Well here's my thumb in the air guesswork for the new year...
Prices of Metal and Plastic in the UK are going to rise, and with a VAT increase on top I expect the price of a typical metal historical miniature to rise to around £1.25 and the price of plastic figures to hover around the 50-60 pence mark, dependent on manufacturer. I will not be alone in finding I have less free cash to spend on my gaming, and this will have knock on effects in the hobby in the short term.
Such times of economy will put some people out of the hobby as too expensive, but others will be more creative. I such times I predict a resurgence of 20mm plastic and skirmish gaming; always popular options in hard pressed times.
The plastic miniatures market is now approaching saturation, with most periods at least touched upon by one or more manufacturer, obviously there are still huge gaps but anyone waiting for plastic Burmese infantry, or Ottoman Turks or models for the Maori Wars are likely to live in disappointment indefinitely.
I predict though that whilst new companies may well enter the fray, at least one plastics manufacturer will fall by the wayside this year. In such event it is likely the moulds will soon reappear of course.
In terms of output, Napoleonics and Ancients will continue to dominate, and I also think we may see more than just WW2 covered in 15mm if the economy permits it.
A specific word should be added on Mantic Games; but for it see below.
Hail Caesar, the new rules from Warlord, will do for ancient wargames, what Black Powder has done for the age of Muskets; reinvigorate and divide, but all in the most positive of fashions. Warhamer Ancients 2.0 went off with a whimper rather than a bang, and for those who don't want the mathematical approach of rules like Fields of Glory or DBMM, it will fulfill a purpose.
Kings of War will become a genuine contender in respect of fantasy mass battle games. GW will not show signs of nerves, but hopefully they will feel the effect of having developing competition in their own back yard, and maybe, just maybe, react in a positive fashion. One can hope!
Blogging, Pledging and so forth
As for myself, Well it's been a busy old year on the blog, and I don't predict I'll be more prolific in 2011, but then I'd be a fool to do so! My wider aims are for a 500 words a week on another project, whilst using the blog for the usual activity. I predict if anything gets going on the other project, you will hear about it here.
With the pledge, the 2010 objective looks like being a success, but in 2011, I am going to change it again to make for specific outcomes:
- With an aim to improve my individual character painting I will produce at least one single piece per month to a competition standard. This will include, but not be exclusively limited to, my new Anima Tactics models.
- To develop my hitherto limited sculpting skills, I will start a new Warhammer Fantasy army, with an aim to convert or scratchbuild large numbers of the models. The rate of production for this project expected to be limited however.
- To ensure games of Black Powder can continue at the club, I will begin a Peninsular War French army in earnest, aiming to produce one unit per month for the first six months of the year.
- I will clear a huge model backlog, by painting one pre-bought unit or force for every other unit I complete.
- The net aim will be to produce at least 30 models per month.
Let's see if any of that turns out to be right...