Despite COVID restrictions I managed to fit in what I think was a reasonably full year of gaming. This is mostly due to the fact that, firstly, I have a wife who isn't averse to playing things and, secondly, I'm quite happy playing solo as well. Our club ceased operations for about three months, but otherwise I've generally managed to fit in a game on a Thursday evening as well.
From a personal point of view it's been a bit of a roller-coaster. I took part in my first burlesque competition, and then developed a new act which I was finally able to perform in a show in September. I also marched in Sydney's Mardi Gras parade for the first time. And my son got married. But I also had major upheavals at work which, combined with the general uncertainty and strangeness around June, led to a minor mental breakdown needing regular, ongoing and, in case you're worried, very helpful sessions with a therapist.
But what of the games?
Well, my biggest thing this year has been my HOTT 52 project, in which I committed to play at least one game of HOTT every week. It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be, but I got through it, played all the games and, I hope, used a wide and entertaining selection of armies.
In terms of other games I continued to develop my ECW version of the Portable Wargame, and this is now published as part of an anthology of rules in 'The Portable Pike & Shot Wargame'. It's actually the first time I've ever had anything commercially published, so I was very excited. I also helped develop the sci-fi variant of 'Battlesworn' called 'Challengers of the Great Beyond'.
I have played a lot of Nic Wright's games this year - prehistoric hunting with 'Palaeo Diet', lots of naval actions using 'Galleys & Galleons' (which is fast becoming one of my favourite games) and some gladiator action with 'Blood, Sweat and Cheers'. I've even just picked up his chariot-racing game, 'Faustus Furius'. At our club I dabbled in 'Black Seas' and we've done some more 'Gaslands', whilst at home I did some more development on my WW1 air game, 'Spandau and Lewis'.
Oh, and this year has actually been my most active year in terms of number of posts since I started this blog.
And what of 2021? Well, thus far I haven't set myself any goals. I'm not doing HOTT 52 again, nor another 6 x 6 Challenge. I have a few potential small projects lurking at the back of my mind, but none of them are quite at the stage where I'm keen to dive in and get started on them. We'll see how things go.
So on with the review. As I do every year I have picked one post for each month, it being the one with the most views. This is no assurance that it's the best post of the month, but together the twelve posts create quite a good impression of what I've been up to.
The ECW Portable Wargame - At the start of the year I got my ECW variant of the Portable Wargame to the stage where I was happy to post it online for other people to read. Since then, as I mentioned above, it's been included in the rules anthology 'The Portable Pike & Shot Wargame'. Since then I've had a few ideas for changes to the rules ...
Kobolds! - Despite my nom de plume I'd never had any kobold miniatures in any scale. This year I changed that, buying and painting a small force for use with the skirmish game 'Battlesworn'. They're lovely little figures and include, of course, a Kaptain.
Instant Thunder - Board and Counters - I' not sure what inspired me to get the abstract modern air warfare boardgame 'Instant Thunder' out again, but I did, and I found it as enjoyable as ever. This time I put together a nice board and counters, and in this post I made them available as downloads for anyone else who wats to use them.
Army Showcase - Boxers and Foreign Devils - My first popular HOTT post of the year showcased my Boxer Rebellion matched pair.
Here's hoping that, despite everything, your 2020 gaming included some moments to remember, and here's hoping that 2021 will include many more.