And now, the end is near…

To all of you who have played our games, supported our endeavours or just like reading our scribblings, we wish you our heartiest felicitations for the season. May your stockings be filled with tiny marching feet and the rules with which to play them.
We sincerely hope that each and every one of you shall have time during the holidays to kick back, play a game or three, paint some miniatures, construct some terrain, eat well and make merry.

As far as we are concerned at the Ministry, we shall take some time to reflect on the year that has been and consider our plans for the year that is yet to come. Though no shades of past, present and future shall disturb our sleep this Christmas Eve. Bob Cratchett, or ‘Billy’ as he likes to be called, shall not starve.

For both of us it has been an interesting year. We launched our first hardback book, a work of some considerable personal satisfaction, and watched it do fairly well in what we did understand would be a highly competitive market. We knew it would not match Frostbite for sales, but we don’t write to entertain the masses, but for a more discerning enthusiast. One for whom having a toolkit upon which to draw and be able to create and play in the fantasy genres of their choice, is more important than everything being presented to them ready made and reliant on the imagination of another.

The shows that we have attended have been wonderful once more. It is here we get to meet our friends in the industry and, most importantly the players. Many new faces came to our stand to talk with us and enjoy our participation games. A special joy is when younger players come to experience our games for the first time. They are so quick to pick up the rules and often surprise their parents when they hand them their asses.

This year we were truly blessed by Billy’s huge and dangerous ravine board, where brave adventurers attempted to escape the clutches of a band of evil monsters, or a band of brave dungeon natives tried to stop a gang of murder hobos escaping justice – all depending on your point of view. We have never had a board so often admired and photographed. It has now been retired and donated to a worthy cause.

On a personal note I turned sixty years of age on the day of The Other Partizan show. My thanks to all of you who commiserated with me on officially becoming an old codger. Both Charles and I have been wargaming and roleplaying since our teens which means that between us we have enjoyed our hobby for roughly ninety years. Grognards indeed.

Since 2013 we have written and published seven books, three with Osprey – gawd bless ’em, and four under the Ministry imprint, not bad for two part-timers. Which means that much of our spare time has been dedicated to writing, editing, publishing, blogging and Facebook grouping, preparing showboards and figures, and attending shows.

So what is to come? Well despite our personal trials and tribulations this year, it really has not been as easy as it might seem, we have been laying the foundations for a new and mighty project. Something we shall properly announce after the New Year’s hangovers have subsided.

Finally, we would like to thank so many people for their assistance this year. Firstly everyone who has contributed in word and deed in our enterprise, most of whom are in the acknowledgements of our books. You know who you are and we salute each and every one of you.
A special thanks to the show-runners, especially Lawrence and Richard of Partizan, whose faith in us is so appreciated.
Also to the many players who have inspired us, and many others, by presenting their efforts on our Facebook pages, and in such fora as Lead Adventure and the Wargames Website. You are the reason that we carry on.

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