January 04, 2014

2013 in retrospect

Start of another year – perfect time to take a moment, look back and take stock of the year that passed.

I must admit that the content added to this blog over the last twelve months reflects quite accurately what was going on in my wargaming ‘life’ in 2013 – not all that much. My resurgence of interest in modelling hobby meant that a lot of time that previously would have been dedicated to painting figures and making new terrain was diverged to putting together plastic aircraft models and having fun with the airbrush. In a sense, my return to this introvert cousin of tabletop wargaming reflects rather depressing  trend in ‘wargaming’ scene available to me in this dark geographical corner of our hobby – with each passing year, fewer and fewer of my friends remain genuinely interested. Therefore, it’s getting harder and harder to put together a game with more than two participants. This fact is also reflected in both the number and type of games I’ve had opportunity to enjoy in 2013 – with the exception of Shiloh scenario that I put together last month, vast majority of the games were small affairs, skirmishes and tentative ruleset tests.

Highlights of 2013? In individual game terms, definitely the Shiloh Church scenario – as already observed, it doesn’t have very much competition in respect of ‘meatiness’. But I think that the real ‘winner’ of 2013 is ‘Dux Britanniarum’ and the campaign that’s still ongoing between me and H. Had it not been for H.’s prolonged absence from wargaming, enforced on him by circumstances beyond his control, I am pretty sure that reports of our ‘Dux Britanniarum’ games would be the main feature of 2013 on this blog.

Another campaign, based on scenario booklet ‘Raid on St. Michel’ is still fighting to get of the ground. L. is not convinced that ‘Black Powder’ is the best ruleset for games with limited number of regiments, and so the curse of the eternal search for ‘Holy Grail’ may have sunk yet another project before it even got an honest chance. Suck…

Over the course of the year, I’ve also had opportunity to test a couple of currently popular rulesets. The ad hoc test of ‘Impetus’ with H. gave me a taste for more and woke again my hope that I my by now rather substantial Greek hoplite 15mm army will at last have opportunity to prove itself in a game!

My first taste of ‘Black Powder’ didn’t immediately win me over, but I do recognize the appeal its of easy-going and ‘loose’ format.

Another of Warlord Games offerings previously unfamiliar to me – ‘Bolt Action’ – did make a much deeper impact on me. As a result of the test game with that ruleset, I even even dug up my 20mm Yanks and late WWII Germans that  have been stashed away in their boxes ever since my ‘Arc Of Fire’ Normandy project failed to get of the ground all those years ago. I wouldn’t be surprised if those minis will have their ‘Bolt Action’-day on my table top in not too distant future.

OK, so what’s the painting tally for 2013? Ah yes… with all these plastic model kits lately claiming majority of the my leisure time, the output on that front can hardly be regarded as impressive. 9 cows, couple of buildings and odd terrain bits and pieces is all I can list in new additions section for 28mm department. My 15mm ancient Greeks received reinforcements in form of second 32 figures unit of Spartans, hurray for them. My 6mm Confederates  took the most substantial part of 2013 year’s painting effort – five or six regiments, shedload of skirmishers and ridiculous amount of artillery pieces, all in all perhaps 200+ new minis.

My most focused effort on a new project of 2013 – fielding adequate forces for ‘Charile Don’t Surf’ from Too Fat Lardies – has so far generated a full U.S. infantry company (67 figures) and an embryo of 7 figures for VC Local Force. Work on that project continues and I hope to be able to put together first scenario in a couple of months.

So what about 2014? Well… at the moment I believe that this year will be spent under a sign of consolidation. Vietnam project remains my main priority. Next in the pipeline? If ‘Bolt Action’ gains my favour, some of those still unpainted 20mm WWII figures may find their way onto my painting table and I would also have to start working on some additional terrain features. Meters and meters of boccage again, oh my… Also, I haven’t forgotten about my Napoleonic project – literally thousands of 6mm minis are waiting for my attention and the French did suffer from complete lack of cavalry in that January clash at Ekmuhl. Last, but not least, I would like to be able to play ‘Dux’ at my convenience, so a ‘quick’ recruitment of suitable Saxon force isn’t entirely out of the question.

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