Wednesday, January 4, 2023

2023 Wargaming and 2022 Reflection

Buckle your seatbelts people, it's 2023!  I hope the holiday season has treated you all well in your part of the world.  If you are new to the blog or have followed along for longer, thank you so much.  I continue to insist that this is primarily a documented history of my wargaming exploits, but I've also met so many fellow wargamers in different parts of the world through doing this blog, so it has yielded far more than I ever thought it would.

I'll break this - long (apologies) post - down into some sections:
  1. 2022 Reflection
  2. 2023 General Thoughts
  3. General d'Armee Napoleonic's
  4. O'Group WW2
  5. Never Mind the Billhooks
  6. Hail Caesar Dark Ages
  7. Closing Thoughts

2022 Reflection

So 2022, what can I say.  I find myself disappointed.

Don't get me wrong, I played some spectacular games at the conventions I attended and got to push lead and roll dice a little outside of those events.  That being said, I went stone cold between KublaCon in late may and other than PacifiCon in September, didn't do any gaming outside of PacifiCon until Thanksgiving!

That just isn't acceptable, but I have a few reasons for that ... primarily work was crazy, but my son playing Volleyball (general life stuff), and perhaps most of all, I felt a little confused about which rules to play for certain periods.  I confess I'm a little tired of Bolt Action, which is why WW2 fell to the back burner for me.  I was also distracted by all sorts of random, well ... craziness.  I think mostly I just felt a little lost for most of the back half of the year, unable to focus, unable to get motivated.

But, just before Christmas I found myself getting my mojo back.  I squeaked in the Trenton games and started getting motivated to do all sorts of things with my existing collection, and cut down on the distractions.

2023 General Thoughts

I'm still on vacation this week and trying to make the most of it.  I'm committed to playing more games this year, and I really mean it!  I do need to spend a little time doing some terrain TLC though and I've already started that.  Below you can see my project for this week, getting my new road set completed.  Pictured are the narrower roads - all these are from Total Battle Miniatures.  I have the wide and narrow roads ...

I've ordered a few more buildings from Grand Manner as well that will do great for Napoleonic battles in Russia.  For gaming I really want to put some time into revising and streamlining This Hallowed Ground for ACW.  I've settled on the excellent (and slightly modified by me) Live Free or Die rules for AWI.  General d'Armee is my go to for Napoleonic's now.  I'm excited about using Never Mind the Billhooks for War of the Roses, and Hail Caesar for Dark Ages (Saxons/Vikings).  Finally, my War of the Ring collection is nearing full completion and other than some terrain projects for that, it looks like 2023 will see the completion of that collection.

General d'Armee

Funny enough, the other day I was sitting down to put together some scenarios for Napoleonic's, specifically around the first part of the French invasion of Russian in 1812.  I would be looking a building out some Russian rear guard scenarios.  While I was working on this I was playing videos from the various YouTube channels I subscribe to for wargaming when the new scenario book for General d'Armee was highlighted.  I immediately dropped everything and went to the Too Fat Lardies site to purchase the 1813, The Battles for Germany scenario book.

Excellent, just excellent.  I have everything for the Russian, French and Austrian components of all the scenarios.  Roy Scaife is hard at work bringing the Prussian army to our merry group of gamers.  Even without the Prussians for the moment, I have 3 scenarios I can play, today, right now, without having to do anything else.  This is what you'll see next up on the blog.

More than that, a 2nd edition of General d'Armee is due to hit the interwebs and bookshelves in the early summer.  From this thread, the changes sound great and I'm really looking forward to the new revision - while also being happy to use v1 for my games in the meantime.

O'Group WW2

Reviewing the O'Group battalion level wargame rules for World War 2 have inspired me to try these using my 28mm collection.  I'm unsure it these will work well for more than 2 players, but I'm still reading through the rules and at the very least I will use them for 1v1 games at my house.

