The first two months of this past year were pretty much intensely focused on painting and preparing for the 10th Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash/Winter Wargaming Weekend. I painted enough Feudal Japanese for SEVEN Buntai - plus a whole bunch of assorted extras civilians, extra samurai and ashigaru and ronin that didn’t fit into one buntai or another and a bunch more for a few buntai that I never got to finish. I also built four 3x3 dedicated terrain boards the Marshy Forest, the Clearing, the River Ford, and the EPIC Mountain Pass!
The 10th Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash itself was played over the weekend of 21-23 February. On Friday night and all day Saturday I had eight people playing in a Ronin Campaign/Tournament. It was pretty awesome. Definitely right up there with the Dark Age DBA campaign and the first Hordes of the Things Campaign Weekend. On the Sunday we played Ikusa and some other games -(including Smash-up – Which my friend Cory got for me for my birthday – and turned out to be one of our most played games of 2014.
After that I pretty much dropped Ronin – Skirmish Wargames in the Age of the Samurai - not because it isn’t a good game (it is a GREAT game) – it somehow just got eclipsed by the more versatile A Song of Blades and Heroes which I played a LOT of for the rest of the year – mostly just playing it with the family. We ever played a couple of short campaigns;
At this point I own just about all the Ganesha Games that use the A Song of Blades and Heroes game engine – though I haven’t played them all. So far I think my favourite iteration is Song of Shadows and Dust (street fighting in urban centres around the Ancient Mediterranean) and I am currently helping with playtesting Galleys and Galleons (a game of naval combat in the age of sail – by the same author as Song of Shadows and Dust). We also tried Mutants and Death Ray Guns and Song of Drums and Shakos and got to playtest Power Legion. Hopefully we’ll get to trying out the rest in the coming year.
We played a LOT of Boardgames this year. There are a few games we’ve played over the last couple years... and last year we picked up a few munchkin games and played those. But this year the boardgames really took off. It really started in the spring – I can’t remember why, but I picked up a copy of Small World and brought it home to play. We played it a few more times. At the end of the school year – after the kids year end portfolio review – we stopped by the Dragon’s Den and picked up a couple expansions for Small World and King of Tokyo (which a friend had given us for Xmas last year). Things really took off in August when I started playing Smash Up with the kids. In September I made a pact with them that we were going to play at least ONE GAME EVERY DAY throughout the month. We did it. WE played 69 games through the month – averaging over TWO a day!? WE also started hosting a weekly boardgame afternoon for some other homeschoolers on Tuesday afternoons.
Also in the spring I started in on a survey of world history – starting with ancient times – and I started looking for games thematically related to what we were studying. I already had Ur and The Hanging Gardens for Mesopotamia, and I picked up Ra for ancient Egypt. We’ve also played Olympus for the Greeks. I have many, MANY more lined up for this next year.
As I mentioned in the Game Plan 2015 I would like to play 100 new games (games that I own that I have not played – or haven’t played in the last 7 years since I started recording game plays on BGG. We kicked things off a week and a half ago – the day the kids finished up their activity books for the year. I told them we would, over the next two weeks before The Boy’s birthday, play one new game every day. 90% of our Xmas gifts this year were Boardgames so we had a lot of NEW, new stuff to choose from over the last week. So far we’ve played Roborally, Age of Mythology: The Boardgame, Lover Letter, Ingenious, Pandemic, 7 Wonders, Arkham Horror, Chaos Marauders, Fearsome Floors, Small World Underground, Shadows Over Camelot, Smash Up with our new Science Fiction Double Feature and the Geeks from the Big Geeky Box, and finally, on New Year’s Eve, Star Treek: Catan - scratching 14 off the list of unplayed games! We’ll continue through to Monday (The Boy’s Birthday – which will be a DAY OF GAMING!) There will be a post on this after the birthday celebrations – I’ve been taking pictures of all the games.
We didn’t do so much Role-playing this year. Throughout the first half of the year we tried getting a couple of campaigns going – mostly with my friend Christian and his daughters – but they weren’t available often enough it was hard to maintain continuity or enthusiasm (especially for me the GM) when 2-3 weeks (or even a month) would go by between sessions – which were generally limited to Friday or Saturday evenings when everyone was pretty tired… Perhaps next year…
Painting? As mentioned, I painted a LOT of Feudal Japanese for the first two months of the year. After that…? bits of this and that… I added considerably to the Ancients and fantasy collections – for Song of Blades and Heroes and Song of Shadows and Dust. I finished up a bunch of Ancient and Mythical Greeks – hoping to use them in a Greek Myth role-playing game using A Tale of Blades and Heroes - which never really got off the ground…
I seem to have failed in the Paint-More-Than-I-Purchase Department. 845 28mm foot painted to 1181 purchased (or otherwise acquired) – it wasn’t really as bad as it looks over 400 of those “purchased (or otherwise acquired)” were a pile of cheap plastic Hät 28mm Napoleonics that I’d convinced Amanda to get for me for my birthday (an online store was blowing them out of $5 or maybe $7 for a box – I can’t remember, it was an insane deal – there’s 32-48 figures in each of those boxes!?) Other than that I bought a lot of Feudal Japanese – most of them got painted. I bought a lot of ancients – most of those got painted. At the end of the year I bought a pile of Great War British (that I’ll be using as Canadians)… I haven’t even touched them yet – but they’ll get painted some time early in the New Year.
I spent quite a bit of time painting and reading with the kids – we would all sit down to paint miniatures – but each of us would take turns taking a break from painting to read a chapter of a novel – we got through a lot of books this year.
Well… that’s pretty much it… I hope this past year has been as fun and exciting for you as it has been for me – and I hope this New Year finds you all healthy, happy, and gaming!