Sunday, 31 December 2017

Review of 2017

And so 2017 draws to a close, and another active year of gaming fading into the mists of history. This year has been dominated by the Six by Six Challenge, which I started in an attempt to get more people blogging game reports instead of just painting progress. It was a lot of work to run, and a number of participants  fell by the wayside, but several of us stuck it out to the end, and the result has been a great selection of games played and blogged.

I picked up two new games this year: Ganesha Games' excellent 'Galleys and Galleons', and the Rampant system, which in my case has seen me trying pike and shot using 'The Pikeman's Lament' and fantasy games using 'Dragon Rampant'. In addition I brought 'Mighty Monsters' out of hibernation and discovered that it was a better game than I remembered it being. All three of these games inspired my to greater efforts with my 3D printer, producing ships, terrain and, in the case of Dragon Rampant, whole warbands. I even produced almost all of a HOTT army from the printer (and have, in fact, got an entirely printed army awaiting painting, but you don't know about that yet).

Other games which have provided me with plenty of entertainment this year are DBA (I even played in my first ever competition) and Machinas (which I spent an exhausting, but great , day running at MOAB).

On with the post. I have followed the formula of previous years, selecting the post from each month which got the highest number of views.


Galleys & Galleons - This game had been around for a year or two before I bought it, so I was late to the party in my enthusiasm for it. It is a little 'beer and pretzels' in its approach, but not unrealistic and extremely versatile in what types of vessels can be represented. This post covered my first game, when I simply used my Napoleonic naval collection. This game was on my Six by Six Challenge list, and I completed all six games within a month.


One Hour With Scum of the Earth - 'Scum of the Earth' is a set of rules from Nordic Weasel which I did a small amount of playtesting and reviewing on. In the end I didn't feel they quite did it for me, but it was fun finding out. This game was one of the One Hour Wargames scenarios, set during the South American Wars of Liberation.


ECW Scum - 'Scum of the Earth' provided my most-viewed post of March as well. The published version included ECW army ideas, so I gave them a go in a game.


Battle of the Dunes - The tail end of the pike and shot era provided my most popular post for April; a refight of the Battle of the Dunes using 'Twilight of the Sun-King'. We bought the latest version of the rules, having enjoyed them a couple of years ago, but found that whilst the mechanisms are outstanding in how simple yet clever they are, the rules are not clear in a number of places. It's still a game we will persevere with, though.


Spandau and Lewis - Proper Release - One of the participants in the Six by Six Challenge selected my 'Spandau and Lewis ' WW1 air-combat rules as one of their games. I realised that the version available online was out of date, and didn't include a number of key changes I'd made, so I updated it.


Supanova 2017 - As ever, May and June saw us cosplaying at both Comic Gong and Supanova. This year my wife and I went as Jessica Jones and Kilgrave.


The Unstoppable March of the Dead - Victor introduced us to Dragon Rampant about the time that other members of the group decided to try out Lion Rampant. We took the the system likes ducks to water. I even added it to my Six by Six Challenge list eventually. Whilst I was able to play using HOTT elements, I fired up my trusty printer, and started producing warbands for the game. This was their debut.


Kaiju Triple Event - The printer remained hard at work throughout August, after I rediscovered 'Mighty Monsters' and set to work producing models of each of the key Jaegers from the film 'Pacific Rim'. This particular game had an unusual structure in that each player ran an attacking monster and a defending mecha, with the aim being to be the first player to destroy a particular objective with their monster.


MOAB 2017 - The Saturday - At MOAB this year, we scrapped the gladiators and just ran Machinas all day on the Saturday. It worked a treat, with plenty of mayhem.


We're Knights of the Round Table - One feature of my Six by Six Challenge was that whilst HOTT was on the list I could only count a game if it featured a new army. This has meant me producing armies all year, and King Arthur and his Knights were one; a Peter Pig army I started some 15 years ago.


Dinosaur Rampant - My most popular post in November was a game of Dragon Rampant using some cheap plastic dinosaurs I picked up in a charity shop. The game was so much fun that I rewarded them with a proper paint-job afterwards.


Rocketship - December was a fallow month, with holidays and apathy controlling most of it. The most viewed post was this shot of a model of a spaceship from the 1980 'Flash Gordon' film. This has subsequently been painted and takes pride of place in a new iteration of my venerable Flash Gordon HOTT army.

What are my plans for next year? Well, truth to tell I have no idea. I'm finding myself lacking in inspiration a lot these days, or, at least, the desire to enthusiastically follow up on any inspiration I get (there still being plenty to find). I'm hoping something will fire me up and kick-start me. Otherwise the 2018 version of this report is going to be a bit thin on posts.


  1. It's been interesting following your posts throughout the year. I look forward to the next year. Thanks for running the 6x6 chalenge. Happy New Year!


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