Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Episode 6 of On Minis Games is up!


Our RSS Feed can be found here.

In this episode Quinton and I talk some more about playing Sharp Practice, and I reflect somewhat on my first game of Burrows and Badgers.

My British try to defend the farmhouse against Prussian 

Burrows and Badgers, using miniatures from Splintered Light...


We also discuss putting together some terrain from 4Ground and Spartan Scenics. 

Spartan Scenics 28mm scale sci-fi terrain...

4Ground building, from their 28mm fantasy range...


We spend some significant time rambling across a variety of Kickstarters and games, including the steampunk game Dystopian Wars, the science fiction skirmish game Infinity, ancients mass battle system Sword and Spear, and post-apocalyptic skirmish game This is Not a Test.


In addition to looking at what we have been playing, doing and looking to play, we talk about new and upcoming Kickstarters: Weta Workshop’s Heavy Hitters GKR, Atlantis Miniatures, Dystopian Wars, Compass Games Command and Colors Tricorne, and Star Eagles from Ganesha. 

In among our general rambling, there is also some discussion on the new release of Shadow Wars: Armageddon and ShadowSpire from Games Workshop, Travel Battle from Perry Miniatures and some good old nostalgia about Full Thrust…


Sunday, 26 March 2017

Burrows and Badgers

I had occasion today to play a game I have liked the look of for more than a little while now: Burrows and Badgers. Burrows and Badgers is an anthropomorphic fantasy skirmish game, written and published by Oathsworn miniatures. The rules are free to download - and well worth doing!



I don't quite know what it is about anthropomorphic animals swaggering about in chain mail hauberks and carrying swords, but it's a visual and thematic device that never fails to draw me in. Perhaps I can attribute this strange attraction to Disney's Robin Hood, Lewis' Reepicheep and too much Wind in the Willows as a lad, I don't know exactly, but I like it.

AEthelric's Guard (my Royalist Warband, using Splintered Light miniatures)


Burrows and Badgers is a light and enjoyable game, players will each command a warband of some 4-10 figures and play through one of a range of scenarios in the book. Each model has a line of stats defined as a dice type (ie: Move = D8, Strike = D6 etc), as well as equipment, skills, spells and so on.  Each turn players will rotate the activation of their models, a model that has been activated may perform and action, then play switches to the opponent, until all the models on the table have acted, at which point the turn ends and a new one begins.



The system is fairly simple, when rolling a test, roll the relevant dice for the attribute required, and add or subtract any modifiers. Most tests will be opposed, in which case the opponent also rolls and the results are compared. There is a lot of little addition and subtraction in the game, as skills and equipment predominantly add or subtract from the dice roll, but it is not overwhelming and doesn't interject on game flow significantly. My son, at 7, was easily able to play the game and work out what his results were after a couple of turns.

Our first scenario: Surprise Attack! My lad's warband: the Beasts, catch some of my AEthelric's Guard on their own...

A round of ranged fire was nearly the end of AElla, my Hare.


I am not 100% sold on the rules yet, but I suppose this is a natural result of having only played the game once. The negative modifier for charging into combat (-1 per inch moved) seems unnatural in a world of wargames that typically provide a charge bonus, but that may be just a mental hurdle. What does play on my mind with that rule is that it seems to promote a more stand-offish style of play, whereas ranged weapons are under no such constraint (although a terrain dense board may change that). Melee orientated models, wanting to close and engage, may hesitate to do so for fear of accruing too much of a negative. Some of the skills, most notably toughness, also feel a little overpowered. But, it is a first game, and those reservations aside, I had a great time, and I am looking forward to playing again soon.




While I have harped on the negatives, I think it's also worth noting that the game is a light and friendly one, where the story of the game is as important as any other aspect. It plays well, and the activation system means the game moves quickly and never really feels bogged down. The small recommended table size and large comparative movements also mean that the state of the game can change quickly, which is a good thing in this style of game.



Burrows and Badgers also includes a comprehensive campaign system, those familiar with games like Necromunda and Mordheim will note the similarities, and it looks like it is done well. I am looking forward to starting a campaign against my lad!



All in all I think Burrows and Badgers is an excellent game, there are some nagging thoughts, but more play will iron them out, overall the good resoundingly outweighs the bad, and I am looking forward to the second edition, which will be published by Osprey.

Oathsworn make a wonderful range of miniatures for Burrows and Badgers, while I have been using my Splintered Light 20mm minis, Oathsworn's figures really are spectacular.







