Friday, 17 January 2020
Thursday, 9 January 2020
This year I think I'll take some stuff along to sell off. Its free so whats not to enjoy.
Wednesday, 1 January 2020
That said as the year 2019 closes and 2020 beckons one is naturally allowed to mull over the campaign year and record what stood out and what could be done to improve the pleasures of our wonderful hobby for me.
Anyway back to other matters;
Colin over on 'Carryings on up the Dale blog posted the article that originally appeared in Practical Wagamer way back in 1990 of John and my re enactment of the Battle of Blenheim in 6mm. It was a real trip down memory lane although sadly I could remember very little of the event.
Luckily John who has religiously kept a dairy of his wargaming since the beginning was able to provide me with details of that fateful weekend at Hunwick Community Centre. It was quite an event for me made extra special by the great Charlie Wesencraft accepting a command.
John was able to tell me the battle was staged on 24th September 1989! hence the '89' Beano annual picture and we used the excellent 200 Years wargames rules. They were and are still very good and if I remember correctly were easy to play.
The battle was a very tight victory for the allies and needless to say my French command was virtually wiped out. So nothing changes really. I sold the actual armies last year which was a shame but needs must sometimes.Some of the original terrain boards were given away this year, surprisingly still in very good condition. Clearly I poured some real love into their construction. What struck me about the actual game was just how enthusiastic we were about the whole event and how driven John and I were to get every regiment on the battlefield only to discover a year later that we had painted the right number of units but included some units that hadnt fought at the battle. Important in 1989 but now, well at least we had the unit numbers correct and the game looked right.
I found a couple of old photographs from that eventful day, the first one of the great Charlie Wesencraft throwing the allied command over the stream towards the Bavarian command with John's 'young' son Neil watching. Young Neil who was tea boy that day now has large 40K armies so something must have stuck.
In the weeks on the run up to Christmas John and I fought several English Civil War battles in both 15mm and 25mm. The rules we used were Victory Without Quarter that John had downloaded from 'The Lily Banners' site. The rules have been around a few years but I had never played them. They gave a really tense series of battles with uncertainty and real friction. Whilst this is not a review of the best rules of the year, I must admit I have thoroughly enjoyed using them and considering they are free to download are definitely worthy of my recommendation of 2019 even though I have come late to the party.
Normally I dont keep a count of what figures Ive painted and based simply because its something I have never seen as needed. With retirement I can paint regularly and luckily I am still able to paint unhindered by illness or injury. So I just put my head down and crack on. I know that in 2019 because of the Waterloo game my ECW project was delayed by the painting of my Young Garde Command but it didnt really stop me from completing most of what I wanted for the ECW.
My deviation into SPQR again stopped me painting some additional ACW units I have ready but again they are just extra regiments I wanted to add, simply because I bought some 'interesting' new figures that had just been released last year. Hopefully the next couple of months will allow me to add to both the ACW, ECW and SYW armies. [all those W's]
Another thing I try not to do is announce that I have several resolutions for the new year, especially because any good intent lasts only as long as I can remember them which is usually about a nano second. I have however determined that I will re jig my wargaming room and also sell all my 6mm Napoleonic armies. Given how Napoleonic's was always my first love this will be difficult but to be honest I have whole corps of figures that have never been used since they were painted some 10 years ago. As a sign of my intent I finally disposed of all my terrain boards [sorry Dave] which was a shame in some respects, but weight and space have become an issue. I know they have gone to good homes.
Not wanting to boast I was really pleased when I was able to obtain some War Game Digest's which were the precursor of the Newsletter and it is very noticeable the quality of the magazines production in comparison to the English Newsletter. Even then the US wargaming scene prided itself on quality magazine and book production, and yet the British articles seem more relevant to what I term modern wargaming and historical research.
Whilst attempting not to make this a true review I must mention he wargames shows I attended.John and I attended fewer than usual but this was more to do with circumstances outside of our control than personal choice.My favourite was the first Partizan of 2019 which had the balance between wargames historical and otherwise about right. A close second however was Battleground staged on Teeside which is a lovely show that is definitely going in the right direction.
Best wargaming product of 2019 for me was the Games Workshop range of Contrast 'paints? The company has once again produced the next generation of paint to make wargaming even more pleasurable.
Declaring the best figures of 2019 is clearly a subjective thing and I love most wargaming ranges, but thats simply because all toy soldiers have a charm of their own. My personal favourites were however the Victrix plastic ranges of ancients and the new Steel Fist landsknects. Not cheap but real works of art. But then of course I also rediscovered the old Mini Figs ranges for the ECW and once more fell for their charm. Wargaming is a tough hobby sometimes.
One thing that I clearly failed at was increasing the numbers of wargaming followers of my blog. The Facebook experiment became a real nightmare and frankly a waste of effort. I appreciate that blogs are somehow passe but for me they provide a great way to swop ideas, viewpoints and knowledge. Something that other more instant platforms dont. But at least I tried and I learned a little more about the curse that is the internet.
But to end on a more positive note, the hobby for me appears vibrant and full of potential.There are clearly some wonderful and very clever wargamers out there who simply get on with enjoying the hobby and continue to produce some great rules and wonderful figures. So a happy new year to one and all and dont put off until tomorrow what you can do today.