2018 review and the year ahead…

The last 6 weeks or so have been a bit hectic with the run up to Christmas and although I have finally managed to complete my Shiny project (blog post coming soon) I’ve only been posting the odd WIP pic on Facebook and Twitter and neglecting the blog a little. So this is my slightly delayed Christmas, 2018 Review and plans for 2019 post!


I had great plans to do more over hobby stuff over the Christmas break and apart from Shining the last unit I failed miserably…

I’m not back in work until the 7th so there is still time but I’m not holding my breath. We shall see… First up though, the obligatory Christmas Haul pic!

Slightly less alcohol than last year (which is a good thing…) I did quite well on the book front. Looking forward to Legion versus Phalanx as I still have a lot of pike to paint! I came across this having read one of Myke Cole’s other books (Armoured Saint) which I really enjoyed and can recommend highly. Having not got the follow up (Queen of Crows) for Christmas it will be one of my to buy list. Also got Book 7 of The Expanse series. Really enjoyed reading these over the last few months and I prefer them to the TV series. The small WW1 book, Newcastle Battalions in action on the Somme, was from my ten year old. I seem to be training him well! And finally a catchup on the recent Charles S Grant releases. I like the Refighting History books (as I did the previous series) and although they are not cheap, generally I’m happy as I appreciate they are a limited print run. However the last few volumes have not had good quality photo reproduction. It must be something in the print process but compared with previous volumes they are a definite step down in quality. This is a shame as part of the attraction of the books is the tables full of figures! I’ve yet to read them but I’m sure the content will still be good. And the Wargamers’ Annual looks good and varied too.

So, all in all, a good little haul!

2018 A Quick Review

On a local level, gaming was pretty non-existent! I think I managed to partake of one 15mm SYW game at the Tyneside Club and that was it. Not a good effort… Must do better in 2019. The blog ticked along OK with 32 posts, a little down on the last couple of years. This is partly as I’ve started using Twitter and Facebook more for little WIP posts and partly the lack of games played! Ah… I did play one little solo game of Songs of Blades and Heroes using my Dark Age forces. But the highlights were the trio of away games at Shedcon, Ayton and Framlingham.

Shedcon was great fun and a fine way to christen Essex Boy’s new gaming shed! It also had me adding to my 20mm Les Higgins WSS collection. Hopefully we can re-visit the 20mm WSS again as I want to add a few more units.

Next up was Ayton. Always a great weekend and this time re-visiting the 28mm C18th ImagiNation roots with another Henry Hyde run campaign. As ever, great fun and huge (and possible silly 🙂 ) numbers of figures on the table. And finally October saw another Framlingham event organised by Tim Hall and Simon Tonkiss. This was a new venture for a few of us as we created little (or not so little) forces of 42mm Shiny Toy Soldiers! These were mostly from the Spencer Smith STS and Little Britons ranges and painted in simple style, gloss varnish and plain green bases. Rules were the upcoming A Gentlemens’s War (AGW) by Howard Whitehouse which worked really well for the style of game. It was a great weekend.

And that weekend let to another project of which more in a moment…

Painting over the year has, to be fair, not been too bad. Although the year started with 1/300 Cold War Poles I never got them on the table (as ever…). I did add to my 20mm WSS and have more to do on those. Although I didn’t paint anything for Ayton I did finish another battalion of Altefritzenburgers after the event. Although there is no C18th game planned I will try and add another unit this year. I then revisited the Normans done for Ayton 2017 and added a few bits to them but also blitzed the Saxon opposition. I still have more to do and Vikings to add. Quiet enjoyed the little Song of Blades and Heroes game and that will be revisited soon. Then came the Shiny 42mm game in October. I had not thought I’d be able to make the weekend and had sworn off doing any 42mm Shiny stuff! And then the opportunity to go came up (mostly having been offered a lift by Paul Bright) and inevitably the Swans and some Altefritzenburgers were duly painted in 42mm Shiny Style! I also finished other odd bits and pieces e.g. some 15mm Samurai and 15mm Macedonian Pikemen.

And then came the Shinification! Having played and enjoyed the AGW rules I was keen to use them again. I will add to my 42mm stuff at some point but I instead looked at the 28/30mm Spencer Smith Classic range FPW stuff I had and after a chat with Simon Tonkiss I decide the time had come to re-purpose them. I’d been thinking of single basing them for some sort of skirmish game but the AGW rules are such fun that re-basing them on steel and glossing them seemed the best choice. And Simon T is going to do likewise with his C19th stuff. I also have a few RSM Ottomans that were part of the C18th Colonial games we did at Ayton. As with the FPW stuff they’ve never been used other than in those Ayton games so they too were glossed to become part of the opposition! Some sort of game is planned later in the year!

And that’s been about it project wise. Attended York, Partizan, Border Reiver and Battleground (all good fun) and haven’t expanded the lead pile that much…honest… So here some pics to highlight the above!

Plans for 2019

In no particular order (something I need to plan soon!)

  • Ayton 2019 – sort out a plan 15mm AWI game with Essex Boy for Day 1 and paint up an AVBCW force for Day 2
  • Add another couple of 30mm Shiny units (I have all the figures already)
  • Add another couple of 42mm Shiny units – IF I get to go to Framlingham in October
  • Paint more 15mm Punic War era ancients as I want to roll these out again
  • Play games: Shiny 30mm, Dark Age, 15mm Ancient, 15mm Samurai, Cold War 1/300
  • Sell surplus kit
  • Maintain Wargaming Neutral for the year!

I’m sure there are other things that I’ll dabble with and there are shows and other people’s projects to distract me but those are the broad aims. The Wargaming Neutral I’ve done before and I hope will be the driver to get rid of stuff and keep the painting going. Getting games in other than the ‘away’ weekends is the big challenge. I’ve got two good local clubs and no excuse other than bad planning! What has helped progress in the latter half of 2018 was cutting out TV and wasting hours watching series on the PC when I could/should be painting! Stopping pretty well everything bar a couple of series I watched with my wife has been a huge help. I’ve painted more, read much more (post coming on books soon!) and felt a little more productive. There is a LOT of sorting to do though to free up space in the attic and prepare stuff to sell but the clean up should allow me to expand my 4×4 table to 6×4 and get some games done at home.

So, there we have it. happy New Year!


2 thoughts on “2018 review and the year ahead…”

  1. A good year closing and a good one to come by the sounds of it Andy. Good summary, and best of luck with the new year plans. I’ve got plenty of ancients to give the smurf-pikes a battle 😉

  2. You’ve had an epic year with the paintbrush. I’m dead jealous.

    Of all your stuff, it’s the 20mm WSS that really stands out …….well, I would say that wouldn’t I. Definitely, we must try for another WSS game this year.

    I also got the Legion v Phalanx book for Christmas. We can discuss later then.

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