Saturday, 29 December 2018

2018 into 2019

In good old blogging tradition, it is again that time to look both backwards and forwards with a rundown of various associated gaming highlights of 2018 and to think about shaping 2019 with plans that might even have a chance of surviving first contact.

And so, in no particular order;

Please use the 'read more' tab for the rest of this post.

The main figure project for the year has been to do a Hastings 1066 game on Kallistra hexes with their 12mm figures. This was in fact the main project for 2017 and so it is disappointing to reflect that things are not much further forward.

This is mostly a ‘from scratch’ project and needs 53 or so bases, with the front lines of heavy infantry having 24 figures on each base. I have the figure count at the equivalent of roughly 1000 infantry, so the stop-start nature of all this needs to change to something more decisive if this is to see the table. I am however now resolved to using single bases per unit with frontages of 80mm.

With boardgames, I am trying to move to series based games so that I at least have a chance to get a proper grasp of some rules without having to do full re-reads all the time. In this regard, the Eagles of France system from Hexasim has become a roaring success and will be my go to Napoleonic boardgame system.

It started off at the beginning of the year with the Ligny game, by dipping a toe in the water with their ‘Street’s of Ligny’ scenario. Short, limited in scope and with super sized hexes, the battle just concentrates on the fight for the Town of Ligny and this urban focus made an enjoyable change of character for a napoleonic fight.

Since then, I have played the full 2 map Ligny campaign, which took around 11 hours and participated in part of the Austerlitz game, both offered up excellent gaming sessions. Waterloo is in the playing queue and Quatre Bras in the buying queue.

The first wargame show of the year, was York (Vapnartak), which I felt has probably outgrown its current venue as it just gets too packed to be able to move around comfortably (especially with the old bad back problem and moving repeatedly between several floors). I also did Phalanx and Phoenix, but outside of that, for reasons of other commitments, I missed three other shows that I would usually attend. In the words of my old school reports ‘He must try harder’.

My own Tigers at Minsk rules, designed for figures on hexes, had a tidy up and a North West Europe 1944 - ‘45 expansion was added to the downloadable material. It was good to get back to some rule writing and I like the new ‘shoot and scoot’ rule for tank destroyer types, which will just adds the occasional nuance to play.

On the nostalgia front, I picked up a “very good copy” of Napoleonic Wargaming by Charles Grant. It was published in 1974 and at that time, I received it as a gift from my father, a matter of significance as there wasn’t much money in the family and it was to become one of the base ingredients that fuelled my life-long passion for wargames. Anyway, it is just something that brings a pleasure and might drive a game or two at some point. Nice to have a copy.

A good moment of crossing over between boardgaming and figure gaming fell out of a playing of the 2nd Bull Run scenario in the boardgame Clash of Giants ACW. The game has units representing brigades and I took a slice of action from a specific attack across a creek in the game, researched the units down to the regimental level and then played out that three brigade  action on the tabletop.

It was initially played with Black Powder Rules, together with the Glory Hallelujah ACW supplement and then played again on my hex terrain, using my own Two Flags - One Nation rules. The research that goes into these sort of things brings its own fun.  

Above - The ‘pinboard’ project stole some more time. This allows gaming in an area roughly 34” x 22’. I had ordered some Baccus 6mm terrain, napoleonic cavalry and infantry to test out some ideas. Basing was a sticking point, whether to go with 3 rank deep 40mm frontages or use a 2 rank deep  60mm x 30mm bases. I didn’t make much progress and things were put away, only to be revived in November, when I put a 12mm ACW game onto the board, with a total of 21 formations in play with 80mm frontages per unit (regiment).

At the start of the year, I had decided to try and insert some ‘game fest’ sessions into my gaming year, when I would put something bigger on the table that would typically take a few days to play. The first outing was with the very enjoyable Ligny game from Hexasim, mentioned above. The next occasion came in July with the 75th anniversary of the Kursk Battles (east front 1944).

I had been reading the new version 5 rules for the Lock ‘n Load Tactical system, which covers tactical combat at 50 metres per hex and with individual squads and vehicles (a boardgame system published by Lock ‘n Load) and they have a module called Dark July that covers the Kursk subject. Together with their oversized hexed maps, I played through the six scenarios in the module, while reading Kursk by Lloyd Clark (which takes rather a long time to get going). I enjoyed taking a single module and playing right through, again treated by having a rare opportunity to have double mapper on the table over a few days.

