Category: Mental Health

So Whats Happening in 2018 for “It’s me Conrad”?

The two biggest issues that I have had to deal with, preventing me to do more hobby in 2017 have been lack of time and not having the energy to do stuff. I have to address these to allow myself to progress with more hobby stuff. So to start with as far as energy to do stuff, there are 2 things that I need to do. The number one thing is to lose 2 stones and I want to do this within the first quarter of 2018. Of course I will be supporting Mind too whilst doing this. The other is a combination of not enough sleep, not being fit enough, improving my health and planning my time better and being focused on achieving something within a strict timebox. As I sit here at 23:38 typing this article out, clearly not enough sleep needs some work! Getting fitter should come with losing weight so this will be a quarter 2 onwards goal. My health issues I will just have to trust in the NHS to solve! As far as planning is concerned, I will be using Agile methodology to try and provide a prioritised small backlog to work on in timeboxed sprints (probably 2 weeks to a month). If you don’t know what that last bit means, don’t worry. My current Job Role is a Scrum Master (well actually I’m a Senior Agile Delivery Lead but who cares!) and I’ve been working using Agile specifically Scrum and Kanban to facilitate development team and Dev Ops techies to deliver on work. I’ve been using Trello for a while now to try and help me focus on hobby and after much thought, I’ve decided to continue using this to track and plan my hobby work. I’m going to create a tight backlog of tasks based on my hobby requirements for 2018. This will in the main stay static unless something comes along that is shiny and will therefore force me to re-prioritise my backlog of tasks. Trello is free to use and although I do not like Kanban as much as Scrum, I can’t see using Scrum to deliver on hobby tasks as I am not able to determine my availability well enough during a Sprint. As you are in theory meant to delivery every sprint, that makes using Scrum an impossibility for me. I can feel eyes glazing over at this point as people think WTF are you on about Conrad! Essentially I’m creating a to do list of tasks which is prioritised and then working on the highest priority task, moving it in to an In Progress state. Once that task is completed, it’s moved in to a Complete status. I may elaborate on the status, for example a demo status, where I have to take a photo of the end result may appear.

Other things I would personally like to do in 2018 is to get a better paid job. With my recent promotion I managed to close the gap in salary to where I was when my job role was made redundant back in 2014 from GE Healthcare. I currently work for HMRC (yes I know) but need to continue on my journey, striving to close that gap.

One last thing which I have greatly missed in 2017 is recording Fools Daily. Although Mike has suggested an ambitious 3 episodes a week, actually getting a cadence of 1 a week would be a big move forward, so I would definitely look to start there. I’m really interested in the video/vidcast idea that he mentions in his article but would look for some more ideas as to where that will go before volunteering my time which is already under pressure to allow me to complete my hobby tasks for 2018.

So on to the real hobby stuff now, what do I actually want to achieve in 2018?

