Monday, 12 October 2015
We will be putting on a 28mm Renaissance battle between the Ottoman Turks and the Venetians.
There are 20 plus traders attending, so with me, the traders, a lot of old steam trains, a cafe, and minimal entry fee its a win win situation.
I have even heard that Pete Waterman and Rod Stewart are attending.
I may actually have made that part up, but you never know.
Sunday, 11 October 2015
But actually the vast majority of wargamers want nothing more than spending a day throwing dice, giving and taking banter and generally looking at their toys.
Yesterday was no exception when John, Neil and I took the trip to play in the Westerhope Wargames Group re fight of the Battle of Ramilles.
I would again like to thank the group for the invite and willingness to do all the hard work, especially John Coutts and my co general Brian Irving for a great day out. It was especially nice to be facing the great Charlie Wesencraft who was the French Cin C whilst I was designated the role of Malborough. Unfortunately that was where the comparison ended for me.
I have fought against Charlie on a number of occasions now, and for a man who should really be thinking about retirement, he is a sod to fight against.
Thursday, 8 October 2015
I can always rely on Andy of Old Glory fame to write up a post on his blog that gets me thinking.
Its sad that I need someone else to prompt me into writing, perhaps it's my lack of original thoughts.
Anyway, Andy wrote about his view of the Derby Weekend show, which he praised, and also wrote of his views of some of the games etc.
He also mentioned me in person and my critique of the show.
Its funny how everyone has a different take on events, but it would be a boring world if we all agreed with everything, or in some cases with nothing.
I know John, my longtime nemesis thoroughly enjoyed the show, but then he was on a buying splurge so was well happy.
Anyway, Andy in his post mentioned that I wanted a 'Bright lights shazam Kapow ! ' type of show.
I think I understand what Andy is describing at least I hope I do.
But having had all day to consider what I want at a Wargames show like Derby, and without wittering on too much whilst repeating myself ad infinitum.
I have been wargaming for too long now not to hold a view about all aspects of the hobby that has been at times a way of life for me.
In that time I have traveled to some God forsaken places where a Wargames Show was being staged.
I even went to a one in Milan which I came upon by accident, honest.
Anyway as we are now in the 21st Century I would have hoped that wargamers and the shows they attended would have developed into quite slick, well produced affairs. [This is not a dig at Derby by the way.]
By this I mean the following;
A clear purpose as to why a Wargames Show was being held, whether to commemorate a specific military event, to raise money for a military related charity, ie the British Legion, or to be based around a specific period in history, ie Ancients, Seven Years War, or the Anterian Invasion of the planet Plod.
Derby obviously was based around the competitions, fair enough.
It also doesnt have to be as clear cut as that, it could purely be to sell wargaming, [that old chestnut ] to the public. But a purpose just might add some focus to what is then organised.
Wargames Shows cannot be purely about tipping up to trawl around a badly lit hall, [ and this includes Salute ] to buy your latest goodies, that you will never find the time to paint, grab a crap overpriced sandwich, and then leave by 12.00 midday.
If the shows have this purely as their purpose then they are in trouble.
Wargames Shows need to leave a person enthused, questioning the whole event and frankly wanting to go home, grab a tape and throw some dice.
So getting back to the main point of this rambling bollocks, a Wargames Show needs to be more than finding a cheap venue, cramming as many traders as they can into the hall, finding a few clubs and individuals and getting them to stage a game that could just have easily been played at home in a badly lit garage.
In defence of the World Championships, I saw that the Derby Group had taken the trouble to award cash prizes to the best games at their Show, now that should be applauded as it is a clear incentive to get a finger out and put together a game that could just snare a new wargamer or even two. But that was a one off.
So now onto some fantasy.
I find it amazing that wargaming has never been able to find a way to create a central body that could just perhaps drag the hobby kicking and screaming into the digital age.
Think about it. How does any professional military or historical museum get in touch with a group of enthusiasts in order to get them to stage a re enactment of a set battle, using miniatures.
That's right there isn't any means, instead its down to, ''Oh I know someone who plays with toy soldiers, he might be able to round up some weirdos to help''.
Now attempting to organise wargamers would be like rounding up a load of cats, it isnt going to happen [ever]
Too many individuals, too many own agendas and frankly we're just an awkward bunch of middle aged men that ''just want to play a game'' and dont want to get involved. ''I wont even buy the magazines you know. Its never been the same since Duncan stopped being the editor'' mentality.
That's fine, to a certain extent. It probably describes me perfectly,but it still makes my piss boil at times.
We make jokes about the expensive crap food, we complain about the toilets, the venue, the smell but do we ever do anything about it?
However instead of a load of dire wargames shows, what if there was perhaps only 12, well organised nationwide shows each year. Each one, in a decent well lit venue, assisted by some funding from a central body, whose only input was to act as a coordinating group with the express aim of making certain that the hobby not only thrived but also gave out an image of professionalism.
It would have no involvement in imposing specific wargames rules, scales, periods etc, it would really be there to assist in funding, advertisements, sponsorship, and a myriad of ways to make certain that each show was a success, both financially and in selling the hobby.
It would not be about legislation or heavy handed administration, it would be about making certain of success.
South London Warlords I would argue are the nearest thing to a professional wargaming group. They have the cash and they have the members, but even their show is in danger of becoming a giant trade affair, with little purpose beyond spending your shekels as quickly as possible.
Nowhere else comes near their organisational ability.
But how many groups and individuals are there in say Scotland, the North East, the North etc, that's correct there are hundreds if not thousands. Would it be too much to hope that 12 regional wargames shows could be created out of all the wargamers in the United Kingdom, and each one would show the best of the hobby, at the most suitable venue, supported by the largest and most diverse number of traders in each area. Guest speakers, discussions at each table regarding the game on show, explanations of a new set of rules, anything that could lift a wargames show into becoming an EVENT.
So if thats Bright Lights and Kapow, bring it on.
Here endeth the rant..................I have just realised that I have become Jeremy Corbyn!!!!
Some things have never changed............................................ My group at a show back in the very early 1980's, and I would still argue it is better than some of the games I've seen this year in 2015.
Sunday, 4 October 2015
One was the Battle of Marignano and the other was the Battle of Kunersdorf.
I have always admired the way James Roach aka Olicana painted his figures and always try to check out his games. I certainly wasnt disappointed with his figures which were pretty damned good as usual. The most annoying thing Ive found about James is the fact he paints so damned quick, and the paint effect he uses is so very effective.
Tuesday, 29 September 2015
[ Colin and I ] are going to refight Rossbach in 30mm. This was an interesting battle, with some interesting tactical problems for both sides.
Anyway just to show that I have actually been doing something I thought I would show images of my newly painted 6mm buildings bought from Leven Miniatures.