So, I think we can all agree that 2021 was a thing, in the same way that 2022 is likely to be a thing, because of wassit’s name. One of the impacts of living in such surreal times are the benefits I find in wargaming and community that supports it.
I’m sure many of us have stories to tell about how helpful online hobby sessions have been to get us through the lockdowns, and then how great it is when we manage to escape for a game and a catch up. My club, the Bristol Bigguns, have been absolutely brilliant. So, as we perch on the entry step to what is likely to be another precarious year, I want to say a massive thank you to my club mates and the wargaming community in general for just being fab in what are truly unfab times.
So, without further ado, let’s get on with looking at my top 5 highlights from the last twelve months:
5 – Face to face gaming
It was so good to get back to gaming this year. Quite apart from the fact I had loads of newly painted stuff for my opponents to remove from the table, it was also nice to get out and about to some of the UK’s premiere locations. I also want to give a shout out to my club, The Bristol Bigguns and Steve Evans for some fun games and enjoyable journeys. Looking forward to more off the same in 2022.
4 – Gnomes
This is really short-hand for anything by Northumbrian Tin Soldier. Especially Giant Toad Knights. I fell in love with these models pretty much instantly and trying to find something to play with them led me to giving Frostgrave and Saga a go. They are awesomely fun games, with some great gaming groups in Bristol, that I’m looking forward to playing more of in 2022.
3 – Rats, by Mantic
There has been a lot of rat spam on the twitter feed this year as I set about making my first fully Mantic army from their gorgeous new rat range. In truth this should have been number one, but painting infantry sucks, and, well, rats. The most viewed post of the year also resulted from this army, comparing Mantic’s Ratkin with GW’s Skaven.
2 – Campaigns
I love a good campaign and this year I managed to squeeze in three of them. Stargrave, Frostgrave and Burrows and Badgers. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of watching a band of plucky heroes developing their own narrative.
1 – Clash of Kings 2022 (the book)
The various teams of Kings of War rules creating types have been labouring hard this year to really create something special. Clash of Kings sees every army getting some tinkering with to get neglected units (and armies) more table time. In true Kings style this means giving generals more balanced options, rather than making a bunch of super overpowered hotness that just makes previous army favourites redundant. Most of all though it means I can finally go all in on that Brothermark army I’ve been umming and aahing about since the 3rd edition rules arrived.
With that out the way let’s move on to my favourite models of the year.
This year has seen another awesome collection of models appear on the shelves and some have made it to my painting table. One or two have even made it as far as the finished pile. So, what have been my favs?
By the way, I should probably point out that these models aren’t necessarily new in the shops in 2021, but they hit my painting table in 2021.
Last year I painted one of Annie’s fabulous dwarfs and said I must paint more, so this year I got around to painting two! My favourite was this lovely amazon, who is now a wizard in my Basilean army for Kings of War. Bad Squiddo’s miniature range is fantastic, and service incredibly friendly and efficient. This year I probably need to make some kind of aspiration to paint a few more that are in the to do pile, if only there was a word for that!
Burrows and Badgers occupies a very special place in my heart. Run by a small company that seem to pretty much excel at every aspect of making a wargame this fox from their Dark, Devout and Heroic kickstarter is yet another example of the great models they produce and my questionable painting.
So many cool things have come out of Mantic this year, Rats, Salamanders, Halflings, Orcs on Manticores (because Orcs need encouragement). If I were a rich man I’d be working on about half a dozen new armies at the moment. My favourite model of this year has to be their Brute Enforcer.
Northumbrian Tin Soldier
Giant Toad Knights. I think this speaks for itself.
So that’s it for 2021. It’s done. So, what are the plans for 2022?
Well, that would be telling. But I would love to hear any thoughts in the comments below about things you might want to see in the blog. Let me know.
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Happy new year.