  • Build more Ad Mech. I need to currently move to 1500pts and then 2000pts to allow me to play in the club narrative campaign. We are on to the 2nd chapter of this and it requires 2000pts. Currently I have just over 1000pts. So this is going to be a top priority for me.
  • Complete painting my BA British Army force. This needs to be a slow burn task for me. Small groups to allow progress but not too much to make me become sick of painting them and feeling like it is just one of those jobs that you just do not want to do.
  • Get some paint on the Ad Mech. I have no aspirations as to how far I get on this one. Obviously every gamer’s dream is to play with a fully painted army but I have to be realistic about this. I suspect the first thing to decide upon is whether the resultant paint job is going to be a labour of love or functional and to a tabletop standard. I suspect it will be a mix of both.
  • Continue to play and support the 40k club narrative campaign and to play 40k in general. I can see good things with the campaign and it will result in huge multi-player battles at some point this year. I am really looking forward to this. I have no inclination to play 40k competitively though.
  • I definitely want to attend at least one Bolt Action gaming weekend event. I suspect that this will be either Britcon or the Welsh Open.
  • Play more Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit. With a new revamped rule book out this year (who knew GDub would do this!) and with the recent 3 games that I have had, I really like this game. There is a potentially of attending a LoTR event later this year but that depends on my availability and finances and the point below.
  • Some of my LoTR figures do have paint on them. There are no many figures like BA so I would like to get my force painted. I suspect that this will be mainly to a tabletop standard with more time spent on something like the Isengard Troll figures and commanders.
  • I still miss playing rank and file fantasy games. Gone are the old days of WFB for me and as much as I like the look of AoS, I cannot afford to spend money on another GW game. As such that means playing more Kings of War. There is a new book out on Jan 22nd (Clash of Kings) adding some extra content to the game. With the club picking up a few KoW players too, I can see that I will get the opportunity to play this again in 2018.
  • Another pseudo fantasy rank and file game is Wrath of Kings. I really enjoyed playing this game and love my Teknis figures. I hope to play some more of this during 2018. As much as I would love to say I’ll get these painted as well during 2018, I just cannot see it happening.
  • Gaslands ….. this has really got me stoked. Going back to the days of GW’s Dark Future and Steve Jackson’s Car Wars, the idea of a road combat game a la Mad Max has always appealed to me. I had hoped that Devils Run Route 666 would help me fill that gap but it has not. Gaslands feels like it may do that for me. I haz all the gubbins and I have ready made vehicles from the aforementioned Devils Run game. All I need is to play and see. I am fairly sure too that this game if pushed at the club will get buy in from many of the club players.
  • Warcradle Studios have taken over the Dystopian IP. They have stated that a new version of the game will be out this year. I look forward to see where this goes and that hopefully I can use my current miniatures with the new version of the game.
  • A few of us have decided to have a regular board games session once a month. We started this during December where we played Dead of Winter. I really enjoyed myself. The next game will be BSG which I love too. I see this as an opportunity to get out some of my older board games to show the group what these are like and compare them to the newer board games of today. I know that these sessions will be fun.
  • Continue to grow and support Tanelorn Wargames Club. I’ve been actively involved with the club since it’s inception in 2001. I want to continue to ensure that the club runs and grows this year. It was an interesting year last year with our move to the EXP Leisure Centre which is a dedicated tabletop, e-gaming and board gaming facility and in East London too! I’m hoping that the venue and the club continue to do well.

So that’s it I think? Not much really ….

 

 

 

 

Different Class

Much better album.

I have a masterplan, and its a doozy.

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First 2018 goal is the cunningly named #spreadthespoons.

Malifaux is the only system that I have played at tournaments and I want to change that this year. My goal is to play at 6 different system tournaments. 6. That’s a bloody lot. AT the moment the systems are likely to be:

Age of Sigmar – Already booked in for the end of Jan. No army painted.

Epic40k – Already booked in for end of Feb. No army painted.

40k – Not booked in yet but do have an army painted.

Saga – Not booked in nor army painted.

Guildball – not booked in and no team painted.

Game #6 – not sure yet but could be Shadespire, Burrows and Badgers but mostly likely Batman. Crew not painted.

I also have MAGE and Bonescon to work on stuff for so will be a busy few months at the start of the year.

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I’m also going to have a crack the #365/365 challenge (paint 365 miniatures during the year) as I have several full scale armies to paint. I want to revisit some historical gaming with NGN (currently planning 10mm ACW and WW2). He’ll want to have a go at Gangs of War too (so far the only new game that I am looking forward to trying in 2018 – and I already have the figures that I need!).

Gonna try to keep count of the purchases and sales of stuff on here too. Gotta show some restraint this year, mortgage to get and all that grown up stuff.

2018 Day 1

Miniatures purchased – 0

Miniatures painted – 0

Miniatures sold – 0

Lbs lost – 0

As Mike said, we must get back into the habit of regularly gaming, and that will lead to recording stuff and we can get into the cycle again. I’m hoping that either Monday or Friday can become a regular gaming day.

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Last and by no means least in the #mindovermatter challenge. It has been really heartening to see the support that the Mfx community has put into supporting Mike and my favourite charity. We raised in excess of £1k at a single tournament and hopefully will be able to double that during the course of this year. The number of people in the hobby (myself included) have issues with mental health and as such, we all know someone that may occasionally need help.

@uberspoons

Do or don’t look back in anger or not……I don’t bloody know!

My turn, I guess.

2017 has been a busy and interesting year outside of the hobby. Both me and SWMBO have changed jobs, her daughter finished school and we have committed to buying a house together in 2018. I certainly had less depressive episodes during the year, and that is a GOOD THING.

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Hobby-wise? Same sh*t, different year!

I didn’t really set much in the way of hobby goals in 2017 other than the plan to play Arcanist in Malifaux for 2017 and hope to beat Pete Shepherd (which I did!!).

