While overall 2014 was the most overall challenging years I’ve encountered, 2015 has given it a run for its money and hit unparalleled heights of stress… but was, for the most part, a pretty good year. Selling our home of ten years felt like it was going to kill me, but I (clearly) made it out alright, and it completely worth it. Our new home is perfect, and my hobby space is definitely on the list of why.
From a hobby perspective, I was kind of all over the place: some Infinity, a lot of Wrath of Kings assembly, some By Fire & Sword, and then about half an eternity doing 18mm WWI figures. Not much game playing, and all of it pretty scattershot. In previous years, I Played Warmachine or I Played 40K or I Played Fantasy. This year, I played a couple games of a lot of different games. Bolt Action probably wins in terms of frequency, but not by much.
I feel like this has been a wash of a year in terms of hobby accomplishment: the house and move were immensely disruptive… but the data disagrees. 2015 was my sixth year of hobby tracking, and just look at that chart. I went from No, Actually Doing Quite Well to Killing It. This is going to make future years look unproductive by comparison.
Warhammer Fantasy, the models that got me into this hobby, was killed: that understandably has cast a pall of impermanence over everything. I’m unable to look at the sporatic, sputtering Age of Sigmar releases without thinking ‘Nothing beside remains. Round the decay / of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare / the load and level sands stretch far away.’ Anyway, it’s certainly contributed to my shift into historics.
I got tied up with a couple of other area guys doing scenario-based historical gaming, which has been a lot of fun. It’s been formalized into a club: TGS (Mrs. Rushputin thinks ‘The Girlie Show‘ every time she hears it). Prep for just such a scenario has dominated the back half of my 2015.
I did very well in terms of painting competitions, I think: two first place awards at Historicon (and a kind, passed-along word from Reaper)
and an improvement over last year’s showing at Captial Palette: a second and a third place award
(Strangely, no FacebookBrag photo of the Capital Palette awards.)
The death of Warhammer Fantasy Battles wasn’t the only significant loss of 2015 – The Game Parlor, where I really started up my participation in the hobby shut it’s doors after well over two decades. I’m sad to see it go, though if I’m honest with myself for the past six months or so I’ve been driving right past it to get to Huzzah Hobbies.
Another notable achievement: at the top of the year, I set out to track what I spent on models and map it against what I painted. The plan wasn’t so much to regulate my hobby spending (can such a thing truly be done?) as it was to achieve a parity between what incoming, unpainted models, and “outgoing” completed models. I immediately hit a challenge with the release of a bunch of new Skaven models, but by May had actually gotten the Δ between bought and painted to below zero. (Of course, Historicon-born enthusiasm screwed the whole thing up).
This has been vastly more free-formed than I normally do my Year-in-Reviews, but that doesn’t mean I’ll let goals slip by:
- Finish – Success – I suppose I finished some stuff – I painted all of my Infinity (until I got more over the summer) and am very, very close to finishing the Amiens prep.
- Paint – Complete Success – As above – I’ve unquestionably done this.
- Compete – Success – I played in three tournaments, all of which were pretty non-competitive, structured-play opportunities. That’s okay, but it’s not exactly what I meant here.
- Game – Success – I did do this. A lot of this, across a million different systems.
- Dump Stuff – Failure – I got rid of some stuff before the move, but not enough and I replaced it with even more stuff. I really need to fix that going forward.
- Finish a Muskets & Tomahawks Warband – Total Failure – The really bad thing is there’s actually people who play this game at Huzzah.
- Amiens – Successfully execute this game in January, and again at Historicon
- Step it up at NOVA – I’ve done okay in the Historical categories, but I’m not kidding myself that they’re the least competitive categories there. I need to paint-for-competition some models that are worth the effort for some other categories; more than my usual, “Well, I paid for unlimited entries so I might as well put something in every category…”
- Game in my basement – My workshop is also intended to be a game room. It’s great that our sporadic Dark Heresy game goes down in it, but I’d like to put it to work, more.