Thursday, 23 March 2017

Variety is the Spice of Life...

In the lull of waiting for various pieces of writing to pass through the editing process and back to me for revision or rejection (hopefully the former), I have been chipping away at various hobby projects. I have come to the conclusion that I have far too many projects I would like to be working on, and far too many games to really give any of them justice. Naturally, and like any good wargamer, the projects I am working on are all for new things.

Aside from recording and editing episodes of the On Minis Games podcast (which I wrote about last time), I also managed to assemble my British force for Sharp Practice; I won't be writing anything more about them this time, I'll cover them in a later post.

In addition to these things, I have started refining a dice system that I think could work nicely with a Dungeon Crawl style game I have been working on in fits and starts for a while now, I have been putting together some scenery, and finally, mulling over which Ancients force I should collect for Sword and Spear.

The scenery I have been assembling is from the Spartan Scenics line of MDF 28mm scale sci-fi buildings. The Starter set is a extremely large and heavy box, full of a variety of buildings, corridors, doors and so on. The instructions leave a little to be desired, but everything does make sense if you group the MDF sheets by the letter codes. 



So far I have managed to assemble two buildings, and have a metric ton of MDF waiting to be put together. The scenery is very nice, with good details, and goes together rather well. All the buildings are designed so that the tops may be removed so the interiors are exposed, and everything is very modular. The Starter set is an excellent purchase, with a lot of stuff crammed in the box.

One of the two buildings I have constructed so far, with some 28mm Zanshi (Yu Jing models, from the Infinity Miniatures Game) added for scale.




As the photos attest these buildings are quite large, spacious, and have plenty of doorways, which may be blocked up by doors, or attached to corridors etc. These are not the two largest buildings in the Starter Set, and I still have a huge pile of stuff to get through (before I open any of the other boxes I may or may not have as well).

All the other stuff from the Starter Set, waiting for attention...
I also got some of the Spartan Scenics resin scenery sets - they have a whole collection of things to fill out and add detail to the rooms, from tables and monitors, to medical beds, cryo-pods, munitions cabinets, crates and even a pool table. I added some pieces to the room to see what they'd look like, and all I can say is that they are amazing.




The detail is spectacular, and they really add a lot of character to the rooms. I'm under no illusions as to whether they will get painted, but who knows... one day perhaps!

Lastly, the other hobby project that has been chewing away at my mind is what force to collect for Sword and Spear. Sword and Spear is an ancients set of miniature game rules, my good friend Quinton (whose blog may be found here) rather likes the idea of Romans, which leaves me indecisively trying to pick between Gauls, Britons, Dacians and Parthians, oh, or possibly Carthaginians. 


I have heard excellent reviews of this rules set, and being a sucker for historical games it has piqued my interest for some time. I am thinking of collecting a force in 6mm, partly because they are relatively cheap, and partly because I have always liked the idea of having a force in 6mm. Decisions, decisions...



Monday, 20 March 2017

On Minis Games...

For the last year and a half a good friend of mine (Quinton) and myself have been talking about and planning a podcast all about miniature games and gaming. In the middle of last year we took the plunge, teaming up with the fantastic folk over at Inverse Genius, and added another podcast to their excellent stable: On Minis Games.



Then things got busy. Various problems and complications arose in Quinton's and my lives that prevented us from getting the microphone out again, not least of which was a series of ongoing problems getting our RSS feed to work. Thankfully, the mean man of podcasting stepped in, and it's all sorted now (for those interested, our feed can be found here).

On Minis Games strives to be an off-the-cuff discussion about the miniature game hobby. Quinton and myself will cover what we've been playing in Hobby Update episodes, we'll delve into game reviews, we'll talk about upcoming games that catch our eye, and hopefully speak to some interesting people at different points along the way.

If you have an interest in miniature games, check us out and see what you think. If you have any questions or comments, we'd really appreciate it, as criticism will only help us get better and stronger, feel free to comment here on my blog, over on the On Minis Games episodes page, on twitter (@caradocp), or email us at onminisgamespodcast@gmail.com

Our latest episode has just gone live, and includes a discussion on the games we've been playing lately, which means some Mordheim, Heavy Gear Blitz, Faustus Furius, Battlelore, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shadows of the Past, Necromunda, and other things besides!










Saturday, 25 February 2017

Sharp Practice 2...

Sharp Practice 2 is a black powder era skirmish level war game from Too Fat Lardies. Requiring something like 40-60 odd miniatures a side, it is a game that focuses on small actions and is strong on theme.



