Crush Your Tabletop Gaming New Year’s Resolutions

Nelly Steiner Blog

It’s almost time to close the book on 2020 (yay!) and time to open a new one for 2021! We’re filled with hope that next year we can start over and achieve some of our goals. We are gamers. We know how to pick up a hobby like it’s nobody’s business, but sometimes it can be difficult to find the time to fully devote to each hobby. As gaming experts, we at Mox wanted to offer some tips, tricks, and overall advice to help you crush your tabletop gaming new year’s resolutions.

Be Kind to Yourself 

We all want to achieve our goals but put yourself and your mental health first. These goals and resolutions should support your happiness and growth, not induce anxiety or a sense of failure. Make sure that both your goals and how you are working toward them are a source of happiness.

Build SMART Goals 

SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Keep this in mind when creating your goals. For example, “play every game I own” might not tick the box under achievable depending on the size of your collection. Try “play 50 different games this year” instead – that’s a much more manageable and measurable task of about one game per week.

Make The time 

To ensure you follow through, set aside a time daily, weekly, or even monthly, specifically dedicated to achieving your goal. That can look like a weekly game night, a daily MTG game, a single painting class, or a monthly RPG session. Add it to your calendar and set yourself a reminder. Make sure this timeframe supports your goal and if it is not, adjust accordingly.

Track Your Progress 

Keep a digital or physical journal to track your progress. How many minis are you still hoping to paint? Write it down. What colors did you paint it? Write it down. How many games have you played? Did you enjoy them? Who won or lost? WRITE IT ALL DOWN! BoardGameGeek is an excellent resource to track what games you have played and how you liked them.

Make Space 

Having a dedicated space to work on your goal is essential. If your goal is to play more board games, maybe you just need a clean tabletop. It can be hard to set aside space exclusively for your goal, so consider how your space may be prepared and reset when you’re done. If you’re painting minis, a project tray might help you keep your materials together for quick setup and storage. Spend some time making sure your space is organized in a way where you can get started easily and clean up fast. That will make future sessions much easier to enjoy.

Get an Accountability Buddy 

If you find it difficult to keep yourself accountable, get a friend to join in and complete the goal with you. You can keep each other on target for your goals, and lean on each other for support when needed. Being a part of a community is a surefire way to stick to your goals. Join our Discord servers (we have one for each location) and find a buddy there.

I want to play all the board games I have! 

Let’s say this year you have a lofty goal to play all the board games you have. Yes, even the ones that have been living in shrink wrap for the last few months. Survey what you have and how big a challenge this will be. How many board games are there? Are they complicated? Do you still love all of them and will you get joy from playing them all? Based on your answers you can build some SMART and achievable gaming goals. Here’s some added tips that will help:  

  • At game night, play both a game you already know and love and something new. If the new game is a flop, it’s ok, and you still had fun.
  • Come to game night prepared: read the rules ahead of time and maybe watch a YouTube tutorial to help out. Give Watch it Played a try.
  • Meeting up in person to play can be tough. Try platforms like Tabletopia, Tabletop Simulator, or check out what games are available for the devices you have, such as smartphones and Nintendo Switch. This way, you can play the games you own virtually. Yes, that counts! It can sometimes be even easier to learn if the program teaches you.
  • Use the Mox Discords to find players for games you are interested in playing.

I want to paint all the minis I own! 

For some of us, this is a real challenge. A big backlog of miniatures can be overwhelming, and it can be difficult to figure out where to start. Don’t worry, we’ve got some more tips for you.

  • Again, take the time to survey what you have in a way that works for you. That can mean pulling everything out and looking at it, or making a complicated Excel tracking sheet. Making a list of what there is and an action plan to get through it.
  • Find the mini that you’re most excited to paint. Start small, don’t worry about the entire army straight away.
  • In a rut? Not sure where to start? Get inspired! Use Instagram, Facebook Groups, Pinterest, and Twitter to find examples of what other folks are painting right now.
  • Try some new tools. The Citadel Water Pot is a game-changer. It has grooves on the sides to point your paintbrush as you draw it out and textured sides for optimized cleaning. The Mig Ammo Oilbrushers are also amazing for adding effects. New tools come out weekly that make experimenting fun.
  • Join the Mox Discord and share pictures of the things you’ve painted (it’s also a cool space to get inspired – see bullet point 3). Lean onto your own community for any questions you have.
  • If you prefer to paint socially or are just getting started, take a Mox paint class or join our weekly paint jams.

I want to play a more diverse range of RPGs

Did you fall in love with Dungeons & Dragons and haven’t quite been able to branch out yet? Maybe it’s time to expand your horizons and see what some other RPGs have to offer. The wide world of RPGs gives you the opportunity to try out the sci-fi world of Cyberpunk or the horror and suspense of Dread. It can be daunting to try out new things, so we’ve added some tips below to get you started:

  • If you don’t have a group yet, recruit your friends to join in your quest or check our Mox Discord server to see who else is ready to play something new.
  • Start with something easy or familiar. If you’re used to D&D, try something different but similar like Pathfinder. Or if you want something completely different but less intimidating, try a game with simpler mechanics like The Quiet Year.
  • Have each player in your group choose one game that can be run and played in a single session. Then take turns each week running different games for each other. After several weeks you will have tried a bunch of new games that wasn’t dependent on one person learning and preparing them all.

I want to improve my deck building skills for Magic: The Gathering

There are thousands of cards out there and even more ways to combine them – one might say that’s the real magic of Magic! But if you want to get better at building a deck, where do you start?

  • Play more. Experience will give you better insight into what works well and give you a chance to test what you have already built. Make it a habit to play in Friday Night Magic events at your local store, or online in Magic: The Gathering Arena and Magic: The Gathering Online.
  • Look at other people’s decks. Whether it is your friend’s deck or decklists from major events, looking outside of your own collection can inspire you. What changes would you make to fit either your own card collection or style?
  • Ask for advice and critique. The community in our Discord is really helpful for answering questions about your deck and helping you figure out how to tweak it.
  • Challenge yourself with the new MTG set coming out. Can you build 10 decks with these new cards? Not only does it get your inner deck builder gears turning, but it also gets the anxiety of building bad decks out of the way. You’re going to build some bad decks before striking gold.
  • Keep up with deck maintenance as cards are banned or new sets are released. Making this a regular habit can be incredibly beneficial as it teaches you to adapt to the decks you’re playing against, whether it’s the tournament metagame or just what decks your friends are playing.

Best of luck with your New Year’s resolutions 

Well, here we are. It’s time to get out that pen and paper and start planning out your goals. Remember that you’re making these goals with all the best intentions, and inevitably life will get in the way. Make sure you do a 6 month review and see if anything needs to be tweaked or adjusted. If you miss a week, that’s ok! Just hop back on track and get the rest of those minis painted. And Make sure to share your New Year’s resolutions with us by tagging us on Twitter (#Mox2021Resolutions)!

See you at Mox!