Saturday, 28 December 2019

Review of 2019

Hope you all had a great Christmas. It is that time of year to review my wargaming through 2019. 

What I had not planned at the start of the year was to sell off my entire 15mm collection. This was a time consuming exercise which detracted from my wargaming. Both number of games and figures painted fell short of what I had anticipated.

In looking back over the past year I will refer back to my original plans and examine what has been achieved and what has not. Under each of the three headings, 'Battles', 'Campaigns' and 'Painting', I will add what I have completed but not planned for originally.

On to the review. The text in Italics is taken directly from my original 'Plans 2019' -

Continued - 


AWI (10mm):

White Planes - 

Although this is ready to play, I have repeatedly sidelined it in favour of 6mm games. It is my intention to focus purely on one scale (with the possible exception of a limited use of 2mm) but I just cannot bring myself to sell off those excellent Pendraken figures. More of my plans for this scale on my 'Plans for 2019' posting due early in the new year.


Talavera - The next battle in my Peninsular War project. There will be a question mark as to whether I will achieve playing this before the year end. I estimate 1,000 - 1,500 6mm figures will need to be painted, mostly Spanish.

With only 234 Spanish painted there is a long way to go before this battle is ready. One of the casualties of time spent on ebay sales.

Grissburg - The next battle in my Napoleonic Campaign. Terrain, in particular buildings, need to be acquired and painted. I am placing this battle on my 'must do' list to move the campaign along. 

This battle turned out to be my big game of the year. It was played June - July and although a decisive French victory it did not achieve the wholesale destruction of the Prussian defenders Napoleon was hoping for. The Prussian Army had been bloodied but was still a formidable fighting force.

Austria 1809 (a test battle for 2mm)

This was an unplanned diversion into another scale. I had become tempted by photos of 2mm figures in action and provided a possible route into playing large Napoleonic battles such as Austerlitz and Borodino. The game, played in October, proved to be a little underwhelming and the jury is still out for 2mm. 


Gettysburg - Day 2 scenario from the original Fire & Fury book. i.e. the entire battlefield, using approximately 4,000 6mm figures. This will be brigade level using the F&F orbats from the book. It will be a straight forward conversion for Guns at Gettysburg rules with my own amendments including units representing brigades rather than battalions. Figures are complete but I have some work to do on terrain before this will be ready. I am making this my big game of the year and am determined to get it played!

I may well have been determined at the start of the year but sadly this was another ebay casualty. More buildings have been painted and in that respect progress has been made on the terrain required.

Big Bethel - from Regimental Fire & Fury scenario book. 

This was my first game of the year played in January. An outnumbered Confederate force holding a strong defensive position held out defeating the Union attackers.

McDowell - Scenario 3 in the Guns at Gettysburg, Stonewall Jackson scenario book.

This followed on almost immediately from 'Big Bethel' and played late January to early February. It displayed what could be achieved in 6mm on a small board of 3'9" x 2'3" and yet still thoroughly enjoyable. This battle could have gone either way and finished with a marginal Confederate victory.

This turned out to be a good year for ACW with more battles played that had not been included in the yearly plans:

Front Royal -

Another small battle on the same sized board as 'McDowell'. This game saw the first outing of my railway track and 'upgraded' streams. This was played in April and yet another Confederate victory.

Seven Pines (Fair Oaks) -

The last of the ACW battles and for that matter the final game of the year was the large Battle of Seven Oaks taken from a Fire & Fury scenario book. A 2 day battle played in November and December with the Union forces ending a bad year for them with another defeat.


Having fought the first battles of the North Africa campaign in 1940, I now continue with Operation Compass actions. Using Blitzkrieg Commander 2 (or 4 if available) rules:

Nibeiwa 9th Dec 1940 - All figures complete. Terrain to be finished

Played in February, this proved to be an immensely enjoyable game cementing my positive view of the Blitzkrieg Commander rules. A British victory although they suffered more casualties than in the historical battle.

