So after about two and a half years, the blog continues to thrive. I started this as a lark really, but it's caught on with me and I've had a lot of fun with it along the way. The only ironic thing is that maintaining it does cut into my actual hobby time!
I've tried little things here and there, but by far the best mechanic this last year was my "totals" box over on the top right. I've seen people track their painting progress, or use elaborate points systems, and that works for them, but I could never pull it off. No, mine is simpler than that, and works for me. Surprisingly it has kept me [kinda] focused and helps push me along if I need a little extra encouragement. Let's take a look...
Miniatures Bought: 144*
How does this number not just soar throughout the year? I know it does for most, and this is the Achilles heal of our hobby. Looking back I'm trying to figure out what all I bought in 2009, but I'm not coming up with this many! Also, whenever I would sell a figure (which isn't often) I would subtract that number, but I didn't count trades in there because money never changed hands. There have been a handful of singles I've picked up to use as characters in RPGs and such, but then there's also larger purchases. This year I did complete my Dark Angels army, so that was a handful o' figs right there to get and paint up. My failed 'traitor guard' project that never got off the ground...I bought a ton of minis for that one and only put together two squads (as in glued, not painted). More recently has been my pending Vikings project. I picked them up off of Bob, he gave me such a good deal I got a bunch, I couldn't skimp! Looking ahead to 2010, I foresee much fewer figs bought, if for no other reason than financial necessity. I'm also trying to force myself to become more and more thrifty about digging in my bins and boxes and resurrecting older figures from storage for current use.
*EDIT: I've been doing so well this entire year...up until now! In the month if December alone I've almost doubled my "models bought" category. So far I have picked up a whopping sixty nine models just this month! To be fair, 15mm is fairly cheap, therefore it adds up rather fast! On top of the 15's, I picked up a dozen 25m figs to boot. To justify, one place, Rebel Minis was having an end of year sale, so I just had to take advantage of that. Because of the money I saved on the sale, I had enough money leftover to pick up some "just because" figs from one of my favorite sculptors, Zombiesmith while I was at it.
Miniatures Painted: 121
If you told me last January I'd paint over a hundred models this year I would've called you crazy. Somehow I did it though, and then some! I'm not a fast or proficient painter by any means, so I'll call this one a win in my book, hands down. It also sets the benchmark very high for next year. Obviously finishing up armies, like the aforementioned Dark Angels, really helps achieve this goal, but just like 'minis bought' I can't tell you what all I painted, it's a good thing I kept track along the way! There have been a few gems, if I do say so myself. For one was the massively converted Blood Angel Terminator I tackled for a contest, I'm proud of that one. The Matakitty I did was just plain fun, and then there was the perverse Pumpkin Sitter! I'm also pretty happy with how my Rogue Trader characters turned out. All in all, it was a good year for the painting table. If you do the math and compare miniatures bought to miniatures painted, I've got a whopping 160% painting efficiency rating! 160%!!!**
**EDIT: Thanks to December, my new efficiency rating is 84%
Terrain Built: 12
Frankly, had it not been for our now defunct 40k campaign on planet Trucidos, I probably wouldn't even have this category! Part of the way to accumulate points during the campaign was to build terrain, and I built a good deal of it. Some people make terrain building the entire focus of their hobby, others blanch at the mere thought of making terrain, I'm somewhere in the middle. A lot of my pieces were scratch built, like my escape pods, but some were model kits, such as the Imperial tower. Like I said, many of my pieces were built solely for the Trucidos campaign, like my generators and barricades, as well as my crashed MkI Land Raider 'fort'. Good terrain, heck, any terrain makes the games much more enjoyable, even half an effort will go a long way. With twelve pieces in the bank, that's one per month, I think that's going to be an impossible goal to reach for next year!
Games Played: 102
This is another number to me that seems insanely high, so high I think I need to rethink my priorities in life, ahem. Basically, I played some sort of game about every three and half days for an entire year. Thanks to the Boardgame Geek widget on the right of my blog, I have tracked most of those games too, and you can always see the last ten I've played. Board games, miniatures games, and roleplaying games are the only types I count. No, I don't count video games in that total. I'm slowly adding European-style boardgames to the mix for family game night, so you can bet I'll be double-dipping in that category!
Well that's a wrap! All in all, from a geek and hobby standpoint, 2009 was a very good year for me and although I can't promise these same kind of numbers in 2010, I'll certainly give it my best. I know I'm going to try and start the year off right (and differently) by focusing on fewer, but larger, projects and trying to see them through to completion before moving on. Also, these last few months, I've been digging deep in the bits boxes and coming up with some real treasures, so I may try to curb the spending and rely on on those. I just looked over this last paragraph and nearly laughed out loud, but that's the "plan".
I want to say a sincere thanks to all the readers. I look at the stats and see many thousands of 'hits' per week, and my photos get even more views than that. As of this writing, I've also got over eighty readers (don't like the term "followers") many of which I carry on dialog with often and I try to respond to every comment I get.
So, thanks again y'all!