It's very easy in all genres of tabletop gaming to get side-tracked or overwhelmed with the sheer amount of content that's available out there. Player's can purchase hundreds of miniatures, board, and roleplaying games, only for them never to be played or even opened. These are known as piles of shame and include unplayed games and miniatures that sit around unpainted and unused. Tabletop gamers regularly make New Years Resolutions in order to make sure they control what they buy, or make time to paint and play the games they have.
In order to help inspire others, and to keep us true to our own goals, I've gathered a few tabletop influencers and friends to talk about their Tabletop Resolutions for 2020. We will follow this up each month in an article talking about how we've done, along with what we've played and purchased. Please follow along, and join us by posting in the comments, and then follow up each month by letting us know how you've done yourself, and share any progress pictures you have.
I'm the Tabletop Editor for TechRaptor, and as a result, I spend a lot of my time reading rules, getting products ready for testing, actually testing, and then writing them up. It hasn't left a lot of time for playing the games that I want to explore further. It also doesn't leave much time for the hobby element of tabletop gaming. I put a lot of miniatures and scenery together, but I haven't managed to paint a model properly in years. This year I want to make time to focus on elements of the hobby that I usually don't have time for.
It might sound like first-world problems, but when producing content, it's very easy to get sucked into a schedule, or overloaded with products, especially when it isn't a full-time job. It's important for all of us to take time to find our passion with the hobby, and that's what I hope to do with this series and I do hope that anyone reading will share their stories with us as well.
So this year, my Tabletop Hobby Resolutions are as follows:
- Play at least one campaign game a month. The plan for the start of the year is Core Space and if I can manage to stretch it to 2 campaign games a month, I'll throw in either WarCry or Necromunda or an RPG campaign.
- Paint at least 1 squad a month. The aim is for 1 squad, but I would love to do more. I figure if I aim for a squad, I'll be able to take my time, rather than rushing just for the sake of completion. Plus I have to actually re-learn to paint, so 1 squad will allow me to focus on different techniques. The plan for the first month is my Core Space crew.
- Control what I buy. I'm very guilty of buying anything that I think looks awesome, without any real plans to use or paint them. So I'm going to keep a close eye on what I purchase each month, and won't buy anything unless I plan to use it.
- If time allows, this year I want to start a nostalgia project. I remember Man O War by Games Workshop being one of my favorite games when I first started wargaming. I want to get hold of all the rules and put together a couple of forces for it.
You can read Adam's tabletop coverage here on TechRaptor and also hear his random musings on Twitter.
I not only spend my time writing about both video and board games but also try to run my own Youtube channel, I often find myself neglecting the parts of the hobby that I actually do for fun. I've not GM'd a decent TTRPG campaign in months, the last time I played a board game that wasn't for a review it was a stupid party game at my sister's house, and I recently had to literally dust off my miniatures because they'd sat for so long at my painting station that they were covered in dust bunnies.
With that in mind, I have a few different resolutions for this year related to tabletop.
- Paint More Minis. I have so many unfinished ones that I don't even know where to start. Needless to say, this is going to be a big one.
- Run at least one non-D&D campaign with my players. My current playgroup is made up of mainly newbies. They have some limited experience but not much and have so far proven unwilling to play anything other than D&D 5e. My goal this year is to get them playing Shadowrun because frankly, someone needs to play that game with me before I explode.
- Play Some Games For Fun. This one is pretty self-explanatory. I want to play games because I have so many I enjoy playing, instead of just playing them for review purposes. If I can just get one or two games in a month I'll consider that a win.
You can read Will's video game and tabletop coverage here on TechRaptor.
My big tabletop resolution this year is to seek out and try new (to me) games. It's so easy to keep pulling out Dominion when non-gamer friends come over and want to play a game. It's so easy to continue my D&D 5e campaign. It's so easy to pull out our Star Wars: Destiny dice when my wife and I want to square off. But this year I aim to play games I've never tried before and run RPG's I've never run before. Reviewing board games here on Techraptor has helped start this process for me, but it's not enough!
You can read Giaco's tabletop coverage here on TechRaptor.