Matkila 11th Dec 1940

This was scrapped and replaced with two others from the Op Compass Battle of the Camps:

Tummar West -

This immediately followed 'Nibeiwa' and played in February. Another fairly easy British victory.

Buq Buq -

This will be the final action in the Battle of the Camps section of Operation Compass. Played in October this was the first outing for Blitzkrieg Commander IV. At last an Italian victory as they held out against an armoured assault.

Op Market Garden - This will depend on the schedule release of the new sculps from Heroics and Ros. Into the Woods from the Rapid Fire Scenario book will be the first to play all being well.

Unfortunately still awaiting new releases of figures by Heroics & Ros to complete the figures required.

Allied landing on Rhodes - from the Operation Nostalgia campaign. 

Figures are ready and most of the terrain pieces acquired but yet to be painted. Having missed this year I intend to rectify that next year.


Warplan 5/5 campaign to continue.

Battle of Grissburg played with subsequent map moves completed leading up to the 2nd Battle of Brandenlea (Spain) to be gamed, hopefully next year.

Wars of the Roses:
Kingmaker campaign to continue.

This is the one campaign that is not being played solo with my son Jack being the opponent. Rather than game the Siege of Alnwick we decided to play it through as per the board game. Further map moves and sieges have been completed leading up to the Battle of Shrewsbury. More figures will need to be painted for this game, the first of which are on my painting table.  

This is a campaign in 15mm I started 9 or 10 years ago but with very little progress. It was set in a fictional Sudan but I intend to have a fresh look at this. I have a sizeable lead pile in 15mm as well as several Nile steamers yet to be constructed.  The Sword and the Flame rules to be used. Having failed to do anything with this last year I really hope to kickstart the campaign this year!

With the sale of my entire 15mm collection this campaign has been scrapped. There is a chance I will pick it up in 6mm but that will be for the future.

Operation Nostalgia - With the preliminary air and sea battles fought the landing on Rhodes beckons.

This has been at a standstill this year. The size of board required would have taken up most of my wargames room at a time when I needed part of it to complete my ebay sales. It will definitely be on the agenda for next year.


Wars of the Roses 6mm - Almost certainly more will be required for the Kingmaker campaign. A rough estimate of 500 more figures is pencilled in.

Nil painted! Complete failure.

AWI 10mm - 30 more figures to be completed for 'White Plains'.


Napoleonic 6mm - 1,000 - 1,500 figures for Talavera required, mainly Spanish.

234 painted! Nearly complete failure.

WW2 6mm - For Op Nostalgia approximately 200 to 300 figures and 50 vehicles/armour/guns to be completed. More will be required for NW Europe depending on H&R new figure release schedule.

288 figures and 47 vehicles completed although not entirely all for Op Nostalgia.

Total figures completed in 2019 -
30 x 10mm
1487 x 6mm
47 x 6mm vehicles
3131 x 2mm.

The number for 2mm is obviously greatly flattered by the fact they are not individual figures but contained within molded blocks. I would guess it is equal to 200 - 300 x 6mm.

I aim to paint at least 2500 and preferably 3000 x 6mm figures each year which had been the average rate recently. Some thought will be required for next year to achieve this.


Following completion of my AWI figures, attention will be turned towards completing terrain for:

Gettysburg - Some buildings completed but more needs to be done including terrain features.
McDowell - Completed
Nibeiwa - Completed
Grissburg - Completed
Rhodes - None completed
'Into the Woods' - None completed

I also hope to continue sprucing up my existing commercially built terrain boards. 

This will be an ongoing project for some time to come. I completed upgrading my stream sections this year together with the creation of small streams/run offs using an acetate base.

My cheap tress from China have been receiving attention starting this year and well on the way to being completed. Clump foliage of different shades have been added to bulk them out and their bases have also been improved.


On the whole it could have been worse with my wargaming time being impacted with ebay sales. I was disappointed not to have played the invasion of Rhodes and I would have liked to have made more progress in preparation for Gettysburg.

The diversion into 2mm had mixed results. With hindsight I probably should have gone with smaller bases. Unless you make the base very plain it is easy for the figures to get lost within the 'foliage'. I have not completely give up on the scale but will be mothballed for now.

