Happy New Year to all my visitors, both old and new!
2018 was quite a year for me, with plenty of major changes in my life. In September I was made redundant after seventeen years with the same company. A nice pay-off meant that I didn’t really need to find a job very quickly, but the latest news is that I start a new role next Monday, Jan 7th: about a week after the end of my gardening leave. That means that I have had a rather pleasant, just about four months not working, which has meant plenty of time for wargaming!
I also switched from one martial arts association to another, so after 35 years studying one sort of jujitsu, I’m now (along with my wing chun kung fu) studying another, along with the six traditional Japanese weapons: sword, ‘chucks, bo, sai, tonfa, kama.
This meant wearing a white belt again for the first time in some twenty-five years, and standing way at the back of the class with a bunch of strangers rather than out at the front with loads of people I know: an interesting experience. I’m pleased to say those strangers are now friends, and I’m currently standing in the middle of the class, rapidly moving towards the front again!
All this training means that I’ve never been part of a regular wargaming club (there are only so many evenings and weekends you can be out and remain married and a father!) so have some years only managed an average of one game a month. Redundancy, however, has mean that this year I have had more wargames than any other since my records began. Most have been I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum! or one of its variants (especially Arab-Israeli) or one of the other company-sized games from the TooFatLardies (Charlie Don’t Surf, Quadrant 13), but I have recently got back into Ancients playing To The Strongest, rather than my own Vis Bellica, which definitely needs a new edition and a lot of love.
Redundancy also meant I had plenty of time to paint figures, and my score in this year’s Painting Challenge reflects that: 1,859 versus my previous best of 1,219. These have been mostly sci-fi for Quadrant 13 or Arab-Israeli, but the last couple of months have seen a sudden influx of Ancients, and there is also a steady trickle of WW2 kit as well.
The time off meant that, before the Ancients fix took hold of me, I could make a sizeable dent in my lead mountain, which seemed to have accumulated vast amounts of sci-fi armies: major forces for the Astagar, Hive, Invaders and Space Dwarves have all been completed.
2018 was also a big year for my wargaming writing. The major project for the Jan-May period was the preparation and publication of the four Blitzkrieg in the West theatre supplements for IABSM. This was a major project that took over my life for about six months. It was really fun to do, even if a bit frustrating at times: the exact composition of some of the Belgian and Dutch units especially. Big Rich and I scratched our heads many times on those ones. And, one day, I will find out how the squadrons of 3RTR rolled off the docks at Calais!
If you do game the early war period, I cannot but recommend these. I’m still referring back to them myself on a regular basis, and regularly come across a little snippet of information that I’d forgotten that I’d found out. Or I see a query about unit composition on a wargaming website and think “well, that’s in the French theatre book” and wonder whether or not to answer the query or just put a link to the TFL shop!
The cover pics below, btw, do all link to the shop…
The Year Ahead
So what will 2019 bring wargaming-wise?
Well I’m not making any resolutions, as this is supposed to be fun not a chore, but what I am hoping for is:
Plenty more games, focusing on I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum! and To The Strongest
Getting all my Ancients armies up to To The Strongest strengths, and then adding a couple of new ones
Photographing my entire collection with my new camera
Writing another theatre supplement for IABSM to follow on from the four Blitzkrieg in the West editions.
Seeing the Painting Challenge continue for its sixth year
And, of course, keeping this blog updated on a regular, if not daily, basis
Your AAR concerning the company-sized games from the TooFatLardies (IABSM, CDS, Q13) are vital content for this blog (and the enormous archive of battle reports the site contains: some 500+ now) so do keep sending them in.
Otherwise, I wish you all the very best in 2019.
Check back soon.