Saturday, 2 January 2021

Independent Wargames Annual 2020

 


If this had been a 'normal', and I use the term loosely, year I would have created a series of soundbites regarding what stood out for me in the wargames firmament in the calendar year.

Of course 2020 was the opposite of normal and instead can have many cachets attached to describe the year. For me 2020 was and remains a living nightmare with relief barely in sight. 

 I class myself as lucky because our wonderful hobby was able to keep me occupied and allowed me to remove myself from the realities around me. A lot of people weren't so lucky and that doesn't include the thousands who have died. Many will never recover from the experience and no doubt we will witness certain fourth rate media personalities regaling us with their mental health issues and producing books etc to tell us how we can combat the effects of isolation, fear and in my case my burgeoning waistline. But I digress.

 Has anyone else found that as the months have dragged on they struggle to focus to complete even simple tasks. Procrastination is certainly an issue I repeatedly confront and finding ways to remain motivated increasingly difficult. But enough of my whining, lets talk wargames and all things positive.

This nightmare has certainly been good for most figure producers and I hope this has percolated down to the smaller one man companies as we ordered figures, paints, buildings etc via the internet. I would like to think its been a boom year for the traders.

 I read today that the share price of the mighty Games Workshop makes them richer than Marks and Spencer's. Now that could be down to the price of their figures and the numbers they have shifted, but I suspect my purchase of their Contrast Paints has gone someway towards them making piles of cash. I confess I do like using the range but find the price hard to accept, but I still buy the damned things.

 In  the early months of the lockdown I was finding myself able to paint figures by the score as I quickly built up units of ancient Persians, Greeks, Caesarean Romans and Ancient Britons. The release of the first box of the Wargames Atlantic Ancient Persian range didn't help with the numbers of figures I found myself painting, and just when I thought I had enough Persians, Victrix released their first box of Sparabara that are beautiful figures and of course they provided beautiful transfers for the shields and quivers the figures possess. Having now seen their images of their Persian cavalry and  heavy infantry I know I will need more storage boxes.

 Wargamers are really spoiled.....



                                             Wargames Atlantic, Persian Sparabara.
                                                     Victrix, Persian Sparabara.
This image is of the Persian infantry, based for both Sword and Spear and Hail Caesar. The cavalry are of equal size and numbers. Personally I know I over did the numbers, but what else could one do. 



 I couldn't help myself and bought a number of unpainted and really old Mini Fig Ethiopian infantry.


                                   My small but very effective Caesarean Roman army.



Unfortunately as we approached the autumn I began to struggle with being able to sit and paint for any length of time, well actually being able to sit per se. The pain was diagnosed as two bulging discs. I wont bore anyone with the details, but sitting for any length of time has become a debilitating issue which clearly affected my wellbeing. I've found that even surfing the internet has become tiresome, which I will use as an excuse for my lack of regular blogs. The reality is, that I had little to say, and what I could have said wouldn't have been very inspiring and probably depressing. 

 


Luckily a free set of rules has helped me combat the issues I was struggling with. 

Andy Callan's free Wars of the Roses rules offered me inspiration and a small kick up the backside. 'Never Mind the Billhooks' a diminutive booklet is a joy as a wargame. It possesses enough historical realism to make it feel right' for the period whilst flowing easily. Basically its a game that's simple to play whilst containing enough friction to reflect the historical nuances that were the Wars of the Roses.

 So having sold my WOR armies many years ago I am now slowly replacing them. Talk about Groundhog Day. Years ago my mother in law obtained details of the history of my family name and the heraldry that would have been used if my family had been influential enough to have possessed such a thing. Its all bollocks really but I will be fielding my own 'ward' resplendent in its livery, and why not.  It is keeping me amused and inspiring me to take up a brush for short intervals. 




 

This  'ward' is mainly Grenadier, Citadel and a few Perry Kern. In order to cut back on the expense I fully intend to use Perry plastics, but everyone knows about the best laid plans. The actual flag is the Stanley family as is the livery colours.  











 So thanks Andy for your work and generosity. Later this year? Andy will be releasing a further set of rules for the period with added units, rule etc. and also additional cards to frustrate the players I cant wait.

  One of the many things I have put off is actually counting the number of new figures etc that I managed to paint during this crisis. I know its a lot, but I have continually found reasons not to actually find out. Perhaps its because I know its too many and will probably never be used in battle. 

So finally I hope everyone has weathered the crisis and like me is looking forward to lots of wargames big and small with a smattering of wargames shows thrown in for good luck.



      



   

35 comments:

  1. Real heraldry is usually so much more interesting than made up stuff. I quite like the chicken leg (?) on the flag.

    Bummer about your back. Hopefully it isn't negatively affecting your sleep as well. Would a standing desk help with computer and painting? I see a lot more people using them in the workplaces over the last couple years.

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    1. Im pretty certain its not meant to be a chicken leg but it does look like one. As for my back, walking seems to be the only pain free thing I can do.

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  2. Splendid array of new stuff there Robbie! Obviously you may be down back wise, but you are far from out! Looking forward to seeing you for a natter post vaccination!

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    1. Thanks David. Ah yes the vaccination, I cant wait to be very honest.

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  3. A year worth forgetting Robbie...
    Hopefully this year will give us the chance to play with toy soldiers, drink beer and talk nonsense...
    Take care of yourself and a Happy and Prosperous New year to you and yours...