Open a game store they said. You must play games all day they say, you must have loads of painted models they say. Lies, all of it! I’m either doing admin, entertaining customers, demoing or painting shop models and terrain. So this year I’m going to try and do something simple. Every week, I want to paint 1 model that’s for me and play a game that’s for me. I’ve also been accused of being a hobby butterfly, sadly this is part of the job, being agile and jumping between popular systems. So I’ve also sat down and made a list of Kit’s systems and Shop systems. Later in the month I also want to start a yearlong RPG campaign, but that may not happen. So my resolutions are simple.
- Paint one or models that are for a “Kit System” a week. This is fully to completion, based/varnished, etc.
- Play one or more games a week that are “Kit system” using my own models.
First on the model front are Some Godtear and my crew of captains for Core Space.
Kit co-owns ABZ Games in Aberdeen, you can visit their store page here. He is also a member of the TechRaptor On The Tabletop team and helps us review and preview products for the site.
The end of 2019 saw me fill most of my free time up with a myriad of different activities as a proactive means of avoiding another dip into depression, something I've struggled with for several years. It's normally triggered by a feeling of loneliness so I thought if I could somehow get out of the house and surround myself with different people it would help. There was no point in waiting for the New Year, especially when things for me can feel worse around the festive period, so I kicked things into gear from the start of November onwards. Some of the things I've taken up have included twice-weekly fitness classes, so on top of my existing commitments to tabletop campaigns, my cosplay work, and conventions, this doesn't leave me much time to work on specific resolutions for 2020. I've therefore made sure mine are achievable across the whole year.
- Complete painting my warband and terrain for WarCry. Over the festive break, I was able to get everything assembled and primed, but the painting aspect of it has really been stop-start. I had been set a challenge to finish everything by mid-January, but with a big personal project needing finishes in April, painting for WarCry might be relegated to five minutes here and there. If everything could be finished by the first quarter of the year, I'll be chuffed.
- Assemble and paint my crew for Core Space. The first part of this will need to be done soon, in time for our upcoming campaign, but the painting aspect might have to be done over the course of months when I have the time.
- For the latter half of 2020, I'd like to see my interest in Warhammer expand into Kill Team too. I have my eye on the Adepta Sororitas so it'll be my goal to get a team of them painted up.
- Have my Dungeons & Dragons players complete the current story arc of my campaign. We started our game 16 months ago and in that time have only played 6 sessions. Not a great record, and not helped by the fact that I moved away for work for a short time. This year we are more committed to finding time to play and even though some of my players may be moving for work and other reasons too, we are more open to adapt the game to suit everyone's needs, even if this includes moving from a real-life setting to a digital format like Roll20.
You can follow Kyla on her Instagram. She is also a member of the TechRaptor On The Tabletop team and helps us review and preview products for the site.
My name's Alex and I've been playing board games since about 2015 but didn't get into the tabletop/hobby side of things till August 2016, so I'm relatively new compared to some. The first miniatures I started to paint were from Fantasy Flight's Star Wars Imperial Assault, therefore it comes as no surprise then that my first leap into tabletop minis was Star Wars Legion. I bought the core set, AT-ST, and Airspeeder on release day and since then have collected all 4 armies and painted 99% of it. So getting time to paint isn't an issue however most of my models are only base-coated and shaded (lately done by Games Workshop's contrast) so my first new year's resolution is to start adding layers and highlights to at least the character models.
In the back of my car, I have a large box of unpainted terrain that I can use for a variety of game systems. So my next resolution is to try and get at least one piece of terrain painted up a month, hopefully by the end of the year I'll have a tables worth of painted terrain to use.
The last one is less a resolution and more a continuation. Over the course of 2019, we've made huge strides in growing the player base of Legion in Scotland mainly through our Facebook group (Star Wars Legion Scotland). We ran a championship involving events around Scotland and had a total of 33 players across our tournaments. So this year we would obviously like an increase in that number (50 sounds a reasonable goal) and to start gathering stats at tournaments too so we can see which faction Scotland favors (spoilers: it's Imperial).
So 2 resolutions and a continuation, we'll see how long they last.
Alex is the newest member of the TechRaptor On The Tabletop team and helps us review and preview products for the site.
