And so another year is over, and what a year. Way back in January 2010 I expected the coming year to be rather quiet. How wrong I was! Life got interesting on March 26th, the following month I was trapped in Helsinki by the Icelandic ash cloud fiasco, which then had me on an epic 4 day trek by trains, icebreakers, train ferries, overnight bus trips through the wilds of Sweden and a joyous return to Blighty (almost screwed up by Eurostar), and an encounter with many comedy Germans, following which I deployed for a fascinating month long special project on the Korean Peninsula which included a visit to the DMZ and an encounter with some comedy North Koreans. I must say, the DMZ was an incredibly surreal place to visit and gave me an impression as to what the Inner German Border must have been like. Still, I did get to visit the world’s most dangerous golf course, sit in the same chair as President Bush AND see the world’s tallest flag pole! As well as seeing my first Turtle Ship. And the fun didn’t stop there, as June saw me in New York working at the UN (unfortunately I was not able to achieve world peace!) Life did calm down a bit afterwards but I still managed to get away to Spain for a well-earned spot of R&R followed by several trips to sea and a series of meetings in Quebec City (one of the loveliest cities I’ve ever visited).
Back on topic, and on the wargaming front, I’ve actually managed to get some painting AND gaming in. The Sudan project launched in a big way and, although recently stalled, is about to kick off again. 20mm WW2 has made a reappearance to the Manley household with Laura’s alt-WW2 project on the go, and that has brought back lots of nostalgic feelings as I build and paint kits that I first made 30-odd years ago! Naval wargaming hasn’t been forgotten. Although not reported on this blog I’ve been busy developing a medieval naval collection and developed what I think are some decent tactical, fleet level and campaign rules, and I’ve been doing the same for Asian naval battles as well (turtle ships, Chinese and Japanese ships – if only someone did a range of models!) My 1/600 ACW collection has grown slowly but surely, and i have been picking up odds and sods in 1/1200 and 1/700 for my “Bulldogs Away” modern naval FAC rules (one day I will finally decide what scale I prefer – just not yet!)
In the air, Wings of War has taken my fancy with an ever-expanding collection of out-of-the-box models and repaints, plus some Skytrex kits. The HP 0/100 is nearly finished – I just need to find some decent decals for the wing roundels. Hopefully the release of Air War 1918 will spur more activity in this area J
As far as games are concerned – yes, I have played a fair few. As well as games played in the development the Medieval naval and Sudan colonial rules (and tanks to Mr. Blease for helping with that) I’ve had a few trips to join the Abbey Wood Irregulars at their monthly Frome meetings – two VBCW games (which have inspired some thoughts on developing my 15mm Spanish Civil War collection) and a Wings of War fest, a 15mm Flames of War game at Triple Helix Games in Westbury (lovely shop, lovely people), a weekend of 1/600 ACW fun with Stuart barnes Watson and a pre-dreadnought naval campaign fought over a weekend with Peter Colbeck and his mates, in which the fledgling US Navy of 1900 very nearly gave the Royal Navy a bloody nose.
Of course I couldn't finish without mentioning the kittens. Laura has dubbed then the "Sudan Kitties", given their desert camouflage and annoying habit of launching themselves onbto the table whenever the Mahdi makes an appearance! at the moment this isn't a problem, but since Mitch is half Maine Coone and therefore likely to grow up to be the size of a house I predict trouble ahead!
So, all in all a much busier year than I had expected. And the good news is that the wargames room has more or less survived and is still operational for 2011. OK, it needs a clear out, but the table is clear and, with luck, Billy Hicks and his Egyptians will be sorting out the Mahdi sometime tomorrow evening (New Year celebration recovery permitting!)