Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Fitter, healthier...and more productive - A Year Of Blogging

I started this blog a year ago. Officially it kicked off on June 4th with an obligatory introduction, explaining who I am and why I returned to blogging.

"So think of this blog as a rearguard action. An attempt to retain some of the ground lost to age and commitment (and lose some of the weight I've gained). Think of it as a means of putting dots on the horizon and enlisting the help of others to stay on course."

Me with a WWI A7V tank on display at the Tank Museum in Munster, Germany

But my first real post was on June 10th. On June 14th I set out the projects I had in mind. It may be useful to review to what extent I have persevered with these projects, given that this blog was partially meant to provide focus on a few projects that I could see through to completion.

Grand Projects

Maximum Effort, World War I Megagame. Shelved to focus on another grand project, but I still have it in the back of my head and keep buying books. Reviewed a few on Italy after my holiday there,  the Battle of Adua, then Why Italy came to dinner with only a plate and no cuttlery and Arditi del Popolo. The Maximum Effort blog is now in torpor.

Waterloo, books. Is now a Grand Project. Bought many books in the past year.
Hero of Waterloo? and  Hero of Waterloo II onto 1813-5 battle casualty rates
All is fair in love and war and history and Prussian Infantry Tactics

First Dutchman to lounge in the chair of the First Sea Lord
Admiralty Board Room, London

Minor projects

Mother Russia, the political economy game for WWI. Shelved with the megagame.

Ypres, books. Shelved after reading half to move on to other projects. I reviewed Belgian Patrouilleurs. Unfinished, but drawn the line.

Through the Mud and the Blood, WWI miniatures. Although delayed many times, I have actually started on them recently. However, this is all prototype and no production line. I'll get back to this soon.

Barbarossa, books for the megagame. I did review one of the books I'd read, but not all. Unfinished, but drawn the line.

Dux Britanniarum, Dark Age skirmishing. Bought minis, had them painted (also here), generated my characters, bought more and had them painted too, played a battle. Read a few books but did not review all of them. Here´s Britain After Rome. Even played Struggle for Rome. On slow burn now.

King John, books and possible megagame. One of my first posts. Bought more books, read none. Founded the King John Appreciation Society in response to the resurgence of love for Richard III. On slow burn.

Essen 2011, boardgames. I did play most of the stuff bought in 2011. Like Guards! Guards! Unfinished, but drawn the line.

Leipzig, books and megagame. Now a sub project for Waterloo. Been doing my reading, but not much reviewing. Game is played in two weeks so maybe I can do some more reviews afterwards.

Playtest for Master of Europe and Maps for Master of Europe

Me posing with a T-33 trainer on Vancouver Island

Projects started later

Vietnam, megagame Lost Youth. Read about counterinsurgency, played the megagame. Finished.
Essen 2012, boardgames. Started October 2012. I have played most of the games I bought at least once, but still some work to do in the coming four months, like Signum Mortis. And there's reports of games played as planned, games played unplanned, games unplayed and Metro 2033. Ongoing

Al-Andalus, books. Reading up for my holiday in Andalusia last May. Read the books, but only finished my review of the big one. Others to follow.

Humanitarian intervention in the 1990s. Preparation for Crisis in Binni megagame. Read the books. Finished and reviewed. But I need to get the report on the game itself on screen from my notes. Soon! Posts: Zero Dark Thirty, Lessons of Humanitarian Intervention, Crisis Caravan, Black Hawk Down, Crisis in Binni Game Materials 

Me in 2008: fitter, healthier, but not as productive


I still get distracted too easily. A megagame or a holiday is enough to get me sidetracked for a few weeks. And that´s only the projects. I also lost weeks on analysing what makes a real wargamer, reports on boardgames such as Civilization (the game I have played the most over the last two years), bookshops and general musings about the state of the hobby.

For the coming weeks I plan to close off the humanitarian intervention and Al-Andalus projects, then in the following months I should try to focus on Waterloo and Essen 2012. I hope to play some Dux Britanniarum. WWI and King John will be on hold until better days.

The temptations of Essen
Weight loss. On aggregate, I have lost no weight. It was no official project, so I'll make it official now. Let's get it structurally to under 90 kgs by next blog birthday.

Closing remarks

Although I have been graced by many viewers over the year (not all of it referrer spam), the best experiences for me have been to get comments from you. The blog soapbox is nice, but I actually prefer discussion and exchange. Thanks to all of you who have honoured me by entering the conversation.

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