Most recently, I did my third and biggest gaming fest for 2018, the playing of Bitter Woods boardgame (2 maps) from Compass Games, covering the Battle of the Bulge. A pair of game turns, each equalling 12 hours were played each day to coincide with the historical fighting, so this saw play starting on the 16th December and playing through until 26th December, a sort of real time event. Each day the blog was updated with the latest developments and hopefully it was as interesting for others to read as it was to play.

Above - Having made a decision at the start of the year to get rid of all 1/72 and 28mm stuff and just concentrate on the smaller scales, I ended up building a couple of fast build vehicles and of course was once again enchanted, buying back into plastic kit and now there is quite a bit of it!

Above - This led to my 28mm Perry ACW Battle in a Box project getting jacked up (again!). With some regiments already painted and almost half not, I decided to temporarily base the unpainted figures and just put a game on anyway, with the intention of painting and playing a live project. I know some could never countenance unpainted figures going onto the table, but for private games at home, that is an easily jumped hurdle. It all went rather well and was a bit of fun with objectives named after some of the prolific bloggers that generously support the blog world. Anyway, the idea was that it would encourage further painting and improvement, while still getting some games in. It worked for a short time, with a splurge on terrain building, but as soon as I moved onto other things, the painting stopped. It awaits a re-awakening!   

In addition to this blog, I have some paid for webspace for a site called COMMANDERS. I again renewed this year, but with reservations as to its relevance. It sort of sits there serving a slightly different purpose than the blog, being a bit more snippet based, but I’m not sure its current purpose is worthwhile. It was intended as an alternative to the blog should I ever hang my bloggers keyboard up, allowing me an outlet for some writing. The subscription of £48 might be better spent elsewhere.

Hex gaming with figures has taken something of a back seat this year as rebuilding and streamlining my boardgame collection has taken centre stage. I did update both my hex based Horse and Musket rules and the hexed tactical WWII rules, but table time has not really reflected that work. This is partly to do with some hesitation on how to progress my figures side of gaming as mentioned in the 2019 part of this post - below.

For some time I have fancied doing some limited naval gaming, imagining that I should get some blue coloured Hexon tiles and a handful of nice ships. Recently I bought the Dreadnoughts and Battleships boardgame from Decision Games, which gave River Plate and Bismarck scenarios. I enjoyed the games and am left wondering whether this one off, easily stored package, scratches the itch enough to just leave it at that. I also have Master and Commander by White Dog Games, that covers Napoleonic and AWI naval battles. The level seems simpler than the already rather simple Fighting Sail rules from Osprey, so I am totally undecided about this.

Finally after many years of absence from it, I have been re-buying back into Advance Squad Leader (ASL), a somewhat complicated but satisfying squad level tactical boardgame. My current dilemma is that I have several tactical games systems / series and need to just decide on one (or two), so that I can get better at it and not get confused between rule systems.

And so on to 2019.
This list of plans feels a little short as I write it, but I know real life means that there will be enough here to give a full plate and it just seems daft to be unrealistically optimistic as to what can be achieved, but in truth, this has as much to do with hobby direction as it does about activity.
Plans set last year for the board gaming side of things have really developed well. My collection is much more focussed on the subjects that are of a prime interest and structured to take advantage of series type games, so that rule learning is better streamlined.

For 2019, I would like to take that one step further. Years ago I was playing ASL (Advanced Squad Leader) regularly as a midweek evening game and I would like to get back into that discipline. The system benefits from regular use to keep the processes as second nature and doing a small tactical based game midweek just seems like a good way to streamline and schedule some proper quality gaming time.

Boardgames that I want to see hit the table this year are;

Cobra from the S&T magazine. It was the very first boardgame I ever played back in 1977, so this will be a nostalgia session that deserves to get played.

Revolution Games have three nice sized WWII eastern front games, Red Typhoon, Konigsberg and  the recently published Across the Narva, with the last two being sister systems. The subject matter appeals and I would like to play each one several times to get to ‘know’ them properly.

Blenheim from Legion Games, uses the new ‘7 hex system’ which has me intrigued. With Mike now also owning a copy, a certainty of a near future play is on the horizon, more so as it promises to become a series system

It is the figures side of things that continues to cause me the greatest distraction. Last year I decided to chop the bigger scales and did in fact sell all my 15mm and quite a bit of 1/72, but didn't get around to selling the 28’s. But since then, more 1/72 goodness, including some rather nice resin buildings have been bought, as have some Perry 28mm Wars of the Roses plastics. So the storage space was never really liberated and neither did the conflict of scales and collecting get sorted in any meaningful way. Things have just been flip-flopping all over the place.

