Like many hobby bloggers, this is traditionally the time to look back over what I achieved over the past twelve months. The smashed goals. The dismally failed goals. The inexplicable changes in direction and hobby mood-swings and an opportunity to try to set some objectives (generally with limited success) for the forthcoming hobby year. Twenty twelve has been, without a shadow of doubt a watershed year for me in the hobby. Although it set out pretty much like previous years with a hopelessly optimistic ambition to paint more 40K and get some actual games in, it was pretty clear before even the end of spring that my heart just wasn’t in it. Games Workshop’s design direction for some of the models and the subsequent re-launch of Warhammer 40,000 just wasn’t pushing my buttons anymore. 5th Edition came and went without me so much as rolling a single dice and although by all accounts I hear 6th Edition is a much more engaging package, that boat I think has now sadly sailed for me. This was evidenced by a pretty barren period of painting and posting throughout the first quarter of the year. Although I pressed on with the Ultramarines and some Necrons, purely out of pleasure of painting them, there was never any real intent to get back into 40K gaming or tournaments.
January – June
Painting highlights for the first half of the year were the Ultramarine tanks, some Ents and Rangers for Lord of the Rings and a host of Moria Goblins. It was time to look elsewhere for my dice rolling jollies.
July – September
I was already tapping into other miniature ranges by then, such as Sedition Wars by Studio McVey, Hawk Wargames Dropzone Commander and Dream Pod Nine’s Heavy Gear. Both Dropzone and Heavy Gear suffered from the same problem in that I liked the miniatures, but struggled to fall in love with the rulebooks. So, great for painting, but gaming wise I still remain unconvinced. Sedition Wars however was an entirely different matter in that I really liked the sound of the game that Studio McVey and Cool Mini or Not (CMoN) presented in their Kickstarter campaign. The survival horror and board game aspects really ticked my nostalgia boxes for the likes of Space Hulk and Space Crusade. That plus I loved the concept for the ‘Strain’ as well as the designs. Suffice to say I sunk a lot of my hobby budget into a ‘Biohazard+’ pledge level. Knowing that this would provide a steady stream in new and shiny toys throughout the first half of 2013 seriously tightened the drawstrings on my Games Workshop purse for the rest of the year. Any purchasing still to be done ended up invested solely on the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle range, which was rapidly becoming my only source of interest in Games Workshop’s current output.
The interest in Sedition Wars did a pretty good job of revitalising my love of terrain making, so the summer months were spent re-creating either new gaming boards and scenery for LotR, or a set of 3D replica boards for Sedition Wars. Between them vast amounts of hobby time were used up leaving only enough for the aforementioned Ultramarines, Necrons or the occasional Middle Earth Hero or two.
October – December
After a brief summer hiatus from all the terrain making and the lure of a second Kickstarter campaign, this time for Mantic’s “Dreadball”, I suddenly got my painting mojo back. For Epic of all things. Those that know me from my early hobby years are probably all too familiar that my gaming roots are firmly planted in 6mm Epic scale. No matter what games or themes come and go, it is always Epic that I find myself returning to when all else fails to spark any enthusiasm. Initially it was just a few more Titans to expand on my Legio Astorum (Warp Runners), but all that painting Dark Blue got me thinking what it would look like as the basis for an Epic scale Ultramarine army in a similar style to my 40K scale one. The rest, if you are reading this, was history as you will know the result.
Consequently November through to the end of the year was by far my most productive in painting output for many a year. I steadily worked my way through the initial wave of Ultramarines and supplemented them with several Titans from the “Fire Wasps”. During this period I also started assembling and painting the first season’s teams for Dreadball, the first Kickstarter package having arrived from Mantic in December as promised. Finally, to add even more strain on the painting station, Games Workshop’s relaunch of the Strategy Battle Game under the Hobbit licence saw me pick up the Starter set and Trolls. All which were assembled ready for 2013, but not painted yet.
Studio McVey were also tracking a target date for delivery of the Sedition Wars first wave in December, however production issues outside of their control pushed this back until January 2013. A fact for which I am eternally grateful in retrospect as it spread out the deliveries into something manageable.
So that was the year. Like so many before it I painted far less than I had hoped when averaged out over the entire twelve months and bought far more than I should. The positives I have taken away however is the renewed energy painting Epic again has given me. Something I am very keen to carry forward into 2013 along with a much more narrowed focus on my painting ambitions.
2013: January – ???
If you read my final post of 2012 to close off the Epic Ultramarines painting for the year, you will know I am far from done and will be pushing them on throughout the first part of this year at the very least. Do I have an end goal in mind for them? Yes, in a rough kind of way I have a general points value I would like to achieve and a number of detachments in mind I would still like to add. I won’t share what that figure is as that would spoil the fun and defeat the purpose of having stretch targets. However, I will say on the workbench currently are at least one more Tactical Detachment and another armoured detachment which form part of January’s target to paint. In addition to those my newly painted Dreadball Orx team, the New Hades Buccaneers will be looking for their first game outing assuming Kev has his Corporation players match fit. I will need to add a second team to the league before too long so that it doesn’t end up a bit stale. So for the rest of January my tentative painting plan looks a bit like this:
- Epic scale Ultramarine Tactical Detachment #2
- Epic scale (Mystery) Armoured Detachment
- Dreadball Veer-myn team starting lineup
So what are my predictions for the rest of the year?
I am not one to make predictions, and never have in the past as part of my blogging because I feel I am just setting myself up for disappointment. This year however feels different somehow. It is a beautiful sunny New Year’s Day and I am carrying forward a huge amount of pent-up painting energy which I don’t normally have this time of the year. I am enjoying my hobby more, painting especially than perhaps I have done in many years and unshackling myself from just being a 40K gamer has broadened my interest immensely in other themes. This year I fully intend to explore them and try something new, be that Sedition Wars, Flames of War or something else. I won’t be totally abandoning my roots though and straying too far from the roost. Epic, LotR and to a much lesser degree 40K modelling won’t be totally abandoned. In fact on the Epic front the seeds of an idea for a follow up to the Ultramarines have already been planted and are starting to germinate.
I will finish by adding the following to my previous post title.
Paint more, Play more… Blog more
Or to put it another way; “2013, I accept your challenge”.
Have a great New Year.