Wednesday 4 November 2015


Throughout my life I have made decisions that later I regretted, thinking why the f### did I do that.The latest one was to accept a temporary job with my council. I think I applied simply because the job was on offer and I thought I should be gainfully employed?
  Anyway I forgot just how much full time employment can interfere with wargaming.
 So as a consequence there has been a paucity of wargaming, and painting of figures in my world. 
  The positive is that it is only a short term job, and I cannot wait to pick up a paintbrush again and get cracking with some figures. 
 So in a way, employment is a great stimulus to wargamers who are suffering from a bit of wargamers bloc. Well thats what I keep telling myself.
 Lacking in game time has not however stopped me from adding to my metal mountain, especially after I saw Colin's SYW Saxons from Eureka on his blog Carry on up the Dale.
 I have always had a soft spot for the Saxon army, it was probably after reading about Augustus the Strong, Maurice de Saxe, and that knob Frederick's actions after the surrender of the Saxon army at Pirna.
 Anyway, I have opted to collect some Saxon units,pending a decision about what to do next in my wargaming world. Do I return to ancients or do I start a completely new project like the French Wars of Religion? or the Great Northern War?
  Thanks to Andy of Old Glory fame's plug in this month's Miniature Wargames, about my blog, I feel I should throw in some views about the state of wargaming, just to perk things up a bit.  
 I do have a few observations about current trends that have perturbed me a bit.
 One is the current fad for all things Zombie like. This is purely a personal thing, and is not meant as an attack on what to some people is a fun sub genre. But the question I ask, is why?
 Does it all stem from Buffy the Vampire slayer, and perhaps Shaun of the Dead, which I did find funny. What exactly attracts wargamers to paint up loads of figures that should in the main be poor at reacting to any changing situation, act in a stupid and brain dead manner and by the same token difficult to kill, because they are already supposed to be dead.
 I just dont get it. 
 Clearly a lot of wargamers do, and also a great number of other people who have taken to Zombie Larping in a big way.  But to me it just seems a dead end [pardon the poor pun] 
   It hasn't stopped a lot of small companies releasing new figures to corner that particular market.
 The fantasy market as a whole appears to be very buoyant at the moment, with new figures, accessories etc being released daily. I suppose this is to fill the void left by the demise of Warhammer World, but what do I know. 
 I was never able to get to grips with what Games Workshop were trying to achieve. I painted up a wonderful Brettonnian army, spending loads on it, to then sell the lot after I had completed it, so a bit of a waste for me then really.
                                        A bit of a dead end, and only used once?

Of course Games Workshop has still been able to significantly influence the wargaming world by downsizing its empire and unleashing a lot of its well trained staff upon us.
 The behemoth that is Warlord Games is proof of that, not that I can complain too much as I use their Black Powder rules.
 Still I wonder where wargaming would have gone if Games Workshop hadnt got rid of a lot of its staff, and allowed them to effectively influence the wargamers world.
 Supposing, the Perry twins, Mark Copplestone, Warlord,Rick Priestley and the other GW trained personnel had remained in the confines of Warhammer World, and not made the cross over into mainstream wargaming, what would have happened instead.
 Would there have been £30.00 plus rulebooks, crammed with wargame porn. Would the plastic figure have taken off as it has, would there be such an emphasis upon history lite wargames and rulebooks? The list is pretty long if you sit down and think about it.
 I am ambiguous about the pro's and cons of the fallout from Games Workshop. 
 I love the Perry range of figures, I admire the professionalism of what Warlord have achieved but sometimes I cringe at the lack of depth and knowledge exhibited by some wargamers when playing a wargame. But then I am an old fart, and accept things have to change.
  So if Warlord would like to release the Pro Gloria range of plastic landsnequets that they bought this year, then I would probably be convinced that ex Games Workshop employees were a force for good.
 But then I am easily bought.


  1. ahhh ....the influence of the Dark side and the insertion of the sith like employees in the mainstream hobby. Where would we be indeed.
    I think the hobby would have graduated from the A4 ring bound rules of old to a newer glossier format anyway as the hobby matures and the disposable income of gamers increases. We would still have had the explosion of plastic figures since this started with people like Valiant and Victrix I think and who saw how GW were developing. Sculpting talent has always been there with people like Paul Hicks and Richard Ansell to the fore.
    The hobby has evolved and will continue to evolve. The question is can we, the old guard, influence the direction or are we to be carried along with the flow?

    1. Evening Paul,
      At the moment I feel like we are being led by the old nose. Its an easy thing to fall into, but I wonder if its a good thing sometimes. I really am not impressed with small wargames on show at well, shows. I can understand the attraction, and if it leads to grander things then great, but I wonder if it will allow a wargames lite drift, if you know what I mean.

    2. These small games are probably OK for club nights, whatever one of those looks like these days, but aren't visually attractive enough to merit an appearance at shows if played on a 2' x 2' table!

