Well, 2009 has been and gone and I have had a year of supposedly thrifty gaming. It has not been an easy year all round, beginning poorly and getting worse as the year progressed. As a result of the problems faced throughout the year, I seem to have spent most of it as a bit of a psychological train-wreck. Still, that is not the real issue. The question is whether I have succeeded or not, I suppose. So, what were my goals for the year?
1. Finish pre-existing projects;
2. Play newly finished projects; and
3. Spend my money more wisely.
Finishing pre-existing projects
Well, this worked to a certain extent. I began the year well by picking an old project and painting figures for it. Unfortunately, everything sort of fell away at the back end of the year. I managed to work on and complete a project for each month up to July. I skipped August because of university coursework that demanded my full time attention, but did manage a new project for September. After that, though, I did not allocate any new projects. I must only score a partial success for this part of the mission
Play newly-finished projects
Yes. Full marks for this. Each project that I completed was used in the following month. We also played a bunch of other games in addition to the project-based games, so this aspect of the mission was a success, in my opinion.
Spend the budget more wisely
I think I did manage to spend my gaming budget more wisely this year. I certainly spent much less on figures than I have in previous years and the lead mountain has decreased a bit in size. I think I would have accounted this part of the mission a total success had I managed to spend nothing on new figures, but I did buy a bunch of stuff. On the other hand, I also managed to paint most of what I bought, so it is not all bad. A quick glance at my progress log leaves me feeling relatively satisfied with progress but also feeling that I could have done better.
Final Score = Moderate Success
How did it go?
Well, I know that I could have done better at my goals, but I also know that I probably achieved more than I might otherwise have done in any given year. According to BoardGameGeek I managed to play 58 games throughout the year, which is pretty good going. My most-played games were Warrior Heroes, Warrior Heroes: Armies and Adventures and Wargods of Aegyptus. I managed to paint thousands of figures (literally, even though most were 6mm and therefore quick to paint). I managed to reduce my spending considerably too. I am happy with that for now.
By focusing on one game to paint and play each month, I was encouraged to keep going. Playing the game immediately after painting the figures made sure that I got some quick pleasure from the painting pain, so I was encouraged to keep going with the next project. I admit that I did not set myself arduous goals, but that was intentional. If completing each project was too difficult I might have given up. I also found myself painting more figures for non-mission projects, because I felt like it. Achieving the mission goals encouraged me to keep going in those other areas too.
Overall, I would say that the approach I took worked, and I would recommend it to others. Completing a series of smaller projects is easier than completing one large project and encourages you to keep going.
What is in store for 2010?
Rather stupidly I came up with the idea of putting on a 6mm Battle of Towton game in 2011, 650 years after the original battle was fought. Throughout 2010 I shall be painting figures for this project. I shall need to buy quite a few more figures for it, so my spending this year will be focused on that. Fortunately, this project is being supported by Peter at Baccus Miniatures, so I am getting a good discount on the figures I buy, which numbs some of the pain. However, it does mean that I shall have to think very hard before buying figures for other projects. To keep us going on the project, we shall be refighting some of the battles that were fought in the build-up to Towton, starting with Blore Heath (1459) at Triples. The idea will be to do games at three or four shows this year to give us practice of running show games and to also keep us enthused about painting our figures.
In addition to the show games, I have quite a lot of rules sets that cover the Wars of the Roses, so I am hoping that Steve and I can play one game a month using our Towton figures. This should keep us enthused for the project and also hopefully keep us painting.
With regard to other games, we are considering picking half a dozen rules sets, or possibly periods and focusing on those as our main projects for the year. This should hopefully provide some light relief from the Wars of the Roses stuff, while also not intruding too much on it. We shall see ...