Another year come and gone. It wasn’t a bad year for gaming around here, but it wasn’t the best year either. Mostly, we settled into a new routine with a virtual player–it really doesn’t seem like an entire year that we’ve been playing with a virtual Robert.
Last year, I commented that these were the things I wanted to improve. Let’s see how I did:
*More gaming with family/friends.
Over the summer, we played a good bit of Straw, and King of Tokyo, and a couple of games of Mice & Mystics, but never had the kind of sustained gaming I was hoping for. My oldest son and I played a game of Duell and of Crocodile Pool Party, and my wife and I actually did manage to play one game away from the Manglers when we played Jammer Up with friends. Overall, 15 games played with family this year. Some games may have been missed in my tracking. (I started using ScoreGeek on my phone to track games, but often forget it’s there.) That’s down from 24 games last year, and that makes me sad.
*Continue to paint.
2014 was a horrible year for painting. In 2013, I painted 53 minis. In 2014, I painted 8…
*Adjust to life with a virtual Mangler.
This was, on the whole, easier than I thought it might be. Communication during the week remains the biggest struggle with having a player in another state, but the actual game sessions work reasonably well. Google Hangouts probably isn’t the best program to use, but it’s let us keep playing with Robert with relatively little fuss. Billy takes pictures of necessary handouts and e-mails them to Robert, and we trust Robert to make his rolls fairly. The only difficulty is making sure that we don’t overlook Robert’s input during the game. It’s harder to pay attention to non-verbal cues from a virtual player, and I imagine it’s somewhat frustrating for Robert to not be able to see all of the players due to our limited number of cameras. Robert also ran a short-lived campaign using Roll20.
*Two more campaigns.
I wanted to run two games this year–The One Ring and Adventurer, Conqueror, King. We played 17 sessions of The One Ring and I’ll be starting Dwimmermount using ACKS next week. However, as I predicted, the arrival of D&D 5e meant that we had to play the new flagship system. I ran the adventure from the intro box set, and then Colt picked up DMing duties to run Tyranny of Dragons. We’ve played 11 sessions of D&D so far, and are all enjoying it. Colt’s game will continue into 2015, with he and I alternating DMing duties as work/school demands.
Other Numbers and Thoughts
This blog was horribly maintained this year. I only had 7 posts, and they came in clumps at the start of the year and in the summer.
The Manglers played fewer board games this year. We had 35 gaming sessions this year, and only 5 were for board gaming. We played The Doom that Came to Atlantic City, Smash Up, Shadowrun: Crossfire, and some Magic: Commander, Overall stats finished like this:
Billy 4-3 (9.3 / 1st / 57%)
Colt 1-1 (2 / 3rd / 50%)
Paul 1-6 (1.2 / 4th / 14%)
Rod 3-4 (5.25 / 2nd / 43%)
Another good year for Billy, but a pretty bad year for Paul. (But he’s been doing well on the Warhammer FB circuit, so maybe that’s where his mojo has been focused.)
The Manglers only played three RPGs this year, the aforementioned The One Ring and D&D, and a Call of Cthulhu one-shot for Halloween. Overall, we played 30 RPG sessions, and had a full group for 20 of those sessions. Paul remains the workhorse of the group, only missing 2 sessions.