Wednesday, December 08, 2010

My Gaming Resolutions For 2011, Rough Draft Edition

It's December again, so time for me to consider my 2011 Gaming Resolutions. I have about a 50% success rate with these so far, which is not quite where I want to be. Of course, RL seemed to be a particular problem this year, with massive amounts of my time being devoted to special projects through the first six months of the year followed by my mother's health problems. Even now I'm directing a choir that I had no intention of directing, and will be through January. However, after that I am devoting 2011 to taking a year off from organizational duties.

I've mentioned before that I seem to do much better with specific goals instead of vague ones. For example, saying i want to learn a new system just means I can't make up my mind which one to take on. At the same time, doing something once a month tends to run right into RL.

The ones that have had the most success were goals that involved tracking, but I'm already doing all of that.

Here is my list of preliminary goals for 2011. There aren't too many, unfortunately, so I'd like to get a few more, so please make some suggestions. Serious ones, please, unless they are *really* funny.

Here's the first set:

1) Learn and play six scenarios from the ASLSKs. I have a fair investment in ASL, and since the boxes from the original AH product were long ago broken down and recycled, it would be hard to sell this stuff off. I had the original store edition of Squad Leader (still do, as with the three expansions) and liked the system a lot, and am hopeful that at least the ASLSK version (which I also own all three of, along with the one scenario pack and a couple of MMP magazine scenarios) will give me enough of a sense of whether I want to take this as a lifestyle choice or not. There is a great group in the area, the Bezerk Commissars, so I'd have some extra impetus to learning and playing regularly. At present my goal is to play six scenarios with no requirement that I get into the guns or tanks at this point.

2) Attend a wargame con out of state. Given my increasing lack of patience in air travel, that probably means I'll be going to either a con in California (probably a GMT West Weekend) and/or BottrosCon in Vancouver, BC. I'd intended to go to BottrosCon this last year, but I'd forgotten that it was in early November and when the time came I missed it. At some point I'll return to WBC, but not just yet.

3) Develop a game app for the iPad. Right. Actually, I was a pretty good coder back in the day, although it did tend to overwhelm my life (code snippets on napkins, coding in my head in the shower, etc). The Mac has an excellent SDK for this that I've downloaded, and I already know C so Objective-C won't be that hard to learn at the same time. However, it will require me learning or refreshing three different concepts at the same time - the language, the SDK, and XCode (the coding environment). I plan to start with an extremely simple game, one that you could do on a spreadsheet - Israeli Independence. I'd eventually like to do a couple of other games, Thunderstone for solo play and The Barbarossa Campaign (which would benefit tremendously from quick management of the Soviet Initiative phase). However, those would require a lot more work and for now I just want to get my feet wet. Biggest problem will be art, so I'll be seeing if I can get original scans from Victory Point Games, the publisher. I have no intent to put any of these out at this time, as I don't want to be responsible for maintaining the code, but I would consider selling to the publisher if they were interested.

4) Play The Classics. This refers to Euros, not wargames. I intend to do this on the nights I host rather than inflicting it on anyone else's hosting, so that means 14 games next year. Playing one "classic" would be enough, so Elfenland followed by Ascension would qualify. I have yet to determine what is considered a "classic" but I think that it will need to be at the very least five years old and highly regarded. I'll need to run through my collection ahead of time to come up with the List for this goal.

5) Play a large advanced scenario of a Fleet game with Chuck. Kind of a "personal" goal, but I put it out here to see if this is the sort of thing that would qualify as a Gaming Goal worth tracking. Another goal of a similar nature is playing Federation Commander with Alex. Not sure if these will make the cut or not.

Of last year's goals, I plan to continue tracking both my collection and plays on the 'Geek. I have decided not to even consider touching Fields of Fire until there is an official ruleset that won't make me pull my hair out, which has been promised more or less since the poorly developed game was released. However, if a new official ruleset does become available, I may have a longer-term goal to add in that will take place over a couple of years instead of just one.

That's all I have for now. I'm not including my playtest efforts with CoH: Guadalcanal, nor games I plan to play at WBC unless it's something major such as the multiplayer game of Battle for Normandy we played last year. As such, just a multiplayer game isn't on the list as it's something I've already done. Goals are intended to be things that I haven't done before or want to take to a new level.

As Dr. Vasal knows, I'm not looking for ten items ;-) but I think five is probably too small a list, especially since a couple already have built-in schedules (cons, classics night). So throw me a bone!


FloydWing said...

I just got an iPad a couple weeks ago and think it would be a great platform for wargames. I hope you take the plunge. I've been considering learning the development side myself. I know C, C++, and Java, so I would think it wouldn't be too bad to pick up. But the art stuff would be my weakness as well. If you come across any hex and counter type iPad games, let me know.

Dug said...

One more potential goal:

6) Study up on a particular battle or theater in a military conflict and game it from multiple perspectives (different games with different foci). Probably something from WW2, as I don't have enough games to really cover anything specific in any other period). Obvious choices are: Normany, Market-Garden, The Bulge, North Africa, Barbarossa, Stalingrad, The Backhand Blow (right after Stalingrad), Midway, Guadalcanal. At least, those are the games that I have multiple games on the subject that aren't too broad.