My main question for 2019 is exactly the same as the one from 2018 and 2017, which scale and type of game should I support. This is a tough one as I see several advantages to both and being undecided is in no uncertain terms responsible for a lethargy in painting and building, while wasting time on the distraction it causes.
So perhaps it is time to rephrase the question to give a more decisive course of action, so instead of wondering which scale to keep and support, how about .... ‘which scale / kit should I sell off and wave good-bye to’ ........ Ooh, it hurts just to say it, but from a space and mindset point of view, I do need that liberation!

I am looking at just one of two gaming style possibilities;

Go larger scale on an open table. This is 1/72 WWII and 28mm everything else. Buildings would be 1/72 and table size would be up to 6’ x 3½’, I see having quite a lot of different armies, from ancients through to WWII, but with each only being formed from 6 - 10 units. I like the visuals of the scale and the terrain modelling. This will result in either low level, local battles or parts of battles and / or bath tubbing, such as having regiments count as brigades etc. I would likely go with commercial rules. I see this as lighter, tactile, visual activity to compliment some of my heavier and two dimensional boardgames.


Go with smaller scale. This means 12mm and 10mm with buildings at 10mm. Table size will be between 4’ x 3’ typical and 6’ x 3½’ extended. I would use Hexon 4” terrain and home brew rules. Measuring and movement is easier, but visuals lose something. Battle sizes in truth are only marginally bigger than using the larger scale and oddly, needing more bases and terrain items means that the footprint of storage is similar to the bigger scales, but the depth of each box is less, with stationary drawers being quite adequate for armies and shallow 3” boxes fine for buildings and trees etc.

I don’t think I particularly want to do small scale on an open table, it is the aesthetic that makes me want to do large scale and the practical application of the hex that makes me want to go small. If the question demands that I threw one scale away, I think it would be tough to move my hexes on.

Anyway, taking firm action, supporting one and lashing the other, though painful, that cycle needs to be broken one way or another. Oh how I wish I was that person who’s only interest was in one scale and one army.

Another burden of the above dilemma is that it becomes much easier to crack open a boardgame than to sit down and perhaps paint the ‘wrong’ scale! and this accumulates and runs through into what does and does not get done by the end of year review.

Anyway regardless of the above, there are some new projects in mind and some part done projects already in motion and so each of the following needs consideration;

After a visit to the Bosworth battlefield this year and finding an old booklet that I wrote about the battle, which included rules, a Wars of the Roses project is begging. I already have four boxes of Perry 28’s in plastic to get started on creating two small armies.

1066 in 12mm has recently been on the painting table out of guilt. I have all the lead that I need for the project. Units will be on single 80mm bases and ranked in two or three, with between 16 and 24 figures per base. I have already painted and based around 20% of the project, but the needed total of 53 bases does seem something of a hurdle. This will be a hex based game, that will use a similar game engine as my Hastings published boardgame. I would like to see this done.

I have 10mm WWII British forces to complete to work with my Tigers at Minsk rules and Hexon terrain. More vehicles need to be bought to bring more variety to their order-of-battle. As an alternative, building two small 1/72 WWII armies to include fast build vehicle kits for an open table is equally do-able and I have all of the plastic kit already.

Completing my 28mm ACW Perry armies. This is a relatively small project that is halfway complete, using the cheap plastic Perry figures, which I already have. I currently have 12mm lead armies for both Union and Confederate, which I think would benefit from rebasing. I really only need one of these scales.

It would be nice to say that some AWI or Napoleonic forces would grace the painting table this year, but that is simply not realistic .... another year perhaps!

Finally, as I embark on some ASL gaming, I know there is a growing sentiment that we are ageing and that our poor brains can’t cope with complexity or big games anymore and we don’t really have time for anything more than skirmish stuff etc etc, and as much as I have one foot in that world view, my gaming experiences this year have shown that effort and some depth in rules produce the more satisfying game sessions. For me wargames are about simulating the military subject at hand. If something is too generic or not tight enough that gamey stuff happens, then my interest bombs. I expect this, more than anything else to inform my gaming choices for the forthcoming year.

