Monday, 20 December 2021

Wargaming in Wollongong - a 2021 retrospective

Its that time when we look back on the year on mull over what went well and what could have gone better...

Well I was given a severe drubbing by Ian's 1940 French Armour to see in the New Year! I guess the main impact on wargaming in Wollongong this year continued to be our on again off again lockdowns...

and we started the year confined to smaller than usual quarters in the UOW Arts building, where we first got going on Black Seas...

Many of the regulars having spent much of 2020 playtesting Lasalle II, they also persuaded the rest of us to have a go - and I for one was converted!

We did revisit regular favourites during our sojourn in Building 40 though - here I was given a particularly severe drubbing by Colin's Elephant...Do you detect a theme emerging yet?

One of the definite highlights of 2021 though was the IPMS show, where we put on a variety of games over the weekend. Hopefully we have started a new tradition, as we were made very welcome and attracted a fair amount of interest...

Another highlight, coinciding with our return to our regular haunt at UOW Materials Engineering, was our by now very traditional Waterloo Day, but this time opened up to a variety of games with varied rulesets and scales, and we were lucky enough to be joined by wargamers from the wider southern NSW region...again I hope we will keep this format going next year, lurgy permitting!

Of the variety of great looking games on offer, I plumped for a Lasalle II game emphasising the right flank of the La Haie Sainte ridge. Needless to say, my attack failed, but, like the man said, it was a close run thing!

All the while during this half of the year, we had resumed, after a long break, assisting Sam Mustafa playtest a set of rules...I can say no more, Loose Lips Sink Ships!

At this point we entered a severe and prolonged lockdown, curtailing all face to face wargaming. I ran a WW2 Naval Raiding campaign, which provided some diversion, and provided me with an opportunity to solo play some of the confrontations...

For several months all wargaming was solo. Some managed to play team games remotely, but I was getting quite enough of that at work, so stayed old school:

One of the virtues of blogging is that, even if you are playing on your own, you are still sharing the telling with the wider community.

Given more time to set up and strike down terrain, I tended to set up solo games that demanded a little more terrain detail, or more careful research:

But the lockdown eventually came to an end around October time. However the uni was not opening up any time soon so we cast around for alternate venues, and some interesting solutions emerged! In times of stress, we look to our ancient defences:

Bryan and Peter playing at Fort Drummond

Peter ever generous, offered to host what will hopefully become our regular Trafalgar game at his mansion:

However, with both Ian and Peter members of the Bulli Wonoona RSL Club, that became our home from home for the rest of the year...

With the year ending on a high note with a large and thrilling FOW game:

Needless to say this is hardly an exhaustive survey of all of our games - Ian continues to subject the loss of the American Colonies to a long running test - but I think collectively we can look back on a good year's gaming. You don't have to win every game...(although once would be nice!)

Happy New Year 2022 to you and yours!


  1. Very nice wrap-up Sparker. What a year it's been! Though as your blog highlights, there is still plenty to feel good about. I'm hoping for a year without a lockdown sometime this decade...

    1. Thanks Caesar, yes we've had some great games, and hopefully plenty more next year!

  2. Great tables - thanks for sharing them over the year.

  3. A great result for what was a very average year. Well done and thanks for all the blog posts.

    1. Thanks so much Ben - yes we did well considering!

  4. Bravo Sparker, across the world a similar story no doubt. Hope you guys have a great 2022, and hope to catch up at Cancon.


    1. Hi Matt - thanks for this. Hope you enjoy Cancon - I won't be going as we are in the middle of a house sale...

  5. Sparker great to see your year round up .converted to Lasalle 2 ,i hope you haven't abandoned Black Powder

  6. Sparker great to see your year round up .converted to Lasalle 2 ,i hope you haven't abandoned Black Powder

    1. Not at all mate - but will be doing it in the new 'Epic' scale once I've impressed sufficient troops from my painting desk!