Thursday, 17 December 2009

The Big Result!

Well, this is the end of wargaming for me in 2009 as I'll be off to the in-laws in France on Saturday for the Xmas holidays, leaving my current unfinished project on the workbench.

I was thinking that now would be a jolly good time to count up all the things I've succesfully completed and all the other things that have been put back in the various boxes, drawers and shelves from whence they originally came.

So, starting at the beginning, it's back to January 2009 and my New Years resolution.

As I mentioned before, this was to set myself a target of one project a month from my existing lead pile, with the aim of clearing the decks and getting in some games using my vast collection of rules. I decided to keep a note book, both to record my progress and to log all the paint shades, basing methods and other fiddles that I'd used along the way.

To start with I wrote down all the different things I thought I could tackle in a year so that I had a range of options to choose from, broken down into small, medium and big projects depending on the time I had available each month. I also tried to make sure I had a firm deadline each month by comitting myself to a game at the club. I then dived in with a project to kick off the year.

In January, it was a small flotilla of four 1.1200 French Ironclads for a game of Iron and Fire. This was a success as I finished the ships, minus the rigging (too scary by half), in a month, give or take a few days. Unfortunately it was March, as I had to split the painting over about six weeks due to the second project of the year, which got in the way. However, all was not lost as I did manage a game using the French ships against Dave's British blockading fleet, in which the French aquitted themselves pretty well. Huzzah!

February was taken up with a quick project to build a couple of 1/72nd scale WW1 aircraft kits for a club mutliplayer game of 'Knights of the Sky', a set of homegrown rules we use for aerial dogfighting. I had a lot of planes already built so fancied something a bit different. As a result I chose to build a Roland DII from an old Merlin Models limited run kit and, as a quick side dish, a Nieuport 17 from an old Esci kit. I really enjoyed making these kits, despite some hassles with the very crude Roland DII. However, I missed the game as I had a bad cold and couldn't make it, so despite finishing the planes it was only a partial success.

For March, see January...not sure where March actually went?

April was cut short my the Easter holidays when I was off to France yet again. However, I did manage to squeeze in a couple of 28mm dinosaur hunters and a converted Matchbox Model T Ford safari truck for a game of Saurian Safari before I left. It was fun to run the game and to try out the rules with a couple of vehicles, which added an extra element to the scenario. A small achievement for the month perhaps but one of the most successful in terms of gaming outcomes.

May was a full on painting schedule with a game of Bag the Hun set for mid June as a deadline. I managed to persuade Andy at the club that a North Africa set up would be a refreshing change from the Battle of Britain. I set off to complete 24 various Italian fighters and bombers for the Regia Aeronautica, a mix of Raiden and Museum Miniatures 1.300 models, while Andy tackled the RAF. This was another good production run with the planes all done in time for the game, bar a schwarm of reluctant Luftwaffe Me109F's that refused to get off the ground. We got a couple of decent games out of them too, although the Italians suffered at the sharp end a bit due to their really diddly armament of rifle calibre machine guns versus Andy's cannon toting Hurricanes and heavy machine gun armed Kittyhawks.

In June I prepared for the best time of the year as far as my wargaming workload is concerned. I run an activity in July for the kids at my school in which they happily mutlilate Warhammer 40K boxed sets while I sit at a desk painting other things for an entire week! In 2009 I decided on a BIG project, namely the painting and basing of an entire Peter Pig 15mm Dervish army for Patrols in the Sudan. This was a bit controversial, as I picked up the rules on ebay then bought a load of figures, effectively starting a completely new project. Not a good start.

Anyway, the Dervishes got based and undercoated in June and three quarters done during the week in July. I've even used them a couple of times since for games at the club, in which they've aquitted themselves pretty well, despite the occasional tactical withdrawal in the opposite direction. They're not finshed though, which means they don't count as a success in project terms, the first pear shaped effort of the year! In retrospect, it was too big a project even for the six weeks I set aside, so next year I'll try something less ambitious. I will get the Dervishes finished off at some point though, perhaps to try out 'Death in the Dark Continent' or 'The Gatling's Jammed' as an alternative to PITS, which is a great game but not for large battles.

September was wiped out by France again (bugger!) but in October I did manage to do some extras for my 15mm AK47 Colonial Settlers army in response to a chat I'd had with Jon at the club. He'd just started putting together his Zumatam - Lumatan dictatorship forces and, as I already had the Force Action Rapide Territoriale of the Independent Republic of Nbuto, I thought it would be great to dust them off for a few games.

I managed to get some QRF EBR75's done plus some old ebay Peter Pig M113's to add some APC mobility to my regular units. I also converted a diecast 1/100th scale P51 into a COIN Mustang Cavalier with tip tanks, rocket pods and a lengthened fuselage, which looked pretty neat. This was accompanied by a 1/100 scale Corsair, which got a four bladed prop from another Mustang to make it look more sexy. I had plans for more infantry units and some tanks but these ended up stalled due to work commitments, although they wouldn't take too long to finish off.

