It may not be evident from my blog (he says with tongue firmly in cheek) but I'm not a very tightly focussed fellow when it comes to my hobby (or other areas of life). I like to sample a bit of this and a bit of that. One of the consequences is that despite having painted thousands of figures in 8 scales and almost every period over the last 4 decades, I can't stage even a moderately large wargame on my own, say one with 2,000 miniatures, all appropriate for the battle in hand and with terrain to match.. Probably the closest I came were my 15mm French Revolutionary Wars armies but they are all gone now anyway. For the last few years, I have been trying to convince myself that I needed to rectify that, without success. It strikes me that if that was really what I wanted to do, I'd have done it by now.
Part of a beloved 15mm project which was sold off in bits over the last 2 years once I decided that 15mm was toooo small after all.
When I look at the 8 or 9 (or 12) sideshows that I have "permitted" myself to indulge in, I see that 10 of these appeared on my gaming table in 2010 and 7 of them had new figures added this year. Would I have been happier if more of these parts of my collection had sat neglected on the shelf while I focussed on just 1? No, not really, I like to see "my guys" getting out for a bit of exercise and I enjoy each of the periods I dabble in (and then some). So, hats off to them as enjoy the focus and indulge it, my path is my own.
I have also noticed that these days I don't seem to have the mental and physical stamina to really enjoy an 8 or 10 hour game all the way through and I have never been keen on picking things up after a night or week's rest. I like to start and finish a game in 1 session where possible. Now that may change as my health & fitness improves again but that can be addressed on that happy day. In the meantime, 1 or 2 big events per year will suit me fine and having those be joint affairs makes them all the sweeter as far as I'm concerned.
Chippewa in 54mm at Cold Wars. The first of several "bring your own" battles staged by a group of us from the yahoo LittleWars group. Held in 2000 if memory serves.)
So here's the objectives for this year:
1. Make sure every part of my collection gets to play and gets something added at least once every 3 years and that most (off the cuff lets say 75%) get played during a year.
2. Make more of an effort to diversify the existing collection, not by necessarily increasing periods but by having different styles of game as well as different periods. Where parts of the collection overlap in terms of period and style they should be compatible/interchangeable, for example my 40mm Indians were raised for the War of 1812 but happily serve in the American Rebellion as well as the French & Indian Wars even if they may not be perfectly accurate.
3. Include at least one large wargame per year though this need not be solo nor held at home. The goal is to use a convention such as Cold Wars or Historicon as the focus of this.
A Table Top Teaser, Surprise! where 1 wing of an allied army defects. Fought in my old wargames room c2001. 54mm using WHAB . My Macedonians, Ron's Carthaginians and Tom's Romans iir.
Breaking down the 2nd point I want to be able to tick each of the following boxes, note that the boxes are not mutually exclusive and that each part of the collection will normally tick various boxes.
I want to be able to stage at least one 3 to 5 hour game in each of the following:
1. historical eras/wargaming periods:
- Dark Age/Medieval
- Pike & Shot
- Horse & Musket
- Victorian Colonial
- Age of Rifles
- Mechanized Warfare
- ( I probably "ought" to include naval and air games but won't except as an adjunct though I did once have 16thC fleets)
2. game styles:
- single figure skirmish
- Old School single figure Horse & Musket
- element based game
- historical refight of an entire battle
- small unit action with platoons or companies as units
- mid-level game with battalions or brigades as units
- army or corps level game
- more rigid, game style with a sense of beginning, middle & end with definite choices and win/lose criteria (the Chess with a 1,000 pieces approach)
- open, process game where what happens and how it happens and the story that gets told is what it is about. (The Kriegspiel approach) (these last 2 are not absolute differences but questions of focus).
Peter Douglas on a trip home to Halifax c 2002 taking the Emir's forces against the might of the British Empire. 54mm Colonial. Like the Ancients & WWII 54mm collections, most of these figures are now gone as well after deciding that 54mm was tooo big.
In terms of numbers, I hope to play an average of 2 "at home" and 1 "away" game per month. Some of the at home games will inevitably be solo.