Actually this picture was taken on Canada Day, but who's counting?
Happy New Year to one and all! I have missed the tide of year-in-review posts in the wargaming blogosphere. I read and enjoyed many of these posts, but they showed me that I really didn't have much of a plan for 2012, and that lack of a plan may explain my rather sporadic production.
In looking back at my blog posts for 2012, I see relatively few figures produced. Most of the minis I finished were in one of my first love periods and scales, 28mm ACW: a Union mounted and dismounted cavalry regiment, a Confederate mounted and dismounted cavalry regiment, a Confederate two gun battery, and a Union regiment of the Iron Brigade. I also finished six 1/600 scale ACW warships, the first naval minis I've ever done. All these models were completed for the ACW PBEM campaign I started in Nov 2011, the Bluffsburg campaign, which sadly went into hiatus in the late summer of 2012.
Otherwise my production was sparse and scattered. I managed a handful of WW2 figures in three different scales, but not enough in any scale to really push a project forward much. I did start a new period, 6mm Napoleonics, and made some progress and, more importantly, increased my confidence level in painting at this scale, something quite new to me. Another project, what I'm calling Weird War Two, may have mystified some of my readers, but it amused me and lead to a small handful of figures getting finished.
Finally I looked at my 2012 blog posts and saw a lot about boargames. This is not surprising, since where I live currently (Medicine Hat, AB) there is no wargaming community to speak of. There is a boardgames club, and I like going there for the the people, but it's not very fertile ground. The club did however connect me to my wargaming roots in board gaming (SPI, AH, GDW, if you know those initials), and led me to acquire a few myself. For me, boardgaming is a legitimate subset of wargaming, and will probably continue to appear on my blog, but my first love will always be miniatures.
So, before we move on to "Whither Mad Padre Wargames in 2013", here are a few of my top things about 2012.
Best face to face wargame: a fortuitous meeting with another wargaming padre, Major Kevin White of the British Army, who was in Canada with his unit for training, let to a wonderful evening of gaming in which I was thoroughly trounced.
Best long distance wargame: an experiment that the mad and noble Conrad Kinch and I conducted, using Apple's FaceTime technology to play a Command and Colours game using his table and figures in Dublin. The result was successful, and plans are afoot to try this again.
Best wargaming swag of 2012 - while my Posties Reject golf shirt, courtesy of Fran the Angry Lurker, will be a treasured part of my wardrobe, my red staff Hot Lead shirt as edges it out slightly as a reminder of an awesome weekend spent with James Manto and the gang at Hot Lead, Canada's best wargames convention, this March.
Best wargaming meme of 2012: while the Liebster Award was a great morale boost for the wargaming blogosphere, my vote goes to those two gits, Fran and Ray, for their 20 Questions meme, for helping us get to know each other better.
Favourite figure that I painted in 2012: this gallant fellow, a Wargames Foundry 28mm Union officer, doing a gallant but highly conspicuous and questionable maneuvre, thus demonstrating why Confederate Sam Watkins considered officers to be "harmless personages" whom he never fired at.
Best reader response of 2012: from Christ Church, New Zealand, Ion, aka Archduke Piccolo, offered this wonderful poem in response to my last post of 2012, about a scary encounter between some stout British soldiers and a seductive undead lady. Well done, sir. A painted figure will be coming to you in due course.
Finally, thanks to all who have followed and supported my blog this year. I don't know how you do it, since I barely have time in my life to skim the many excellent hobby blogs out there. This blog reached 97 followers this year, and some posts made several hundred views. I've enjoyed sharing my work, my hobby, and my sense of humour with you all, and I look forward to continuing into the new year.
(Signpost at Signal Hill, St. John's, Newfoundland)
Whither my hobby plans and goals in 2013? (I don't really have an answer to that, it's just fun to use the word "whither"). I have decided to give myself five goals for the coming year. They are:
1) Continue and wrap up my ACW PBEM campaign. To any of you readers who have roles in this and were wondering what happened to "Bluffsburg, Mississippi", I will have some results for you this year.
2) Focus on the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. I haven't done well with hobby challenges and build projects in 2012, but the structure that Curt has come up with, to paint as much as you personally can in a set period of time, has managed to resurrect my painting interests. I am hoping that the Challenge will allow me to get better at painting figures at something faster than my normally glacial pace, and to generally hone my talents. Malcom Gladlwell once said that proficiency comes after 10,000 hours of doing something. I doubt I can manage 1000 hours of painting time this coming year, but I'll do my best.
3)Game more. I am lucky enough to have a dedicated gaming room in my house, and I haven't really done much with it in the 2.5 years I've lived here. There will probably be a posting for me this summer, but for the next six months I want to game more, even if it is solitary. My goal is to have four batreps a month, in a variety of different periods and rules sets, on this blog.
5) Work on expanding my Napoleonic 6mm collection to the point where I have enough units (French and some other nationality to be determined) to have a smallish game.
So those are my goals for 2013. I thank you all for showing me the wisdom of making hobby goals, and I wish you all success with yours. May we all have an enjoyable and productive year in our painting and gaming, may we deepen our friendships and develop new ones, and may we and our loved ones be healthy and happy.