Sunday, January 24, 2016

Thinking on 2015

Looking back on 2015, it's been an interesting year. There have been a number of personal milestones, progress on the 1:1 scale terrain project that is the house, learning to drive and passing my exams, all of which were satisfying, but ultimately only of interest to me, so we shall get straight to the wargaming shall we?

Two highlights of the year, both of which involve Waterloo, were the August Funny Little Wars game and our own "Waterloo Day". 

The Funny Little Wars game was wonderful because it was so completely different to anything I'd tried before.  A great opportunity to meet some of what Mrs. Kinch calls my "internet axe murderer" friends in person and take part in a unique game.  Top notch stuff.

I have very fond memories of our own Waterloo day because it managed to combine a number of things that were very dear to me, good friends, the spectacle of hundreds of toy soldiers strewn across a miniature battlefield and that effervescent and hard to pin down sense of place and time.  I was delighted that my Quatre Bra scenario succeeded and I can only hope that the game evoked the same feelings for the players that it did in me. 

Which reminds me of course, that I should really finish that battle report.  

So looking back at 2015, it seems to have been the year of the plucky underdog. 

Last year, there were ten projects. And the verdict was as follows. 

Three are complete or so near to being so as makes no odds. (Memoir '36, Memoir '44 and C&C Russians)
One is over two thirds there. (C&C Austrians)
Two are aborted or on long term hiatus. (C&C Dollying up and Cold War)
Two are stalled (C&C Kala Akaata; The Sword and the Flame)
The other two are ongoing. (C&C Prussians; C&C Crimea) 

Bunkers added to the Memoir '44 collection

Memoir '44 in 1/72 - MISSION COMPLETED

There wasn't much movement on this, I picked up some bunkers and added a few British Matilda's, played a few games and so forth, but nothing extraordinary. I still intend to add some British and American paratroopers to the collection.  I think my goal for this year will be to organise at least one Memoir '44 campaign day and if I accomplish that I will be happy. 

Shot from 2014s Borodino Game

Command & Colours: Napoleonics - The Russians - MISSION STALLED

Much like Zeno's tortoise, this project isn't going anywhere fast - but then again it doesn't really need to. I have sufficient figures to play the games that I would like to play and I've added a few over the year.  I'm two units of Russian Guard light infantry and some horse artillery short, but neither of these are urgent. I have some Strelets retreat from Moscow figures that I'd like to add, but generally pretty pleased with the current state of play. 

No. 60 Don Cossacks - recent additions to the fold

Son of Bride of Command &Colours: Napoleonics - The Crimea - MISSION  NEARLY COMPLETE

The Crimea was the success story of 2015.

Which is a sentence that only a wargamer and certain Russian presidents can write. 

What began as a side show has now blossomed into a full period. Last week I took delivery of the last of the British cavalry cavalry and while there are some gaps, they are actually pretty small considering. A few extra Russian infantry, some guns and of course some Frenchmen, who I believe were in the Crimea at some point*, will do the trick.

Sadly the record of games played is not so good.I have a sufficiency of troops for the Alma and Balaklava, but I haven't managed to play many games. Several of the scenarios I still have to work in progress stage. 

Admittedly a Hungarian hussar, but there you go.

Command&Colours: Napoleonics - The Austrians - MISSION CRAWLING FORWARD

Not as much progress on this as I expected - which is a pity as I'm awful partial to the old Kaiserlicks. I have added some units of cavalry, but no games played unfortunately. 

Some Prussians from Ebay being rebased

Command & Colours: Napoleonics - The Prussians - MISSION STALLED

Absolutely nothing done on this one. I acquired some more bare lead, but not a hands turn done otherwise.

Note: After writing this it occurred to me that the Prussians did actually get a little bit of an outing at our Waterloo game, so perhaps not a complete write off. 

Ruga Ruga from HAT

The Sword and the Flame - MISSION HURTLING FORWARD

The other plucky underdog of 2015. Significant progress has taken place and I have just about all the British infantry I will ever need. Some progress on the artillery, the cavalry and on the Indian army. Only three games played though, which is a pity. 

I think for the time being, I'll be focusing on the Second Afghan War and the Zulu War. Very surprised at how quickly this has progressed. 

