Greeting Terrans, and if you are reading this, congratulations on getting to 2021 with your sanity intact. What a year eh? I’m a firm believer that pushing one’s comfort zone is good for your growth & wellbeing, but last year really did stress that outlook to a whole new level. It seems that every single assumed ‘truth’ that I understood about myself and my life in 2019 was deeply flawed… Things I thought were unconditional had conditions. Stuff I believed could never happen happened. Things that I took for granted were taken away, or were very nearly lost. The shock of these events was disorientating and deeply unpleasant, but I’ve certainly learned a lot & grown along the way. Here is a summary of my key takeaways:

  • People (and by extension, societies) are not always rational – get over it
  • A life is precious to those it affects, otherwise it is an abstract – get over it
  • Even the most secure workplace can be forced to make cuts – get over it
  • Fair-weather friends are just that – get over it
  • Some people can’t disagree without being disagreeable – get over it
  • I am not the Covid police – get over it
  • Never miss an opportunity to show someone you love that you love them
  • I wouldn’t want to swap my issues for anyone else’s issues
  • Get rid of shit that doesn’t enhance your life (and don’t replace it with other shit)
  • Don’t make your happiness & self-worth contingent on anyone or anything
  • Staying fit is hard… Being unfit is also hard… chose your hard!
  • Take a moment to be grateful for what you have every single day

I have cleared up my life & ditched a whole bunch of crap I didn’t need, both literal and metaphorical. I have refocused my energies into areas that deserve my attention and efforts, and I have pulled back from those areas that don’t. I feel a little older & maybe a bit more cynical, but I’m a hell of a lot wiser in terms of understanding those things that are most important to me. I honestly think that one day I’ll look back on 2020 as a defining year that led to some positive personal outcomes despite the trials and tribulations along the way.

Anyway, I know you came here to see painted minis rather than listen to my bollocks, (ok, not literally – that would be weird), so let’s get to it. During my mass-clear-out I found a whole load of minis that came with two kickstarters from Monolith Games, (Mythic Battles: Pantheon and Conan) and Rising Sun from CMON. I went through a phase of backing shit like this, but with no idea how I was going to paint all the stuff, learn the game, play, etc…  Pretty wasteful really, and definitely not in keeping with my drive to clear out crap.

I decided that the games per se didn’t do it for me & so I got rid of all the associated guff, but I thought that the minis were ideal for having some Father/Son time with my youngest during Christmas lockdown – if he fancied it. We had a chat, and he was pretty positive about it, so he helped me to sort the minis by type & selected those he most wanted to paint. A short time later & we had cranked out Ares, a trio of Argonauts, five Hoplites and Leonidas – I helped by painting in parallel with him to speed the process up, but not by doing it all for him. Here’s what we ended up with:


As we were painting, we naturally got to talking about having a game with them, so I got out my copy of Dragon Rampant & worked out a list for his Ancient Greeks, and another using my Greek-themed Dark Elves. DR is a cracking little rule set, very easy to pick up & understand, and is totally agnostic when it comes to minis… Perfect for a simple throw-down with a youngling! We played a couple of games over the weekend, winning one each for a very satisfactory outcome:

So, in a roundabout way, 2020 has led me up to this. Having a good clear-out unearthed these minis, and lockdown gave me ample opportunity to spend quality time with my youngest. This surplus of time meant that the slow art of painting and gaming managed to get a look-in against the many & various forms of electronic entertainment – no mean feat these days!

Most of all, 2020 taught me to be grateful for that quality time with him, and I am looking forward to more of the same – he’s already plotting what units he needs to add to make his first army even more formidable 😊

Anyway, that’s all for now. Keep buggering on ya buggers & I’ll catch you next time.