Sunday, January 04, 2015

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015!

Well, with customary bloggers aplomb it seems de rigeur to offer an end of year summary, and offer some prognostication into the year ahead...

For me, the story of 2014 was a welcome return to Middle-Earth, and a solid return of the painting and modelling mojo. But it wasnt all paint and models, there was inspiration and gaming too, and a groundswell of growing interest in the game...

Last year started off with me rounding out my entries in Curts painting challenge... trying to finish off some Empire of the Dead building work, and then starting off a little LOTR gaming with my son, having been inspired, back then, by the second Hobbit movie... It was shortly after this that my son started to read the Lord of the Rings, which then in turn inspired a play through of the Fellowship scenario games for the LOTR SBG game... which in turn led to some somewhat bigger than first planned, terrain pieces, being built... The Watcher in Water board and the Durins Causeway board...

This in turn led onto more work on the LOTR figure backlog, as I churned out the figures we'd need to play through the scenarios, and looked ahead to the Two Towers scenarios...

As this was progressing, there was also some left over matters of a piractical nature that needed finishing, and I managed at long last to complete my pirate brig, The Temptress, and made a sea scape for her to sail on, and a Desert Ilse to explore...

Back to matters of a Middle Earth nature, and thanks again to the connectivity of the internet, with local  Facebook groups and local games clubs, and local stores, connecting, we saw the emergence of a group of players for LOTR, come out from the wood work, both new and old, and games start getting played again on a regular basis...

I met new folks like Andrew from Wello, and Ste who migrated from the UK... and touched base with the 'Wellington crew', thanks to hosts at the Warlords, and got games in with mates like Bryan and Brett too, and perhaps planted a little LOTR seedling with players down at the KWC, who knows, with a little care and TLC it may yet germinate... fingers crossed.

I'd also like to offer a little thanks for the on going inspiration from the folks who take part in the GBHL... it may be the other side of the world to me now, but their enthusiasm is infectious, so thanks guys...

In summary, I painted something like 250 figures, made a pile of terrain, blogged 120 posts, my most yet in a year, and played a great many games, at home, at mates houses and down the club. Probably not as many 'formal games' against adults, as the previous year, but more on the home front with my son, and thats got to be a good thing too :)

This also was the year of the radical shake up in hobby focus... as I decided to clear the decks of projects that were old, unloved, or never realistically going to get off the ground, or whatever... and this saw a load of unpainted stuff sold off from the lead mountain, and indeed painted stuff too was dispatched in the realisation that if it hasnt been played in more years than I can remember, it didnt seem likely to again... so out went 40k orks, WFB dwarfs, Dark Ages, Romans, SYW, ACW, Zulus and colonial Brits, and napoleonics, and some odds and sods too of FoW, cowboys, old RPG type models and more besides... and there is still more to go...

I am focusing on LOTR/Hobbit as my core game, and much of what was sold above, funded more purchases to fill gaps in my LOTR/Hobbit collection, and there is more new Hobbit stuff being churned out as we speak, including a certain large red Dragon... which I will need to source over time...

I am also hanging on to the Pirates stuff as I love the setting, the LotHS rules are still enjoyable, and experiments adapting EotD rules for the setting were very effective... and Empire of the Dead as again the setting and models appeal, even if the company's support for this game has been temperamental at best, (more models continue to slowly filter through), despite what appeared to be a successful Kickstarter... I would still like to see a formal rules update - the kickstarter folks received a Requiem Pdf... but I think it needed a few tweaks before being released... and this ongoing wait has been my frustration...

I have oddly hung onto the majority of my FoW stuff too... I dunno, I invested a lot in it, time and money, to see it all flogged off... I do sometimes miss the march of my Wehrmacht troops over the board, even if their Mechanised exploits seemed more akin to the 'Wacky Races' than anything else... I am pondering using them for the BattleGroup series of rules... or may try the odd game of FoW again, preferably in a 'non-competitive' setting, if such a thing is possible? Who knows...

So on the whole I would say 2014 was a very successful year on the hobby front... not that I set out with any specific goals in mind, just enjoyed riding the wave...

So what does 2015 hold in store?

Well we have witnessed the last chapter in the Middle-Earth movie saga, and I expect we'll see more wonderful models from GW, at their usual eye watering prices... so I hope for continued LOTR/Hobbit gaming obviously, and a solid continuation of the painting of the 'small matter' of the growing LOTR/Hobbit "Lead/Plastic&Resin" Mountain... ;-)

But I am also open to other games too, depending on what transpires... there are some possibilities out there perhaps... SAGA, Bolt Action, BattleGroup, ??? and maybe still FoW???

Time will no doubt tell...

I wish you all a very fun filled, successful and prosperous New Year, and if 2014 was a turd for you, lets hope 2015 is the Golden Egg!

Cheers!




30 comments:

  1. All the best for the coming year , Tony

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  2. Hi Scott, impressive year for you by the sounds of it. With regards to your FoW figures, I use mine for FoW and Battlegroup Overlord - there are a few tiny changes we make to the basic Battlegroup rukes (each base from FoW is a unit, etc) but otherwise the rules work really well - our local club has adopted the Battlegroup rules as their go to ww2 rules set.

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    1. Thanks, yes I must check out BG and see what I make of it...

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  3. Congrats on a great year Scott, especially your amazing terrain pieces which are so inspiring. All the best for 2015!

