Saturday, 6 January 2018

Somewhat late but a 2017 review. Wargamer, Collector, Butterfly or Magpie?

Christmas is by now long gone and another year is upon us. Overall from a personal and wargaming perspective it was a pretty good 2017. The significant thing from the personal point of view has been my spinal implant (assimilating me to the Borg) which has reduced the crippling nerve pain I had been putting up with a little enabling me to get about a bit more so long as I don't overdo it. We were able to visit several shows this year, namely Vapnatark in York, Salute, Partizan, Carronade, Claymore, the Other Partizan, Crisis and Battleground as well as the get together of AMG forum members and others in the summer. My favourite show was probably ..... mmm I don’t know. Either of the Partizans and/or Crisis perhaps. I don’t include Battleground as I didn’t go as a punter but with a demo game and didn't get a good look round (or spend ANY money!). I didn’t attend as one of the Independent Wargames Group as in previous years but put a game on myself under the name of this blog. It was remarkably and pleasantly easy to recruit six friends from around the country to take part in the game, which was a great success and a pretty grand spectacle. My least favourite event was Salute, which is soulless and too expensive to get to for what it is, and we won’t be going in 2018 as a result.

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!






22 comments:

  1. A grand year passing in review there Colin. I’m confident we shall both be gaming into our dotage, so no melancholia please. I look forward to visiting Northern Command HQ later in the year and to our SYW Bic-Ash Bash at WI HQ. Happy New Man Cave, oh and house!

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    1. Thanks David. Looking forward to,your visit and the 2018 Bic-Ash Bash. Everything’s good!

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  2. Bravo Colin!
    See you in June this year all the way from "Down Under"

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    1. Thanks Mark. Looking forward to it.

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    2. And we need to coordinate diaries.

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  3. Colin, with AMG closed I have had a very enjoyable number of hours reading back through your blog. It is wonderful and provided many a lot of enjoyment. Sounds like a full year's gaming gone and a great year in store. Thanks

    Richard

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  4. Great review Colin. With no AMG to keep me going on a daily basis, your brilliant blog is keeping me sane.
    Keep up the great work and look forward to seeing that man cave in action

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    1. Thanks Graham. You will have to see the man cave in person.

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  5. Cheers Colin, I will hold you to that

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  6. Keep up the good work mate, and I look forward to your new adventures down the dale, well in the Boro, which although a less scenic drive, will be much shorter one! cheers

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  7. Thanks for a very entertaining and productive 2017 Colin. So pleased your better health is enabling so many fun trips for you both. I look forward to hearing lots more about the man cave and seeing the great games you will be staging; maybe one day attend one if I'm invited.
    Cheers
    Chris
    http://notjustoldschool.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Thanks Chris. Consider yourself invited.

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    2. Thank you, I will look for an opportunity

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  8. Hopefully a few more years yet ......and a new man cave to enjoy 😀

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  9. Happy New Year Colin - great review and I’m a first hand observer via Facebook of how great retirement is for you ! Personally speaking , looking at the state of my pension I think I’ll be working until I drop - note to others - never get divorced in your mid fifties if you want a comfortable retirement ! Anyway , do you need my address for the will ? 😂

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    1. Thanks Ian. Good advice. You will have to call in for a game if you can manage with little figures rather than your 40mm giants !

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  10. A good year from your account it seems. More of the same for 2018 then.
    I look forward to seeing the new cave in the flesh at some point.

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    1. Paul. you are on the guest list for the inaugural game.

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  11. A very interesting post, Colin. I try to be a... well, mole rather than butterfly or magpie! Or is it a buzzard? As for war gamer/collector, I guess I am both but being so slow a painter I must inevitably survive as a collector for some time before being a gamer as well.

    Good luck with the move and the developing gave cave, which looks ideal! nd here is to throwing huge heaps of dice long into the future.

    Also, Tutankhamen would have loved this hobby...
    Jim

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    1. sorry : "developing MAN cave"...

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