Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Did I Do What I Said? 2014 Review

If I were to provide an executive level summary of my gaming related activity in 2014, it would be that, although I don't have accurate accounting, I believe I played more games than I have ever before. Although thoroughly enjoyable, it was not without some cost - this very blog has seen a decline in posts. I felt I was becoming stretched too thin with demands on my limited free time and when given the choice between writing up a game session or playing a game, I chose the latter more often than not.

But how did I fair with my goals for 2014 (half-year review here )?

Great Northern War - This was a lot of wishful thinking at the end of 2013. As I noted in the 1/2 year review, I had to accept that this would be a long term project, which was my way of saying, this just wasn't gong to happen as planned. The figures just take too long for me to paint to really knock them out with any kind of volume. Still, my Swedish infantry are now at 48 figures, which is just how many I need to start basing them.

Fantasy gaming - I call this one completed successfully (although slightly modified from the original).
  • My Japantasy social game never realized but I did play a solo Japantasy adventure using Swords & Wizardry: White Box that was a good bit of fun. I took notes as I played, so I could write it up if you need proof, but note that it gets a little weird.
  • I ran 3 sessions at DragonCon.
  • My campaign at the FLGS has had 15 sessions. Even better, most of the players seem really into the campaign and happy to take advantage of its sandbox nature (despite being centered around a mini-mega dungeon).  I have a core group of regulars and although technically I am still running an open table, I'm not advertising our sessions anymore.
  • I managed to play the following Guadalcanal scenarios: The Goettge Patrol , The Brush Patrol, The First Battle of Matanikau, Battle of Bloody Ridge, Koli Point. That's more than half of the 8 I listed originally and I played some of these multiple times and with different rule sets. I certainly got my money's worth from the Britton Publishers scenario book.
  • As mentioned in the half year review, I am short some Soviet riflemen. It turns out, it wasn't just slothful painting, but that I don't have the figures to even paint. The Airfix sets feature primarily SMGs (which is great if you want to build SMG squads), but the scenarios very explicitly are centered around rifle squads in July, 1943. 
Helvetica - Well, you would't know it from my blog (save for one picture), but I am four turns into a Featherstone style "domestic" campaign. I cobbled together some campaign rules from issues of Lone Warrior, Featherstone and Bath, and I use my own Generic Skirmish Rules for Colonial-ish Games: Celebrating the Exploits of Heroes, Military and Otherwise, in Lands Foreign and Fantastic While Glossing Over the Role of the Ordinary Person for combat resolution. All encounters so far have been patrols being ambushed by lizard folk. Keeping the tribes in line is bloody and dangerous work.

So, despite the big goose egg that is the GNW project, I am happy with what I accomplished. Having these goals didn't entirely limit my gamer ADD, but they did help focus me on areas of the hobby I wanted to spend time on.

Plus, there were other hobby related accomplishments to make up for not entirely hitting every goal as laid out:

I put out issue two of 6 Iron Spikes & a Small Hammer and to my shock, it sold out. It wasn't immediate, but still. Issue 1 is still in print - because it's far cheaper and easier to reproduce and still sells.

I released not one but two free sets of rules this year, World War Risus and Featherstone's Nuts. The latter was quick to make (it is maybe a page long), but World War Risus was more involved. Never the less, it went from idea to a living document in a short time, provided a number of enjoyable games, and got me listed as a Risus SuperFan. My feelings about the rules vary depending on the day, but the experience was enjoyable and I don't regret the time spent. 

The b/x campaign with Ariale that features her violence prone, self-interested elf, Fjorgyn, began this year, and continues even now. Although I have stopped doing write ups for these games, or the Trelleborg games for that matter, take my word that Fjorgyn isn't as totally evil as she seemed, and recently took action that might even be deemed heroic.

I played dozens of games that received nary a mention; my WWII collection is almost always out on the table, I have played several solo RPG one-shots, and even did some figure painting.

And, of course, there was the 10 Games, 10 Times challenge that I took up in June, but that will get its own post.


  1. Not to mention the Ever-Expanding-Dungeon . . . although I'd like to read more delves of it.

    -- Jeff

    1. Hi Jeff,
      I, too, wish I had played more Ever Expanding Dungeon. Next year I'm shooting for at least one session a month. Which isn't a lot, but at least it would be regular.

  2. Agreed while im sad to hear we havent received write ups of Fjorgyns adventures dont tell me the same is true for the ever expanding dungeon!

    Were like needy game of thrones fans waiting for our next fix of the ever expanding dungeon crawl :-P

    1. Hi Aaron,
      Oh no, the Ever Expanding Dungeon is always written up and posted. Even if i post nothing else ever, I'll post session summaries for the EED!

  3. I also enjoyed Fjorgyn's adventures, although I understand the work that can go into writing these things up. And if it's a choice between playing and writing I know which I'd prefer for myself. Still, I hope we still get reports on the EEG - some of us have a personal stake, you know! :)
    But most of all, have fun and do what works for you first.

    1. Thanks Fitz-Badger! The Ever Expanding Dungeon always gets written up. I plan to play more often next year - a modest goal of once a month at least. I'll try to bring back updates on Fjorgyn's adventures in the New Year, at the very least, I think we're due for an update on the story so far.