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

Monday 1 January 2024

Happy New Year!

 Here is wishing everyone a Happy New Year! A serious celebration here in Scotland, so serious that we get two public holidays to recover. Having made a serious dent in a bottle of 'Old Pulteney' whisky last night (a present for doing an after-dinner speech for a pal), my morning bike ride along the seafront has cleared my head for planning the coming year. 

2023 was productive. I had four books published, although this somewhat exaggerates my productivity as two were written mainly in the preceding years. The Frontier Sea appears to have been a popular Xmas present, not just for my family! It even sold a dozen copies in Japan. 

I am contracted to write or co-write four more books in 2024. There will be two more volumes on the Cyprus conflict and a chapter in a book on amphibious warfare during the Napoleonic Wars. My current focus is on my history of HMS Ambuscade, and I wrote the WW1 chapter over the holiday period. We hope to bring the last ship of that name, a Falklands War veteran Type 21 frigate, back to the Clyde this year. I also kept up this blog with an average of two posts per week. And a few journal and wargame magazine articles.

On the wargame front, I managed to finish the projects I had planned and a few I hadn't. The Almughavars and The Catalan Company in 28mm, more planes for Blood Red Skies, Cyprus in 20mm, Korean War (Turkish Brigade) in 10mm, What a Cowboy in 28mm, 2mm ancients for Strength & Honour and Napoleonic Adriatic in 28mm (mostly Austrians). I ran three participation games at the Carronade, Claymore and Targe shows. Two of these used the Adriatic harbour baseboards I built, featured in Wargames Illustrated and an architect's journal. 

For the coming year, I have been rebasing my 15mm Napoleonic irregulars from the old PoW bases. When I finish the Ottomans, I plan to return to Lasalle2. I have some WW1 ships on the painting table and later Ambuscade models to accompany the book. The Cyprus books will drive more figures for the conflict, including three aircraft kits I got for Xmas. 

There are a few more units planned for Strength & Honour. I plan to stretch my Adriatic project to the Russo-Turkish War with 28mm cossacks and Potemkin Russians. My Tranter re-reading project will spark some Scottish projects with Montrose on the radar, Covenanters in 15mm, and more Border Wars. The Indo-Pakistan conflict was one project I could have made more progress on last year. Recent reading has revived my interest in this. I would also like to start an imaginations campaign, with a book on Ruritania staring at me from the desk. I'm sure my reading and new rules will spark other projects, but that looks like plenty to be going on with.

No overseas trips are planned yet, but they will happen. I must get to the National Archives and Greenwich early in the New Year. I will undoubtedly be at the York show, which ties in nicely with a Fulham away game, and probably Salute. I enjoyed my visits to the Newark shows this year and will make a return to at least one of them.

My reading pile looks ominous, particularly those requiring time-consuming translations like these, which arrived last week. I managed over 50 book reviews last year, with an increasing number in electronic format, which helps with domestic harmony!

My day job is pretty busy early in the New Year. I took over a new role as Director of a Scottish Think Tank last year, and although part-time, it is still likely to eat into hobby time. Such is life. I hope everyone had a good New Year, and I wish you all a happy and prosperous 2024.


  1. All the best for the remainder of ‘24. So many projects but only a finite amount of time. 😉

  2. I don't know how you pack it all in!
    All the best for 2024.