Saturday, December 29, 2007

2007 In Review

So the year is nearly over and I’ve been giving some thought to what I want to do next year. Perhaps I should take a look at my goals for 2007 and see what was accomplished.

My various plans for the year were set out in a number of posts on this blog – The Vimy Project, The Game Plan 2007, and various updates.

The progress of the Vimy Project can be followed using the Vimy Label on this blog – unfortunately you then have to read the posts from bottom to top as it always shows the most recent. In a nutshell between December of 2006 and may of 2007 I modeled about two dozen German and Canadian figures, made moulds, cast about 200 of them, based and painted them, then made about 12 feet of barbed wire obstacles and four 2’x2’ custom/purpose built terrain squares roughly approximating something that looked like the 4th Canadian Division’s front at Vimy Ridge. Then I rented a car and hauled it 500km to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada for Mayday….

Around the same time I built a half dozen generic mudbick type houses that could be used everywhere from North Africa to Afghanistan and the “Back of Beyond” – these I also took to Edmonton for a Savage Worlds Pulp Adventure game I ran – which wasn’t part of any original plan – I just kind of volunteered mid-march as registration was about to open and someone else had backed out…

After Mayday I recognized the value of having a focus and a plan so I set out The Game Plan 2007. In it I outlines the events and conventions I planned on attending, the regular gaming I wanted to do from week to week, and the projects I wanted to work on. Anyway, following the same outline of the plan, here’s how things worked out:

Events and Conventions

Mayday – As I already mentioned I went. It was fun.

Fallcon – After Fallcon 2006 I wasn’t sure if I was going to go to Fallcon again. The only really good times I had during that weekend were when I was playing games with friends. A number of the events I signed up for at the conventions blew chunks – partly because of poor organization and lack of play-testing on the part of the person running it, partly because of the other people playing…

I ended up deciding to go for two main reasons. The first was I recognized the value of an absolute deadline for a project. I got the Vimy Project completed in time because I felt I had to. I wanted to take a break from the Vimy Project but, after the success of it at mayday, I was still pretty pumped about Contemptible Little Armies and some friends in Calgary seemed to be getting really interested in it. I thought I might head to Calgary and run just have a big gaming weekend and run a big CLA game just for them. Somehow I got it in my head that I could run it at Fallcon, just for them…. i.e. I had four friends that were interested in playing – if they all signed up for it on the first day of registration there would be no worries about annoying gits at the table. Maybe it would get the game some exposure and anyone interesting that stopped by the table to have a look they could try and recruit into their game….

Well, trying to cut a story that’s getting a bit long story short here… only one did sign up. Of course I didn’t fine that out until the Friday I showed up in Calgary…. Over the summer I had been doing a fair bit of play-testing and the limitations of CLA were becoming all too clear. It’s an okay game if you’re playing with friends of a like mind that have an appreciation for the era and the tactical realities of it. I had almost wanted to give up and cancel – but then figured – hey it’s just going to be cool friends at the table – nobody’s going to try anything gamey…. Ha…

I guess there were two other reasons I had wanted to go. One was modeling and casting my own figures and wanted to show them off a bit and had been thinking I might try to sell some. The other was the auction. I love getting crazy deals on cool stuff…

Whatever… I’m not going next year. I might make a trip out to Calgary for a gaming weekend with John and Will (and anyone else that can pry themselves away from whatever else they’re doing that’s so damn important….). yeah… I’ll just shut up about that now.

Hero’s Gambit – I had planned on running stuff again this year… but then didn’t. There was much discussion about this in another post (Hero’s Gambit and other things). I’ll leave it at that.

Tim’s Wargaming Weekend – didn’t happen last year, but it definitely is this year – it’s taking place 22-23-24 Feruary 2008 and more or less being amalgamated with my 4th Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash (the birthday bash is basically being extended into a whole weekend of wargaming with friends). More on that later.

Regular Gaming

Friday night wargames – for a while I was running games every Friday night. Then it was every other Friday night, then over the summer it fizzled completely – until I got ramping up the play-testing for Fallcon and wanting to try out this fancy new game I’d acquired called “Blitzkreig Commander”. After Fallcon I got games going again with a regular game night of Thursdays. I simply decided I was going to set aside the time and play a game every Thursday night – whether anyone showed up or not. If no one did – I’d play it solo. That way everyone would know that on any given Thursday evening there was a game going on at Tim’s house. No need to worry about whether it was the first and third or second and fourth or every other week… it’s EVERY WEEK – SAME TIME, SAME PLACE… Throughout the fall we mostly played Blitzkreig Commander and Cold War Commander. We took a bit of a break in December, as everyone was getting crazy busy with other things, but started again this past week and will be raging on every Thursday night in the New Year.