I was lucky enough, a few nights ago, to get in a first learning game, and despite having only a few blocks of infantry on the table, it was a huge amount of fun. After one game I am not familiar enough with the rules to offer any insightful commentary on what might make for strong tactical play, but what I can say is: I'm hooked.



Like Dux Britanniarum, the other Too Fat Lardies game I have played (and thoroughly enjoyed), Sharp Practice manages to capture a strong flavour of the period in a relatively straight forward rules set. What is fascinating about Sharp Practice (and also present in Dux) is the emphasis the rules set places on leaders as the fundamental core to utilising your force on the table. By pulling chits (we used poker chips in a bag) or via a card deck, the leaders each player has on the table are activated. When a leader is activated they may spend their command points (called Command Initiative) to activate the groups or formations around them, to remove Shock (a form of cumulative damage a group may suffer that reflects its morale, and which is very important, as I found out) and do various other things like forming groups into formations and so on.




Leaders are fundamental to the operation of a player's force, and the random order in which the leaders on the table are activated (and some may not get to activate every turn), makes for a tense and exciting experience. There were many points in the game where myself and my opponent where both anxious for a specific leader chit to be drawn from the bag, hoping to get the drop on the opposing force.



Some players may find this method of activation too random, especially as one of the cards/chits is the Tiffin, which ends the turn (even if there are leaders who have not activated). While there is truth to this, the randomness in this case manages to beautifully encapsulate the feel of the theme magnificently. As a commander you never are quite sure who will manage to make the first move, whether the soldiers are chomping at the bit to get to grips with the foe or whether they are hesitant, whether your Officers have managed to relay their orders in time... For a gamer used to the steady back and forth of I Go You Go, or Alternate Activation systems, it can take a little getting used to, but believe me, in my experience it manages to do one thing above all other activation systems... and that is feed into the story of the game.




The rules set beyond command and control is solid, and while we had some questions come up through the game which we couldn't find the answers for immediately, we made a ruling and pushed on (and found a solid FAQ afterwards). Groups and Formations, when activated by a leader, have two actions such as move, reload, fire, and present (aim). With only two actions, and the requirement to reload before firing (and preferably to present as well), the system captures the theme well. The dice system follows a buckets of dice approach, which, while many gamers think this is 'lucky' actually makes resolution closer to the bell curve. I won't go into details but to note the system is solid and well devised. It manages to do what needs to be done and get out of the way in order to allow the action to happen.



Luck, at first blush, seems to play a strong hand in the game, you dice for movement, for attacks and for other things, you draw chits (or pull cards) for activations, but the luck doesn't feel overwhelming, and the methods through which it is implemented gives it a role, but not a dominant one. At the end of the day tactical play is vital, one cannot win the game without it. To be honest, I absolutely adore the way the game runs, as frustrating as it can be to see a leader go unactivated in a turn, to have your formation loaded and presenting yet holding back their fire till too late, it is also exhilarating to take a chance and see it pay off. The simple truth of it is that the bigger the gamble you take the less likely you are to be able to see it come off; and this is as it should be. Luck is there, but it is not overriding, good and clever play, daring do, careful maneuver - these are all vital components of good play.

One thing Sharp Practice manages to do better than most other games I have ever played is to create a story. Ahh, the story. I have played few games where a narrative rises so easily from the happenings on the table as I have when playing Dux or Sharp Practice. The rules in play manage to seamlessly create a scenario in which players are doing their level best to gain the upper hand, but in which fortune and circumstance, like in every good tale, will conspire to have the successes of the erstwhile hero fluctuate. Games take on a life of their own, and the story that rises from the game play takes the players on a rollercoaster from success to failure and back again.



I have never played a black powder era miniatures game before, but Sharp Practice is a marvel, I am thoroughly looking forward to my force arriving, and getting them on the table more over the coming year!






Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Hobby Goals...


In 2016, when I wrote up my goals for the year, they were predominantly focused on games and gaming. Since I have already written up my goals in terms of my writing, I am rounding them out with my goals for the hobby...

Table Top Games Played



Last year I had the goal of playing 100 unique games, and managed it with some 15 or so to spare. This year I am going to simply replicate that goal. Having a voice in the back of my mind telling me to try and mix up what hits the game table was enjoyable last year, and made me break out some games I hadn't played in a while, rather than going back to some old staples. This helped me rediscover what it was I enjoyed about those games, and reminded me of some of those classics on my shelves that had been collecting dust for some time. Repeating what I did last year, I will also be recording the different games I manage to get to the table via a geeklist on Boardgamegeek, in fact, you can find the geeklist here, if you're interested...



