- 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.
I did, in a manner of speaking. Not that I actually upheld any of them.
1. NOPE. I did join the Corehammer lads in a spot of WFRPing, but I said in-house and I haven’t seen it through. We’ve gotten as far as rolling up characters for a run at the original Ravenloft (since Erin still wants to try the D&Ds at some stage), but we haven’t sat down and played the bastard yet.
2. NOPE. RPOL annoys me. It seems like a lot of clutter to set up a play-by-post which you might as well just do with a basic forum. I haven’t even been arsed with that, and various efforts at Tumblr roleplaying have fallen down. I was chatting with and apologising to Ben about this the other day, and he opined that it’s not exactly my fault; I’ve made my thoughts on the tactility and immediacy of the roleplaying experience quite clear and I’m simply not wired for play-by-post. Which is fair enough, actually. Skype and similar tools always feel odd for the Vampire group: self-conscious, cramped, and limited by hiccuping connections and so on, especially since two people are generally crowded around one device with no room to breathe, keep notes secret etc. etc.
I’m actually more surprised that I manage to do any roleplaying via WoW – but the more I think about it, WoW-RP involves a lot of parallel chat, alt-tabbing out to look at other stuff, and the sort of behaviour that would induce a slap from a tabletop GM. Bugger the Internet. If I’m going to be so old-fashioned that I sit down for pencil-and-paper roleplaying I’m going to keep it resolutely low-tech.
3. NOT… EXACTLY. The End Times release might have potentially induced some sort of hype in this direction, but there are… issues. There’s been a change of management at GW. Rumours of ninth edition WFB are beginning to circulate. Products are being cranked out at a rate of knots. There’s the past history of big super hype world-wide events which ultimately end up changing nothing, their releases ultimately irrelevant a year down the line. There’s no sense of a secure future in the End Times (appropriately enough), which makes me disinclined to spend fifty quid merely on the rulebook, let alone rush out and spend a month’s rent on new models.
I am quite taken with some of the new undead pieces; they’re stylish, in a hideously over-the-top kind of way, and I prefer the Mortarchs to the Zombie Dragon (if not the Terrorgheist), so there’s a potential purchase there just for an army centrepiece. That said, I’ve found the time to revamp my plastic infantry and cavalry at last, there’s a Lichemaster and a Krell and a new lady Vampire on the painting queue, and I finally have a legal unit of Dire Wolves again, so there’s at least 500 points of new stuff in the house. I’d be very surprised if there’s a legal or decent 2400 point army in it, but I have at least made a step towards this one.
4. NOPE. LotR SBG has fallen by the wayside. The range is gradually vanishing or turning into Finecast, and Hark hasn’t expressed as much interest in playing as expected. Not much to say there.
5. ALMOST. I did crack and purchase Elara, Issyra and a Houseguard Thane later in the year, but I have actually completed a 50 point force with a choice of four casters. I’m not a hundred per cent happy with it: I still haven’t found a way to paint the myrmidons in a manner of my liking. The Banshee/Sphinx has come out looking too Convergence-ish for its own good, and the Phoenix/Hydra is actually worse after its trip to the Power Spray than before. The infantry look pretty neat though, and they’ve been quite fun to play. I might well expand them to 75 points in the next year; Battle Mage solos and Mage Hunter infantry would be neat options and help to make the most out of some underwhelming casters. I’m tempted to replace the battlegroup with a new starter set, keeping my old Hydra arms so I have one of those for Elara, a Griffon for the Dawnguard Invictors and a Chimera for my ‘caster) – but that involves painting three of those damn myrmidon kits. The one-jack army is tempting, but a) Elara and b) which one? An arc node means a Phoenix, Chimera or Hypnos; Discordia would be easy to build from the starter box and pair well with the Invictors; Imperatus is, not to put too fine a point on it, awesome-looking but seems to lack utility. I’ll have to mull it over.
6. NOPE. I haven’t had the time, the energy or the inclination to evangelise for new games, and I don’t think I’m going to bother next year; if I’m going to make the effort to change people’s minds I’d rather do it for something important.
7. NOPE. I did so well and then, in September, the opportunity to snag a Garrosh kill or two cracked me and, in a flurry of transfers, I moved my best geared alt to the Alliance (and then back again when I remembered that I don’t actually like the Alliance that much), my Priest to the Horde so that my Forgotten Shadow RP cult was actually led by a Priest, and turned my Death Knight into an Orc because Warlords of Draenor. I kept it down to six, which is a fat sight better than last year, but still four too many.
8. YEP. Actually upheld, mainly because I’ve barely played any Magic this year. My decks bore me now, Khans of Tarkhir or whatever it is doesn’t hold the same appeal for me that Ravnica did, and Magic had an impact on the quality of this year’s geek holiday (quoth Jemma: “Every time there’s been a conversation it’s been about those infernal cards!” and she wasn’t entirely wrong – I think next year we might have to say no Magic and no Wi-Fi either, just for the sake of actually interacting.)
9. NOT SURE. Every bloody year I go off and say “I’ll keep an eye on the finances” and every bloody year it boils down to “well, I can’t afford that right now so I won’t buy it” or “I have some spare cash now so I will.” Considering that I’ve made a couple of hundred quid from sales or trades this year, and that I did buy the Cryx back around Easter, it’s probably just about evened out on the whole.
Don’t pledge so bloody much. Fencing myself about with these obligations was a poor choice. I need the openness to follow enthusiasm when it’s present and make the most of it while it lasts. Mind you, what with suicide attempts, therapy, career changes, engagements and political engagement it’s been quite a hectic year; I feel like I’ve changed, or tried to change, a lot since January, and it’s no real surprise that my gaming tendencies have changed too.
Next year… eh, I dunno. There’s a lot on. Election campaigns to support/help manage, the prospect of a house move and a wedding… it’s funny, but ever since we discussed moving away from London I seem to have started putting down roots here, and I wonder why – is it the self-sabotaging tendencies discussed ad nauseam in therapy sessions at work again, making sure that there’s some pain and stress and shame to be had – which makes a change from wanting to move around constantly as a self-sabotaging… ahh, fuck it, this sort of is-it isn’t-it malarkey is just asking for trouble. I’ll play it by ear. There are things I want to do and limited resources with which to do them. That’s all I know right now. We deal with what’s in front of us. Roofs over heads, potatoes in tummies. That’s what counts.