Thursday, January 31, 2019

Monthly Summary for January, 2019

I decided I'm going to just do this once a month, instead of every week or so, as I feel like these posts aren't super interesting to most people.

I haven't managed to post any "real" blog posts this month, as my focus has been on my basement.  Over the course of the month, my wife and I managed to turn the basement from this....
To this...

Of course, that doesn't show the progress from last month, of sanding and painting this!

Anyway, I have a decent sized gaming space now, with a ton of storage (that bottom "now" picture is basically another room of this sized, completely unfinished, that we are putting wire shelves in for storage.  There's a bit of mess, but I've told my wife that it's just a matter of furniture to solve this.  Every month, we buy one or two pieces of furniture for downstairs, and this will look perfect in no time.  I also need blinds, and to re-seal the door, but that will likely be accomplished by the end of February

Games Played
  • Warhammer Underworlds - Four games of this total, two against BK, and two against my brother, Matt.  Against BK, he takes his newly assembled Eyes of the Nine warband, and I start out using my Cursebreakers.  We actually play a fairly non-interactive game, aside from a summoned Horror on my side, and I fail frequently to cast spells, ending up with him winning 9-12.  The second game, I switch to my Skaven, and I play a lot more aggressive to stop him from scoring his objective points.  I over-extend myself, and he kills Spiteclaw, and I can't recover, and lose 4-9.   My two games against Matt go better, as I take a newly built Steelheart's Champions deck against him running the Farstriders.  The first game, we don't really engage until Turn 3, which works great for me, and I win 7-3.  Game two, we fight a bit more, but literally every break goes my way, and I end up winning 11-1.
    Start of game 1 against BK
    Early in game 1, with a Blue Horror that my spells refuse to hit.
    Game two against BK, after I've committed myself, and before things all fall apart.
  • Kill Team - One game against BK.  I take my Grey Knights against his Thousand Sons.  The scenario is Take Prisoners, which require melee success.  I figure I'm in good shape.  We shoot at each other for a bit before we get stuck in, and I end up going up 1-0 as I kill his Tzaangor in close combat.  However, the following turn, his Sorcerer is able to kill my leader with a pistol shot, after I fail several different methods to put the game out of reach, and that kill puts me down 1-3, and I lose the game.  So, my streak of losses continue, but I feel like I played this game better than my previous ones!
  • PitchCar - Three games against Christian.  This is a dexterity based racing game, combining something I enjoy (racing game) with something I am TERRIBLE at (dexterity).  The end result is that I lose two out of three, with the losses MUCH more impressive than the wins.  Still, what a good time!
  • Aton - I bought this for Christian for Christmas, as it is a game from his favorite designer, and we managed to play it twice.  The first was a learning game (where I won), and the second game (that counted) I lost.  It's an interesting game with a simultaneous action selection mechanic I don't think I've seen before, and an interesting, varied scoring system.  It's a game that I think more experience would be super necessary in order to play effectively.
  • Nemesis - Two games, one with Bob and Forrest, and then one with Rob, AJ, and Dan.  The setup for this game is that we are waking up in a ship like the one from the Alien movie franchise.  We hear noises, we have to investigate, and we have secret objectives that may not be to everyone else's benefit.  Ended up being very tense!  The first game, I was the Mechanic, which let me fix issues quickly, but we ended up getting overwhelmed by the Invaders, and lost.  In game two, I was the scientist.  In this one, I chose the objective to send the signal and investigate the alien corpse. I handle the latter part pretty quick, send the signal the turn after, slowly move across the board, turn the escape pods on, and escape!
    Start of my first game- we all start in the center, dazed and confused.
    We begin to explore, and attract some attention
    And then we attracted too much attention...
  • Infinity - Four games against Matt, as we learned the system from the Operation: Icestorm box.  I took the Nomads, Matt took the PanOceania forces, and he trounced me in every game.  We had a blast though, and the rules have me eager to finally build the small Ariadna force I've owned for a few years.
  • Tokyo Highway - A dexterity based game about building highways in a city.  It goes badly, as dexterity games frequently do for me :(.  Matt ends up winning.
  • Warmachine/Hordes - Three games.  In an effort to reach my resolution goal, I try to get as many games as possible, and only manage to get three (I did have two cancellations this past week, so the potential for me to get through these isn't bad!).  First game was with Jaga-Jaga in Will Work for Food against Rob, running Vlad2 in Wolves of Winter.  He surprises me with the Doom Reavers, who make short work of a heavy on turn 2, but my counter attack is pretty vicious, and I put myself in good position to win.  However, I leave myself open to assassination, and Rob sets it up, and takes it, winning the game.  Game 2 was against a random person I met at the game store, Jesse, who takes Irusk2 in Legion of Steel against Rask in Will Work for Food.  This is an army I've never seen before, and I had no idea how to approach it, and he literally tables me.  Seriously- he saved my caster for last.  Game 3 was against Joey's Ossrum Hammer Strike list.  I drop Maelok Blindwater Congregation.  He plays very aggressive, which puts me on the back foot, but I manage to get ahead on attrition, and end up winning by scenario.
    Game 1
    Game 2
    Early game 3
    End game 3
  • Small World - Two games, once with Marina and Eric S, and one against just Marina.  The first game, I taught to everyone, and ended up coming in dead last.  The second game, I ended up winning.  I didn't really take great notes, I admit.
  • Artifacts, Inc - One game against Marina and Eric.  My first time ever playing this game.  Worker-ish placement, some die rolling... I'm not sure how to describe it, but it was a lot of fun.  I focused on buying more workers immediately, then tried to go with a buy/upgrade everything strategy, but I wasn't getting points as fast as Eric was, and he won over me.
  • Star Wars: The Card Game - I played Eric's Sith deck against Eric's Jedi deck.  He drops Luke early, but I kill him with Force Lightning.  Then I drop the Executor.  He manages to destroy two objectives, but by this point, I out-gun him significantly, and he's no longer convinced he can take objectives, and I end up winning.
  • Star Wars: Legion - Taught the game to Matt.  I forgot how I was supposed to handle Vader in a game like this (basically, run the heck away from him), and instead kept throwing things at him, which he then killed.  Ended up losing my army by the end of the game :(
  • KeyForge - Two games against Frans.  I didn't take any notes, but I do know I went 2-0, using his decks.
  • Codenames: Deep Undercover - Three games with Christian, Megan, and Cassie.  A lot of bad references, and a lot of laughter. I believe we end up going 2-2.
  • Ticket to Ride - Played against Marina, Chelsea, Megan, and Cassie.  I focus on completing and getting new destination tickets, and manage to rack up an impressive score... but only got me to second place behind Marina, who ended up with higher scoring destination tickets than me.  She wins by five points.
    Before destination ticket scoring... game is VERY close (look at far side of board).
  • Splendor - Four games against Christian, as I teach the game to him.  I go 3-1, helped by my experience playing this game against Marina!
New Arrivals
Miniature Assembly/Painting
  • I got off to a slow start, as basement work was more important, but I'm definitely getting moving on quite a few projects.
  • Star Wars Legion - I have filed all of the Rebel miniatures I have, which is the Core Set, another box of Troopers, Leia, and a snowspeeder.  The AT-RT is assembled, but not on its base, the other minis are in various states of assembly
  • For Warmachine/Hordes, I have the Retribution Battlegroup Box filed, and I'm starting assembly, as well as some Minion models- Dahlia Hallyr & Skarath, a Gremlin Swarm, and the Bog Trog Mist Speaker are all filed and currently under assembly.
  • Several of the Novellas in the Black Library novella series- I read #4 through #8, Spear of Ultramar, Dreadwing, Wanted: Dead, Warqueen, and The Red Hours.  Mostly, they were good, although I found the writing of Spear of Ultramar to be a little amateur-ish.  Saved by being a good story at least.  The rest had good stories AND good writing.
  • The new Gloomspite Gitz Battletome.  I'm doing my best to keep up with Age of Sigmar stuff, even though I haven't played a game yet.  Really fun looking book.  Wish I got it on the table!
  • Anna Karenina.  WHAT A FANTASTIC BOOK.  If you haven't read it, you should.  It's a bit lengthy, but there aren't too many characters to remember, which is nice.  It really was a satisfying read, and very engaging.  I could not recommend this book enough.
  • I've read the rules to Saipan/Tinian, with the intent to set it up and play it in my basement.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Looking into 2019

