...and my usual New Year Resolutions.
Every year.. in January, I take a deep, hard look at the long twelve months lying ahead, and make a New year hobby resolution. I always look forward to this immeasurably as a time of change, and a time of positive, personal forward thinking, and hobby challenge. It excites me very much, and causes me to enjoy this time of the year.. looking forward to it with great relish, each and every time this month comes around.
I know many gamers think New Year resolutions are stupid or silly, but for me it works. So what exactly is a New year resolution?
Well, the dictionary says it best:
"A New Year's resolution is a tradition, most common in the Western World, in which a person resolves to continue good practices, change an undesired trait or behavior, accomplish a personal goal, or otherwise improve their life at the start of a new year."
For me, applied to the hobby, this means I get to start a fresh page. A clean sweep. A chance to de-clutter the previous year`s stalemates, and concentrate (with excited vigour) on the things that really matter. For me this usually means a chance to start a new project, or begin a project that has, until now, only remained a pipe dream. It doesn`t necessarily mean buying something new.. although Christmas presents often do seem to kickstart new projects in this way.
It`s no coincidence that starting a new project in January provides the best incentive to success, and if you think about it.. there is a simple but logical reason behind this. Leading up to Christmas the wife will (at some point) usually sniff, and say - in a calm but firm voice: "you will be moving those things, wont you?" as she eyeballs the piles of miniatures cluttering all the furniture tops, the piles of magazines and books littering the coffee table, and the rows of paints and half assembled figures parading the kitchen table: "Only.." she will remind you "our Christmas guests will be arriving in a few days!" So feeling suitably chastised, away goes all my treasured things, stuffed here and there in every available space you can find (out of sight and out of mind of the beloved spouse); so that by the time the festive season is done and dusted, and hobby time once again hits my hungry senses, I do so without the clutter of the previous year, as I physically HAVE to find out all my stuff once more (and begin the clutter all over again).
THIS is what I mean about New Year resolutions. The deck is clear, the wife has made sure the planks have been swabbed, and you literally face an empty palate. This is ideal and sooooo conducive to starting a new project: especially if your doting family or thoughtful friends have furbished you with some new much desired hobby stuff to inspire you in your fresh endeavours.
For me, this year, this came in the shape of two Italeri boxed sets of miniatures and terrain. Sold mostly, I suspect, for modelers to make set piece dioramas. However they make the most extraordinary cool self contained skirmish sets for conducting small `platoon level` skirmish wargames. With each box containing heaps of wooden and plastic terrain, craft, tanks, bunkers, and over 100 1/72nd miniatures per set, these are the ideal little projects to keep me happily entertained throughout the cold winter months ahead. Best of all, they are extremely cost effective and complete, and will allow me to dabble my toes in two new genres of game, without needing to dig any further into the wallet. Sometimes it's good to break away from the mainstream hobby, and delve into some of the less obvious choices available
Normal years, I tend to immerse deeply into any new project... allowing myself a self imposed goal of 60 or 70 days to see the whole thing completed (like my 54mm Red Coats and Zulu project last year). But this time round I am approaching things differently: (a) because I rarely buy anything new nowadays and instead rely on utilising things I already own.. but haven`t gotten round to playing with yet.. and (b) because I have a lot more time on my hands now that I concentrate on the hobby a lot more and less on blogging. I find myself not needing any time restraint, as I have, literally, the whole year ahead of me (and beyond) in which to enjoy myself.
This effectively means I can indulge in whatever whim takes my fancy any given moment. Last of the Mohicans and The French Indian War once month, Platoon and Full Metal Jacket the next (I rather fancy having a go at M.A.S.H as well), Age of Sigmar the next, Necromunda, and Russian Front the following month and so on and so on. And of course 2021 will see me immersing heavily into our shared world of The Forgotten Realms AND I can finally think about diving deep into Middle Earth and perhaps even a bit of Samurai (Test of Honour) gaming and even a bit of Napoleonic Sailing Ship gaming (and Travel Battle for a bit of Imagi-nation War and Peace).. as well as cracking open the boxes of my much beloved Commands and Colours Ancients (Boudicca and Romans eat yer heart out).
I`ve already started the Middle Earth ball rolling with our very first issue of the new virtual magazine "The Emerald Musketeer" which has already gone out to everyone who asked to be included on the TGC list for this quarterly publication. Coming in at around 116 pages (split into two PDF files), this pilot issue has certainly started the ball rolling in that direction.
Four magazines a year, each corresponding to the four changing seasons of the year.. this is, we hope, a delightful new way to bring the hobby to those who support the site: and future issues will include a host of gaming material for everyone to enjoy.
Roll on 2021.. know I will certainly be `rolling` for a while, as I work on losing some of the Christmas fodder I`ve consumed this festive season *grins*.