Sunday, December 30, 2018


Well, dear readers, it's time for the customary end-of-calendar year post. As the name of this blog suggests, this will not be a particularly systematic analysis, but more of a meander.  
I've never claimed to be a volume painter, and the modest tally of figures painted in calendar year 2018 will attest to this: 48 figures plus 3 cannon.  I would add, however, that this was the year of mounted units, conversions, specialty figures, and rather elaborate uniforms (that's my story and I'm sticking with it).  Thus, of the 48 figures, 36 of them were mounted, so one could count these as two figures each as opposed to one (2018 motto: we hates painting horses!).  This method of accounting would bring the total up to a slightly less embarrassing 81. The Hungarian Artillery conversion project in particular presented a major investment in time if not volume (but that's the nature of black powder artillery to some extent).  It's hard to translate equipment (cannon in this case) to figures, but I would be inclined to count the 3 crazy candy-striped Hungarian cannon to 6 mounted figures.  If one accepts this math (and since it's my blog, and my post, we will), and tallies a horse and rider as two figures,  this would raise the 2018 count to 103. I'll take it: what a relief to crack three digits! Not a bad bit of accounting considering I started at 48 (if you think this is bad, you should see the magic I work with my budget numbers at work!). 
In this self-referential passage, I will share a few reflections on blogging in this last year.  To begin with, I managed 42 posts (including this one) this year,  This is a bit behind my aim of posting once per week.  Still, as has been pointed out by others, the essential point of posting  (indeed blogging) is for the self.   Certainly sharing is an important aspect, but I think that one really has to want to post in order to sustain a blog, and that remained the case for me in 2018.  Despite the ugly circumstances going on in the world around us, I also strove to keep the blog content hobby-related, a place apart from all of that--in the far happier realm of toy soldiers and associated endeavors. For 2019, I have some interesting items in mind that I want to share, including several e books for antiquarians that I think will be of interest (one on the Hungarian revolt and one on the Koniggratz campaign).
I began 2018 with 41 followers and ended the year with 49.  Perhaps I'll crack 50 in 2019.  Having followers is certainly a nice validation, but my sense is that the readership is wider than the follower count.  I would be remiss if I didn't send a shout out to those bloggers who added my blog to their lists on their sites (especially in my blog's fledgling year).  Statistics indicate that other blogs are a major source of traffic to this site, and I believe those blogs are largely responsible for putting this blog on the map--now with 49 followers of its own. 
Speaking of blog lists, I expanded the number of recently updated blogs showing on my blog from five to ten.  I found myself going to other blogs as "landing zones" to check out their blog lists, which made me realize that I could expand my own list and be more of a resource in this way as well.  Speaking of resources, it may not have been very noticeable, but in the past year I've added to the resource areas of my blog, both the "Wargaming and Hobby Links" section (on the left hand side) and the "Other Useful and Interesting Links" section (on the right hand side).  If you've never noticed those, I would encourage you to poke around a bit.  I'll highlight a few of the 2018 additions:
In the "Other Useful and Interesting Links" section, the Obscure Battles blog (images above: clix pix for big pix) is an amazing resource, with not only historical information but also custom maps and panoramic photographs for many battles.  
The Stanford University French Revolution Digital Archive (image above taken from the opening page of the site) is a gold mine of information (one that I used in my Edward Gibbon and The French Revolution post).
And I've added a link to the essential Knotel uniform print collection
Looking at the "Wargaming and Hobby Links," I've added the Hyphenated Wars website, an excellent wargamer's resource on the continental wars of the 19th Century.
If you've ever been looking for an article on a specific topic in a wargaming magazine, then you'll want to visit the  Wargames Magazine Index project. 
Speaking of old school wargame magazines, I've added a link to a digital archive of the old Avalon Hill General.  
For those who indulge in computer wargames, there is the John Tiller Software site.  I intend to keep adding to these resources in 2019.
It's interesting to note that the Battle of Dybbol report holds its position as the most popular post, but Ed's Basic Basing , a relatively late addition (August), has climbed to a spot in the top five. So, there's something old and something new. Among the content pages, the Nine Years War page, with 1697 views, is by far the most visited, with the Dubious Designs games page coming next with 895. The Colonial Gaming, Chocolate Box Wars, and Baroque Battles pages are in the 700s, with the Smalle Warre page in the 400s and Ramillies 1815 in the 200s.  These metrics would reinforce two of my major aims for 2019: to complete my Chocolate Box Wars rules and to post my Baroque Battles rules.  In the case of Baroque Battles, that is an actual convention-tested system, and I have a draft of the rules in progress.  I just need to sit down and bang it out. In the case of Chocolate Box Wars, that's still in the late concept stage and will take a bit more effort.  I should be beginning playtests soon, however (fingers crossed!).  
Well, this post is quickly turning into a wall of text, so I'll wrap it up 'ere I wind up typing into 2019!  I still very much enjoyed blogging in 2018 as an end unto itself.  Having said this, I also must say that the encouragement and motivation gained from the blogging community (other bloggers and blog readers alike) has been an important source of enhancement for my hobby experience in 2018.  So, in closing, I would like to say, dear readers, Happy New Year and... 



  1. Ed! 2018 was a productive year for you with growth on all fronts. Always an enjoyable read and I await what 2019 holds in store.

    Great job!

    1. Thanks, Jonathan: appreciate your support. See you in 2019.

  2. OK, Ed, that was certainly creative...ahem math for your painting totals. Surely you missed your calling. Some corporation could employ you to cook....errr do accounting for them?

    Seriously have a great 2019. Especially looking forward to seeing you eventually get to a wargame on the Hungarian Revolution.

    Mike from Wisconsin

    1. Hi Mike: I'm itching to get the Hungarians on the table, too!

  3. I would say you’ve had a great year of hobby. ☹️
    You certainly have done a lot of conversions and those take extra time, as well as the super fancy uniforms.
    Thanks for all your support on my blog and My support of yours is genuine and your posts are fun to read. Keep it up in 2019. 😀

    1. Thanks, Stew; looking forward to more mutual appreciation (also sincere) in 2019!

  4. I agree entirely whith the others...
    A very productive year of hobby not to mention excellent and informative blog posts...
    I look forward to the next twelve months...

    All the best and a prosperous and happy new year to you and yours...Aly

    1. Thanks, Aly: Happy New Year to you as well!

  5. Thanks Ed, all good. Best Wishes for 2019

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  7. Always a pleasure reading your well written posts and well-captioned photos Ed.

  8. Always fun reading your posts, you forgot in your accounting that hussar dress counts double so your probably pushing 200!
    Best Iain

  9. Nice one Ed, and best wishes for 2019...

  10. Thanks, Phil. Happy New Year to you and yours as well!


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