After the damp squib that was 2020, 2021 has felt more like a return to form. Tournaments have started up, the local friendly gaming stores are back to being friendly and the sound of dice rolling on felt tabletops has rung out across the country. As the year draws to a close we take a look at our 2021 gaming journeys and look forward to 2022.
After 2020’s detailed plan went out the window, I finished that year with a much woollier aim for 2021: “… paint at least two complete forces of a combined total of no less than 300pts.”. By that measure, 2021 has been a success as I’ve effectively painted three new forces:
A 1980s Afghansty Soviet Force with support – 112pts
A 201pt WW2 Normandy British Force
A 162pt collection of German elements which make a somewhat rickety force if you count the Jagpanthers as Panther for now!
I rounded out the year with the start of a new DAK force (well, it’ll re-use the infantry from my existing rather beat up DAK force).
I also found some time to get some Aeronautica Imperialis painted too!
The highlight of the year was getting some games in at Mike’s barn as a number of former FOW players returned to the fold.
Duncan, Eddie and I managed to crack out 23 episodes of the Shoot and Scoot podcast, despite or, maybe, because of Lockdown. We also launched a Patron to support the podcast which has done better than any of our expectations. Thanks to everyone who listens and supports us speaking absolute nonsense.
Next year I plan to finish the DAK force off in January with some PzIIIJ and PzIVE. By then the new mid war starters should be out and I can see the Tobruk set featuring in my future. I’ll then likely keep picking off units till the Bulge Brit book appears at the end of the year and I’ll finally start cranking out some Comets. The Bulge German and British books are definitely on the shopping list for next year, as are Warsaw Pact and Red Dawn Team Yankee books. Here’s hoping for a plastic BMD kit!
I’m setting myself the goal of getting another 300pts painted. I’m not going to say it has to be a new force, but I’d definitely like to get my LW US force started.
Well, what a weird year. I started it in lockdown and finished it with Omicron causing chaos. I’ve had holidays cancelled, more vaccinations than I can count, I even went into the office and, despite all this, I’ve painted loads, managed to play some games at Guildford Games Club and even won a tournament. Life is strange!
At the start of 2021 I wrote my hobby plan of what I intended to do, so it seems a good place to start my recap.
Oh dear was that really the plan! I started off well, finishing the Soviet Sapper-Engineers from Bagration-Soviets in January and I have done some in-fill work on my other Soviet Formations and Support units, a total of 100 teams exactly as it turns out across the year.
Scenery wise I did some treelines, assorted crop and ploughed fields and even some urban gardens. I pimped my Battlefield-in-a-Box woods, rivers and rural roads. I did a lot but I have eight Soviet rural buildings primed awaiting painting and a pile of Normandy stuff in assorted wrappers I wanted to do.
The French TYWWIII got partly assembled and have remained in that state since April; I still haven’t got the mojo to do them, maybe 2022 will bring some enthusiasm for this project. I don’t know what it is about TYWWIII that makes me just want to do something else.
My Italians from Avanti were fully completed with the addition of four new units (just 10 teams and two planes) so no more models ever here! (Famous last words).
Then it rather went wrong with the Americans. I have amassed a huge pile of plastic sprues and blister packs with models ranging from the beach landings in Tunisia (Fighting First) via pretty much the entire ETO (D-Day Americans) to the Ardens (Bulge Americans) lots of purchasing but no modelling progress at all to report on.
What I have actually done since mid-year is painting up a Ghost Panzer German StuG Company with a couple of Support units (18 tanks and 7 infantry teams), painted two more units of StuG’s (another 6 tanks), one in a natty Hungarian 3 tone camo pattern which took me up to the end of Summer.
From then on it’s been all about the Finnish. I’m not sure how but I ended up doing the blog articles on them; it started with some Sturmis for an article as Battlefront kindly sent me some samples of the new log & concrete armour upgrade and spiralled out of control from there. Overall I’ve painted 102 teams for them, comprising 70 infantry teams, 11 gun teams and 21 tank teams, not quite everything in the force diagram but pretty close to it (just missing some 2cm AA guns).
What else happened?
I’ve started to use an airbrush after 40 odd years of painting which has been an interesting and very challenging experience; I seem to spend more time cleaning it than painting anything along with asking Lee lots of questions. Lastly, since September I have been able to play some games again, not that many but it sure has been more than in 2020!
So that’s been 2021 for me; see you after I have eaten far too much, drunk more than I should do and drunkenly tried and probably failed to explain to my wife quite why I need to buy more T-34’s.
Happy Holidays, Martin.
What can I say about 2021? Another strange year in the annals of history and in the world of 15mm tabletop gaming the gaming side was again the smaller contributor to the year than the painting and hobbying side.
There were plenty of new toys released in 2021 by Battlefront to keep us all busy during those early lockdown months here in the UK – from Bagration Germans and the return of the Panzer IV/70 to Team Yankee West Germans and finally all the way through to the Bulge Americans.
