The last eight weeks have been really strange for me, and, I suspect for my family and friends ~ both material and cyber varieties included. Only one game has been attempted ~ a First Carlist War game which Phil laid on for me over at Olaf's HQ, even moving the figures for me ~ while I sat in glorious isolation from the table on a sofa with my leg elevated! I even managed to win what proved to be a shorter game than we had envisaged as, for once, the dice gods favoured my cause! No games at all attempted in GHQ of course... Have I missed the games? Well, if I'm truthful not as much as I thought I would. What I have missed is the friendly companionship of my opponents: Phil, Jon, John and Charles, you have been missed more than you might think.
It has given me time to pause and reflect on our wonderful hobby though. Primarily it has lead to me reappraising what I want from this all and where I see it going for me in future. I think I can safely say there will be no more projects weaving their way over a couple of years while I steadily paint up both armies in 28mm. Somehow it seems to have lost its appeal... Instead I have determined on a number of smaller projects, as regards painting and terrain making at least. To that end I've been steadily acquiring figures, buildings and terrain accesories for 2013, which I have designated my 'Year of being Japanese'!
So far I have assembled two Samurai forces of about 50 figures a side, mainly from Museum Miniatures, supplemented by some Perry Miniatures Town and Village People and a pack of Ninjas. For buildings I've used the John Jenkins Designs offerings, which I sourced from Hong Kong and from Norfolk! I have a wall set together with a temple, samurai house and village house. From Grand Manner I obtained a Tori gate and from James at Oshiro a number of small items to bring the scene to life ~ lanterns, casks and the like ~ to which I shall be adding a Zen Garden at some stage. All of these firms and folk provided exemplory service, so I could recommend them with a clear conscience!
To supplement this venture, and remain on the Japanese theme, I've aso been acquiring World War Two items for a Burma setting: Chindits from Warlord will tussle with their Japanese foe from the same company, the latter designed by my son Matthew, supplemented by some fine figures provided by Brigade Games. I've also acquired a Grant tank from Colonel Bill's and plan a Japanese tank from the Warlord range later in the year. I may add figures to this project in 2013, when I see how it plays out with Bolt Action rules which I bought at the Other Partizan. For terrain I already have a heap of jungle bases and so I've merely added the Architects of War 'Pacific Village' to the pile. This set gives you two substantial village house and three scenic items to bring it to life.
I may even branch out beyond this by extending my Sherlock Holmes game collection even further. There a few Foundry Victorian packs I might look for over the year. I may also venture towards Mars in this context.... But, for now, I have to finish my fourth ECW Foote unit, Robinson's White Coats, which I hope to manage in November. That will leave me December for building the 'Trinity Grand Hotel' from Battle Flag and painting up another Dixon ACW Reb unit. So, KBO* is the order of the day!
* KBO ~ Attributed to Winston Churchill, 'Keep Buggering On' ~ keeping at the task in hand despite fequent set backs!