Sunday, December 30, 2007

2007 in review, with a look forward to 2008.

Looking back at 2007, I see that I was all over the wargame map! Of course, why should 2007 be different than any other year, but this time it was a trifle better documented than before.

I kept a written games “diary” from 1998 until June of 2006 when the journal was full. During that year I started keeping loose pages in my appointment book, and also started my first blog (Huzzah!) as a resource for my friend Ray and I to plan and track our big Napoleonics game for MillenniumCon X.

Then in March of 2007 I started this blog, mainly for my rekindled interest in “big battalion” Seven Years War gaming. That first month, as in many new hobby activities, was a flurry of activity, which has dropped off over the year. My plan (let’s not call it a resolution) is to update weekly in 2008.

So what did I accomplish in the past year?

The main project for the year, and which was a complete success, was the Napoleonics project mentioned above and documented at Huzzah! Ray and I were joined by Paul Bishop, who contributed enthusiasm and a fresh view on the project and the rules. It is always a pleasure to find someone that so fits in with your outlook. Thanks Paul!

The “big game” involved collecting essentially an entire Napoleonic corps at 30:1 in 25mm. Many orders were made to various miniature companies and painting services. In no particular order:

Old Glory Miniatures
The Miniature Service Center (GMB Flags, Front Rank Figurines)
DJD Miniatures
Fernando Enterprises
Philgreg Painters
Big Battalions
Charles Van Norman
Reinforcements By Post
Flag Dude
Litko Aerosystems
Hinds Figures Ltd
Dragon Painting Service
Bicorne Miniatures

Ray and I live quite a distance apart (Warner-Robins, GA and San Antonio, TX), so we don’t get together often. But in 2007 we got in three practice games for the project, as well as a couple other games such as Wings of War and Victory at Sea.

Wings of War (“WoW”) was one of those side roads. Ray and I discovered the game while meeting Paul for the first time at the Houston game store, Little Wars over the Memorial Day weekend. Between charge and counter-charge, we did some shopping and found the WoW airplanes. Both Ray and I have played WWI air games in the past, and the beautiful little plans and the fun game mechanics launched a flurry of collecting frenzy. We each have the complete set now and look forward to the delayed release of the new sets.

I spent a lot of time preparing my Napoleonic armies for the convention, but nevertheless found time to catch the “Big Battalion” and “ImagiNation” bug for the Seven Years War. I have collected SYW figures for several years, and had even put together the beginnings of an ImagiNation plan before, but something really triggered me to start this fresh. And then I found all of the other people similarly engaged in the Emperor vs. Elector crowd. Thanks to everyone for almost a year of fun and frivolity.

My plans for the SYW Brunswick army, masquerading as the Landgraviate of Hesse-Fedora have been remarkably consistent. At one point I was thinking of representing every battalion at 10:1, but decided on just one battalion and two squadrons per historical regiment. But I did add the hypothetical Landgrafin’s Fusiliers.

Along those lines I picked up Bill Protz’s new rules: Batailles de l´Ancien RĂ©gime 1740-1763, as well as copies of the classics Charge! Or How to Play Wargames and The War Game. Reading about Bill and Jim Purkey’s (of Der Alte Fritz fame) big games has inspired me greatly, and together with Bill McHenry launched a plan for a Big Battalion game at MillenniumCon XI in November 2008.

Preparing for the next big game, and big battalions in general, has been fun. Like Hal Thinglum in his editorials in MWAN, I truly enjoy planning my wargames armies. Right now my projects include Minden Miniatures, RSM95 figures from Dayton Painting Consortium, Arquebusiers de Grassin from Eureka Miniatures (not to mention orders for literally hundreds of figures for the 100 Club Saxons, Dutch, British, and Spanish!) and Crusader Miniatures Austrians being painted for me by Old Army Painting Service. Oh, and I picked up a few extra figures from GAJO to fill out my units bought from them years ago.

I also plan to put on a BAR game at the local San Antonio convention, ChimaeraCon, in March, 2008. This is to get some experience with the system, but also to support the convention and to drum up enthusiasm for the project at MillenniumCon.

All of this lead bingeing has a price, though. I have considered a massive sell-off of my various miniatures, but in the end sold only my Flames of War and 15mm SYW collections.

Finally, I added bits and pieces to various projects, including figures and books for my Games Workshop Lord of the Rings collection.

Next year I plan to paint more SYW figures for the Big Battalions projects, and to expand my ImagiNations and their characters. Right now, the Hesse-Fedorans have received most of my attention, but the forces of Hesse-Homburg, Saxe-Jungbach, and Snibor-Renraw wait in the wings for their turn.

Thanks for visiting. I hope you have enjoyed it even a fraction as much as I have. I look forward to 2008, and wish you a prosperous New Year.


Bluebear Jeff said...

I wish you an equally wonderful new year.

I also look forward to learning more of these other Imagi-Nations that you've mentioned.

-- Jeff

Ed Youngstrom said...

Thanks Jeff.

As to other Nations, the first part is posted!

Ed v. H-F