Hi folks! Looks like I get to start off our year in review series of articles. There are lots of other places one can go to if you want to review 40k or other wargaming news/events for the year, so here we'll focus on a more personal perspective. I've decided to break down my year in review by game, starting with the obvious 40k.
2k11 40k: Where to begin? This has been a strange year for me and 40k. While the models keep getting better and better, I find myself a little estranged from the game itself. I guess I'm ready for 6th edition to hit and (hopefully) shake things up a bit. I have little time for games, and when I do my quest for 'fluff' over 'crunch' leads me to take sub-par lists that can't compete against modern codices for the most part. But even accounting for that issue the game just feels stale to me. All that being said, I still have had some great games here and there. Our (Muggins and myself) 'zero to hero' run at the Gamers Sanctuary team tournament a few months ago comes to mind- we took Best Generals with what seemed to be pretty bad lists, and had a lot of fun doing it! The last 40k campaign was fun as well.
Warmachine/Hordes: While I first got a starter box at Gencon two years ago, the WM/H bug didn't really hit me until this year. I've built up a decent amount of Cygnar, and painted quite a bit of them. Unfortunately they've fallen to the wayside thanks to the awesomeness of Trollbloods! I've had a ton of fun painting them, and painting them quickly (more on that below). While I get even fewer chances to play these guys, I have a lot of fun when I do. I also participated in the store Journeyman League, where I came within just a model or two of taking the painting award.
Other games: In addition to my big two games, 2k11 was a year of firsts for many other games. I had a blast playing Necromunda in the recent campaign and played a regrettably short-lived Deathwatch campaign. I'm looking forward to getting to do each of those again.
Hobby and painting: 2k11 for me is the year of white primer. I finally started to use the stuff, and damn I wish I had started with it from the beginning. White primer and a more Zen attitude toward painting helped me to paint a full 35pt Trollbloods army, plus caster, an extra heavy beast, and a few odds and ends, in less than 6 weeks. That kind of speed is more or less unheard of for me! I'm super proud of that accomplishment. I've seen steady improvement with my 40k painting, particularly my Salamanders. I'm much more comfortable with highlighting, and I've figured out techniques for power weapon effects that I think look good and aren't too hard to do either. Last but not least, I've gotten a tiny bit comfortable with Greenstuff- a bane of my existence in the past. I got a lot more basic ork stuff painted- shoota boyz and the like, some killa kans, but not many are posted here as the scheme I use photographs terribly. Early in the year I painted quite a lot of Cygnar as well, some of which is below.
Looking ahead: Well, with my wife pregnant with our first and second babies, due in April, I don't foresee a super productive year for hobby or gaming. But I'm especially looking forward to painting some centerpiece 40k models, including my FW Salamanders Dreadnought, Mek Boss Buzzgob, and other assorted stuff. For Warmahordes, I've amassed a big chunk of models to go off on another painting spree with, which will hopefully get done just as quickly! In addition, I keep saying this, but really want to get some terrain built and painted so I can game here at home on occasion. (Oh and that Dreadfleet stuff I promised Muggins I'd do- shhh, here's hoping he forgot.) Definitely looking forward to 2k12, for all sorts of reasons!
To wrap up, here are some highlights from my painting for the year (in roughly chronological order):