Now that we've turned the calendar on another New Year, (and in a Sword and Sandal acknowledgment of Janus, the Roman god of gates, time, beginnings, and endings) I thought that it would be a good time to take stock of everything that I'm working on hobby-wise and make plans for what I hope to accomplish over the course of 2011. Like most gamers and hobbyists that I know, I'm the same in that I find myself easily distracted by a multitude of different projects that I want to get started on. Beautiful new miniature lines get released, intriguing new rulesets hit the market, and one sometimes can't help getting sucked in by the "Oohh! Shiney!!" gamer's affliction. Of course, this can result in a singular lack of focus, so that even if one is constantly working on individual units, fully painted armies never actually land on the tabletop. In consideration of that, my intention now is that if I spend a bit of time here putting down in writing what I hope to accomplish over the next year, while loosely assigning priorities to each project, then I might better my chances of feeling satisfied about the course of my hobby involvement come January of 2012. I hope that readers of this blog will find my organizational efforts helpful in some sense, and not overly self-indulgent.
My first objective is going to be to try and carve out as much time as possible for actual face-to-face gaming with friends. I know that 2011 is going to be a year with many constraints on my time since my oldest child will be starting the process of selecting a college (visiting schools, taking tests, contacting coaches, etc...), and it looks like trying to dig out of the recession at work with reduced staffing is going to require increased professional hours with lower levels of financial remuneration. So even though I anticipate having a difficult time participating in many regular gaming events next year, I still plan on at least attending some of my "don't miss" conventions, such as the big HMGS-E shows - Cold Wars, Historicon, and maybe possibly even Fall-In. In addition, locally, there will be an Ancients tournament that I really enjoy each year at the HAVOC gaming convention up in Massachusetts (watch future postings for an upcoming announcement). Besides attendance at these events, I also hope to find time to occasionally game with local and regional friends on at least a semi-regular basis.
My projected painting projects will be:
- Finish my 25mm Swiss army. Almost there, with only a couple of units to finish and then on to completing the work on the bases. This will easily be available for use at Cold Wars where there will hopefully be a 25mm scale tournament.
- Finish a 15mm Macedonian Successor army. A good portion of this army is already completed, and I already own all the lead that I need finish it up. If push comes to shove, I could proxy the rest of the army, but I have a ton of really nice, still unpainted Xyston figures that I would rather be using. I hope to have this finished in time to use at the HAVOC tournament.
- Finish my 15mm Spanish Thirty Years War army. The first unit completed has already been documented in my "Mustering the Tercio" series, but I really need to get the rest done because I'm itching to try out the new Field of Glory Renaissance rules. I have all the lead that I need except for some Dragoons - I think I might eventually try a purchase of Donnington Miniature figures to use for these as a change of pace from the Testudo figures already in hand for the rest of the army.
- When I was rummaging through my old piles of 25mm lead to see what kind of Field of Glory armies I could build, I determined that I have close to a complete Dominate Roman army in addition to the Swiss. I'm just lacking 12 stands of Auxilia. I don't have the specific Late Imperial Roman figures for these yet, but I do have two boxes of Warlord Auxilia that would give me enough for the 48 figures I need. They would represent troops from too early a period though. I have to decide if I want to spend the money for new, correct period figures (but I am determined to be even more frugal in my gaming expenditures this year than last), or try to use what I have. If I do that then I either have to use the Warlord figures as is and apologize to my opponents for using figures that are out of period, or figure out how to convert the Early Imperial Auxilia into Late Imperial ones.
Some other secondary painting projects that I would like to get to if I have the time are:
- Make progress on a 25mm Macedonian Successor army. I have a good portion of the figures I need for this already that were purchased here and there over the last few years, but I would still need to make a significant investment to finish collecting for it. This may not be the year where I want to spend that kind of money. I would really like to do it someday though. I have some local friends who play Warrior in 25mm, and this is an army that I would like to be able to play occasionally under those rules with an Alexandrian Imperial list. And the Field of Glory Successor list is no slouch either.
- Paint up a bunch of other 15mm Medieval units that I can morph into a variety of armies drawing on supplemental figures from my Catalan and Arab armies.
Realistically, the above is probably more than what I will ever get to over 2011, but it does give me some specific goals to aim for. And even better, I already own most of everything I need on the list, so I should have no problem limiting any additional purchases while still having plenty of stuff to work on.
The "Tyrant" series by Christian Cameron
The "Attila" series by William Napier
The "Oathsworn" series by Robert Low
Continue reading the "First Man in Rome" series by Collen McCullough. I've only finished the first book so far, and I'm still looking forward to reading the second one concentrating on Marius and Sulla in competition rather than when allied. Each book is over a thousand pages though, so I'll probably need to save it for summer vacation.
If I get the time, I also hope to read "Funeral Games" by Mary Renault - a book that has gotten to be tough to find a copy of, but which I did get a hold of one during a recent visit to the Strand Bookstore on Broadway in the Village in New York City (probably the world's best used bookstore, with over 18 miles of books!). I might also try "Virtues of War", for what looks to be an interesting take on Alexander by Stephen Pressfield, author of "Gates of Fire".
Rules that I don't presently play that I would like to try over the next year are:
- Field of Glory Renaissance, of course.
- Impetus - the full version of the rules, not Basic Impetus, which in my opinion cuts out too much of importance to really be suitable for a satisfying Ancients game.
- Command and Colors Ancients. Yes, I know it is a boardgame, but it is still something that I really want to try sometime. Probably won't get the time this year, but it is definitely on my to-do list.
- Any of the WAB successor rules being released by multiple companies now that it looks like the combination of the transfer of Warhammer Historicals to Forgeworld, and the inept release of WAB 2.0 probably will effectively kill off the game. Of course, myself, I'm all done with individually based troops, and for me to consider looking at any of these soon to be released alternative sets, they will have to easily accommodate WRG standard basing that will also preferably allow players based individually to conveniently game together simultaneously.
Something else that I would like to accomplish in 2011 is building several nice pieces of terrain suitable for use in Ancient gaming. The tournament this spring at HAVOC is going to have pre-set terrain, with several specific rules determining who plays on which table and who deploys on which side. I've asked other participants to help in designing the tables, and in bringing terrain that will be more attractive than what is usually used for Ancients tournaments, but I also want to make sure that I bring some terrain of my own that is a bit better than felt cloth.
Well, that all seems to give me a pretty full plate for the upcoming year, and I'm sure that I'll only digest a portion of it, even if something else doesn't distract me in the meantime. I will make sure that I post progress here, and I hope that I haven't bored to death anyone who has taken the time to read this.
Happy New Years all!