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.



Monday 8 July 2024

"The Nights are Drawing in!"

As my old Grandmother was wont to announce once the longest day had passed. Well, perhaps that is overly dramatic but we are over the hump of the year, summer still seems to have gone AWOL and my Crimean War project has reached a natural break in it's growth, and so I thought I would take this opportunity to look back on the first half of 2024 and tentatively forward to it's second half! I know I'm a tad behind here, blame it on 'Added Time' if you like! There's a bit of a natural break around now anyway which disrupts gaming and such, accentuated this year by a bad fall I had resulting in a broken big toe, severe bruising and restricted mobility for a while! Anyway, to business...

It would surely come as no surprise to any reader that the focus of painting over the first six months of the year was 28mm Crimean War figures for my new-old project. When I checked up on 30th June I had painted 372 figures, so if my arithmetic is correct that total slightly exceeds my modest two figures-a-day target. Hurrah!

While games have been as rare as hen's teeth of late due to holidays, illness, pratt falls and such I have managed to play in 25 games with Phil and Paul so far this year, both here and at Phil's {News from the Front in the side bar ~ If you don't know it you are missing a real treat!} Of these 25 games I won 10, drew 3, and lost 12. Not my best performance I'd say, but every game has been great fun and better company!

So far this year I've managed just three visits to Wargames Shows: WMMS and Hammerhead in March and Partizan in May. Both excellent events, well worth visiting if you don't know either, with great games to drool over, lots of traders to spend your warchest with and the welcome opportunity to natter with more distant friends in person rather than by text.

Turning lastly in this retrospective to purchase, the obvious comment might be too many. But then I'm a wargamer and as you well know we don't entertain 'too many' as a notion worth a fig! No prizes for guessing that most expenditure exhausted on keeping the Lead Pimple stocked up went on Crimean War figures, overwhelmingly from Great War Miniatures via North Star. When I look at it all on the tabletop battlefield here in GHQ it's quite worrying, just for a moment of course and then I order more!

Anyway, that's January through to June neatly trotted through, on to the second half of the year and my 'vague aspirations' for my hobby. Firstly, no more Crimean War project painting for now at least, even though the 42nd Highlanders, the French and more Cossacks are waiting in the wings for their turn later in the year as winter arrives. Looking outside as I type it might already be here! The Lead Pimple contains the kilted Highland regiment for the Crimean, Austrian Uhlans for the FRW, Breton and Norman Light Cavalry, three regiments of Confederate infantry, some Late Roman Clibanarii, as well as sundry odd figures and more besides. Variety will be the rallying call for the coming months I hope! First up have been four Casting Rooms Miniatures British Horse Grenadiers on foot. These were the final part of Jon's generous gift last year. They were long overdue their moment in the sun!

As I've already mentioned I have sent off an order to Aventine Miniatures for the bones of a Pyrrhic army. I'd hope that they would arrive in a week or so and can be advanced in the painting queue to give me some welcome relief from Foundry's 'British Red Coat'. I would anticipate hopefully having at least a decent tranche of them completed by the time my Vikings are due to arrive in September. I will need to order some Tarentines of course later in the summer: a Phalanx, some cavalry probably and perhaps more, we shall see. 

Back in the day, when the world was young - not to mention myself and Phil - we would perhaps have attended upwards of 20 wargames shows in a good year. Looking at the second half of 2024 I can only realistically see me hoping to attend Colours and The Other Partizan. I would have liked to pop up to Jockshire for Claymore but Sue is not so keen as the costs of accommodation have skyrocketed, partly post lockdown profiteering of course, but also the Festival effect on prices. So if that comes to pass it will mean just four wargames shows; a bit of a come down from pre-Covid times! Of course age and general health are a factor also, but all in all it's a tad depressing seen baldly like that. But, KBO being the watchword here in GHQ I am braced for whatever opportunities the second half of the year may bring my way! Starting with today's game with Phil, a welcome return visit to Pendawar.



18 comments:

  1. A splendid and productive half year all things considered. Didn't we go to Hammerhead as well?

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    1. Yes we did, so thanks for nudging my old memory ๐Ÿ‘ด๐Ÿป I've corrected that now.

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  2. I couldn't find Olaf's HQ in the sidebar?

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    1. Oops! Sorry Rob! It's News from the Front, so I've corrected that. Thanks.

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  3. A nice run through there and very busy. I am only now tentatively getting back to 'normal'. We are going to the Tattoo but I won't give you a heartattack with the cost for two days.

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    1. Very considerate! Good to hear you remain on the up! Enjoy the Tattoo!

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  4. An excellent first six months,you've shown some very admirable "focus" on the Crimean War.
    Great to read about your future plans, sorry to read about your accident,hope everything is better now.

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    1. OCD more likely๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for your good wishes.

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  5. A fine layout of the last 6 months David looking forward to the next 6 months.

    Christopher

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    1. I shall endeavour to oblige you Christopher!

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  6. A good half year review and one you should be proud off, a fair bit achieved that's for sure.

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    1. As pride comes before a fall...I've had quite enough of them! Thank you though Donnie for your positive comments, much appreciated.

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  7. A very productive, focused, and enjoyable first half of 2024 for you. Perhaps too bad on the show front but possibly a blessing in disguise. As you say, KBO.

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    1. Thanks Jonathan. I think the plague has definitely reshaped the show scene here in the UK.

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  8. A nice review of your year so far David. Like your grandmother, I tend to say the days are getting shorter after the Summer solstice and the revers after the Winter one. Real life in a good way has severally impacted my gaming and painting this year, but come September and the schools going back, I hope it picks up...

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    1. I suspect you and I are not alone there! Good news on the approaching up tick in activity in your new room!

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  9. A positive year especially on the painting and gaming front David. ๐Ÿ‘

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    1. I am doing what I can while I can Matt...

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