Thursday, 21 April 2016

WAR gaming -war GAMING and mere gaming. .

 Having read Robbie Roddis's recent rant (and hows that for a bit of alliteration on a Thursday morning) on the Club Focus piece in the current WI. I find myself sympathising with his ire but  on the whole not giving a toss.
 Having read the whole piece now I find I tend to agree with the club's organisational principles- similar to the T.W.AT.S as in less is best-  love the adults only policy but find the pushy advertising a little over the top . They may - just- take themselves a bit too seriously but then with a memebership in the 30s or more they might have to .
 However when is and adult an adult- many of the "games" listed in the article  did not attract me in any manner being games rather than periods and -for me- seem just a tad peurile. 
 So to the cogent point perhaps is wargaming  now an obsolete name for our hobby. Well for many yes it is.  Now I play War  games i.e  games which have as large a basis in actual historical warfare as I can get into them. This is the main thrust of my hobby. I don't- often- play "games"  that may be termed "adventure games"- such as 7TV- wouldn't touch Bolt action or Frostgrave with a long stick or indeed most of the other  off the peg  retread skirmish type  games that are such a feature of today's supposedly "broad church" that actually isn't any such thing  but is rather a fragmentary collection of often conflicting ideas with a common root - so yes a bit like religion then !! 
 Suffice it to say that their kind of gaming is not mine- there doesn't seem to be enough actual WAR in it for a start but they do seem to be clued in to the "modern way" - quick and easy for the knowledge free. That's the way this hobby has been going for decades and  despite some wonderful and successful rearguard actions and even the odd victory this trend will continue. 

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Salute 2016- in the Horses mouth .. almost

 So back from Salute after a very busy weekend. Oh, and a busy Monday catching up with the hundred or so emials and orders.- Not everyone goes to Salute it just seems that way ..
 Only a 2 man crew this year and we almost didn't make it thanks to the horses on the A1. Missed us by inches- seriously I could have strokes its bloody ears if I'd had the van window open. I could certainly see its teeth. Poor buggers- all 3 of them were scared witless- not that horses have many wits to start with.
 We avoided 'em by inches.
 The rest of that Friday was mostly  uneventful- Got to Ex-Cel unloaded and set up. Drove to our hotel checked in did the  SSSS thing as you do  then went for a pint and some dinner- first pub- where we have eaten previously- Kitchen closed. Second pub - where we have eaten previously- kitchen closed. Not only are we having no fun we are starving to death Jim and I . Finally found an Indian restaurant so staved of the pangs... eventually
Next morning Dawns so giving ourselves almost an hour to drive the 8 miles or so to Ex-Cel off we set... first half no worries then we find the Bloody idiots who  organise this sort of thing have closed the A-13 or at least the bit of it we need. so it takes 40 minutes to travel the next mile.
 THEN many of the approach roads to Ex-cel are dug up  with blokes in hard hats moving very slowly  so the time we set ourselves is ebbing away and finally we make it to the stand ith abouit 10 minutes to spare... PHEW!
Of the show I've little to say since I saw NONE of it far far too busy. My overall impression was that there seemed to be fewer games that past years but this may simply have been due to the fact that my route to the Gents  didn't pass many games. The only "trade" I spoke to were the delightful ladies on the Miniature Wargames stand whose appearance made a very refreshing counterpoint to the hot and sweaty masses .....
By the end of the day with all that physical activity lifting bins and  leaping from customer to customer Jim and I knew we had put a shift in . So, back to the hotel - more traffic mess- by 7 pm the dinner etc  and Drive home on Sunday.... Nice.
 There were apparently complaints form some traders about the Warlords organistion this year.
 I'd like to go on record that  as far as I was concerned it all ran like a swiss watch No bother ...

Friday, 8 April 2016

Games at Salute

Perusing the Salute guide in the current MW I've already mentioned the 190 traders- now to the games- there are 86 listed.
 Of those some 40 are loosely historical. with a good number of periods represented including 2 battles of Hastings ....  and games in various scales though 15mm is a bit under represented out side WW2 and modern.
 Again we have the minor phenomenon of many of the sci-fant games being run by companies rather than clubs.
 I think this speaks rather to the limited nature of sci-fant gaming than anything else as - from the list only the Warlords themselves seem to have got out of the samey-gamey mould with their  sci- fant games- not unusual for them at all. They do  put the effort in .
Perusing further we find a game basedon Wacky Races- the 1970s cartoon- well late 60s when I watched it. - How is that wargaming? Now don't misunderstand it has a place at Salute which has not been a WARGAMES show for a good few years but rather a gaming event with some wargames in it.
 Why does this bother me I hear you ask?
 Well it doesn't- except that I won't get to see any of the games as I'll be working.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Gearing up for Salute.

 Dusting off the casting talc for a moment I sit in front of the keyboard to pen a little missive. Salute beckons.. See us on stand TB11
 There are something like 190 traders at Salute this year according to my copy of the guide, well over half of them being Fantasy or SCI-FI. I am, its true, assuming this, simply given the fact that many of them have very silly company names often with the word "games" attached. or indeed given the other fact that I have never heard of them. Of the couple I looked up  both were EDRM  outfits (that's Effin' Dear Resin Models) with some very nice sci-fant type gear at prices that might even make GW blush.

However back on the ground its a bit different. with our prices remaining much the same. True there have been a couple of recent rises -the first in about 8 years but only sufficient to cover rises in costs.
Most prices are however still as they were so you can still get for example 3 metal Shermans for a mere £17.00 or 50 Modern British inf of £12.00.
 See you at Salute Dudes.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Brushes finally moving- well a little anyway ...

