(TL/DR; I did stuff. There were REASONS!)
It was a slow year here on the old Game Blog...
You just have to look at the number of posts on the blog to see that things have slowed down around here. In the past sixteen years I've been doing this, I've created between 100 and 199 post per year (average 145), this year I only managed 83...? There are a few reasons for this...
The biggest reason for less posts on this blog, is I tried to focus on some other things - getting out and riding my bike more, and making ART more. This is evidenced by the activities on my other blogs over this past year. The Bicycling Blog has had an average of 12 posts per year, and this past year I did 36! The ART BLOG, on the other hand, has had an average of 11 posts per year, and this year there have been 187!?
Part of the drop in posts has been the drop in interest in/engagement with blogs in general. I get comment notifications every day, but at this point, 99% of those are just spam comments that I delete. I can't blame people for not reading blogs anymore... I mean, I hardly read anyone else's blogs anymore - of course, a LOT of the people I did regularly follow in the past have either stopped, or just don't post as often, and so blogs have lost their critical mass for me. If things don't happen as part of a regular routine, they just don't happen in my life. I stopped checking my list daily, when there stopped being new stuff every day, and then I just stopped checking at all!? Now I just check in when I remember and have some time - which tends to be every few months... but by then it's just do daunting to leave a comment on all the blog posts... so I often just don't... (Sorry fellow bloggers!)
I do check social media daily, for my dose of hobby/art inspiration. I've found a few past bloggers that post more regularly there, which has been really nice. Mostly instagram. I did rejoin twitter a little over a year ago and strictly limited things to hobby and art stuff and it was a much better experience... but wow... things have gotten a little weird over there and I might delete my account again... if the whole thing doesn't implode first!? I also started a Tumblr... but I don't love that site. It seems less intuitive to navigate and interact with and I haven't really found any hobby stuff to follow there.
(If you DO have a social media account where you share your hobby stuff, let me know where to find you in the comments!)
A lot of other big things happened, outside of gaming.... I turned fifty and the day before, Russia invaded Ukraine - triggering all sorts of deep trauma of growing up in the 80s - raised by parents where were very involved in the anti-nuke movement and being HYPERAWARE how very close we were to utter annihilation in a nuclear war at any given moment - the popular media of the day didn't help! It was so bad, one of my core beliefs became "fuck it, who cares, probably not going to survive to adulthood" So many bad decisions were made based on this core belief. I think somewhere deep down in my brain it's lived on all this time... so imagine my surprise when I suddenly realized I had an ADULT CHILD (Finnegan turned 18) and I turned FIFTY!? WTF!?!?! I swear I was a teenager last week!?
Finnegan also finished high school and started university! Runs two weekly D&D games and has just started posting videos about his D&D campaigns (they aren't four-hour live play-throughs - it's kind of animation... sort of... and, like, eight minutes long. You can see it here: The Goat Saga on YouTube)
Keiran starred in their first musical and been very involved in school activities.
Amanada's just been CrAzY busy at work, and if that weren't enough, was teaching SIX different yoga classes on top of a full-time job!?
GAME PLAN 2022
What I HAD planned to do last year can be seen here:
Extra Thoughts about 5x/10x Challenges
50 Miniature Games
I had wanted to make 2022 the year of getting back into miniature gaming. The plan was to play at least ONE miniature game every week of 2022 and post a game reprt of said game. I thought it MIGHT be possible. The previous year I'd played nearly fifty games (Warhammer Underworlds x22, Kill Team x10, Necromunda x6, Age of Sigmar x4, The Silver Bayonet x2, Dragon Rampant x1, 40K9E x1, Warcry x1) and 51 the previous year (Blackstone Fortress x23, 40K8E x8, 40K9E x8, Hellboy: The Board Game x5, Necromunda x5, Battlefleet Gothic x1, Kill Team x1), so why shouldn't I be able to do at least 50 this year...?
That totally DID NOT HAPPEN...
5x5 (Quarterly) Challenge - 10x10 (Annual) Challenges
The past few years these quarterly challenges had worked out okay and I totally even managed to pull off a 10x10 challenge - it worked out better if I didn't define WHICH ten I'd play for the year in January, because there was no telling where my interests would have gone by the end of the year. I figured the same model would probably work for this year...
It did not. I just didn't play enough games overall... I didn't even make it to 100 games in TOTAL. The previous two years I played OVER 200 games.