Role Playing



Writing for both Infinity and Star Trek leads me to the obvious conclusion that I need to play more of both! I am hoping that this year that I manage to get a regular RPG group running. Whether we play Infinity, Star Trek, Symbaroum, Wyrm, MERP, Star Wars, FATE or any one of the dozen other games I have sitting there calling for attention - I don't care! Just something!


Painting



I have a host of unpainted models calling for attention, as well as a significant amount of scenery waiting to be built. My goal here is to build all the scenery I have still in wrapping, and to paint on a regular basis. I am hoping to complete my Heavy Gear army, get paint on some Infinity models, finish my Australian navy for Dystopian Wars, and much more. I think the key here is painting/building regularly more so than aiming to get specific models done. I do tend to push this aside when things get busy, but now I have a dedicated painting area... perhaps I will manage more...



On Miniatures Games




On Minis Games has been a project that a friend of mine (Quinton Sung) and I have been planning for a long time. With the last half of 2016 being as chaotic as it was, we managed to record only two episodes (which are currently available to listen to at the Inverse Genius On Minis Games page.

The aim for this year is to really get On Minis Games into gear, we've had feed issues (and if you have trouble subscribing, let me know at onminisgames@gmail.com), scheduling issues, and lots going on in our personal lives. Without the various excuses and put bluntly, we haven't done as much as we had hoped by now. We hope to remedy this in 2017! My goal is to publish at least one episode a month, and hopefully two... we shall see how we go!

If there is a particular focus, topic or concept you would like to see in a miniatures game podcast, please let us know! We are eager to more episodes recorded and available for download!


Game Design




I am lucky enough at the moment to have had the opportunity to work on a range of games: Dystopian Legions, Dystopian Wars, Fleet Battles, Halo: Fleet Battles, as well as write for Firestorm Planetfall, Firestorm Armada, Infinity the RPG, Star Trek Adventures, and to work as an editor on Firestorm: Taskforce and Achtung! Cthulhu the miniatures game. I'd really like to push this a little further this year, not only by continuing to write for the various games I have an opportunity to write for, but also to design and develop some games of my own. I have a variety of RPG and board game designs in various stages of completion in boxes, folders and on my hard drive. I'd like to aim to work on at least 4 different designs of my own over the course of this year... we shall see!




Well, that about rounds off my hobby goals for this year. Doubtless I have forgotten some things, but this is enough to begin with!






Saturday, 28 January 2017

Writing Goals...

In my previous post I reflected a little on the goals I had set out for myself in 2016. For the most part these goals revolved around various forms of playing games because, well, I like playing games, and my blog is dominated by posts about them.

Over the last few years I been working somewhat as a freelance writer (well, it's a hobby really, I work as a teacher during day-light hours). This work has all been in the games industry, with both Spartan Games and Modiphius Entertainment (those interested can see what exactly I have worked on, on my bibliography page).

I have always had a passion for game design and writing, I have tended to spend vast chunks of my time developing my own role-playing systems and settings, board games, writing fiction, and writing for various places online. After high school I studied professional writing and editing for a couple of years before going on to teaching, and my hard drive and many note books are full of jottings, from simple plot, scene or setting concepts, to game ideas, to variously 'finished' and (predominantly) unfinished short story, novella and novel manuscripts.

The last few years it has been a pleasure, therefore, to be able to do this work in a more professional sense. To see things I helped work on, design or write make it to print. It is not a side-job that has earned me a lot of money, I might add, but I enjoy it, and it keeps me off the streets.

This post, as the title might suggest, is about my writing goals for 2017...


Spartan Games:




2016 ended with an explosion of activity for Spartan Games, and Dystopian Wars specifically. There is a new version of the rules underway, which I am not involved with at this stage, but there are also many models to stat up, 7 faction books to produce, as well as the Ice Maiden and Bronze Typhoon campaign books and the Decameron - a book of novellas and short stories.



Needless to say, everyone involved is full steam ahead. I am working currently on the faction books, the campaign books and the Decameron. While I will be doing some of the writing for all of those, my main role at the moment is to help project manage these 9 books from conception to production. Neil, myself and some of the core writers who work with Spartan (Franco Sammarco and Sam Bevan), have worked through a plan for how these stories will develop, and Neil and myself have worked through the outline and structure of the books so everyone knows how they will be stitched together and what pieces are required. I am excited. I'm hoping everyone will thoroughly enjoy the playing through the campaign books; and the faction guides and Decameron will help develop the background of Dystopian Wars, including some fun things which reveal a little more about the how and why of this alternate 1800s setting...


