Saturday, October 1, 2011

Gaming Year in Review 2011

It’s that time of year again. I track my gaming year closer to a government fiscal year than a traditional one. Don’t ask me why, it’s been done like that for twenty years.

This is the 23rd year of my gaming career, and this whole being an adult and parent thing has significantly cut into quality gaming.

Of course, the big event of this past year was the birth of my daughter, Amelia. As if a newborn at home with another under 2 wasn't tough enough, she also spend 17 days in the hospital suffering from RSV. What's RSV? In layman's terms, take the worst cold you ever had and just couldn't shake, and give it to a two-week old. Bad stuff, but she was a fighter and got through it.

During those late nights at the hospital, taking a break from sitting bedside with her, I would walk down to the 24-hour cafe and use the free internet . I didn't do much, but I did spend some time on eBay and rediscovered a former addiction: Legions of Steel. Between January and March I snagged up a few random LOS items on the cheap, including a black box set where the UNE and Machines were replaced by Space Marines and Star Wars robots. Funny thing is, despite these purchases, I still didn't play a single game of LOS!

One of the amusing things I discovered was that people actually read this blog! As I was setting up for my "Very Gnomish Civil War" game at Historicon, I lost count on the number of people who came up to the table and said hi, or just said "Hey, Gaming With the Gnomies, cool." That was even more impressive as I was at a different table than scheduled, so that meant they had to have read this silly thing!

Alright then, the games:
Gnome Wars: Gnomes, gnomes, and maybe some teddy bears! We finally got the Tanga Campaign moving along (If your a consistent reader of this blog, you may have heard it mentioned a time or two.) I also got some solid fun playing at Cold Wars and running a nice game on a Miniatures Building Authority board at Historicon.

Everything else was a passing interest.

Toon: Cthulhu Comes to Springfield Redux was not only run at a con, but playtested! A rousing success for both and kudos to my regulars for fleshing out a new final scenario "Duffman failed his SAN check."

Risus: Did manage to get some IOU magic in after the Toon playtest. Got some of the Freshthings jobs and an Intergalactic parcel company starship. Unfortunately, we did not get our annual game during the Day of Sloth picnic, due to lack of gaming attendees.

Hackmaster: At Fall Mepacon, I threw together a game based on the BD&D module, The Lost City. Everyone had fun and it lasted almost the entire 4 hour slot.

Call of Cthulhu: Trying to rejuvenate what had been a staple game. I finally got Phil and Jess involved, and even if Dr. Millheim never makes an appearance again, I think the group can move forward. If they can make it in New York, they might be able to make it in London, Kenya, Shanghai, and Innsmouth.

D&D 4e: I did get invited to my buddy Steve's 4th Edition game for a session. The game was fun, the system, nicht sehr gut. My Scottish Knight is welcome back if I ever have time.

Murder Mysteries: Although I don't normally count these types of games in my listings, my wife and I did host two different games this year with some close friends. They were suprisingly a hoot, even if my Chief Wiki-Wiki was nearly sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit.

Conventions - I had a blast at Mepacon Fall 2010, made one days for historicon and Cold Wars, that's it. The Society of Neffs Gamers (SONG) had a crazed notion of throwing together a con in Wilson Borough this year, but life's curve balls silenced that idea for now.

Projects: Holy crap, I got some painting done this year! Not the prodigious amounts I've seen on Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog/, my favorite blog, but I did get the Swiss Park Rangers finished, complete with bicycle tank, and a Scottish Golf Mortar. And "most" of the figures I'm playing with at least have base coats.

Of course the joy of painting has been picked up by my two-year old daughter Maja. There have been more than a few figs with a rainbow color scheme, but I'll never disuade her from doing anything creative. Anyway, who's going to paint figure for Daddy in a few years?

I also got the boards for Tanga put together. It was my first experiment with insulation and modeling in general for quite some time, but I consider them a success for how utilitarian they needed to be.

Purchases: Kids, the economy, and the price increases for metal and paper made it a year to search for deals.
For LOS, eBay was my friend, picking up the mish-mashed boxed set, a copay of Planetstorm, two Black Chariots, a Mk I Assault Fiend, and a slew of support troopers and I probably spent more on shipping than for the figs.
For Gnome Wars, only the Scottish Mortar and a copy of Gnome Wars 2nd Edition.
From Eureka, I snagged up two Teddy Bear Bearoplanes and a pack of their Mice Warriors. They will work well with:
From Reaper: the Mouselings boxed set and Frumitty, lemur cleric.

Other stuff: Complete Masks of Nylarhotep HC, CoC Keeper Screen, Isle of Death and Dead Gawd's Hand for Hackmaster, and a pile of books from the Historicon which included Arena and a slowly developing interest in gladiator battles. I also picked up an MBA Guard Tower.

Best Game: I should pick my Very Gnomish Civil War or the Battle of St. Abe Gnome Wars game, but the Toon Cthulhu Comes to Springfield gets a top nod because it got run twice and everything is sitting in a file, ready to go at a moment's notice. Plus, it's motivated me to work on a Simpsons Cthulhu game for Christmas.

Best RPG Purchase: Masks of Nylarhotep hardcover, hands down. The Keeper Screen is beautiful and will get more work, but a high quality book wins in my book.

Best Miniature Purchase: My Mk I Assault Fiend. Fifteen years after its initial release, its even more badass the I originally thought.

Best Miscellaneous Purchase: The Miniatures Building Authority guard tower has been worth every penny and I've only use it once. Can't wait to use it again for Fall-in!

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