Here is what I DID end up playing this year:
- Terraforming Mars x11
- Wingspan x11
- Carcassonne x10
- Warhammer Underworlds: Direchasm x10
- Azul x8
- Five Tribes x8
- Wrath & Glory x6
- Quebec 1759 x5
- Stone Age x5
- Splendor x5
- Andean Abyss x2
- Dresden Files Accelerated x2
- Hellboy: The Board Game – Deluxe Edition x2
- Warhammer Underworlds: Harrowdeep x2
- Wizard Kings x2
- Angola x1
- Bananagrams x1
- For Sale x1
- Kingdom Builder x1
- Marrying Mr. Darcy x1
- Mutant Crawl Classics Role Playing Game x1
- The Silver Bayonet x1
- Space Base x1
So a total of 96 games were played this year.
I guess if I looked at the top ten played games and expressed the games played as a percentage of 10 i got through 78% of a 10x10 challenge... a passing grade, I guess... a solid B (story of my life - "If only Tim would APPLY himself...")
Wargaming Birthday Bash/February Game Weekend
Also just didn't happen. I played a few boardgames with the family... that's it...
Next year...? I don't know... I've had thoughts... Don't know if it will happen... Might be too late.
There WAS a ToonCon this year. I did not go. The provincial mask mandate had ended and while some businesses and organizations continued to require staff and patrons to wear masks - for at least a little while, most did not. ToonCon had no mask mandate and the province was in a huge spike in Covid cases... so I decided not to go.
Every year it's been a bit of a "Do I REALLY want to go do this...?" I didn't LOVE large gatherings of people BEFORE the pandemic began - too many people, so much noise... I had an okay enough time, but was UTTERLY EXHAUSTED by the end of the weekend, and NOT always a "good" kind of exhausted.
I told myself that the games I ran were promoting the games, and getting more people playing the games I love could only be a good thing and it would be an opportunity to meet some new people that I might be able to play games with in the future. But, taking an honest look at the games I've run at conventions over the years, I don't know of ANYONE getting into a game because they played it with me at a convention, nor have I gained any new friends because of them... so... maybe I won't even bother with these in the future, even IF the pandemic ever fizzles out (which it is showing no signs of doing in my neck of the woods, despite pretty much EVERYONE's insistence that it is "over")
This was the least productive year for painting in the fifteen years I've been tracking this. By, like LOTS... On the plus side, this year also saw the lest acquisitions.
Only looking at 28mm foot figures (by for the most common miniatures I own/paint), over the previous 14 years that I've been tracking painting, I've painted 9586 28mm foot figures - an average of 684 per year. The most I painted in one year was ten years ago in 2012 when I painted 1231 28mm foot figures. Over the previous 13 years that I've been tracking purchases/acquisitions, I have acquired 12906 28mm foot figures, an average of 992 per year. The most I acquired in one year was also 2012 when I acquired 2470 28mm foot figures!? Seriously, WTF was I thinking!?!?
By contrast, this year I only purchased 80 28mm foot figures, but only managed to paint 57. And the majority of the ones I painted were NOT the ones I PURCHASED this year!?
Here's what I DID paint this year....
- 1x Gug
- 7x Napoleonic French Naval Officers and Crew
- 13x Regency Monster Hunters
- 1x Vivandière
- 1x Horror
- 4x Magore's Fiends
- 4x Drepur's Wraithcreepers
- 3x Wurmspat
- 5x Hrothgorn's Mantrappers
- 4x Mollogs Mob
- 4x Xandire's Cursebreakers
- 2x Kamu No Oni
- 7x ECW Highlanders
- 1x ECW Musketeer
28mm Mounted/Smaller Beasties
28mm Big Beasties/Vehicles
- 3x Treasure/Clue Tokens
- 1x T'au Rocket Pod Thingie
- 3x Warhammer Underworlds: Beastgrave Terrain Bits
- 1x Bushwakka's Trap
- 1x Porta Potty
- 1x Disapproving Hand Spell Effect
- 4x Furniture and stump
Total Bitz: 14
The above stats ignore other scales, as they are dwarfed by the amount of 28mm stuff I have. This year, I DID manage to get to painting a BUNCH of the micro/"epic" scale miniatures I've acquired over the years, which partially accounts for why I painted so little 28mm stuff. Here's what I got done:
- 33x Imperial Guard
- 60x Ork boyz
- 4x Ork Commanders
- 1x Chaos Sorcerer
- 5x Chaos Space Marine
- 81x Orks
- 1x Killa Can
- 4x Warbuggies
- 4x Warbikers
- 4x MOAR Killa Kans
- 1x Skullmaster, Herald of Khorne on Juggernaut
- 5x Chaos Space Marines on Steed of Slaanesh
- 10x Leman Russ Tanks
- 2x Gorgon Heavy Transporters
- 1x Xoxigar Pattern Shadowsword
- 4x Morkanaut (or maybe Gorkanaut?)
