First the bad news...
After being unemployed for about 6 months, I finally took the only available job I could find (for now,) which has a whole lot of great things going for it except for two small details: atrocious hours and even worse pay.
So gaming for me has been virtually non-existent and I've been (reluctantly, in some cases) selling off some of my gaming stuff to help cover the bills. Hopefully something will turn up soon and my life will return to normal (or at least "normal" in the sort of way that's "normal" for a grown man who likes to play war with little toy soldiers.) The fact that my wife and I are expecting our first baby in less than two months, in addition to all the job/money/time issues, isn't exactly instilling me with a terribly positive outlook, though.
So other than those last couple entries, I've had almost no time for games or painting.
Then the good news (such as it is)...
I have, on the other hand, continued to toss around ideas in my head. My imagination is my last refuge. Mostly in terms of campaigns, as far as gaming goes. As I believe I mentioned previously I'm considering the idea of trying a Roman campaign before a Successors campaign. (This is all ignoring the fact, for the moment, that I have the above mentioned no-time for games.) To an extent, I suppose it will be a trial run for mechanics and practicality. I think I've got quite a bit of it worked out and have started putting some of it into a playable form. Right now it's just notes and the begeinnings of a deck of "campaign cards."
I am also thinking of indulging in a bit of alternative history. I came up withe idea for doing with ancients what others have done for the 18th century, in creating an "ImaginAncients" setting similar to the ImagiNations concept.
The basis for my Roman campaign, as I am imagining it, would involve at least three Roman factions, plus one or two outsiders.
One is Sertoria/Hispania, a "new" somewhat multi-cultural but still Roman dominated republic in Spain. In this setting, Sertorious would not have been assassinated, would have continued to fend off Roman attacks on Spain (helped by further splintering of factions at Rome), gained greater popularity both with the native Spanish peoples as well as the exiled Populares. A republican government and senate based on the Roman model were founded, encompassing the Hispania & Lusitania, all the way to the Atlantic, and maybe some small bits of south-western Gaul and/or Mauretania. After his death, a cult of personality formed around the (then deified) Sertorius.
That is the biggest bit of alternate history. A lot of the rest would at least remain along the lines of real-life history (as far as we know it.) Rome, as it had been, continued to be embroiled in factional strife. Not long after the death of Sertorius, Caeasar embarks upon his Gallic War. The campaign starts with Caesar in control of all of the Gallic territories.
The Optimates have retained a hold on Rome, Africa and most of the East. I am still tossing around the idea of splintering them off into two factions.
In terms of non-Roman factions, the two that come to mind are some sort of "alternative history" versions of Germania and Parthia. As far as Germania, I was thinking of some sort of German Vercingetorix who (somehow) manages to unite a large number of Germans who, as a reaction to the threat of Rome, go on the offensive. Or maybe there is an outside force that pushes the great German migrations forward in time. As far as Parthia... I admit a bit of ignorance. I'm not sure how to work them into a more effective, organized and expansionist role. Another "great personality?" How about a Persian revival instead? Or Pontus?
Like I said, still a bit of a mind-game. It's the closest thing to "gaming" I've got, currently. I barely even have time to read. So I'll continue to toss some ideas around in my head in the hopes that I can pull something together by the time I (hopefully) get back to that mythical "normal" gaming life.
Any suggestions are welcome. As are job offers. ;)