Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 Year in Review

It is that time of year again.  Time to take a look back and see how my hobby time turned out compared with how I thought it would turn out.  This is a popular exercise with us miniature bloggers.  I guess we just like to see how pointless it is to try and predict what we will be doing 6 to 12 months in the future.

Back in January I posted my thoughts, and for a lack of a better word, goals for 2014.  If you like take a look at the original post.  Once you have perused that lovely piece of work take a look at how things actually turned out.

Flames of War

The winner and still champion, of my personal gaming time, is Flames of War.  This was by far the most played game for I don't know how many years in a row.  The year started strong with the Shifting Sands Kursk event.  I took a 1500 point Panther company and won best German, which was amazing as I was 9th or tenth overall.  The best general was also a German player so I was actually second best German.  Anyway it was a great honor to play in the event and I am shocked I did that well.

In the summer Tim and I started working on late war forces for Market Garden.  I painted some Stug III, King Tigers, Tiger I and some more Fallschirmjagers.  We played a lot of games for the period and recruited others to join in.  In September I tried to run the Market Garden Firestorm campaign.  We had 6 players and got one great game day in.  It was tons of fun but personal issue prevented me from keeping the campaign going.

I had some big plans, or ideas at least, for starting Arab-Israeli War forces.  I had planned to start collecting tanks and figures.  I did lots of research and actually had a plan but I never got around to buying anything.  It is probably just as well as there is now a new book out.  This looks like a 2015 project.

The release of the Great War was almost exactly what I wanted for World War I gaming (actually, I really wanted them to start with early war but as I was told by many, there are no tanks so Battlefront will never do it).  I jumped in with the German company box.  I assembled it all and purchased the new trench system.  No paint yet but this project will happen soon.

I acquired many new models for other WW2 projects.  I have lots of tanks for a mid-war Panzer company for an eastern front winter army.  I have an almost complete late war German grenadier company ready for paint.  I have several BF Panthers to add to the late war collection as well.

With 30 games in and 2-3 new armies added to the collection, as well as a new period and lots of new figures, I rate this year a good year for Flames of War.  I have taken a few months off from this game but I will be getting back to it very soon.

28mm World War 2

I did play in the Gathering in the Desert event in February, as well as a store event the following week.  Once those were done Bolt Action and 28mm WW2 in general really fell off the table for me.  I did manage to paint a new British 8th Army force using Perry plastic figures.  I did not have very high expectation for this game/scale this year so I feel proud of what I was able to get done.

Black Powder

We did get in one big ACW game this year but I really wanted to do much more than that this year.  I was hoping for 3-4 games and maybe the first Napoleonic games of BP.  It was not to be.  I have not painted anything new for this game this year but I have added some items to the paint queue.  My French Napoleonic project did see some progress with collecting figures.  I now have a few hundred that need to be painted and I have started work on this.  I am a long way from having this on the table.  One of our gamers has dropped out of the 28mm Napoleonic project so we will need to rethink where this is going.  All things considered this was not a good year for this game.

Hail Caesar

Her is a game I had some hope for this year.  No really big hops but something much better than it turned out to be.   I wanted to get my Dark Age armies converted to HC and maybe get them on the table.  This did not happen but I did manage to create some leaders for my Normans.

I did not manage to get in any games either.  I was invited to a few but it never worked out.  I also wanted to start collecting Greeks but did nothing.  This was a big fail for me this year.


This was shaping up to be another fail for the year - up until a couple of weeks ago that this.  We finally got this game back on the table and I have gotten in about 8 games this month.  I also managed to paint some new figure for my Dark Age collection.  The first DA figures I have painted in many years.  We now have 5-6 people interested in playing and I am getting my figures out and dusting them off.  I rate this one a success for the year!

Kings of War

Total bust...


I got in a few games this year but I was really hoping for more.  It is a great game that deserves more table time.  I have a nice collection of ships and would love to justify getting more.  I will probably get in a couple more games before the end of year.  I must rate this as a disappointment.

Pike & Shotte

This game was not on the radar at the beginning of the year as I did not have the rules and was unlikely to buy them.  That all changed when my friend Dave gave me a copy for my birthday.  I just finished reading them and they look great.  I think the game may actually play better than either Black Powder or Hail Caesar.  Years ago I had an ECW army but local interest died off and I sold it.  This game is very likely to get me back into the period and I have been making plans.

Other Game Goals

I envisioned liquidating large amounts of unused game stuff and over the last couple of years I have done that.  I sold off enough stuff this year to add another guitar to my collection.  I think I now have eliminated enough of the dead lead.  I rate this as a success for the year.

Other Personal Goals

I really wanted to be a better friend and more social this year.  I did manage to reconnect with several friends as well as find ways to connect outside of gaming.  I meet many new people this year and add a few that I call friends.  I was able to do this even while going through a pretty dark time at the end of the summer.  I feel really good about this and I hope that it is something I can keep going.  It was a great year and thanks to all my friends!

Another goal this year was to work on the gamer physique.  Well, I started off the year good but lack of perseverance undermined my efforts.  If anything I am more gamer-like than ever.  This was a big fail...oh well.

That is my year in gaming!  Thanks for reading and stay safe over New Years!  See you next year.

Total figures painted

FoW - 49 (23 tanks, 5 halftracks)
28mm Dark Age - 16
28mm WW2 - 38
40K - 15

Total - 118

Game Record

FoW 18-12-0
Bolt Action 1-8-2
Black Powder 0-1-0
X-Wing 2-2-0
LoTOW - 1-0-0
SAGA 7-3-0

Wargames Factory Dark Age Archers

My SAGA Vikings also needed some levies so I broke out the Wargames Factory Viking Bondi and Saxon Fyrd boxes and made some archers.  These two boxes contain the same body and army sprues.  The only difference is the head and weapon sprues.  I build these using a mix of the Saxon and Viking heads.  In this period there would be lots of overlap in styles.  In the end I now have 12 nice generic Dark Age archers.

The Wargames Factory figures are a good value at about $22 for 32 figures.  It is a little disappointing that you only get enough open left hands in the box to make 8 archers.  I did try and convert one of the left shield arms for use with the bow but it did not work out too well and was a bit of a pain.  Fortunately, I had a couple of boxes and was able to build the 12 I needed.  I have a lot more of these figures to build and paint and they will be seeing time in my Saxon armies for Hail Caesar.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Viking Berzerker/Ulfhednar

My Viking figure collection has some holes in it and to really have a good Viking force for SAGA you must have some berzerkers.  I had five of these Gripping Beast Ulfhednar figures in the dead lead pile so I painted up four. 

These are pretty handy in a SAGA Viking army but they are basically a trade off unit.  Don't let them get shot as the armor 3 makes them very vulnerable.  I have used them in a few games and they are fun.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Norman Commanders for SAGA and Hail Caesar

In the last couple of weeks I have finally been able to get in some games of SAGA.  This required me to dig out my old WAB armies to press some figures into service.  SAGA does not use too many figures but you really need a prominent Warlord figure as the army commander.  Since I am also planning to use my WAB Normans for Hail Caesar I figured I would make a couple of commanders.  One will be my HC army commander and the other will be a HC division commander or a SAGA Warlord.

The commanders

Norman Dux with vicompte standard bearer.

Norman Comes

 These figures are Gripping Beast and were painted nearly 15 years ago.  All I did for this project was to rebase the models onto larger round bases to make them stand out from the rest of the troops.  Eventually I will rebase the rest of my Normans for easier use with HC.  I might even add some more models to the collection.