  2. I tend to agree with Paul here-- Sculpting talent was always there perryclones or not- Look at the late Chas Stadden Les Higgins Ted Suren Steve Hezzelwood Barry Minot Dave Sparrow Dave Allsop, Nick Bokarev, Chris Hughes, Chip Mann as well as the newbies Paul mentions .
    The GW fallout and the HUGE amounts of money a very few of them came away with did allow an acceleration though,
    I'm not, via anecdotal evidence- always convinced of the "profesionalism" of these new outfits nor am I always as impressed with all the perryclones as some. It is hard to tell the difference today similar sculpting styles producing similar figures similar painting style producing similar presentation similar history lite rules with similar pictures of similar figures in similar units .......... zzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    Where are the differences Hs GW fallout merely produced tedious homogenaeity?

    1. Evening Andy,
      I know exactley where you are coming from with figure design. That was one of the reason I loved your Jackdaw range.
      Its probably one of the reasons I still buy and paint Hinchliffe figures, the animation was always that good.
      The ex GW employees must have had some very good payouts, [ envious sigh]

    2. But Jacdaw never made any money. I was chucking cash into the melting pot.
      There was a massive difference between
      "Oh I love these" - said by many on both sides of the pond
      and the comparative few who put hand in pocket- of which you were one.
      I sell - in a given year more 15mm GREAT NORTHERN WAR and 40mm Great Northern War- than I did JACDAW

  3. First and foremost - temporary or not you must be a nugget to take on a full time job! Retirement is just that and it's there to enjoy, when we get the chance to take it we should grasp it with both hands as we don't know how long we will have.
    I think Paul and Andy have summed it all up very well, without the influence of GW the holy would have progressed in its own way - plastics etc were making their appearance.
    I'm afraid I do question the GW influence that occassionally comes from those people lucky enough to get large sums of money and have set there own companies up using many of the GW philosophies in terms of retail.
    There are lots of talented sculptors out there many of whom are greatly undervalued or unknown but who's talent is to be seen in some of the fantastic figure ranges around.

    1. Evening Graham,
      And you my friend have been very very lucky to discover one.
      And yes, you are right I am a nugget. I really dont know what came over me.

  4. I'm afraid that none of you are going to like my contribution to Stand To 2016 (should it go ahead, and should I be given a table to put on a game/display).

    First off, I should say that I am also of the opinion that proper wargames are big table affairs with units of battalions, squadrons and batteries being controlled upon the tabletop. The first books I looked at (in my school library and public library were written by Wesencraft and Grant et al), so those have influenced my opinion of what a true game should be.

    However, at the moment I'm unable to produce something like that as I'm a one-man-show, haven't found a period that I'd want to settle on, and don't belong to a club where I would hopefully receive support in my endeavour.

    Anyway, my idea for a game at Shildon next year is to have a small [2'x2' I'm afraid] skirmish game of the Three Musketeers - in the vein of the 1973 film.

    The public audience at Stand To being more likely to be non-gamers/hobbyists has my thinking being that I'll have the game (featuring something that everyone should surely know); Pictures of the films/tv shows to help illustrate what it is (this being on a notice board); A set of photo's showing the stages of the construction of the small board (how the terrain went from being MDF pieces and plywood board to the painted and constructed playing piece they'll see on the day); I'll have five or so 40mm figures attached to a length of timber and displayed in their various stages of painting - unpainted, undercoated, first and second and third layers of paint - so people can see how the little miniatures are worked on. I've other ideas on how to produce this show-and-tell, but I can't remember at the moment.

    Basically, I'll just be trying to show the public the nuts and bolts of the hobby. I'd not be trying to put on an award-winning display (which may intimidate the novice), but at the same time I want to give as good a show of myself as I can. If I do manage to pull off this small Musketeers game and display, then hopefully I could build on the experience and go from there.

    Ah, yes. I have recently painted some Pendraken zombies, but am yet to play with them (if I ever do!) and don't really know why I bought them. I did enjoy painting them, though.

    1. Evening Roy,
      I have scattered around my house various painted figures, from all sorts of genres wargaming wise. I bought them over the years purely for the look of the figure, and that includes three different Gandalf's from three different manufacturers.
      The thing with Zombies, doesnt just concern wargaming. There seems to be numerous, televisions series and films concerning the damned things, there is clearly a whole sub culture of people who like to dress up as these beings?
      I just dont get it, but then I never understood the British Civil War thing as well.
      As for your game, size is not everything, but if the game is fun, informative and explains what we do, there can be nothing wrong with how you present it.
      As for numbers, the IWG as I grandly titled us has never consisted of more than three people, and for over twentyfive years only consisted of two main members, hence the independence. So stick at it, and no doubt we will meet at Middlesbrough.

    2. Hello Robbie,
      Yes, I'll be at Middlesbrough come the end of the month. Andrew Wylie (Consett Gamers - the paper-scenery Old West game) needed a lift and somebody pointed him in my direction, so I'll be there helping him out.
      Sorry, what I wrote previously probably doesn't come across as I meant it to - The written word lacking the nuances that speech provides - but I think we've both understood each other's points.


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