The world turns ever onwards, even when it feels like progress is, shall we say, mostly crab like. At this time of year (especially) we like to review the past and make plans. A wargame blog is, surprisingly to some perhaps, part of society and so is no different from other parts of society. So here goes.
The review of the last year is
fairly straightforward. I have managed to reduce the lead pile by around a
thousand figures. Specifically, I started my painting year in 2020 with over
2500 figures in the unpainted lead pile, and finished it with just over 1500.
The painting was mostly odds and ends of early modern armies, such as ECW Scots
and Irish, WSS Anglo-Dutch and Bavarian, Polish GNW, Russians from around 1600
and a Russian village and a star fort, with associated guns, gunners and some
By my reckoning 28 wargames were
played, something of an annual record for me, I think. These ranged from
several goes at the Marathon (the ancients painting was Persian reinforcements,
but they still cannot seem to win) through Caesar’s first invasion of Britain
(three games) to a Russian civil war (no, not that one, the wars of the two (or
more) Dimitris), a Moghul civil war, some one off ECW battles (St Ouen’s Beach,
Braddock Down and Benburb) and, perhaps most spectacular, the whole of the
Great Northern War fought in a couple of afternoons. The Poles, incidentally,
Rule-wise I have developed the
Polemos based Ancients and Wars of the Counter Reformation a bit, mostly for my
own clarification. They are available from the rules link on the right. I have
also written a scrappy set of early modern siege rules, which seemed quite fun
and am working on some generic terrain rules. They are not available yet,
because I have not got around to PDF-ing them. Still, they do exist.
Campaign-wise, the Armada Abbeys
campaign wound up with the eventual defeat of Don Pedro’s army in the North Yorkshire
Moors. There is only the Irish leg of this one to continue. In other campaigns,
Infanta Isabella’s forces are maintaining their stranglehold on Bergen. We will
have to see what the new campaigning season brings there. Ferdinand has lost
most of his heavy cavalry and is biding his time while he considers what to do
to be a hero and persuade the queen to grant him some more indulgences. The
Aztec campaign, by the way, moved forward another two years with no battles. My
luck changed and I am not quite powerful in Central Mexico.
In books I read quite a lot
regarding Anglo-Norman warfare, which is not really a period I intend to get
into wargaming, but was interesting nevertheless. As with most periods, I
suppose, what really happened was rather different from what we think happened
and also mostly, we have no idea as to what really happened. Anyway, it was
good, interesting stuff. Other than that I have been slowly gravitating back to
the English Civil War, aided and abetted by the Estimable Mrs P who has proved
to be an adept purchaser or books on said topic: both Providence Lost and The Making of Oliver Cromwell were
gift to me, and very interesting they were too.
So, what of the future?
Well, I have managed to add 288
figures to my unpainted lead pile. These are Baccus ECW foot and will be
reinforcements for that period, as I kept running out of pikemen, which is a
bit irritating. I also have some more Scottish horse in the pipeline. Aside
from them, the focus will be on painting some of the odds and ends of the
ancients period I have. When I got them, I was developing the Polemos: SPQR
rules, and needed to get 20 base core armies onto the table. Niceties like
skirmishers for each army were left by the wayside, and now it is time, I
think, to do some atonement and paint some more, particularly as Caesar could
really do with some for his next attempt on Britain. A major effort will be
needed to add to the Parthian army as well.
For the campaigns, I am pondering
something ECW based, but I am not sure what yet. The classic ECW campaign
suggestion is to campaign within a single county, but that is a bit limiting (I
have done it several times) and you tend to either run into logistical problems
(that is, not having any) or simply run out of soldiers. The other option is to
try to do the whole war. I do have a couple of boardgames which might be
suitable, of I might just narrative campaign it.
I also have hankerings to return
to the Sarmatian Nation campaign. The Romans went down a bit easily to the Dacians
at the last outing; the Romans were unfortunate, shall we say. There is also
the question of the dispute between different Sarmatian tribes to be resolved.
I might also try to revive Alexander IV’s fortunes in Italy, after he got
thoroughly beaten in Africa and in the seas of Majorca. We shall see.
I the longer term, plans are
afoot for something in the region of the Anglo-Dutch Wars. I am still pondering
this and steeling myself to paint some ships, which I am not very good at. You
might object that these wars were all naval affairs, and you would be right,
but there is no reason why a certain amount of land campaigning could not be
introduced. There were, after all, various invasion panics during them.
In the even longer term (i.e. not
even considered for 2022) is Hannibal and the Punic Wars. In my ancients
collection I have some suitable figures (Moors and Spanish, mainly) but I would
need Romans and the core Carthaginians, as well as naval forces for both sides.
The latter would be the tiny ships I l ready use for the Greeks. At least
painting them is not too painful.
So, there you are, a look back at
the wargame year, and a look forward. None of the above may happen; expect the
And a happy new year to you all.