Savage Sunday

I had a fairly regular Sunday afternoon Savage Worlds game going on. I started the year playing pulp adventure skirmish games. Then it too became every other week. Then fizzled. Then started up again with the release of Savage Worlds: Pirates of the Spanish Main , then that fizzled… then later in the fall I got a regular weekly game going again on Saturday nights and have a pretty solid core of 3 players that have been showing up EVERY week, and another two or three that show up intermittently (well okay two that show up intermittently and another that has been threatening to show up for the last three months but has yet too…). This show no sign of slowing down so I expect it will rage on into the new year as well.


As I mentioned already I accomplished a LOT in the first couple months of the year on the Vimy Project. Here’s how the projects set out in The Game Plan 2007 (and the schedule I laer came up with in ”It’s Good to Have a Plan”) worked out…

Back of Beyond - This was the big project for the bulk of the spring, summer and fall. I set out to build four armies by Fallcon in September – White Russian, Bolshevik, Chinese and an Army of British India. Again, modeling and casting the bulk of my infantry and cavalry, and buying some officers, guns, and specialist troops I finished the White Russian, Bolshevik, and Chinese. About 300+ infantry, two-dozen cavalry, plus some guns, airplanes, characters… It was a lot. If that wasn’t crazy enough – a couple weeks before the convention I decided to rip them ALL off of the individual bases they were originally mounted on and stick them on multi-figure bases… I also re-based all the Vimy project figures and completely gave up on playing Contemptible Little Armies. When I get back to the era I’ll be playing “Great War Commander”!

East Africa - I also modeled German and British Askaris for a Great War East African Campaign – or possibly a fictional “Central African” campaign.

Pirates - As I mentioned I got terribly excited about Pirates… well... briefly… I did paint up a handful of 28mm pirates and I made a bunch of wee ships (See Tim's Shipyard)


Around mid-july I came up with a plan for things I was going to do after Fallcon (Game Plan 07 Sep-Dec). In it I planned to work on my CLA East/Centrral African stuff, 28mm World War 2, the Great War Era Indians I had originally planned to do for Fallcon, Build all the planes I picked up to use for Canvas Eagles and “Project Rebase” - re-basing a number of my 15&20mm WW2 and modern stuff. The only stuff in this list I did was “Project Re-base”. I’m not even going to try and count haw many bases/figures I rebased from the old 30x20mm or 30x30mm bases I had been using to the new basing standards … Instead I raged ahead with some considerable focus and productivity but not so much of a sensible plan… hence the ridiculous amount of modern armour models I’ve acquired over tha last couple months… (See the Armour TO-DO List).

Around October I decided I should start taking stock of everything I have. It was to be an opportunity to show off all the stuff I have painted on my blog while at the same time… well… TAKE STOCK of what I already have and assess what I might need to finish projects I have on the go… I’m still working on the whole Taking Stock thing…

Later still in the fall I decided it was time to PURGE the 15mm stuff once and for all! I had already traded away a pile of it early in the year – collections of 15mm stuff that I hadn’t really even started painting. I held on to the 15mm DBA armies because, well I had a couple of them painted and still held onto this glimmer of hope that I might paint them up someday and run a 1066 campaign. After some serious consideration I came to the realization that I just wasn’t ever going to paint any large numbers of 15mm figures. It always seemed like a chore and that I was forcing myself to do it… Not something I want to do with my hobby time!? I DO enjoy painting 20-30mm figures! I know some people thing painting anything is a chore and I just don’t get why they selected this hobby if that’s so – but I decided to go with what works for me so the 15mm stuff started to go.

I had a bunch of 15mm modern stuff that I held onto because I figured it’s be too expensive to replace it with 20mm. Well, expensive or not, having them in 20mm would be more versatile as EVERYTHING ELSE I had that was “modern-ish” was 20mm! (and that whole don’t care to paint them thing previously mentioned…) So they were the first to go! In exchange I got a PILE of cool 20mm ww2 stuff that I might actually paint some day!

Then the 15mm DBA and HOTT stuff went… next it’ll probably be the Fallshirmjager… more on that in the New Year.

While this all this (trading, re-basing, stock taking, stockPILIING of 20mm stuff, game playing, etc) was going on through the fall I was raging ahead with painting 20mm modern stuff, and I got quite a bit done. Two battalions of modern British, three battalions of Soviet VDV, a battalion of Soviet Motor-Rifles, and a fair bit of soviet equipment, three tanks, a BMP-1, a BRDM, two American M1s, a handful of Israelis and Afghan DRA and Mujahideen, etc, etc, etc. It’s all there on the blog if you look back… In the last couple of weeks I cranked out a bunch of new 28mm fantasy figures for (Savage) skirmish gaming on Saturday night, as well as touching up and re-basing (from old square bases) other older figures, as well as a whole unit of Elves for my new 28mm Warmaster project and some 28mm Vikings to finish up a couple of units.

So despite the fact that I’m feeling a little scattered and overwhelmed by how much newly acquired (whether through trades or purchases) I have to paint… I do think I had a happy and productive year over all….

Now to work on my plan for next year… and finish stocktaking… Stay tuned – The game plan will be along shortly…

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