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Saturday, 11 December 2010

Battleground 1978

Yesterday I was very kindly given a dvd of several of the Battleground games that featured on Tyne Tees televison in 1978!!
 The battles I have managed to obtain are, Chalons, Edgehill, Waterloo and Gettysburg. The other battles were I think Trafalger and El Alamein, though I may be wrong on this. The whole viewing experience was a massive dollop of nostalga, especially seeing the likes of John Braithwaite of Greenwood and Ball fame and a very young Ian Dickie of Minaiture Wargames fame.
    One thing that struck me straight away is how difficult it is to make an actual wargame interesting to a person watching it on television. Peter Gilder who features in two of the battles obviously went for ' a bit of banter ' routine in an attempt to bring levity to the programme.
 Duncan Macfarlane [god how young looking] adopted a more serious manner. Really neither suceeded in making the wargame a piece of television.
 However I remember when I saw them the first time around being enthralled,especially the beautiful terrain and wonderful figures. Even now they would stand the test of time. The rules were in main  Gilders creation, and were complicated as was the trend then, in an effort to show everyone that we weren't playing with toys but actually re enacting history.[ Ah the conceit of youth]
 The programmes did bring it home to me how difficult it is to make a wargame interesting to a newcomer or passerby. I think the key still is, eye catching terrain and figures, a 'facilitator' to present the game and explain everything, whilst making it interesting [difficult  for most gamers] and a lot of friendliness from the gamers actually fighting the battle,to make the whole thing welcoming.
 Ideally a re incarnation of Peter Gilder would do! They man was always an idol of mine and whatever faults he may have had, he certainly knew how to present a game.
 So getting away from the critical points, I still think the television series was a must view for all wargamers, well done the now defunct Tyne Tees television. 

6 comments:

  1. My god, you do know that many people on various fora have been searching out VHS copies of this, and you have one on DVD!!??

    Any chance of a You Tube up load or similar. I suspect you could name your price on copies if you choose too!
    #
    Sean

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  2. The WW2 battle was a Eurpean fight by Gavin Lyall- a novellist of the time and his son though I seem to remember they used Gilders terrain and models- the Naval battle I recall as the Nile- somewhere I have the magazine article on the series. It was groudbraking in its tie and one of only 2 attempts on Britsh TV to portay our hobby in moderatly technical ight the other was more recent and had Angela Ripon and Ian Dickie invlved Gawd 'elp us it was 'orrible

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  3. Where is Dvd from is it obtainable or was it a 'private' present or suchlike ?

    Cheers
    sgtsteiner.blogspot.com/

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  4. I would love to know if there has been any update on this?

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  5. you would be the darling of the wargaming world if you made this available on youtube...

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  6. Howdy folks, I'm currently preparing a series of articles on the Battleground TV programme, which I'll post on my blog (link below) as and when I get around to finishing them, which will hopefully be in the next few days. I hope people will find them interesting.

    http://aquestionofscale.blogspot.co.uk/

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My 6mm Napoleonic set up.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.
Austria 1809.

Austrian Hussars

Austrian Hussars
Hinchliffe figures

Austrian Grenzer

Austrian Grenzer
Austrian Grenzer

Smoggycon 2013

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Smoogycon 2009

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My French getting another beating