Gadget

This content isn't available over encrypted connections yet.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

We are all winners, unless you're a loser.

Well I'm back from Partizan which I will cover in a bit of detail in my next post, however before I do  I feel I have to comment on the Arthur Harman article in this months Miniature Wargaming.
[ MW398 ]
   Having read Andy of Old Glory's blog, he was expecting me to go of on some rant about the views expressed in the article. Well, I hope I can surprise him, and a few others that actually know me, and instead ask a simple question, what was the point of the said article? [ and then have a minor rant ]
 If it was to generate heated discussion then so be it. If it was to make some relevant point regarding wargaming then please enlighten me as to what that point was, otherwise why was the author given the oxygen to write such a piece.
 For any persons that doesn't buy Miniature Wargaming, the article was titled 'The look of the Thing,' and if I understand the thinking correctly, Arthur Harman authored his piece to complement the comments of Neil Shuck, who also writes for the same magazine.

The opening paragraph quotes Neil Shuck, ' Miniature Wargaming is actually quite a complex hobby, its not just about the wargame rules and game, but about collecting,assembling and painting model soldiers and that it could be weeks,or indeed months or years before an army is painted or ready to be put onto a field of battle. This is a huge hurdle and has surely put off untold numbers of would be wargamers due to the large commitment of time,resources and skills required.'

Arthur Harman then concurs and states that because of this he had been put off many campaigns and/or periods. The author then witters on about how it is more enjoyable to play Chess with a simple set of pieces as opposed to a Franklin Mint set?  There is of course more text, before the conclusion which is;
  choose a smaller scale of wargames figure so you can afford more, [ really, never thought of that, witness my massive 6mm Napoleonic armies .]
 Adopt one pose, as opposed to individual poses? [ brilliant ]
 Purchase figures in great coats [ easier to paint, no good for ancients though Arthur. ]
Abandon shading, highlighting, etc. [each to their own but if you want to try, then why not?]
 Forsake elaborate basing techniques and instead go for a greenish brown mud effect. [ preferably with a very large brush to slap the paint on ]
 Don't feel embarrassed that your troops may not be as well painted as your opponents. [ Pretty obvious I would have thought Arthur ]
  He then attributes the quote regarding dressing ones troops in various colours they will still run away, to Marshal Murat, [ I always thought it had been the deposed Bourbon King of Sicily who said that, but what do I know ]
 The crux of the argument is, 'Well painted armies at shows, in magazines and on the internet put new starters off wargaming, therefore dumb/ dull things down to snare these would be wargamers. Dont spend time on researching the uniforms, dont base them well, dont spend time on the figures because in reality you wouldnt be able to see that wonderful paint job.'
 
  Well I've read some guff over the years, and this ranks as more of the same. When I started wargaming, the few shows I attended had very basic painted armies, on poor terrain, it was still inspirational in my eyes, however as wargamers like Peter Gilder and others started to come to the fore I wanted to up my game. I will never attain the brilliance of a Doug Mason, but I still try, and that is part of the fun. Not everyone can paint brilliantly, but dumbing this down is definitely not the answer.
Arthur Harman's theme runs through a lot of the thinking in our society now. If you cant win, change the rules so no one loses, ergo they wont be disappointed or upset, now that's a great idea to prepare children for modern life.
 Perhaps an article showing that you dont need to start with an army, but instead just a small force that could be built upon over a matter of time would have been more useful, or even a simple how to paint some toys could have helped, but writing three pages saying that beautiful toys are putting people off wargaming if frankly pathetic.

 I also think the Editor, Henry Hyde, should give some serious consideration to the content of the magazine he is responsible for, more stuff like this cannot help his circulation. Anyway minor rant over.

The Grimsby Lads game at Partizan, which has put me right off wargaming the Malburian Wars. [ I will never forgive you, Paul ]








8 comments:

  1. I cannot tell you how much I agree with your conclusion. I have been doing the following for years: built two small, opposing forces rather than one army with no opponents. The other thing is: play smaller games. This means you can play more and more varied games.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Its not rocket science is it, so why should someone spend three! pages extolling the virtue of mediocre is good. Why couldnt he have just wrote an article explaining what is obvious to wargamers with experience but probably not to new starters.

      Delete
  2. A rant by any other name is still as appropriate .....
    Nice to see my hope was not misplaced.
    Your point regarding content is one I've spoken to Henry about but of course he has to cater for opinions other than his own. As it happens he was at Partizan taking pics of all the big flash games- giving the lie to the idea that he follows Harmans opinion which I know he does not.

    ReplyDelete
  3. ps- If you doubt Henry's postion read his post on my blog under the mage review.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The trouble with this hobby is that it's over populated with 'experts', all willing to give an opinion or advice at the slightest provocation. I always keep in mind that the utterings of whichever luminary are simply the thoughts (however shallow) of someone who spends a considerable amount of his or her time sat in the back bedroom painting toy soldiers or pretending to be one of the Great Captains while playing with them. The signal to noise ratio is generally pretty low.

    The wargames press isn't cutting edge journalism, the standard of penmanship swings wildly between extremes and probably 90% plus of podcasts simply soak up bandwidth and inflate the profits of ISPs. Big Andy is often a naughtly boy, though he's probably earned the right after all those bloody waistcoats.

    If Messrs Harman, Shuck and Hyde were to be abducted by aliens, would the world tilt on its axis? Probably not. The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on - don't sweat the small stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely couldn't agree more... some of our fellow hobbyists get excited about the most smallest of things.... first world problem??

      Delete
  5. Well said Robbie, couldn't agree more!
    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well said, I started this hobby at the age of 8 many years ago and as one of those types that spends way too many hours painting my tiny toys because I enjoy the therapy of having a brush in hand and bringing them to life in such a manner, with shading and layers of colour. Why should I not it is my money, my army and my time. I love the visual aspect of the hobby nicely painted figures on a nice table, it always provides inspiration and spurs me on to improve my own work.

    There have been many great painters over the years and each of them has in my mind improved the look of the hobby. Vanilla painting is lack lustre and unimaginative and if these types of people are correct then we may just as well go down to the local branch of Wilko's grab two different coloured spray paints and be done with painting all together. Thankfully they are in a minority and rank with all the other do-gooder types in this world very low on the evolutionary scale.

    Start small and grow from the basics, its not rocket science. You dont win everytime you play, but that's life. Most importantly we all need something to aspire too, it will take time and effort on our part but without it we all become like those you describe so well above..

    ReplyDelete

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