Monday, December 26, 2022

Random: The Close of the Year - A Retrospective of Sorts


Like sands through the hourglass, these are the days of our lives.... Wow, another year done and dusted.  At this rate, I am starting to feel some existential dread!  

As usual, I sorted my goals for the year around my big categories of Purchasing, Painting and Modelling, Games Played, Rules Writing, and Misc. Stuff.  You can see the initial goals I had planned way back at the beginning of 2022 here  


I feel it necessary to start this section of the Goals with a huge "Thank You!".  As I have said many times, you make this section possible!  Every time you purchase a product from the Wargame Vault, buy one of my books from Osprey, or become a patreon; you are helping keep Blood and Spectacles Publishing moving forward.  Without your purchases, I could not get the products for me to review, the artwork for post-production, the models for the painting desk, or the terrain in the featured battle reports.  Your support makes this all possible, and allows me to keep making games.  

Thank you! 

With that said, creating games requires more than just writing rules.  The hardest part is the play-testing, editing, and post-production work.  The purchases I have listed below fall into two main categories.  The first, is items I need to complete or finalize rules and supplements.  The second are research or marketing items to keep me making new content.  95% of purchases are to help expand and grow Blood and Spectacles Publishing and get more games into your hands! 

So, here is what I wanted to purchase for 2022, with what I did purchase in green: 

  • Dark Age Irish from Wargames Atlantic to help complete my Viking Age project
  • Gripping Beast Dark Age Miniatures to complete my Viking Age project
  • Tumbling Dice Korean War aircraft for White Star/Red Star rules
  • Victrix Persians for an Ionian Revolt supplement for Men of Bronze
  • Stay caught up with the Osprey Wargaming Series
  • Purchase The Silver Bayonet for Review
  • Purchase 1+ Indie wargame rules for review   
  • Miscellaneous miniatures for a few Horror Games I am working on

One of the downsides of purchasing mostly to support my work for Blood and Spectacles is that there is not a lot of room for leisurely extras!  In addition, once I have what I need for a project, it is not unusual for me to move on and not paint anything else for it!  Therefore, I am doubting I will be painting up further forces for Fury of the Northman anytime soon.  Therefore, those Gripping Beast models of Anglo-saxons or Muslims may never make it to my cart as I start working on rules and forces for other projects.  

Painting and Modelling
The painting goal for this year was pretty simple, paint what I was purchasing!  To that end, I painted a lot of 1/600 aircraft, a lot of Dark Age Irish, and a lot of Persians!  That was mostly what I purchased this year!  However, there were a few miscellaneous projects that snuck in.  For example, I managed to paint a Nativity scene as a gift, a Kill Team, and several stand-alone minis for play testing Darkest Knights and other WIP rules projects.  I also painted some stuff I 3D printed! 

Overall, another good year on the painting front as I managed to paint about 345 models for the year, including various 28mm and other scales.  Here is a small sample of what got painted in 2022. 

Nativity scene from Reaper

Tumbling Dice 1/600 aircraft

Kitbashed Cadaver Troops for Under the Martian Yoke

Persian Immortals vs. Ionian Greeks from Victrix

Persian light troops scouting from Victrix

Like I said, that is a sample of what has been painted in 2022!  

Games Played
This was another productive year for games played.  I played a wide variety of games and was getting about two games a month in.  I say, "Not bad for me" but I have been getting two games a month in pretty regularly for a few years now.  I guess that means two games a month is average now?  

I got to play a wide variety of titles, including board games and Card Games.  Of course, the main focus here is Wargames.  Most of the wargames I played were Blood and Spectacles publishing.  My group jokingly said to me, "We mostly play your games, because then we do not need to learn the rules.  You know them pretty well."  If only they knew the truth!  

Some Kill Team that never made it to the blog

I got to play: 
  • Castles in the Sky
  • Men of Bronze
  • Wars of the Republic
  • Kill Team
  • White Star/Red Star
  • Aeronautica Imperialis
  • Fury of the Northman
.... and many, many more.  I easily managed to hit my playing goals this year.  

More Kill Team that never made it to the Blog

Rules Writing
2022 did not disappoint in this category for me either.  I planned on having 4 games released in 2022, and I am happy to say that I eventually got there with all 4 of them.  They are all available on my Wargames Vault page for purchase. 

White Star/Red Star

Fury of the Northman

I also managed to release another game I have been working on called, Under the Martian Yoke.  This was a survival based skirmish game set after Orson Well's War of the Worlds radio play.  This time it was no theatre, it was real!  

The Games: Blood and Spectacles

Of course, Castles in the Sky was also released from Osprey this year!  That was a project 5+ years in the making.  It was really exciting to not only see it come out, but also see so many people playing it!    

I also did a lot of preliminary and post-production work on a couple of other rule sets.  I can write the rules faster than I can play-test them, do post-production, and release them!  That means I still have some games in the hopper for 2023! 

A writer friend once told me, "When you publish your first book, that is great but it does not make you a living.  Once you get to 50 books that people are buying, then you might be making a living."  I have taken that advice to heart, and am working hard to get myself to 50 books published, one way or another.   

Under the Martian Yoke

Misc. Stuff
This year I worked hard on getting better at 3D printing with my Resin printer.  Maybe I cracked the code, or maybe I just cracked?  We will see as I go into 2023.  

I did manage to print two entire fleets of Triremes for Poseidon's Warriors.  I plan to have some epic land and sea campaigns with my Greek and Persian forces.  Both sides have 25 ships a piece.  Thanks to Captain Ahab on Thingiverse for the design.  

Also, a big thanks to CookAndrewB on Thingiverse for making some cool 3D sculpts for Martian Ferals to be used with Under the Martian YokeThese designs drove me to try some more miniature style figures to print this year.  Here is a Feral cow, goats, and chickens.  I like to call it my Barnyard of Terror! 

In addition to that, I have decided to try to host a Quarterly gaming event in my area.  There are not a ton of Wargamers.... yet.  However, there is a local college, a local gaming store, and an art store/coffee shop that has some of the materials needed.  I have been slowly building up a local player base, and with our efforts combined we can continue to grow Wargaming in the Northwest Wyoming region.  

I have hosted two events, and participated in a third gaming event.  They were all modestly successful with enough players to keep the participation games going, some sales for the hosts/vendors, and an ever growing list of interested parties.  

Castles in the Sky Book Launch Event

Well, before you know it another year is gone.  However, looking back I feel like I made the most of it in my hobby space.  Games were played, rules were written, people were met, and models got painted.  What more can a wargamer really ask for?

However, as I look ahead to 2023 there is still a lot to do!  Next week, I will worry about that.  For now, and this week; I think I will rest on my laurels.

Onward..... to next year. 


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