As you can see 2021 was very productive from a painting perspective with 572 teams making the transition from the pile of shame to… sitting-on-a-shelf-painted-but-nowhere-currently-to-play triumph!
However, as you can see the final two months of the year were a miss in terms of productivity, I think, to be honest, I simply burnt myself out. That much painting in 10 months took its toll and a break was really needed, in 2022 I’m going to try and pace myself better I think.
There have been distractions in 2021 (thanks Mike!) but I have broadly painted up what I had planned to – the exceptions being some Soviet 45mm guns, IS-2 tanks and a Soviet Winter rifle company. The upshot of this productive year means that I have now armies for a variety of Late War Bagration Soviets and D-Day US as well as WW3 Iranians, 21st Panzer Beute StuGs and German R2 (H39) tanks.
There have been games in 2021, most notably Warfare 2021 at Ascot Racecourse. I’ll be back in 2022 to avenge my wooden spoon – I have learnt my lesson and will be desperately trying to avoid pinballing around with my army choices and force composition ready for some events in 2022.
That being said I am very much looking forward to DAK, DAK Goes Forth in 2022 and the return to the Mid-War period. I guess after two unsettled years in terms of playing some games it’s this that I am most looking forward to in 2022 – you can keep your Comets Lee!
2021 has been a triumphant return to gaming after the disaster that was 2020!
For me the year started with quite a few games in my garage setting with my local friends Paul and Michael. This gave us all a chance to remember how to play and get to grips with all the units we had painted over lockdown. My first gaming event happened after the end of lockdown with a trip to Bun-ing-grad at the fabulous Battlefield Hobbies where is was great fun to catch up with old friends and get back to normality. I took my British Recce and Soviet Moto Rifles . A brilliant weekend where a learnt a lot of about the force I would later take to Warfare 21. As things opened up I also discovered that Gameshub in Edinburgh were hosting monthly mini events and I managed to pop up for a few ranging from MW to LW which was really good fun (Italy LW is in the new year!).
Gaming wise the highlight of the year was the trip to Warfare 2021 along with my new improved British Recce. This was a fantastic event and I also got to roll out my new scenery that I had been working on throughout the year.
Painting and modelling wise it is hard to keep track of everything I have finished (next year I need a list). A massive US army, Romanians with sexy winter bases and a armoured formation. British Recce formation with 2 x scenic based French Partisans platoons. A load of Hetzers (which will come out to play with the Bulge book), plus Panthers, PZIV/70s, King Tigers, a winter panzergren force and US recce to name but a few!
2022 is going to be a bit busy for me with twins due on 29 Dec 21! However I hope to get to the excellent Polar Bear event in Iceland in late Jan 22 for a few nights and also to the 2022 ETC, this time as a proud member of Team England (I feel a 3 lions obj brewing). While MW monsters might see me paint a few new tanks it is the German Bulge book that I am most excited for. I can’t give anything away but it will be worth the wait!
Despite a worldwide pandemic, constant covid-test and vaccines, 2021 haa been a wonderful hobby year for me. After a slow start in January with only some DIY roads…
…the hobby took of with Valendune and I arranging “Panther February”. A raffle for all hobbyists where the goal was to get as many people to paint at least one Panther, that in turn would have a chance to win a lovely hobby price. My goal was to paint a complete Panther army to bring to Denmark for MidtCon21. It was a true joy to see all the great contributions
and I managed to finish with a couple of days to spare.
Now Covid hit Iceland again and the lockdown stopped me and my local group from meeting up, so to get my hobby fix I started playing remote games, which is far from the normal FOW game, but a real pleasure to play new people from around the world. I got to play Frank from Panzer Schule, Teo from Peldira Studio, Petter from Sweden and Laurence from Scotland. I must say that every game was a pleasure and it can only be highly recommended.
When things started to got back to normal we kicked off a Campaign for our gaming group with the excellent Firestorm Bagration from Battlefront. During the 6 weeks of playing we had some real slugfests with barely a tank alive.
As if this wasn’t enough I also dipped my toes into 28mm with Blood Bowl running a local League and starting with Bolt Action.
After the summer holidays, the highlights of the hobby year was getting closer, MidtCon 2021 in Denmark and Warfare 2021 in England. Both events was GREAT. There is nothing like spending a weekend playing games, drinking beer and getting to meet old and new friends. Gamewise it went like expected with my SS Panther Company having a hard time finishing bottom half at Midtcon, but with some unforgettable games and finishing top half at Warfare with a vanilla Sherman Company but taking home best painted at both events.
I have learnt new techniques with the use of contrast paints, heavy streaking/whitewash with oil paints and masking plane noses with 1mm masking tape, but the best thing about this hobby is without a doubt all those wonderful people you meet everywhere. Happy hobbying and see you in 2022.