Friday, December 29, 2017

Ruminations and Illuminations

Hi all,

We are digging out post-Christmas, and having used some vacation time from work, I'm in that odd existential state where I seem to have lost track of what day it is, and the fact that there's even odds on any given day that the kids won't change out of pyjamas isn't helping clarify things ;)

Christmas was a little lean on the geek front, although this is fairly normal.  I picked up a copy of the new Chapter Approved with some cash I got, but the Cub seems to have absconded with it, and I didn't get much further than reading the one page on orky stuff before it vanished.

Geek activity has also been slow - yesterday the Cub and I went down to the store (he wanted to spend some of his Christmas money), and had planned on a game, but he decided at the last minute to work on hobby stuff instead.  I ended up painting some Space Hulk terminators, which I've picked at on and off over the last several months, and the Cub ended up forgetting the plastic glue at the shop.  Not sure if this was part of a nefarious plan (oh, no, now we have to go back!), or just being absent minded, but it does mean his hobby has slowed for a few days.

The plan is to use the BA as a core for a "I like the models" mixed Imperial force.  Hence the Guardsmen.

Brother McPointyfinger.

This has been a pretty crazy year.  Work was a roller-coaster, and went from me applying for a long-term position, to being the recommended candidate, to the job being cancelled, to a second position opening up, to getting the job I've worked towards for most of the last couple of decades.  For the first time in my life, I have stable work, in my chosen field, at a place where I enjoy working.  Add in the fact that this means we can be a regular and predictable part of Cub's life, and it looks like a happy ending.  Of course, my work load has increased even beyond pre-existing levels of gonzo, which seems to have placed me in the "have money and energy, but no time" phase of the geek life-cycle ;)

Add in some health scares (emergency abdominal surgery for me this summer, and my mom almost died . . . ), and the year has been a whirlwind.  Next year also promises to be interesting, in the proverbially Chinese sense, but I find I'm also getting better at weathering the storm.

Hobbywise, the year's been more active than the blog would suggest.  Cub and I got in a bunch of games, mostly 40k, but he's showing increasing interest in historical gaming, and there's a decent chance of us getting some simple Napoleonic skirmish gaming in in 2018 (looking at something easy like Song of Drums and Shakos to break him in gently).

I did a pile of painting for Age of Sigmar, and it was probably my most-played game for 2017.  While part of me misses the Old World (and the viability of my Brets as anything other than an exercise in nostalgia), I have more fun playing AoS than any prior version of Warhammer, playing my Khorne is a blast, and it was the one game where I got a good paint-play-paint dynamic going.  I even got some stuff done for Bretonnians, like my Lord on Griffon.

Side shot was most in-focus ;)  Khorne for the Khorne god!

Captains of Infamy

I kept a hand in with historicals, actually completing another stand of 1/72 French, and a little more than half of my British and Hanoverian 6mm army for the SYW.  Pre-Christmas crazytime put a crimp in my painting rhythm with them, but they're high on the to do list, and I imaging they'll be finished up before summer.

Hard to get detail, and the whole army, but the Brit-Hanoverians are steadily expanding.

2017 also saw the resurgence of Blood Bowl, and my (somewhat abortive) participation in an actual honest-to-God league for the game.  Given how much I enjoy it, I've high hopes of playing some more in the new year, the only barrier being that BB games are scheduled the same night as AoS at the local store.

2017 was also the first time the Puddin' got in on gaming action.  She's become a big fan of the card game "Munchkin", we've painted minis together on several occasions (mostly Reaper Bones stuff), and she's curious about mini-gaming.  Fingers crossed.

Plans for 2018 are typically ambitious and wide-ranging, but I'm slowly learning to a) not try to treat this hobby as a required "to-do" list, and more as the source of relaxation and sanity-restoration that it is for me.  So, instead of a  "priority" list, or whatever, the following are organised by what's most likely.

Things I will almost certainly do in 2018:

1. Play more AoS with my Khorne, play more Blood Bowl with my orks, play 40k with the Cub.

2. Paint more orks.  They should be getting their codex for the new edition this year.  I live in hope.

3. Take some of my Deathguard from basic table top to "good".

4. Finish painting a basic list for SYW British in 6mm.

Things I will probably do in 2018:

1. Paint more Khorne.

2. Buy stuff, plan to paint it, not get around to it ;)

3. Make a start on SYW Russians or Austrians.

4. Paint and / or play Blood Angels (Cub has become entranced, and we're talking about doing it as a team hobby project).

5. Paint some Bretonnians, out of spite, if nothing else ;)

Things I'm thinking about doing in 2018, but may spend the whole year just thinking about:

1. Get some terrain together.  While Cub and I have some basic stuff, I've been spending a bit of time online looking at ideas and sources.  Terrain for 6mm, 15mm, and better terrain for 28mm are all a growing priority.  I've never been much of a terrain guy, but stability means I'll not have to move the stuff around much, and I can see spending some time developing this underdeveloped (for me) branch of the hobby.  Cub got Necromunda for Christmas, so that's another possible driver.

2. Paint some 15mm stuff.  I have ancients up the wazoo, stuff for the Acadian project, and the start of a nice 18mm AB Russian force. I've also been itching to paint in this scale for months.  The lack of play outlets is the major barrier here, but effective as the "get them on the table" spur is,  I'm learning to paint for painting's sake.  Maybe this is the year that lesson takes?

3. Get in a game with the local historical players.  There are some out there, although they tend to be scattered both geographically and by period / system / scale.  Some of them are even super-hospitable (hi Ross, of  For whatever reason, however, anytime someone's put a game together, it's either been far enough out of town to make logistics difficult, or at a time I couldn't go - case in point, I was invited to a game on Boxing Day, which was also the day Cub was being dropped off at our place.  It would be great to put faces to names, so this is something I'd like to make an effort on this year.

4. Start collecting some Beastmen.  I love this range from GW, always have - as much as anything does, it screams "chaos" to me.  With the new allies rules, I can even take them in my Khorne army.  I can see breaking down, and picking some of these up this year.  Might even do it just for gits and shiggles.

5.  Paint, and even play, some Lord of the Rings / Hobbit.  I've loved this range since the original Elrond fig, have always been intrigued by the mechanics, drooled over the tables that used to appear in White Dwarf, and even own a chunk of Rohan.  Local gang is looking to start it up with the Battle Companies release.  Hey, it could happen . . .

I think that's about as much as I can reasonably expect.  Work and family will be exceedingly busy this year, and I'm learning my limits (if slowly).  With a few more days of holiday to go before re-emerging in the real world, I might get a little more painting done.  Also planning to see the new Star Wars movie with the kids (no spoilers!).  Beyond that, it should be relatively quiet in Monkeyland until the new year - of which I wish you all, all the best.



  1. A fine roster of stuff there squire. I think you should be justly proud to have two youngsters that are so active and engaged.

    Congratulations on the work front too. There's nothing like being a round peg in a round hole.

  2. Congratulations on the job and the fine additions to your various forces. I know there are still non-geezer historical gamers active in Halifax, I'm just not in the loop. Its a good thing the Fantasy/SciFi gamers are easier to find as well as more numerous.

    All the best for you and yours in 2018!

  3. Well done on 2017 and good luck with your goals for 2018!


  4. I'm also planning to see the new Star Wars movie, best of luck in 2018!

  5. Well done on the minis, beautiful, and congrats for the job!