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.

Friday, 29 December 2017

Onward, ever onward...

...but keeping one eye at least on the past year! As the old year draws inexorably towards its close I, like many other Bloggers, like to look back at the year’s hobby activity and hopefully forward to the coming year’s expectations. As my blog is in its seventh year now I’m sure that my regular reader will know exactly the sort of thing to expect so, without more blathering away, here we go! In a year’s hobby activity somewhat constrained by real life issues, on my part and on others, I managed to play a total of 59 games, a very pleasing total given the last three months of the year! They were mostly with Phil and Jon of course, although Kevin came down from Aberdeen for a weekend and John came up from Cheltenham, while new GHQ Irregular Brian played his first games too. I hope to welcome them all back  to GHQ in 2018. Of these games I won 26; 10 were drawn; 2 had no result due to circumstances; and finally, I lost 21. As usual a pretty average year of gaming if you go solely by results. For me though, and I hope for many of my fellow gamers, the result of a game matters little, rather the friendship, fun and learning matter far more. I hope those factors will continue to be to the fore as we head into 2018 and beyond.

One game does stand out though, even though I suffered a very public defeat, and that was the Wars of the French Revolution game played with Colin Ashton and Duncan Macfarlane at Wargames Illustrated HQ in Nottingham. It was an opportunity to see my armies and Colin’s on what for me was a big table. It was a memorable two days and was followed up when our joint article describing the game and its genesis, accompanied by many photos taken over the two days, appeared in Wargames Illustrated later in the year. On a personal note, I received a framed print of the first two pages of the article as a surprise Christmas gift from Dan and it now hangs proudly in GHQ. Another memorable event was another visit by Dan to take photos of my VBCW collections to accompany a piece I had written on researching your local history and twisting it for a VBCW campaign, in my case set in Wolverhapton and South Staffordshire.


I hope readers will recall that I started out the year determined to start no new periods and to devote my painting time and effort to expanding existing games here in GHQ.  I managed to stick to that
resolution, probably the first I have managed to keep in my entire life! I painted 691 figures over the year, all in 28mm, and for a number of the games we play. I expanded the Wars of the French Revolution forces and the VBCW/1940 forces mostly, but added to others along the way, notably in the SYW, the ACW and the AWI. Waiting in the painting queue patiently for there moment in the sun are AWI units for both the Crown and the Rebels; BEF and Wehrmacht Infantry for 1940 games; a new Brigade of three Union Regiments for the ACW; a 4.5” Howitzer for the VBCW, when I sort out some gunners; and finally, some additions to the Wars of the French Revolution cavalry in the shape of French Dragoons, Scots Greys and Hussars De Beon. Should keep me busy I think, don’t you?

One of the aspects of our hobby I still enjoy is visiting wargames shows and events to meet friends, see wonderful and inspiring games, look at the new and shiny products just released and, of course, buy some new toys, even though I probably don’t need anything new, ever again if I’m honest with myself. My ‘Visit Year’ runs from the Table Top Sale in Penkridge in the first week of January to the Wargamer Show in Halesowen in the first week of December. Along the way I took in ROBIN, a new show in Nottingham; WMMS in Wolverhampton; Carronade in Falkirk; Partizan in Newark; Barrage in Stafford; Claymore in Edinburgh; and Derby Worlds, in Leicestershire. Of these, I shall continue to support the Penkridge TT Sale, mostly because it’s just up the road, Barrage as again it’s local, and Wargamer because it usually has good games and I see some good friends just before Christmas. ROBIN I shall give a miss next year as it wasn’t worth the journey. WMMS is a mile from our home, so even if I wasn’t emotionally attached to it as a former organiser I would still support the event. Partizan is a given unless circumstances intervene as they did in August this year. Our trip to Carronade with Phil and Di is an annual event now, though next year we hope to stay nearer Glasgow for a change. Claymore similarly has become a long weekend stay for Sue and I as well as a chance to catch up with friends from Aberdeen. That leaves Derby Worlds, now a longer trip from home, which could well fall from the calendar next year. Of course, any of these could fall foul of my hip replacement, which I’m told I now need, but we shall see. As well as attending the above events I enjoyed the occasional visit over to the Lead Belt, mainly to Wargames Foundry in East Stoke, but also to Dan at WI HQ, Arcane, Warlord Games and my chum Duncan of Trent Miniatures.

Turning to the coming year, none of us know what it will hold, in hobby or wider life terms. As I said, I expect I shall have a hip replacement at some time in mid year, NHS permitting of course. That may change all my hopes and expectations hobby wise, but will be good for my mobility and whole lifestyle really. I shall just go along with the flow there. One thing I do hope for though is the continued support and understanding of my wife Sue, my family and my friends as together we travel life’s pathway, of which this wonderful hobby of ours is just a part.

A HAPPY, PEACEFUL AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR TO ALL,

23 comments:

  1. A very productive year with a lot of games. Really a wargamers nirvana, well done.

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    1. Thank you, Robbie. I hope that 2018 will be even better for all of us.

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  2. Sounds a really good year, well done for sticking to your plan! As one of the organisers of Carronade thanks for supporting the show and hope you can make it again in 2018 - hip replacement permitting of course.

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    1. If I miss Carronade I shall be sad, but as someone once famously said,”I shall return!”

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  3. Looking forward to more excellent pieces in 2018.

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    1. I shall do my best not to disappoint George, I may even have a surprise or two...

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  4. A truly excellent year David. You played more games than I did and actually painted more figures as well, mainly as I cheat and have an occasional army of painting elves in the attic. The FRW game at WI in the summer was the high point of a very full year for me as well and health and other stuff permitting I’m looking forward to the 2018 Bick-Ash Bash. Happy anew Year to you and Sue.

    Colin

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    1. I too make use of my own Debbie, though in a limited way so far. I hope our 2018 SYW Bic-Ash Bash will be as successful and enjoyable as this year’s was!

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    2. Dobbie not Debbie! Blasted autocorrect again!

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  5. Damn good year I'd say... still enjoying your Good Dusting rules down here in the "sarf"... best wishes for a trouble free op and a quick recovery...

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    1. I’m always pleased to hear from satisfied users Steve, so thanks! On all counts.

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  6. Excellent stuff Mr B. A productive year on all fronts.....I hope 2018 brings you much joy, I will continue to watch with interest and admiration. Will hopefully meet up some time 🙂 Matt

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    1. Thanks Matt! We are hoping to visit your local show this coming year. See you there if not elsewhere.

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  7. A very fine and productive year David and looking forward to seeing what rolls out in 2018!

    Christopher

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement over the year Christopher.

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  8. Sounds like you've had a great year! Good luck with the hip and keep it up!
    Best Iain

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    1. Thank you for the good wishes Iain.

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  9. Absolutely brilliant! Always look forward clicking on a Tales From GHQ post when a new one pops up in the read list :) Looking forward to 2018!

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    1. Thank you Ivor. It’s nice to know folk enjoy reading about what we get up to here.

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  10. Quite a productive year all told, despite life's bag of spanners in the mix.

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    1. You are right about the bag of spanner’s, that’s true! I also forgot all about the Hovels NE European Town I created for the FRW. Old Age perhaps?

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  11. A busy and productive year David...
    I don’t know how you did it... there are so many shiny new things to play with I have only just got my butterfly under control .

    All the best. Aly

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    1. It was always a struggle, especially at shows or at Foundry, but I was determined to stick to the plan. Now it’s a new year and perhaps a new plan...

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