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,