Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 New Year Kick-off

Call of the Webway by MajesticChicken
2011 has come to an end and 2012 is here. Apparently this year will see the end of the world, although I am not scheduling around that. Its a great time of year to take a look back over the past 12 months and make some plans for the year to come. Looking back at my January 2011 post, we can start to compare how much I accomplished. Starting Mid-January last year I also began using the Google Spreasheet shared by Rich of Warpstone Pile to track my gaming and hobby progress as a whole. While he claims to have no idea how many people are using his sheet, I am very happy with it! To that end, I am making some minor adjustments for tracking in 2012, specifically geared toward my focus on Malifaux.

I spent some time earlier this week looking over the various 2011 charts and stats I had pulled together. One of the things I had not done through the year was pull together the hobby (paint/assembly) tracking from 2010. I had a link at the top of the blog to what I had done in 2010, but had never pulled it into a spreadsheet. Well, this week I was inspired to do just that. It is neat to look at the comparisons between 2010 and 2011.

Hobby Points for the year
Here is a high level overview of the 2010 modeling and painting:
Not too bad for a year overall. going back and adding up the total hobby points utilizing the current method (including assembly), my 2010 hobby total was sitting at a comfortable 187 points. Thats a bit over what I was tracking on the left hand side of the board, but more accurate when comparing 2010 to 2011. Looking at the similar track for 2011 we see the following:
Less hobby points overall, and the months when my progress drops to 0 are not consistent. 2010 I did nothing painting or assembly wise in April and September, while this past year it was June, August, and December. I did have peaks of activity in July and November, but nothing overly crazy. Whats interesting for me to note really comes in on the next graphs, which certainly explains the larger totals in 2010 over 2011.

Hobby Points per Army
Here is a look at 2010 for hobby on a per-army basis.
You can pretty clearly see the decrease in Eldar models (40K in fact) being painted overall, and the swap to my fascination with Malifaux. Eldar starts dropping off in May of 2010, while my growth in Malifaux really ramps up around June. This will push a fairly large change, as Malifaux does not have tanks or vehicles which are worth significantly more painting points than infantry. In addition, even the large Malifaux models are not on the same scale as monstrous creatures in 40K. Add to that the lack of conversions and it brings you to look at the total points per month charts above in a new light.

So what was my hobby activity per army in 2011?
We still see Eldar on the list, but the numbers are really low. It was basically my side painting project for the year opposed to my primary painting. Malifaux guild was a heavy contender all year, although 2011 started with a fairly monumental effort to paint up Neverborn.

There is another graph available on the spreadsheet, but it is not as much use for me as others. It basically tracks army assembly vs painting. As I only really assemble models as I am going to paint them, the graphs are not as much use. I am keeping the calculations because it may be come helpful if I change my hobby habits.

2011 Expectations?
At the start of 2011 I had set out a couple expectations for myself for the year. The full post is here, but to sum it up neatly:
  • Hobby Queue 40K - I pretty much failed on the things I listed in my queue. On the DTP 40K side, nearly my entire list from last January is still outstanding.
  • Hobby Queue Dreamer - This was a smashing success and completed early in the year. I have not added anything to my dreamer list since I completed this though.
  • Hobby Queue Kirai - This was a failure. My Kirai crew is still in their boxes and not even begun.
  • Hobby Queue Lucius - This was a success. I have an entire Lucius crew painted up and have added to it over the year!
  • Play More Games - I am going to count this as a success. While I do not have stats for games played in previous years, I think I played more games in 2011 that ever before. By the end of the year I had wracked up 147 total games tracked (I did not track playtest games). The split for the year was: 
    • 40K - 3 games
    • WHFB - 6 games
    • Hordes - 11 games
    • Malifaux - 127 games
So how did I do overall in the year? What was the breakdown per army played? I have graphs for that!
I have to admit that these stats were actually fairly surprising to me. I played a lot more Guild than I had thought. I was expecting a fairly even split between Guild and Neverborn, but that was not the case.

