It's that time of year again, this time a look back over what has been a dreadful year, no beating about the bush here, a year which has destroyed in me the last thin thread of respect I had left for government, politicians and all sorts of other establishment institutions and downright madmen (and women Reg) bent on destroying everything I hold dear.
That's the bad stuff out of the way what about my year in wargaming. Before the plague hit us I was doing really well with games at the club covering quite a few period and also managing regular War and Conquest games with my son, I also managed a large Napoleonic battle in Grange-over-Sands which proved very exciting despite playing with reduced lighting in the large room. As we came under increasing house arrest I turned to Solo gaming like a great many of us, I kicked this off with a couple of Naval campaigns with club members and mate Matt, I then moved on to WWII and Chain of Command and ran several small campaigns set on the Eastern Front and North West Europe, at this point I was doing more wargaming than I did when things were normal. I managed to keep up this roller coaster until just before Christmas albeit my enthusiasm hit a bump when we went into our second lockdown.
In between my games I worked on terrain, I got extra dacha's for the Eastern Front and completed an Industrial complex for the Road to Bremen mini campaign and from out of the blue I decided I needed a ruined city for 'Berlin' games. This was a large project and was supposed to be my winter/covid time waster but I finished it in about three weeks, yes I still have the odds and ends to add for improving the look but the main work has all been done, I was very chuffed with this and want to spend more time fighting on it (when I get the chance).
I also added quite a lot of vehicles to my WWII collections and have finished off the year with even more with five sitting waiting for their paint job, the kits are mainly for late war on the Eastern Front, most of the German stuff can also be found in the West from Normandy on. More wee sojers also made it into my collections, no new periods but new recruits for some of what I have, full platoons of Volksgrenadiers and British Airborne along with civilians, Hitler Youth and Volksturm for end of the Reich scenarios. I also added several more infantry battalions to my Seven Years War troops and still have two lying in wait for the brush, although I thoroughly enjoy the battles with Honours of War, I managed one with Rob before we locked down, I need more to keep my enthusiasm up.
I do not go to many shows in a year and thankfully I made Vapnartak back in February as I took £5 and was determined to spend it all, in the event I spent several more fivers. I was going to go back to Partizan despite the drive as I enjoyed it in 2019, but obviously that did not happen and Vapnartak has already been cancelled for 2021. Perhaps Partizan will manage to open but right now I sincerely doubt that. Yes, I am a miserable old Scotsman.
So, what about the New Year, already a couple of days old. I do not have any large projects in mind although now that 'Berlin' is done I do wonder about a beach assault table, another mat, some pillboxes and defences etc., doesn't seem like a lot of hassle, but for now it is way at the back of my mind. I will probably add a few more battalions to the SYW collection but not in the numbers I had envisaged when I started them. I am still in thrall to WWII and am contemplating a possible move to Early War in the West with French and Germans while at the same time I might open up my Eastern Front to take in Barbarossa and the summer offensive of 1942.
Drabant Miniatures from Russia have a growing collection of Byzantine figures which are simply lovely. Many, many years ago I saw a photo of some Byzantine cavalry in a wargaming book by Phil Barker, I had no clue who the Byzantines were and it started off an interest which culminated in a visit to Constantinople, ever since I have wanted a Byzantine army. My problem was that I did not want a Belisarian period army despite my admiration for the man himself but a later one, I have not managed to tie the manufacturer down to which period he is making his figures for but they are later than Belisarius. I know it would be foolish for me to build yet another ancient army but if the cavalry look as good as the infantry I may not be able to help myself.
So after all that what is my priority for 2021, it is simple, to play games with other people face to face, the rest is merely wishful thinking.
I really do wish you all a happier New Year.