David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occassional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Time Like An Ever Rolling Stream...

Well, we all know how that goes I think. So here we are at the fag end of another year here in GHQ, though more properly I've only been in the 'new GHQ' for seven months, but I won;t quibble over details if you won't. The Blog itself is a little over four years old now and seems to be a tad more popular as regards visitors than in days gone by. Which fact leads me on to my first point neatly. Why would anyone really be interested in what we get up to here in GHQ? Or what I'm buying, painting, reading and so on? Must admit it beats me really, but while folk continue to drop by, and some even to contribute the odd comment, I'll carry on for now. But, just as real life can often deal you a knock to your self esteem, so can blogging I've found. Just a week ago I noticed I had gained 199' Followers' to the cause and began to wonder if I'd make 200 for the year's end. Fast forward 24 hours and I'd lost three 'Followers'. I wonder what I did to upset them? Well, I guess I'll never know now...
The first half of the year was dominated for me by two things really: a wonderful holiday with Sue to Hong Kong and New Zealand in February and March, despite my missing Dubai on the homeward leg with a bad case of Gastro enteritis which kept me in Christchurch for an extra week; and in April by the birth of Reuben, our third grandson. Both reduced the time spent on the hobby of course, but I noted earlier that I still managed to play games and paint figures, although I acquired less for the lead pimple than I would in another year. The latter months of the year have been rather more typical of day to day life here in GHQ. I have acquired, and in some cases painted, more figures for my ongoing projects. Mostly these were 28mm Trent Miniatures for my Wars of the French Revolution project, supported by some from Front Rank and from Foundry, and for my Late Roman armies more Foundry figures. In fact, the Lead Pimple is now at its smallest for a considerable time: one unit of Saxon Mailed warriors for the Late Romans; one Austrian and one British infantry unit for the Revolution; two ACW infantry units and one cavalry unit; some command vignettes for the Revolution; and finally some Omnibus passengers for the Victorian setting of The Great Detective. Also, for the first time in living memory I don't have any concrete plans for a new venture for the new year...
So, to 2015's output. Somehow I've lost my painting figures for January to June, but in the latter half of the year I painted exactly 350 figures and I guess the first half would have been less given the above events. All of these would be 28mm figures, mostly for the Revolution and Late Romans, but I did paint a fourth 1914 British Infantry regiment as well. In terms of games I managed to play 52, one a week! Of those I won 21, drew 11 and lost 20 and thus maintained my average persona! But really, who cares? Much more important to me were the times spent with my family and friends, sharing their lives and company and with the latter our wonderful hobby.
I managed to attend a few shows in the year too after a slow start: both Partizans{not sad to see the move to a modern venue though}; Carronade in Falkirk and Claymore in Edinburgh {both of which I recommend to you}; Derby Worlds; and lastly, Wargamer. We decide to give Salute a miss and I fully expect that to be the case in 2016! A vastly over rated show in my opinion; soulless and full of sci-fi and fantasy tatt! {Sorry if that upsets any Gnome fiddlers amongst you!}
Where to in the New Year then? No new projects on the blocks, no adventurous holidays on the horizon, no new terrain items in the pipeline. More of the same then: plod on with painting what's left in the 'Pimple', trusting that my eye and hand will cooperate of course; spend time with my chums; and play some decent games, perhaps even win a few here and there again. I find that I'm not depressed by this though: as my late father used to say when I asked him how he was, "I woke up this morning!" A sentiment I find I understand more as each year goes by...
Finally a few random thoughts for your entertainment. Painting first: forget the malign painting fascists if you're not one. Your block painted, pink blobbed and dipped chaps will still knock the stuffing out of collectors' standard armies if the dice gods will it. We do this for our own pleasure and the game's the thing for me! The 'look of the game' next: nicely worked bases, large colourful flags where appropriate and fine scenery will more than make the game. The figures on the table are little more than coloured markers when you survey your battlefield. Then: 'playing the game' not the rules, who cares about the result? These are toys in a game with friends. Much more important than winning or loosing, the time spent with like minded friends is never wasted. Lastly, tolerance of others in the hobby would be a good new year resolution for many out there if they don't mind me saying so. So, in the end not withstanding that final comment ~
A Happy New Year to You ALL


14 comments:

  1. Not a bad year on the hobby front when you look at it, although some months have been a tad lean at times. Strange the follower thing, I was at 149 wondering if I would hit 150, then dropped to 147 about the same time yours dropped, noticed I was back up to 148 today though. Here's to a splendid 2016 old chum.

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    1. Not a bad year indeed! See you on Monday for our first tussle of 2016!

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  2. Hi David:
    There is a lot of wisdom in this post. I too have worried about numbers of followers and comments, and have been tempted to compare myself unfavourably to other bloggers. Then I remind myself that this is a community and I have made so many friendships doing this - that's what counts. I also think what you say about figures and painting is wise - we paint for ourselves, really, and if we game with people who are critical, then we are gaming with the wrong people.
    Wishing you all the best in the year to come.
    Michael

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    1. Thanks for the comments, Michael! Glad I'm not alone in thinking this way.

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  3. The numbers of followers is meaningless. The losses could equate to people who have closed accounts altogether. A few of the followers may be dormant, or may not even have read the post.

    'Hits' is the most reliable weathervane and even that's not perfect.

    Blog for your own satisfaction and all the above no longer matters... the same could also be true of wargaming too!

    I agree with you though on the last part; tolerance and acceptance of others (even faerie fanciers) should be encouraged within the hobby.

    Happy New Year!

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    1. Hi Jim! You may be right, but tolerance of Faerie Fanciers, well that might just be too much...

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  4. Well said that man, all the best for 2016 to you and yours David. Your out put for 2015 even if a bit thin in parts knocks mine into a cocked hat. You never know you might see me out and about a bit more in 2016, fingers crossed.

    All the best

    Airhead

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    1. Thanks for your good wishes AH, let's hope 2016 is kind to us all!

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  5. Very well said David and I couldn't agree more with your wargames ethos. Exactly the same as mine.

    Here's to a happy, healthy, enjoyable and productive 2016!

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    1. Pleasing to know I'm not some sort of crank in our hobby! Happy New Year Colin!

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  6. Very nicely put David! Wishing you all the best for 2016! Oh btw your painting output was quite good in my book!

    Christopher

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    1. Thanks Christopher! Happy New Year to you too!

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  7. I enjoy reading about those very things at GHQ you mention in your first point as well as Phil's complementary News from the Front.

    All the best for 2016 to you and yours David.

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  8. Nice to know you enjoy our efforts William! Good wishes for 2016!

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