Before we start, allow me to apologise – I’m full of Christmas Lurgi, and therefore, whisky. For it heals ALL – well, I hope it does, at least.
It has been quite the year, and for all the wrong reasons – after the grinding misery of COVID and the shortages and disruptions that followed (and Lewis Hamilton being ROBBED, but that’s another story), it looked like this might finally be the year when the 20’s righted themselves and got going properly. And for a brief window of time that looked like it might happen.
And then… yeah, we all know what happened. A lunatic septagenarian with delusions of grandeur decides to try and resurrect his empire… and back we go into permacrisis. I wrote a brief but impassioned – some might reasonably say hysterical – analysis early on but I’m not going to apologise for that. If you’re of a similar vintage to Dan & I, then the world was always divided into NATO vs Warsaw Pact.. and on Feb 24 2022, it looked like the Warsaw Pact was rolling West. Like most people I fell into the trap of over estimating the Russians and underestimating the Ukrainians. That first weekend, watching the Ukrainian authorities handing out rifles to untrained civilians to defend Kyiv, the monstrous Russian column rolling in from the north… you just wanted to weep.
But we were wrong, weren’t we? The Battle Of Kyiv never happened. That monstrous Russian armoured column ran out of fuel and food. The Russians proved themselves to be staggeringly incompetent whilst the Ukrainians have proved themselves staggeringly resilient, brave and ingenious and have managed to inflict stunning reverses onto what we all believed was a peer threat to the US.. I’ve said it several times but I think NATO should be applying to join Ukraine rather than the other way around.
But this is not an analysis of the war. There’s enough of that out there, much of it done by those far more studied than I – and let’s not forget, it’s not over yet. I have a nasty suspicion, for example, that Ukrainian casualties are probably far worse than we’re comfortable thinking about… anyway, suffice it to say that’s why you haven’t seen too much of Lt. Grant and Lt. Polikarpov this year – it’s no fun playing the cartoonishly evil Soviet villain when there’s a real one killing real people near where you went on holiday back in 2013.
So, with our own game on the back burner, what did we get done?
Well, quite a bit, actually. A LOT of red paint applied on Dan’s side of things as the 1991 Blood Angels got a motor pool, some characters and – after a hiatus when my esteemed colleague discovered that freehand painting (if you have never done any of it before) is actually quite tricky – actually got their first game in! And in response, I bashed together all the Ork bits I had to hand and came up with an OPFOR – Da Black Ork Cav! There’s a lot still to do but it’s looking good so far.
I also managed to get my Levy platoon sorted for Firefight and the lads got their first game in, which is something we’ll be picking up again in the next few weeks, but my pet project for the year was (of course) Epic Squats! Evidently GW agreed with me as the Leagues Of Votann are the new big thing in 40k.. but my project is a lot more old school, based on the Squat force Commissar Yarrick fought with in the original Battle Of Golgotha (I’ve even done some themed terrain..)! So far the infantry complement is done, as is the Grand Battery, and although I haven’t tackled the Guild Biker force yet I’ve got some ideas on that… granny grating and greenstuff, is there anything they can’t do? 😉 And you may have seen my recent post in which a defunct asthma inhaler, with the help of some foamboard and various other bits and pieces, became a fully equipped Colossus! Which as we speak is out in the shed helping to shore up the defences of the world of Hazzard against the rampaging Ork hordes of Waagh-Bozzhog.. yep, we’re doing an Epic Rematch, so stay tuned for that!
Speaking of Orks, Dan reinforced them with a new Deathskull clan and -fanfare please – their 20mm fantasy counterparts are now complete! Although Dan – being Dan- is now pondering war machines and artillery support for them.. they’ve seen a few scraps to and acquitted themselves pretty tidily. And the flags are a very nice touch – as are the ones he added to the DIY Epic Imperial Guard.
And then there were the reinforcements for both epic scale Star Wars Empire & Rebel Scum – and a VERY entertaining game pitting them against each other over a brand new Imperial communications facility. Oh, and yes, we did do Yonkers – Lt. Grant did get to come out to play, if briefly!
So, we made it out of 2022, what of ’23? Dan has sworn faithfully to finish up the Blood Angels – and in fairness, he’s got the infantry complement complete – and we’ve got the next instalment of the Armageddon Diaries as the Marines can’t leave their gallant Captain Tycho in the villainous hands of Da Black Ork Cav.. for me, it’s building the aforementioned Cav up to full strength and getting the Squats into a more cohesive force.
And hopefully, this could be the year where history just stops happening for a bit – no more war, no more pandemics, no more upheaval. I think we can all raise a glass to that. Let’s end things with a couple of shots of the Epic game currently raging out in the shed:
Say thrifty out there, we’ll see you soon.