It's that time again: Happy New Year wishes, resolutions to make (that likely go unrealized) and a look back on the previous year.
2011 for me was like most years: a mix of good and bad.
At the low end of the scale, the economy pushed me to sell my house that I'd like to have kept and rented, but the possibilities of the next couple years meant that was a bad idea. My plans to move to Belarus and expand my business there became permanently deleted as the country is in a complete meltdown. Amazing what one year can do: the previous year I spent a good part of it in Belarus and everything looked promising for at least a long-term temporary move, if not permanent, but the end of 2010 saw the economy crashing and the political situation take a serious turn for the worst. So that plan had to change and now we're in the long, more complicated process of my fiancee moving here instead. Not really what I wanted: I love to travel and live in other countries, for as long as I can: it's one reason I pursued miniature painting for a career since it's very portable. As long as I have internet access & a post office I can do my job. If her moving here doesn't happen (there are no guarantees where governments get involved) then 2012 could shape up to be very interesting, since we'll be shopping for a 3rd, new country to live in. Because of all this, I wasn't able to take the time or the money for any international trip this year, and am starting to feel like the animal pacing the cage.
On the good end of the spectrum of 2011 I found a great local gaming group that plays a wide variety of genres. I have a wide interest in minis gaming, so it was very fortunate to stumble into them, which was actually a result of gaming blogs! I started following Alfrik's Armored Ink (link in the blog roll to left) loving the Venus updates when I realized he was local! Sent a message and ended up jumping into the campaign, a bit late, but they wedged me in. That gave me motivation to start painting my Quar. When the Venus campaign faded off we started up the Weird World War II gaming, which got me excited to create 2 new projects: The Belgian Liberation Army and Frau Tottenkinder's Fable Ahnenerbe force.
The other gaming group, the 'alternating Wednesday' group got me playing some Blood Bowl as well as Legends of the Old West, which I had great fun with too. The local game store, Great Escape Games in Sacramento, California has a good crowd and lots of gaming. Unfortunately most seems to happen on Fridays, so while I'd like to play some Mordheim and Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle too, there is just too much to do in a limited amount of time, which is a better problem than the inverse.
I've been calling 2011 'The Year of Blood Bowl' -though it remains to be seen if 2012 won't be even more so. Though most were commissions, I painted 15 Blood Bowl teams in 2012. I also have a couple unfinished teams of my own and 2 other commission teams that will get finished shortly. The Blood Bowl year started in January with painting my Gator team, and soon I had more team commissions than I could keep up with.
One way I keep track of my hobby painting in the year is the 'Hobby Pledge' -I started keeping track of it on The Warhammer Forum, and other forums have similar systems.
Just by way of reference, in 2010 I bought 249 miniatures and painted 307.
in 2011 I bought 555 miniatures and painted 405. (pure hobby, no commission pieces in this tally)
Two things to notice here:
1. I bought a lot more minis this year.
2. I painted more, but not as many as I bought.
Why did I buy more? Well, for one thing I wasn't out of the country for half the year. Who says traveling is expensive? Just look at all the money you save by not buying minis! But also, there was just a lot of good, tempting releases this year...
So what is ahead for 2012?
I'm afraid I won't have much chance for much hobby painting, as the commission calender is booked solid and into overtime for the first couple months.
But I have some hobby goals:
1. Paint some more Blood Bowl for me: Narnia team needs to be done soon, and I'd like to get at the 2nd edition teams this year too.
2. Spaceships: Paint the new War Rocket fleets I just got as well as my GZG Spaceships that have been waiting in orbit for a few years.
3. Paint more of the Quar army. 2012 will likely see the start of the next VSF campaign that will take place on the moon. I won't be rebasing the minis! I also picked up an Aeronef fleet for the Quar, since the campaign will have airship battles as part of it. Really looking forward to painting that fleet.
4. Paint my Twilight Fubarnii! I love those minis, and it bugs me that I haven't painted them yet. A lot has to do with the 'squeaky wheel' but also, I want them to be as high of quality as the Devanu, which requires the time to commit to them.
5. Paint the Warploque Halflings.. he's got more coming soon: archers.. so i'll have a nice Mordheim/Songs of Blades and Heroes force.
6. Paint the Gladiators and get some kind of arena made.
7. Paint my Pulp Prehistory and get on with completing the play test rules I'm writing.
8. SAGA: My Normans are ready to start painting... now I just have to be ready too.
9. The Draniki: a massive army that I loved putting together, and even got a chance to paint some for VSF use in 2011... will the wheel squeak enough to bring them to the for front? I designed them for a 'counts-as' 40k Ork army, just so I'd have a chance to put them on the table.. problem is, I don't really enjoy that game- the rules.. well, this is long enough already... but they fall into the category of 'Like-minded opponent and agreed upon modifications required'.
10. We have 'Legends of the High Seas' starting up, and my as-yet unpainted Privateers will be hitting the ports!
I'm sure a great deal of this will go undone, but hopefully not a lot of new things cutting in line, though if 2012 is anything like 2011 then that isn't a very safe bet.
I started the blog in 2011, and have really enjoyed posting the updates, reading the comments and meeting so many fun folks. I'll keep it all going in 2012, so stay tuned.
And be careful out there.. there's a New Year ahead of you!
Obligatory song.. enjoy!