Tag Archives: year in review

2011 Year in Review

This’ll be the the third one of these I’ve done (madness!)

Year in Review

  • January saw me dropping my Hobby Status Spreadsheet into the wild for public consumption.  (There’s no way for me to know how many folks are actually using it, but I still get the occasional ping for input and help with it, so someone out there’s getting use out of it.)  I painted up a Gremlin crew (that, after not touching for nearly a year, sold off) and recommitted myself to finishing my Skaven army.  This was really a year ago?
  • February I painted Skaven.  This was a theme for the year.  Plus, I went back and added some to my Daemon army.
  • March saw me focusing on adding shooting elements to my Khornate Daemon army in hopes of making them a bit more table-viable for our annual Battle for the Cure tournament.
  • April was back to the Skaven: setting a clear painting project plan.  And I picked up a lightbox!  It’s had such a marked improvement on the quality of my (still far-from perfect photography) and was so (relatively) inexpensive, I think everyone who put effort into painting their miniatures should get one so they can better share their work.
  • May was Skaven, Skaven, Skaven.  Plus, we had our first annual Clash for the Cure (which was just like the 40K Battle for the Cure, but for Fantasy).
  • June was Skaven… plus I finally (with some help) picked up the gumption to start selling off unused stuff on eBay, which was quite a success.
  • July – You guessed it: Skaven.  Also, I ran a tournament, partly as NoVA Open prep and mostly because hadn’t had a local tournament in a while.
  • August was a busy month.  We picked up a display case to store minis in, I painted a bunch of Skaven, and played in (and did quite well at, winning Best Overall and Best Army Appearance) the NoVA Open Fantasy GT.
  • September saw, again more Skaven… and I played in the Blob’s Park Fantasy GT.  Started off the month playing in a 40K tournament where I had a really unfortunate math mistake (and won Best Appearance).
  • October saw the last Skaven model I’ve painted in 2011: the Ratwyrm (winning Best Appearance with him). I also started messing around with HDR photos, something I’m likely to continue playing with.  Despite all of that, I spent most of the month too sick to accomplish much.
  • November saw my first true commission painting job.  Although I’d done some before for charity, this was my first “I will give you money to paint these minis for me” job, and it wasn’t too unpleasant.  I’m probably going to look into doing this again in the future, since it solves my problem with enjoying painting for skirmish games (while being unable to enjoy playing them).  I also briefly looked into playing Necrons (an idea abandoned after a few weeks).
  • December was a sweatshop month.  I ground through assembling an unbelievable number of models: over 90.  I was an unstoppable building machine.  Unfortunately, when my hobby waxes my gaming waned, and I didn’t really play many games at all.  

A key takeaway here is that, when I say it takes me three and a half forevers to paint an army, I’m not exaggerating.  I started actively painting my Skaven in January (which seems to be when I commit myself to an army for a year: 2009 was Daemons, 2010 was Skaven, 2011 will be Empire) and then had to actively worked on them almost constantly for eight months before they were ready: and many of those models (particularly the ones that helped me win Best Appearance) were actually converted quite some time before, in late 2009.

Additionally, early in the year, the Iron Fist League, the local gaming club I was a member of, schismed (for lack of a better word).  The two main subgroups went their separate ways: the subgroup that plays at my FLGS (Game Parlor) renamed itself the Chantilly Gaming Legion (CGL, pronounced “seagull”).  Although it wasn’t a clean break (a few folks, in both groups, seemed to go out of their way to make it acrimonious), it appears to have been an extremely healthy one.  There’s almost zero drama around our parts and, from the few times I’ve checked in on the IFL Forums, it looks like there’s precious little drama there, too.  I think both groups are the better for the split.  Furthermore, while I can’t speak for parts South, the break really invigorated things for our local group: more people turn up to the store to play and more events get run.  The club just seems healthier.

Hobby Activity

Here’s a breakdown of what the year looked like:

Some Daemons through the year, a ton of focus on Skaven from March through September, and a huge Empire rampup at the end of the year.  But, hey, we knew that.

Again, zero surprises here.

Or here.

And, because I’ve been doing this for two years, now, I can compare 2011 to 2010:

Gaming Activity

I find this really surprising: I played that many more games with my Daemons this year than with my Skaven? Crazy.

This doesn’t surprise me much, honestly.

Site Activity

I posted considerably less this year (nearly 40 fewer posts).  I’m not sure I can objectively evaluate how the quality compares between the two years: am I posting less frequently, but with higher quality?  Or am I just posting less frequently?

I clearly ad a few traffic spikes, with a good number of peaks in between.

And then, because I can, I’ll compare this year’s site activity to last year’s.  Traffic’s definitely up, overall.

My top two most viewed posts in 2011… were from 2009 and 2010.  Huh.  What’s interesting is that, back in May, I joined the BoLS Network (I’ve been in the FTW Network pretty much since I started the blog) and, although it consistently shows up as a significant referrer… it doesn’t look like it’s had that much of an overall impact.  I’m guessing that’s because it’s simply offsetting a reduction in traffic due to fewer posts.

