Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Directions?

Although, fundamentally, an arbitrary mark of time, the new year is as good a day as any to reflect on every thing that has passed in the last 12 months. This being a wargaming blog, I suppose I should reflect on the last 12 months in wargaming, but, I'm afraid I'm going to drift away from that somewhat. There are plenty of better blogs to reflect on wargaming in general.

It's quite clear that my blogging has slipped over the last year and particularly in the last 6 months or so. At the start of the year I imposed a new rule on myself that I was allowed only one project at a time and that I had to finish one before I started another. With one or two small exceptions (one Father's day and one birthday present), I stuck to it. The end result was that I managed to finish my Chaos Dwarf army and get most of my Bushido Temple of Ro-Kan models finished. I also managed to finish a small Java project which stopped me painting for something like four months.

While I stuck to my self-imposed project rules, otherwise the year started out pretty much like 2012. Which is to say, I spent excessive amounts of money at a couple of wargame shows and pledged an excessive amount of money to Mantic's Deadzone Kickstarter.

The problem and advantage of sticking to one project a time was that all of this extra stuff accumulated and I wasn't able to do anything with it. Previously, I picked up and dropped projects all the time, painting a few models here, a unit there and I was able to fool myself into thinking I was making progress. By only allowing myself to start a new project when an existing one was finished, I proved to myself that I was accumulating models faster than I could assemble, paint or use them. Of course, I had known this for a while, deep down, but this proved it absolutely. What was more, I couldn't do anything with my new models until I finished what I was doing with the old, which meant, by the time I got to any of them, they had lost the appeal of the new.

This meant that I spent the latter half of the year dramatically cutting down on the models I bought. The last two shows of the year were more focused and a lot less expensive. Of course the arrival of the Deadzone stuff I pledged for six months earlier hasn't helped, but I am now painting faster than I am accumulating for the first time in, probably, ever.

Now, the question of what I want to do with the blog.

I first started this blog because I hadn't done one and because I felt like it was something at which I should have a go. Initially, I posted pictures of models because it pushed me to get on and paint them and because, I had been painting better than I had before and, frankly, felt a proud enough to want to show off.

Initially the blog was just for me, because it gave some focus to my hobby projects. All blogs are slightly narcissistic endeavours, we talk to ourselves and hope someone is interested in listening. After a while I decided I wanted a few more people to listen so I started posting more, advertising a bit more on the Miniature Page and Tabletop Gaming news. I took my inspiration from blogs like Quirkworthy, Grognardia and Fighting Fantasist, throwing out my opinions about wargaming, with a few retrospectives on old games and magazines, with a few pictures thrown in here and there.

The problem is that I have been running out of ideas. For a while I thought it was because I was working on my Java project instead of a gaming project. There may be some truth in that because while I am painting again, most of my gaming is limited to boardgames these days.

Unfortunately, I haven't reached a proper conclusion yet. The drawback of the arbitrary start of year review of events is that ideas, revelations and new directions don't fit the same time line. I'm not planning to give up the blog, I'm just not sure exactly what to do with it. I will still be painting and should be putting up a few pictures soon, I also have the odd opinion I would like to share and there's my White Dwarf reviews, which have been sadly neglected.

So, I'm afraid I don't have a bold new direction for the blog right now. I'm still figuring that out. But in the meantime, I will try to post a bit more and hopefully, what I post will be of interest to some people.

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