I’ve included a pretty significant pre-ramble setting out how I’ve come to my goals as much as anything I needed to run through this process to get everything square in my mind.
2017 saw a bit of a change of mentality in my gaming.
I started off the year with my usual focus on attending events and running competitive armies (TK at Firestorm Fours, Order Gunline at Heat 2) with an eye to prep for the 6 Nations in June. Then due to ‘real life’ TM it all went on hold and the last 2 day event I attended was Heat 2 in April and I stepped down from the 6 nations.
As a result I’ve been playing down the club a lot more and had less desire to run cutting edge lists. I think what I need to find is the lists I enjoy the most and just stick to them. Currently I’m going to try out a Moonclan list. I didn’t run them loads last year but when I did they were a lot of fun.
I’m signed up to heat 2 but I would not be surprised if this is the only event I go to this year. I might attend some 1 dayers if they’re local but I’ll only be travelling further afield for social weekends not caring about the gaming.
If I’m honest I think the writing is on the wall despite the competitive scene seeming to be booming right now with events selling out in minutes and the world championships doubling in size (more countries not just doubling through on those already playing).
I don’t see where the game can go from where it is now, given what SFG have committed to, that will make it better and without growing/changing it won’t bring in new players. But I’m not a game designed and I didn’t in the slightest forsee the AOS rewrite being as awesome as it has been.
Last year I suffered from:
1) Not playing regularly
2) Switching teams frequently
I find that I can’t play GB without playing it relatively competitively. The game frustrates me when I make silly mistakes because you get punished hard for them. Therefore I think I need to stop jumping around between teams and just play something repeatedly.
I’m going to give it a few months as there is a really cool group of locals who I enjoy playing with but if the game continues to frustrate me then I may start to step away from it. I’ve been a pundit for 3 years and run 3-4 events per year so the important thing for me would be to hand that on if I do decide to stop.
It was a late addition to my gaming but one which I’ve loved.
The nature of the game makes this less of a tabletop wargame and much more a board game/CCG. It turns out that I love board/CC games when done well! I can’t see how you don’t play this game competitively either but unless they ridiculously accelerate the release schedule then I don’t think I should have an issue with that.
There is a clear end game in that the cards are numbered (x/437) so there is a finite cap on what is ‘Shadespire’ (note the game is actually called Warhammer Underworlds and Shadespire is just setting/series within that, so they can release future sets should the choose).
I played next to nothing else (actually I think it was nothing else) despite having a bunch of other miniature games all painted and ready to play. There are a couple of reasons for it:
1) Interest in games
2) Available opponents
3) Available time
Some games like Saga simply don’t interest me to play these days. The people, models & game system are cool but it just doesn’t speak to me.
Others like 30k/40l or Bolt Action I don’t want to spend the time learning a new ruleset and integrating into a new playgroup at the moment. I’d need to fully drop AOS/Guild Ball before this would become an option.
Others Like Malifaux and Epic I know there are a few people playing but I’d have to put the hard yards in to find the players to play it and relearn the rules and get back up to speed. As a result they’re of no interest to me.
I’ve sunk time into trying to get GB ticking along in the local area, I can see enough players now going that it seems to be holding up and others are now starting to run events but I’ve not got the time/energy to put that into another game right now.
Modelling/Painting by Game:
30k: Sell everything. I’m never gonna play it because they’re sticking with 7th edition ruleset and I’ve not got time for that in my life.
40k: Realistically will I ever play the game – probably not. Do I want to paint the Eldar army I have in boxes… Maybe, I’ve had it for at least 7 years and painted very little, it’s probably a sensible time to commit one way or the other.
WM&H: I’m definitely never going to play this game. I have a pretty large unpainted Mercenaries army. I do actually quite enjoy painting these though on the rare occasions I turn my hands to it. Commit to painting or offload, no idea what is a ‘good’ force in the game these days so just paint what I like.
Relic Knights: Another dead game for me. Just a case of do I care to paint up the rest of the Doctorine faction or do I just pick a unit out as and when it takes my fancy. I do need to sell off the other faction I have and don’t care for (Cerci).
Darklands: Gamewise this is clearly dead in the water. Rulebook was overly complex and most of the people I know who were playing have moved on. That said I really like the models and enjoy painting them. I’m going to continue to paint up the stuff which I have, there is the option to use these in other games. Still waiting on a load coming through from old old kickstarters.
Guildball: I’m pretty close to owning all the factions, so most likely I’ll do this in 2018. Question is what’s next. GB is in an interesting place for me. The core game I’ve always loved but I can see where it’s developers SFG can only realistically do so much more with the game before it basically falls over due to model bloat/loss of faction identity.
That said the remaining investment for me to be ‘complete’ is relatively small, so I’m happy to plow on with getting them all built & painted (about 30 models outstanding).
Shadespire: This game has grabbed me, so as a result I want to stay close to the releases and pick everything up. The bonus of Shadespire is that each release is only 3-7 models per box so keeping up isn’t difficult and I want to buy them for the cards anyway.
AoS: It’s been my main game system for years but I’m increasingly becoming less fussed with it. This comes down to time rather than not liking the game or the background.
I’m definitely trying to pare down my collection and avoid buying new factions in the name of chasing the competitive meta.
1) Continue to downsize the unpainted mound – I’ve done a reasonable job of not buying new stuff this year but I should continue to clear out the old stuff I don’t want/use. I’d done an ‘easy’ cut of this in 2017 selling off some of the really old projects that were complete armies but I’ve still got plenty more that can go:
Kharadron Overlords – painted the core of an army just need to add about 15 of the flying bubble dudes and I’ve got the standard netlist. Once painted I’m quite likely to sell it as the playstyle looks dull.
Stormcast Eternals – I have an army in boxes, I just need to get it all painted up. Could be a fun army but they’re so common and I like different, so I’ll probably sell it.
Seraphon – An old army that I can flip over to AOS now they have some decent abilities for the game. Don’t need to paint much to have an army complete and then I can sell it off as again I have little desire to play them.
Deathlords – I’ve had this in a box for about 15 months now. The models are big and cool, I definitely want to get round to painting them, I’ve just been too focused on painting stuff for gaming to get to it. Hopefully my slowdown on AOS will finally allow me to do this. Don’t see this as a play army but as a ‘looks cool’ army.
Skaven – Have an army painted but have a bunch of models I’d like to add to it. 3 more Stormfiends, Thanquol & Boneripper, Verminlord Deceiver.
2) Continue to sell off unused painted models (Still got multiple AOS armies to shift and really should get rid of more of the older WFB stuff I’m still sat upon).
3) Buy & paint all new Shadespire warbands (I’ll be buying for the cards anyway so I want to try and keep on top of the models)
4) Focus down on gaming – In 2017 I committed to cutting back to just 2-3 game systems: AoS, Guild Ball & Shadespire. In 2018 I want to return to ‘git gud’ principles and focus on playing the same faction for a large chunk of the year until I’m actually playing it well instead of flitting about constantly and being frustrated that I’m losing games I feel I should win. Note this doesn’t really mean gaming more, but when I game not constantly swapping.
5) Paint at least 1 high quality monster (last 2 years I've done this and really enjoyed it, should do more than 1 but I always get stuck in army projects).