I've thought about my goals for the year quite a bit, and have come to the conclusion that very specific goals are almost certain to fail, while more general goals are more likely to be successful. There are exceptions, such as planning to attend specific events, but even then.
A case in point: One of the things I decided I wanted to do this year was go back to WBC in Lancaster, PA. The last time I went was in 2003, and it seemed like it was a very doable goal. However, my experiences with going through airport security and the cost cutting the airlines are doing has put the very idea of airline travel in doubt for me. That means I would most likely have to drive, which is a very long way to go to play some games. If I'm unwilling to drive an hour one way to play games for three hours, then it seems like driving four days in one direction to play games for seven days is equally out of the question.
As such, I've decided to go for more generic goals. Some are held over from last year, which I'll note in the specific goal. Some are brand new. Some overlap with other goals, although when possible I'll try to keep the two separate.
With that in mind, here are my goals for the year, in order of the categories Track, Learn, Play, Help. As before, I will track these with a GeekList, which I'll post the address to in a later post once it's up, and anyone crazy enough to care can see how I'm doing.
- Track My Games Played. There are several people in my group who do this already, but in this case I plan to use the 'Geek system, at least to start. My goal is not to see how well I do gaming, but instead to be able to look back and see my gaming year in retrospect.
- Log My Collection In The Geek. In the past, I've viewed this a bit as a "mine is bigger" activity, and I guess that somewhere in the back of my head I want to get in on this, but the real reason is to get a better grasp on just how ridiculous this collection is. It's not one of the bigger collections out there, but it's sizeable enough to have an effect on my life in general, and this is a good way to decide if I simply have too many games. Which I do. At present this goal is limited to wargames and multiplayer strategy games, we'll see how I feel once I've gotten all of those entered in before I make any commitments to the others.
- Learn And Play Four Wargames That Have Sat On My Shelf For More Than Ten Years Untouched. That means anything I've owned since before 2000, which in turn means either GMT Games or late AH titles that I picked up when they went under. To qualify, I need to have never even set the game up (although pretty much all of my games have been punched at this time except the very new ones). I'll elaborate on this more in a future posting.
- Learn A New Wargame System. By "new" I mean "new to me," not "new to the world". Possible systems include Advanced Tobruk System, Musket & Pike, Federation Commander, Tactical Combat System. I also mean something I haven't even read rules for yet, mostly just to make the choice easier. ASL sits on the cusp and I'm not sure it's realistic anyway, but I'm not excluding it just yet.
- Learn the full Conflict of Heroes system. This is an easy one, as I'm planning to run a CoH event at GameStorm in late March. This is a holdover goal from 2009
- Play one full solitaire wargame each month. By solitaire, I mean games that are specifically intended to be played solitaire. That doesn't necessarily mean to completion, it just means that at the end of each month I will put the game back in the box and move on to something else. For shorter games such as the VPG catalog, I will probably play the game multiple times or else simply leave the game out of the lineup. Ongoing campaigns such as my B-29 online game don't count. First up will be RAF, playing the full campaign game.
- Play a full campaign of Fields of Fire. This coincides with #6 above, but is intended to be separate. Since a full campaign could take a couple of tries at each mission, the entire campaign could take as many as 20-30 individual missions. I will almost certainly play the Normandy campaign to keep the rules questions to a minimum. Technically, this is an extension of last year's Play a full campaign game goal that went unmet. This game *has* been cleaned up, right? Especially wrt flares/colored smoke?
- Play a monster game with teams. This goal is also from 2009, foiled by both the legal system and a poorly chosen OCS scenario at WBC West last May. This will probably be an OCS game, but I have some high hopes for The Battle For Normandy, which hit my doorstep late in 2009. Either way, I feel like I have a better ability to help choose a good scenario as opposed to last year when I was clueless.
- Promote the hobby. I'm already doing this by putting on a Conflict of Heroes event at GameStorm (see above), but I'm hoping to find other ways of doing this. There are a lot of wargamers in Portland, but there doesn't seem to be a community at large, just a lot of small groups or individuals doing what they're doing. Western Oregon Wargamers died out about the time I got back into wargaming, and I'm not saying that a dedicated venue is the answer (although necessary if you want long-term games set up), but that might be a starting point for my thinking. I'm also looking at this from a longer view, in that I don't expect to get a lot done this year. Perhaps setting up league gaming at the handful of stores in the area that still support wargaming (Bridgetown Hobbies in inner NE, Hobbytown USA in Wilsonville - are there *any* others left?), although the preorder system has largely killed retail sales of wargames everywhere. I'm very interested in feedback on this.
- No Goal Here. This one is just a shout out to Tom Vasel. Anyone who remembers my short run as Mr. Whiney on The Dice Tower might remember my bitching about Top 10 Lists. On principle, I'm sticking to nine!