Yeah well. The year started well enough with a good selection of games in January and February. We even started a new D&D campaign, with Sigur’s brother as DM.
Then the pandemic came and all that stopped. The only thing that continued was our Discord-D&D-campaign, which we’d started already last year because I wanted to play with friends living in different countries. I’m glad we already had this mode of remote gaming established and it really helped to keep me sane for the rest of the year.
I also devised other ways of gaming remotely, first running a fantasy play-by-email game and then the big Gettysburg game. Both of them were great ways to keeping gaming and interacting with my friends.
Unfortunately, my other hobby activities suffered from the pandemic. My painting mojo was already weak last year, and I completely lost the will to pick up a brush for most of this year. I made some buildings for the Gettysburg skirmish project, but by summer, my worktable started to gather dust. We did have a regular board gaming meet-up in the garden playing the excellent The King’s Dilemma, but when the weather got cold again, things started to look bleak.
Fortunately, by October my motivation slowly returned. First, I had a remote game of Sharp Practice at Virtual Lard III, which I enjoyed very much. Then I was suddenly bitten by the sci-fi bug, and bitten hard (this was maybe due to watching The Mandalorian and The Expanse). I started painting again, experimented with rules for solo games and started a campaign which turned out to be great fun. I vigorously attacked the 15mm sci-fi lead mountain, ordered more figures and painted more in three months than probably in the last two years combined – I guess around 180 figures (many of them easy to paint monsters, though).
And finally, after struggling with technical issues, I managed to host my first remote game, a game of Sharp Practice with Martin and Sigur (who wrote a blog article about the experience) as players. It worked fine and I want to continue to experiment with the format. Virtual Lard has me motivated to think about hosting a remote game for a larger audience; it is, in any way, a good motivation to continue the Gettysburg project.
So, in the end, the year turned out to be not as bad as it could have been. The pandemic has pushed me to experiment with new gaming formats and I’m incredibly grateful that I have friends with whom I can share such things.
While I dearly hope that we will go back to face-to-face gaming soon, I would like to continue some of the things I’ve discovered, such as play-by-email and Kriegsspiel-type games and even remote games with people all over the world.
I hope you could also wrest some good moments from 2020. Stay safe, stay healthy and have a good start into the new year!