Welcome to my blog!

News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. Or follow me on Twitter @Balkan_Dave
or on Mastodon @balkandave@mastodon.scot, or Threads @davewatson1683

Sunday 1 January 2023

Happy New Year!

 Here's wishing everyone a Happy New Year! 

2022 was a decent year for me. We avoided the plague and kept in reasonably good health. I have managed to keep my work down to a couple of days per week, allowing more time for my historical writing and wargaming.

On the wargaming front, I actually finished a few projects, but of course started new ones! The Turkish and Hellenic navies in 1/3000 for the 1974 conflict completes that project for now, although I would like to follow that through to more modern times, but so far I just have the modern Turkish forces. Building a 1/72 scale Super Sabre added the air dimension to my 20mm figures and took me back to my early teens and Airfix aircraft. I also painted the air forces in 1/300th.

The next big project was the Adriatic in the Napoleonic wars. I started with the Balkan troops in French service, including more Albanians. They have appeared in several games of Black Powder as well as Rebels and Patriots. I have played a lot of Black Powder at the club this year thanks to a new member who is very keen on the period. I have also built up my Black Seas fleets of the period with more Royal Navy and French frigates, as well as Ottomans and Russians. Still more than a few of these in the painting pile to do. Painting Napoleonics is a slow process, but I did finish the Russian 1806 expeditionary force in the Adriatic in 28mm. Musketeers, Jagers and artillery, have added to our tabletop campaigns. I am currently painting Royal Marines and sailors for landing actions.

The Kickstarter, Border Wars arrived just before Xmas. I quickly painted up the starter set figures and played a few games. I have also used the rules for Balkan border wars of the same period.  

There have been a few distractions on the journey. Some shirtsleeve 28mm British for the WW2 campaigns in the Eastern Mediterranean. Great Northern War Swedes in 28mm, as an adjunct to my Ottomans of the period. And a few more that I have probably forgotten.

My Battlechat podcast interview with Henry Hyde was a lot of fun. Chatting for a couple of hours on all matters Balkan.

My main project for the coming year is still the Napoleonic Adriatic. More British marines and Austrians as well as a building a harbour for them to attack. This will be the GDWS participation game at Carronade in May. So I have some time - famous last words! The aim is to convert that harbour into a WW2 version for some 1943-44 raids by the British and Partisans, probably for Claymore in August. I also aim to return to the Indo-Pakistan wars.

On the subject of shows, it has been a quiet year with only Claymore in Scotland, good though it was. I did make a few sorties south of the border to York, Leeds and Stockton. The latter was a first time for me, and very good it was too. I plan to get to York in February, and Salute is back in April, on the date of a Fulham home game as well.

I usually manage to read at least one book per week, and I see that I am close to having reviewed 500 on this blog. There have been some cracking books this year. Some of the best include Alexander Mikaberidze's new biography of Kutuzov, Bruno Mugnai's The Ottoman Army of the Napoleonic Wars, and Gaj Trifkovic's Sea of Blood - Partisan Movement in Yugoslavia 1941-45, which is a truly awesome piece of research. Henry Hyde's Wargaming Campaigns is another I will be returning to regularly.  

My own writing has made progress this year. A few journal articles and my first full-length history book, Chasing the Soft Underbelly, is due out soon. I actually wrote it in 2021, but publishing delays post-pandemic have slowed progress. I signed off some lovely artwork before Xmas, so hopefully soon. I am currently writing a wargaming supplement for the book, which should be ready soon after the main book comes out. I have signed a contract with Helion for two more books, one in 2023 and another in 2024. In the gap, I wrote a book about the Napoleonic Wars in the Adriatic, which should be published in March or April. I also met my target of an average of two blog posts per week in 2022.

Finally, I do like to travel. My overseas trips this year included a great trip to Istanbul in April, an extended work trip to Sweden in June and Kos in the Aegean in October. As well as a few trips around the UK. Nothing planned yet for 2023 other than the family trip to the Lake District.

That's me. I hope your hangover is not too bad this morning, and I look forward to seeing what our hobby brings in 2023.


  1. Well, you certainly achieved plenty in ‘22. Painted and gamed a fair bit, read & wrote plenty too and got out and about to a fair few places too. That puts me to shame, for sure… ☹️

  2. Happy New Year- seems like it was a productive one for you.