I've just had to use a Westlife song in my lyric/post title scheme. I feel.... dirty.
It is exactly a year today since I started the Axis of Naughtiness. Personally speaking, the past year certainly comes under the "Best of times/worst of times" category. My mother passed away, my father has had several health scares which have led to me giving up my career to take care of him, while my own health has hit rock bottom with a serious scare that I only got the all clear from a couple of months ago.
But I think I'm starting to find a better life balance now. The health is improving, Dad's stable and we're getting to spend some quality time together. And, pursuant to the subject matter of this blog, I'm finally getting a lot more wargaming in.
Looking back, it's clear nothing has quite gone to plan. The original idea of 15mm modern/zombie gaming quickly fell by the wayside, and 28mm VSF leapt to the fore. It's ironic that I made the decision to abandon 15mm for VSF as since then several manufacturers have starting bringing out some absolutely fantastic Victorian/Steapunk figures in that scale. But despite the much greater expense I have to admit that the 28mm scale offers a much better selection and is visually much more appealing.
I've also reached a point with my wargames terrain where I'm incredibly happy with the aesthetics, possibly for the first time in my life. Don't get me wrong, I'm a long, long way from some of the modelling masterworks that you see in the glossy magazines, but what I've got is both functional and looks the part for the sorts of games we've been playing.
It's a further irony that the 28mm terrain I have is partially driving the decision to shift the modern/near future Imagi-Nation gaming concept towards that scale. But the 28mm city terrain, which currently tends towards the Victorian in appearance, will I hope make a good starting point for a more modern layout.
So for now, all the 15mm figures I have are in limbo, consigned to the "to be continued" shelf of the storeroom at least for the forseeable future. If/when they do see the light of day again, it's certain they'll be for games designed to be very different in style to what I'm doing at the moment.
Speaking of which, there was the brief foray into Bob Cordery's "Portable Wargame" using all that Heroscape terrain that I purchased. That little sub-project seems to have run out of steam, perhaps as a result of Bob's move to Portable Wargame II and thence on to his latest rules using those funny Richard Borg dice, along with a switch back from hexes to squares. I'm no longer sure whether I should proceed with my plan for 3-4 figure elements on the Heroscape hexes, or follow Bob's lead into larger units on a larger square grid. For now the 1/72 plastic Napoleonics will be joining the 15mm VSF/Colonials on the storeroom shelf... though that Heroscape terrain is still just too handy not to use.
Anyway, more importantly than all this acquisition of stuff, I'm actually getting to play some games (which after all is kind of the point, though many gamers might lose sight of that fact). While the big club games are few and far between, we've been getting in quite a few small, private home games with 2-4 players. Surprisingly I find I'm not doing as much solitaire gaming as I'd expect, though that may change when I finally move back in with my father and all the dust has settled.
So what's the plan for the year ahead? Well I wouldn't like to try to predict that far ahead. Let's face it, the plan this time last year lasted... what, two weeks before it was dropped in favour of VSF?
But short term, let's say for the next quarter, I'd like to get the modern/near future Imagi-Nation gaming rolling on a solid basis. That means getting at least the Army and a few guerilla figures painted, plus maybe the police and some assorted criminal types.
On the VSF front, I have a unit of Fenian cavalry and a company of British volunteers all primed and prepped but temporarily packed away (as the room that I work in at my Father's is being cleared to be redecorated and refurnished) that I'd like to get completed. I'd also like to put on/play another GASLIGHT Big Birthday Bash in the first week of August like last year.
Slightly longer term, I'd like to set a target of having a horde of about 50 zombies painted up and an All Things Zombie game playable by Christmas. Also the plastic dollhouse/quaint English village buildings inspired by the VBCW Shamlingham setup was annoyingly close to completion before it was put away, so I'd like to make sure they get finished before Xmas too.
That's the plan, anyway.
I give it about a week!