This chart I find fascinating. There are a number of things you can pull out of this, and I expect some will use this to justify arguments I just do not agree with. When I look at win-ratio between my guild and Neverborn, I am far more successful with the Neverborn. I expect to hear (at some point this year) this being the justification that Neverborn are overpowered. I do not agree with that. Through playing a whole lot of games, I am really starting to understand the types of armies/strategies that my mind "clicks" with. These tend to be a health combination of the following:
  • Movement - I prefer to play with models that have more than an average level of movement within the game.
  • "Tricks" - I do very well with models/armies that require some "out of the box" thinking or "tricks" to make them work well.
  • Direct Board Control - Armies/Models that provide some level of board control in a direct method resonate with me. Covering fire lanes does not click well. Reacting to my opponent, creating new terrain, manipulating activation (including out-activation) are all things that "click" in my brain.
I think these factors of my play-style contribute more to the higher win-ration with the Neverborn over the Guild for me. It was only at the end of the year that I added Colette and Kaeris to my Arcanist crews, and my win percentage with Arcanists started to climb dramatically once I did. Colette, specifically, includes all of the factors above in how her crew functions.

So whats in store for 2012? What do I have in mind for my plans?
  • Gaming - I would like to keep this at similar levels this year as last. I plan to continue heading out for normal game night on Tuesdays at the local store at least 3 times per month. I will also be participating in tournaments this year, traveling to play as well.
  • Game Systems - I have picked up Hordes and added it to my repertoire of games I am playing. I expect that through 2012 my games of WHFB will drop to 0, although I am not ditching my dwarf army (or my not-yet-started High Elf army). I forsee 40K/Malifaux/Hordes ranking in the following order:
    1. Malifaux - this is my primary game and I love it. I do not see that changing this year.
    2. Hordes - this is a fun backup game and I can see playing it for fun. After my first tournament, I do not see playing tournaments.
    3. 40K - This will be relegated to a back-up game this year. I may pull it out to play off and on, but it has moved to a solid last choice for me.
  • Painting/Assembly - This falls into the so-much-to-do-so-little-time category. I have a lot of Malifaux models (different factions). I have a lot of Hordes Legion of Everblight models. I have a fair number of Eldar models left to paint (plus some new stuff from FW). If I should ever run short of models, I have a whole box of High Elves to paint up. Goal: with that said, my goal for 2012 is to become more consistent with my painting. I am going to strive to work on and complete at least 2 models every month. I expect there will still be surges of painting here and there, but consistency is my goal.
  • Tournaments - I will be attending Adepticon and Gencon this year for major tournaments. More on my overall tournament plans and commitments below, but briefly here are my goals. 
    • Win 2 small/local tournaments in the first half of the year with Guild
    • Be on the top 2 final tables at Adepticon, with Guild
    • Play on the top 2 final tables at Gencon (faction undecided yet)
Competitive Malifaux Play in 2012?
I have some plans for competitive Malifaux play during 2012. I am playing Malifaux a lot, not just because its my primary games but also actually playing a lot of games. That is leading to my enjoyment playing competitively at the top tables. I aim to not sacrifice sportsmanship in any way (those who listen to Gamers Lounge know my stance there) and still land at the top tables regularly. Over 2011 I was successfully able to accomplish that. Despite where my final placement landed due to scoring systems, I have consistently played at the top 2 final tables in every tournament I participated in during 2011. At Gencon I was playing for 2nd place on the 2nd table, and at Adepticon I was playing for 1st place on the top table.

Year of the Guild? One of the Malifaux Henchmen (and one I consider a friend), Nilus, is a huge Guild advocate and player. He has declared 2012 as the year of the guild, and this idea has certainly taken off strongly. With 2012 just arriving, I am interested to see how many players nationally stick with Guild through the year. I plan to play guild and aim to do well. I am not sure I am committing for the full year, but certain for the beginning of the year through Adepticon I will play Guild as my primary Tournament faction.

Onto the new year!
So that's my initial 2012 thoughts in a nutshell. The new spreadsheet for game and hobby tracking is linked here. I am tweaking it a bit to add some additional statistic tracking in the sheet, I hope I can pull together everything I want to track. I will also be doing some minor restructuring of the blog over the next couple weeks to line up all the new 2012 information.