David Bickley's Wargames Blog

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

Friday 30 December 2011

Looking Both Ways at Once...

As this Blog has taken over from my old Freewebs site of the same name I thought I'd enter into the spirit of blogging more fully and write about 2011's highs and lows and also look forward to whatever 2012's gaming and painting opportunities might be...
High spots of the year really have nothing to do with wargaming at all: both our son and our daughter chose to get married this year; Matt to Sarah in May and Ruth to Craig in September. On these two counts alone 2011 was an outstanding year. A poor third to these was our holiday to Hong Kong, all over Australia and back via Singapore. Again, memories of this wonderful holiday will remain strong I hope in the coming years. Now turning to gaming where shall I begin?
Well, obviously with Phil, my life long friend and regular wargaming opponent. Without his imput GHQ and our games would be a poorer place. But with an honourable mention too for my other GHQ Gaming chums: Jon White; John Aston; Kevin Calder and Dave Paddock. All enrich games here by their enthusiasm and friendship ~ and, they don't gloat too much when they win! Which is more often than I'd like really, as my record for 2011 shows 70 games played; of which I Won 29, Drew 8, but Lost 33! Pretty average really I'd say. Other highlights include the publication by Wargames Foundry of my ACW rules, "Bull Run to Gettysburg" The ACW has been a life long interest of mine, so it was a no brainer when I had the opportunity to write the rules for Foundry.
I also completed my armies for the Indian Mutiny this year and published my own rules for the period, " The Devil's Wind "

2011 also saw two attempts at scratchbuilt terrain, my first for a good time. You can see why from the following pictures, of a small shrine for my Indian Mutiny games and a Pulp era warship, the USS Paddock~

The 'dome' is from the late Ian Weekley's Battleground accessories and the three Indian gods' statues are from Tiger Miniatures. The walls are simply foam board washed with Basetex and then painted to match the rather more splendid Mutineer buildings which make up Byklabad and N'Ham in our ongoing games in 'The Chronicles of Byklabad 1856-57'

My other effort was a rather more ambitious project, a Pulp era warship for our 1920's games set in and around the town of Howardville. Its based on a tacky gift boat, which I covered in sheets of greenstuff, with a superstructure and deck gun from the Minimi range. I've painted the naval crew from Pulp Miniatures, but the Marines are still in the waiting-to-do list...

I've enjoyed a number of gaming genres with my friends here in GHQ over the year. We've added the Seven Years War to our repetoire, using the Foundry British and French figures. Not everyones cup of tea I have to say, but I found that they looked 'very C18th' painted up and massed in units. Judge for yourself ~
The massed ranks of the British army, lead by the Guards of course.

While their opponents the French, come on in the same old way...

Both photos were taken earlier in the year at the Foundry's Spring Open Day.

Another addition, or rather reinvigoration, to our games has been brought about by the publication by Warlord Games of "Hail Caesar!" I even painted up some new Late Roman units over the year so we can now field two decent sized armies here in GHQ, as you can see in the picture below...

My painting totals for the year, or rather for the ten months I was in the UK, are 810 figures in all. An ecclectic mix of Mutiny figures, Late Romans, SYW, ACW, WWII, Interwar, 1914 British and C11th Anglo Saxons. I've no idea if this is a good total for me, I've never bothered to total them up before, but I'm pleased by my productivity on the whole. No doubt others paint far more, and others far less, so I must n't grumble.
The Saxons are Wargames Foundry figures, sculpted for them by my son, Matthew. As yet they sadly have no opponents, although Matt did also sculpt their Normans...

While the 1914 Old Contemptibles are by Great War Miniatures. They are awaiting Phil's 1914 Germans, which I'm pleased to say are progressing well. 

Other staunch favourites here in GHQ include the ECW, Vietnam, and WW II; the latter two in 20mm scale.
 I hope we'll see these games on the table here in GHQ more often in 2012.

So that brings me fittingly to an end of my 2011 review and steers me towards the projects 2012 will hopefully bring. Looking into the crystal ball, or rather into the 'Lead Pimple', its easy to say where I'm heading at the painting desk ~ 28mm Foundry WWII for our Operation Sealion/"Pig Whooey!" games; more 28mm Empress Anglo-Zulu War from Empress Miniatures; a unit of Dixon 28mm ACW Union Regulars; some 28mm Pulp Miniatures US Marines; the third unit of Foundry 28mm SYW British Foot Guards; and lastly, 28mm French Indian Wars from Redoubt {to expand the skirmish games I already can put on} to complete projects that have been hanging about for a while now.
All those figures are already here, most even cleaned up and undercoated, so the crystal ball is a tad redundant really. As to new projects for 2012 I have to confess for the first time in many years that I have nothing new planned. Whether I should  be ashamed of, alarmed by, or proud of that I don't know, but, it is true that I'm not planning anything new for 2012. Perhaps I, and GHQ, have reached a kind of stasis...
Anyway, pop back from time to time to see what we're up to here in GHQ. In the meantime, whatever your wargaming interests, I'd like to wish you all,


  1. Thats a neat little round up of the year, together with some nice pics. Glad you can remember these things, I can't. Thank you for the kind mention. I shall look forward to further crushing defeats and perhaps the odd victory in GHQ during the course of 2012.

    Happy New Year


  2. A little secret: I don't remember it all, I write it down every time we play and I keep written notes on what I've painted.

  3. I thought he was making game notes like the managers do in football