Wednesday, January 15, 2020

2019 In Review and 2020 Resolutions

It Liiiives! Maybe, sort of... not really.

The last post on the blog was back in March, so saying the blog, or the podcast, is alive might be a bit of a stretch. But, it's still here and occasionally, like today, I get nostalgic and decide to try to write up a post. This time, I'm doing my annual year in review and resolutions post.

2019 In Review:
Last year was the lowest hobby-time year I've had since restarting my plastic habit in 2012. As a result, hobby progress, event attendance, and games in general were pretty limited. Hobby-wise, I think I completed an astonishingly low 7 models: Deathleaper, 5 Intercessors, and a Contemptor Dreadnought. Games-wise, I attended 3 GTs and 2 RTTs, while missing two of my favorite events of the year (NOVA and Warzone: Atlanta).

The year started fairly promising, with somewhat regular hobby posts on the blog and an RTT in February. I took pure Blood Angels and went 2-1, getting me second place. More importantly, I got to meet some new guys who are relatively local with an interest in tournament play. Two of them joined me at my next event, Warzone: Atomic Empire.

For WZ:AE I went back to my Tyranid Roots, and included some of my Genestealer Cult models I'd recently had commissioned. The choice to run this army was, in no small part, to try to score as high as I could on their paint rubric. At the first WZ:AE I managed to crack top-5 Overall thanks to my paint score, and so, was hoping to do the same again. To that end, I included my trusty Mawloc conversion, who is probably my favorite model ever, as well as my fun Skitarii / Neophyte kitbashes, and even wrote up a fluff story for my army.

I did a full tournament writeup including the list on the Tyranid Hive, but in summary, the list did better than I could have hoped, and I ended up going 4-1, placing 9th. I ended the event playing against Dave, the TO from the February RTT and we had an awesome match that came down to the wire.

A month later, I attended another GT, the Carolina Crusade, in Charlotte, NC, being run by my friend Tony. I swapped back to my Blood Angels for this game (and Knights), and was running the list largely as a test for ATC. The list was a bit different to my previous versions as I dropped the Sanguinary Guard for two Contemptors, and included a pair of Helverins to round out my firebase.

After five rounds, I ended up 3-2, having played awesomely fun games against great opponents. However, with the experience, I opted to move away from the list for ATC, which uses differential to determine which team won. All of my wins were narrow victories, and I felt like the list struggled in ITC format to deny secondaries or contest midfield in early turns.

For ATC, in July, I opted to run a Tyranid Monster Mash list, hoping I could create some larger differential games while also filling a role in our pairing process. For the third iteration of the team, Chandler was back, taking Andrew's place, with the rest of the 2018 team returning. In an about-face from the previous year's nearly all Imperial team, this year we were mostly Xenos, running Orks, GSC, Nids, and Necrons, with Chandler as the lone hold-out running Wolves.

We went 1-2-2 as a team, and I had a personal record of 2-4, though I was second highest Tyranids by Battle Points (highest on the team - which I'm proud of since I was lowest on the team the previous year, despite having the best W/L record), and ended with a positive differential.

After ATC, my gaming went to just about nil, with my second daughter being born in August. I had planned to attend Warzone: Atlanta in November, but ended up having to stay home for a sick kiddo. My plan was to borrow Bryan's Dark Eldar I had painted and run them, as neither Nids or Blood Angels were in a very appealing place competitively. I missed out on that weekend, but I was able to run a slightly pared down version of my list at a local RTT a few weeks later.

My full writeup is on Reddit, but I managed to win the event, going 3-0! I can't actually remember the last time I won an RTT, so I was pretty happy with that outcome to say the least. Not to mention I got a pretty cool prize:

And that wraps up my 2019 as far as 40k goes. The year flew by, and I didn't get nearly as much gaming or hobby time as I might like, but had a great year regardless, just in more "real-life" pursuits.

Looking back at my resolutions for last year, they were to Have Fun, Empty the Backlog, and Revitalize the Blog. The first one I included a note about playing more games so that tournament games can be more enjoyable, and while that didn't happen, I instead brought lists that I could play comfortably and efficiently, and so, had a lot of fun in the few games I did play. The other two, obviously, were unsuccessful.

For this year, I'm honestly a bit hesitant to make any big resolutions; there are times over the last year or so where I've debated dropping the hobby, or at least putting it on indefinite hiatus. Time to paint and play has to compete with spending time with my family and helping to run and grow a family business my wife started a couple years ago (Check us out on Facebook if you'd like and hit me up with any questions). I traveled more for that business than I did for Warhammer last year, and I don't see that changing this year.

I still have a handful of events penciled in, but expect I'll need to check my expectations as I don't see me having time to practice or to paint things to keep up with the meta. Namely, I'm looking at the following:
  • May: Warzone: Atomic Empire
  • June: ATC
  • September: NOVA
  • November: Warzone: Atlanta
Hopefully I'll get an RTT or two in as well, but weekends can be precious. All that feels like a bit of a down note, but it's really not; priorities change and spending time with my daughters and wife wins most days. But, this is a hobby-focused platform, so I am curious how my fellow hobbyists balance their time. How do you get enough time for hobbying with competing priorities? Let me know! Also, let me know what your resolutions are for the year - I'd love to cheer you on.

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