The five most viewed posts actually written in 2011 were:

  • Necron Test Model – This… is one of the more pointless posts of the year.  “Hey, I tried a thing, and it looks terrible.”  Someone took offense at an aside I made in the post, though, and reposted it to YTTH.  That’s the big spike over there in late October.  So, one of the most useless posts of the year was one of the most viewed.  Blech.
  • Uniforms & Heraldry of the Skaven – Followup – I posted this hot on the heels of the book coming out.  I’m pretty sure that’s where this traffic came from.  Also, Clan Skurvy has a rat-parrot.
  • Dreadstone BlightThis is the sort of post I like seeing getting traffic.  Pure hobby, and something I’m quite pleased with.
  • Uniforms & Heraldry of the Skaven – See my comments above: new release = high traffic.
  • Warlord on a War-Litter – Again: hobby posts are what I’d like to see do well.  And, man, I love how this model came out.
2011 Goals

Last year, I continued with some broad goals while setting some very specific ones as well.  (Here’s a reminder of why.)

  • Finish Success!  I got a lot of stuff done.  A Gremlin crew.  (Broadly) A Skaven army.  (Specifically) three separate Skaven painting goals for three different tournaments.  Boo-ya.
  • Paint Success! Man, I painted a lot. Just shy of 200 models.
  • Compete Success!  I played in a lot of tournaments.  Two RTT-level 40K events, one RTT-level Fantasy event, and two GT-level events.  Even better, I performed fairly well in most of them.
  • Have a Fully Painted Skaven ArmySuccess!  I started painting loathsome ratmen back in ’92-’93.  It took me 18 years to have a fully painted Skaven army.  You can’t imagine how proud I am of this army.
  • Avoid ForumsSuccess!  Though I might not want to claim it as such.  I actually made an active effort to get spun up on Dakka… but couldn’t.  Traffic is… overwhelming over there.  Locally, avoiding the IFL Forum and its tendency to generate drama was made very easy by the club splitting.  (Never mind that the club splitting probably greatly reduced the forum’s ability to generate drama.)  I didn’t work for success here, but I feel like I achieved it.
2012 Goals
  • Finish
  • Paint
  • Compete
Those first three goals are never going to be inappropriate:  get stuff done, focus on the part of the hobby I get the most pleasure from, and put its out there for people to see.
  • Make Significant Progress on an Empire Army – I think I know better than to commit to having one done.  I know how long it takes me to paint and, at my current rate, it’ll be 2028 before I’m done with it.  Significant progress will be sufficient.
  • Avoid Drama – Avoiding forums to avoid drama went a long way but, as noted above I wasn’t able to escape it entirely.  I need to focus on the aspects of the hobby that bring me happiness and vigorously avoid those that don’t.
  • Step It Up – I own WarpstonePile.com: it’s time to switch the blog over to that (dropping the .blogspot portion).  An ad or two isn’t going to kill the site, might maybe offset the cost of my hobby a bit and, when I’m unable to avoid drama, will ensure that at least something positive comes out of it.  I have clever ideas of using things like my army display sign on business cards.
  • Dump Stuff – This year, I started selling my unwanted, unloved stuff on eBay, with a great deal of success.  I’ve still got a lot of things I need to get out of the house (especially because one of my wider-scope, life resolutions is to declutter), so I’d better keep this up.  If I don’t need it, don’t want it, and aren’t going to use it: it’s gotta go.

2010 Year in Review

I know this is a bit late, but you all forgive me, right?

Year in Review

  • January began with me really finding steam to paint the Khorne-only Chaos Daemons I’d been thinking about since the previous year’s Super Bowl (don’t ask).  Matt H and I ran our second annual Rapid Fire tournament at Game Vault.  Considerably smaller in scale than the first one but, I think, still a success.
  • February saw hardly any gaming: I focused on painting Daemons.  I turned on Google Analytics on this blog, which has really proven interesting.
  • March saw Madicon, as it always does (which reminds me that I really need to get cracking on pulling together this year’s tournament).  After that was the first Battle for the Cure which was an enormous success.  I’m clearly looking forward to 2011’s.
  • In April, I actually played in the IFL RTT; failed to perform well but won Player’s Choice, which vindicated the effort I’d sunk in to the army.
  • I can’t say I did much in May.  Some painting, some gaming, but nothing particularly notable.  I did finish the models for the Battle for the Cure auction, though.
  • June was more of the same.
  • July saw a return to Warhammer Fantasy and, with it, Skaven.
  • August had a lot of Skaven painting.  Helped set up for the NoVA Open, but couldn’t make the actual event.  Ran Rapid Fire at Games Day, which was successful, and entered a number of models into Golden Daemon: with respectable results.
  • September was quiet.  Got to test-drive some missions for next year’s NoVA, did a little painting.
  • In October, I returned to the Daemons.
  • November I stepped away from the mono-God approach with my Daemons and started playing in another Escalation league.
  • December wrapped up my Battle for the Cure minis and started some Malifaux models I’ll likely never use.

