Sunday 19 February 2012

The Higher Ground Revisted.

I'm starting to warm to Steve Eardley's column in Miniature Wargames, I dont know whether he does it intentionally or not,but he certainly gets you thinking a bit,throughout his monthly column. Not so much about wargaming,more about what makes each wargamer tick.
His latest column is regarding Solo Wargaming,which is great,some people have no option,others do it by choice,fine.
 But somehow he manages to introduce other elements of his theme about 'class'! and 'respect'?
This follows on from his last entry about 'elitism' in wargaming.
 All I can think is that somebody really must have p*****d him off in a former life.
Its very easy to criticise people who make the effort to put pen to paper [do we still do that?] and write something for a wargames magazine, but I dont think elitism ,class and respect are issues in wargaming. Or am I being naive.
 I may be wrong but his theme seems to be,that there is a wargaming elite,made up of people that have very large beautifully painted armies of very expensive figures,on wonderful terrain. No doubt they exist,god knows that if I won the lottery I would be commisioning like mad to create wonderful large armies.
 The first time I read Charles Grants book, the Wargame, I was so jealous of the figures and the set up,similarly when I went to the Wargames Holiday Centre,I came back pretty demoralised about what I would never attain. But you get over it, and aspire to do better. Look at Barry Hilton's wonderful games,I wouldn't call them elitist, more an ideal to reach for.
 I'm grateful that Mr Eardley has given me something to write about,because this thing about class has been circulating for a while,in Britain,especially in politics. The Labour party,batter the conservatives about their 'toff' backgrounds whilst conveniently forgetting that they came from the same elite system. It shouldn't be about, ''he's a toff,so he can't possibly know what the 'ordinary'people really aspire to'', it should be are these people capable of getting us out of the mess that has been created.
 I went to a grammar school,and was classed as a 'swot and a snob' by other kids from my village. I ended up a labourer in a brickyard, so much for the idea of privilege. Its he person not the background that counts.
 I did have to laugh when Mr Eardley stated that '' WORKING CLASS and proud of it, I refuse  to recognise class distinction.''  Well surely that's what he is actually doing by stating he is working class.
 I think you would be hard pushed to find an actual definition of working class in todays Britain. I have always thought of myself as working class, but I own a nice house and have nice things,so is it now measured by income,because if thats the case how much income. Do we define it by the figures we buy,or the scale we use,because I use all scales, and enjoy collecting Garrison figures,because they are cheap.  Its the person that should be measured not their upbringing.
As regards respect, I am totally at odds with his pronouncement that everyone deserves respect and doesnt have to earn it. My concept of respect,was by measuring the actions that an individual does in their lives. I have encountered people over the years,who couldnt spell the word and certainly didnt deserve it. Is that wrong,probably,but in the context of wargaming,I have yet to meet a gamer that didnt have something worthwhile to say,or have producded something that wasn't worthwhile per se.
 To reinforce how working class I am, I had to show units from my, Plastic, vintage Brettonnian army, bought unpainted for a halfpenny and a silver sixpence an eon ago [when I worked down the pits].

 Here's me praying for more inspiration from the wargaming elite,god bless them.
 Again apologies about the rant,but thanks for  'The Higher Ground'

Monday 13 February 2012

The Battle of Wagram,archived photographs.

I recovered these photographs of my restaging of the Battle of Wagram,staged in 6mm.I dont think Durham Group will mind me using photographs from the game I palyed at their club. I know the trend is now to use Baccus figures,which are very good,but I always thought Irregular Miniatures were the leaders in 6mm gaming.
 Ian Kay has always been amenable to casting figures that you needed,and I always liked the practicality of six figure bases. Ian also cast solid blocks of infantry,which when painted are very effective.I use these blocks for my later 1813 Prussian army.
 Rules wise,John and I always opted for quick rules,which captured the sweep of the Napoleonic period,so we naturally opted for Volley and Bayonet.I still think they havent been bettered,even after all this time,but thats just my opinion,so it doesnt really count for much.
 If I remeber rightly,the Austrians were bludgeoned from the field by weight of numbers and the better quality troops,after a stubborn fight. It was probably the right result.
 I have always tended to make specific terrain for all my 6mm battles,and I look forward to dragging out my Borodino terrain,where things are much harder for the French.

Sunday 12 February 2012

Problems with Blogger!!!!

I haven't been able to post for several days,if not weeks,due to Blogger telling me that my system  was no longer working or supported by them.Not being a child of the 21st century this meant I hadn't a clue what to do,anyway more by good luck than good management I am back.
 I was wanting to post my views about the York show,as soon as I returned from it,but hey ho.
 The travel south luckily was not like the photograph my sister sent of Hampstead Heath, but numbers were down. Additionally I set off later to make certain the roads had been gritted.
 I blame the media for the panic that is created every time there is a threat of cold weather, its winter,live with it.
 Anyway,numbers were down,but it was still a good show,with only a couple of traders failing to make it. Games wise,there were definitely less games. I finally met Mark Dudley who had a lovely old school game on display.
 Whilst there I bumped into Charlie Wesencraft who also admired the game, and as we were talking Charles Grant Junior appeared, god if I'd only had his books with me. He seemed a very nice guy.
 The bring and buy was replaced last year,and I think its far better. You can haggle on the prices,and I think its far more efficient. Other shows,in particular Triples take note. The punter is there to sell their  stuff,and none is creamed off before the items are put on the table. It worked well for me.
 I managed to curb my spending to a few! Jackdaw command groups,and some paint.
 Still a good show.

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

Smoggycon 2013
Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2012

Smoggycon 2012
Smoggycon 2012

Smoogycon 2009

Smoogycon 2009
My French getting another beating