Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2016 Hobby Goals

So finally, after dividing one really long blog post into 4 separate posts, it is time to set my hobby goals for 2016.  Many of these are similar to what I had for 2015 but  a few will be modified based on my retrospective (see, there was a point to the previous "2015 Hobby Audit" posts).  A couple will be new.

Quickly, what I did well in 2015:  stayed within my hobby budget, had a good number of hobby weeks, had an 'ok' number of games played weeks.

Not so well in 2015:  still bought way to many miniatures, kickstarters, didn't paint enough.

So very specific 2016 Hobby Goals:

  • Weeks having painted/assembled/hobby'd > 30*
  • Weeks having played miniature games > 11*
  • Weeks having played board or role-playing games > 20**
  • Finish painting the Malifaux Guild models I started in 2015
  • Paint my Guild Ball Masons Team
  • Special Super Secret Modelling/Painting project (it's a surprise but related to a Windmill)
  • Paint something for CMON Expo (likely to be WoK Hadross)
  • Painting something for NOVA Open (likely to be Blood Bowl)
  • Paint up 1 (of my many) Dungeon Crawl type games.
  • Build terrain for winter board (I have a super nice F.A.T. Mat that desperately needs terrain, luckily I have a butt load of DUST Warfare Warzone Tenements I got super cheap once upon a time)
  • Build Special Super Secret Terrain/table - It's a surprise...
  • Enter just 1 painting competition (online/convention/local, whatever)
  • Stay within budget.
  • Read more books, > 8*
*These numbers were what I achieved in 2015, so I want to do better than them.
**This number is kind of arbitrary since I obviously lost track of this last year.

More general 2016 Hobby Goals:
  • Reign in spending:  Are you playing it?  Are you painting it?  Don't just "collect" it.
  • Less kickstarters:  Is it really "exclusive"?  Can you really use it?  Will it make it to the table?  Don't just "collect" it.
  • Paint more!  The unpainted models will not fight for you in the afterlife.  (I know I'm stealing that from someone, sorry I don't remember who).
  • Get integrated into the local community, even if it is by playing Kings of War (not to imply KoW is "bad", just probably not my thing).  This goes for miniature, board and role-playing (maybe) games.
  • Champion a game in the local community (what game is TBD).
  • Research my Windmills.
  • Don't buy more miniatures than you paint.  Unlikely but I should not give up on this.
  • Less time on the internet looking, reading, watching the hobby and more time doing the hobby.
  • Lastly, but very important to many of the previous goals, (for lack of thinking of better words) find my painting "center".  I need to find a speed, style and quality of painting that accomplishes what I want.  Basically, I want to establish an efficient baseline to work to most of the time and at times to deviate from.  Maybe later I will write something explaining my thoughts about this a little better but this post is not the place.
I have too many goals but hey that is just what they are.  I did not call them resolutions, that just seems too absolute, too binary.  Of course, many of these goals will be at risk if I don't get properly settled soon.  But there is a light in that particular tunnel...  Maybe.

The frequency of posts will now probably also die down.  Since this is the beginning of the new year and I am already 6 days "late" on this post, I rushed it and the previous ones out very rapidly.

Who knows though, maybe my next post will actually be something "useful."  ;)  

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2015 Hobby Audit (Final Thoughts) Part 4/4

The last of the 2015 Hobby Audit:

Part 4 of 4, 2015 Final Thoughts:

Well, with 7 of 14 goals achieved I think I will consider this past year mildly successful.  I am really happy with certain aspects, as in spending and concentrating my hobbying more on what I can get to the table.  Other aspects, meant to achieve an end goal of having actual painted models, I'm less happy with but glad that there is improvement over 2014.  Going into 2016, I still need to analyze purchases and kicstarters more carefully - I've improved, but I think I can (and need) to do better.

I really liked how setting the goal of having my Malifaux Guild crew ready for Adepticon drove a significant part of my hobbying and think I will consider this approach for something 2015.  It would be nice to continue it for all the Malifaux Guild models that ultimately did not make the 2014 cut but I've signed up for no tournaments at Adepticon and the local Malifaux scene is non-existent as far as I can tell.  Perhaps I will target something else for CMON Expo and/or the NOVA Open.

I do really wish I had actually managed to play more miniature games this past year.  Which is troubling after my relocation because I am not terribly interested in Bolt Action or Kings of War, which seem to be the major games that make up the local scene.  Although I am willing to give Kings of War a decent go once I've settled and have my Warriors of Chaos army back.  That being said, Mike over at Mini Mayhem and I have very similar interest for the most part so I know I can at least get some alternative stuff in with him.  I really think in 2016, once I'm settled, I need to consider focusing on a game to champion locally.  What that will be is an interesting choice for another day, as there are several factors I think have to be considered.