- 10x Trucks
- 1x Leviathan Command Vehicle
- 2x Daemon Engines of Khorne
- 5x Emperor's Children Landraiders
- 3x MOAR Ork Trukks
- 1x MOAR Daemon Engine of Khorne
What DID I acquire this year...?
I bought two Kill Team box sets (despite STILL not finishing ANY of the stuff from the previous two I purchased last year), Warhammer Underworlds: Nethermaze, four warbands for Warhammer Underworlds, and 8 old metal Harlequins off ebay - to fill out a small contingent of Harlequins in an Aeldari force (after picking up the 9th Edition Aeldari Codex)
Other than the Kill Team boxes and Nethermaze, I only bought ONE other boardgame this year (Stone Age). I did pick up a few sets of rules for miniature games (that I have yet to play); the new edition of Lion Rampant and Xenos Rampant.
There were a LOT of VERY TEMPTING THINGS that came out in the last year that the ADHD (OOH! SHINY!) part of me really, REALLY wanted to get in on... but I somehow managed to NOT buy! So, there's that...
The Warhammer Horus Heresy box set was SUUUUUPER tempting to buy... and I didn't... and STILL haven't (despite there still being a copy sitting in my FLGS!!). What's kept me from buying it (beyond the fact that it would be ridiculous to do so, given how much I've gotten painted this year) is that the rules are basically a throwback to pre 8th edition 40K, which is just not my thing... what still keeps me interested is COOL MODELS, and the fact that I could probably paint them all fairly quickly, being mostly ONE COLOUR and all.... and having read a few of the Horus Heresy books, it would be super fun to play out some of those engagements... AND most of the guys that got in on the game, locally, are the fun guys to play with... Fuck, I hope someone just buys that box and removes the temptation...
Also haven't bought any of the new stuff for Necromuda, even though there has been a new core started box for the Ash Wastes with super cool vehicles and giant-bug-riding Ash Waste Nomads... and a few books to go along with that. Again SUPER COOL stuff... One of the things that's helpedhold me back is the fact that ALL of the miniatures I've been using in Necromuda, so far, are my OLD metal ones. to get in on Ash Wastes would mean new plastic models... which I'm not so opposed to these days as I might have been in the past, but... just not excited to MIX plastic and metal in a collection...
I also didn't buy into the new edition of Warcry. Only played ONE GAME of the previous edition, so... It was a fun game, and I wouldn't mind playing it again... but given how much I've been playing miniature games in general, I just couldn't justify it. GW did release ALL of the stats for all the miniatures from the previous edition as pdfs... so I COULD just buy the Core Book if I wanted to get in on it... and I don't think I'd need ANY new miniatures (I might need to paint a few that I already have...)
Well, as I mentioned, I focused on making art is what happened.... for the most part... Making art meant lest time/energy for miniature painting. Miniature painting is what inspires me to play miniature games.
Miniature gaming only accounted for about 20-25% of games played the last few years, so what gives with the drop in playing boardgames? I think part of that was everyone pretending the pandemic was OVER and going back to... doing other things and not having time to play games. A large chunk of the games played in 2020 was role-playing games I ran online or games I played with Amanda who had nothing better to do. That began to fizzle in 2021, and pretty much completely died in 2022 - I played more IN PERSON role-playing games this year than with the online group.
It's been a pretty low year all around. The unending social upheaval and never-ending pandemic has really taken it's toll and, despite trying really hard to focus on positive things and make more art... I've been pretty depressed...
Maybe next year will be better...
I have most of the Game Plan (such as it is) for 2023 written... I MIGHT get around to posting that tonight... or maybe I'll leave it to tomorrow.
Sorry this has been a bit of a downer... Hope you all had a better year and all of us can have an even better one in 2023!