I was going to keep this for another week or so but as there will be no wargaming activity until the New year I thought I would get it out of the way and go Dark for a couple of weeks while I enjoy the festive season and the time off. Mind you I was surprised by two people waiting at the door this morning to post cards which now will not make Christmas, and yes, there was the one for America (cut off date 14 Dec). One, a touchy, feely type has been coming in every day for the past week, "do all your post at once!" and leave me alone, stop saying thank you every ten seconds ...... wow, need to slow down, Christmas cheer etc. My youngest granddaughter said I was not grumpy but happy and funny, she ruined that yesterday by telling the missus she only said it to make me happy. Now, how did 2018 pan out, read on.
I failed miserably to get a campaign off the ground, I wanted to get back to some ACW gaming and thought one of my mini-campaigns would be perfect, they don't last longer than the real campaign and only require two to three large battles to be fought. I needed four generals, two at a push but having asked several people at the club I could only get one club member to commit.
My other failure was to have more games at home, I have a fair amount of spare time and a lot of it could be spent playing games but it isn't. Up until half way through the year I had a regular opponent in Kevin but that has stopped. My other semi-permanent gamer, son Stewart, does not have a lot of time spare for gaming at the moment and he lives an hour and a half away, also a he has to travel the A66 so that just about cuts out travel in the Winter, it is a miserable journey in bad weather.
Despite the above I did manage three complete gaming weekends this year, one with Stewart, one with Mike Jordan and one with Matt Smith (of Wargames Table fame). All of these were excellent, good company and great games. I did get one weekend away myself at the beginning of the year but sadly it was cut short due to severe weather, a second weekend at the end did not work out.
I got to two shows, Vapnartak which has become an annual pilgrimage and FIASCO at Leed's Armouries, the former is the better of the two, but I managed to fulfill my wish list at the latter so a worthwhile journey after all.
I completed my fifth War and Conquest army this year, the Seleucids, for a change this was an army I knew next to nothing about and chose it to be an opponent for my Early Imperial Romans, yes not the same time period but easily tough enough to fight the Thunderbolts. I also decided that I had to call a halt to building armies for WAC despite having an urge for a 3rdC Roman army and my long standing wish for something Byzantine. I should now have stopped but we do not stop do we? I like the Muskets and Tomahawks skirmish game and thought this was the way forward for me but I got derailed somewhere along the line and have now committed to two large Seven Years War armies, go figure. Being awkward I also did not leap into Frederick the Great's shoes but instead decided on the Western European theater and the Duke of Brunswick v the French. My patriotism guided this choice as I wanted Union flags and red coats on the battlefield, in my mind a very small strike against anti-British sentiment in the world at large.
In 2018 I painted up approximately 350 figures, two elephants, two chariots and several vehicles, this does not include my terrain efforts on a few new buildings and the tarting up of old ones.
Now what about the future you ask, well my main efforts this year will be building up my SYW forces to the point where I can test out Black Powder and Honours of War to see which of the two rulesets I like best. I may actually use both of these, the former for large battles and the latter for smaller affairs, we will see. I will also need to get terrain to suit, if there is any of the legendary Anderson Map Fortune left after I return from Vietnam then I may commission some 18C buildings, I am still looking for suitable buildings off the shelf just in case I am skint.
I really want to get at the very least some 'linked' games this year, whether Bolt Action or WAC, club or at home, these two periods would lend themselves to this and give some point to
battles. Not that I do not enjoy stand alone battles but it would just
add that cherry on the top. I have several Chain of Command campaign
books which I should use in conjunction with Bolt Action but have not
bothered yet, maybe this year, maybe not as I was not successful this year.
Having had several conversations with friends I am going to attempt to run a 'Grognards Weekend' in April which will be a series of War and Conquest games using armies from the Fall of Rome to 1066, Dark Ages in other words. There will be six of us so not enough to split the period into Ancient and Dark Ages as we can all field or borrow armies from the later period but not Ancients. I am going to shut the PO on the Saturday morning and have two games then one on the Sunday so everyone will get home at a decent time. There may be a possibility this will upset the odd person and may not be seen as best practice by Post Office Limited, but it's my building and anyway, Carnforth is only a short hop away (evil chuckle). There will be six of us, I could push it to eight but that may be something for the future. Matt Smith and I are also toying with the idea of a linked series of Bolt Action games for another weekend at some point covering the Western Desert through Italy and then Normandy (with luck).
I think that about wraps it up with my wish list and plans for next year, I should have all the conversion kits for X-Wing second edition after Christmas so I will be trying that out.
I have now had three people in before 1000 hrs this morning, I was not expecting any to be honest apart from that one card for the other side of the planet which always turns up and now has, but is going nowhere (evil chuckle again). So, coffee and one of Julian's mince pies as a treat in a mo, then settle back and watch some YouTube or NowTV, with hopefully only an odd interruption. See you next year.