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  4. I thought you had a wonderful year Scott and really look forward to more Middle Earth modelling in 2015.

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  5. Very good! Your return to Middle Earth is certainly giving me something to think about and I equally need a radical sort out this year. Your scenics and figure painting reached new heights in 2014!

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  6. You had some very impressive stuff this year Scott, particularly your stunning terrain builds. Most inspiring! I always love seeing what you come up with next.

    I cannot recommend the Battlegroup rules highly enough. If you already have the figs you MUST give them a try. They are everything I wanted FoW to be but wasnt. 't you don't like them - well, they have me building 15mm WW2 armies so let me know if you want to get rid of you FoW stuff! Seriously.

    Best wishes to you and the family for a wonderful 2015. I know I'll be back frequently to enjoy your adventures on Middle Earth!

    cheers
    Paul
    PS 2014 was also the year we almost met and were within 100km-ish of one another when I was at the Scout Jamboree. Next time for sure!

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    1. Thanks Paul :). Yes indeed must check out BG... Thanks , and to you and yours... Indeed, we came close, next time mate if you can spare the time, would be cool to meet.

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  7. I have love following your LOTR Renaissance , and your wonderful terrain creations. Have age at 2015, and I look forwards with interest to your upcoming creations..

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    1. Thanks Dave, and thanks again for your assistance, with the article for the mag, and the deal on the models and helping source those brushes, much appreciated mate :)

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  8. I've played Battle Group using 15mm and it works really well

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    1. Thanks, I'll checking it out for sure...

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  9. I've enjoyed all of your post in 2014, Scott. Particularly your LotR posts - granted I'm quite clueless to the genre, but you've certainly captured my interest in it. Best wishes for you and yours in 2015!

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    1. Thanks Dean, always nice to inspire folks. All the best to you and yours :)

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  10. All the best for 2015 Scott!

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  11. I think in 2014 you've produced some of your best work to date. 2015 you can only get better! All the best good sir!

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    1. Thanks Simon , that's very kind of you. All the best to you and yours mate :)

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  12. I applaud how you've managed to polarize you're hobby focus, and it's certainly paying off. I sometimes wish I could do the same however I think I'll always be the hobby butterfly.
    I'm really impressed with how you've brought your family into your hobby (of their own volition!).
    I look forward to more Bowman adventures in middle earth(with the occasional Victorian piracy thrown in for good measure).
    Ps: I have a copy of Kampfgruppe Normandy if you're interested trying it out at 15mm (it's essentially the first Battlegroup book).

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    1. Thank Ste - I have certainly been a hobby butterfly in the past, and the innovations of boxed sets of cheap plastic figures had me reaching for the credit card and zinging off orders left right and centre... several years later and realisation dawned - i just dont have the time to get it all painted ... better to focus then a fewer projects and try and do those 'well'...
      LOL, yes indeed... wifey poos was the first indoctrination... I recall when the FOTR was announced at the cinema... and wifeypoos admitted to knowing nothing about it... 'What?" I cried... hence forth followed her being sat in a small room, with no distractions and the only company being the Hobbit and fellowship of the ring amd several cups of sweet tea and biscuits and not to emerge until she had fionsihed those, which she did, just in time for the opening at the cinem of the first LOTR movie... thats was gods know how many moons ago now... since then the kids have grown up with the movies from an early age - they never stood a chance! ;-), Call it the Bowman religeon ;-)
      It will always be something we all love and have in common...

      Canrt wait for more LOTR action and am more than happy to break out the pirates, Victorians and a bit of WWII too... I am your servant Sir!

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  13. A great year for a great blog - many thanks for good reads and hobby inspiration!

    I too am concentrating on LOTR/Hobbit for my miniature hobbying. The system is slim enough that I can teach it easily to new players and my wife even concedes to play from time to time. And the scenarios offer pre-built lists. Also the theme is broadly attractive and the books/movies provide much higher quality "fluff" for inspiration than is available in other systems. The miniatures are great though the current pricing and absence of plastics in the new miniatures is an issue.

    Unfortunately I also board game and that is where I have poor restraint!

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    1. Thank you Andrew, its always nice to know my ramblings here provide a little entertainment and inspiration :)
      Good to hear, yes I agree with all you say.
      I only play a few boardgames admittedly, though in some ways they were the early inspiration for my gaming interests now... Have a good year!

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  14. Scott, you can add "restarting the love of LOTR gaming in a small town in Sweden" to you list of achievements for 2014. Thanks to you, stuff has been brought out of storage and some of it is even finished, with more to come. Your blog is inspiration on tap, as it were, and I love reading your reports.
    As for your FoW armies, have a look at the games from TooFatLardies, especially I Ain't Been Shot, Mum. Your FoW stuff will be usable as is and I can promise you a completely different game experience where actual tactics may even be a factor.
    Cheers/Thomas

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    1. Thank you so much Thomas, thats great to hear, much appreciated. I wish you success in your LOTR endevours!
      Interesting, I have heard of the Lardies before, and if their rules are usuable with the FoW figures as is, it seems a no-brainer to give them a whirl. Thanks for the tip. :)

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  15. Happy new year to you and looking forward to seeing more painted stuff from you. :)

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  16. happy New Year Scott and already it looks like you've a load of LOTR goodies on the table :-) Thanks for the Hollens post as well. Ended up buying the Lonely Mountain as I thought it was great.

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