So... what have I got up to in 2011?
Well, first off, I started this blog! The first post was on Jan 25th 2011: I never expected much from it other than a place to gather my thoughts and waffle, but it's been very gratifying to watch the followers count increase and some posts even occasionally garner the odd comment or two. I'm more than a little pleased to note that December is my first 1000+ pageview month, and my review of I Ain't Been Shot Mum kicked the blog well past 5000 pageviews. So a huge thank you to everyone who's read, even more if you followed, yet more again if you commented or linked. I'm going to try and be a bit better at acknowledging new followers and commenting on other folks' blogs generally in 2012.
Painting-wise, I seem to be the master of the last-minute paint job: arriving at club with a Really Useful Box some of whose contents still smell of Army Painter Anti-Shine seems to be a bit of a habit, but... at least they're painted. It's kind of amusing that, as I put the finishing touches to this post at about 10.50 on New Year's Eve, I've also just dipped 11 28mm Panzergrenadiers for Monday night's club session.
I do occasionally tease people at club for non-painted armies - it's a bit of a thing with me, and I think it goes back to playing WRG Ancients at my school wargames club using just cardboard bases and wishing very hard that I could actually afford figures other than Airfix plastics. Not that I'm that good a painter - as I've said before, I don't claim to be. I don't have the best eyesight (not seeing in 3D doesn't help!), nor am I the best at fine detail work, so the products of those nice Army Painter people are an absolute godsend to me. The height of achievement for me is getting a Red Cross armband on a Wehrmacht medic, or most of the belts, straps and harness on a ECW cavalryman: passing the 'two feet test' is what I aim for. Having said that? New and not el cheapo brushes? Win!
Arny-wise, I'm happy that, as I aimed for, I can raise 2000 (rulebook) points of WAB EIR. Things I'd probably be surprised by if you'd told me in January, are the decent 1500 or so points of WECW Royalists, and the still-growing group of Brigantes. I've been playing the latter a lot as Cartimandua's Rome-loyal tribe (or the 'psycho red-head', as she's affectionately known down the club), with two or three units of Auxillae in to help. On top of that, the recent major discoveries have been, firstly, Operation: Squad, which I absolutely love, and seems to be a major, major, hit at the club: I have Wehrmacht and British Para squads, and should have a Panzergrenadier squad before 2011 is done. Second discovery, definitely Napoleon at War - I'm slowly crawling up the top posters list on their forum, and that's without, as yet, having played a game. Though it's only a matter of time. Third discovery - while I've been drafting this post between Christmas and the New Year, in fact - I Ain't Been Shot Mum: again, not had chance to play it yet, but thoroughly taken by it and most certainly will.
As for the wargamers pledge for 2011... let's see: hrm. I need to get painting, according to the magic spreadsheet! 642 figures in, 381 painted. I suppose it's over half. And that isn't counting the 283 I had at the start of 2011! There are, though, another 100 or so primed and ready to paint, and another 40 on top of that most of the way to assembled.
Outside of gaming, I lost a very good friend in a car accident, entirely (as these things are) out of the blue. Rest in peace, Keris - I don't think you may ever have known how much you'd be missed by everyone.
On the good side, my new job leaves me with notably more disposable income, and 90 minutes less commute; our son has started secondary school and taken up drums (and is good enough for this not to be painful), and is also displaying an interest in wargaming. Can't be bad.
And that, my friends, was 2011. A Happy, Peaceful and Prosperous New Year to you all. See you in 2012 in about... a minute, if this scheduled post goes according to plan.