Monday, 30 December 2013

Monty's review 2013

2013 was a busy year. Concerning my personal development as well as concerning my wargaming hobby and this blog. I got acquainted to a lot of nice people and took part in several interesting games and project. Let me look back to the very beginning of this year and review it step by step. Some of you might remember some things or others but I hope not to bore you anyway:

January 2013
2013 started with a nasty pneumonia that tortured me for three weeks. Nevertheless I celebrated my blog's first birthday and started a new project which should keep me busy through the next months or years: Napoleon's retreat 1812. The first step were some humble conversions of mine.
My first Retreat 1812 figures... Victrix conversions.

February 2013
February started with an excellent session with my old friend Niclas. We shared paint pots and port wine and had some great time. But things got even better during the month. In mid-february we had a Napoleonic photo session and took some pictures mainly of Bernhard's excellent collection. Mainly for fun but additionally for the boys at Warlord Games who were working on the second "Albion Triumphant" Napoleonic add-on for Black Powder. Finally they took nearly all our pictures and published them in the book. And little proud we are of our work...
One of the pictures Warlord Games published.

March 2013
March was rather quit on Monty's Caravan. I didn't manage to finish more than four posts because I was rather busy with trying my new German renaissance bagpipe. But besides we prepared a special "Hail Fantasy!" (Hail Caesar ruleset with fantasy armies) game for Good Friday with our THS club. It took a lot of time to search my man-cave for all the old miniatures I needed...

April 2013
On Good Friday the large battle was fought. We used the holiday to spent the whole day with dice and miniatures. To be honest I don't remember the actual result but it was some great time with the boys from the club.
Large cavalry charge on the fields of Kuttel.
Additionally our blogging mate Andrew "Loki" Saunders celebrated his blog's second birthday and organized a nice little raffle. A very nice fellow who's running an excellent blog. Have a look there if you like perfectly painted vikings. Who doesn't? Meanwhile I had my first figures for 1812 painted and we started some gaming with a new ruleset one of our club fellows is developing. I had the great pleasure to experience the development from the very beginning and was occupied with a part of the historical research for a day after day review of November and December 1812. A lot of work but bloody interesting it was!
One of my Old Guard grenadiers for Retreat 1812.

May 2013
The next Mega-Game started to overshadow my hobby activities: We prepared AWI for our yearly summer event and the Crisis convention in Antwerp alike. So I chose a brigade of Scottish units and started painting them.
My first unit of AWI Scotsmen. Miniatures by Perry.
During the same month to fellow bloggers celebrated their 100.000th hit. Mike from "Trouble at T'Mill" and Tamsin the "Wargaming Girl" organized raffles to share their pleasure with us and while I was lucky enough to win a lot of Mike's raffle, I haven't been lucky enough to receive it until now...

June 2013
The AWI preparations went on and we fought the battle of Freeman's farm during one of our fortnightly club meetings. A great scenario from the Black Powder rulebook which Holger prepared for us gave us a couple of interesting and exiting hours.
British firing lins advancing...
Meanwhile a unique movement of wargamig bloggers started. Mainly Andrew "Loki" and James Brewerton with some fellows of theirs raised the idea of "Bloggers for Charity". The plan is to prepare a game together with interested bloggers which shall be presented on several shows in 2014. The main goal is to produce attention for charity initiatives and raise some funds for them. This time "Help for Heroes" and "Man Matters" will be focus of the project. Anyway I volunteered with painting some miniatures and maybe supporting some preparations for 2015 and so I'm in...
"Bloggers for Charity"

July 2013
Besides my birthday the preparations for AWI went on and I prepared some board tiles and a plowed field. Nothing to exiting for this month in the middle of summer but sweltering heat held me off being more productive.
August 2013
Finally our summer event took place. An awesome game of AWI Black Powder slightly based  on the Penobscot Expedition of 1779. It was two days of wargaming at its very best. Everything was well prepared by our THS club under the aegis of Bernhard and Kalle. On a board of nearly 6 meters x 4 meters we fielded hundres of figures and had a unique weekend.
One of my brigades chaaaaaaaaarge !

September 2013
September was a good month for the hobby. On the one hand Anne's raffle initiative for author Patrick Hatt was a great highlight and on the other hand I had the chance to tackle some other things than AWI after the big game was over. Firstly I started a small Saga band with GP plastic vikings and secondly our work on the 1812 ruleset continued. Especially Bernhard's collection was growing excellently and we had another great testing game at his.
The setting for our September game.