It has been a thin time for getting figures painted recently-.Work has seen to that . Busy busy and YES gentle reader  after a day filling orders and casting and sundry other toy soldier related jobs you get sick of the little lead gits so often do not feel like picking up a paintbrush to finish off some of your own gear.
 However here are a few pics of some recently finished- and some re based- 40mm Wars of the Roses. Eagle eyed readers may note that  I recently added 6 new figures to this range. 2 Archers and 4 more Men- at Arms- the latter fully plated up so to speak so that the range now has around 30 different figures in it.
the beginnings of the Percy contingent..
I now have around 70 of the models finished with more to come- but around half still need re- basing on those natty wooden bases from Warbases- the ones he does not call "Flames of War" bases at all no indeed. I don't use 'em for that popular but patronising rule set anyhow so don't care.
More men under the Percy banner,

As usual I don't make armies- or even smaller forces to fit rule sets as this narrows and limits possibilities within a given period. Period being far far more important than the opinions of a rule writer- unless on those rare occasions when he knows his period. So I'm looking at Tony Clipsom's set "Foray"  here though the easy option of Lion Rampart- medieval free medievals  may get used for a quick simple and  possibly brain free starting point.

A couple of lost blokes  in FdwardIV 's  livery find their way into the Earl of Northumberland contingent. 
As for other happenings - well Salute beckons so I doubt I'll get much more painting done soon.. Ah well  if you can't take a joke ......

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Goin Going Gone ....

I take it from some of the comment I heard and read that a lot of chaps didn't think much of Triples this year. I know some traders had a torrid time.

 I was not one of them.

 Old Glory UK had its best Triples for at least 3 years

Mind you things were not that rosy in other parts of the venue.  With a couple of notable exceptions the games were awful .
  Most of the games were either 
 A Unintelligable.
 B Small - and virtually invisible from less than 5 feet away- even if they were in "28mm" - silliest of these was what looked like a WW2 game-  I saw Russian AFVs  on a3 feet by four feet table
C crewed by blokes who didn't want to talk to you  or indeed not crewed at all ..
D run by traders wanting to sell you their latest fantasy/sci- fi skirmish.

Oh Dearie Dearie me.

 The exceptions were however not like that.

 There was a 6mm game which frankly I should have taken more notice of- the terrain was lovely likewise an Ancients game which  looked pretty good
A large Napoleonic game in the centre of the main hall looked excellent  with loads of troops and a band of enthusiastic players.
 And Best of all the Grimsby clubs fantastic Dutch Wars Naval game- the quality of the model ships was stunning. The work and effort that had gone into this project was immense..
 Google Sheffield Triples 2016 for images of this and some at least of the other games on various other blogs.
 However the quality of the "Good" games at this show is not my major point here. I expect other bloggers have given the Triples organisers a kicking but there is only so much that they can do. If several traders don't turn up  how is that the organisers fault?. If the games turn out to be crap how is that the organisers fault.
 Perhaps other blokes find these 3 foot by 3 foot minigames acceptable- some must, as there are a hell of a lot of them about these days. They even  sometimes call it "skirmish gaming" perhaps to differentiate themselves from we of the "hardcore"!!!! However consider- these games are by their very nature limited- limited space limited number of units so again by its very nature they are tactically limited too. That means limited in terms of gameplay- repetitive and ultimately little more than a dice rolling contest so after half a dozen or so games must pall and- to a decent set of working braincells become boring so why are they supposedly so popular- I simply can't work it out nless wargamers are thicker than I think they are ....
 The idea for some  seems to be that show games should be the same as "club night" or even "dining table night" but surely a "show game" should be something a bit special to show what we CAN do not merely what some  do do  as it were. I've heard the argument that a really well displayed game can put people off and it has some value but consider with that attitude  the Motor show would never have had E-type or Aston- Martins only second hand Mondeos and. London Fashion Week would be run by ASDA.(That would be Walmart for chaps across the pond )
 However Show  gamers are volunteers so organisers have no control over what they do.  Though you might make a large exception when games are being run by commercial outfits who are also trading at the show,. Spartan games for instance had 2 or 3 small tables running various of their "games"  at Triples. They and others of course do this at other shows too. Are organisers now so short of games that they let these chaps in free? I don't know. But it makes you wonder. Is"hardcore" wargaming dead then or at least unwell or uninterested in the bigger picture. Or has the bigger picture simply become much much smaller and more introverted and dare I say it Juvenile?
 Now as we know most of the club demos or PP games are run by volunteers- sometimes they have sponsorship. For Instance I have and sometimes still do sponsor show games but IF I do I want some input into what is happening. I always had that input with the Stonewall group .. Obviously I can't speak for other outfits but it does make you wonder how  things are organised these days. .  I know of Railway modelling groups for instance who EXPECT expenses from the organisers of one of their shows for turning up and running their layouts. Never heard of that at one of our events in over 30 years- though at Derby at least the winners of the various prizes received small cheques.
 So the question must be what is the incentive to put sometimes years of effort into a show game- for the commercial outfits it is obvious but for clubs? Will we see show games taken over by  commercial minigames and therefore the visible face of the hobby become narrower ?. As the definiations of what "miniatures wargaming" actually is changes on an almost weekly basis- always to the detriment of "hardcore" historical wargaming (or so it often seems to this admittedly biased observer)

 Riddle me that one dudes? 

Friday, 18 March 2016

More Modern Mayhem

 Not really a battle report but simply a qucik not to point chaps at the report of our last modern Game- last weekend in fact. see here

which give a full report of a fine scenario set up and run by Andrew the Tekkie using my 15mm collection.

 The report is a good read too.
Now back to work- Sheffield Triples beckons ....