Over the past 6 months or so I've shifted a lot of figures from the plastic & lead mountain. I haven't been keeping count of the units but the Neo-Assyrian / Babylonian Armies and the Medes are pretty much done. I've got 5 or 6 units still to paint but they're really the rag-tag and bob tail of the boxes and I don't actually need them. I mean I've got 16 chariot models, I think. That's enough for anyone, isn't it?
The Taipings are well under way as well, - 6 infantry units complete, 2 cavalry, 2 artillery and 4 jingals are done (about time I did a photo report on them). I've only stopped because I've run out of bases. I could cut some of my own, but the Peter Pig ones are always more accurately cut. I suppose I could scratch build some river boats whilst I wait for the bases.
I've started the Murabits/Almoravids as well. Should have 3 or 4 units of those done by the end of the week. They have the benefit of being mostly in long, single coloured robes, so are quick to do.
I've also fitted in quite a few games. There've been some very satisfying re-fights as well as the standard "pick up" games that get played most weeks. Shedquarters has been well used, and proven to be a worth while investment.
I even built that Chinese house. On the down side I've been a bit slack with the rule writing (although I'm pleased with "Rapid Raphia" which has just appeared in Nugget), and I haven't finished any magazine articles. I have finished my write up on Cannae for the DBA 3.0 project however.
So, why this whistle stop half yearly review? Well the reason for the quite impressive out put has been that I haven't been working since mid-May*. My contract ended, we went on holiday and then the summer weather was quite nice and there was no work out there and so on. The question to myself was whether or not I'd actually taken early retirement.
Well, it seems like I might not have. I've been offered a contract with an investment bank to review a Target Operating Model for a subsidiary company and make recommendations. It's in the City and is for an initial three months. After that we have a review and then see if we both want me to carry on.
It's an interesting job, and so I've taken it. It means a severe curtailment of my painting and game design schedule, but it seemed too good to pass up.
Of course these things are never straight forward. I've been talking to them on and off about this since about September, and the hoops everyone needs to jump through to get things sorted out are sometimes ludicrous. Yesterday I had to go and see their recruitment agency at their offices in London to show them my passport. The meeting took about 10 minutes (there was a form to sign as well). Well worth the two hour journey there and the same back. Still, I'm sure they have their reasons as to why it had to be done then rather than on the day I started.
What does this mean? As mentioned above it'll cut into my painting schedule and I'm a bit concerned that I might not be able to reliably host a game once a week. I may have to drop back to a monthly game cycle, possibly even at weekends. On the up side I'll get a lot more reading done, and looking back at my previous time in the City I can see that I was still blogging regularly because of the time spent on the train. There'll be more opinion pieces rather than game write-ups but that's not necessarily a problem. Looking at TMP it's often the case that there's an inverse relationship between the number of opinions held and the number of games actually played.
So I can put off retirement for a few months at least, and possibly for another year or so. My first contract dried up quite suddenly in the end, and at the time I was considering going full time with them (and they likewise with me), so if the last two or three years have taught me anything it's don't over plan things.
And make the most of whatever comes your way.
* Although I've not been working I haven't technically been unemployed. As a contractor I work through my own service company which bills the employment agency then pays me a salary. It pays me a salary even when there's no money going into the company as the sort of companies that use contractors like me don't want you to be signing on as unemployed at the time you're taken on as it makes all the paper work more complicated. Long story short I've been unemployed but I don't appear in the unemployment statistics. And I'm not the only one by a long shot.