In the closing days of the year its time to reflect upon the last 12 months of gaming and modelling. I'll review against "the plan" on the 31st, instead this os more of a general look a how the year has been
I set off with high hopes of getting in more games this year. For various reasons, family issues and other things, that didn't really happen. I didn't get down to the Berkeley Vale club anywhere near as often as I'd hoped, although when I did it was always for a cracking game with some very dear friends. We managed to get the Sudan campaign up and running, Mark developed and ran his excellent Chariots variant of "Wings of War", and my "Far Distant Ships" Napoleonic fleet action rules had a decent run out in a refight of Kamperduin. And in the dying days of the year I've been back to "Liberdy", the BV western gunfight town. Always good for a laugh, and the last time made all the more enjoyable because of the Steve/Rodger "dynamite" incident (Steve's reaction was priceless). I can hear the cries of "move on" now.....
"Steve Irwin" and attendant RIBs deploy against Japanese whaling ships in my INaWaD game for this year
I've run a very few games at home (apart from playtesting), Denmark Strait on the anniversary, some 1940s Mediterranean games, Sunda Strait and "Save the Whales" as my game for INaWaD 2019 being the most enjoyable. I had intended August to be the month of games (following a month or modelling) but it never really happened. Note to self - more home games please!
I had a few rather good trips out to gaming events and shows. April saw my "Stingray" game at Salute, and then again at Colours in September. Fun days both, although Salute was extremely tiring. Stuart and I did have a fun chat with a fish and chip shop owner and his mum about the game's source material the night before in Canning Town - top chips as well! I was back at Thornbury for the IPMS show with the Wings of Glory Aerodrome - won "best participation game" again. I'm thinking "Cod War" for 2020. And I had a lovely weekend in Doncaster for the Wings/Sails of Glory annual get together at the air museum. This is always a very happy weekend, meeting friends from across Europe, and this year I actually did quite well (I came top in the naval side of the event and third overall in the rankings). lat but not least, the Naval Wargames Weekend at Yeovilton. Again, a very enjoyable couple of days at the air museum with "Stingray" on day 1, and day 2 spent as a player rather than an umpire for a change, driving ironclads around the Adriatic before raiding the medieval East Coast with a bunch of Viking raiders.
So I finally managed to get "Narrow Seas" published - over a decade in the making but they have done well and developed a decent fan base. I have plans for these for next year, details later. "Find, Fix and Strike" also hit the streets in the Summer, again they have done well and I've had fun with them playing through a number of WW2 Mediterranean actions.
I've had fun working with soem other people's rules - Black Seas in particular where I got involved in the final stages of development. I'd like to think he changes I proposed (many of which were adopted) have made the game a better representation of AoS warfare than it was, and my suggestions to Warlord on scales and selection of parts for the plastic kits landed very well.
Also on the Warlord front - "Cruel Seas" arrived at the end of last year (and incidentally prompted the delay in gatting "Narrow Seas" out), a set of rules with a few "issues", I had fun developing some variants which seem to have gone down well. The arrival of CS did, however, prompt a number of 3D modellers to generate some lovely models which I have printed and adapted - more on this later.
Waiting in the wings is "Project X" - all done now bar the formatting. Just need the models sorted....
This year's "big thing" was my 3D printer. I went for an Anycubic Photon resin printer. It can be a bit tricky to set up, the post printing work gets a bit messy with isopropyl alcohol baths for the models but the results are gorgeous. I've printed out all sorts of things from spacecraft to tanks to skirmish figures to buildings to ships, and I've lost count how many.
Cylon raiders - one of my favourite types of sci fi space fighter.
These three popped of the printer over the summer
Another iconic trio of spacecraft, again courtesy of the Photon
As an example, I printed out a 1/300 sci fi army of 50+ vehicles plus a moon base in a weekend, a few flotillas of Italian MS, MAS, trawlers and minesweepers in 1/600, Finnish, Romanian and Bulgarian 1/600 fleets, bits and pieces for Gaslands, a load of space fighters for Battlestar Galactica and X Wing, Klingon, Federation and Cardassian ships for "Full Thrust / Engage" (not to mention a swarm of Jem Hadar ships which I really must finish), some lovely 15mm technicals and loads of terrain pieces. I am VERY happy with the results, one of the best purchases I've made in wargaming.
On the more traditional front my 15mm Winter Skirmish collection has grown slightly with some new SdKfz 251s (Zvezda sneaked out a Nvelwerfer model that builds up nicely , and I grabbed a "Mobelwagen" at Reveille). But plans for a revamp of my 1/200 Vietnam figure collection stalled, as did my plans for some medieval "camp follower"/DBA camp vignettes - figures bought, but not painted and assembled yet (maybe these are early candidates for 2020, after the current batch of 3D prints are finished?)
So, in summary. A very good gatting for modelling and working on rules, not so great on games, but a fun and very enjoyable year of wargaming nonetheless.