Happy New Year Cap'n, all the best to ye and yours.
2009 was a year that saw personal aspects play a role too big to see much gaming of any kind in the mix of things.
I have no desire to mix with Raj so that has not changed, nor will it change, his dictatorial moderating style has never sat very well with me, good luck to him but I won't be hanging about over there.
In terms of the rules changes from the old edition (Thane) to the current one, some good effort was made by many parties.
I think some ground was well covered, other ground remains unaddressed and some stuff still desperately needs work (bloody chariots
All in all, an improvement for the most part, and thats a good thing.
Personal taste regarding the rulebook is that visually, it is a definite improvement to look at over the old edition, but that was 'never' going to be difficult and Thane was the first to make that point.
The photo's etc. are a big improvement over the previous book (which had none) and the colour etc, is a welcome improvement.
I do have some issues with the layout though and these were comprehensively addressed by Elvenblade at the time.
It could have been more logically assessed and a better layout could have been achieved 'if' some, not a lot, more time and care had been taken in this area.
A personal bugbear was the discarding of certain Army lists from the heavily playtested earlier edition, and the inclusion of a new one, that was seriously undercooked, for strictly commercially based purposes, which I still think is a glaring error and one that could have been overcome with some more time, care and genuine effort at communication.
In the context of the book not a big issue but in terms of advancing the great variation in army choices to potential new consumers a definite blunder, and sadly one that was completely avoidable with a little more care and a little less rushing things through.
It meant that when the new edition came to be launched it burst forth with a fizzle instead of a fanfare.
The breach in relations between the existing playing base (essentially the vibrant one in London [via Hastings and Southend] ) where this forum managed to produce an AoA tourney in Richmond with 18 players covering a wide variety of armies) and the few chaps managing the development of the new edition rulebook up in Royston meant that instead of having awesome display games wherever the new rulebook was being sold, with awesome terrain and beautifully painted miniatures... there was shabby display games that looked unprofessional and it definitely hindered the potential sales of the new edition.
That was a shame.
However, it (the AoA rule system) is still slowly drifting down stream on the current and some life will be breathed into it at 'Salute 2010' where TW will once again be doing something with their trade stand, and we will be showing something different at a table graced by the members of this forum with beautiful models and awesome terrain.
The game system will be recieving twice the promotion from two separate areas and I feel confident that the game we are organising will show the versatility of the AoA system for gamers in the fantasy genre in the 28mm scale.
The planned LotR 'alternative battle, using all manner of figures and terrain from different manufacturers, sculptors and scratch building will allow passers by to see the variation and versatility that still exists in the rule set, and more importantly, the fun that can be had within the framework of that ruleset, and that has to be a good thing for the older enthusiasts who are bored with the tired old engine that still runs the warhammer GW system.
In this New Year, 2010, I predict a slow steady build up and return to a higher number and level of games being played in AoA across the board (pun intended).