Wednesday, December 26, 2018

2018: A Wargaming Year in Review & 2019 Priorities Teaser

Where has the time gone?  It seems like a week ago, Dave, Alex and I were at the FLGS "testing out" Alex's "UP THE BLUE" World War II rules [click] on the night before Thanksgiving of 2017!

Fast forward to today on Saint Stephen's [click] day 2018, we are reflecting on a year of gaming, painting, research, and fun.  Not nearly as much as I would have liked, but is there ever enough gaming or miniature collecting?  Grab a cup of coffee and settle in for an epic recap of gaming.

The priorities going into 2018 [click] were simplified down to 2 "main" focus areas:  WWII, and American War for Independence.  Terrain was an additional focus area that I think we did very well with, all things considered.

So how did we do against the priorities?

Well if you measure success by figures painted and games played, then the World War II "campaign" was indeed very successful:

  • 3 German Infantry Companies Completed (2 Infantry, 1 Pioneer Company)
  • 2 German SS Companies have been started with the camo technique perfected for my taste, time and budget
  • 25 "large" World War II games played, including the Stalingrad MEGA-GAME using Rapid Fire [click], a test game of BATTLEGROUP: TORCH at Sidi Bou Zid [click], 5 CROSSFIRE games, a bunch of Norm's outstanding TIGERS AT MINSK games.  We also played a ton of Flames of War historical games, with historical MTOE/OOBs and real objectives based on a historical battle.
  • In terms of production, we assembled every Russian tank and plane in the arsenal and have at least gone as far as putting a basecoat on them.  Right now putting the finishing touches on the AT guns and crews.  It's slow and steady progress, but it's progress none-the-less!
Ken's Canadian tanks surge forward to close the Falaise Gap on the "Road to St Lambert"

One of the best TIGERS AT MINSK games played so far!  a FOLLOW THE ELEFANTS game where the Germans win!  

Alex playing CROSSFIRE

My troops storming the commercial district near the Stalingrad Train Station in August - Dave defended all 3 sectors very well.
My troops storming the Barrikady Factory in Stalingrad during the STALINGRAD RAPID FIRE MEGA GAME

Battlegroup: TORCH first game!  This DAK Panzer III would be eliminated by a bomb from an American P-40 on a timed strike.

Dave defending the heights with the BIG RED ONE at Sidi Bou Zid  No Mission Too Difficult, No Sacrifice Too Great DUTY FIRST!

GI's pour on the fire at Sidi Bou Zid at the Germans atop the hill - note the pinned DAK squads on the hilltop

World War II definitely got its fair attention during 2018.  It almost seems as if 2018 was the year of World War II here at SOUND OFFICERS CALL.  How did the other campaign go?  Sadly, measuring success against the efforts above I'm afraid the AWI fell far short of my expectations.

It seems that January 2018 started admirably with a big push to complete the AWI project [click].  I will say that there was some great progress initially, with the completion of a loyalist militia unit, ALL of the artillery and commanders, and basing.  

That said, we fought ZERO battles this year in the AWI.  While not giving excuses, I will say that time got away from me this year, as evidenced by the small number of posts.  2 young kids and a promotion at work will do that to you.  [not complaining here!]  Also there were many, many
secondary projects that took up my time.  [again, not complaining here!  Any wargaming progress is good wargaming progress!].
Loyalist Militia completed

Looking good 
With the coming of 2019, we will continue to incorporate AWI into the project plans, but with some friends.....

Now onto the REAL victory of 2018 - my terrain!  I couldn't be happier with the progress in the terrain department.  We re-did the gaming board with some new techniques, completed the desert board, and standardized World War II basing so the ground texture and colors completely match the table.  We based all of the trees so the tree-bases will match the table, and also started work on new fences, craters, hills, and roads.  It was a good year for terrain here at SOUND OFFICERS CALL.

The terrain matches the bases of these Soviet scouts!  (and all my other forces)

hedges made from scour pads


Talavera never looked so good!

Novus Design river

 Honorable Mention
Secondary projects took up alot of my time this year as well.  The 15mm and 6mm Cold War project saw a great many games take place in the Fulda Gap using Team Yankee, Battlegroup: Moderns, and Sabre Squadron, both here in my gaming bunker and at Ken's house.  All part of the "World War III Project" that probably needs resurrected this year in 2019!    

