Thursday, 2 January 2014

Review of the Year

It's traditional at the start of a new year to take a look back at the preceding twelve months, so here's my highs and lows of 2013.

The year started on a very promising note. I was determined to continue trying new games and quickly got some Sedition Wars figures painted up. Well, the painting was quick enough, the cleaning and prep work on the plastic resin mix was more work than usual. The final painted result was worth the hassle. Rather than just get stuck into a game, I checked the forums on a few rules queries and found there were lots of issues with the gameplay, confusion and lack of balance. There was a promise to get everything sorted, but it seemed to drag on and my initial enthusiasm drained away. I started to look into alternative rules sets but didn't get very far. In the end, about mid way through the year, the second consignment of figures arrived along with new cards and new rules. However, these seemed just as unbalanced as the first set and I was really put off even trying the game, which is pretty stupid really when you think about it. Maybe I should just give them a whirl in the new year.

Saga proved to be a far better gaming experience. I have played many a game over the year and while the newness has worn off a little, I still feel that the system has much to offer. I have tried roughly half of the available factions and maybe need to look into new scenarios, but still like the game enough to invest time and money into building my collection of dark ages warbands. The miniatures leave me less excited, I feel that most historical miniatures are adequate and not much more, but am pleased to now have two starter warbands fully painted.

Lord of the Rings was probably the biggest revelation for me this year. It's a decent set of rules with fairly quick gameplay, heavily reliant on the scenarios and background. It works well with about 30 or so miniatures per side, but starts to break down after that as it handles every combat singly. If you are using orcs and have over 60 combats to roll, it can get a bit tedious. While the game is decent I find the minis to be excellent, I can't understand why they are not more popular. I have a sizeable collection of orcs painted and a reasonable Isengard force started, with a Rohan contingent waiting for paint.

The only thing that tops Lord of the Rings figures, for me at least, is my Warhammer fantasy collection. While the official figures have got steadily worse in my eyes, I have enjoyed finding and painting alternatives. My top highlight of the year was adding a unit of grave guard (built from Lord of the Rings figures!) and a varghulf to my Vampire Counts army, though I only got to use them once in a game. I also added a few chaos characters to my army and played a few games with my daemons, but overall it was a very quiet year for the game that was once all engrossing.

When I look at my painting list for the year, it's quite impressive compared to previous years. Most of it is shown here in this review, though I have also pretty much finished a unit of marauders for my chaos army too. I have spent less time on painting individual models, though I do have something nice to post in the new year. I have also managed to add a fair few bits to my terrain collection, so it's been a good year for my wargaming collection.

My highlights for the year then would have to be painting the Vampire Counts, playing Saga and discovering the quality of the Lords of the Rings figures. If only there was some way to combine the Saga rules with the Lord of the Rings figures. Well actually, there is, but I will come back to that in a future post. The low points were probably failing to find decent dark ages figures and my declining interest in playing WHFB. If only I could use my fantasy collection without having to rely on the actual rulebooks. Again, that's something I will be looking into next year. I have some interesting plans and ideas for 2014 and will post about them in the next few days. Happy new year folks!


Killshot Productions said...

I just discovered your blog about two weeks ago, you have some awesome miniatures on there. Thanks for sharing.


Minitrol said...

Thanks for your blog this year I have really enjoyed getting the insight to your painting technique and I agree why are there not more Lord of the Rng players!

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