So that was 2020... wasn't it shit!
To be honest I've gotten off pretty lightly this year compared with many others... everyone has stayed pretty healthy, work have been really supportive of staff and I've even ended the year with a new, more senior job role (with the same employer). The downside has been not being able to see family in Scotland which has been really hard, and the impact on my son who is trying to find a job in the middle of a world-wide recession, but compared with many others we can count our blessings.
Traditionally at this time of year blogs do a review of the year and I thought there wouldn't be much to report but when I looked back it has somehow been a really busy and very diverse year gaming-wise. So here goes...
As far as the blog goes, I managed 50 posts this year (5 more than 2019). I don't pay much attention to page views but these seem to be growing, although how many are bot-generated is anyone's guess. For what it's worth posts about Boardgames continue to generate a lot more hits that anything else...I suspect due to this being picked up as a keyword in searches. Number of hits was never really the point of the blog but it's nice to see comments and feedback from people occasionally and know that there is a wider community out there, so thank you for your comments and support.
My 1st game of 2020 was a game of Star Wars Rebellion (I lost...this may be a common theme!) Later in January saw the now traditional all day Shed game hosted by Eric the Shed ...this year was a great refight of the 1st Battle of Newbury in the ECW
February saw my Black Seas Napoleonic ships make their 1st (and only, so far) outing. I also played in an excellent 54mm Zulu game using Osprey's The Men Who Would be Kings. I started work on what was to become a major project... the Wars of the Roses: at this point we were looking at using Hail Caesar or Lion Rampant as a rule set but that was to change later in the year.
March: my AWI armies took to the table in a couple of games (I lost... again). These used another of the excellent Osprey Rules, this time Rebels and Patriots. There was more Wars of the Roses painting: I don't think a project has engaged me as much as this one has for a long time. And then we had a lockdown...
April: at least the enforced lockdown and the resulting 2 and a half months of furlough meant that I was able to get on with painting. I started on my WW2 Japanese as well as continuing with the WotR armies. I haven't painted as much in years as I did during this period.
May consisted of daily dog walks and a lot of baking. I eventually succumbed to the pressure and took on a large scale painting challenge... the living room and dining room and the stairs!
In June things had relaxed a little and I managed a few games with others. My son had also finished uni by this point and returned home so there was a bit of an uptake in boardgames including a Star Wars Imperial Assault campaign
July: gaming resumed at the Shed with some social distancing. It was great to get back together with friends and we played various games including some Napoleonics and Colonial games with Black Powder. More boardgames at home and I was persuaded to join some old friends from uni days for some old-school role-playing but with a Zoom twist. This was initially going to be a short-term thing but the campaign is still going strong and shows no signs of stopping.
In August Lord Percy made his debut in a Hail Caesar Wars of the Roses game. Eric the Shed's massive Roman army was also unveiled this month in an epic sized battle. More boardgames (Tank Duel, Star Wars Imperial Assault) add the arrival of the new addition of Brittania. I've only managed to play this once so far and really must get it back out. I also picked up a copy of Gaslands and some Hot Wheels cars and set off down the rabbit hole into a very addictive game.
In August or September Wargames Illustrated gave away a free ruleset with one of their magazines: Never Mind the Billhooks by Andy Callan. Very quickly we realised these were exactly what we'd been looking for in the Wars of the Roses campaign and Hail Caesar was quickly dumped in favour of NMTB. We decided that instead of setting up a campaign game we would refight all the major battles in sequence. I also played several games of Gaslands, more boardgames (UBoot... excellent!) and decided to scrap the WW2 Japanese project as something that was never going to make it to the table.
October saw more of the Wars of the Roses battles and games of Gaslands. We got as far as the Battle of Northampton but I can safely say that I have definitely got my money's worth out of the WotR armies! Despite the large number of WotR games we've played I haven't won a single game yet, but there's always 2021!! We'll definitely be continuing with the sequence as soon as it's safe to carry on... Towton is next.
...and then we had more lockdowns and face to face gaming went on hold again...
November and December have, by necessity, been boardgames at home. We tried Paths of Glory, the grand strategy WW1 game which was a mixed bag, more roleplaying and some more lightweight boardgames (Catan etc). I struggled to get motivated to do any painting in the autumn but have now finished off more Ashigaru for my Japanese forces and a couple of cannons for the Wars of the Roses (which will no doubt blow up as soon as I try to use them|!)
So there we go... a lot more gaming than I'd remembered and a really wide range of periods and settings. I'm lucky to have some really good gaming-buddies who have kept me going through the year. Here's hoping we can get back together relatively soon in 2021 (vaccines-permitting). I hope everyone has a great Hogmanay and that next year is a good one for you and yours!