Have a good and rewarding 2019 everyone :-)


  1. Norm, looks like another action packed year! No worries re AWI - ill try to make up for it with my games!

    I had the same dilemma as you re scales. I ended up selecting 2 x primary scales and getting rid of the "biggest" and "smallest" stuff (1/72 and 6mm) and went with 10mm and 15mm with an "occasional" foray into microarmor. Best move i could have made for ny sanity!

    Best wishes for a productive 2019!

    1. Thanks Steve, I think you are setting the pace for all of us at moment :-)

  2. Quite a programme - a plan - an agenda. Dilettante as i am I have no clear agenda, plan or programme - just a vague notion of sorting out my stuff. Going through my 18th C/Napoleonic inventory I discovered I had actually painted some units this year, some of which I had completely forgotten about! On the other hand, I received some order-in Austrian Cavalry and artillery in early February, had them half painted within the week. 11 months later they are still half-painted...

    Logistics ain't my long suit...

    1. We share an appreciation of the humble hex and a slow painting schedule :-)

  3. Good luck with plans Norm. Your blogs are so full of richness and treasures, I could spend days getting ideas and games out of them. Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks, a quick glance back over the year revealed quite a bit of gaming diversity .... or butterfly! I'm always surprised how something new to write about so often presents itself and just when I think that must surely stop, something else comes along, it says so much about our hobby.

  4. A year full of interest, many thanks for summing it all up. Good luck with solving your size/scale dilemmas.

    1. Thanks, I enjoy the way that you use the smaller scale to explore a wide range of historical situations and the analysis that you give that.

  5. A good reminder of what you tackled and presented in 2018 and an enticing glimpse of what may lay ahead in 2019. In whichever direction you pursue, I will be watching.

    1. Thanks Jonathan, gaming richness abounds, looking forward to your biblicals hitting the table in 2019.

  6. I think you’ve had a great year of blogging and gaming, and this last year I’ve enjoyed your posts immensely. You’ve really accomplished some good stuff. 😀
    Feel better; I don’t know anyone who just does one army in one scale.
    However scale and our miniature collections are such personal matters that I hesitate to give anyone advice on what to keep and what to send away. I’ll only say two things; I do agree that you probably don’t need to scales for the ACW and that our collections are for fun, so only need to adhere to logic and sense as much as we want them to.
    Lastly; I think I’ve been working on a Hastings battlefield for as long as you have and I’m no closer than you to putting it on the table! 😀
    Here’s to 2019.

  7. Thanks Stew, your naval games, with that wonderful rigging is what drew my attention to some naval purchases. Glad you mentioned the fun aspect of collecting, some of my boardgaming carries the responsibility of 'serious' and 'complex', so I think I would like to see the figure side compliment that with a lighter touch.

    Hastings, here we come ... one day!

  8. A great read and one with dilemmas that I thnk we all face! For my part I'm very happy that I have gone down the 10mm route and with Leven Miniatures 6mm buildings. It works for me whether at the skirmish level or large scale battle. It also means I only have to have one set of scenery, which is a big bonus. When I play at friends houses, it is nice to see 28mm figures in action, but it does always feel like I'm looking at a school geography filed trip in action, rather than a big battle. Each to their own though!

    I had planned to off load my 'surplus' lead towards the end of the year, but post-op recovery put pay to this. At least I have decided to do this, which is one of those 'Rubicon' moments.

    On the games front, I'm going with periods I know I like and with rules that cover quite a period; so Black Powder et al being a case in point. It makes it easier for those limited times we can get a game in, not having to play a different ruleset each time.

    I've tried to love Ancients, but it's just not working. So to scratch this itch, I will stick with my 'Dark Ages' warbands and play at a SAGA or Lion Rampant level, with the odd foray into Dux Bellorum.

    I've really enjoyed your campaign stuff this year and that's something I want to od more of next year. I think it helps maintain focus and gives a richer gaming experience.

    So in short, another great year of Blogging Norm and I look forward to reading what you get up to next year:).

    1. Thanks Steve, I have always enjoyed your 10mm Blitzkrieg Commander games and it shows the scale at its best for WWII.

      I now understand your point on the 6mm buildings, I have 10mm buildings, but recently bought a 6mm Farmhouse complex from Battlescale which works well with the 4" hexes and looks absolutely fine with 10mm Napoleonics, though a stretch with my 12mm stuff.

