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Saturday, January 2, 2016

Mike's 2015 in Review and 2016 Preview

When it comes to Flames of War, 2015 was a bit of a mixed year. It started with a lot of promise with my Polish Black Brigade, but unfortunately work demands meant that force wasn't completed in time for the tournament, so it has "lingered" on my painting table. For me, any time a project like that lingers, it takes a bit of the wind out of my sails in terms of actually getting things done in the hobby. So what follows is a look back at "what was" in 2015, and what I'm hoping to accomplish in 2016.

As I mentioned before, the year started off with a bang with my madly working on the Polish Black Brigade. The infantry, anti-tank guns, and most of the artillery were painted, but not based. Basing took a while, and then I simply ran out of time. Unfortunately for the next several months the army just sort of sat there waiting for motivation to actually get it done. Fortunately that is getting ready to change... as you'll see below.

I've continued to write and proofread for Battlefront. I was an assistant writer for Nachjager, Great War, and Berlin, and I proofread those and several other books and projects, including Team Yankee. I've also done a lot of writing on some things that... well, I can't talk about yet, but I will... soon... I honestly enjoy the history, model building, and painting as much as the playing when it comes to Flames of War, so this hasn't necessarily been "a bad thing."

Early last year I did my first "Unit through the war in Flames of War" feature covering 654. Schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung. I haven't had time to go back and do another one yet, but rest assured it is on the "to do" list. I'll likely do its sister unit 653. Schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung, but I may get ambitious at some point and do Grossdeutschland.

In terms of painting, the summer was a bit of a lost cause, but I picked up again in the fall and finally got together my Soviet Lend Lease tank army for Berlin. I still need to go back and add the stowage to a few of the vehicles, but that was one army I'd always wanted to do, and I finally did it... even though I was painting until 12:30AM the night before the tournament!

For 2016, There are several tournaments coming up over the next few months that I've started working on vehicles for. I've been assembling some of the new Team Yankee models - and the tanks are amazing - at this point I'm a little less impressed with the Hind (see a future review). I've also been working on some more Berlin Soviets to bulk up what I can put on the table there, as well as several very LW Germans as well.

The first tournament of the year is a local early war tournament still in the planning stages for late February. I will, I repeat WILL, have my Black Brigade ready for this tournament. I'm not sure whether this will be a 1500 or 1550 point set-up at this point, but I'm hoping 1550 since my list is already set up for that point level. There is actually an earlier tournament in Washington that is late war, which I may spruce up my Soviets and head to.

Starting in March, the local group is going to do a Raiding Aces league. Desert Italians have always been one of my guilty pleasures, so I'm currently assembling a bunch of vehicles to make this work. Hopefully it will all get painted, but since it is a league, the early games may be with vehicles that are more "bare" than I'd take to a tournament.

May brings us the Enfilade convention, and on Saturday there will be a 1700 point MW tournament. For the past several years I've had a conflict during this event, but I may not have the conflict this year, so I'm hoping to go up. This event would be a fun one to take a couple of MW armies I'm hoping to get together to. If all else fails, I can always spruce back up my 502 Schwere Panzerabteilung army from a couple of years ago - I want to correct a couple of details on the Tigers. I may also need to add some forces to the unit as it was set for a lower point value. Also, given MW is getting ready to get a digital revamp, some of the points may change!

I don't have a lot of visibility to the tournament scene after May at this point. There's a major tournament, OFCC, at the end of July, but I'll be out of the country at a professional conference and won't be able to make it...

The painting queue:

  1. Polish Black Brigade
  2. Italian Compagnia Autosahariana
  3. New MW Army - U.S. 1st Armored at Kasserine or LSSAH at the Third Battle of Kharkov
  4. Berlin Soviets (T-34, ISU, Stalins)
  5. VLW Germans (Panzer IV/70 (A), Berlin troops, among others)
  6. Japanese for the Pacific
As normal, my queue is longer than I'll likely have time for, but you only live once - you may as well dream BIG! So how was 2015 for you the readers? What are your goals for 2016? Feel free to comment below!


  1. That's a lot of painting! I'm thinking about the sahariana too- just love their vehicles!

    1. Well, the Black Brigade is something like 80%+ there already... and the list will likely change multiple times over the course of the year, and if I get half of it done I'll be happy... *lol* :D

  2. Good to hear you will finally get the 10th BK rolling off the production line...Ive been itching to see your Vickers E painted up for ages... so much so that Ive gone and bought myself a vacuum pump and started sculpting some Vickers E's for myself now! :D Cant wait to see them!

    1. I'll definitely get them posted once they're done. Waiting on some pigments to do some weathering on the trucks and the basing for the infantry. At this point my goal for the week is to get the wheels attached to the trucks...

  3. Some greats projects in the works! I too am awaiting the Pacific Japanese.