Wednesday 8 May 2019

A Decade of A Wargaming Odyssey

I like to think that the picture above shows me valiantly resisting the lure of a new boardgame/book/range of figures/set of rules but the sad truth is a little different....

It is hard to believe that ten years ago to the very minute I posted my very first blog entry! What an incredible, epic and Homeric journey it has been and no mistake!

A Decade of A Wargaming Odyssey: The Wargaming Bit

I took the opportunity to take a look back over the decade to see what I was up to and how everything has developed - or not, as the case may be. I would say that the biggest single 'project' was without a doubt the block armies. I have used these for many periods and I am certainly pleased that I persevered with them. They are now one of my wargaming staples.

I have made a virtue of what I call frugal wargaming (the block armies are a very good example of this) and so tales of my boot sale and charity shop  acquisitions have been a continuous feature and to this day there is nothing like the feeling you get when you score a book or some other piece of gaming kit for mere pennies - even better when you sell it on via eBay for a healthy profit, thereby enabling some serious expenditure to take place whilst avoiding the admonishing looks of SWMBO at yet more money being spent!

Then there was the great ACW warship scratch building programme using balsa, assorted pieces of timber and plastic card - 50 odd vessels built for use along the rivers and swampy bayous of the US of A. This was enormous fun to do and I certainly learned a lot about building models other than from a plastic kit! For a variety of reasons though, these went the way of the Dodo but I shall be making some more ACW models in support of the Kurz and Allison project although not as many as previously and also at a larger scale.

Naval wargames have featured a lot and my various navies (and scales) have waxed and waned over the decade. Plans for ancient galleys were made and unrealised and lots of ideas for WW2 actions featured at various points. Then of course there was the whole Jutland thing - where I certainly missed the boat, so to speak. Currently I have a number of 1:2400th scale Tumbling Dice ships waiting for a 1914 style campaign and have some long distance plans for the ancients once more, as well as some 'wind and water' style games. Cruel Seas came and went and if I have learned anything from that experience it is that trying to add a little dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl of a rule set is destined to failure when set against the needs of big business.

Some aerial activity has featured but not for a while although I hope to rectify this at some point. I had a lot of fun with Angels 20 and Wings of Glory is always good for a laugh. Funnily enough I never seem to have gotten past Air Force, Dauntless, Richthofen's War, Wings and Air War for my air combat games - similarly with Ship 'O the Line, Jutland and Bismarck for the naval dimension. Perhaps my fascination with grid based wargames stems from my board gaming roots - who knows?

My land based games seemed to have mainly fought on a gridded basis and this has given me a lot of pleasure. I have seen the ingenuity of others take the Command and Colours system designed by Richard Borg and then stretch it more directions you could possibly imagine. I like the original board games and all the various figure based variants - they emphasise the 'game with soldiers' approach to the hobby rather than the uber-detailed simulation style, both of which I enjoy as the mood suits. I would say that the game side resonates rather more with me these days!

A Decade of A Wargaming Odyssey: The Wargaming People Bit

One of the most priceless benefits I have accrued over the life of A wargaming Odyssey is of course the people. I have made countless new friends over the last decade as well as forging closer ties with older ones and indeed, have even met a few of them! Their comments, emails, encouragement, ribbing and suggestions have been a continual source of support for which I am both hugely grateful for and am humbled by. I cannot pretend to be the most prolific painter, gamer or modeller on the planet but I love the part of our hobby universe that I inhabit. The fact that people extend me the courtesy of dropping in and out occasionally is a prize beyond value.

In closing this post I would like to sincerely thank everybody that has contributed over the last ten years and I hope to be able to continue my butterfly like progress over the next ten. I was mildly amused to read the contents of my very first blog post - especially given the projects content - so for your delectation:

Laying the Foundations 

Here's to the next 10!


Adelaide Gamer said...

Congratulations. a big effort to sustain things that long. Looking forward to many future visits.

Simon Quinton said...

Well done on reaching this milestone :)

Robert (Bob) Cordery said...


Is it really ten years? The time seems to have sped past in the blink of a wargaming eye!

Congratulations on reaching this milestone and giving your regular readers such an enjoyable and informative time. We've seen some projects come and go, but others have stood the test of time (your block armies in particular) and continue to bear wonderful fruit.

Here's to the next ten years ...

All the best,


Tim Gow said...

If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans in a blog entry. Something like that anyway.... best crack on with the next ten years then!

alastair said...

Congratulations....quite a milestone!

Charles Litka said...

Best wishes Dave! I haven't been along for all 10 years, but I am eagerly looking forward to the next 10 years of your always entertaining blog. -- Chuck

Jonathan Freitag said...

Congrats on ten years of blogging!

Ray Rousell said...

Congrats Dave on your fab 10 year milestone!

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Well done for the first 10 and here is looking forwards to the next 10 ;)

Speaking as one of those people whom you have met through the Blog and Blogging I can say the pleasure is mutual and of benefit to us both :)
Looking forwards to meet you in the flesh at CoW 2019

I see a startling similarity in our histories, looking back at my earliest posts I still see so many unfinished projects but sense also the enjoyment about "preparing them" (se something was still gained - I tend to hoard where you at least have the ability to let go

I agree with you regarding Cruel Seas - nice models though

Re: Jutland I am tempted to turn up to CoW with my Jutland 1/3000 and GQ rules and just "go for it"

All the best

David Crook said...


Many thanks for all your kind comments and support - over the last decade for some, less for others - and I hope to be around for the next ten years!

All the best and thanks once again,