    All the best. Aly

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    1. Thanks Aly, sadly having only myself, the cats and our lass to burble on to has caused a serious strain on my respective relationships. My cats now scatter when I walk in the room,our lass, well she just threatens me with dire damage so I try to keep quiet.

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  4. Sorry to read about your lingering back problems. Hopefully, you can get that worked out. Back pain is really a pain in the backside. Debilitating too.

    On the painting front, you produced a lot of great looking units for many different periods. I think 2020 may go down as the return of WotR as a popular game period. I have certainly seen an explosion in interest and I don't even get out much.

    With luck and a vaccine, F2F may again be possible in the New Year.

    Take care of yourself.

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    1. Thanks Johnathan. Yes WOTR activity has really taken off in the UK, it was to be expected. Unfortunately I can never reach your high standards of production of lovely figures but one can hope.

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  5. Liking the new Wars of the Roses figures , a Good New Year to you and yours , Tony

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    1. Thanks Tony. I did promise myself I wouldnt start a new period but like everything else it went out the window.

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  6. All look very nice to game with.
    And you can never have enough Persian figures.

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    1. So very true. I actually have some lovely Vendel Miniatures to paint and thats without the Victrix lovelies on the horizon.

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  7. Good year review and I share your enthusiasm and thanks for the Never Mind The Billhooks rules, a real highlight of the year.

    I hope your back eases. I found making my table higher helped my back with not having to leans so far forwards.

    Roll on 2021!

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    1. Thanks Norm. I am lucky enough to know Andy Callan and he puts a lot of effort into his wargaming. These rules are a pleasure and a nice interlude to the crap we have all faced this last year.

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  8. Good to see you are posting again Robbie. It's been a very strange year, thank goodness for hobbies like ours. Our exchange of mails and mutterings have been a source op pleasure, and I do hope we will be able to meet up at a show before too long. All the best for the new year.

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    1. Good to see you havent drunk yourself into infinity. Im certain we will meet up, so bring some of that hard earned pension money and a sense of humour.

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  9. A lot of good production. Hopefully the back will settle down and you can get some of the figures into action on the tabletop!

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    1. Its only the hope that I get to play some games that keeps me fairly sane, maybe this year.

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  10. All the best for this coming year Robbie, I find that without playing games regularly that inspiration is difficult to find. Having to meet targets to paint figures for upcoming games is usually what drives me. Hey ho, it is what it is!
    Dave.

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    1. I used to find aiming for certain battles and shows was a great motivator, this last year swept all that away. But we are lucky in that we still have a hobby that one can do on our own

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  11. A thoughtful post Robbie, a lot of which I have experienced this year. Illegitimi non carborundum

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    1. Its times like this I realise I should have listened to my Latin master as opposed to being the class fool. Hopefully it will all work out for the best.

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  12. Lots of good looking stuff their Robbie. I particularly like the “ancient comedy army” (Persians) but I can see the attraction of collecting them and they’re so colourful. Hope your back improves and that you can keep your mojo going as like you say, the hobby is what keeps us going. Catch up soon when permitted. Happy New Year for 2021.

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    1. I know what you mean about the Persians Colin, but they did dress well and they must have been fairly successful otherwise how did they have such a big empire? We will get that game this year, fingers crossed.

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  13. Thanks for a very interesting and personal post as usual Robbie, hope the back will soon be better. You have been amazingly productive for one who talks of lethargy yet I know what you mean about lockdowns exacerbating lack of focus and you don't know whether anything like "real" wargaming will happen again...cheers Chris
    http://notjustoldschool.blogspot.com/

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    1. Good to hear from you Chris. It has been difficult to keep even mildly productive and with bits starting to fall off me, it hasnt helped. Apparently the 14 police accidents hadn't helped with the onset of arthritis, and my doctor suggested that I should have stuck to walking instead of driving badly.

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  14. Happy New Year Robbie, hope your on the mend asap. New figures look most grand. Forget 2020, roll on late 2021 when we may be able to play in person again !

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    1. Great to hear from you John, Im certain we will bump into each other this next year.

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  15. Happy New Year Robbie, and good to hear from you..

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    1. Good to hear from you Steve and hopefully a better year ahead.

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  16. Good to have you back-I thought you'd died!!!
    By the way,when you do die,can I have your figures?
    johnc.

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    1. Now mad lad, have you done that book yet. Im telling you the scenario compendium is a best seller, especially with your erudite text. Oh and I want your figures in case you go first.

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  17. Nice looking Persian and Roman armies but the War of the Roses army is great, I look forward to seeing you paint Perry plastic medieval box sets again, rotten news about your back, my wife had something similar, pilates and core muscle work made an enormous and surprising difference, good luck!
    Best Iain

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    1. Who would have thought I would return to the WOR, I must admit I am enjoying painting the figures.

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  18. You can access a router’s configuration page using the default IP address of a router. This is usually set by the Manufacturer. The commonly used ones are 192.168.1.1 (Linksys), 10.0.11 (Apple) and 192.168.0.1 (D-link, Netgear, etc). 198.168.1.1 follow this link to configure and set up your wireless router for use Connect the router to a desktop or laptop via an Ethernet cable. For this to work, you might require LAN drivers pre-installed.

    ReplyDelete

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.
Austria 1809.

Austrian Hussars

Austrian Hussars
Hinchliffe figures

Austrian Grenzer

Austrian Grenzer
Austrian Grenzer

Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2013
Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2012

Smoggycon 2012
Smoggycon 2012

Smoogycon 2009

Smoogycon 2009
My French getting another beating