I didn’t set any goals around painting (which is just as well)! We all had some fun with #FDWHP for a bit but in the end found that it was just too constraining and the old adage of ‘paint what you want to paint’ brought it to an end.

I did, however, get quite a bit painted earlier in the year and put together a decent looking selection of Arcanist models with a return to my first master, Ramos, and his horde of mechanical spiders. Malifaux has been the cornerstone of my gaming for a very long time and the only game that I have ever played competitively (although some will challenge on how competitive I have ever been!!). I found that during the year, I slowly felt that I had lost the inclination to play Mfx and spent some time trying to figure out why.

Some critics had spoken about the game suffering from an element of model bloat, which I want agreed with but did find it increasingly difficult to figure out what people were using and the potential counter to it. This is undoubtably more about my lack of skills rather than the game, but I had barely scratched the surface of Wave 4 before Wave 5 was upon us and I just couldn’t be arsed. Felt like too many rules that changed the mechanics and too many killer combos for me to enjoy. So I stepped away from the game (and Mike did so too which also probably influenced each others decision).

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8th edition 40K arrived which seems to have solved many of the issues that had made me stop playing that game. I have been a 40K fan since the olden days. I love the mythos and grimdark background of the game and had only been frustrated by the speed of the rule edition changes and the codex creep. That and the lack of gaming time with NGN (my long time 40k opponent) had seen me stop playing and sell up lots of the stuff. The new edition got me suitably buzzed enough to buy stuff to rekindle the Tau army that I had previously owned and sign up to play at a local tournament. I had 2 months to assemble and paint 2k points. Easy.

Procrastination left me with 72hrs to assemble and paint 2k points and then circumstances prevented me from attending the event but I did get the bloody stuff painted. I hope to finesse the paint jobs a bit and attend a tournament in 2018 with them.

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The General’s Handbook 2017 came out for Age of Sigmar. It got rave reviews and the AoS community seems to get very excited about it. SO I started collecting some bits with a view of getting a Nurgle Daemon army that I could also use for 40K. Well, that has expanded somewhat and I will have a big pool of models for AoS and hope to attend a tourney or two for that too.

As is ever the case, Mike and I encouraged a number of purchases of new rules and toys, many of which we haven’t yet played. Mike shows them on his post and there are some that I am still keen to try out. Dracula’s America and Scrappers deserve a play.

I did manage to flog off some bits that I was never going to use, and that process will continue during 2018 (especially as I will be moving house and could do with less boxes to move!!).

Saw some great movies, and some that were less good.

Not a bad year, I guess but 2018 will be better!!

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Love and stuff to wash out of your hair

M

@uberspoons

MIND over matter

We’ve talked in the past about how we at Fools Daily like to support the mental health charity MIND and why we do it but as I was coming home from some Christmas gaming over the weekend I was struck by the fact that over 50% of the people playing had some form of mental health problem.  That is a staggering number.  Now Matt would say that you have to have MH issues to be friends with me (and I probably wouldn’t argue against that) but even so I was shocked when I actually did the maths.   Coupled with the fact that my own family situation has taken a turn for the worse recently – those of you who were at the Malifaux nationals will have noticed that i disappeared before the end to sort out a crisis – I’ve been thinking about what the next money raising event could be.

The other thing that struck me at the weekend is how bad gamers are at keeping weight off.   Several of the folks there, myself included, lost several stone a couple of years ago using Slimming World, but it seems that we have all slipped into old habits and the weight is going back on again.   This is also not a good thing.  Dying earlier means less time to game and who wants that.

So why not combine the two things together which led me to the snazzy article title.

Basically the idea is this.  You can sign up to the Fools Daily Weight Challenge which will run from 1st Jan 2018 to 1st April 2018 (so 3 months) and for every pound of weight you lose, Muddy Banana (one of the other companies I am involved with) will donate a £1 to MIND (maximum of £1000 donation).  Simple.   Obviously we will have to trust you are reporting your weight lose correctly, but tbh, even if you are cheating the money is still going to to a great cause.

To sign up just drop us a not via twitter or facebook letting us know you are going to take part and we will add your name and overall weight lose to a page on the site.

You get some health benefits and MIND gets some cash.

Also if any other gaming companies want to get involved in this, please let me know, after all if your customers live longer you get to make more money, so its a win win 🙂

Next I’ll blog about some gaming stuff, honest.

