Monday, 18 March 2013

...all I've got is a photograph.....

Now as someone who's been at this Wargaming lark for more years than I care to remeber I've picked up betimes a fiar bit of Flotsam and Jetsam. so here are a few pictures I found on a disc marked 2003 - I think I remebr where they cam from but I may be wrong so here goes.
this one is a bundle of 28mm Old Gklory- 25mm of course when the pic was taken- showing Portugese Napoleonics- they must be conversions as we don't do Portugese. I think, like all of this group, that they are by the "Like A Stomewall " Wargames group from the Midlands. Tim and Barry and the lads do some fine dsiplay games around the shows. This must be one of theirs.
This one seems to be ECW scots- which of course we do make again in 25/28mm(take your pick dudes!!) but other than its from the same club as previous that tyhe lot.
and finally an Ancients shot.- Again from the Stonewall team.. These are our Roman Republicans. Way back these were my favourite Ancient army.
This last one is mine from way back when I was part owner of Reiver Castings and shows Colonel Piercey Kirks Regiment of Foot as they would have been at Sedgemoor in 1685. One day I'll go back to this period .
So there we have it 4 photographs from the past no idea if the soldiers still exist but the disc does. I'll post more as I sort them out.

Friday, 15 March 2013

21 years in the business.

Now it may , indeed almost certainly has, escaped your notice , gentle reader, that Old Glory UK is 21 years of Age this year- and at that a tad yuonger than its proprietor. Nevertheless its 21 years as of March 2013 that OGUK first began trading.
There have been, as you might expect, many changes in such a time. Some good some bad mostly it has to be said indifferent. Back in those misty days of Yore there was no internet and all business was done by letter or telephone or at shows. In the 1990s I was doing 26 shows a year and we had far far less competition than we do now. I've seen companies come and go . Who remembers Corvus? Nice minis where did they go? Gladiator? Tabletop? There are others devil a doubt, who have gone the way of all flesh. Looking back I find in those early days - before the untimely death of Dave Allsop- we had what seems now to be a tiny range- Some 30mm ACW- sold in regiental boxed sets- a new idea then. Some 15mm ACW - sold in bags of 100 at a tenner a go- another new idea from across the pond. I sold thousands of 'em, a few 30mm Napoleonics - also in boxed sets and just the beginning of 15mm Napoleonics.- Of course in those days 28mm didn't exist- so we called the 30mm 25mm to save confusion.That was it chaps
We were then and still are a soldier company rahter than a games commpany. The core business is little metal men and from the mid 1990s little tanks. We have dabbled in rules but its not my metier since games for and of themselves are of little direct interest. Its always been the soldiers that count
We didn't then tend to think in terms of games but rather of periods so you played Ancients or Napoleonics rather than FOG or Black powder. You might mention the ruleset subsquently but it was a given that period came first- or perhaps size- you might say 15mm Napoleonic or 15mm Ancient. You would not say 28mm anything as Bryan Ansell was yet to increase himself by 3mm overnight as a marketing ploy - that in 1992 was a few years ahead. 20mm was almost entirly the province of WW2 and Moderns-15mm had yet to make its appearence in the UK for those periods- though it did exist in the USA and would with Command Decision -shortly exist over here too. Plastics- except in 20mm were not really considered quite the thing really which probably explains my mild antipathy to them today. I can't. try as I might get rid of the feeling that plastic is for kiddies.
I have before me a sel;ection of magazines covering the 21 years I've been in the Biz. WI MW PW BG and WSS. All have their points but what is intriguing is the sterady lessinening of actual information in these magsand the increase of either infomercials for a specific product or scenarios for a specific ruleset. In 1992 the flavour of the month was DBA- there were lots of DBA variants published- all by individuals rather than companies so we had Napoleonic DBA and Crimean DBA to name but 2 . There were far more homgrown rules out there back then. Indeed this trend struiggled on until the present century.There were also a good few informative articles back then- they tended to be why I kept those particular magazines. A 2002 WI has 2 distinct sets of rules within its pages but there is also an artcle on Dutch Cavalry uniforms and another on Naval warfare. - so a good mix . Nevertheless 28mm is now the dominant size- even from those compaines whose figures were 25mm in the previous century and indeed were the same figures. This to me was the silliest developement of all, the most outrageous case of bandwaggon jumping and indeed fear and loathing I can remember. Its also funny and really rather odd if not a tad pathetic . These days if a chap is under 40 you'll hear "28mm" spoken in hushed tones of reverance as if it was some ancient litany - if only they knew that is was 1997-8 or thereabouts when that nonsense began. So many changes but overall the more things change the more they stay the same. Well heres to the next 21 years- aterall Dave and HIS Rich Mates have made sure I can't retire.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Rus from Russia..

Nick Bokarev of Drabant has kindly send me some pictures odf more of the up and coming 28mm Dark Ages releases from his company. As you would expect these are seriously tasty and as soon as I can I'll be getting them into stock. so to whent your appetites here are a couple of picture of the 2 new sets . The picture of the painted figs shows those figures already available- just a few more of them. Nicks fine painting meant that this picwas a must for the blog.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Corporate Wargaming. Dumb dumber ..dumbest- but pretty innit!