      Thanks for supporting the Bulge campaign game, which I think for both of us, the insight from Beevor's book, brings another dimension to the gaming matter.

      Glad your post Op recovery has gone so well. Onwards and upwards for 2019 :-)

  9. Hi Norm, once again an interesting and thought provoking read, I do like that term 'flip flopping all over the place' made me smile, but I don't think there's much wrong in that, just means you have a variety of interests. I agree with the guys above that this blog has enriched my hobby experience this past year and I'm sure it continue to do so in 2019. All the best Norm.

    1. Thanks Lee, your own diversion or purpsoe between the 40mm and 15mm strikes a similar chord, though I know you are very happy with both. I think I would just like to get to a stage that I enjoy the painting for reasons of having a more certain objective.

      Look forward to seeing your early games with your two current projects - cheers.

  10. Yes, WE are not alone! Not that aliens have arrived merely that you express conflicts that are shared with many of us. I have devised many logical solutions only to be torpedoed my not being a primarily logical and disciplined person. I no other fine peope who are I hasten to add.

    My personal compromise which is starting be gain longevity is to look for something different from each portion of my collection and to stretch the time frames so rather than focus on 1 thing for 1 year, I do 3 or 4 things over 3 or 4 years, switching back and forth as the mood takes me. This seems to make it easier for me to make progress and get more of what I have held on to..

    I'm not sure what sort of games I would be playing if I still had a 6'x8' or 10' table but I have adapted a smaller table and use smaller figures for bigger battles and vice versa, a sensible solution that I resisted vigorously for over a decade.

    My only real conclusion is that there are no right options only choices.

  11. Thanks Ross, I think you are exactly right that seeking different parts of the collection to do different things is the way to go.

    One of the things that I enjoy about your blog, other than the obvious charm of your table and figures, is your own inclination to review and tinker with how best to manage rules and collections.

    May MacDuff and Blasthof Bridge have many outings in 2019 :-)

  12. Norm, you are always an inspiration. So many good ideas, and so much energy.

    Good luck with the 2019 projects, and I hope you get to enjoy them as much as we get to enjoy reading about them :)

    Very best wishes for the coming year,

  13. Thanks Aaron and good luck with your up-coming move, I hope things settle quickly and that those rather fine Xyston figures are not absent from the table for too long. Cheers Norm.

  14. These year end reviews / upcoming year plans are easily my favorite tradition of the hobby blogs. You've inspired me to take another look at some of my board games or maybe pick up a new one for a more a deeper/serious gaming experience, as my figure games are very much "toy soldier" affairs.

  15. Hi John, that is pretty much the simulation Vs fun balance that I have been thinking about. I want my figure games and boardgames to be be doing something different to each other. Yes, I think the end of year posts are interesting and help bring a small pause to re-assess direction and purpose ..... the unspoken New Year’s Resolution.

  16. Great read as usual Norm and I sympathize with what to do about the various miniature scales. Here is what I do and my general rule of thumb.

    1/32-1/35 Dioramas only.
    1/48-1/56 Skirmish games (i.e. individual men/vehicles
    1/72-1/76 Company/Platoon sized engagements
    1/100 Battalion/Company sized engagements
    1/300 Division/Brigade/Regiment sized engagements.

    My gaming table is approx 5x9 ft and in some cases I don't use all of it. This may be heresy but recently I have been mixing my 1/72 scale infantry stands with my 1/100 vehicles.


  17. Thanks Dave, multiple scales ideally would be the best solution, but it is the collecting of the terrain in multiple scales that cause me a storage problem and in addition, to do both hex and open tables adds to that, as the storage of the hex tiles and specialised terrain adds another series of big boxes.

