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.
Cracking post Alex and can only agree with your 2020 take aways and the conclusions you reached. Like you I found some unexpected positives from what was at the end of the day a shit year. Assuming survival major changes are a foot. Glad you found some family time. Its a huge thing and I don’t need to tell you that the little buggers become bigger buggers very quickly. Oh and the minis look excellent too. 🙂
Cheers mate, it’s hard to see the silver linings when you’re in the bloody cloud, but they are always there… time with the kids has been one of them 😊
Thanks for posting this, cheered me up after my first day back at work. And the models look great I hope he is proud of them. Not heard of dragon rampant before might have to look into it, I assume can get a lot of GW models to work in the system?
You’re welcome mate, glad it raised the spirits & yes indeed, he is very proud of his army – as I am of him for getting stuck in!
Dragon Rampant is a really tidy little game – based on Lion Rampant, (a lightweight historical battle game system), it just adds a few fantasy rules to capture the genre beautifully. In fact, it’s amazing just how much flavour such a simple ruleset can bring, and yes, it works for any minis at any scale. Well worth a punt for a few quid if you fancy a lightweight fantasy battle system 😉
Oh, and someone has home brewed a great looking free add-on called ‘Xenos Rampant’ as well to take it into a sci-fi setting 😁
Nice bit of philosophy there and definitely some nice minis! :-) After watching the PM announcing a tightened lockdown tonight in the UK, my wife said “I’m glad I’ve got you” to which I replied “And we’ve got the dogs”, her response then being “Well I was looking at the dogs when I said it”! I know my place in the scheme of things!
Haha, yeah, that sounds about right 😂
Cheers mate, glad you like 👍
That’s some very wise words at the top there mate. I can’t help but see that, after all that 2020 brought, almost everyone I know has changed their lives, either for the better or the worse. Some people seem to have just gone off the deep end, buying into all kinds of weird ideas and ideologies and getting aggressive and unpleasant with anyone, even old friends, who don’t agree unequivocally. Meanwhile there’s other people who’re using this shock to the system to reappraise their lives and seem to be living better, and more wisely, as a result. For my part I’m just trying to stick with the latter camp and giving the crazies a wide berth (although sadly they probably think they’re doing the same thing!). For myself my “shock to the system” came a couple of years earlier, and shook me out of my complacency in much the same way as you’re describing. Now I’m all enlightened and shit (nah, I’m still a daft arsehole but I do understand where you’re coming from and agree wholeheartedly with what you’re saying).
Anyway, now you’re listening to my bollocks (behold the bollock whisperers!). Those Greeks look fantastic, and combine especially well with the Daughters of Khaine, the two really suit each other as adversaries. The terrain goes well with them as well. I’ve no idea what he might have said about it at the time but I’m going to guess that this will stick in your son’s mind a lot longer than any electronic entertainment. Certainly it’s doing things like this with my dad that I look back on now, a few decades later. I’m looking forward to seeing what he adds next (and of course you’ll need some more elves if you hope to defend yourself – let the arms race begin!)
Cheers mate, you are so right – my hand briefly strayed towards the ‘fuck it’ button, but order rather than chaos (small ‘c’) won 😊
I think out of all my ‘aha’ moments this year, realising that people could be irrational arseholes was the biggy. But equally, people can be amazing – and sometimes both on the same day!! Go figure 😂
I hadn’t thought about what No. 2 Son is most likely to remember, but I am certain that you are right & that makes me even happier 😊
Pete S/ SP said:
Good advice there- all the best for the upcoming year.
Cheers mate, you too
Wow, those minis are great and it’s amazing that it’s Father-Son teamwork. Wish I could get ours to share, but there is no interest there. Maybe with the littler one someday.
Yes, 2020. Crazy year and I hope we make it to the other side of this mess!
Cheers mate – I’ve got no chance with my eldest, but the youngest is fine for short bursts (& Contrast paints area big win for this 😊)
Mark A. Morin said:
The memories you made will last longer than you will. Great stuff Alex and a lot of wisdom here. Plus IRO will love the Elves, or maybe the Hoplites anyways. I liked them all, but the wisdom is fantastic.
Don’t know about wisdom mate – recognition maybe? Either way, it’s all good 😊
Sounds like you’ve had quite the year, hope the new one turns out easier – plus like many others, I like reading the bollocks! After all, it’s usually the people who make these blogs interesting, otherwise we could just be reading magazines. Love what you’ve done with the minis, and it’s always great to get family members joining in.
Cheers mate, it has been challenging but nothing compared to some – I’m certainly not feeling sorry for myself & am looking forward to this year. Who knows, maybe even a bit of Ghost Archipelago to look forward to!! 🤞
Well, we al llearned new things from 2020. I wish you all the best for this new year. Pretty nice stuff you painted there! I’m myself struggling with the Conan KS, so you have my simpathies! :D
Cheers mate, and yeah… so many minis!! I’m determined to get as much done as possible this year without buying new… we’ll see how that goes 😂
Yeah, it was quite a year. I had to give myself the “get over it” speech a few times too about some things, but then I think there is a little something for everyone in 2020 along those lines.
Great miniatures and scenery, up to your usual very high standards. I do think, however, that someone needs to talk to Leonidas about keeping his shield polished or perhaps getting one of his minions, etc. to do it. :)
Yeah, it was a bumpy road alright… I wonder if that’s why Leonidas let himself go on the shield front!! I’ll have a word… (bloody Spartans, so flakey!)
Happy New Year my friend. Sometimes life gets pretty bumpy but if we can navigate our way through it, learn, evolve and get better that’s all that really matters. To me it sounds like you’ve done just that. Where there’s a negative there’s a positive. Fantastic looking minis and the game sounds great. I’ve got the rules for Lion Rampart but may need to find the Dragon ones. Do you know if there’s much difference? Simpler the better for me haha. All the best for 2021
Cheers dude, that’s the aim! I’ll stop learning when I stop sucking air 😊
Dragon Rampant is identical to Lion Rampant with just a few fantasy elements added on. All of the additions work within the existing framework, so it keeps the rules lean & simple 😉