First an apology to Keith Flint- from whom I pinch the phrase "Corporate Wargsaming" . I saw it on Robbie Roddis fine blog .- Like any writer upon seeing a bon mot- Nice I thought I'll pinch that So I did. The recent mag merger and its various spin off discussions have caused a modicum of soul searching and not a little cranial disturbance. So much so that thoughts are definitely being thunk!!.
As I watch the hobby I still enjoy being subsumed in a pile of bland samey- gamey drivel I find myself - on one level at least - not giving a toss. At grass roots level on the thin lead line its far more diverse than the major game companies would have us believe To that end here is a link to WSS magazines website and a discussion worth getting into perhaps. I'm coming around to WSS in a big way as it treats you more or less like an adult- which WI stopped doing a couple of years ago. No-one can yet say how the "new" MW will pan out- we'll have to see.
However in a note to an ealier post I opined about the "infantilisation" of the hobby- this does concern me up to a point. It now seems to be de rigeur in some quarters toassume that anythibng requiring thought or intelligence cannot be "fun" and therefore has no place within the ranks of our hobby Only one thing to say to that Bollocks!
If your poor brian can't take it fine- after all despite the foregoing its very much up to you and long may it continue despite the "corporate dudes" but a little cranial excercise won't do you any harm honest. What gives me the right hump is the partronisng tone of some who opine - you don't need a brain its only a game. For myself I'm beginning to feel like a change of direction wargaming wise... maybe I'll sell off all those tricorn hats and go back to Colonials or Medivals. I might even do more 15mm.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Whose Fault is it Anyway....

A panel game for wargamers and military history buff everywhere
Please insert tongue firmly into cheek.
Enter Big Andy dressed in a Gold Lame jacket .
That enough to make you barf for a start.! You know how it is when you get the urge to do a period , often you can't work out why. So I, after reading recent posts and replies, bethought myself
For myself I'd blame Peter Young and Derek Sharman between them for the ECW- well at least my interest in it oh and a history teacher called Bradshaw maybe. Anyhow I'd just moved up to the North east from Manchester so it would be 74 or 75 or thereabouts and then I was mostly Napoleonicand a bit of WW2 - lots of plastics- couldn't afford a lot of metal- but did have some Garrison Les Higgins and Hincliffe. Got to know Derek at the Wargamers Den and he had "Awargamers Gude to the ECW or something similar that he'd written- I bought it and some minifigs and the rest is history- mostly written by Peter Young and HCB Rogers...- still have the books replace the soldiers .. The American Civil War is Dave Allsop and Bruce Cattons fault. Oh and Russ Dunaway... Dave for letting me see the masters for the orgigonal Old Glory ACW range and allowing me to do a demo with them before they were available in the UK- Bruce Catton for his splendid books and Russ for supplying me with the soldiers- some of which are still in the OG "WBS" 28mm ACW range. WW2 would be Cornelius Ryan and "The Longest Day " and a school friend called Splodge who was something of a plastic kit basher. As for how it all started that would be the NHS- in hospital as a kid my Dad brought me some library books so I didn't die of boredom one was a featherstone- can't recall which "Tackle Model soldiers this way" rings a bell but I could be wrong. Certainly I was playing with some regularity by the time I was 13 - we even had a school club by the time I was 15 I was in the Manchester club - then moved to the North -east. Lots of other periods have piqued my interest- Colonials are down to Featherstone and Churchill and a certain R.M Barnes whose books by Seely Service were my first owned uniforms books- still have them. Funny thouhg I can't put my finger on Tricorns unless it was Charles Grant Senior... oh and Hilary Doyle- an Almark book on the Jacobite Rising- which I still have. So chaps Whoose Fault is it anyway....

Monday, 4 March 2013

Major- minor and... er middling.

You know how its fashioons in wargaming are rather well- changable. I've never been one of those "One period alone" chaps - for a start there too much interesting history out there for that kind of narrow view. However having said that certain period have engaged my interest more than others over the years. I've had ECW armis off and on since the late 70s and that along with Napoleonics probably ranks as my longest running interest. To be fiar napoleonics has been very off and on and is currently mostly off so just how do you quantify interest in various periods. Now- important point this- notice I say "periods" not "games" or "rulesets" . Its the historical period that always comes first never a set of rules or a mere game. It might be a game that will START a train of thought but something else will take over- usually a book or actually several books only the books can get you "into" a period. Take for instance one of my minor interests- The AWI. I have smallish forces for both sides in 25/28/30mm (tyake you pick). I have possibly 20 or so AWI books - excluding Ospreys - I'm not currently doing much with these forces- barring painting a few Staddens- but have no intention of divesting myself of either the armies or the books. Currently I've comparativly few medieval troops of any description- a few 40mm WOTR and odd hundred years War display units in 28mm Yet I still have a fair medival library-Oman, Burne, Hardy, Bradbury , etc etc as well as some copies of comtempary chronicles.. How else do you get into a period without reading what went on. For many years Medivals of one sort or another were my Major interest. Off thboil now- except for the WOTR but again I keep the books. As for the Seven Years War That has been on my radr since the mid 90sand I can't actually remebr how it started- Fortescue probably and a fairly respectable library has come out of it covering most of the campaigns of the British army . Over the years I've spent far more on books than figures somehow they seem much more to the point somehow- after all figures are easy to come by some of the books I have have become fairly rare.- I couldn't afford 'em now!
Here is a picture of my "Irish Brigade" of my French 7YW force mostly Old Glory but with a single Stadden general
t these two shows Fitzjames Horse- again of the French Army.
So the question really is how do you divide up your periods. I suppose - currently ECW is my "main" period with 7YW sometimes up there AWI and Moderns being "middling"- though moderns has currently more importance that 7YW - at least I'm painting more of them. 40mm Nap and ACW would also be middling- but not doing anything currently - all the rest "minor" but alway with an opportuniy for one or the other of them to run up on the inside straight- depending upon the books I read.....