As 2010 comes to a close its time for my own annual "looking back" and resolution posts. As for looking back to 2010 it was again a good year for gaming. I had less "hobby time" than the past several years but gaming was in full swing with our weekly club going strong with 22 meetings 2010, with good attendance (4-5 regulars and another 2-3 semi regulars) close to our scheduled goal of 25 meetings. On top that there was Adepticon plus the handful of other events I played in, and a good amount of "one off" game days on Saturdays with a couple trips out to the Chicago Battle Bunker for scheduled pick up games with people I dont see too much. On the hobby front, (see my upcoming Resolutions post) things were not as optimistic...more and more time with my kids as they are getting older, plus work and a huge basement flood, some general hobbying malaise cut my overall hobby input down, I did pull off one rather big project (The Pirate Dungeon) but outside a couple dozen models and some minor terrain work, my painting output was very low compared to years past.
For whatever reasons, either the natural evolution as a wargamer or my ambivalence about WFB's 8th Edition, I found myself moving away from Games Workshops products into the world of smaller miniature manufactures, which are just great for the smaller skirmish games I found myself getting more and more interested in. I've also come to the realization that I just flat out prefer metal/pewter models over plastic. I grew up with lead models, and when I got back into the hobby I was of course impress with GW's plastics, but over time and hundreds and models later, unless its specific customization or a vehicle kit, etc. I dont have, or want to take time for all those fiddly plastics bits when its comes to large wargame armies. I realize its still specifically an important presentation feature of WFB but outside of that I resigned myself that I am done with plastics, with the variety and detail of all the new metals I see these days I just don't see the need.
The biggest change up for me was of course the release of GW's new 8th edition Warhammer Fantasy Ruleset. If you're bothering to read this at all you know I am a Fantasy guy and love Warhammer but the new edition hasn't really impressed me like I thought it would. Its great for a fun, casual game, but I feel its fallen short when its comes to tournament play, and tournament formats have just not adjusted to 8th Ed changes. GW's always stated they dont write rules for competitive gaming and true to their word, Competitively, its got alot to be desired. Those of us who love the social gathering of big tournament but loved the strong tactical focus I saw from the top players in 7th ed, are feeling a little short changed by the "horde philosophy" of the 8th ed. I say "Hordes" meaning, "Hordes of Dice", "Hordes of models being swept off the table" in addition to the new mandatory "Horde formations". Hordes aside, WFB 8th is still a plenty fun distraction and the social aspects of tournaments will still keep me playing in them thru 2011 no doubt, whether I actually double down and actually finish another WFB army to the quality of my Empire, who knows? Earlier in the year I wrote a piece called "The Chess analogy" where WFB 8th Ed was the antithesis of chess, but when its comes to Wargaming there is plenty out there to chew your teeth on in that middle ground between WFB and Chess, and that's where I find myself. Whether it be the new WAB rules very appealing to me, and just this month finally getting my feet wet with Flames of War. While both lack the pageantry of WFB I am finding both games very appealing on the tactical gaming level. Skirmish gaming be it Lord of the Rings, Legends of the High Seas or various smaller games out there be it my 15mm home brew or Ganesha games "Songs of" rules continued to keep my interested in 2010, with most of the new models I painted falling into that category.
While ones attention may wane, from this or that then on something else one thing that never falters is the fun and camaraderie of the hobby despite "where" or in "what" actual game your interests lie, so no regrets! here is to a great 2011 in gaming!!, I'll still be playing in championships for WFB at Adepticon as well as running the High Seas event on Friday and doing as much gaming on various systems as much as I can. Expect a few surprises out of me in the upcoming year, where I aim to shake things up in basement as much as possible. With hundreds of single miniatures, at least 4 unfinished armies and a bunch languishing incomplete terrain, I find each being its own roadway to parts unknown, and I'm just going to enjoy the ride.
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