This is the second year where I’ve been trying to have a new post up on this blog every three to four days, and this time I made it with no extra gaps. Mostly, posts were four days apart with only a couple occasions where I squeezed it down to three (this is one of them, as I squeezed the schedule for this to be due on the 1st). At least a third of the time I had one or more posts waiting in queue to go up, which is where I want to be. Maybe another third I knew what the next post was, but needed to write it, and the rest of the time I was struggling to come up with something. Hopefully, this year I can cut down on that last a lot more, and get a few things ready for putting into ‘dead’ spots. If I can build up some spare posts, I’ll be moving to a three-day schedule a lot more.

I did 93 posts this year, up 2 from last year, which shows I mostly just avoided having any gaps in the schedule. Looking at the categories, I had: 43 posts in Books, 11 in ASL, 9 in Boardgaming, 6 in CC:Ancients, and Konya wa Hurricane, 5 in GURPS, 3 in Anime, and SFB, 2 in F&E, and Gaming, and 1 each in Life, and Computer Games. Folding those up the subcategories gives 8 in F&E, 37 in Boardgaming, 5 in RPGs, and 44 in general Gaming. This, again, points up the fact that I need split up the ‘Books’ category. Considering I did review a couple of graphic novels this year, I should at least split that off.

It’s been a mixed bag for gaming this year for me. Face-to-face gaming has really come apart, with Patch too stressed and busy to make it over much, and Mark disappearing off the face of the Earth for months at a time. Hopefully, it’ll pick back up this year, but I have my doubts. ASL for the year was pretty good, with 12 games, with 5 wins and one abandoned. I will need to find some time to get a couple more PBeM games going this year. My idea to get into some of the other moderate-sized games by PBeM didn’t happen; instead I ended up with two PBeM games of F&E, one of which has a very eager and active opponent, and so it takes up a lot of my free time. An off-on idea has been to solo a few situations in SFB, and I just started gearing up for one of those; we’ll see if I actually do it.

I have one RPG review sitting in the can, which will probably go out soonish, and I’ve been meaning to write up a review of FR8 and continue my Forgotten Realms reviews, but haven’t gotten up the gumption. Recently, I was contemplating trying to go back and finish off my EU III: Divine Wind review, and get the Paradox series going again, though past that (which is about 1/4 written) I probably won’t. At the same time, I’ve started wondering about doing a similar series just on Europa Universalis IV, it has changed a lot over the course of the expansions, and explaining it all would actually take some work. I’d also like to get back to some more design and genre-related posts, I recently did one, which is far from my best, but it was nice to think about again.

Smudge has been getting her animation going again (leading to some late nights where she just doesn’t stop), which has been part of her not being involved in any MMOs, which means I haven’t either. I did finish a couple games of EU IV during the year (one as the Ottomans, and one as England), and have started a couple others, but haven’t gotten far. I’ve spent the last month and a half bouncing around various other games, including Civ IV, FreeOrion, OpenTTD and Settlers II, enjoying them all. Despite a comparative lack of gaming, I spent around $650 on gaming during 2017, which might help explain why my finances aren’t in as good a shape as I’d like. A decent chunk of that was during a few months where I got a bit ASL-obsessed, and finally decided to upgrade part of my collection to the MMP versions (something I’ve been meaning to get to for years), so hopefully I’ll have a more modest budget for 2018. Though I might do another upgrade round.

However, the big expenditure for 2018 will probably be a new computer. Azuna is doing fine, though I had to replace the type cover, as the original one wore out; I’d abused the hinge a bit. But Horo’s primary components are over a decade old now, and I’m starting to notice. For most things, the processor is just fine, though there’s a few heavy websites out there that can kill the system (one of them being for CNET, where I work…). But the F&E Vassal module really needs the JVM heap to be set somewhere north of 2GB, and my motherboard can only take 4GB of RAM, so I’m constantly running into memory issues. So I will be building a new desktop soon.

I hit this year’s Goodreads goal of 52 books exactly, and as usual have a large backlog of books to read. During July, Amazon averaged two Kindle books per week on sale that I already had on my ‘to get and read’ pile, and I’m still working through that. Best book of the year is definitely Ancillary Justice, though as I said in my review, it’s a slow burn, it was halfway through that the book came into focus, and I realized just what I was seeing. Uprooted was also very good, and the second-best of the year. Best non-fiction (and third overall) was Stilicho: The Vandal Who Saved Rome, which was a very informative look at an important juncture in the Western Roman Empire coming apart. Actually, it’s been a very good year for reading overall, and I could easily go on for quite a while with other recommended books. Reading Through History did not get very far this year, from about 1730 to about 1750, but I read five books in that period, in addition to all the go-back-because-its-earlier reading.

Personally, 2017 has been a good, but not great year. Finances are worse (not entirely my fault, but that’s a rant I’m not going into), but not disastrously so. Gaming  is overall down, despite a good start. System is showing its age. I’m about to fix that last, and that will take some stress off the gaming I am doing, as it should improve F&E Vassal performance quite a bit. There’s been a number of problems around the apartment, but we’re actually getting decent replacements now instead of crap that just breaks again.