Painted MERDC for the 6mm TEAM YANKEE project

MERDC M109 for TY 15mm - a triumph of patience
My M1s in a hide site at a BATTLEGROUP MODERN playtest game at Ken's house
We also played a bunch of Alex's OIL CHEAPER THAN WATER playtest games in the Sinai with 6mm Cold War gear.  Speaking of the Sinai, we played a historical 6mm Fate of a Nation MEGA GAME in the Sinai just this past week!


Tassa Junction 1973 6mm MEGA GAME with FATE OF A NATION

Fantasy finally made its way onto my table with Alex's SPEAR TO THE STRIFE rules being fought with my Kallistra and GW Orcs and Empire forces.   We also played a bunch of games of ONE HOUR WARGAMES Dark Ages/Medieval with my fantasy figures and my daughter (who won every game)


Playing "Orcs" with my daughter


Speaking of Alex's rules, Alex helped round out my Grand-Tactical spin on Neil Thomas' One Hour Wargames Horse and Musket rules and we have played many battles with them as well, most recently EPIC Talavera, Lobositz (SYW), Teugen-Hausen, and Quatre Bras.

Early playtest game of EAGLES.  We've come a long way!


Along the Danube 1809 with EAGLES.  Here the 57th Ligne would again cover themselves in glory!  Rallying time after time and fending off countless Austrian assaults!

Epic Talavera!  What a spectacle!

Talavera - the Allied Lines
a staple of ONE HOUR WARGAMES in the gaming bunker.  "Union Made"

Talavera - the French attack of 2 x Corps steps off!

So that's it for my 2018 recap.  It was a great year for gaming, and terrain.  Apparently no-so for the AWI, but it was still a very exciting gaming year!

Here is a teaser for one of this year's coming priorities.  Any guesses? [click]


  1. Congrats on what sure looked to me like an incredibly productive hobby year! Puts mine to shame, and mine was pretty good! Looking forward to another year of great post. thanks for the entertaining reads :)

    1. Thanks Brandon! I dont know, you are the recipient of an HMGS award or two! Thats an incredible honor!

    2. That IS true... ;) PAX was a big deal for me and perhaps most importantly, I'm about to publish v1 of HoF finally! but as far as modeling goes...

    3. We all stick to our comfort zones, admittedly! Dont be too hard on yourself - you're a published rules author :) the minis arent going anywhere and you can work on them when you have time. I literally just got around to painting tanks ive had for years.

      Congrats on V1. Ill be purchasing a copy!

    4. Thanks :) And V1 will go out as a free update, and continue to be Pay What You Want, as always. I might ask you your opinion for changes before I send it out.

    5. Always happy to provide insight! I was reading your 2017 HoF AAR "how to play" posts last night and i realized it's been too long since i tried HoF out with the most recent changes.

  2. Watching from afar, it looks to me that 2018 was a great year on the hobby front for you. Best wished in 2019!

    1. Thank you, Jonathan. You are coming along for the ride - stay tuned!

  3. Well that is a cracking year by any standard, never mind your own high one - brilliant! Congratulations on all the hobby goodness!

    May 2019 be equally successful, but more importantly bring health and happiness to you and the family Steve

    1. Thank you Paul! In retrospect it was actually a pretty good year! Hoping more of the same in 2019!

      Here's wishing you and yours a happy and healthy 2019 as well sir! Looking forward to following your adventures on facebook too!

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  5. "It was a very good year!"
    Although I am well settled with my Napoleonic rules, I hope to give your Napoleonic "Eagl;es" rules at least a solo spin... my oldest grandson might be ready to try them with in a few years!

    1. Cheers, Peter! They are great fun. I need to try them in more "open" play but so far thwyve delivered a very fun and satisfying game. Perfect for introducing a youngster to the hobby. Let me know if youd like me to send them to you.

  6. A good 2018 for you, with a high energy input and gaming in good company. Looks like 2019 has much to look forward to, especially with an injection of AWI. Thanks for highlighting TaM over the year. Norm.

    1. Thanks Norm. Big plans for TaM this year, including The 37th Guards and a few Normandy scenarios. Maybe even your Yartzevo Defiant campaign. Looking forward to your gaming developments in 2019, sir.

  7. Steve, like I said the other day, the situation in NORTHAG is critical and your expertise is desperately needed. :)

    1. Wow thanks for commenting, Mike! I literally found this comment awaiting moderation and so I "approved" it (lol) and here we are.