Well, 2019 has started, and I've already posted my resolutions, but I wanted to talk a bit about what I'm going to be trying to accomplish this year on this blog, and in my gaming life in general.  I am going to break it down by genre, somewhat.

Miniature gaming - I want to get a lot done in the miniature hobby this year.  Whenever my basement is set up, I will have a dedicated space to do painting, and room to store and work on various miniature projects.  I'm really excited about it, and I'm going to be trying to post a lot of various pictures of things I'm working on, as well as focusing on writing battle reports for games I play.  Some people enjoy reading them, and for me they are a great way to look back and consider how I can improve my gameplay.

There are quite a few games that are on my radar that'd I'd like to play this year.  I mentioned Warmachine and Hordes, of course, as part of my resolutions.  In addition, I'm getting back into Games Workshop games pretty hardcore.  I'd love to get into Age of Sigmar, Necromunda, Blood Bowl, and the Middle-Earth Strategy Battle Game this year, in addition to more games of Kill Team and Warhammer Underworlds.

Outside of the GW games, there are still so many games that I want to do at least something with.  There's talk of us starting a Frostgrave campaign in the next month or so.  I'll definitely have Monsterpocalypse assembled and will be teaching it at some point.  Gaslands and Kings of War: Vanguard are also likely plays for the year.  X-Wing, Armada, and Legion are also games that I can see myself playing more, especially due to their popularity.  If I manage to get these played, look forward to some battle reports on them.

Card gaming - Honestly, this feels like it has kind of died off around here.  I'd like to catch back up with Ashes, and get it played regularly.  I'd like to find someone to play VS 2PCG with.  I may have to just figure out how to play these games online, if I want to get plays in.  That's a shame.

