Tuesday, January 24, 2017

2016 Wargames Review

A good start to the year but from then on...

It is time for my wargames review of the year, which is even less thrilling than the last one.  Well, actually it is well past the time for my wargames review of the year but I have been spending all my time painting Zulus and writing bid documents so here it is, nearly at the end of January.  Changing jobs, domestic issues and two long overseas trips really hurt the amount of time I had for the hobby last year and I achieved very little really, despite my good intentions at the beginning of last year.

Figures Painted

70% of the figures I painted in 2016

I thought that last year's score of twenty five figures was bad but this year I only managed a paltry ten.  The year started well with the hydra and the Golden Fleece and tree but apart from a few Neanderthals that was it.  So in total I finished:

3 Jason and the Argonauts
7 Neanderthals

To be fair the Hydra, tree and golden fleece would probably count as more than three figures if I used a points system but I don't, so they didn't.  This is the lowest number of figures I have ever painted in a year.  I did do some painting it is just I didn't finish very many figures.  2017 has got to be better and, in fact, I have already reached 32 figures just in January!

What I have discovered is that, because I paint using 3.5 magnification reading glasses, my eyes get tired after about twenty minutes of painting so I can't sit down and paint for hours at a time like some people do. Also I use enamels, the fumes from which start to get to me after a while.  I did paint all day on Saturday but felt shattered on Sunday, during our big Zulu War games, as a result.

Wargames played 

Thanks to the kind invitations from Eric the Shed I have a number of games this year but less than 2015's ten.  In April we did a Muskets and Tomahawks game which was as enjoyable as ever.  It is a period I really like and mean to paint some units for it at some point.

We also did a big English Civil War Game.  Eric and Mark had managed to paint two large ECW armies in a very short space of time and these looked fantastic.  We used the Pike and Shotte rules.  I have played a number of ECW games before at Guildford Wargames Club and even have a couple of regiments of figures painted.  My forces, however, are the large but splendid Renegade figures by Nick Collier and dwarf the (very nice) Warlord figures.  Still, I hope to get back painting ECW figures again.

Finally, we had a Zulu Wars game using The Men Who Would be Kings, stretching the size of the armies, somewhat, as regards what the rules envisage but they worked remarkably well.

So only three games this year.  I was annoyed that because of work I had to miss Frostgrave (although Eric was not impressed by the rules) and Congo games, though.


Because I have decided to get into the American Civil War I bought a couple of the Renedra plastic buildings and have even built them.  I am looking forward to painting these in the near future.  This year I really have to sort out how to solve the wargames board problem, though.  We have a table tennis table which will work for a game but it is how to dress it. Hmm.



I went to Salute as usual and attended the bloggers meet up again (I'm second from left, above).  I didn't get to Colours but did attend Warfare in November thanks to a lift from Eric the Shed. Next year I will try to get to Colours again, as it really is my favourite of the three shows I visit.  It was good to meet up with George Anderson for the first time at Salute as I love his blog and the fact that he is as grumpy as I am.   It was also a delight to meet the Uber Geek during a visit he made to London late last year and he kindly bought me dinner.  My turn next time!

Lead pile and Kickstarters

Lead pile reduction didn't go so well this year, given I bought quite a few ACW plastics and a few other oddments.  I was still down 39 overall so the pile did decrease. I did buy into the Empire in Peril Kickstarter, though, but the figures haven't arrived yet so they don't go on the total. I also bought some North Star African princesses for Congo and a box of Raging Heroes SF babes (above)

Wargames Rules

I didn't play games using any of the sets of rules I bought in 2015 (7th Voyage, Frostgrave, or Black Ops).  This year I bough The Men Who Would be Kings, played a game and liked them.  I also got Congo, which I will use at some point. I bought Blood Eagle at Salute but haven't really looked at them. I am interested in buying Chosen Men and The Pikemen's Lament as I try to find large skirmish rules and avoid Warlord Games style massive armies. I gather that Sharp Practice is good for the Peninsula but I refuse to buy anything from a company that calls itself Too Fat Lardies.  Gross.

Wargames Blogs and Facebook

This blog celebrated its 10th anniversary this year and I posted on eight of my other wargames blogs as well.  I only managed 49 posts, down on 2015's 78, but it is still a reasonable number. I have added five followers this year but I don't really publicise it on TMP or whatever. It is on 572,000 page views which means I picked up about 120,000 views in 2016 or 10,000 a month, which is surprising (admittedly my girly blog picks up that number a day but then it is full of naked women).  My number one post was the one on Daleks, American Football, SF babes and ACW Infantry with 1l00 views.

My Facebook experiment continues and having deleted 70 'friends' last year, for political ranting and posting tedious recycled material, I have gradually increased to the current 107.  I also deleted some who were posting multiple times a day and flooding my feed in a TMP Tango01 type way.  I do not see the number of Facebook friends as a measure of worth!  I am only interested in those whose pages are primarily about wargaming or who I know in real life.  I do find the various groups I am on (when I realised that they existed) very inspirational and do use it to keep track of manufacturers new releases.

Plans for the next year

Now I have got my Zulus finished I will go back to my plastic ACW project to refight the fictitious Battle of Centerville from Terence Wise's Introduction to Battle Gaming.  No doubt I will get distracted by other things too but ACW is going to be my main thing for this year!  I am actually looking forward to it!

Musical Accompaniment

While writing this post I listened to a recent purchase of the extended 2 disc version of Basil Poledouris' soundtrack to Starship Troopers which will, no doubt, get further outings when I start to paint my Raging Heroes Kurganovas.  I am still keen to get a wargaming on a desert planet game sorted.


  1. Good Review - Sorry you missed so many games in the Shed last year - we'lll try and put that right in 2017 ;-)

  2. Thank you for the mention and congrats on ten years, well done.

  3. Eric should invent a new game for the shed , hunt the tango and who can waterboard torture him before his timely dispatch ... :-)