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!