2021 Hobby Year in Review

It’s time for the eighth annual reflection on a year in hobby.


This has been another year of pandemic hobby. For the first half of the year, the only physical games were with my kids on the dining room. With vaccines available, I can now do some limited garage gaming.

Solo gaming hasn’t really taken off. When I have the time, I tend to paint instead. I think it may be time to slow down on production. I’m feeling a bit burned out and mechanical about painting.

I’ve also started a regular weekly RPG session with the kids. It’s been a lot of fun, though I’m still working on meeting them where they are, rather than where I want them to be. I’ve been keeping a private journal of the game, and sometime may post about it.

Total: 410 models, a 2.5% increase over last year (and 134% over two years ago)

  • 78 Malifaux
  • 8 Arena Rex
  • 34 Relicblade
  • 60 Blackstone Fortress
  • 74 Age of Sigmar
  • 39 Underworlds (8 warbands)
  • 22 Blitz Bowl (3 teams)
  • 13 scatter terrain
  • 82 other
  • 14 distinct games represented
  • Many more virtual than physical games


Malifaux is probably still my main game, but for some reason none of the new releases (Explorer’s Society, title cards) have really grabbed me.

Arena Rex

Arena Rex had always been a con game, but now it’s getting some garage game time. I provide the models, which is a nice excuse for me to buy and paint everything. Bit by bit I’m expanding my collection. The current goal is to get at least a core of each faction. To that end, I recently painted some Helleniki, and have Ludus Magnus waiting in the queue.


The Storms of Kural Kickstarter arrived this year, and brought with it lots of new toys to play. It also has a fun campaign which I’ve played through and would like to do again.

Blackstone Fortress

I got Blackstone Fortress for Christmas last year, and managed to find a few of the expansions before they were only available on the secondary market for big bucks. I’ve played through the main campaign and the Dreaded Ambull with the kids. I’ve really enjoyed the game and the excuse to put together some 40k models. It’s taken a backseat to the home RPG game, though.

Age of Sigmar

A buddy invited me to play some of Age of Sigmar third edition, which gave me a reason to shore up my Fyreslayers army. It also got me excited about the Kruleboyz, so I bought the Dominion box.

Blitz Bowl

Blitz Bowl sits in a nice middle point between board game and miniatures game. I threw together a homebrew way for a third player to join in to include both my kids. When I play, we usually roll dice to see what team to play, which keeps things exciting.

Warhammer Underworlds

Underworlds is my popcorn hobby game. I love the models, and being able to do just a few in lots of different factions. I’m not especially interested in the competitive or clever deck building aspect of the game. Rolling dice to pick warbands seems interesting here, too.


In addition to the painted scatter terrain, I’ve put together a bunch of prepainted MDF from Black Site Studio. That’s helped keep garage gaming going, since I can’t just use the store’s collection. I intend to add some more paint sometime, but until then I don’t include it in my counts.


And always there’s others. Fallout I wanted to do the Into the Wasteland expansion. I went far enough to get cards printed. But I just haven’t found the time. I also tried 7TV Apoc. I like the system, but some of the chaos feels unfair.

Spectre was a game I saw at Adepticon 2019, intended to play in 2020, then bought on my own. Again, I just haven’t found the time to play it.

Don’t Look Back has seen play once in coop mode and will see more. One lesson there was to make sure terrain is arranged so we’re forced to interact with it. I have a small pile of expansions to work through.

I just finished painting most of Lunar, so it hasn’t seen the table yet. I really like the theme. The chase scene in Ad Astra is one of my favorite action scenes in recent years.

Looking to 2022

2022 might be the return of conventions, though I’m a lot less optimistic now than I was a few weeks ago. I’ve got my room booked for Adepticon, so at least I have the option.

My buddy just picked up Crisis Protocol, and we played a game a few weeks ago. I think that’s going to occupy a lot of our hobby/game time. It scratches a lot of the same itches as Malifaux, but seems lighter weight. Plus, you get to throw trucks around!

I’ve offered another friend to pick a skirmish game and I’ll paint up a team. I think that’ll be Silver Bayonet, which should be fun.

All in all, there are too many interesting games, and I’ll keep trying to play them all.

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