October 2013
The weeks before Crisis were rather busy with last preparations for our AWI game. I finished my command vignette, repared the officer's sabre and finished some other things for the great show.
The finished brigade command...
Meanwhile my blod reached a milestone and I noticed the 50.000th hit on Monty's Caravan. For this very reason I raffled a couple of modelling kits and Peter from Belgium as well as Sean from Texas were the lucky winners. By now both noticed me that they received their prices save and sound.

November 2013
Autumn is one of the seasons I like most. Although it's getting darker outside it's the time to spent some more time at home with my wife and our daughter and I enjoy these precious moments very much. Additionally this November gave me a lot of time for hobbying and blogging. However it started with Crisis in Antwerp and it was a unique experience to spent these two days out with the boys. The preparation of our AWI game worked perfectly and we had the great honour to be decorated as "Best presented wargame".
The boys...
Afterwards I turned my attention to another battlefield: Operation Deadstick and the struggle for Pegasus Bridge. I bought Warlord Games fabulous set and started building the kit. It was great fun to assemble the perfectly fitting parts and some nice terrain pieces started to come into being. So one of the tasks for 2014 will be to finish painting the bridge and building a board for it:
Café Gondrée, one of the excellent models of the set.

December 2013
The year is about to come to an end but the hobby doesn't. Curt's Analogue Hobbies 4th Annual Painting Challenge started and I was lucky enough to get a place on his list. My goal is to paint miniatures for 600 points until March 2014 and with 87 points after two weeks I'm on a good way hopefully.
The AWI scene I submitted to Curt's challenge.
Meanwhile Bolt Action came up again and we decided to play this nice ruleset more often in 2014. As appetiser we played two or three little scenarios starting with an exiting reconnaissance patrol in Russia 1942 which Holger hosted.
Part of our force...
In addition my efforts for 1812 went on and I started to paint a new band for the game as well as I did some humble correction work on the ruleset for the author. It's really exiting to see how it arises from an idea Bernhard had months ago and to be part of it. I'm honoured and pleased alike to have a humble share in it.
And last but not least I finished my first Saga-Vikings. After Chris and Auld Nick, two close friends of mine, got fascinated of the game and the miniatures I had to intensify my efforts on that battlefield. Finally the cornerstone for my warband is set and I'm confident to play my first games early in 2014.

Well... That's it for now. I hope you enjoyed this little review and I didn't bore you too much. It was great to share 2013 with you and I hope to see most of you next year somewhere in the bloggosphere or maybe out there in reality. I'm really looking forward to Crisis 2014 where Loki and James want to present the "Bloggers for Charity" game. It'll be a rare chance to get acquainted to you face to face. Salute will have stay on the to-do-list for some more time. On the one hand a trip from the continent to London is always a larger undertaking it will fall together with some refurbishment plans we have for our home. My little man-cave will have to give way to a second nursery and I'll have to search another slot for my hobby stuff. Simultaneously a lot of hobby projects will claim my attention: 1812, a Plancenoit project for 2015, Pegasus Bridge, Saga... A lot to do in 2014 but I'm looking forward to it!

Until then I whish you a 
HAPPY NEW YEAR and all the best for 2014
May those who befell good in 2013 experience an equally good year 2014 and may those you befell bad have a better year next time. 
Let me close my blog for this year with Tiny Tim's dateless words:
God bless us, every one.


  1. been great following your blog throughout 2013 looking forward to reading more in 2014 and maybe a face to face at Crisis 2014
    Peace James

    1. Thanks a lot, James.
      See you in Antwerp ! :-)

  2. I'm glad I found your blog this year. Great posts and here's to 2014!

    1. Same to you mate. It's always a pleasure to visit your blog.

  3. Despite a rough start that's a fun year mate. Thanks for sharing it with the blogging crew.

  4. A fabulous year Stefan and to see just how much you've achieved in a year is quite inspirational. Here's to 2014!

    1. 2014 will have some real challenges. I'm looking forward to them!

  5. You had a poor start but the rest of the year has been a most excellent journey and has been a great read for me. I hope 2014 is a very good year Stefan I will be reading

  6. What a great review and Happy New Year!


  7. Happy New Year, Monty!
    You did so many great projects in 2013, it's hard to pick a favourite.
    See you in 2014!

    1. All the best and see you this year !

  8. I have enjoyed your blog Stefan and look forward to seeing what 2014 brings.
    Happy New Year,

  9. Looks like you had a good year. I'm actually in Arizona, although I did live in Texas for 4 years 13 years ago.

    1. Sorry for mixing Texas and Arizona. I have no idea how I could...

  10. Excellent review Stefan! November is marked for this year to! ;-D