Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life, featuring small skirmishes and big battles from many historical periods (and some in the mythic past or the far future too). The focus is on battle reports using a wide variety of rules, with the occasional rules review, book review and odd musing about the gaming and history. Most of the battles use 6mm-sized figures and vehicles, but occasionally 15mm and 28mm figures appear too.

Friday, 1 January 2016

A Review of 2015

Firstly, a Happy New Year to everyone! I hope that your 2015 was good and that your 2016 will be even better!!  My own year was generally okay, with a couple of highlights, but with rather more lows with several deaths in the family, not least my beloved cat, Merlin.

My gaming activities were severely truncated this year by an unexpected and intense overseas work commitment over the summer and autumn.  However, I was generally very happy with the games that I did get played this year.  Highlights for me were the refights of Waterloo, Ligny and Quatre Bras and the recent Op Martlet WW2 mini-campaign as well as replaying all the Heroquest quests with my two eldest children!  I enjoyed other games too.  I have played some good games of DBA 3.0 which on balance I prefer to Neil Thomas' rulesets.  I think this is because of a realism issue: on balance I prefer the 'shock' model in DBA to the 'attritional' model in Neil Thomas' games.  I have managed to get a couple of X-Wing games in also.

My miniatures collection is almost finished, in the sense that the lead/plastic pile is almost down to nothing.  I got it down to:

6 units of Baccus 6mm ECW infantry to base
A pack of Perry Miniatures' Wars of the Roses Light Cavalry (I'm awaiting a late Christmas present of female heads from the Dice Bag Lady as I want to convert a couple of them for RPG/fantasy skirmish purposes.
A few Irregular Miniatures' boats

However, I have taken advantage of a sale in the local Boyes store to pick up a few 15mm Plastic Soldier Company British and Germans.  I already have some 15mm WW2 - perhaps a reinforced platoon of British and Germans, with a couple of vehicles and I'll use these figures to expand this collection a little.  I don't have any 15mm terrain though and that is one of the problems about going into this, committing myself to making or buying lots of new terrain.

I had a quick look at last year's review: I didn't do too badly, considering!

1.  Napoleonic Neapolitan Infantry plus some other Napoleonic bits and pieces were finished; a little bit of campaign progress was made.
2.  No progress was made on the Caesar campaign.
3.  I'm still holding onto the 15mm WW2 (and I have a bit more, now).  It will come in handy if I'm ever in a position to be a club member I suppose, as they should work for Flames of War, Chain of Command and Bolt Action.
4.  A little more thinning out of surplus rules and books happened and a little more may happen this year too.
5.  Great progress was made on WW2 gaming this year.  I really feel that I have "solved" the problem of adequate WW2 rules and solitaire mechanisms and I am looking forward to playing more in future.
6.  I did a little tidying on my Wars of the Roses forces but some units could use still a little more TLC.
7.  I bought some ECW Dragoons this year to make my armies more viable for the many smaller ECW actions.  I am still waiting for the Baccus ECW re-sculpt before I expand the armies to a size suitable for Marston Moor and so on.
8.  I'm still waiting for the Baccus Napoleonic Prussian re-sculpts.  These may not happen until 2016, so I'm having a re-think about whether to continue deferring.
9.  Still waiting to decide whether or not to do moderns, and if so, which variety.
10.  I am in a state of "finished" (more or less!) at Christmas 2015 and I feel quietly satsified about that.  I do intend to do some painting of new stuff but I am looking to be "finished" again by the end of September 2016.

And for 2016...

I know that you never "need" more miniatures but there are only a few things out there that I definitely want:

More Baccus ECW figures when they release their new range
A 6mm Napoleonic Prussian army.  Ideally Baccus would re-sculpt its range to a standard equal to its newer ranges but if not, perhaps I shall use Adler for this army.

I also want to expand my collection of 6mm terrain, partly by making them myself and partly  by buying some new pieces: there are some really nice 6mm buildings out there.  I would quite like to be able to make my wargame "France" different from wargame "Spain", "Germany" and "Russia".

Everything else is a "maybe" and includes Late Romans (and appropriate enemies), War of the Spanish Succession, WW1 and Moderns.  If I do them, it will probably in 6mm, with the possible exception of the latter (in 15mm).  However, since I can proxy all of these with Late Republican Romans, Napoleonics and WW2 respectively, I may baulk, in the end.  We shall see!  I will buy some more figures suitable for Heroquest and perhaps fantasy skirmish games.

And really, for me, the miniatures are mainly a means to an end: the games.  So how do I see the next year going gaming-wise?

1.  Continue my Peninsular War campaign, with the provisional target of getting to the end of 1810.

2.  Completing the Scottish Corridor mini-campaign.

3.  Begin a Wars of the Roses campaign.  The 'engine' will either be Kingmaker or one from a magazine article.  I am pretty sure there was one in an old issue of Miniature Wargames that might be suitable.  I'll use DBA 3.0 for the battles.  I have quite large WotR armies already, I shouldn't need any more.

4.  Begin a Gallic Wars campaign.  I need to buy a suitable boardgame to use as an engine for this one (I have most of the figures I shall need, I think) and again, using Polemos SPQR for the battles.

5.  Refight some ECW battles to get "in training" for re-fighting the whole ECW as a campaign in the future.  This will probably be using the Polemos ECW rules.  I will require some more troops and terrain for this project, as soon as Baccus gets around to re-sculpting its range.

6.  Finish the Heroquest revival I have been playing with the bairns.  After this I don't know...maybe try them on Frostgrave?  Advanced Heroquest?  Songs of Blades & Heroes?  Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay?  MERP?  I'm really not sure...But something! I need to work out what I already have in the way of warband-ready troops: quite a few, IIRC. Plus I have some old notes for various WFRP adventures and campaigns, I keep on meaning to put them out there on the internet in some form.

7.  And never forget to do "general gaming": see an interesting scenario on the web or in an old magazine, give it a go!

The Shopping List
6mm ECW Baccus additions (calculate these when the range is released sometime during 2016)
6mm Napoleonic Prussian army (if I decide to go for this)
Gallic Wars/Invasion of Britain boardgame (research and buy)
6mm buildings suitable for Germany and Normandy (research and buy)
28mm fantasy figures and suitable rules (research and buy; maybe eBay will be helpful here)
6mm WW2 some odds and ends to build on my current armies
More back of issues of Miniature Wargames and WSS.  I'd buy other magazines too, if they became available in pdf format.

So I need to sit down with pencil, paper and have a proper browse before I click!

Best of luck to you and yours in 2016.

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