Friday, 26 December 2014

2014 - A Wargaming Year in Review

I noticed that a few people started posting year end reviews in 2013 on their Blogs and on various forums, which I found quite interesting, in terms of comparing how much they played, painted etc compared to myself. So over the past year I've been keeping a similar type of list so that at years end I can look back and see how I've done. So without further ado:
Rules Bought:
Hail Caesar
Lion Rampant (complimentary copy) 
Songs of Shadows and Dust 
Songs Arthur and Merlin
Songs of Shakos and Drums
No End In Sight 

Early in the year I bought Hail Caesar and Pike & Shotte so that I could game a wide period of history, but with rules that use the same mechanics. For me this means I don't have to constantly try and remember rules for differenr games, but can concentrate on my tactics and the game. It works for me, but maybe not for others. The 'Songs of' series were bought with the expressed intention of using these as the starting point for a campaign, working on from these small skirmish actions, up through Lion Rampant (in the case of Medieval game) all the way onto to full blown games of Hail Caesar, Black Powder et al.

Gruntz and No End In Sight were not quite sput of the moment purchases, but were bought of the back of some trial games (see below), good AARs on forums and a desire to play something a little different.

Wargaming Books Bought:
Kingdom of Heaven supplement for Clash of Empires (used as reference for my Baltic Crusades project)
Osprey Men-at-Arms series on Scandinavian and Russian Medieval armies (for my Baltic Crusades project)
Warhammer Historical - The Age of Arthur supplement (used for my Dux Bellorum games)
At the Sharp End - CoC campaign supplement (pdf and given a printed and bound copy) 
Programmed Wargames Scenarios by C S Grant
The English Civil War: An Illustrated History 
Sleeping Dragon, Rising Sun, an IHMN supplement
Lots of military history books for WWII and the Hundred Years War

I'm suprised at how many books I have bought this year. The Osprey ones were a birthday present and some of the military history ones for Fathers Day. The others were bought for specific reasons, such as the Baltic Crusades project. I love books and have for as long as I can remember, so I expect that next years list will contain many more purchases.

Games Played:
Dux Bellorum - 2
Blitzkreig Commander II - 4
In Her Majesty's Name - 4
Black Powder - 0
Hail Caesar - 0
Pike&Shotte -1
Chain of Command - 2
KR-16 - 6
Gruntz - 2
Ogre - 1 
Modern Skirmish Beta rules - 1 

Every year I don't feel that I've played that many games, as like buses, they tend to come along all at once. Also the wonderful Summer put pay to many planned solo games. So 23 games is much more than I was expecting, working out at around 2 a month. Many of the games have been solo offerings, as my regular gaming partners have moved away or taken on new jobs which means that their gaming time is limited. Michael of Angel Barracks has provided the most games, with Monday nights becoming a regular get together evening for KR-16, recently including a campaign.

Warbands, Battlegroups or Armies Painted:
BKCII - WWII British Battlegroup
IHMN Orc Company 
BPI Platoon for KR-16
Junkers Platoon and Bullfrog vehicles for KR-16
WWI & Inter-War AFVs for AVBCW Kings German Legion

I'm not suprised that I've painted so little this year. Having a day job as a modelmaker for a design company, often when I get home in the evenings the last thing I want to do is paint toy soldiers. Add in the lovely Summer as mentioned above and I think you have the core reasons for my low productivity. Hopefully next year will be better (see below for details).
Baltic Crusades for Dux Bellorum and/or Hail Caesar
Hundred Years War for Hail Caesar
Operation Epsom Campaign for CoC and BKCII
In Her Majesty's Name "The Tractate Middoth" Campaign.
In Her Majesty's Name - Various Companies
The Great Game for BP and/or BKCII.

I always have lots of projects and ideas on the go, but little time to make them reality. Out of the above, none of them have really taken off the ground, mainly for the reasons given above in the other 'sections'. 

Figures Bought:
Baltic Crusades - Swedish Crusaders (Pendraken)
Baltic Crusades - Republic of Novogorod (Pendraken)
HYW - English (Pendraken)
HYW - French (Pendraken) 
SMER/Heller 1/180 Viking Drakkar Longship (for both Dux Bellorum and the Baltic Crusades)
The Great Game Russians & Afghans (Pendraken)
The Great Game British & Afghans (Pendraken)
1/144th scale planes 
3 x 28mm mdf buildings from Sarissa Precision for use with IHMN 
Woodbine Miniatures Morris Men and Scarecrows for IHMN 
Empress Miniatures Modern British for No End In Sight
Airfix Supacat Jackal and soldiers for No End In Sight 
Ironclad Miniatures Steamtank for IHMN
GW Ork Dreadnoughts for IHMN 
Del Prado train for AVBCW & WWII

I was suprised at how much stuff I have bought this year. Thank God SWMBO doesn't know the full extent of it!!! The Baltic Crusades, HYW and Great Game purchases were for planned projects that have yet to see the light of day. The stuff for IHMN, most of which is assembled but is yet to be painted. The other items have been to flesh out or add detail to existing forces, but are still awaiting my attention.

General End of Year Thoughts.
If nothing else I have found keeping a list a very useful exercise. I played more games than I thought, bought more stuff than I thought and painted less than I thought. So a few points in more detail that help explain this years performance:
  • Gaming Room. Like many gamers I lack a dedicated gaming room. This means that getting games in more often than not revolves around availability of the dining room to lay a game out. Given that it takes me a couple of hours to set up a BKCII game, 2-3 hours of gaming time then an hour to put it away, you can see why it is not always possible to get a game in. Even with say Dux Bellorum, it would take me 3-4 hours start to finish. 
  • Painting Room. I don't have one. When the kitchen is free in the evening then I can set my stuff up. I would love to have my own area but this is not a realistic prospect for the foreseeable future. Despite this I think my job is the main reason for my poor painting output.
  • Too Many Projects. I have far too many on the go. Simple as that. Plus I'm always thinking of new ones or being distracted by projects or shiny new minis on other Blogs, forums etc. 
Plans for 2015.
Having looked realistically at my 2014 performance, the following are my broad objectives for next year:
  • Paint More. Nice and simple but probably the hardest to achieve!
  • Game More. Given that I had, for me, a high number of games this year, this may seem strange. However I want to try and get more linked games or mini-campaigns in, rather than the scatter gun approach of this year. Also to play a wider variety of games. To this end I'm planning on making some painted blocks to allow me game a wide period with only two 'armies'. This will not only allow me to get more games in, but to get to know which units I really need for any given period. Details to follow next year on these.
  • Projects. Try and maintain more focus on a project, rather than my normal stop-start, which is rather annoying. This will tie in nicely with both of the above points.
  • Buy Less. Probably the easiest to achieve (famous last words), given this years purchases and my current lead mountain.
So these are my plans. As of January 1st I will be reducing my working week to only 4 days, due to health and family reasons. This will give me much more time to try and achieve the points outlined above. Only time will tell how I get on but I will be interested to see how things compare this time next year!

1 comment:

  1. Most interesting to see how your year developed Steve, now that we don't see each other very much (which is a great shame, but can't be helped). I hope the 4 day a week thing works out as you hope.

    For me this year has been mostly about Honours of War, so unfortunately BKC and DBA have lost out. But I have no intentions of giving these up. New projects? - you must be joking!

    All the best for 2015!