17 December 2011

2011 Resolutions Evaluated

With the holidays looming, very little free time on the horizon, and painting & gaming on my mind, I'm just going to evaluate my 2011 resolutions  few weeks early. There's no possibility for any of these changing for the remainder of the year.

1. Get back into pointless gaming. This is a carry-over from last year. I'm going to throw the "Legendary Battle" into this one as well. I just want to play some interesting non-competitive games again. Although I've going to one in a little over a week, I'm really getting sick of tournaments and the tournament mindset.

Fail. I ran a couple of non-points based games, they weren't well received. Most people seem to only want to play competitive, points based games anymore.

2. Paint lots of Romans (and the friends & foes.) Again, a carry over from last year. This year I'd really like to be able to pit two Roman armies against each other for some dramatic civil war action in the late Republic.

Fail. I painted one unit of legion, one unit of Spanish cavalry, and got about 90% done with a unit of Spanish scutarii. I have committed to running a couple WAB games at Cold Wars, so I need to step things up ASAP, but I'm not sure how I will find the time!

3. Cleveland East-side gaming. I'd like to get some gaming in my general part of town. I know there are a few other people around here, so it's just a matter of organization. Ideally I'd like to do something a bit casual. Some friends and I used to get together every other weekend, drink some beers, have some laughs and play some 40k in the basement. Something like that.

Fail. Nothing happened with this. What little gaming I've done in 2011 has been far from home.

4. Make my hobby more profitable. That sounds a bit "unfun" but I assure you it isn't. I've said before that I believe that if one is going to devote 1/4 to 1/3 of their time to their work, it should be something they enjoy, and about which they are passionate. I've learned that lesson the hard way -- I'm now left with nothing to show other than a lot of stress & baggage from almost a decade of suffering at a job that made me miserable and made me feel shitty about myself. I don't want to go back to that. As long as I'm in this position, I want to try to do something positive with it. I'm trying to work on a few different possibilities. This is something I've really got to work hard for, and is probably the most important thing on the list. In terms of survival, that is. OK... everything else on the list is back to less serious business...

Mixed. While I was unemployed, I did do some commission painting that helped get me by. But it never became practical and the market has completely changed since I previously did this quite successfully about 10 years ago. So compared to the past it would be a "fail" but I feel like I did what I could within the current environment.

5. Paint more landsknechts. I've had some of them forever. I love the figures, and if nothing else I can work them into my Empire army. I'm not even sure I care if I use them. But they take time and I keep postponing working on them based on the idea that it's not efficient use of my time. I need to throw that idea out the window on occasion, and just enjoy painting them once in a while. (I did paint a few in 2010.)

Fail. Painted one unit of pike, never even found appropriate command figures for them.

6. Sculpt/Convert more. I've got some ideas. I know I can do it, I just need some more practice. It's a matter of motivation to get over that first obstacle -- starting.

Mixed. But not with wargaming miniatures. A bit of terrain, and a bunch of toys and whimsical artsy things. While this has been a "success" in terms of me being happy with doing stuff, it has little to do with gaming. So I'll be generous and call it "mixed."

7. Paint Macedonians/Successors. I've got a pile of pikemen. I want to paint them. I always seem to have other things that seem more pressing. Like adding to existing projects rather than starting new ones.

Fail. I've got one unit of pike primed, and one poorly painted test figure.

8. Paint Carthaginians. This has got to be one of the easiest to do. I've got a small batch of Carthaginian spearmen. If I paint them, I can mix in a bunch of mercenaries... some Spanish, Numidians, Gauls, etc. Most of those I've already got painted. Tah-dah: Instant Carthaginian army. Added bonus: they're cleaned, assembled, primed and based. They just need paint.

Success! Painted the Carthaginian spearmen, a couple of mounted command figures, and a Numidian elephant. Add the above mentioned Spanish to the mix and I've got a small but solid Carthaginian army. The one last thing I'd like to add is a unit of cavalry.

9. Gaming Table - refurbish or replace. I'd like to either repair and refurbish my existing gaming table (table tops that go on the dining room table) or replace them with an entirely new one.

Fail. I made some drawings for some ideas.

Six "failed" resolutions, two "mixed" resolutions, and one "success" for a painitng project that I've put to use in a single game. Even the silver linings seem to have some pretty big clouds.

There are a couple things not on the list above, both positive and negative. Non-resolution hobby events, I suppose:

0. This year I played in an RPG campaign, the first in 15-20 years. Although I am sad it ended, it was a lot of fun while it lasted. Success!

0. 2011 was the last WFB tournament for me. For many years they were more fun than competitive. But the balance has slowly crossed the threshold to a point where I am no longer interested in participating. Fail.

0. Speaking of WFB, I gave 8th edition more than year of "trial" before finally losing interest. It's not just that I don't care for 8th edition. I could probably deal with it and keep going in the hope that the gameplay improves. But the dead horse I've probably beat on too much is that the tournament/competitive aspect of the game has crept into almost any WFB gaming opportunity. So barring any changes there, I probably won't be playing any longer. Fail.

0. Lastly there's the recent WWI project I've started. It may seem like it came from nowhere (and certainly wasn't on my list above) but its something I've wanted to do for many years. The fire was finally ignited in 2011! Success!

So in the "unforeseeable" categories, I think I had a 50/50 split of success & failure. Even better if you just lump the  two WFB things together into a catch-all "WFB is dead to me" item. ;)

I'm starting to think about resolutions for 2012, but there are a couple of hurdles I'm going to have to clear. In spite of the big turnaround and bright things that have been happening in most other aspects of my life, the wargaming & painting hobby thing seems to have one foot in the grave as the new year approaches. More on that in a few weeks, along with the new resolutions.


  1. My approach is a litle different. I dont put yardsticks out.I'd rather just enjoy the games I do get,and especially value my painting time.If I get to it,I do. If I dont,oh well. its just a hobby.

    I think you do some amazing work.

    If I were to make a resolution for 2012,it would be to see you guys more often.In fact,I think I will make that one.

  2. I'm not certain it's a yardstick (for me) so much as goals to aspire to.

    So I'm not getting too worked up about that, especially when I've been enjoying the WWI planes, for example. So I'm not going to beat myself up over the Successors project floundering. I think that's more like a trade off, which is why I mentioned it as an unexpected addendum to my previous list. If that's the direction my wargamer's ADHD takes me... I'll happily go with it.

    Besides, I make the resolutions with the hopes that I can hit about 50% on them anyway. Where the fustration comes in is that I didn't even get close.

  3. I like to set goals as it helps keep me on track, but I do make sure I have quite a few so I have the freedom to bounce around between them. Just like you if I'm able to get close to 50% then I'm pretty happy with that.

    Keep at it and I'm really enjoying your WWI project.