Since clearing out my 15mm it has refocused my intention to game in just one scale (something else which puts a question mark over 2mm). This leaves me with a conundrum for my 10mm AWI. On several occasions this past year I had every intention of playing 'White Plains' but 6mm repeatedly muscled in! I may try again next year and then make a decision on their future.

For newcomers to the blog, you will find all the battles mentioned above either within the labels on the right or on the blog archive.

I would also like to thank all the contributors to the comments section. It is very much appreciated with some very useful hints and recommendations.

I do have a question though regarding the AAR's. I am very conscious that many, if not most, are rather long and picture heavy. Not everybody wants to devote the time reading through the reports and would rather just have a snapshot with a handful of photos. When deciding on future AAR's I would be very grateful for your views. Are they:
 Too long?
Too short?
Just about right?
I would appreciate it if you could give your views in the comments section along with anything you would like to see that I have not included. 

In a few days I will post my plans for 2020 and in the meantime continue to enjoy the holidays.  


  1. Jon, 2019 was a terrific year for following your blog. You presented so many beautiful, varied, and well-delivered battle reports that your BatReps are consistently some of my favorites. The care you take in presenting and photographing each battle is evident and much appreciated. Truly inspirational stuff.

    As for publishing battle reports, yours are epic. I enjoy the detailed accounts you provide but I find the length of some too long for me. Breaking the longer battle reports into smaller chunks would make each more digestible. Sometimes my mind begins to drift and I am tempted to jump ahead to see the end. Whatever format, I will continue to read.

    You publish consistently excellent content. Well done!

    1. Many thanks for that Jonathan, much appreciated. I had considered breaking down some of the longer reports into separate instalments and useful to know that they sometimes can be too long. When compiling the AAR's it is not until the end you realise how long they are! Will bear that in mind for next year.

  2. Well that’s 1,487 more 6mm completed than me :-) Interestingly I seem to be heading the opposite way to you and am fast becoming more of a 28mm gamer than a 6mm gamer these days even to the extent of selling off my 6mm armies.

    As for the battle reports they are good and details but I too would say they are too long for me to read in one session so splitting them in to parts would be good as I for one don’t want to miss out on them.

    Happy New Year to you


    1. Many thanks for that Richard. Good to know about the length of the AAR's.

  3. Very interesting to read on how your year has gone compared to your plans at the start of 2019. Some years ago I decided to stick with 10mm right across my gaming, which has been very cathartic and has the added bonus of only one set of 'terrain' required. Although I love the Pendraken sculpts, if I was in your position I would sell them and just concentrate on your 6mm games.

    As for your AARs they are a visual tour de force, but rather like Jonathan, at times I find my self skipping to the end to see who won as it were. Solutions that spring to mind are giving an overview of the action each Turn, with annotated captions to the pics to help follow what's going on, or breaking the AAR up into more easily digested sections.

    Whatever you decide, keep up the good workk as your Blog is a pleasure to visit and read.

    1. Many thanks for that Steve. I had actually considered what you suggested regarding providing an overview of the action with captions to the photos. I may revisit that but certainly splitting the AAR's looks like the way to go.

  4. I really enjoyed your Western Desert 6mm game reports and the excellent terrain, figures and vehicles. I quite like your reports as they are.

    1. Many thanks for that Jim. Hope to get something more up next year for the Western Desert. It will be a continuation of Op Compass but not yet decided which action to play next.

  5. The high quality of you presentation and battle accounts will keep me returning to this blog spot even though 6mm is not my scale. You have a way of making it look very good indeed. Although I could easily read your AARs at a sitting, they do take time that might not always be available at such length. But I'm easy about that either way.

    I have to admit, did I have your diligence, my armies would be complete.

    1. Many thanks for that AP. Your comments are very much appreciated.

  6. Hi Jon, a fantastic year for your blog and your reminder of just how much went on the table highlights your prolific hobby output and willingness to share and inspire.

