It just about a year ago that I got my first Heavy Gear minis and I managed to be rather productive during the first months of the year. I finished a recon squad and 3/5ths of a dragoon squad. And they were a lot of fun to paint as well! I never got started with the infantry though. Heavy Gear is still very much on my mind and I'll likely finish up my small force during the winter/spring. Problem is I have no opponents to play against, and for some reason it seems to be a hard sell in my circle of friends. I don't know why really, maybe I just need to arrange a VOTOMS marathon or something.
Naturally my first priority is to finish my Northern Guard, but I'd also like to make a small Southern companion force. That's quite far off though.
Just as I had finished painting not one, but two reasonably sized fleets for Full Thrust my friends (who'd only painted a couple of models each) decided to jump over to Firestorm: Armada. Mostly I think they were impressed by the models but they said the rules seemed good as well. I on the other hand didn't really like the models. To me they looked looked from lacklustre to downright off-putting (exception: Sorylians). However, rather than stick to Full Thrust and not have any opponents I decided to make my own fleet out of Space Battleship Yamato (Starblazers) models.
This little project is far from finished. I do have three cruisers and a battleship that are base coated, but I need to take some time and sit down and actually finish them. Shouldn't take too long. However, I also caved in and bought some official F:A models, namely the arachnid Relthoza. I've painted a few models but I've taken a little break. The battleship is starting to come together though. I want to finish my Relthoza and then kind of hang back and see the (40!) new models that are being released during 2011. So far they're looking good.
Ironically, my friends have still not painted any models for F:A and have now decided to get into Dystopian Wars as well (instead?). As you might imagine I've more or less given up playing any of these games with these guys. That's right! I hate you! :)
I got Diaspora early this year and fell in love almost instantly. I really want to play it, but haven't really had a chance to yet. The setting is right up my alley and the Fate mechanics looks awesome, but I think they require a group with the right mindset! As we finish up The Gathering Storm in a couple of months the plan is to hand the GM reins over to someone else which might give me the chance to run this as a one-off. We'll see...
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay
The third edition intrigued me from the start as it has a bunch of mechanics that dovetails with me and my group's play style. And since we've become real board gamers over the last few years the extra components felt mostly natural to us. We started playing in July and have actually managed to keep a somewhat slow but steady pace. So far we like it, although I think there's still a lot of untapped potential within the system that we have yet to use. Especially the party sheet, the fate point economy and character development comes to mind.
From January onwards we've started scheduling our game days more regularely at two times a month (minimum) so I think we'll probably pick up the pace quite a bit from now on.
Another case of my evil friends "tricking" me into starting another project! Some guy was starting a Mordheim campaign and two of my friends started talking about how much fun it'd be to make a small warband and participate. Possible warbands were discussed and although I didn't hear from them for a week or so I decided to go ahead with a witch hunter warband. And then when we spoke again they told me that they weren't really interested anymore. By that time I'd already made a couple of special orders and most important of all, Andy had challenged me to an arms race!
Although I've only finished a warrior priest and five war hounds so far this is a project I'm quite optimistic about. Since the minis will be usable for WFRP (already using the priest!) as well I have double incentives to keep going. They're also fun to paint!
As I mentioned earlier it seems like my friends might abandon Firestorm: Armada for this game. Initially I told them that I won't get into it until they've each painted a fieldable fleet or army for it. But I actually like the models so much that I've modified it to: I won't get into it until I've finished my Relthoza fleet. The models for Dystopian Wars are beautiful enough to paint merely for enjoyment and if my friends actually get a playable force together I'll simply consider it a bonus.
I like all four of the main powers but I'm planning to do Empire of the Blazing Sun (Japan). I'm not too keen on their naval vessels, but their ground and air stuff is reall cool; very Nausicaa/Laputa/Miyazaki style to them. Probably I'll simply go for the airborne models for now and wait for the ground stuff to arrive. What I'm secretly dreaming of though is a combined flottilla of EotBS and French airborne models. Just look at this upcoming French flying battleship:
Being a great Yamato fan I simply cannot resist that!
There's been quite a bit of board gaming for me since moving back to Sweden. If I had to pick some stand-out games of this year (that I played in 2010, not necessarily that were published in 2010) I'd probably pick Runewars, Claustrophobia and Alien Frontiers. With Cyclades, Ad Astra and Horus Heresy as runner-ups.
Runewars simply because it manages to take the essence of Twilight Imperium (which is one of my favourite games) and condense it into a smooth running four player affair that can be finished in a couple of hours but still make you feel like you've played a great epic where you accomplished a lot of things. Oh, and it looks absolutely gorgeous! Definetly a candidate for pimping!
Claustrophobia is also a game that kind of reminds me of another game that I love (in this case Space Hulk) but somehow manage to make it more immersive, better balanced and yet keep setup to a minimum and playtime to less than an hour. Great game and I'm glad it's slowly climing the top 100 on Board Game Geek (currently 76).
I first came across Alien Frontiers on BGG as I was searching around for upcoming science fiction games (a search that also yielded the must-play game High Frontier) and it immediately caught my attention. Mostly because I loved the theme and it seemed like a cool game, but also because it was produced through Kickstarter. I've only got to play it once so far, but it was a tons of fun with a lot of screwage and interesting strategies. Definitely need to play this more!
Cyclades reminds me of Chaos in the Old World. If I had to choose between the two I'd have to pick the latter but Cyclades is a great area control game with the same kind of knife-fight-in-a-phone-booth feel that CitOW has. Check it out!
Ad Astra is a light space exploration/colonization themed game with euro mechanics. I've been on the lookout for something kind of Catanish but better and with a more interesting theme. Ad Astra absolutely fits the bill!
Horus Heresy was released about the same time as Runewars and also has production value out the wazoo! I think it perfectly captures the grand feel of the battle for Terra and the forward planning you have to do makes it quite a thinker. I talked a bit more in-depth about it here.
Special mention: Earth Reborn. I haven't played this yet as my copy is currently in transit but I have a feeling that this will make this list next year. :)
Other upcoming or new(ish) board and miniature games that I'm keeping an eye on are: Mansions of Madness, Dust Tactics, The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, Battlestar Galactica: Exodus Expansion, Outpost (remake), Target Earth, Merchants & Marauders, Attack Vector: Tactical/Squadron Strike/Voidstriker, Battles of Westeros, Jovian Chronicles Blitz (I can dream!).
Now, I know I've left things out of this post but I think I covered all the major players. However I do have one other project planned for next year that I'll be keeping under wraps until I have some substantial stuff to show you. More on that later.
Happy New Year everybody! See you in 2011!