    There was a series of collectables (Axis and Allies I think), that mixed two different scales between vehicles and infantry. From memory the Memoir '44 system by Days of Wonder also does the same, so you are in good company :-)

  18. I've really enjoyed your blog this year with Kursk, the Bulge and the 28mm Perry civil war game highlights. I don't have the same problem as you as I only use 28mm and mostly seem to be stuck in one period ! Storage is still a problem for me, I use really useful plastic crates which are waterproof,no room in the shed for a couple of cratec of terrain then ? You do seem to prefer your 1/72 tanks to your 10mm,I guess you can use the same terrain for 15mm,20mm,28mm and the another set for your smaller scales 6mm to 12mm after last year's experience a purge of the larger scales did not work, you just re bought, so maybe you send a load into the loft or the really useful box in the shed,a kind of holding area so you can try and concentrate on a few scales and periods without throwing the baby out with the bathwater? Good luck with that!
    Best Iain

  19. Thanks Iain, those were largely the 2018 solutions that brought me back around full circle :-) and so could persist for a time longer

    As to which scale, your mention of tanks is a fine example. I like the 10mm tank for its functionality, suitability to a smaller table and to fit the hex format ...... whereas the 1/72 makes me swoon :-) and there-in is my dilemma, I suppose it is essentially one of the emotional over the practical.

    I shall just have to be brave ....... or just do what I did in 2018 and slightly procrastinate :-)

    Hooray for choice .....I think!

  20. Hello Norm

    A good roundup of your years blogging.

    I understand your issues with scales and something it seems most of us grapple. I was a 20mm WW2 person and 15mm ancients for 25 years and thought I would just get some 6mm WW2 to play in a small space. I have a lot of them now but still not playing with them enough to justify the expense. I do love the visual nature of 20mm but i agree with you on storage. As part of getting ready for our planned move into a new house I tided up my gaming stuff and realised the boxes and boxes of terrain I have for the 20mm ww2. It takes up a lot of space and I still crave more terrain! I feel your pain over storage. 20mm WW2 will win out but 6mm will continue for the more portable games and those in the map drawers. I hope that you do get it sorted in your mind as I know you have been undecided for a few years now. But being a gamer it is part of the culture to agonise over scales.

    Regarding ASL and complexity, I have a few boardgames I have been collecting for a over the last 30 years to play when I get some time. Some are quite complex, some take a long time and a couple are monsters. I have mostly done miniature gaming in the last 10 years since rebooting playing more wargames. I now worry that I prefer less complex games and maybe even prefer miniatures! i was mostly a boardgamer in my 20s and 30s but the last 15 years have seen me play very few. I have a short list of boardgames I really need to play in the next year or to to see if I should keep or reduce my boardgaming collection. I have so many rules and so many boardgames I do not think I could stick to one system but I definitely can see the appeal of really getting into a system and the whole reasoning of the 10x10 movement.

    So I am not really helping you out here other than highlighting you are not alone :-)

  21. Hi Shaun, I have enjoyed your thoughtful posts in 2018 and it was your 'game in a drawer' type posts that first brought me to your blog and despite this being a prime interest to me, my favourite photo from your postings has been with the 1/72 Churchills advancing over open ground.

    And so it is, one makes the heart beat faster and the other works best! A house move sure is the moment of reckoning as to what you have and what is sensible or do-able to move forward to the next property.

    So far I have changed my mind twice today as to which way to jump!

  22. Happy New year Norm!
    Great read as always.
    I had little space for over two years. I played some 1/200 scale Rapid Fire with old Skytrex figures I still have. I have just moved and can squeeze in a 6x4. I am still playing with my 1/200 and my 15mm remains packed away.
    I also pulled out my old micro and, shudder, am playing Team Yankee as a fun solo game in 1/300. I have fun with it but it’s not something I should shout about!
    What this shows is I like the smaller scales, can cope with less space, and still enjoy gaming.
    I have never had, nor wish to have 28mm.
    I look forward to your blog again this year

  23. Thanks Dave,I have fond memories of Skytrex,I had been doing micro WWII with the old Leicester Models, which were not particularly well detailed, but were all I knew that existed and then suddenly came across the crisper, more detailed, larger Skytrex and I was smitten. I was even using their rules. I think in those days, Skytrex and Irregular Miniatures were the two main companies to buy from by mail for the smaller scales.

    Timecast are doing a range of 1/144 for Cold War gone Hot, which I have seen at shows and fancy a dabble at and on the Rumour Mill, The Plastic Soldier Company (PSC) my be doing a plastic sprue with 1/144's on it for circa 1985.

    28's seem to get a lot of promotion mainly because they photograph so well and perhaps blogs and magazines tend to over-emphasize their presence in the hobby.

    I find that I am often enjoying a smaller scale game and then when I come to look at the photographs, they don't seem to 'give off' that sense of visual satisfaction that I was actually experiencing with a real world eye and so an excited and enthusiastic write-up doesn't always seem to be captured in the accompanying photos.

