Random Thoughts 5 - HAPPY NEW YEARS!

So new years has rolled around, and at the time of this going live, I'm honestly not sure what I will be doing. However, I'm typing this up ahead of time to get a few things ready to post on time. Anyway, I figured that I'd go through some of the bloggy things I've enjoyed this year...


Dungeons & Dragons


After not playing this since uni, I got invited to play in a campaign earlier in the year (which is still ongoing). I almost forgot how enjoyable this game can be, especially with a good group of people. So far the games have been fantastic, even if the other team got killed off two games in, leaving the 'regulars' team with a sense of dread nearly every game that this is the one we will finally be killed in. The story that has been created for it as well is full of plenty of side details to make a conspiracy theorist like me start to watch out for tiny elements that may come back later. And playing an Elf Ranger with a... not very obvious morale code and what can only be called extreme behavioural issues is actually quite fun.


Video Games


Gaming! Without the use of minis, but some for of electronic medium! I use sort of on-again off-again with video games for the past few years, but this year I started to actually play them again, and even finish them. Having said that, I am still several years behind on releases...

Last year, I bought myself a new computer, specifically a laptop. At the time, I went for what looked like a low-spec model, as I didn’t want to be tempted to play video games on it. Then, towards the end of the year, I got a few games, surprised that they would actually work on my PC. Having not been a PC gamer previous to this since I had an Amiga, I’m fairly behind in PC games. It also meant that I got to add to the ever growing pile of games I have not completed (With PS2 and Nintendo DS games). Towards the end of the year I had come close to finishing a few, and realised that the laptop was powerful enough to run recent games. Part of me suspects my brain tricked me into thinking that it was low spec just so this would happen.

Anyway, after playing Overlord, Blood Bowl, and LOTR: Battle For Middle Earth to decent points last year (Not that I finished anything other than the main story of the evil campaign in LOTR), I started to get into some of the games I had missed out on. I finished Dawn Of War and Batman Arkham Asylum (I never said I was playing really recent games). I’ve also started Portal (Because throwing yourself off a cliff in a game is fun when it launches you out somewhere else afterwards), Oblivion (Because hitting things with a sword is fun), and have Assassins Creed I & II ready for later points, as well as about ten other games I have bought for cheap in the meantime, and not installed. I actually enjoy getting back into gaming, however I’m still avoiding the MMORPGs, as I suspect that I will lose a lot of my time to that.


Board Games


Some friends of mine decided to introduce me to board games earlier in the year. Previously friends have talked about playing board games, and they tend to rattle off a list of things like Monopoly and Connect Four, which honestly don’t entertain me that much anymore. However they introduced me to games such as Agricola, which I found interesting for a few reasons. The main reason is that it sounds so strange and complicated to begin with, yet can be picked up within about five minutes of playing the game. Since then I’ve been introduced to a few other games (Such as Dominion and Seven Wonders) and have enjoyed all of them. It’s also got me buying more board games of my own, and looking into them first in a similar manner to how I used to buy video games. Yes, it’s a new addiction, but it’s rather fun.


Miniature Painting


OK, besides doing well in comps this year, I managed to get what for me is a decent amount of painting done. Working to the Malifaux tournament deadline a few months ago was good motivation, and so were a few other deadlines, but the in-between ‘paint stuff just for fun’ has had a higher output than I have in the last few years as well. My display cabinet has filled up to the point that when I get my next few project finished, I’m probably going to have to put them in temporary cases until I get a new cabinet!


Books


I would have liked to have read more books this year, but I didn’t get a chance. I did manage to read a few, however my time kept getting split between other things, and I might get through a chapter or so before I had to go and do something else. Having said that, this was the year I got into HP Lovecraft more (Previous attempts to read had coincided with some disturbing incidents, and left me scared), and also managed to get through The Gunslinger (The first book of Stephen King’s Dark Tower), Heaven to Wudang (The third Journey to Wudang book by Kylie Chan), and Ghost Story (The… thirteenth? Twenthieth? Three billionth? Dresden Files book by Jim Butcher). The last two were books I was looking forward to and really enjoyed (Especially Ghost Story), and Gunslinger was something one of my friends has been recommending for years, and I really got into it.

I’ve got some more books lined up for next year, including Inheritance (Christopher Paolini), Snuff (Terry Pratchett – And yes, I’m upset I didn’t get to this already), the last two Dexter books (Jeff Lindsay), The Drawing of the Three (The second Dark Tower book), and a bunch of others. On top of that, I’ve also got a few books that I’ve started reading already and am at various stages of completing, including The Stand which I have been trying to finish for the past few years. Maybe 2012 will be the year I finish it and some of the others. Maybe not. Who knows?


Twitter


I joined Twitter ages ago, but it was only this year I started to really get into it, specifically because I had a Twitter app on my new phone. Twitter has turned into a strange obsession for me, where I tend to jump on every few minutes and subscribe to random feeds just to see what happens. It also allows me to set up a news feed style system on my phone for random and bizarre things, and gives me something to be entertained by and obscure hours of the day.


Painting Comps


For the last few years my focus on miniatures and wargaming has been on the painting side of things. This year was the year I started to do really well at paint comps (Which I’m attributing to luck, and not really expecting it to hold out until next year, so I will have to put some more effort into it). I ended the year with three trophies from the OzPainters Open in Melbourne, a trophy from the OzPainters MOAB painting comp, a Best Painted trophy from a Malifaux tournament, and my first two Gold Demons from Games Day. After all that, I really need to get my act together, because I did well this year, but I want to at least hold that level for next year.


Year Of The Dogs


This year was productive for me painting miniatures, but the thing I found funny was the high percentage of dogs I ended up painting this year. Three for Farmer Maggot, a Wyrd Zombie Chihuahua, and a Mantic Pitdog. I did mention to someone that if I had planned this, I would have worked the Copplestone Snowy and Hamelin with Nix in there as well, but it sort of all fell together before I realised it.


Wargaming


When 8th edition of Warhammer came out, I decided I was done with tabletop games. I didn’t have time to read yet another Warhammer rulebook, and once I got the rules down, find regular opponents, and on top of that, pack up a goblin army and cart it around, set it up, pack it back up, and set it back up at home. It took an entire day for one game!

Sometime last year I was given the Malifaux rules to go with the crew I had painted, and at the beginning of the year, one of my friends offered to run me through the game. And then we had another game, and another, and before I knew it, I’m entered in a Malifaux tournament (and coming last place, but still having fun). So I’ve enjoyed getting back into wargaming, even if it is a skirmish game, but I seem to have found a scale of game that I can cope with easily.


Doctor Who


OK, so this is really specific, but I really enjoyed Doctor Who this year. I thought it was great, and the gap in the middle of the series that people were afraid of actually worked to it's benefit. Plus, it added the feeling that things set up in Matt Smith's first episode are going to carry through to the end of his time on Doctor Who. There are rumours his time on there could end pretty soon, however I am interested to see where it goes next year, as I am really enjoying him as The Doctor, and am eager to see what happens to his character, and also the series as it gets closer to it's 50th year.


So that’s about it! Happy New Years everyone, and I hope you all have a great 2012! Hopefully I will get some more blogging done in the near future, including finally getting my Golden Demon photos loaded!

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