The resulting games of AK47 were good fun and, so far, the F.A.R.T. have been victorious, primarily as a result of their hard core of professionals who wizz around the veldt in HMG armed jeeps, blowing the crap out of Jon's wobbly militia and slightly less dodgy regulars. Jon's now scratchbuilding a Zumatan navy (yes, really) so the arms race is full on for next year! Good stuff!

In November, the AK47 extras had to be sidelined for a quick re-paint of Lledo trucks for the Wessex Wargamers Winchester participation game at Warfare. The game involved a 28mm Back of Beyond skirmish between a contingent of Japanese border guards, White Russian renegades and Bolshevik partisans over a train full of Tsarist gold. I offered to provide the transport in the form of a Japanese Model T Ford truck. I also squeezed in a paint job on a Sloppy Jallopy Austin armoured car and a re-paint of a resin Whippet tank that I picked up in a Bring and Buy, both for my Back of Beyond Bolshevik army.

These were all done on time, the truck for the show game and the armoured car and tank for the final game of a Back of Beyond campaign I'd been running over the year. So, success yet again, if only on a small scale. The particiaption game went down very well with the public too, which is a minor miracle given the short time in which it was thrown together. Well done chaps!

Finally, the month of December has seen the last of the years projects fizzle out, despite my best intentions to end on a positive. Inspired by the painting of the Japanese figures by Jon for the Warfare game, I decided to dig out the Japanese army I'd prepared but never finished for the aforementioned Back of Beyond club campaign. They're actually Copplestone Chinese figures but they're close enough to 1920's Japanese to be good enough for me.

I had based and undercoated about eighty of them, including infantry, cavalry, HMG's plus artillery and I'd even built a 1/48th scale kit of an Ansalso SVA5 fighter for air support. I took them down from the shelf and set myself the task of painting them up. Over a couple of weeks the number of figures I actually lined up for painting gradually shrank as I cut back on painting time due to other things. The garage was also increasingly arctic, which didn't inspire me to get on with the job at the risk of third degree frostbite. The end result is twelve nearly finished infantry, an equally unfinished HMG team and one solitary staff officer who is actually done. A bit rubbish really.

So, all in all, not a bad year. Not as much done as I'd like and quite a few very minor results over all. The concept is, however, sound enough for me to try again in 2010, perhaps with one or two minor adjustments?

I've already got some definite plans for 2010 and will reveal all as soon as I have the time to put them in some sort of order. I'll even try to squeeze in something over Xmas in France, even if it's only some cleaning up and basing!

No comments:

Post a Comment


Bag The Hun (361) AK47 (329) Books (276) Back of Beyond (196) Bolt Action (152) Old West (118) Coastal Warfare (110) Pirates (106) Chain of Command (104) Bag The MiG (99) MiG Alley (91) VBCW (86) Wings at War (82) 15mm Sci-Fi / Near Future (78) Shows (67) BKC (65) Darkest Africa (65) Indo China / Vietnam (56) Rapid Fire (56) Target Locked On (54) Saga (51) Victory at Sea (51) Saurian Safari (50) Boardgames (49) Ironclads (48) Knights of the Sky (45) Gladiators (41) Flashpoint Baltic (38) Britain's Small Wars (37) Journals (33) Flashpoint Taiwan (32) Pre-Dreadnoughts (32) IABSM (31) Iron Cow (29) Post Apocalypse (29) Atlantic Wall (27) Normandy Firefight (27) Full Thrust (25) Samurai (23) Lion Rampant (22) France's Small Wars (21) Fortifications (20) 28mm English Civil War (19) Air War C21 (19) Achtung Kommando! (18) PITS (18) Cold War (16) Mexican Revolution (14) Rate of Fire (14) Aircraft (13) Black Ops (13) Dragon Rampant (13) Napoleonic Naval (13) Naval Thunder (13) Aliens (12) Iron Cross (12) Aeronef (11) Imaginations (11) Impetus (11) SCW (11) Imperial Commander (10) 633 Squadron (9) Alto Cenepa Air War (9) Gaslands (9) 28mm Future Wars (8) Adventures in Jimland (8) Ancients (8) Dux Britanniarum (8) Flashpoint: Xinjiang (8) ACW (7) CY6 Jet Age (7) Cry Havoc (7) Zulus! (7) Flashpoint Fleet Air Arm (6) Frostgrave (6) French Indian Wars (5) Three Musketeers (5) Arab Revolt (4) Five Men at Kursk (4) French Resistance (4) In Her Majesty's Name (4) Maurice (4) The Men Who Would Be Kings (4) HOTT (3) Strontium Dog (3) Check Your Six! (2) Crom (2) Disposable Heroes (2) Duel of Aces (2) Fire and Steel (2) Gangsters (2) HYW (2) Iron Stars (2) Luft 46 (2) NUTS! (2) No Go Zone (2) Sharp Practice (2) War in El Dorado (2) 2mm ECW (1) Dropzone Commander (1) Galactic Heroes (1) Hind Commander (1) Sturmovik Commander (1)