PERSONAL DIARY (Jan 2019): One month down, eleven to go… Eek!

At the tail end of 2019, on Boxing Day actually, I posted a bit of an update and mentioned my plan to go through the entirety of 2019 without buying a new game. you can read more here if you haven’t seen that already.

As you can probably guess from the title of this post, I’ve managed to get through the first month with my wallet mostly unscathed (although I have spent some monies on stuff for painting miniatures, etc. which I’ll get to later!)**

As an aside, I also managed to play no less than 24 games in the first month of the year, and even recorded them on BGG… this as a result of a promise I made to try and do better at recording my plays this year. We’ll see how long I can keep that up… lol

Ironically, I also received one of the ‘games’ I backed on Kickstarter last month, which means one month in and I have technically got something ‘new and shiny’ to play with. Yay! It’ll be nice if this is a trend that continues throughout 2019, but time will tell, I guess…

As for just what that new and shiny thing was for this month, well it’s the aptly named Book of Dragons, which is nowt more than just a set of tarot-sized cards depicting various types of dragons with no symbols, text or anything else on them (10 different dragon designs, and 4 copies of each one, so 40 cards in total) — this was a project I backed in November 2017 so yes, those cards sure took their time in the making, but that’s a story for another time, I suspect…

Book of Dragons: a simple deck of 40 tarot-sized cards, but they are pretty!

My main reason for backing Book of Dragons was because I wanted to support the designer and liked the general concept of using the cards to design a varied assortment of different games all using the same deck. This in itself is nothing new or groundbreaking (as anyone who has ever owned a conventional set of traditional playing cards would know – indeed, you could just as easily use a traditional deck of cards and remove all the Jacks, Queens, and Kings for all the difference it makes). That said, I liked the cards, admired the pretty artwork, and yeh, I just fancied playing around with them, frankly.

Book of Dragons is published by Grey Fox Games, and to his credit, designer Robert Burke had already got a load of game designers to come up with different game designs using this deck, as well as offering backers a chance to design games for inclusion in the finished product. At launch, there were rules for at least 18 or so different games using the Book of Dragons deck, and since then at least another 15 more games have also appeared, with more likely in due course.

If none of that tickles your fancy, you’ve still got a pretty deck of cards for $10 if you were smart and backed this at the lower tier level (tuckbox only: no printed rules, but all of them available as downloadable PDFs), although the cards are quite thin and flimsy, and they do need sleeving, it must be said. Those who backed the deluxe version at a considerably higher cost have been quite vocal about their disappointment (they got a prettier box, two decks, and a printed set of rulebooks), and there’s a whopper of a spelling mistake in the reference sheet that’s supplied with all versions, which probably did Robert and his publishers no favours whatsoever. More disappointing perhaps, is that at time of writing (February 2019) the Grey Fox website still has the uncorrected reference sheet available for download, provided you can find it: Book of Dragons cannot be found on their homepage: Grey Fox Games.

I’ve reviewed Book of Dragons in The Spirit #4, so if you’d like to know more, please keep your eyes peeled for when that appears – I’ll try and remember to post the link below, but no doubt you’ll find it on The SPIRIT twitter-feed in due course: @spofgamesmag

As I write this, Vapnartak 2019 has been and gone (3rd February 2019), and is generally considered one of the first wargames conventions of the annual calendar. It’s been at the York Racecourse for a few years now, and turnout looked quite high once again, I think, with plenty of traders seeming to do brisk business during the one-day show. I was there because (a) it’s local and on a Sunday, (b) I usually go if I can, and (c) I was after a few bits’n’pieces to help me paint my Walking Dead: All Out War miniatures. “Pfftt! What!?”

Vapnartak 2019 certainly had some great battlegrounds on show…

Ah yes, well, y’see… given my plan to try and get through 2019 without buying any new games, I figured I should perhaps make the effort to paint my Walking Dead: All Out War figures this year, and if that goes well, to paint those in The Godfather; Corleone’s Empire and Wildlands, too!

Those Wildlands figures are begging for some colour…

** Before you all warn me of the damage getting into miniature painting can do to my beleaguered wallet, let me assure you I have practically everything I need, save perhaps the gumption to actually get started and put my primer where my miniature is . Yup… I’m putting it off, for sure, but I am planning to get it done before the end of 2019, so watch this space… Eek!

Oh yes, I did also mention I’ll be keeping a diary throughout the year to keep track of which games have tempted me each month, so here are the titles that would have probably taken my money in January 2019, if you’re at all interested…

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