2017 was a different year for me regarding this hobby. I played a lot of different games (21 different systems/rules!), drifting away from some previously regular games, namely Flames of War and Team Yankee, discovering new games like Battlegroup, and re-discovering some old favorites like Warhammer 40k. I divested myself of some projects and started new ones like I have always done in the past as my interests ebb and flow. That said, about half-way through the year I started to think a lot about the hobby and realized that following my mantra of doing what makes me happy isn’t enough; doing that just led me to a point of having too many games & projects.
So 2018 is going to be a “hobby reset” for me. I am going to focus on completing projects for games I want to play with my friends, and not just working on a million things and never accomplishing anything. I also want to stick to certain games so I can play them more frequently and be more versed in the rules when I do play instead of having to constantly look things up when I only play a set of rules once or twice a year. This is where I think I am heading:
World War II – When Flames of War 4th Edition was announced I was immediately concerned that the rules would be changed to the point of the game being awful like so often seems to happen with new editions. Surprisingly, I was good with the rule changes and streamlining; yes, there are things that could be better (morale for large units for one) and they certainly could have closed some holes and inconsistencies with the EW/LW and MW periods being different, but overall the rules aren’t awful. What stinks though is their new release/army book/list model. I hate it. What worked for Team Yankee because people didn’t have existing collections, doesn’t work for FOW in my opinion. Battlefront has lost me with their new business model. FOW doesn’t seem to get played much locally. I have invested in several of the Battlegroup books and the few games I have played have been good fun. In the past I would have divested my collection, but I don’t think I will be doing that at this point…I will continue to play 15mm WWII using FOW V3 (preferred) or V4 (if someone asks me) and Battlegroup. I will not be adding new armies to this collection, but I may add some odds and ends to my collection so I can try some things in Battlegroup which aren’t prevalent in FOW (resupply, vehicle recovery, wire teams, etc.)
In 28mm I want to play more Bolt Action. I have Italian Paras done and am working on Japanese SNLF and British for Europe, as well as acquiring figures for Soviet and German forces. Like with FOW, Bolt Action has a new edition out which makes some changes that may or may not improve the game, but I don’t care. I am fine with sticking with 1st edition, as do my regular opponents for the game.
World War I & Arab-Israeli Wars – These two periods are fine using FOW V3, and though there will be new books out for them according to Battlefront, I am good with using what has already been released. I am looking forward to see how they handle the 1973 war though. My Israelis are set; I got rid of my Jordanians, but have a complete unpainted 1967 Egyptian force that I need to get motivated to do. And for WWI, my French and Germans are complete.
40k – 2017 was a great year for 40k for me. A game I completely got out of after it went to 6th edition pulled me back in. Look simple rules…look an index that covers armies that I can use against friends…look, no eliminated troop types (HINT – BATTLEFRONT for future reference, this is a plus for existing gamers!). I started collecting a Marine force, changed it out for another Marine force, purchased/traded for various Imperial Guard troops and Eldar, and repurchased my old 5th edition Grey Knights! Seems like a lot, and I did go a bit overboard, but I have settled on having 3 forces for the game – Grey Knights, Guard and Eldar. I also played some Shadow War and had fun; I will likely build some specific forces for that game. I just wish that the new Necromunda was the same system instead of being yet another slightly different ruleset as I like those figures too; maybe they will come out with a crossover?
Ancients & Medievals – This period is going to be my most diverse. In 28mm I have several forces for SAGA and I am acquiring more figures to combine with these to be able to play larger games like Hail Caesar, Kings of War & Impetus. Yes, I had a large 28mm collection that I got rid of when WAB died…that was a mistake. I am not going to build several armies in 28mm, but rather will do one for the Dark Ages and one for the Classical Period…and maybe the Hundred Years War too. SAGA is also coming out with a 2nd edition in 2018, and I will see what that brings.
I am also committed to my own project of doing some 10mm armies for the ancient & medieval periods; these will be armies that I can use for Hail Caesar, Impetus, etc. and have a different look to them. This is one of two projects I am keeping that are really for me; I have no expectations of anyone contributing to these games other than playing in them when I get around to it.
Fantasy – I had big plans for fantasy gaming but realized that was one too many things to be doing entire armies for, so instead I will be doing smaller fantasy forces to supplement my 28mm historical armies. So maybe some bear riders to go with my 28mm Dark Age army, and some beast/herd allies to go with Romans or Numidians. Doing a smaller force and combining with historical armies lets me double-dip and removes some stress that I had placed on myself. I have also considered relooking at Frostgrave as a few of my friends are playing it and seem to enjoy it.
CAV – I will do a small force for this game too eventually. It’s fun, plain and simple.
Black Powder/Pike & Shotte – I am currently completely out of these periods, though I like them a lot. This is probably my longest term project on the list…this is something I would love to do in 10mm. Only time will tell if I have the ambition to do it.
2018 Goal – So what will 2018 bring for me? First off I am going to rework, repaint, rebase as needed the 40k Grey Knight and Imperial Guard I have. Then I am going to finish off the 28mm British & Japanese for Bolt Action. That will be followed by rebasing & reworking my 28mm Dark Ages figures and painting a bunch more to field an army for Hail Caesar, etc. After that, I have no idea other than it being one of the things I have touched on above.
I am also going to stop tracking the hours I spend on this hobby...it doesn’t matter and just added unwanted stress on myself. I will keep tracking figures finished and games played…and who knows how often I will update this as blogs seem to be fading in favor of Facebook groups which I have mixed feelings about.