Year in Review
As with 2021 and 2020, I spent pretty much all year hermiting.
I won’t belabor this too much but: I know gaming’s really picked back up in stores, and conventions are happening, and I think that’s nuts. COVID-19 lethality is thankfully extremely low, but with a 1/5 chance of Long COVID symptoms and a new case rate that’s remained pretty high (it can only look low compared to last year’s Delta wave)… it feels pretty reckless to be pretty reckless about COVID-19.
But – I did game a little: everybody masked in my basement works just fine. I need to actively try to make more of that happen in 2023; it’s really good to socialize and it’s a struggle against inertia to do it.
I’ve been feeling sufficiently isolated that I’ve been considering firing up some online D&D; that says a lot as I spend my days on WebEx/Teams/conference calls professionally and the thought of doing it recreationally is a tough pill to swallow… and yet. Now I just need to determine if I have the energy for it.
In 2022, I was done with Twitter for the same reason everyone else who was done with Twitter was done with Twitter… I’d only gone back to it as a kind of Facebook methadone anyway, so this wasn’t any sort of great loss.
I’ve started up on Mastodon, and I’ve been very pleased with it. It’s a little harder to get into (you need to find the right server and get into it), but it’s got a great vibe there. I’m on warhammer.social, which means I’ve got my feed, I’ve got the local feed for painted minis, and if I need to doomscroll I can check the federated feed. Discourse is much, much less snarky / shitty / screaming, as the fediverse seems to be doing a great job of just flipping the switch on folks who want to make things awful. Recommended.
- Aeronautica Imperialis Crimson Fists – I painted these guys up and I’m pretty satisfied with them. They’re not as slapdash as my other AI stuff, either.
- Genestealer Enforcers – I’m extremely proud of this project. I think they conversions look really good as do the paintjobs.
- Masters of the Universe Battlegrounds – I haven’t gotten to the expansions yet, but the base game is fully painted and looks really, really good!
- Fellowship of the Ring – While not the largest possible MESBG army, it was a fun little project that I think looks great.
- Warcry Battleborn – Yes, it’s basically just two Underworlds Warbands, but they’re great looking warbands.
- Kill Team Table – Between MOTU:BG and Kill Team, I painted more terrain this year than I have in a while.
- Stormcast – A third AoS army in three years? What the heck? These guys are probably the best looking (and smallest) of the three.
Held pretty steady with last year: 243 models painted. Not quite one a day, which would have been nice.
That December number had everything to do with the longest leave I’ve taken in 18 years of my professional life.
This one is all of the place, and I’m OK with that: I painted what I felt like painting, absent any real push to “be painted” for any particular game.
This ain’t great. I definitely had a shitty ratio for painting vs buying stuff. If I factor in stuff I sold, I end up breaking about even, but I’d like to see less red and more green here.
- Finish – Success – I painted a bunch of stuff, including a pretty big Kill Team project and a third AoS army to completion. High fives all around.
- Paint – Success – No complaints here! I’ve slowed down a bit in what I’ve painted but I’ve also cranked up the quality on it. Early pandemic I was just churning stuff out and that’s less in effect here.
- Declutter – Partial Success – I think I was technically successful here: I sold off a bunch of Flames of War and Bushido models, which is great ($900 worth of stuff, guys) but fuck, my hobby space is still cluttered as heck.
I see folks rattling off specific projects they want to finish in 2023, and that’s not my speed. Nowadays, more so than ever, I want to follow my bliss and paint what I want to paint when I want to paint it. I can see myself planning a month or two out but not much more than that.
- Declutter – Like I said, my space is still cluttered as heck. My wife’s been watching Hoarders, so I’ve got some good motivation to Just Get Rid Of Stuff. I think in the next month or so I’m just going to start pushing stuff out the door as fast as I can.
Mission Impossible series
I watched a promo video for some stunt they’re doing in the next Mission Impossible movie and it reminded me that I don’t think I’ve seen a single MI movie more than once and that I don’t remember anything whatsoever about any of them. I had time, so: I rewatched all of them.
Only one of them is bad (2), and even that I think that’s a factor of it aging very, very badly and vaguely recall it landing ok enough when it came out. The rest are, at minimum, entertaining with high-end action.
The first, in my opinion, was the best. It’s the least Cruise-y of the series, but I liked it the most.
I’d rank them 1, 5, 6, 4, 3, 2 and I won’t lie and claim I’m not looking forward to 7.
The ‘G’ Word
The ‘G’ word in question here is “Government” – this is an Adam (Adam Ruins Everything) Conover, Barak Obama funded semi-adaptation of Michael Lewis’ The Fifth Risk, which I rate very highly.
Where Lewis’ book is about the vital, literally life-saving services the US federal government provides and how dangerous it is to hand the agencies that provide these services to Trump-appointees who are at best unqualified to supervise them and at worst actively working to undermine them… Conover takes a somewhat different tack. Instead of centering things around a no-longer administration, he themes each episode around a service, discusses why it’s important and what good the federal government provides, and then talks about where how it falls short on that service.
It was an easy, entertaining watch that I’d recommend especially since The Fifth Risk is a little less timely.
House of Styx
I’ve really enjoyed all of Derek Künsken’s books, and this one was no exception. I wish he could develop the post-heist a bit more, but the world building he does is so interesting, and the heisting is always fun. They’re squarely in the Alastair Reynolds space where the science might as well be space magic but he’s convincing enough to make it feel hard sci-fi if you’ve got a BA in English.
I’ve seen some folks posting photos of the models they finished in a month. That sounds like a fun way to track progress, so here’s my first.
Knocked this guy out in about a day as a quick little palette cleanser.
After the slog that the Stormcast turned into, I dug into my Malifaux backlog for what I thought would be an easy win: I was right! These guys painted up very, very quickly.