A year ago I wrote a post laying down what I had planned for 2012. Had I been a bit more successful at getting stuff done I'd be working through it below with ticks and crosses. Instead I've fallen laughably short of all of the goals I set for myself, something that anyone who watched me flailing over the smaller monthly goals at the start of the year is probably not surprised by.
2012 has not seen anywhere near enough painting or gaming. I'd really like 2013 to change that, but I'm not going to set in stone how it will. Certainly the last year has seen me acquire models for far more games systems, largely due to Kickstarter, but also because of knowing way more about the hobby than when I started writing this.
What I do know is that the next year is going to see a change in focus for me, from the larger armies of Warhammer Fantasy and 40K, to the smaller skirmish games. There are a number of factors influencing me, and this post is going to discuss those, while tomorrow's will breaks things down by system.
Reason #1: Personality (goes a long way).
A big influencing factor has been my trip to Warhammer World, and looking at the display cabinets there. The Warhammer Fantasy forces arrayed along one wall were impressive and more importantly for the point I'm making, divergent. Each force, and almost each unit, depending on army, had its own appearance and personality. The Warhammer 40,000 forces arrayed along the opposite wall though were far more homogeneous, with obvious exceptions for certain races. The Imperium though, felt very much like one thing, with only different colour schemes really marking things out, and the sheer number of Marine variants overpowered everything else. For a setting so steeped in the macabre and the strange, the forces reflected very little of it. That's not something I want to perpetuate. Instead I want to bring more personality and the unique weirdness of 40K to the tabletop, and an army is not the medium by which to do that (for me at least at this time). The first post of 2013 will be a reveal post of what I'm planning, so you'll have to wait.
40K is by no means the only system where I want to get a bit more of the games personality onto the tabletop, but it is the most obvious example.
Reason #2: Interest.
Tying into and fuelling the above is a renewed fondness for the 40K universe and the oddity that pervade it's background. As a player since 2nd ed, there a huge weight of influence that I'd like to translate to the tabletop in one way or the other. The Black Library books have only added to this. More importantly is that 40K has snagged my interest at a level beyond the latest release and what can beat face on the tabletop.
Malifaux has also got its hooks into me deep, far beyond any of the other systems I got into in the last year. It's the one I've spent most time with outside of GW, and that's a trend I intend and expect to continue.
The point I am trying to make is the both settings are of interest to me and I want to explore them properly. Malifaux is small enough already, and 40K needs cutting down. I also know that I can jump from thing to thing at times, and I need some sort of anchor to avoid that.
There are other things also clamouring for my attention and interest and they'll be getting a voice as well.
Reason #3: Finishing What I Start.
I have too many models, and of those only a tiny, tiny, fraction are approaching finished. I'm not sure I can put my hand on one that I'd actually consider finished at the moment. This is not a good thing, and so I'm leaning towards skirmish games from a raw numbers point of view. If I only need to paint six or seven models to finish a faction/crew/gang/force then that's far more likely than painting 20 of the same model for a unit that's part of a larger army (while I proved I could do it with the Skaven, it was a means to an end rather than something enjoyable in and of itself). I want to have forces finished, and while those six or seven models won't look as impressive (from a taking up space point of view), or require as much work, as a full army, they will none the less be finished.
Reason #4 Quality (and Quality Not Quantity).
There is an Evernote notebook replete with notes about potential conversions, after market parts and general modelling ideas. I want to pursue some of these, and their almost entirely suited to small units, single miniatures, or one off pieces, without the imperative to collect a force around them.
With fewer models to count on I can also pick up custom bases and the like, which would quickly get expensive across a whole force.
I also want to bring my painting up a few notches and that is definitely better done on a model by model basis, not a unit by unit one. While I can see techniques translating in a "one to many" direction, I don't see it happening as well the other way around.
Reason #5 Kickstarters
Kickstarter has changed things in a big way this year (and when the next I've got my eye on are over with I'll be looking back over them, and forward to what my pledges have bought me). I'll leave larger points to a different post, purely on a "things to paint" level it means I have models for a number of systems that I didn't envisage, or in some cases, even know about, this time last year. I also need to leave time and money aside for things turning up and pledging on unexpected projects.
Reason #6 Here
I'm keen to avoid this blog becoming dedicated to one army or system. That's not to say I'm not going to focus down on one system from time to time, but it'll be intermittent at best. I want to avoid making 2013 the year of the Dark Angels, or Yu Jing, or Everblight, and just have months of posts chronicling the one project. I like the blogs that do that, but that's not me, and not what I want to do. There will be things bubbling under that I'll touch on frequently, but I'll still drop things to review something new, or different, or a Kickstarter. The tag cloud proves how wide a net I cast last year, and I want to keep things as broad as possible in the new year. Throwing myself at an army is not the way to do that.
There's also an issue of hobby time vs blog time. Writing this, and getting sufficient hobby done to make progress significant enough to post would be a hiding to nothing, simply in terms of time management. There's a balance to be found, and maintained between the two over the next year.
I know I've name dropped a few systems, and, as you'll see tomorrow, that's not meant to sideline any other game lines; I'm still spreading my hobby time across a range of things beyond those mentioned above.
As I said at the top I'm not going to bind myself to this plan to the ignorance and exclusion of anything that may come up. While this is more true of tomorrow's more specific post it bears mention here, as, if I end up painting an army (in which case, well done future me, both for the achievement and for surprising me) I'm not going to feel bad about it. I just can't really see it happening in.If it does though expect a 20pt link below this paragraph to pictures of the completed force.
That's it for today. Hopefully focusing on smaller systems will lead to a bigger hobby output, and I'll be able to look on a nice selection of finished models come this time next year.