Saturday, 27 December 2014

2015: What's next?

Well, you never can tell!

I'm up early on an icy Saturday morning awaiting a delivery and have been mulling over the past year. A lot has happened in the last twelve months in my real world, not much of it predictable, and my hobby world has pretty much gone the same way.

In February 2014 I had carefully planned to prepare two games this year, Tannenberg 1914 and Neuve Chapelle 1915. Obviously inspired by the 100 year commemorations. While I have done a lot on both I have not actually finished either of them. The current state of play is:

I'm really proud of this map and can't wait to get it finished
Tannenberg: The map is almost complete, it requires only the addition of the rail lines and some game information. I have learnt a lot about MS Paint this year so I am feeling more confident about finishing this off. The OB research is done and I'm ready to start on the game design. This year I have been impressed with the game systems for Scotland Rising and Holdfast, both by Worthington. Ideally I will use an adaptation of one or other.

Not the Neuve Chapelle map!
Neuve Chapelle: The research is done and an initial map drafted in hex form. My sticking point here is that I really want to use the FoW Firestorm system and have been encouraged in this line of thinking by their release of their free game on Villers-Brettoneux. This is very much on the list of projects for this next year.

So, what have I done instead?

Venture Fair: I spent a lot of time working on my Montrose game at the start of the year but it got overtaken by other things. The rules are done and the scenario research completed but actually coming up with scenario maps has taken much effort.   

Scenario for Kilsyth 1645
Neil Thomas hex grid rules (NTHGR): I pulled together a hex grid adaptation of Neil Thomas' Napoleonic rules over the summer. The reason for this is to give me a framework for building some plastic Napoleonic armies. The real breakthrough on this was realising that I needed only a very small hex grid (8 by 6) as demonstrated by Norm Smith in his Tigers at Minsk rules. 

The answer to almost everything!
These rules are at version 2 and seem to have generated some interest which I'm pleased about. It would be really useful to get some feedback because I still think the rules are too complex (for me at least). My preference is to do a third version that completely finishes the conversion to the hex grid. I also made some counters up to have a go before preparing my plastic types but this just led me elsewhere!

Disorganised Austrians for the NTHG rules, look closely!
Waterloo a la Carte: Yes, this was intended as a scenario for the NTHG rules but I then developed some rules and counters so a complete game could be played. These were based on the Scotland Rising model and were an interesting exercise. 

Waterloo a la Carte map
Plan B: Wargames Rules for Russia 1941: This idea came from a combination of the new Neil Thomas One Hour Wargames Rules (1HW) and the 8 by 6 hex grid. My first step into the world of 15mm and not an unpleasant one! Job done except for the soldiers.

KISS My Arras!: My current project in 6mm and one I'm having a lot of fun with, especially the trees. Based on an absolutely brilliant rule set by Norman Mackenzie. More on this one shortly.

Projects for 2015

Lets look at musts, shoulds and coulds:

  • Tannenberg 1914/Neuve Chapelle 1914: Lets get these finished!
  • Plan B/Arras: Buy some soldiers, paint them up and have a nice game or two.
  • Venture Fair: One last push!
  • Plastic Napoleonic armies: I have the soldiers now for Swedish, Bavarian and and Wurttemberg armies. I'm not far off gathering a Spanish army but need both artillery and cavalry for them (and perhaps some guerrillas). These will be for the NTHG rules.
  • NTHGR: I would like to do a third version to iron out some of the issues that I think remain with the game. Lots of play testing required.
  • Jacobite Risings (various): A straight adaptation of the Stephen Simpson rules. Troops already painted and ready to go!
  • British in Normandy 1944: One of my favourite subjects and one with lots of work already done. I like the idea of a large M44 style game.
  • Firestorm Caen: New counters and perhaps a play with the Cherbourg and Overlord versions.
  • Kursk: I have done lots of thinking on this one and intended last year to give it a go in the BGG solitaire game design contest but ran out of time. I like both Firestorm and Holdfast rules for this design but I wouldn't feel comfortable using them in a game for submission. I'll have to work on some homegrown rules for this one. 

There is quite a lot of stuff that I'm mulling over:
  • Sci-fi: I have Alien Squad Leader and am thinking about HOF Fire-Team. I really fancy blowing away some aliens.
  • ECW HOTT: This set of army lists has got me very interested. I'm a fan of most things about HOTT/DBA apart from the appallingly written rules and lack of hexes. This is a job that needs doing.
  • 2mm: I'm now interested in this again mainly because I have been playing with my old 2mm buildings. I love the idea of 2mm ECW, possibly HOTT, and there is lots of useful reading on the SteelonSand blog.
SteelonSand ECW army
New conflict zones:
  • Bother in the Baltic: I really like unusual Napoleonic armies. The fighting around the Baltic involved Danes, Norwegians, Swedes, Russians, Spanish (!), Dutch, Baden and a British expeditionary force. Lots of ideas here for a NTHGR campaign.
  • 1864 Denmark: This is on the TV next year and I'm sure will require some troops for Neil's 19C rules (on a hex grid of course).
  • The War of 1812: Lots of nice simple battles for a campaign.
  • The Liberators (Latin America): I bought the book by Robert Harvey and am now extremely interested.
Lessons learnt? None. Sorry, I mean lots. While I haven't finished anything this year, I'm really pleased that I have developed my ideas and written them down so I can at least pick them up later. The blog has helped me to organise my thoughts and stay focused. The nice comments and interest have been a great encouragement, so my thanks to everyone who has read the blog.


Kaptain Kobold said...

Liberators. Go with Liberators :)

Old Trousers said...

Aha Kaptain! I blame you entirely. First Liberated HOTT, then Alto Peru and now the paper soldiers thing. I may have to take your advice.