Thursday, 22 December 2016

2016 in Review - 2017 plans

The time has come to once again have a look back over my hobby across the year.

I feel 2016 has been a good year for me hobby-wise. My new job has meant I've finally been able to afford to invest the money I want into my projects, whilst unfortunately sapping me of the time to do them!

That said, I've managed to get a good amount of games in. I've played 24 games out of my intended 26. Whilst falling just shy of my target,  it's had the intended effect - reinvigorating my gaming life and providing inspiration and motivation for my projects. I've also connected with not just one, but two awesome groups in my local area. I've met some great people and finally found myself a regular 30k-playing group to indulge my love of the Horus Heresy with. That's on top of getting a good friend of mine into collecting a Night Lords force. I've even found some opponents to play 8th Edition Fantasy against, so it's been a very good year, I'd say.

Unfortunately the same success hasn't been mirrored in the painting side of things. It's kind of become a yearly tradition that I declare that I will be massively more productive than usual with my painting and I will have several painted armies to show for it by December the 31st. These proclamations usually fall by the wayside sometime around February. I think you can guess what happened in 2016?

You guessed correctly.

In fairness I decided wisely midway through the year to drop the targets of specific projects and just aim to be generally productive. My hope for achieving this was to adopt a painting points system and by trying to paint for about half an hour every day. Unfortunately between real life and preparation for Pokemon Championships, I haven't done anything since October except put a few layers on the Terminators from the Prospero box. Also, various impulse buys have shot my painting points total to the wrong side of hilarious!

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is going to change next year. I now have pretty much everything I need for my current projects. All that remains is to paint them. In hindsight, half an hour every single day was a bit too much to keep up with. I work night shifts most of the week, as well as having several other very time consuming hobbies. I just didn't have the time to put aside for painting. When I did get a chance to sit down and paint, the fact that I was so behind on my daily painting just made it feel like a chore, rather than something I did for fun.

What I'm thinking is that next year I should be aiming to sit down and paint for at least half an hour three times a week. That's much easier to manage, whilst still giving a good rate of progress. Plus it means I won't be demoralised so much if I happen to miss a couple of days. Drastically reducing my number of current projects should help too. I only have four main things I'm working on atm:

Thousand Sons - These have become my main gaming force, which coupled with the recent releases have worked wonders for my motivation for getting them finished. This will be a nice and simple 2500 point Zone  Mortalis force. After that I'm hoping to add 500 points of White Scar allies, but that's a little way off yet.

I'm also hoping to make some bits and pieces so these guys can pull double duty as a 30k or 40k force. The recent Chaos releases have gotten me quite fired up to try out the new Traitor Legion rules!

Sons of Horus - This has fallen at the wayside somewhat, probably because it's a repaint rather than a new project, so I don't have my usual 'fire' when I work on them. I have a sneaky suspicion a friend of mine has bought me Horus for Christmas though, so it's possible my motivation will go through the roof for these guys very soon!

Dark Elves - Currently the oldest army I own and the one with the fewest painted models (10 Crossbowmen). On the other hand, the fact that one of my local gaming clubs is running a narrative Fantasy campaign atm means that I really wanted to get these fully painted. I have all the models I need for this save for one Hydra, so in theory I should be able to complete this fairly quickly.

My Lords, Heroes and a couple of monsters are likely to be amongst the first projects I finish in the new year and batch painting infantry shouldn't present too much of a challenge either.

Inquisition - These have been put on hold until I get the new Imperial Agents book and I can see what rules and combos they've changed/removed. These aren't going away though. The fact that each model is so individual means that I find myself returning to these guys whenever I want a break from my other projects.

I also want to keep working on my homemade Zone Mortalis project this year, but that's not a priority right now. I game mostly at clubs rather than at home, so having a painted army is more important to me than having a niche set of terrain for those few times when I play games at home. It'll be nice to have once I get around to it though.

At some point I also want to get a display cabinet for my finished models. Being able to see them displayed in all their glory (not to mention being beyond the reach of the cat, who seems to have developed a taste for plastic crack) should help my motivation immensely.

So to sum up, my goals for 2017 are:

- try to paint at least three times a week for half an hour.

- continue my current projects and try not to start any more.

- continue my painting points system.

- try and get 26 games in across the year. One every two weeks in average seems a reasonable goal to try and hit.

Current painting point total: 93 bought/ 6 painted

My hobby 'stash' currently looks like this:

I also have these sprayed and ready to go. I'm not going to touch them until January the 1st though.

Wish me luck!

What are your hobby plans for 2017?