We have spent Christmas and New Year with our family. 14 days without the computer. 14 days away from the wargames table and the campaign. It was an ideal opportunity to review 2014, or actually 1969 to 2014.
We started wargaming in 1969, the same year that we married. Since then it has played an important part in our routine. Most of that time was spent collecting, painting and replacing model soldiers. There was not a lot of time for actual wargaming, usually just one game a week. But wherever we went the figures came too.
As we got older we had more time, and money, and spent many enjoyable holidays walking Napoleonic battlefields.
When we retired we moved to Spain, and ensured that the house would have sufficient space for a wargames room. With the extra spare time our wargaming quickly increased to fill the gap.
The major difference was the early decision to start a campaign to provide a constant stream of wargames for us to fight. That has been a huge success. The whole campaign was designed to use our collection, our scenery and our wargames table area. For the first couple of years it was a solo campaign, which allowed me to develop the rules and find what worked and what did not.
In 2009 we converted it to a PBEM campaign. That resulted in further rule development. The discipline of a campaign involving other players, and having to adjust to the temporary nature of internet involvement, required a robust campaign system which did not rely too much on individual players.
As the campaign developed it required more and more time to administer. The whole thing is manual, though stored on the computer. There are six independent campaign areas, each with two players.
The aim was to complete one campaign day each week. With six different areas it was hoped that at least one campaign area would provide a battle to wargame all the time.
During 2014 we have had 32 campaign days and fought 53 battles. Not quite one campaign day per week, but sufficient battles for one wargame each week.
There has been a wargame on the table throughout the year. We manage an hour or so most days. The campaign administration requires about ten hours per week. So we spend about fifteen hours a week on the campaign or wargaming.
During the year we have had five weeks holiday. Our normal weekly routine is two days hill walking, which leaves five days to fit the campaign in around the rest of our lives!
It has indeed dominated our lives during the past year, but in a most enjoyable and rewarding fashion. Both of us missed it greatly during our recent two week break. Both of us are looking forward to another busy and happy wargaming year.
A very happy New Year to all of you reading my latest rambling thoughts.