Hi there, I’m Jon Webb, Head of Wargames at Modiphius Entertainment, Adam’s ex-boss and a fairly long in the tooth wargamer (25 years and counting). In that time, I’ve played the majority of GW games as well as been a dedicated Warmachine player, dabbled with Malifaux, Infinity and beyond. These days I do a lot of research and reviewing of all manner of sci-fi and fantasy games for work, both indy and mainstream (if we can apply such terms to the sometimes anarchic nature of the wargaming industry).
Due to my daily commute, my gaming time is at an all-time premium (plus I’m more of a painter than anything). As such, 2019 was when I accepted that skirmish gaming was pretty much my future. Between Kill Team, Warcry and Necromunda I collected a lot of scenery and that’s been the main focus of my hobby time. The table and scenery we play on is often described as the third army and now I have a dedicated gaming space with a permanent 6x4’ table I want to make sure that my games are played over decent scenery.
Warcry ended up being the Christmas game my partner and I played. Each holiday we tend to pick one game and paint and play with this as the focus (we started 2019 with Necromunda and moved to Kill Team in the summer). As such, my painting time has mostly been spent getting the scenery underway as well as working out the colour scheme for the Iron Golems. Game-wise, we are well underway with our respective campaign quests. So far Sam’s squig rabble has been bouncing all over my poor warband and she is well ahead in the victory tally. With regard to the scenery, I split the box into manageable chunks (floor scatter, fences, buildings) and am slowly working through each one (so many skulls). I’ve finished the floor scatter and five of the fences and hope to complete at least two of the six buildings before returning to work.
My aims for the early stages of the year are to finish up the rest of the Warcry terrain and paint my warband. I am having my doubts about the Golems so I may also swap them out for another warband. Luckily my horde of minis is vast so no doubt I’ll have a few options to consider.
You can follow Jon on Twitter.
I’m Virginia and my day to day life is managing, writing and developing TTRPGs over at Modiphius Entertainment. Even outside of my job, I freelance write for RPGs and, when I have time, I’m working on some of my own. Making games is awesome but because I also do freelance work in RPGs and for myself, it means I spend much less time playing games, and even less time painting my growing collection of miniatures, or playing board games.
I’m lucky that at the moment, I’m playing in and GMing some RPGs over on various twitch channels, and I still attend my weekly RPG club (I’ll be playing Wraith once a week for the next few months) but I want to get round to reading and playing more of my personal games collection and painting some of the miniatures that currently sit un-primed in my draw. So, with 2020 just beginning here are my Tabletop Hobby Resolutions:
- Each month play or learn the rules properly to one of the RPG books on my shelf. I have ALOT of RPG books I bought intending to play, or to at least read because they had interesting rules, concepts or settings. Like many of us TTRPGers, I didn’t end up doing this as much as I’d like, so hopefully committing to at least reading the rules of one book a month will help expand my knowledge and get me playing some of those much anticipated games I own.
- Paint (or start to paint) at least one miniature a month. This sounds like an easy feat (and I find painting minis very relaxing), but between work, streaming and writing, I haven’t painted anything since summer 2019. A lot of the unpainted miniatures I have are HUGE; gargantuan dragons and Liberty Prime to name just a few. Hopefully this means I can get through some of my bigger miniatures and maybe even complete a few a month of my smaller ones.
- Actually stream some TTRPGs on my twitch. While I play in a couple of games on other twitch channels, I’m yet to have any on my own slowly growing channel (instead I’m playing video games). I actually wanted to start a one-shot stream to help with resolution no.1 but scheduling for online games is just as tricky as in-real-life ones. Playing games on stream means that I can play with friends that live across the ocean, while we all share our love of the hobby with anyone who wants to join us by watching.
- Play more boardgames. I have a whole bookshelf, separate to my RPGs, of boardgames I love. Picking my favourite is hard, and getting enough people together in one place to play them can be even harder. But hopefully committing to playing them more often means I’ll set aside time to see my board-gaming friends, which is great for this resolution, but more importantly spend time hanging out with the people I value the most.
You can follow Virginia on Twitter and watch her exploits on Twitch.
Hi everyone, my name is Ash Barker and I’m a game Designer and Video Creator from Canada that specializes in Tabletop Games.