Lastly, some of my favorite things from 2015 (in a random order, ie as they come to mind):
  • Malifaux Team Tournament at Adepticon.  Not only was it great hanging out with my partner Nick all day but we had some really fun games with great opponents.  We didn't end up doing that well, but our practice partners finished 1st!  I think Nick and I deserve all the credit for their victory!  ;)
  • Mad Max.  Wow, just wow.  And if you didn't know this version is coming on DVD in 2016 (I think):  Mad Max Trailer.
  • Star Wars, The Force Awakens.  My expectations were low:  "Just don't f'' it up."  I don't think they did.  I think they gave us original Star Wars geeks what we wanted.  Is it perfect, is it flawless, it is a great movie, etc?  No.  Did it make me feel like I was watching Star Wars?  Hell yeah.
  • Guild Ball.  Mike and I have only gotten one extremely long game (should have counted is 5-6 games) in of this game but I am already in love with it.  Is it a better game than Blood Bowl?  Yes, yes, yes.  Will it completely replace Blood Bowl for me?  No, I don't think so but I hope they both continue to coexist for me.  There is something to goofy/randomness of Blood Bowl that I think will continue to tug at me.
  • Ready Player One.  Maybe this book only appeals to a certain age demographic and only to certain subset of people, but wow.  It just blew me away and so many old memories.
  • Leviathan Wakes.  I was hooked 10 pages into this book.  By page 30, I thought to myself "he can't keep this pace up there are 470 more pages!"  I was wrong.  
  • Roman and Raffa from Massive Voodoo at the 2015 NOVA Open!  It was such a pleasure and experience to meet them and take classes from them.  
  • Long story that I've tried to make short.  Painting grey plastic Malifaux Lone Marshal.  Guild guard long coats previously had been painted brown, therefore Marshal's long coat brown.  Horse, painted brown (note this and next steps done with airbrush).  Model on horse, TOO MUCH BROWN.  Repaint base coat on horse to grey.  Shade dark grey.  Highlight very very light grey.  OMG it splattered all over the place!!!  Calm thoughts, nothing to loose, see if you can salvage it.  Make dark grey wash.  Wash horse.  Shadows/crevices looking good.  Splattering less.  Wash again.  Better.  Wash again, OMG I might actually have some marginal talent as a painter.  Run to wife.  Show wife model.  Wife responds "It looks like it did before you painted it..."  She's not a nice woman...
  • Games Workshop announces the return of Specialist Games.  I don't know exactly why this makes one of my favorite things of 2015.  Maybe:

Eventually, hobby goals for 2016...

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 Hobby Audit (Spending Analysis) Part 3/4

Part 3 of 4, 2015 Spending Analysis:

Previously I hinted at, I think, that not only do I track my spending to attempt to stay within budget but I also track what exactly it was spent on.  This way I can understand any positive (buying only what I am playing) and negative (buying stuff I'm not playing) trends.  Btw, I like numbers.  They tell you things.  But they can also tell you what you want them to say.

But before we get into that, there is a confession to be made.  This does not account for what it costs me to go to conventions (hotel, food, travel) or registration (convention itself and events) for said conventions.  Part of the reason for this is that I've used the purchasing of hobby related games, miniatures, supplies, etc as a proxy for actually playing.  Kind of like how some people with depression get a temporary "high" from a spending spree.  That "proxing" is what I'm trying to manage with the budget.  And the conventions, they are my form of vacation.  A "man-cation."

Another thing, this might be tricky.  If I received a gift card and use it on the hobby, then I account for here and against the models bought, but not the budget total goal.  BUT if I receive, let's say, Imperial Assault as a gift I don't count those number of miniatures against my goal of models bought or budget.  Seems to make sense to me.  I can't control what people give me but I can control what I spend money on (even if it's a gift card).

Anyway, the spending breakdown:
Modelling Supplies:  19%
Painting Supplies:  3%
Gaming Supplies:  8%
Terrain Supplies:  0%
General Hobby:  2%
Miniatures:  66%
Board Games:  3%
RPGs:  0%

Other views: 
How much of the total spending was on kickstarters:  27%
How much at conventions:  14%
How much FLGS:  0% (I haven't had a decent FLGS in forever)
How much toward things that are getting to the table:  24%

Hmm, definitely need to cut back on miniatures themselves, kickstarters and things that are not making it to the table.

Explanation of categories, if curious:
Modelling Supplies - Includes items for assembling, miniature storage, etc
Painting Supplies - Includes paints, brushes, etc
Gaming Supplies - Need it to play the game, or it helps.  Includes tokens, cards, rules, etc.
Terrain Supplies - Anything related to terrain or the making of terrain
General Hobby - Things not related specifically to a particular aspect, like gaming/hobby magazines
Miniatures - Take a guess
Board Games - No hiding miniatures here!  Imperial Assault goes under Miniatures.
RPGS - Bet you can guess this one too.

Up next, final thoughts.