I’m going to drop some charts: I won’t dwell on them too much, since I covered a lot of this back in October.

Hobby Activity

The year started out on a great note: it saw a ton of hobby activity at the top the year as a churned through Daemons and then really peaked again in late summer as I found steam with my Skaven.

I remain quite proud of the fact that I knocked out a 2,000 point army in three months.  That’s a big achievement.

This was clearly the year of Khorne.

Gaming Activity

Similarly, most of my games were with the Daemons, with Skaven a somewhat distant second.

Also, I lose a lot.  This isn’t news to me. :)

Site Activity

Things have dropped off here quite a bit: from an average of 14 posts a month at the top of the year and dropping to an average of 7 at the bottom.  Since I did less (thanks, real life!), I posted less.  That’s understandable.

While I won’t post for the sake of posting, I think I’m going to try to bump my posts up above the five or so that they’ve been at.

Visits to the site have slowly and steadily increased.  I’m pleased by that.  I’m not in any blogrings save FTW, so I don’t expect it to rocket up, which is fine.  I actually broke 100 visits a day (often pushing close to 200 when I did) a couple of times: once in March (pictures of the new Tau Stealthsuits), May (Tau thoughts?), July (my Warlord, who went on to do so well in the Golden Daemon), August (a Skaven list and NoVA Open comments?) and October (Khornate Chariots).

High traffic isn’t a goal, here, but it does make me feel good about myself. :)

2010 Goals

This time, last year, I set some broad goals for myself:

  • FinishSuccess!.  Fully painted a 2,000 point army in three months.  Painted models for charity.  Built a new table.
  • Paint Success!  See: above.  I painted nearly 200 models.
  • Compete Success! Achieved, but not as thoroughly as the above.  I played in a couple of tournaments, but not much.

2011 Goals

Last years’s goals were pretty solid; I don’t think I need to change them a whole lot.  I’m adding a couple, though:

  • Finish
  • Paint
  • Compete
  • Have a Fully Painted Skaven Army – As to that last one: I’ve been working towards this over nearly two decades. I’m more than halfway there right now; time to push on and wrap it up.
  • Avoid Forums – I haven’t discussed it much here, but there’s an unbelievable amount of drama rattling around, locally, and it’s very much soured me.  The primary driver of that is forum drama.  This year, I’m going to use forums for game planning & tournament prep, etc, but I’m going to try extremely hard to avoid actual discussion on them.  Unfortunately, this will be a hard one to review in terms of success/failure..

2009 -> 2010


In general, 2009 went by far, far too quickly.

I found a set of gaming resolutions I’d written up back in December, 2008:

  • Finish! Finish my Skaven army.  Work on a few Dark Angels.  Return to painting Tau.
  • Paint! Get 2500 points worth of Tyranids painted.
  • Compete!  I’m doing the Baltimore Grand Tournament again this year.  I’ll shoot to win three of my games there, instead of the two in 2008.


  • Finish! – HAHAHAHAHAHA.  Not even close
  • Paint! – I abandoned the Tyranid army midyear.  Lost interest, and sold off the minis.
  • Compete! – Again, not even close.  I did two tournaments this year, total: the Fantasy Escalation League early in the year and Dragon Wars.  That’s it.  Not getting to the Baltimore GT isn’t really my fault, though.
I started out the year playing Fantasy with Skaven.  Slid into War of the Ring with Fallen Realms for a few months then back home to 40K with Chaos Daemons.  Finally, back to Fantasy with the new Skaven book.
Did a lot of painting: Skaven, Harad, Skaven… but never got anything really completed.  That’s a shame.

Some notable accomplishments:

  • I was a Golden Daemon Finalist at Baltimore Games Day 2008, with my Deathwing Techmarine.  I’m quite proud of that.
  • I started up this blog.  First post was April 1.  Since then, I’ve done something like 85 posts, and have some number of readers (19 followers, 23 in Google Reader: not sure what the overlap is).  This has given me a lot of motivation to paint, which is never a bad thing.


You know, last year’s goals (in general) are pretty solid.  Let’s stick with them!
  • Finish! Finish stuff.  I need to try to close the door on a project before opening the door to a new one.  Let’s start this off by finishing off my Khornate Daemons.
  • Paint! Yep, pretty much.  I need to set more tangible goals and work towards them.  Since Bill posted about them, I’m going to check out the Lone Pilgrim points scheme.
  • Compete!  Do some tournaments.  Organize and participate in.  I had a lot more fun a-tournamenting with 40K in 2008 than I did meandering from game to game in 2009.
On a related note: somewhat unexpectedly (the voting made it clear aways out, but I found the votes unexpected), I was elected to the Iron Fist League council for 2010 as one of the two members representing Game Parlor Chantilly.
This is really just further motivation to get out and be more involved with tournaments: locally and regionally.