Project Management for me is a big part of my life as I’m constantly facing-down deadlines for everything from manuscripts to video content to modelling projects. The constant conveyor-belt of tasks and workflow means that I’m always at risk of losing my momentum or enthusiasm for a project and at the start of each year I tend to make some plans to replenish my passion for games.
Practically what this means is that I need to actually build-in a certain amount of planned ‘Hobby Me-Time’ where projects having no real purpose other than to make me happy. Oddly some of my most successful and popular content gets made this way as it tend to be slightly crazy off-the-cuff projects that I really flesh out because my excitement for them bleeds through.
My resolutions for this year are:
- Once per quarter, complete a hobby project purely created around my own interests and unrelated to current releases or the upcoming titles in Tabletop. This sounds vague but because it could encompass anything from digging out old games of the past to completely writing a game around a topic or some point of inspiration I want to keep it pretty open ended. My first project of the year is going to be a retrospective and I’ll kick it off documenting that.
You can follow Ash on his YouTube channel Guerrilla Miniatures Games and via his Facebook Page.
I first got into the hobby a few years back. I really enjoyed the painting side and eventually started to learn how to play Age of Sigmar. Around a year ago that I really got back into the hobby and this time I was hooked. I started to focus more on my painting skills and seeing the improvements and growth as a painter over the last year has been wonderful. I started an Instagram account so I had a place to share my miniatures and meet other people in the community. The amount of lovely people I have connected with and been inspired by is amazing. I started to get approached by people to paint for them too.
I also started to play again, casually with friends or at home and I feel I have now mastered the basic rules. But I want to get better. My resolutions are focusing more on the gaming side of the hobby.
My resolutions are:
- To learn more tactics. I want to focus more on how my Nurgle army works, their buffs and battalions, play more tactically and competitively. I want to play at least one causal game a week and really get to know my army and their playstyle better so sometime this year, I’m confident enough to play other people other than the comfort zone of playing with friends.
- I want to learn to play games other than AoS. Starting with Blood Bowl. I’ve heard it’s such a fun game and not too hard to learn so my aim is to pick a team and learn the rules. Not only will I learn a new game I’ll be painting something completely different from what I usually do which will help me develop my painting skills too.
You can follow Chantel on Instagram: @the_warhammer_lass.
Having been an avid Infinity player for the last few years, I mainly want to spend this year getting myself set up with my own board, so I can play games at home. Along with this rather large and ambitious goal, I aim to hit up as many tournaments as possible, including Interplanetario, Corvus Belli’s premier tournament of the year, and also run some of my own, so keep an eye out for those.
I’ll of course be painting models for the armies I’ll be playing, and would like to start an entirely new force for Infinity 4th edition, due this autumn. I’ve also started a hobby blog, which I’m going to aim to update on a weekly basis, tracking my thoughts, feelings, and progress, with all things Infinity.
For 2020, my Hobby resolutions are:
- Have a functional and good looking board for home – I have the buildings built, and a design in mind, I just need to crack on with painting them, and getting it together. I’ll be giving regular updates on this project here
- Paint up my Spiral Corps – I need 2 x 300pt forces for The Nordic Masters in May, but would like to get everything in the army done.
- Start a Combined Army force – with both Defiance and N4 dropping this year, I’d like to have a new army to use. The alien menace seems to be a good idea for that.
- Attend as many tournaments as possible – ideally one a month, if not more, though this is dependent on availability.
- Run some tournies - As a WarCor, I’d like to be pushing some competitive events in the London area. I’m looking to run the first in March, so stay tuned.
- Maintain my site - A hobby blog is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, and I’m determined to stick to it.
If you want to know more about Infinity in London, check out Infinite HATE, or get in touch with Andy through his blog.
John is a competitive Warhammer Underworlds Player and has won a large amount of Shadeglass in tournaments.
My resolution will just be to paint at least 1 unit or warband per month. I do a lot of gaming in tournaments so I'd like to focus on painting more. Warhammer Underworlds doesn't need painted miniatures but I just think it's nice to always play with painted models.
If you want to know more about Warhammer Underworlds, you can read John's blog on all things Underworlds, Can You Roll a Crit.