1. Keep a Current Hobby Blog: This is the one goal I set last January that could be considered a success. My little space on the web has been around for four years now but the first three were very quiet. Over that three year period I had a total of six posts. But a year ago I decided to either give it my full attention or take it down. My goal was to make at least one post a week and report on whatever I was working on at the time or simply yap away about some aspect of the gaming hobby.
Well, my tally for 2011 was 46 posts. Although I was several entries shy of my actual goal, I will still consider this effort a victory. But more important than the successful completion of the goal was the lessons I learned about blogging in general. I learned that to keep a blog current, professional, and entertaining was a lot of work. More work than I ever thought. Notes have to be kept to create tutorials. Photos have to be taken during each stage of a project then those same photos need to be edited and archived. Entries have to be planned to coincide with certain events or time frames. The list could go on but I think the point is made. It's not easy to keep a good blog.
Now let me state that I'm not implying that this little hobby blog is the pinnacle to weblogs. Far from it! I'm definitely still learning and have a long way to go. But what I am trying to say is that almost anyone can throw up a few photos from their phone and toss some gibberish in the text block and call it a blog. But to make it look good, make sense, and attract visitors takes quite a bit of effort. In fact, I sometimes wonder if the folks whose blogs I admire the most (and try my best to emulate) spend more time with the act of blogging than they do with their chosen hobby itself.
Anyhow, my goal for this year is to continue to strive for weekly entries and improve the content and overall look of my hobby blog. With luck, and lots of inspiration from the blogs you see on my blog roll, I'll have another successful year.
2. Paint More Miniatures: Well, this goal was a victory of sorts on the one hand and a failure on the other. Looking at the title of the goal itself, I certainly rocked it! I painted more miniatures this year than any other since getting back into the hobby a few years ago. I was able to complete 46 miniatures, not counting the items I painted that really do not fall into the miniature category such as cannons, barrels, etc... Well over half of the 46 painted were pirates, or pirate related figures for my Legends of the High Seas project. The others were various fantasy minis for other projects or just for fun. No matter how I categorize them, 2011 was a good year for miniature output considering my terribly slow painting style.
However, I actually failed this goal by a considerable amount. The fine print from last January states that I wanted to complete at least 100 miniatures.. Yeah....I lost on this one big time. I did not even make it half way. To be honest, I'm not sure what I was thinking. One hundred miniatures equals about three completed minis a week. Unless painting an army (in which I'm still slow), I'm lucky to complete one miniature every other week. I think I was quite lucky just to get 46 across the finish line. One hundred? Not gonna happen.
So once again, my goal for this year is to paint more miniatures. However, I'm going to lower the bar quite a bit and shoot for 50 completed figures before December 31st.
3. Make More Terrain: The easy answer is yes, I made more. I have pieces sitting around for LotR, Legends of the High Seas, and general wargaming. However, very few of them are complete. Just sitting here at the desk I see a Rohan watchtower awaiting paint, a 18th century inn needing a roof, and a fleet of pirate and merchant vessels needing.....well, a little bit of everything. The biggest unfinished project however is Port Antigua. The giant port for Legends of the High Seas has been flocked and primed but little else. The docks are in disrepair and most of the buildings are without roofs or shutters. Sticking my head out of the door and into the game room I see the port sitting there looking like a bomb went off. Definitely unfinished.
So I will add this goal to the queue for this year as well, but with the specific direction of completing existing terrain projects before starting new ones.
4. Field My Cadians: Not even close. It started out as a clever little title of March of the Cadians, in which I planned on painting them in the month of the same name. Then it became April of the Cadians.....not nearly as witty and clever. Then July of the Cadians. Then....well, you get the picture. All I managed to do with this goal is to paint three test models which instead of advancing my goal, actually hindered my efforts because I couldn't decide which on I liked best. Damn!
So for 2012, I'll start with "January of the Cadians" with the hopes that by the time I get around to them, it really will be March and the title will sound oh so much better.
5. Find an RPG Group: Absolutely nothing on this front. Living on a tropical island certainly has its advantages. Finding an RPG group is not one of them however. To find any gaming at all, I have to drive up to the mainland in Miami. The closest hobby shop is 64 miles away. While I do drive up from time to time to see what's new in the hobby world or to play a game of
6. Organize a Wings of War Campaign: Read the poor pitiful excuse from above.
7. Spend More Time With My LotrO Kinship: I really wanted this one to happen but alas, I simply cannot get back into the game after all the changes. I had been waiting for LotRO since it was just an idea called Middle-earth Online. I stayed active on the boards and discussions to make sure I was invited to test drive the game and became one of the players in closed beta. I loved the game and the way Turbine stayed as close as possible to the world created and imagined by Professor Tolkien. But with every new release, the game strayed from the successful model used in the beginning and my interest began to wane. All that kept me hanging on was the absolutely wonderful group of like-minded roleplayers that provided a world within the world where we could ignore the trend the game was taking, along with the thousands of Legolazzes, Freedos, and Araaagornzz running around talking leet speak. We remained strong as the oldest roleplaying Kinship on the Landroval server but even our loyal fellowship could not withstand the long defeat of the game itself. Sadly, as I write this, it has been months since I logged in. So this goal too was a dismal failure. However, on a brighter note, I still remain in contact with some of the folks from the old Kinship and our love of Tolkien and all things Middle-earth has not completely faded.
So all in all, it was a fairly disappointing year as far as goals are concerned. Basically, I was able to conquer one and three quarters out of seven. However, looking back it's safe to say that I set myself up for failure with most of the goals. Some were not realistically attainable while others were simply the effects of nostalgia. This year will be different however. How? I'm not planning on setting any new goals. Beyond the few I mentioned above (50 miniatures, hobby blog, etc) I am planning on not planning at all. I will simply cruise along and enjoy the many hobbies that take up my time. Who knows, perhaps the lack of pressure will lead to more productivity and creativity in 2012.