Saturday, December 31, 2022

My 2022 retrospective, and a bit of looking forward into 2023

It has been quite an odd year for me.  With the new child and long commute to and from work, I did not get as many opportunities for gaming as I usually do, but still pushed myself to try some new things and move my hobby status forward.

Let's start with some numbers: I managed 60 plays, spread out over eight different games.  My most played game was Marvel: Crisis Protocol at 30 total plays (some of these being two plays to finish a single game on Tabletop Simulator).  Most of my gaming was miniatures games (36 plays - MCP, Warmachine, Skytear, and Core Space), followed by card gaming (20 plays - all Marvel Champions).  This is the least amount of gaming I have done in several years, but with the one year old, that's not surprising, nor is it likely to change for a bit.

With that said, I did manage to accomplish a few things this past year.

First, I actually did a good job getting some painting done.  My painting situation changed, but I have a good schedule for it now, still managed to complete some models (Stormsmith Storm Tower, and Sir Dreyfus), and have a few painting projects in the works.  I am getting more comfortable with painting, which should finally result in me completing projects faster.  Based on the 'painting points' system I've used in the past, I only managed 7 points this year (down from the previous year's 11), but I think I'm in good position to beat that by quite a bit next year.

Second, I finally played in a miniatures game tournament!  I played in a Marvel: Crisis Protocol tournament back in September, going 2-1, good enough for second place (losing only to the eventual winner).  I played a Dark Dimension/Wakanda roster.  My game results:

Game 1 - Win with Dark Dimension against Web Warriors

Game 2 - Loss with Wakanda into SHIELD

Game 3 - Win with Dark Dimension against X-Men.

I felt good about all three games, even the loss, and finally feel comfortable with both Dark Dimension and Wakanda.  Overall, a very positive experience that leaves me eager for more chances to play.  Also, I got a sweet trophy!

As I'm thinking about next year, I am not going to bother with resolutions, because I just don't have the time nor focus to manage them.  I do have some small plans for next year, however.  I'm finding my gaming tastes are changing a bit as I get older.  I went through a phase where I was buying a ton of old CCGs, mainly for nostalgia, but I realize that I’m just not going to ever play these games, and don’t want to keep a bunch of games I’m not going to play in my house.  I will sell what I can and likely trash the rest this upcoming year.  This will probably extend past CCGs, if I am being honest.  I love games and gaming… but my time is unfortunately limited, and that’s unlikely to change for several years.

However, I am finding myself more interested in miniature-agnostic rulesets.  For example, for Christmas I asked for and received a copy of Xenos Rampant, from Osprey Games.  This is a science fiction ruleset without a miniatures line, so I can use all the 40K miniatures I have laying around, in addition to whatever other miniatures I own (say, Zombicide: Invader or those from Mantic).  Some of these sets of rules seem like a lot of fun, and the financial investment is minimal (you know, just a rulebook).  I will see if I can wrangle someone to trying them out.

I am hoping to attend more gaming tournaments this year.  I am aiming for at least two.  These will likely be for Marvel: Crisis Protocol, but I would love to attend a Warmachine tournament, as I know there are some within driving distance. One such option that I’m thinking about (and my brother may join me) is going to NOVA Open.  I’ve never gone, but it is certainly somewhere I could drive to (so I can get home if needed), and it looks like a lot of fun.  I’ll need to start painting more, however, because I do not want to be the guy running unpainted minis!  Going to such a large tournament will certainly results in some pretty one-sided losses, but my ego can handle that- the larger experience would be great for developing myself as a player on top of being a lot of fun.

I am also hoping to get heavily into Warmachine MKIV (and hoping I can make it to a tournament in 2023).  My excitement level is certainly high, although I do have some concerns about the rules.  I love the new miniatures, and am actively painting some, which I hope to complete by the end of January.  With some luck, I can start getting this new edition on the table soon to see how it stacks up, and see what the interest locally is.

A few other miniature games are on my list to get on the table in 2023.

A Song of Ice and Fire is starting to gain some traction with my group.  This is great news, since I bought a bunch of stuff during its initial Kickstarter (as in I have playable Stark and Lannister armies), but have never managed to get a game in.  With the group’s interest growing, I decided to pick up Targaryen as the army I will start with, just to have something different from everyone else.  Going to be a little tough, of course, since the dragons feature in so many lists, but the Mother of Dragons box is extremely expensive (come on, CMON, how about a reprint?).  I’ll make do with other units until they are available, but having such iconic and unique figures missing is a bit of a letdown.

My group has not played Malifaux in a long time (since 2018), but has been calling out to me lately.  We always liked the rules, but the transition to third edition caused us all to fall out of the game.  I quite like the app and current rules, however, and checking it out has really caught my interest.  I have picked up a few models in the last couple of months, and would love to play this again.

Finally, Bushido is a game I have never played, but I bought the starter set, and have been reading the rules and looking at the models.  I could see myself enjoying this, so hopefully will invest some time and money into it in the upcoming year (likely starting with Clan Ito).

Anyway, my love of gaming and the miniatures hobby certainly hasn’t dipped at all, although my available time has.  My hope is that I can focus on getting some minis finished and some games played, and work to build on my progress year to year.  With luck, maybe I can find some patient opponents to start writing battle reports again.

Hope to see you all soon!