28mm you say?  Yes!  I'll use the 20mm distances in the rules, but I think it is fairly easy to use these for 28mm.  Essentially a 10 figure section in Bolt Action becomes a 10 figure company in O'Group.  Each platoon is 3 figures (representing the 3 different sections), and the 10th figure is the company commander.

In order to make this work, I've ordered some movement trays from Charlie Foxtrot Models.

For the platoons (3 figures each) I ordered the movement trays pictures above (link).  3 of these bases will represent the 3 platoons in a company.  If a platoon loses a section (KIA) then take a figure off the movement tray.

For the company commander, which is a single figure, I ordered the movement tray pictured above (link).  While only a single figure, the back of the base will allow me to indicate which company (e.g., A Company) the models is commanding.

I have everything I need to run the scenario that is included in the main rulebook.  Once I get the movement trays in from CFM all I need to do is sand/paint them up and this game will be going on the tabletop!

Never Mind the Billhooks

I have all the miniatures acquired that I need to do Towton.  I already have one of the battles (divisions) completed with 5 more to go.  I've had a long time desire to play WotR and this is a project I will see through to completion this year.  The long pole here is assembly.  All those Perry Miniatures plastics have a lot of different parts and it really slows down the assembly process.

I'm even more motivated for this as the deluxe rulebook for Never Mind the Billhooks recently released and is just a beautiful tomb of wargaming fun.  I have the new cards and really just need to get this game on the table.

Hail Caesar Dark Ages

I had such a blast playing in the Dark Ages game at Conquest Sacramento that I just could not resist the urge to take my SAGA collection and expand it into a proper mass battle collection for the Dark Ages.  I have the movement trays from Charlie Foxtrot Models and and healthy start to the painted figures (about 120+ painted already).  Of course, I'll need about 500-600 figures when all done - but I've already got them from Gripping Beast.

I'll be using Hail Caesar with the Shieldwall Dark Age supplement.  I'll also be adopting the cleaver rules changes from Stew that he used for his game.

Closing Thoughts

So there you have it ... lot's of plans as usual.  I will get through these projects, likely with some distractions along the way.  We do what we can but I'm determined this year to get in more games and continue to knock down these projects.

I'll leave you with the most likely first distraction of 2023 - 10mm English Civil War using Pendraken Miniatures.  I even painted up a 10mm building ...

I'd like to start by having enough to do the Battle of Edgehill, which shouldn't require too much effort (comparatively speaking to say a large 28mm project).

So stay tuned, keep on painting, and go roll some dice!


  1. A great review if the year Jay and you have lots of interesting and exciting plans for 2023.....the main focus should definitely be....PLAY MORE GAMES!
    My own game count as on the low side for 2022 but that's got a lot to do with relying on others to host, and one of my gaming mates has cut back drastically in the last few years....five years ago, I probably had a Friday night game with him around twenty times over year, plus other nights on some occasions, often at quite short notice, but last year, I probably had ten games with him. I have even resorted to the extreme measure if a few solo skirmish games, something I haven't done in around forty five years.....I actually quite enjoyed them!
    Good luck with all your planned projects and I hope you manage to get a few more games in over the next twelve months!

    1. Thanks! Certainly life can get in the way. I'd love to be playing a game a week. Setup and cleanup certainly take a lot of time. I do find it often interesting how few wargamers are willing to host a game. Ironically, in my experience, the gamers least setup to host (say, those in a single bedroom apartment) are hosting games while those that live in large houses have never once hosted a game in their entire existence. Just one of those strange qwerks of the hobby I suppose. For me I also struggle in that I've often not run a game if I couldn't figure out how to entertain 6+ people ... but as I get older I care less about that ... I want to play (not just host) and so long as I get one other person, great. But, as you say, there is also solo gaming - not something I've really done for miniatures (I have some great solo boardgames). Something I should do and try however - perhaps even maybe filming them ... lots of thoughts.

      Anyways, happy new year and best of luck with your 2023 wargames!