    The clearing of the 15's to go to a single scale is very understandable and looking at blogs this year (including boardgame forums), there seems to be an emphasis on gamers thinning their collections to concentrate on what matters to them. Having done the e-bay thing for a while, if you look past the cash, yes there is a lot of distraction and individual sales seem almost pointless but the combined asset is worthwhile, as is the cathartic benefit of shelf and mind clearing, but at least done is done.

    As for post length, I would say cut them back. I have an idea just how much work goes into them, so on the one hand there is this and on the other hand, the typical browser has so much free content to visit on any given day, that I think browsers are overwhelmed and often for the sake of efficiency have had their internet minds / behaviour trained to go for the bottom line and move on.

    My own posts (as is this reply!) tend to be wordy and for 2020, I am deliberately looking at reducing post size, in particular the part that covers an AAR, so that battle highlights or rule highlights are given emphasis.

    While through your own AAR's, the epic nature of your game and willingness to share and inspire have really shone through, I think for the sake of your own gaming pleasure and productivity, a shorter recording of the game would be better for you - since you are the blog and the blog s you, that is probably the more important thing. What the blog becomes and what others actually want will vary anyway and those that like what you do, in whatever format will seek you out.

    Thanks for a good year of content, cheers Norm.

    1. Many thanks for your support from the beginnings of my blog Norm. I have incorporated some of your useful tips and your comments regarding the "typical browser" are spot on. It will be food for thought as I look ahead to next year and how I structure the AAR's.

  7. Hi Jon. I have to agree with several comments above in that your blog posts are truly epic and a joy to read. Loads of eye candy too!!! The work you must put in both in terms of photography as well as in actually writing the posts must be gargantuan. Personally I tend to skip sections to follow the overall flow of the game rather than indulge in the nitty gritty of each and every move. However, I also believe that a blog is first and foremost the product of its creator so it is most importantly what you would like it to be rather than what readers prefer. The rules of commercial publications do not apply in a blog and readers’ preferences are not necessarily the drivers here.

    So for me you should stick to doing it the way you like even if at times posts might seem too long.

    Have a great gaming 2020!

    1. Many thanks Mike and as with the others for your regular support. It reinforces my view that breaking down AAR's into smaller bitesize chunks will be the practical way to go. I will also take a closer look at the format over the next few days.

  8. Jon

    I rarely comment on your blog and have found that my time available for all aspects of my hobby this year has taken a big hit. However, I am fighting a constant battle in my head between extensive 6mm painted and unpainted collections and the lure of lovely painted 20mm and 28mm armies. In that context, I find your blog / emails a constant and powerful source of inspiration. You play 6mm in the way and at the scales that I want to. I enjoy the blog AAR (when I have had the time to) and enjoy the images immensely.


    1. Many thanks for your comment Richard and pleased you enjoy the blog. Even though I am now retired the real world rudely interrupts all too often.

  9. Please do not change your AARs' Jon they are outstanding and a great read and promotion of the 6mm cause.



    1. Thanks Peter and also thanks for your frequent input over the year. I appreciate your comments about the AAR's and I do not envisage huge changes to the style but splitting them into several parts looks like a practical way to go.
      All the best

  10. Regarding the AAR's I would say they are just about right in length. The quality of your games is so high that I take time to read them. Especially with a campaign running in the background I want to catch all the details.

    1. Thanks for your comments Pascal and note you feel the length is just about right. As others have stated, it can be a long read in one post so may split them into different parts but still maintaining the overall length.

  11. I also just commented your 2mm battle report with some information regarding the Blücher rules, if you are interested.

    1. Thanks for that Pascal and yes I have picked up your comment on the 2mm AAR. I have posted a reply and my thoughts.

  12. Congratulations on a great year of blogging, Jon. I would also vote for breaking up the AAR's into several parts, rather than significantly altering them otherwise.
    We are supposed to kick off our own multiplayer Warplan 5/5 campaign the first quarter of 2020, with a different approach from past ones. We will see how it goes!

    1. Many thanks Peter. Look forward to seeing how your Warplan 5/5 campaign progresses.