The pleasant surprises of this year were Lion Rampant and Bolt Action, Lion Rampant more so. It's just brilliant fun. After my first game in August I bought the rules and Perry plastics for the Wars of Roses and have had several great games since.
Here's the list for the year. Overall, not a bad year for games.
Dystopian Wars 9 games.
ADG ancients. 8 games.
Maurice 7 games.
Lion Rampant 7 games.
Bolt Action 3 games.
Black Powder 1 game.
Flames of War 1 game.
Commands and Colors Ancients 2 games.
Board games 10 games.
Turning Point: Stalingrad 2 games over 6 meetings.
The amount of Dystopian Wars was due solely to the new Fast Play Fleet Action rules. They are just far more fun than the previous versions. Before we started playing them I was on the point of selling all my Dystopian stuff other than a couple of basic fleets.
The ADG games were mainly our club competition. And other than the final against a hardened competition player who cheated a bit, the competition was fun. It also highlighted a part of our club which has two types of players. There are those players who play BHGS competition games and who argue a lot about any rules, and the other group of our side of the room who are much more sociable and play for fun. We're still competitive but we laugh much more and can work through any rules questions or misunderstandings.
The Maurice games were mostly fun. I say 'mostly' because I did experience one game against a competition-head who wanted to try them out. Other than that all the games were good and still a whole lot of fun.
Later in the year was Lion Rampant. Just a whole lot of fun. We've even started a mini-campaign which will continue into 2017.
I tried Black Powder, which I found just a bit dull, despite all the gloss and advertising. It was OK, and I'll play it again if the chaps at the club want to.
We had one game of Flames of War, and for no other reason that there were so many other games to play. Too many games and not enough time.
Then at the end of the year was Bolt Action. I was not planning on yet another game to get into, but the big models looked so good on the table and the games were fun so I got some stuff. I've had three games now, and all good fun, though my British force is still on the workbench. I hope to field something early in the near year.
The boardgames were generally good. A new game of Waterloo was a waste of time, as was, sadly, a Battle of the Bulge game amended by a friend. Wings of Glory was great fun, Squad Leader was as good as it ever was - still a brilliant game. Then there was Blucher, which can be played with miniatures or cards. It was OK, but nothing special. On the anniversary of Jutland we played two games of the old Avalon Hill classic - Jutland. Both good games, which goes to show that sometimes, old vintage games like Jutland and Squad Leader are still better than more glossy newer products. We also played the Napoleonic naval rules by Osprey which gave a very good and fast paced game. We'll see if we'll play this or Sails of Glory as the naval game of choice. Maybe we'll do both if there's time.
I had two games of Command and Colors Ancients. Both good games. Then I played Turning Point: Stalingrad over several club meetings. This was really good. We recorded the positions of the pieces at the end of each evening and picked up the game at the next club meeting. It was good to give a game like that the time it deserves, and we had great games.
And that's about it. I'm now aware that ACW and Napoleonics have taken a back seat for a while. Hopefully I'll be able to play them some time in 2017.
But next year will definitely see more Lion Rampant and Bolt Action. I'll try to continue with my games clear-out, but who knows what the next fad may be. I know that old-school imaginations horse and musket stuff is just bubbling under. And there is The Pikeman's Lament due in January. This is a set of rules based on Lion Rampant, set in the 17th century and going up to include the Great Northern War. We'll likely play this because of the fun we've had with Lion Rampant.
Here's to 2017. May you all get to play many good games.