Wednesday, January 8, 2014
As we celebrate (?) the month dedicated to two-faced Janus, god of doorways and beginnings, it seems appropriate to consider accomplishments and goals.
According to my painting log, I finished 7 40mm NQSYW foot figures last year (not counting the paint and basing touchups on figures bought painted), 99 assorted 25/28mm figures, mostly Reaper fantasy Bones, 10 1/72 scale horsemen (counting two chariots as four cavalry), and 3 1/72 scale foot (not counting some Persian samples who remain unbased).
As years go, that wasn't bad. Numbers like that again this year would barely make a dent in my overall painting backlog, but would allow me to deploy a couple of small skirmish games on new subjects, and perhaps get enough Persians and Greeks done to work up some inspiration.
So the usual January questions are:
1) What do I want to paint?
2) What do I want to play?
I have been thinking about the first question somewhat independently of the second. I would like to move my 40mm Prince August project, the Not Quite Seven Years War, along. I have a plan laid out which shows its maximum projected size at about twice what I have now, but there is no great urgency about that, with the number of other participating painters. Nevertheless, I'd like to finish up another regiment for my own army, and paint a sample unit for my proposed adversary army.
I'd like to continue the fantasy update, probably through the mechanism of painting up a few warbands for Song of Blades and Heroes, plus some things intended to be immediately useful in role-playing games. I am also lumping in some small scale science fiction and post-apocalyptic skirmish games with this. If I can concentrate on that goal, painting the few dozen figures that I would need to stage those skirmishes seems practical. I am not sure that I have an ultimate goal for this project yet. By the end of the year, Reaper should have enough figures available for me to consider working toward having a game based on units of a dozen or so figures as maneuver elements. Defining a target will be a matter for additional thought.
The third thing I'd like to work on is my "Herodotus project" (actually including Thucydides and Xenophon), which will involve armies of 1/72 scale figures based on double depth WRG standard bases (i.e. Armati-style, or for Simon MacDowell's Comitatus). I have most of the plastic which will be wanted for this already laid by. Some clever basing will be the only issue, since I am imagining that some smaller actions, from the Anabasis, for example, will be better depicted with individual figures than with elements. The work I did last week on some more detailed 1/72 scale fantasy figures gives me some confidence that I can handle painting the Persians. I just need to get started, and develop a sustainable style as I go. On the plus side, the proposed armies already have countries set aside for them on Norman's Myboria map. On the negative side, I don't really expect to see this on the table before 2015, which is somewhat demotivating.
The second question, what to play, is related. I keep track of what games I play, and have, as a result, a pretty good idea (barring transcription errors) of when each project was most recently on the table. Anything that hasn't been out in five years is going to get a fresh look, with a keep/sell decision which will reflect its completion status.
We have about 80% of the planning done for a test campaign for the NQSYW, so I want that to be high on the playing priority list.
Norman's Myboria campaign, if it were to get started this year, would also be a priority. Based on some of Ross's recent posts, I am wondering whether I could experiment with campaign mechanisms with a solo campaign using my 6mm ancient and fantasy troops, who don't really see enough play.
We tend to play quite a bit of Hordes of the Things. My recent experience with Sng of Blades and Heroes suggests that it occupies a similar niche, but for skirmish rather than mass battle, and I want to give it a good workoit over the next few months.
Now, as reality hits, I'm sure all of that will change....