The other day, I was reminded that it’s standard practice among the Clapham Wargamers’ Guild to make some sort of public pledges for what you’re going to accomplish, gaming-wise, in the coming year. Curious, I went back and scoured my forum post history, wondering if I’d seen fit to do anything so clueless, and lo! here we are.
- Finish painting Necrons during Escalation League. Nope. In fact, I ended up selling them. No regrets; they lasted two years, which is pretty good for one of my projects, and I got rid of them when a) I needed the money and b) they were starting to become not-fun.
- Finish painting Skorne. I… I had Skorne at the start of this year? So I did. Well, those have gone. I’d built myself into a corner with the Theme Force and I loathed painting them so very, very much.
- Finish painting Gremlins. Barely even looked at ’em, and haven’t played any Malifaux or Pathfinder either. Probably time to let them go.
- Start painting Epic Orks (or swap for Epic Necrons). Nope. Didn’t play any Epic either.
All things considered, I didn’t do very well – didn’t fulfil a single pledge, in point of fact. How can I do better in 2014, I wonder? Well, let’s see what I have planned at the moment:
- January – final month of the CWG Slow Grow League for Warmachine. I’m on target with that – my 35 point Retribution army is bought, assembled, and currently closing in on ‘painted’.
- February – SmogCon 2014! Naturally, I’ll be rocking the Retribution there too; the 35 point list was built for Hydra and with three Focus 6 casters in the collection, swapping things and and out for Scalpel should be pretty easy.
- April – It’s been a while since we went to see Ben and Jess; I’ve been trying to con Ben into a WFB game in an effort to rehabilitate us both (look, I was right about Vampire…) and our Dark Ages Vampire game could use a shot in the arm too.
- July – the annual geek-cation with the old Vampire group and life partners (and, as of last year, the first tiny baby geek), which will doubtless involve a great deal of Magic and Vampire. I’ll either be playing my Cappadocian in the Dark Ages or running Victorian Age.
- August – with little or no work coming in this month, I don’t want to be starting a project during the summer; I want to be painting and playing games with stuff I already own.
- December – again, at the Most Spendiest Time Of The Year it’s probably not a good time to be buying into new hobby projects. I got away with it this year but only by robbing the New Shoes Budget.
All well and good: now, let’s have a thing about ideas I’ve been baking and pondering recently.
- Retribution – I know what I want to add – some Battle Mage stuff, some Mage Hunter stuff, a House Vyre heavy and, believe it or not, Hyperion (what? It’d look neat as the Dark Animus from WoW, and it’s in a decent-looking Theme Force) – it’s just a question of when I add it. There’s some talk about getting a CWG tournament side together, so circa 50 points would seem like a smart place to stop for the time being.
- Vampire Counts – No matter how much I like Chaos Dwarves, doing a new WFB army from scratch is outside my budget and, to be honest, on the outer fringes of my patience. Revamping the Vamps avoids the donkey-work of building and assembling too much stuff, and I’m strongly tempted to build a Ghoul-themed contingent which could peel off and be its own army or fight alongside the Undead Empire pieces I already have. There’s also talk of some Mordheim down at the CWG later in the year, so this fits in very nicely. I even still have my own roster…
- Roleplaying – I basically want to do more of this. Staking out a couple of short-term spaces for Vampire is one thing; I’ve also discussed another go at the in-house RPG at some stage, and we’ve concluded that I should start out with two players and something I know very well indeed, to minimise the awkwardness and make the most of my mad GM skillz. Given that I scored an eBay bargain over Christmas, the decision has been made…
- WoW – at some point, Warlords of Draenor will be a thing that happens, and there’s no point in hiding it; that’s probably going to eat a good month or two of free time when it drops. Engaging with the Mists of Pandaria endgame during 2013 has been alternately fun (I learned to tank! I can actually Monk competently!) and frustrating (week after week in the LFR Throne of Sodding Thunder, then banging my head into the solo scenarios which were designed to challenge people who are, um, better than LFR level); I also spent way too much money on character transfers and wasted way too much time levelling up and half-‘completing’ four classes last year. It’s very much going to be ‘make a plan and stick to it’ and also ‘pick a main and stick to it’ this time out. Definitely my Monk, and I might actually create a mirror character on the Alliance side so I can run my favourite class in either context. It’s that or a Druid.
- Skirmish Games – there are three possibilities here, really. First is Blood Bowl, although the PC version scratches my itch pretty well and I can always repurpose Vampire Counts models for a proxy team. Second is Freebooter’s Fate, two starters and gameplay kit for which would set me back £75. Third is the Lord of the Rings SBG – at the very least, a Hero or two for Hark’s Goblins and some Dwarves to fight them. On that note, we’ve had the Mines of Moria scenery knocking around for a while and we have some materials stocked up to build some more stuff, amounting to a 4′ x 2′ mini-board (about all we could realistically fit in the house). I should actually build that.
- Magic – it’s always worth earmarking some money for Magic as every geek-cation so far has set me off on a deckbuilding binge, and I don’t expect this year’s to be any different.
So, bringing all this together and thinking a bit about prices and schedule leaves me with these pledges for 2014.
- I will start up and run an in-house WFRP game which will run for at least six four-hour sessions.
- I will run at least two one-off Vampire games and set up RPOL threads for both my distance-play groups.
- I will build/repair and paint/restore at least 2400 points of Vampire Counts, with at least 500 points of totally new stuff.
- I will build a viable Good force and Moria battlefield for the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game, and make Hark blog about them.
- I will paint and base a 50 point Retribution army by the end of March, and then purchase no more.
- I will lay hands on two starter sets plus kit for Freebooter’s Fate and run at least four demonstration games.
- I will not transfer more than two WoW characters during the entire year.
- I may build new Magic decks but I will not buy new Magic decks; they must be based on cards within the collection or acquired through drafting.
- I will do all of this on a budget of no more than £300, plus whatever is earned from selling unwanted goods.
If I manage to honour and maintain all of these pledges until the 1st of December 2014, I’ll buy myself Hyperion for my birthday on the 5th.