Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 in Review (Short Version)

Der Alte Fritz gets down to the business of defeating the Dervish.

Well, 2017 is just about gone and we are heading into a new year tomorrow. It seems like a good time to summarize some of the highlights of the year for me and for this blog. I might do a longer version, with links to past posts, sometime in January 2018.

Here are some of the highlights of my 2017 year, in no particular order of importance:

1.  Ten Year Anniversary of this blog
It is hard to believe, but I have been going at this blogging thing for ten years now. It continues to be as much fun now as it was when I made my first post in 2007.

2. I Played in 17 Wargames in 2017
Now that I am retired, I have a lot more free time for wargaming. I played 8 solo games and 9 group games during the year.

3. Started the Fife & Drum Minis Forum
I carried the idea of blogging over to the world of forums on February 27, 2017 as I created the , initially to promote my Fife & Drum AWI and Minden SYW figure ranges. It quickly morphed into something more widespread that covers the 18th Century, both from an historical information standpoint and from a wargamers' standpoint.

4. My Visit to the United Kingdom
In June 2017, I travelled to England to visit my casting company, Griffin Moulds Ltd and also made an appearance at the Ex-AMG gathering in Kenilworth. It was great to meet a number of people in person, whom I have only known through the blogosphere. My daughter Lelia later met me in London for her very first visit to Europe. What a time we had!

5. Return of the Teddy Bear Wars

My daughter and I resumed our famous Teddy Bear Wars in December 2017. It was our first game since 2011. The Battle of the Bears was won by Lelia (AKA Lady Emma Cuddleston-Smythe) so I am still winless in these tabletop tilts. Teddy Bear game reports are always get the highest number of page views of all of my blog posts.

6. South Carolina 1780 Campaign Begins
I started a solo AWI campaign set in South Carolina in the year 1780. The twelve turn campaign currently rests on Turn Ten, but we will complete the campaign early in 2018. Along the way, I have been working on my own set of campaign rules that I might publish in the future.

7.  Attended the Annual Seven Years War Association Convention
I have been attending this convention nearly continuously since about 1986 and the same old faces keep returning, albeit with balding pates and silver grey hair. I ran two Cowpens games on Friday and then a larger set pierce AWI game on Saturday.

8. Started Building My SYW Russian Army
I think that it was in August that I got the bee in my bonnet to finally build the SYW Russian army that I had been contemplating for ages. I decided to target things towards running a Zorndorf game at the 2018 SYW Association Convention in March 2018.

9. Sculpted My First Wargame Figures
I decided to try my hand at sculpting wargame figures, so starting with the basic dollies and torsos and head that Richard Ansell made, I sculpted a Russian Musketeer soldier and drummer, an NCO and an officer so that I could use them in my own collection of 28mm Russians. I also made some South Carolina Continentals and 11 AWI mounted militia figures.

10. Some Personal Events in Life
My sister, Janet Akers, died in November 2017 at the age of 69 from cancer. That was hard to take. On a brighter note, my daughter Lelia went away to college prep school and is enjoying the adventures of living by oneself out of the nest of Mom and Dad. On one of my visits to see Lelia in Carbondale, IL, I visited nearby Fort Donelson ACW battlefield site. Finally, I declared war on clutter as I rented a 20-foot long dumpster and filled it up with the clutter of living in the same house for approximately ten years.



  1. A very productive and exciting year on all fronts. I'd say the Teddy Bear wars are the highlight. Happy New Year!

  2. An excellent year. My condolences on the loss of your sister. I to have on many occasion rented a dumpster to do some major cleaning - feels good to purge sometimes. I look forward to seeing what you have on the list for 2018! :-) Happy new year!

  3. Hi Jim,
    Best wishes to you and yours in 2018.
    Let's get in a game again soon.
    Thank you for all you do for the hobby and friends.
    Bill P.