Lets face it, I’m a complete geek, wargaming, xbox games and playing with lasers. I tried 3D printing but it made my head hurt. Flighty in the extreme, hobby projects last a couple of days before moving onto the next one

When it’s good, it’s very good……

….but other times it’s f##cking awful.

 

For many of us, the hobby is what makes us smile and gives a purpose to those slivers of time that we are not working, sorting out the kids, doing chores, doing DIY, pretending to enjoy socialising with the other half’s friends and all the mundane things in life. 

Nothing is more satisfying than the buzz of starting a new crew/team/army/force for a rule set, whether it’s one that you know and love or something new. 

And there’s nothing worse than losing hobby mojo. 

There are many reasons, some of which we have discussed during our waffle. Whether falling out of love with a favoured rule set, loss of regular gaming buddy or being disenfranchised by what you read on FB forums. 

For those of us that suffer with depression, anxiety, PD or any number of other mental health issues it can also be a warning bell. Losing motivation to do the things you enjoy is a common sign of a depressive episode and for us loony hobbyists can be the start of a cycle that is hard to break. 

‘I don’t want to play cos I feel like crap and can’t deal with people and because I haven’t played or seen my mates I feel like crap’. 

Social media can be a double edged sword. Easy and non-personal contact with other hobby people is great. Seeing the bad side of gamer’s attitudes and net-listing can be bad. 

If you’re lucky, you’ll have a gaming buddy that can always pull you out of the murk whether with infectious enthusiasm for something new or (in the case of my best mate), a face that looks damn funny. 

@uberspoons

MIND Follow Up

Its seem like we struck a nerve with the A little bit of seriousness article from the other day, as its become by far the most read and shared piece of writing in this young blogs life.

This frankly is how it should be, everything else pales in comparison with the issues we discuss in it.

ka-logo-type-2.jpgAnyhow, we aren’t the only ones talking about Mental Health and gaming as an excellent article came across my twitter feed this evening – Depression and Boardgames an unlikely friendship by Katie Aidley which I highly recommend to you all.

I’m going to reach out to Katie and see if we can get her to come on the show to talk about it as well, it would make for a very interesting chat.

Mike

Lets face it, I’m a complete geek, wargaming, xbox games and playing with lasers. I tried 3D printing but it made my head hurt. Flighty in the extreme, hobby projects last a couple of days before moving onto the next one

A little bit of seriousness

Last weekend Matt and I ran a very successful (even if we do say so ourselves) Malifaux event at Wayland Games.  Its one of the ongoing Showdown series of events that we run and has been growing steadily event on event.  This one pulled in a fantastic 48 players.

Now according to the MIND website approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year and in England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week.

Just think about that.

It means on average 12 of the people playing games that weekend will have a mental health problem this year.  Thats a lot of people.  But thats if we just take the average.

Now think about the sort of folks who tend to be gamers.  We tend to be just ever so slightly out of step with ‘mainstream’ society, hence the nerdy and geeky tags the hobby often gets labeled with, so what do you think  about what that probably means about the mental health of a typical bunch of gamers.

Of my close gaming friends nearly all of them have some form of mental illness (no jokes please about how they have to have to be friends with me).  They might not talk about it publicly but it’s there.  Depression, Social , Suicidal Thoughts and worse.

It as also affected my family life as my eldest daughter has (and still is) suffering.  Every day is a battle for her and I am so proud of how she has pulled her life back from the brink and continues to get up each day.IMG_0346.jpg

So with all this in mind (no pun intended) we at Fools Daily have decided that we are going to do what we can in our own little way to support MIND.  At the event last weekend we held a raffle as we normally do but this time we allowed folks to buy extra raffle tickets and their amazing generosity meant that we raised £150.   Thats fantastic but I’m sure we can do better.

From now on every Fools Daily organised event will have some sort of charity focused component and at our Xmas Malifaux Story Encounter, all proceeds including ticket prices and the super duper charity auction that we are organising will go to MIND.

You can find out more information about Mental Health here and if you fancy just making a donation then I’m sure they will be happy to take your money.

Right, seriousness over, silliness will resume soon but thanks very much for reading.

 

Lets face it, I’m a complete geek, wargaming, xbox games and playing with lasers. I tried 3D printing but it made my head hurt. Flighty in the extreme, hobby projects last a couple of days before moving onto the next one