So what games have I been playing?
Wings of Glory
Sometime in 2014 I purchased an assorted box of old Wings of War miniatures, and got hold of the latest incarnation of the rules - Wings of Glory by Ares Games. It quickly became a club favourite for quick, multiplayer games with minimal setup time. In their most basic form the rulesets (plural, as the WW2 version is distinct from the WW1 set) are very quick to learn, and are very intuitive, but they also have layers of advanced or optional rules that increase the complexity of the game and give it a great deal of credibility when used for gaming more historical scenarios.
I have lost count of how many games of Saga I have played. While the rules have a fairly steep learning curve - both in terms of the core mechanics, and in terms of the particular strengths and weaknesses of each faction - they make up for that in providing an immersive, engaging game that demands attention to detail and careful tactics. Each game seems to develop in its own way, and you seldom get the sense that you have all the nuances mastered. A game with real depth of options. It combines a boardgame-style dice economy element, with a historical miniatures game. The latest iteration of the game - Saga Crescent and Cross - covers the period of the Crusades and the Reconquista, and has successfully managed to adapt the game from its original Dark Ages setting, and in my opinion has captured the essence and tactics of the Crusades era.
While Rapid Fire still holds it place in the club as the "go to" game for recreating large, historically accurate WW2 battles, Bolt Action has entrenched itself as the "large skirmish" ruleset of choice. It is just so immersive - the dice activation system means all players are involved at all times, and it provides enough "friction" or "fog of war" that players are constantly needing to re-evaluate their next option.
We have successfully used it to fight historical skirmish campaigns, with fairly representative historical outcomes, as well as plenty of light-hearted "beer and pretzel" games. We have cracked the code of using it to fight larger games - splitting bigger tables into sectors which are effectively independent games, but allowing forces to fire from one sector to the next, and allowing forces to be "handed off" from one table to the other. The more recent additions to the BA rules range - Tank War and Battlefield Europe (and Ostront still on its way) seem to have re-invigorated interest in the game at the club, with a huge range of very diverse forces being tabled.
Short term plans
I plan to index and organise the reference pages of this blog - not the least because I have been sent some great resources to add to the blog, and the pages have outgrown their original ad hoc nature. I also have some interesting AAR's to publish, as well as pix of some recent hobby projects...