That was definitely a year to forget. However, I did manage to make it a less than 'a little bit crap' year for the hobby, both from a project and wargaming point of view. I'm not going to go through everything I've done this year but just pick out some of the positives rather than the negatives, which seems like a good thing to do and a great way to finish off the year.
In terms of games played this year, I only managed to get to the club on a very few occasions, where I ran Broadside and Ram and What A Tanker introductory sessions as well as taking part in Cruel Seas and Kiss Me Hardy games, which I really enjoyed. As usual, I set up and umpired another spectacular AK47 game, which is a club crowd pleaser. I also ran a very successful Bag the Hun game at the Lard Day in March, which seemed to be a hit with most if not all of the players.
At home, however, I was able to play more games than ever before, both with the sprogs during lock down but also solo, which is something I often do even when things are normal. These games included an excellent AK47 bash and a Back of Beyond game with my eldest son, a whole series of Target Locked On games with my daughter and several brilliant Fistful of Lead games with all three of the kids.
I also played half a dozen games of Broadside and Ram and Dahlgren and Columbiad, including a mini-campaign of linked 'What If?' scenarios with the former which were really good fun. The INWARD game this year was a semi-historical Dahlgren and Columbiad scenario, which was a great way to learn the rules, and I finally got round to re-enacting the 1864 Battle of Jasmund with Broadside and Ram, albeit with card counters not proper metal warships.
In terms of projects, I went a bit 'off piste' this year, although in the same ball park as my initial project planning at the start of the year. I started with a 1/2400th scale ACW painting commission which distracted me a bit, but I soon got back on track by completing two squadrons of 1/285th scale Spitfires, Fw190's and Bf109's of the RAF and Luftwaffe for the Come and Have a Go If You Think You're Lard Enough 2 day.
I also finished off some 1/2400th scale broadside ironclads for my French and British fleets, then added a whole squadron of US ironclads and warships as well, which subsequently appeared in my mini-campaign. I even squeezed in some Danish ships for 1864 but half of these are now re-purposed as Chilean or Peruvian warships, with the rest of my 1/2400th scale War of the Pacific ironclads added in to complete that unplanned but enjoyable project.
The things I hadn't planned at all came along as a direct result of lockdown and quarantine. These were the 28mm Beja army for The Men Who Would Be Kings, which I completed up to a point, as I'd like to re-do the bases when I get the time. I was happy with the figures, all ninety eight of them, but the bases are definitely up for improvement, being a bit rushed and not quite the right look. I also need to paint a matching British or Egyptian army so they actually get to see some action!
The enforced two week quarantine after our holiday, also gave me the time to scratch build some modular river terrain and two flotillas of river gunboats in 1/2400th scale, which is something that appeared out of nowhere but was actually really good fun. I'm still pondering the shade of brown that I used on the river sections, however, and may well go back and repaint them in a less red oxide shade. I particularly enjoyed scratch building and converting the model gunboats for this project.
There were a few more side lines and dead ends this year, with one or two projects still not finished, or even started in some cases, but overall it's been a fairly productive year all things considered. I've got some things to carry over into 2021, the 1/2400th scale pre-dreadnoughts and 1/3000th scale modern naval projects for starters, but also some new ideas for interesting projects that I'm definitely looking forward too....more about those in 2021!
Happy New Year!