    I think ultimately, like you, for me, space will become the determining factor. All the best for 2019

  24. Ooh lots of good nuggets of rules suggestions in this post. I like the hex based wargames as well. Good luck with meeting your goals and thanks for an enjoyable/ inspiring read.

  25. Thanks Jeffrey, enjoyed this afternoon looking at your new desert Hex map and your ancients figures and look forward to what games fall from that in the coming year.

  26. Sorry Norm but practicality has to triumph over everything else. 28mm usually means big boards (think about your back) and the storage of both units and terrain takes up a whole lot of space. I tried 15mm but found it an uncomfortable compromise, still a lot of room needed for storage and still relatively big boards required, the other downer was it seemed to get quite expensive to build the bigger armies that the scale allows. Last year I discover the joy of six and haven't looked back. Big battles in a small space, easily stored away, modest expense for decent sized armies and for me the most important thing - quick enough to paint that I can actually get on with the gaming and not shelve them when the grind of very labor intensive unit production causes me to lose interest half way through. They used to say go big or go home, I say stick with small and never leave the By the by your blog is my favorite on the interwebz, so keep up the good work in 2019.

  27. Thanks for the kind thumbs up. I feel that much of what you say is pretty much on the money and I have been leaning that way since posting this. I have been hugely enjoying your posts and not least, your town of Brampton has really shown what the smaller scale allows, something I can put into context as we both share an interest in putting Kallistra hexes on the table. All good and thanks for the nudge :-)

  28. How interesting to read Shaun Travers' post. Years ago I began to buy board wargames with a vague intention of playing them at some undefined point. I encountered several problems: firstly, I could not bring myself to punch the counters; secondly, in many cases I could not understand or remember the rules; thirdly, I found the maps a bit small and the idea of stacking counters horrible. So I am now mainly a collector. I also spent many years buying and painting miniatures, mainly 15mm and 28mm and I have several large ancients armies in the latter scale. But late (perhaps a bit too late) I discovered smaller scales and now all my efforts are in 6mm (WW2 AFVs and infantry and WOSS), 1/600 (WW2 aircraft) and 1/4800 (WW2 and Napoleonic naval). I also took the plunge to buy lots of Kallistra. Somewhat annoyingly 2D6 Miniatures have started to bring out a line of WW2 1/285 models that are at least as good as GHQ and half the price. I don't need them but they are irresistible to me.

  29. Kevin I was reading an interesting thread a few weeks ago in which people were asked if they could start again, would they choose a different scale. Of course answers were all over the placed, but the two comments that struck me most were the number of people who would down scale, but were too invested and those who downs scaled anyway and considered themselves sole small scale gamers.

  30. I like the visual "mass" of large 6mm armies on the table. They are cheaper, easier to paint, easier to store and you can fight a decent battle on 6x4. For me 6mm really shines with AFVs, elephants, cavalry and close order troop formations. I don't like it with open order infantry and am never really happy with my WW2 troops at 5 figures on a base.

  31. Hello Norm and Kevin

    I still haven't played any games with any figures, oh, maybe one 15mm ancients. But have written a few rulesets over the last 6 months, mostly for the 6mm stuff on a small table. I have not really done any boardgames or looked into them either!

    At the moment I am still awhile away from getting out any of the boardgames to play and miniatures is getting closer - I was all set to play some 6mm WW2 and/or ancients to test out the rules, and then I got distracted by thinking with only a few minor tweaks, i could do 15mm ancients with the rules... In all still no games, but fun writing rules for them!

    Oh, and I would likely do 15mm if I could start from scratch for everything but 20mm is still my favourite visually, so maybe it is just my head talking, not my heart :-)

  32. Hi Shaun, I went through a period of feeling that I had lost the balance between the time spent on thinking and planning and the time spent on actual gaming. Rather like you, this was exacerbated by a period of a couple of years of moving into a home that needed significant renovation and so for the bulk of that time, most stuff was in storage and play time and dust free space was hard to get.

    Now out at the other end, I still having something of an imbalance, but there has been increased gaming activity, so the gap is closer, but I have also resolved to the thinking that planning, prep, rule writing and blog writing are viable parts of the cohesive whole of what I see as quality hobby time.

    1. Yes, I have been still "gaming" in that in the last 12 months I have written about four fairly different rulesets, and played some RPGs and a boardgame entirely in spreadsheets. So still at it - just not physically :-)



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