Modiphius Entertainment:




Over the last year and a bit I have been doing some free lance work for Modiphius Entertainment. I worked as an editor on the Achtung! Cthulhu Miniatures Game, but my main projects have been for the upcoming Infinity Role Playing Game. More recently I have also finished a little writing for the upcoming Star Trek Adventures Role Playing Game. I have absolutely loved working on these games, the opportunity to delve in and write background and setting material is something I enjoy immensely.


Infinity: The Role Playing Game is based on the setting of the very successful miniatures game from Corvus Belli. Those who have followed my blog may recall this is a game I have played and enjoyed, and therefore writing some of the setting chapters for the core rule book has been a real pleasure. I am currently working on an adventure, and will have more to do as Wave 2 develops. It should be a busy year for Infinity!



I have only recently completed my first assignment for Star Trek Adventures, and again, this has been something I have thoroughly loved. Just the potential to tell my wife that staying up and watching Star Trek is 'research' is enough, but the game system is looking really good and of course the setting is classic science fiction, so writing for it is something I have had a lot of fun with. I am looking forward to the opportunity to do more in the coming year.


Castle by Moonlight:




My blogging goal for 2017 is roughly the same as what I had for 2016. If I can keep up around two posts a month, I'll be happy. Last year I managed an average of three posts a month, but I'll keep the goal at two. I know some months when everything else is busy, I may not hit that target, and other months when things are more quiet (or the mood takes me), I'll manage more. Two a month gives me a goal to work toward without feeling like I'm placing too much pressure on myself. As per usual my blog will remain predominantly about games and gaming, with the occasional book review or other piece of miscellany thrown in.



Writing for pleasure...

[insert picture of a majestic landscape or an inspirational quote here]

Much of the work I have completed, in regards to writing, over the last couple of years has been a form of report (as on this blog), a form of technical writing (rules, scenarios), or has been copy editing. It has been a nice break away from the norm to be writing background material for the Infinity role playing game and the occasional piece of fiction for Spartan Games. One of the things I want to make sure I set aside time for in 2017 is to write more fiction of my own. I have a broad collection of narratives, from short stories through to novels, in various stages of completion; and the beginnings of plans or the seeds of ideas for many more.

I want make the time to get back to writing my own stories in my own settings. I think the way to do this is to try and set aside at least one night a week (I'll start with one and see how it goes), where my sole focus is to work on something of my own. Of course, it really should be more than this, but with work to complete for Spartan and Modiphius, one night will suffice for now.

I expect this goal will be quite hard to maintain, not only am I a world class procrastinator, never doing today what I can put off for tomorrow, but when my other freelance projects get busy, they can be quite consuming. Writing is a creative act, and distraction, emotional state, weariness and many other factors can all impact a person's ability to 'get it done'. The act of writing itself can feel like it is just flowing, the words tumbling onto the page, but sometimes they just don't. Additionally, one must often stop for a period to research things like common Sicilian surnames, or how the ionosphere can interfere with radio signals, or the structure of the United Nations Military Council... because anyone who writes will admit to having an insanely random set of browser searches in their history. Research can and usually does eat hours, and, of course, there is a limit to a person's available work time, especially when they have a day job as well. When high levels of research are required, whether for a freelance project or a personal one, it can feel like a lot of time has been spent for very little progress. But this is just a part of the process, of course.

Regardless, whatever the excuses, whatever the distractions, I really want to push myself to spend a night a week working on my own projects. It will be interesting to see how I go.




So that about sums up my writing goals for 2017. The other key factor in all of this is making sure I don't take on so much that I burn myself out, or that it then impacts negatively on the time I have with my family, or my day job. It will be interesting to see how things develop. I think 2017 will be a bumper year, with much to do for Dystopian Wars, the Infinity RPG and hopefully the Star Trek RPG. Add in the time I want to spend on my own projects, and I think I will be kept reasonably busy throughout 2017. Writing is something I love, so I find the process a curious mix of stressful (especially around deadlines) and cathartic. I'm hoping 2017 is a year in which I find a solid rhythm to work to: where I can manage my freelance work as well as make progress on my own projects. We shall see!



Saturday, 21 January 2017

Looking Back at 2016...

My last post was a little past the  middle of November, and given the gap I must apologise, gentle reader (note that 'reader' is singular), but it has been a busy time.

