Well, it's that time of the month again when I get to track and ponder the ebb and flow of my gaming hobbies. It's quite entertaining and educating to watch the rise and fall of each item and to try to comprehend the reason or reasons for the change. Sometimes the change is due to understandable and reasonable factors such as the "oooh, shiny!" syndrome or simple inspiration from a movie or book (such as the case this month). Other times games just fall by the wayside until fate smiles upon them and they rise from the carnage to take a place amongst the upper class again. I think this is the case for most gamers and hobbyists but I seem to be particularly vulnerable to the phenomenon.
This month sees several of those old favorites fall further from favor (but never out of mind). Although I have a unit of High Elves and Bretonians in the queue for major projects, Warhammer Fantasy Battles continues a general decline. I have sold most of my Empire army on Ebay and only have bits and pieces of others armies hiding in storage. I cannot even claim that the two units mentioned above will help the fall since each unit is destined for other game systems. Though I've long thought Peter Jackson did a wonderful job with The Lord of the Rings, his vision of Tolkien's elves never matched mine. Perhaps it's the underlying Far Eastern theme that seems to drive his view of the culture or something else entirely, but I've always pictured the elves, especially those of the first and second ages, differently. The mail coats, high helms, and stout spears of WFB High Elves speak to me and fit the image in my head more closely than Mr. Jackson's. So, a few units of High Elves are destined to become players in a first/second age version of LotR SBG that I'm working on. As for the Bretonians, they will be used in an upcoming Westeros project as mentioned here.
Most of the roleplaying games remained unchanged except for the Old School catagory, which for me simply means 1st Edition. Though I have not actually played a game in a long time, my interest in the system is up - most likely due to the time I have spent pouring over some of my old issues of Dragon Magazine and looking at old miniatures. Just flipping through those old musty pages or opening a box of long stored minis brings back so many fond memories.
The big winners this month are basically the same as in March. Legends of the High Seas remains strong as does anything remotely related to pirate gaming. LotR SBG also saw an increase mainly due to the video update Peter Jackson posted on Facebook about The Hobbit (true inspiration) and the fact that I am using my Rohirrim as stand-ins for Saxons and Vikings for the Age of Blood game system. Speaking of Age of Blood, I'm still very much obsessed with the idea of creating a warband and running a campaign with those rules. I'm working on proper miniatures for the project but for now, Theoden and his men are doing just fine.
I finally received my preorder of Ambush Alley Force on Force. I knew this was going to be a big hit with me and so far I am very much impressed with the game system. I've located many of the miniatures I would like to use/collect (check out these from Black Scorpion) and will be making a fairly large order soon. I'm also using some of the basic patterns I've used for buildings in the construction of Port Antigua to make Middle Eastern villages so I should be ready to playtest the rules as soon as I get some minis ready.
And finally, anything related to G.R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series is marked for a rapid rise. I've long loved the gritty and "realistic" books and have been greatly inspired by the new series by HBO. I've been hard at work painting Westeros related miniatures and preparing for a hybrid campaign that features the RPG game by Green Ronin combined with minor wargaming. This should be quite fun to play out.
Enough of my chatter. Here is this month's hobby matrix. And yes, I've been lazy and I still do not have a proper format.
Current Obsession - Age of Blood
Past Obsession - Legends of the High Seas
Looming Obsession - Ambush Alley (Force on Force)
Lord of the Rings SBG = 8+
Warhammer Fantasy = 3-
Warhammer 40K = 5*
Pathfinder RPG = 4*
A Song of Ice and Fire RPG = 9+
Flames of War = 2-
Wings of War = 5-
D&D 4ed = 2*
D&D 3.5 = 3-
D&D old school = 8+
Axis and Allies War at Sea = 5*
Legends of the High Seas =9*
Terrain and Scenery Design = 8*
Miniature Painting (general) = 9+
Lord of the Rings Online = 3*
Pirates of the Burning Sea = 2-
Pirates of the Spanish Main = 6+
Pirates of the Spanish Main RPG = 7+
Ambush Alley = 7+
Age of Blood = 8+
(The scale is 1-10 with one being the lowest on the current interest scale and ten being the highest. "-" indicates a negative trend and "+" indicates a positive while "*" signifies no change from the previous month.)