  2. Put the year behind, concentrate on your new plans. 1813 is a much better garden for scenario pulling than 1812.

    1. Great thinking. Agree, lots going on in 1813, and much warmer :-)

  3. Try not to be hard on yourself….life is a journey just move forward. Lots of exciting stuff planned for the year ahead 👍

    1. Thanks Matt! Yes sir, keep moving forward ... I can here Capt Winters yelling that at Foy ... lol. I'm stuck in now and making progress. Happy new year :-)

  4. I think that the events of the last few years have been enough to kick most people in the Mojo… especially if distance gaming isn’t your thing.
    I certainly haven’t been playing as many games as I would like to although on reflection I had more than I thought .
    Here’s to a game filled 2023.

    All the best. Aly

    1. Thanks Aly! Ooof, distance gaming, yeah. Virtual gaming conventions ... right. Not my thing at all. I'm still extremely jealous of the excellent games you get to play :-) i look forward to following along with your blog and seeing some great 2023 games. Happy new year :-)

  5. Interesting read Jay. I didnt realise that Dave Brown was releasing a new edition of Grand Armee. One can tell he's retired. As for Billhooks, well Ive used them right from the start and found them perfect for Wars of the Roses and having fought one Swiss versus Burgundian game they work really well for that war. Im gearing up for the Billhooks weekend in April when I hope to use my Burgundian army.

    1. He is a busy guy. Billhooks has be excited ... just gotta buckle down and get through that assembly. Enjoy the Billhooks weekend, wish I lived close enough to attend!

  6. Great post Jay and a very Happy New Year to you and yours.
    Similar yo yourself I always like to play games and keep the mind ticking and have noticed a tendency now to want to concentrate on fewer rule sets and periods. GdA is my Napoleonic rule set of choice and being fortunate enough to be able to play test GDA2 at present, it’s a wonderful evolution. Here’s hoping 2023 is a cracker for all of us.

    1. Playtesting GdA2 ... lucky man!! That's great to hear as the changes really sound great. Unfortunately I'm prone to impulse buying which leads to distraction projects. I've improved over the years but it is risky when I get into the no mojo mode. I'm happy to have my focus back. Best of luck in 2023! :-)

  7. Life has been sending me on detours as well. Not to mention my ADD having me jump all over the place hobby wise from week to week.

    Your blog happens to be my favorite and I love your antidotes (have I spelled that right?), and your hilarious cartoon choices when you want to get a point across. Also your generosity in sharing/offering your rules mods and other bits without hesitation, it’s certainly helped me enjoy my hobby more. I know I will never be a hobby giant like you (don’t deny it, compared to me you are), but your enthusiasm and love of the hobby always motivates me. Lastly all the photographic eye candy of toy soldiers and the amazing terrain is always something I look forward to when I see your posts come up. You keep on keeping on sir!

    Cheers from the great state of Michigan

    1. Hey Kevin! At least you've taken the plunge into LOTR :-) Thanks for the kind words and for following along for so long! I likely contribute to distractions I think, but distractions can be fun. I look forward to following along with you thdough 2023 :-)

  8. I hear ya on life interfering with the important stuff: miniatures. I didn’t do any gaming outside Pacificon as well, and even stopped blogging for 3 months. Good luck this year to you and happy new year. 😀

    You should totally steal my HC stuff and improve upon it so I can steal the better ideas back 😀

    1. Lols, thanks Stew ... don't think I would change anything, hard to improve on perfection :-)

  9. Happy New Year Jay !! Looking forward to seeing your take on Towton.

    1. Thanks Mr. Shed! Looking forward to seeing your new setup.

  10. Looking forward to seeing these progress

  11. Hello Jay. 2022 was strange for me! Due to different reasons I havent painted anything and played just few (but great) games. I hope 2023 will bring some change as I'm back to painting and blogging, and I hope it will remain so throughout the year!

    I find using Saga minis with trays for Hail Ceasar a great idea. I came up with the same idea with my Arabs for the first Crusade using the trays from the War of the Ring game. These work very well in respect of the unit footprint ->

    Best wishes,

    1. Hi Jan! Hopefully we all get to play more games this year :-) Thanks for the link, checking it out now.