warmachine Weekend: Adding another Warmachine con to the list would be good, but again... planning.
  • Gamestorm (March 28-31) is a local general gaming convention, and I've been to it all of twice. Neither time was I impressed with their miniatures gaming... but it is convenient.
  • Enfilade: Probably my favorite con, at Olympia on Memorial Day weekend. Quite looking forward to it this year. May 24-26.
  • Lock & Load: Details for this year's con are still unclear, but I'm looking forward to, if nothing else, the release of the Infernals faction. If I feel locked in on my competitive gameplay, I'll also take a shot at the Masters tournament. Otherwise, it's hanging out in the painting room and throwing dice in the Iron Arena.
  • Cold Wars, Historicon, or Fall In - I'd like to go to one of these, probably Historicon in July, but that's going to take a bit more planning than the rest simply due to the travel.
  • Tactical Solutions, in October in Spokane. I keep meaning to go to this and my plans keep falling through around September...

Stick to a Budget

To help with item one, I'm going to stick to a budget of $100 a month for new figures and hobby supplies. Aside from restraining my spending, if I don't buy as many figures, I should start whittling away at the backlog...

Update This Blog Regularly

If anything, this will be the most difficult goal to keep.

Priority Matrix

To help prioritize my projects, I've devised a simple rating system. Each project gets rated 1-5 on priority (from 1 at most urgent or interested to 5 at least urgent) and 1-10 on effort (1 for least effort, 10 for most effort). The average of those ratings is the final priority, with 1 at the top and 10 at the bottom of the list. This lets me figure which projects I can get done quickest with the most satisfaction... It's not a hard and fast schedule, but it's a handy tool.

Here's the list.

ProjectPriority 1-5Effort 1-10Average
Crucible Guard121.5
American War of Independence312
Starfleet Universe322.5
15mm WW2253.5
Fantasy Lizardmen343.5
15mm SF354
Rhulic Mercenaries444
Legion of Everblight465
6mm WW2475.5
28mm Renaissance565.5
Cephalyx Mercenaries586.5
6mm Napoleonics4107
15mm Ancients5107.5

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