A Russian sentry deep in occupied Loamshire circa 1980

Cold War Project - MISSION REVIVED?

This is really quite interesting.  I'd pretty much written off any Cold War activity this year, but Black Ops appears to have single handedly revived the project.  We've played three games of Black Ops in short order and a fourth is on the cards and soon. 

Really enjoying it so far. I must say. 

A marsh hex 


Actually huge amount of progress is made on terrain this year. Almost all of that was by purchase, but notwithstanding that the terrain locker is looking a lot better than it did in 2014. I now have all the hedgerows, marshes and vineyards that I could ever need and with the exception of the hedgerows, they were all homemade. A lucky eBay win win added a collection of HO scale railway buildings useful for the Second World War and Cold War games.

Some Irish Guards


I've messed around with these for quite some time, but I have never fancied myself as a toy soldier collector. My collection has always been aimed at wargaming and this is something different.  But the sight of red coated and bearskinned figures marching across a bookshelf is simply too good to pass up. 

I just cannot wait to add a Bengal Lancer to their ranks.

The key difference between the Prince August Collection and the others is that each of them is a march with a goal, while the PA is more of a pleasant country ramble. 


So regarding 2015 in retrospect, it's been a year of sort of unexpected activity. 

I'm crossing Memoir '44 off the list as anything that happens with it now is essentially titivating for the fun of it. 

C&C Russians, C&C Austrians - not much, though a certain amount of the Crimean gear is dual use, so some progress on the Russian front I suppose. Let's say we've gone from two thirds there to four fifths. 

Cold War - Revived as a source of skirmish games, but a lively and interesting one. Quite surprised by this and it's all down to the good offices of Guy Bowers and his rather smashing Black Ops rules. 

C&C Kala Akaata - Nothing has happened on this project for a year and while I hold great hopes of an Indian adventure, particularly with the advent of Newline's new Mutiny range, this is one for the back burner.

The Sword and the Flame - moved ahead by leaps and bounds.  The trick with this will be working out where to stop! A lot of the stuff is dual use though as my Crimean Turkish army will be subbing in for 1880s Egyptians. 

C&C Crimea - very close to completion so far as the Russians and the British are concerned and I've a decent six units of French infantry. Fantastic progress this year. 

C&C Prussians - On the plus side, those Prussian figures that I have, have been based and saw service at Waterloo.  But realistically, there will be quite a bit of work to be done before we get to any of the Prussian battles. 

So looking at the field of seven projects. 

Two hovering at a state of almost completion: Austrians & Russians
Two certainly over half way there: Crimea & The Sword and the Flame
One stalled: Prussians
One written off for the time being: Kala Akaata
One back from the dead: Cold War 

Not a bad year truth be told, though I wish I managed to play a few more games. 

*Or at least so Du Gourmand assures me, but who can say really.  It's the sort of thing he picks up in the gutter press and gets carried away with.  He'll be telling me pipe smoking causes Communism next. 


  1. I'm sure that Mrs K is correct in her belief that the Internet is largely populated by axe murderers*, but it is always pleasing to meet the exceptions! I'm glad you enjoyed the FLW Waterloo game - it was a truly epic day.

    *actually I prefer a chainsaw these days, but that's another story....

    1. Wasn't it - I'm not optimistic about the Cold War game sadly.

  2. The two Waterloo games look like worthy highlights for the year. And I had no idea you were such a big C&C fan. What's your favourite version? I have M44 and Ancients, but haven't played Napoleonics.

    1. They are all fine games. I've probably played Memoir the most, but Napoleonics is the game that captured my heart. I suppose because it was a period that I never thought would be open to me.

    2. Yes, M44 would be my most played too. I'd love to have Napoleonics, but I can't really justify the outlay when I already own two versions of the system.

  3. An impressive tally of progress there ! , Tony

    1. Thank you very much Tony. I suppose when you sit down and look at it, it's quite a pile.

      I can't help looking at all the gaps though.

  4. And here I was planning to take up pipe smoking as I round the half-century mark in late 2016!

    Best Regards,


    1. It's still not too late Stokes.

      That Communism thing is probably just a story made up to frighten children, like high frequency trading and cyberwarfare.

  5. Great job, love the Ruga Ruga and the marsh hex especially...