Where does the time go, and yes it does hurtle past when you get older, my wargaming year is now all but over so it's that time of the year again. As usual my wargaming has had its ups and downs in the past twelve months, I continued for quite a time with my new Seven Year War project and got to the stage where I had enough forces to play a game from the Honours of War rulebook, but I have not managed yet to get that game played. In fact as I look at the serried red and blue ranks in their boxes at the other end of the Post Office I am having to face the hard fact that it may be a complete waste of time and money to continue, I have some 4-5000 ACW fifteens and they manage to see the elephant once every two years at the moment so why did I jump for another huge horse and musket period, no idea apart from it seemed a good idea at the time. If I do go back it will not be until the Spring.
I had got a complete new set of X-Wing stuff from several sources over Christmas, so of course I had to buy another set of plastic markers/rulers, I have managed to play a few games, not as many as I had hoped but the club is going to run a small league next year so I have put my name down, despite being the worst pilot in the galaxy.
I was sidetracked from the SYW by delving back in to WWII, I was desperate to do some campaigning and tried to slot two different rule sets together, it was a botched job, neither one nor the other, not only that I got my head handed to me on a plate as it turned out I was neither George Patton nor Erwin Rommel, more Georgi Zhukov battering away with no finesse. I therefore decided to go back to the campaigns but use them as intended, with Chain of Command, a rule set I was not overly chuffed with up until now. As usual I jumped in with two feet, to make my tables look like the CoC games I needed more buildings, walls, roads and scatter terrain, a small detour while I also got more vehicles which could be chosen for supports, yes you can get away with only a few, but I don't play that way, I had to cover all options even if they never see the light of day.
I used to read the battles between the supporters of one or the other of the big two WWII sets, but having played both they are simply just different, you cannot really put one up against the other they are that different. I can now play both depending what suits on the day.
This year I have drawn quite a bit for Eastern Front histories and had ordered up the Bolt Action Fortress Budapest, I found I could not kick the idea of moving East, I tried to put it aside until 2020, but I was fighting a losing battle, much like the Germans in fact. I found quite a bit on campaigns for the East using Chain of Command and was intrigued with one which was exactly what I was looking for, a German breakout attempt from Konigsberg during the dying embers of WWII. I couldn't resist any longer, I threw myself into getting a Russian force while supporting my Germans with Volkssturm and Hitler Youth, I now have everything required and the campaign will kick off against my son in January. I have acquired a new respect for the Russians while doing research for the troops, uniforms and supports.
I did try a SAGA campaign at the club but after completing, or surviving, the first year I realised it was not my kind of game, I much prefer Dux Britanniarum to SAGA, maybe I will get around to playing it again at some point.
At the club I tried Cruel Seas and Black Seas, much preferring and enjoying the latter, I have also managed a few CoC games recently to learn the rules along with the usual stalwarts of Battlegroup, Muskets & Tomahawks, Black Powder, Star Wars Legion and a few others over the past twelve months. I do owe Rob Martin at the club a big thanks for most of these as he organises some splendid club nights.
Home games still manage to elude me in the main but I did host a War and Conquest weekend back in April which was excellent and Mark Walker came back for a days gaming in September. I used to really enjoy my weekends away playing this but sadly they fell by the wayside for several reasons.
What's in store for 2020, a few things, Chain of Command on the Eastern front for certain, I hope to put some campaigns together myself for this as I have several books arriving after Christmas, be assured I am not building the centre of Berlin, no way. I would like to do some more War and Conquest and get my American Civil War armies out again at some point, I also want to have another look at my terrain and try to improve my battlefields. I have a guided trip to Waterloo in June with my friend Billy which I am really looking forward to and a possible visit from mate Matt Smith of The Wargames Table.
Now and again I look at all my stuff which now surrounds the walls of the Post Office having outgrown my study, and wonder if it is all worth it as many of the boxes have thick dust on them. I then think of the enjoyment this hobby has brought me for around fifty years, flash up the computer and order more.
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.