Aside from the general business of the festive season, with family to visit, drinks to imbibe and food to relish, we have also been busy moving castles. Moving castles is not the most streamlined of processes, it is messy, tiring, and a lot of wandering around wondering which box contains the thing you want in any particular moment. Even having been in the new castle now for around a month, much of our lives are still hidden in some box or tub, probably under some other box or tub.

So the first post of 2017, in the true spirit of the Roman goddess Janus after whom this month is named, I shall be looking back at 2016. 'How quaint' I hear you murmur, 'nobody does reflections on the previous year in January' I hear you stutter, almost spilling your muscat down the front of your velvet monogrammed pajamas.

While you may think it true, careful examination of the interwebs will clearly show that this time of year typically sees bloggers, vloggers, podcasters, geeklist makers and people of all stripes create lists of those things that were best about 2016, and what they are looking forward to in 2017. Who am I to buck a trend?

In all honesty 2016 was an ugly, drawn out, painful and generally turgid affair. If it was a Beast, even Belle would have been urging Gaston to put the bastard down. But it is done, and while 2017 promises (on a global level at least) to be worse, it is here, and so has to be faced with whatever sense of optimism you can muster or whatever banal aphorisms will help you through.

But, I am not here to moan relentlessly from the comfort of my first world life about how tough it all is, I'm here for the gaming! Well, mostly.

At the start of 2016 I wrote a post covering some of my hobby goals for coming year... well, the end times have come and it is time for a reckoning.

The first of my goals was to play at least 100 different games over the course of 2016, which, surprisingly, is something I managed quite comfortably. I ended 2016 having played 115 different games. For those interested the geeklist I used to to keep track of them is here.

Some of my favourites from the year include Battlelore, which was nice to get back to the table again, and Shadows over Camelot, which is also an older game, but a thoroughly excellent one. The best 'new-to-me- game I played in 2016 was probably Codenames, which was a lot of fun, and something I am looking to playing more of in 2017.






In terms of miniature games, and aside from Spartan games such as Dystopian Wars (which I have worked on), I would have to say I was most excited to play Heavy Gear Blitz and Mordheim. Both games were new to me, and while Mordheim is an old game, it is truly a wonderful game. Heavy Gear is something I am hoping to get to the table more this coming year. The minis are great, and I am really enjoying it.

The Scions of Erasmus... my Mordheim warband...

A Hunter Squad for Heavy Gear Blitz...


My next goal was to reduce the number of unplayed games in my collection. This is a goal at which I failed, I'm afraid. I ended 2016 with several more games unplayed than I began it. Hopefully I will have better luck in this department in 2017!

I'm looking at you Sekigahara!


My next goal was to spend more time playing games with my family. I would say this goal has been achieved, I still want to make sure I take the time to play more with my wife and kids in 2017, but the grounding in 2016 was a starting place.

Song of Blades and Heroes with my son...


I had the goal of playing more RPGs in 2016, something I did not manage to do I'm afraid. I really hope that 2017 picks up in this regard... we have a maiden voyage planned for the coming week with the upcoming Star Trek game by Modiphius, so hopefully this is something we can build up!



I had a painting goal of getting a Squadron a month painted, and surprisingly I think I came close. Between my Covenant models, my Mordheim Warband and some Heavy Gears, I am pleased with how much I managed to get done...






Lots done by my own low standard... fingers crossed that I manage more in 2017!
My blogging goal was to write at least two blog posts a month. I think (if I've added correctly) that I managed some 36 posts over 2016, some months I was quiet, some silent, but overall I am happy with my blogging output. My posting is too haphazard in both regularity and subject matter to ever accrue many views, but writing is my goal, not building up my views stat!



My podcasting goal, of recording and posting something at least once a month, turned out to be impossible. With the Element 270 podcast winding up due to scheduling difficulties, and On Minis Games struggling this last month or so due to the move, I just haven't had the time and opportunity. Here's hoping that 2017 sees On Minis Games get going properly!



Lastly, I had a goal to read at least a book a month. Without a doubt the stand out book I read in 2016 was The Martian, by Andy Weir. It is an absolutely wonderful, totally engaging and brilliantly executed book, and I'd thoroughly recommend it to anyone. If I was to include the books I had read to my class, this goal would be a shoe in, but considering only books I read for my own pleasure, I fall short of the mark. Again, I hope to make amends in 2017!



And that about sums up the obligatory reflection on 2016. at some point I'll get around to formulating goals for 2017, so until then...