Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year 2013!

Happy New Year Everyone! May you all have a terrific and most excellent 2013. 

As I type this at home on a beautifully sunny New Year’s Day (following what seems like a week of constant rain), I’ve a steaming mug of coffee by the laptop, just next to the box of paracetamols. 

Yes, the festive season draws to a close at Roundwood Towers with the last of the relatives and friends finally having departed at 09:58 hours this morning. For the last week it’s been like a hotel here. As chief flunkey, doorman, Maitre ‘D, chauffeur, groundskeeper, sommelier, logistics supremo and handyman I can confess that the week since Christmas Eve morning has been a little fraught. My lovely children soon tired of acting as bellhops and scullery maids, despite Mrs Roundwood’s repeated watching of episodes of “Downton Abbey” spliced with various comments to the children that “this is the sort of thing you should be doing to earn some pocket money”. 

All this has meant that, Christmas Eve aside, there has been little hobbying done so far this holiday. However, like wargamers the world over I’ve been making elaborate and completely unfeasible plans about what I want to do in the next 12 months while vaccuuming the stairs, fetching logs from the garden, cleaning the kitchen floor, going out for yet MORE food, and so on. 

I rashly looked back to last year’s New Year predictions earlier this morning. Suffice to say that not all of the grand plans I mentioned last year actually happened.

Great War German Trench Raiders – they are now undercoated (Cue the sound of a single half-hearted party-popper in the distant background)

Troop of Lord Strathcona’s Horse from Moreuil Wood in March, 1918 – aarrggghh, they’re still not done. Another year goes by without them being painted. How can I walk in the street in daylight I hear you cry. Disgraceful…. 

Rattenkeller or Rattenloch – a happier tale. I finished the intact and the destroyed version. it would have been the pearl handled revolver in the study desk drawer if I’d not got this squared away, dear friends.

Dark Age Saxons – yes, done, dipped and deployed. It’s odd how I managed to get these chaps done in less than a month. OK, so they didn’t look great, but they got done. There’s a moral there for me, somewhere. 

Jetty Wood Campaign Diaries – aha, another minor success. I did get the campaign diaries posted from the games in December 2011. Not as quick as I promised, but they finally got there (on the right hand side-bar of the Blog) 

Great War Amercians and Whippets – you need to ask, mes braves? No, sadly not even out of the box. 

In my own defence I did do other things during the year. There were articles on Great War characters and backgrounds and German Stosstruppen, creation of Roman villas, painting of casualties and stretcher bearers and quite a few other Great War figures behind the scenes. As for figures painted – 138 in 28mm. Not a vintage year, but I enjoyed all of them (yes, even the dipped ones). 

And wargames played? A very low 22 – rather far from magnifique. 2012 was the year in which I really wanted to get out and hobby, but everything seemed to conspire against me getting there whether it was the ‘flu, work commitments, travel or (on one memorable occasion) the wargame club venue flooding on club night. I must try harder in 2013 – perhaps I should transition wargaming skills into plumbing know-how… 

So, what were my hobby highlights for 2012? 

Top of the list was attending the wargaming shows at Salute, Triples and Bovington in the Spring and Summer. It’s great to get to wargames shows, and even better to run participation games there. Along with Richard, Panda and Al, we met so many terrific people at those shows and I only hope you all enjoyed the participation games we played as much as I did. 

Close behind was the outstanding Dragonmeet show in December, which really inspired me to try and think of wargaming in a wider context and ‘outside the box’ I sometimes place it in.

The games we played of Dux Britanniarum, mainly in the first part of the year, were terrific – a real atmosphere pervaded these games, stalking the table, hands on our shoulders in the dark of an empty room. And yes, my very dodgy attempts at Anglo-Saxon poetry.

And then there was “Night’s Black Agents”. Vampires and spies? Whoever would have thought it. While beautifully presented and wonderfully written the obvious physical qualities of the rulebook pale, however, alongside the insights crafted into every single page of the text. Inspiring and a true masterwork it was, without any doubt, my hobby book of the year. Ostensibly nothing to do with tabletop wargaming but in creating setting, pace and theme, absolutely everything to do with it. 

So there you go. 2012. What a great year. Things achieved, things not started, but overall, a whole heap of fun and gaming friendship. Happy New Year everyone!


  1. A very HAppy New Year to you too Sidney! I can sympathise entirely on the hobby front as nothing has been achieved here either; love the sound of the trench raiders.

    1. Thanks Michael. Hobbying started in earnest last night - thank goodness its not only me who's achieved pretty much nothing hobby-wise over the holidays!!

  2. Happy New Year Sidney! I sympathize with unfinished projects as mine is littered with this too, but it sound like you had some things turn out very successful which is good.Looking forward to seeing what you do next!:-)


    1. Thanks so much Christopher. And thanks for all the support this year - I've really appreciated it!

  3. Hey!! I see myslef crushed up there in a photo between two-fat-lardies :-)
    Very happy New Year to the Blakemore family, may all your sihses come true!!
    And keep those projects and blogpost coming, please

    1. Benito - Próspero Año Nuevo!! Please forgive me for pinching a photo from your blog. The one of you sandwiched between me and Rich was too good not to use! Very happy new year to you and all the family, and I really hope to keep the blog running steadily throughout 2013!

  4. Hey, maybe we will actually catch up and chat sometime too?

    1. Ashley, that would be terrific! I'd love that. We met at Salute a couple of years back - the participation game set in the ACW? Anyway, hope to catch up again, maybe at Salute 2013?

  5. Happy new Year Sidney!!!

    Thanks for all inspiration during the year, especially for Dux Britanniarum !

    Best regards Michael

  6. Happy New Year, I shall look forward to following your progress during the year, whatever you tackle it will undoubtedly be as inspiring as last.

  7. A bit late but Happy New Year to you my good man!

  8. Happy New Year Sidney. Look forward following your adventures this year and who knows, we might meet at some show again...Cheers, Michael

  9. A belated but warmly wished Happy New Year to you and yours, Sidney. Wishing you all the best in 2012.
    It sounds like a busy and frantic year, but we are all grateful for what you got done and posted on this wonderful blog, long may it thrive.
    A dear friend of mine serves in the current Lord Strathcona's Horse and he and I look forward to whenever you get the Moreuil Wood project finished.
    Thanks for the reference to Night's Black Agents. I didn't know about it but am currently in Ottawa with a store around the corner that should have it, May give me some ideas for my Weird War project.

  10. Happy New Year Sidney! And all the best to you and your family for 2013!



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