In terms of games I have hosted 24 in the Man Cave during the year, and played two games at the AMG17 weekend as well as Seneffe at Battleground. I also met up with my mate David Bickley at Wargames Illustrated HQ in the 'summer' for a massive game showcasing our French Revolutionary Wars collections. The game itself featured in WI as a main feature a few months ago. I even put pen to paper earlier in the year and wrote a piece for Miniature Wargames and have since mapped out a couple more articles which I must finish in the coming months.
As for the vast collection, it has probably(?) got vaster! 2017 saw me acquire off eBay and elsewhere (for ridiculously cheap prices) two new well painted 28mm armies, namely an Italian Wars army that with a little padding out (lol) and the addition of suitable flags will become Venetians, and a Renaissance Ottoman army. I have spent most of my painting efforts on my growing French Revolution collections and on an 1806 Prussian army. I say my efforts, but I have been fortunate enough to be able to have quite a number (probably 60 per cent) of figures painted for me, all of which I have then based in my style. I actually got rid of some stuff in 201,7 and as well as lots of rubbishy bits 'n' pieces sold (on a whim and a brief email exchange) my unloved ACW collection in November, and they now reside in Basel, Switzerland. For 2018 I shall be finishing off my Sikh Wars armies (and have already started) and will make an attempt at rationalising the lead mountain before and/or after we move. I still don't seem to be able to stick to one thing, and flit from the French Revolution to the Seven Years War to the 1672 French/Dutch War and more without even pausing for breath let alone thought!
Speaking of which, as readers may have picked up, we are moving house soon and I shall be getting a new Man Cave. I am getting quite excited about the prospect of having a bigger better lit room, a bigger table and more than enough accessible storage space for all my stuff in one place. I'm also looking forward to games in the new room as a slightly bigger table (15' x 6') will allow me more scope when it comes to planning refights where currently a 5' wide table isn't always quite enough. The removal men are going to have great fun transporting all my stuff when the time comes.
I turn 60 this year and have already been 'retired' for four years allowing for garden/sick leave. Illness apart retirement is bloody great as I can wargame as much or as little as I want and we can make mini breaks out of each trip to a wargame show thus satisfying Mrs A with a trip to spa, theatre, friends or whatever. As long as I can 'manage' my condition I don't see that changing for some time yet (please Lord). There have been more than a few posts on various blogs about the fact that we are a greying hobby and that come our gradual demise there will be nothing left of the 'golden years' of wargaming or indeed of our magnificent collections. Well, there's the rub. Unless we morph into an Orwellian 1984 society there will be masses of information, photos and words of wisdom in print, on t'internet, on blogs and in books and magazines that will survive us. Whether anyone will want to read this 'legacy' is another matter. The myriad of manufacturers we currently enjoy will I reckon undoubtedly see some casualties along the way as the focus of the hobby perhaps continues its shift towards smaller boutique type 'games' but one never knows how things might pan out. Maybe the current wargaming millennials will move on to bigger games and bigger well researched collections as they get older and move on to better paid jobs?
I have no idea what will happen to my vast collection of little men and hundreds of books. I hope they're not 'skipped' and I'm sure my wife wouldn't do that anyway. Those hundreds of battalions, squadrons, batteries etc. were part of me so I doubt she'd just let them go. Indeed I have a full inventory and instructions in my will for the disposal of said legions of lead, so unless I want to be buried with them, in some bizarre demonstration of grave goods and I can take them with me, then I am happy. I will be happier still if I have a good few more gaming years in me yet of course!!!
Onwards, but not yet upwards just yet!