Another year passes, and it’s time to take stock of what’s been going on for the last year. Without further ado, here’s a look back at 2017:

Looking back at 2017

January

German trucks, British commandos, and the continuing Operation Martlet CoC campaign

February

Tanks! A Crusader AA and some Panzer 38Ts, while Op Martlet winds up

March

Burned-out British truck, the start of my samurai, and the first games of The Scottish Corridor

April

A new multi-gun Churchill tank and more Japanese

May

Japanese terrain and another Scottish Corridor game

June

Just wall-to-wall samurai this month, houses, monks and more ikko ikki.

July

Scottish Corridor continues

August

Some samurai gaming, and a nice little temple

September

Quiet month huh? Couple more Japanese terrain pieces

October

Back to the 20th century with some urban terrain and the start of the Soviets

November

More Soviets, FIW French and (bizarrely) cavemen

December

Almost done on the Soviets with his month’s output

Last Year’s Goals

Playtest and publish a CoC campaign set in northern France, with the Polish 1st Armoured chasing the retreating Germans.

Some progress on this, but not nearly enough. I only playtested one scenario out of the six. This needs a bit of attention.

Get that Muskets & Tomahawks stuff finished

Completed! I’ve now got a playable 200pt force for M&T, with enough stuff like terrain and civilians. There’s still room for a bit of expansion here, but it feels good to get this one out of its two-year rest in the lead pile.

Likewise Ronin!

Also done! My goal here was to paint up two different armies for 200pt games. I overshot a bit there, and currently have Bushi, Ikko Ikki, Warrior Monks, Koryu and Bandits. Looking at the timeline above you can see the big patch in the middle of the year where it became all about medieval Japan.

Paint up some commandos, some more scenery and some civvies for Black Ops games set in WW2.

I got the commandos painted, and things like my Opel Blitzes are great for this type of game.

So that’s three out of four goals put to bed. Happy with that.

…and the wish list!

Make some Italian terrain, so that I can:

Draft an Italian CoC campaign with NZ 2nd Div attacking the Germans at Orsogna

No progress on either of these.

Draft a quick little Black Ops campaign based around Operation Hasty

Also, none on this. Should do it really, could make a fun few games down at the club.

Paint up my Dropfleet Commander ships

To be honest, I’m not sure if I’m going to do this, but I’ve still got the ships. After it was released I became a bit disenchanted with DFC. The rules went through several revisions quite rapidly, rendering the rulebook obsolete almost as soon as it came out, and keeping track of what the current rules were became more hassle than I could be bothered with. Honestly the whole “meta” of the game seemed to be about list-building, and providing perfectly balanced lists for competitive play. That sounds really soulless and dull to me, and I found my enthusiasm to play really slumped.

Paint two pirate ships and one crew from the Blood and Plunder booty! I’ll need an ocean mat, and maybe some little islands for this, too.

Still lurking in the lead pile, but could be a nice change to paint a few pirates, and there are now rules for pirates in Sharp Practice, too. Hmm.

Paint that Soviet MG platoon for CoC that I’ve had sitting on the shelf for ages

Success! After sitting in the paint queue for a while I decided one day just to pull finger and do it, since it wasn’t actually a lot of work. Compared to most platoons this one was very small, although since everything was dug in it did mean making a few bunkers, foxhole, etc. Really happy with how this turned out. I wanted something a bit different, and it is that!

As well as getting the core platoon ready I’ve also done pretty much all the support choices I’d ever need, so I’d say this one is a slam dunk.

And the Partisans!

No progress on this after I got the first of their squads painted way back when. However, some of the regular army stuff I’ve done will work as supports, so I probably only need to do a couple of core squads to get them into a playable state.

The Battle of Lead Mountain

This year I decided to get a grip on the size of my lead pile. In order to weigh up the various things in different scales and vehicles/cavalry versus infantry I used the same points system as the Vis Lardica painting challenge.

So, it looks like good news, the pile is shrinking. Even though I bought new stuff this year, I painted substantially more. But (and there’s always a but) lets take a look at how it looks when we expand the y-axis all the way down to zero:

Hmm. Not so good.

Bottom line is that at my current rate of painting it’ll take me over two years without any new purchases to clear the pile. So what to do?

  1. Do nothing. Keep plugging away as I have been?
  2. Send some of it off to be painted by someone else?
  3. Sell off some of the stuff I’m not likely to get around to?
  4. All of the above?

Conclusion?

All up I’d say that’s a pretty successful year’s work. All my main goals got done either in full or part. I’ve now got three more games I’m well set up to play (Ronin, Black Ops, and Muskets and Tomahawks) and I’ve got a new army for my main game (Soviets for CoC).

One thing I have done this year is draw a bit of a line under getting involved with new games or periods. At the start of the year I looked at what I had in the lead pile and decided I really just wanted to play with all the stuff I already had, and not get distracted by the new and shiny. I think I’ve succeeded pretty well at that, the only new project I’ve added this year is 6mm WW2 for Sam Mustafa’s new “Rommel” ruleset, and I’ve made room for that by dropping a bigger project in Dropfleet Commander.