Wargaming blogs come and go, but The Grand Duchy of Stollen celebrates its 10th year of being this mid-December! Long-time visitors might recall that the idea of the Grand Duchy was born in early December 2005 as the Grand Duchess baked her authentic Dresdner Stollen in the kitchen of our old apartment right across the street from the lovely Franklin Park way back in Bloomington, Illinois while yours truly mused about model soldiers, doing something completely different, and the mid-18th century across the hall in the spare bedroom that served at the time as my den. . . the wonderful Purple Room as we referred to it.
It was about this time that I also stumbled onto The Old School Wargaming Yahoo group, which was abuzz at the time with all manner of wargaming related conversation as well as planning for the now legendary Sittangbad refight by The War Gamers at the May 2006 Partizan show in the U.K. In particular, through the Yahoo group in question, I was led to the particularly inspiring work of one Mr. Greg Horne, who blogged as the man behind the Duchy of Alzheim. As an aside, Greg and I are in the midst of a small play-by-email game at the moment using his figures. . . a game which I think I am in the process of losing!
At any rate, while I did not get around to putting paintbrush to any figures myself until August 2006, once the Grand Duchess and I returned home from our camping honeymoon in the Dakotas and northern Minnesota, the Grand Duchy of Stollen name stuck, and an entire cast of neer-do-wells has emerged in the years since. This blog took shape, in fact, at that point too thanks largely to an early Battlegames article by Mr. Horne on blogging about one's wargaming.
The misadventures of The Grand Duke Irwin-Amadeus II and his faithful valet Hives soon followed, to say nothing of a now rather respectable little army of 25-30mm metal and plastic figures. Hopefully, they will soon see a return to tabletop maneuvers before much longer. Call it my pre-New Year's resolution.
In any case, the Grand Duchy has provided me with great pleasure in the years since, and I hope it might have done so too for at least some of you who have joined in at any point along the way. I've met many like-minded people around the world through this blog, made some good friends, and even had a few wargaming related articles published in the hobby press during the last decade, which has been satisfying. Saying that all of this has been fun seems like an understatement. Without a doubt, the enjoyment and sharing in the pleasure brought about by model soldiers will continue so long as there is breath in my body. Here's to the Grand Duchy of Stollen. . . Long may it reign!
The Grand Duchess beat me to the punch and picked up a very pretty evergreen wreath with a nicely done red and gold bow yesterday and hung it on our front door at the house. For good luck of course and just in time for Christmas. The apartment looks barren at this point and has that empty sound to it, but I cannot say I'll miss it when we turn in the keys later this week once we have cleaned up after ourselves.