I think Eric Stubbs and I may get some games of Star Wars LCG this year, however, so that could be a positive trend.

One thing that I'm hoping to do is get more seriously into the old Star Trek CCGs.  These are games that were just dripping with flavor, and with the Continuing Committee putting out so many interesting expansions, I'm going to try to get a few interesting decks built as see if I can't wrangle ANY interest in it.

Board Wargaming - Unfortunately, I just don't have many opportunities for this.  I have a lot of games that interest me, but I may be alone in my interest of these.  Therefore, they'll probably have to be solo plays, which means I need space.  This is another case where the basement is the solution.  So here's hoping that's done sooner rather than later.  I plan to have some pretty detailed battle reports of games that I do manage to play, including plenty of information about the game itself- generally wargames don't have a lot of information online, so interested people frequently don't know what to expect.  I can help somewhat with that.

RPGs - I'm unsure what's going to happen this year here.  I bet I'll be playing more Mutant Year Zero, but I don't really have a whole lot to write about with that.  My nephew has expressed an interest in Mutants and Masterminds or Dungeons and Dragons- I expect I'll be running one of these systems at some point.  If so, I'll put as much as I can on here about what the players are doing in the campaign!

I also want to mention, some work is being done for some friends and I to start an RPG actual play podcast.  More information to come, if that gets off the ground.

Finally, Board Games - my wife, and many of our formerly non-gaming friends, are getting into board games.  I will be working to introduce them to a few new games in the upcoming year.  I don't know that I'll write too much about them, other than brief mentions that they are getting played.  For other boardgames that aren't as popular, there will likely be a lot more I'll say.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Years Resolutions for 2019!

So, the last time I did this, nine years ago, I made a few mistakes.  To start, I made a lot of achievements that just weren't likely possible (painting full armies?), which as I fell behind on them during the year, made them so difficult that I gave up.

I also made too many resolutions (nine), which meant I would've had to spread myself too thin to accomplish them.

The end result, of course, is that I failed every single one of them.  I am not sure I even was close to completing most of them.  It was a colossal failure, and as I considered my plans for this upcoming year, I put a few rules into place so that I can ensure I have good goals, and that I was in position to achieve them.

To that end, I made sure I limited the number of resolutions I was going to shoot for to five.  That's high enough that achievement would mean some good progress in my hobby and personal life, and low enough that I'm not overwhelmed by everything I'm trying to do.

The objectives also need to be measurable and specific.  I wanted specific goals to achieve.  The numbers themselves could be low for a specific goal, but the hope is to move things in the right direction for me.

So to that end, let's look at my goals- I have three hobby goals, and two more personal goals in 2019.

Get 15 painting points
I'm using the painting system that Old West Chronicle uses.  If I paint 15 models, I'm basically set.  If I paint bigger models, I can paint fewer than 15.  Back in my first hobby resolution post, I shot for 100 painting points!  One hundred!  I managed to paint zero.  As a matter of fact, I have painted zero points in the past eight years.  The goal is to paint a few things, and get me in the habit of painting more often.  Fifteen points is a good start.

Reduce my number of unplayed games by 10
As of the start of the new year, I own 236 games that I have never played.  Seriously, 236.  Truthfully, I'm not going to stop buying games (too many things interest me).  I want to start trimming this number though.  Owning games is FINE, but I haven't played them, why am I buying them?  So, the goal is to end the year at 226 unplayed games or fewer.  If I buy a new game, that's clearly a move in the opposite direction.

Play 50 games of Warmachine/Hordes
This will be the biggest challenge on the list.  I played 13 games of Warmachine/Hordes this past year.  I want to push myself to get it on the table more.  Get in the repetitions, get in the practice, and see how it goes.  As I'm doing this, I plan to get my other armies playable in Mk3 as well- my first Minion pairing will be basically completely assembled by the end of January, and I've already planned my Cryx pairing (the fairly standard Skarre1/Asphyxious3 pairing).  After that, Skorne, and then we'll see.  The dream is to have enough games getting played that I can get a lot of practice with my armies as they are completed.

And onto my more personal goals...

Read 18 books
I finished last year with 16 books read.  I have a hard time judging how much more I can go, while still growing, so I figure adding two is a good start.  So 18 it is.  Magazines don't count.  Rulebooks without an ISBN don't count.

Lose 25 pounds
Towards the middle of last year, I reached the heaviest I have ever weighed (in the mid-290s).  Honestly, I need to lose weight.  I joined Weight Watchers, and have been doing an okay job losing weight (I've lost about 8 lbs so far).  I will keep my current weight out of sight, but the goal is to lose 25 pounds by the end of the year.  Two a month is not a tremendously high pace, so it should be something I can achieve.  I just need to keep up with what I'm doing, and I'm sure this will be an easy one.

Anyway, what about you guys?  Anyone have any good resolutions?

Happy New Year!

Just wanted to wish everyone reading a Happy New Year!  Hopefully 2018 was good for you, and hopefully 2019 will be even better!

I plan to get a lot more posting done this year, with a bunch of random projects planned.  As they get ramped up, I'll make sure to talk about them on here, and I hope you'll come around and see what I'm up to!