Saturday 31 December 2016

2016: a look back

This year has been an instructive one about what my opponents really want.
In the 40k front I had to abandon my siege of Terra project due to having none to play it with, this has turned out to be a good thing however, since it has compelled me to go to the GW stores for games and now I'm playing this game more often than last year.
About napoleonics I have to say that I abandoned the peninsular set of games because they weren't related between them and I that altough I had been winning most of them didn't get any benefit.
This year has seen the appearance of two rulebooks created by me: Steel&steam and Empire of the Seas, both got about 300 visits but no one other than me played them, they work good enough in my games so I'll keep using them.
Also this year I've begun a new "period" with the age of sail ships, they were edited from War Artizan's free 1:900 ship and have turned out cheap and easy to build, which has enabled the realitzation of a long delayed project of mine: Trafalgar, now in its last steps.
The second new project has been the WWI planes of which I played a game while unpainted, the game turned out well enough and I'll paint them sometime next year.
The americans and brititsh of the AWI have also appeared with a popularity comparable with the napoleonics, ampliating my original "1714" range of 15mm minis.
Specialist games such as BFG and Blood Bowl have also shown up on the blog with BFG being the most popular in a post linked to the release of the videogame.
The two worse off periods of this year have been ancients and warhammer fantasy so next year I'll give them some long due gaming love. Epic hasn't had any games but my father became quite disaffected with the rules, next year we could give it a try or sell off the rest; maybe trade for BFG.
Finally this year has also helped me see that no one wants "map" campaigns, where you recruit and move troops over a map; because once one side gets a small edge in income over the other it picks up speed like a giant snowball and becomes undefeatable, the Karak eight peaks and AWI campaigns have had to be abandoned because of this. 
The answer to this problem has been negotiated with my opponents: "leagues" of a succession of scenarios with balanced forces with a small benefit to the winner of most of them for the last scenario. For example if I want to play a Russia 1812 campaign we agree a determined number of games beforehand (say 4: Smolensk, Borodino, Maloyarslovets and Berezina) and then we fight those using the historic terrain/positions and balanced forces from a rulebook (ex: lasalle army lists), the winner of the last battle wins the campaign. Problem with the historics is that save a few battles the scenarios are biased for the actual winner and so people that has to play the losing side becomes weary after a while. The advantage of this system is that provides for short campaigns and so more periods can be gamed, the obvious downside is that historical force relation and detail is thrown overboard but it's a game and it comes to sense that both sides should have a possibility.

To sum up: abandonement of the map campaigns in favour of narrative ones, 40k gaming displaced to GW stores, new XVIII ships and WWI planes, new americans for XVIII games, continuation of specialist games save Epic and need to play more Warhammer fantasy and ancients next year.
If we look at the statistics we'll se that this year (the three right spikes)  has marked the high watermark of visits in the blog, no small thanks to the russian bots (two rightmost spikes), but the regular monthly visits have also increased to 3000+ and I believe that it is due to the introduction of my father to historicals (last december we played Waterloo), which are more popular that the BFG/epic/40k/LotR of last year.
Also we can see that the two most viewed posts of the year have been the Battle near Terra BFG and mantic's daemons, a number of visits totally unrelated to any increase in popularity in BFG or Mantic products in the blog and explainable for the realease of the videogame in the first case and the shinny lava bases in the second. Note that the rather crappy chaos dwarf constructs also had a high number of visits and had lava bases too; lava, guarantee of success? Maybe ;)!
So the way ahead to go seems to keep on the historicals track, while going to GW's for 40k and playing warhammer fantasy with Oriol in a small league that we're planning.

For next year I've got plenty of projects, here's a list:
-Salamanders for 40k
-Elves and warg riders in 1/72 for LotR battle of the 5 armies
-Ships for naval ancient battles
-Napoleon's Egyptian campaign
-Paint the WWI planes

Possible campaigns using the new system:
-Egyptian campaign 1798-99
-Syrian war of 191-190 bC
-French invasion of Russia
-War of austrian sucession

Have a happy new year full of projects!

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