Last year at one of the Newark shows a regular customer opined that anyone who said he didn't mind losing was a liar and a fool . Further it transpired that in his mind winning the game came first- all other considerations after. Now if that's how he gets his jollies fine- he is far from alone, one man's FUN etc etc and it did explain his personal motivation for involvement in our harmless hobby.and a straight table top victory is fine but of itself is simply not enough and indeed may seem rather hollow after a while.
The more I converse with the apocryphal "like minded people" the more I realise that there is often no such thing and that perhaps the " BROAD CHURCH" is not as broad as we like to think and that the "same old same old" brigade are still really rather common. (If not indeed rather more than formerly as the "Corporate Dudes" want you to keep buying into the same twaddle)
"I've been playing toy soldiers since 1971 and I see no reason to change anything at all "
"I have 237 DBA armies (total 238 figures) and I've never read a book"(I made this up but a recent article in Arquebusier- the Pike and Shot soc Journal indicates that I may not be exaggerating too much)
or( and this one is true and without any exaggeration )
"I play Flames of War I don't need to know anything about WW2"
Oh dearie dearie me ....
How terribly narrow.
Do we not wish to progress? to evolve ?
Now before I go on this is not OFW bashing- though some of them may deserve a metaphorical slap once in a while to jolt them out of their stuffy middle class complacency .(and let it be said loud and clear other os chaps actually come up with tasty ideas using a real thinking brain)
Nor is this about the actual toys after all I have buindles of OOP figures in my collection as well as lots of newer stuff. (I even make some of my own) you use the toys you like.
If this current verbal rambling has any point it's about attitudes, now as Henry recently siad I'm always willing to stir the pot and more especially when I read or hear stuff that is basically so complacent and narrow that it belies the idea that this hobby is a broad church.
So how much IS this hobby really a "Broad Church" ? I sometimes think that its a bit like the Welsh......
well the Medieval Welsh anyway- each valley being its own kingdom and spending more of its time having argy -bargy with the next valley rather than the Hated Saxons -or Hated Normans or Hated English
In my time I can think of clubs that hated each other over petty rules squabbles. I can recall at least one designer dispute in a restaurant that ended in a food fight as well as being present at sundry snubs and cuttings dead without number over the years. Not that this kind of pathetic behaviour is confined to our hobby- being a Pillock is a very Human thing.
I've always viewed this hobby , at least for me , as something of a progression- despite the odd yearning for a retro project such as my "Shinyloo" on the whole I've progressed rather more than somewhat since 1970 when I started with Wise, Featherstone and a bundle of Airfix . Wouldn't want to go back there! Nor would I wish to return permanently to the "WRG 5th Points and Army List" days of the late 70s and early 80s. Been There ,Done That.
Can't remember the half of the Armies that have passed through my hands- Normans(3 times) Carthaginians (twice) Roman Republicans Vikings (2 or 3 times I can't recall) Basilian Byzantines Samurai., ECW. WW2 Americans Napoleonic French British and Spanish 25mm ACW- both sides Elizebethan English and Irish
For a historian I'm not particularly nostalgic- any how as we all know Nostalgia ain't what it used to be.- so I don't hark back overmuch to armies I used to have- mostly the figures were - by today's standards awful and the painting - than Gawd I've improved!
And Rules- well in some ways we've moved on and evolved but in other ways not. Rules are Holy Writ is back with a vengeance in some quarters- if it ever went away - but there is more choice now you don't HAVE to be retro - think about it HG Wells was retro when Featherstone was cutting edge, Featherstone was Retro when WRG was cutting edge- and so on ad nauseam . You can of course still plough your own furrow if you wish
|How is this the same hobby as ....|
(I'm assuming here that no-one does this hobby to deliberately make themselves miserable- though with some of the sad sacks I see at shows you do wonder)
So once again I come around to motivation is this whole thing simply about scoring points off you mates- or rivals? All about mere tabletop victories? are these games, won or lost, the whole point? is that it ?. If it is I really can't see the use of such tedious shallowness so therefore there must be something else ?. It can't be just about the game.
So I come to thinking. Is this hobby more about the journey rather than simply the destination- even assuming that tabletop victory is indeed the destination ?
This is perhaps one of the reasons why I really dislike the idea that Fantasy and Sci-fi games are ultimately exactly the same hobby as Historical Wargaming. They are not- they may arise out of a common ancestor but are about as alike in the real world as an orangutan and a giraffe- 90 percent of the same DNA but some very vital differences. The idea that we should ignore these differences for mere convenience does neither the orangutan nor the giraffe justice. I have no desire to be tarred with the same brush as the various games concerning some nameless future dystopia populated by fat blokes with ridiculous weapons (- and thats before I get to the miniatures ) nor any of the other " pick off the shelf and remove brain to play" games that have become so much the thing of recent years. Now don't mistake me here- I've seen some cracking Fantasy and Sci -fi show games-and Sci-fi does sometimes attract my attention - with lots of fine work in them - at that level the major differences are simply in the realms of research and background knowledge rather than the "up-front" ones of modelling and attention to detail But despite this there is so much same old same old GW retreading about - not always BY GW either. On one level I'm getting deeply pissed off with dytopian Nastiness what with Vampires multiple Jack the Rippers and bloody Zombies and that is before we get to the GW variety- Gawd some of that stuff is sick(I'm told that Torture Mutilation and cannibalism is more "interesting" !!!)
. What I find so odd about some areas of Sci-fant is again how narrow it all seems. (The last new idea I even half- fancied was that 7TV set for gaming those daft TV shows of my youth - You know the Proffessionals The Champions etc etc (remember Alexandra Bastedo- Phaworrr!! Now the was a proper bit of Crumpet!) Bags I being Boyle or was it Dodie?? a nice origonal idea with a bit of style for some very light relief one day maybe.).and the prices strewth I've found outfits that make GW look reasonable... 10 quid plus for a single 30mm resin figure .... I'd call my Geordie lawyers- Haway and Shyteman !(though I have seen a "special" GW single human sized resin mini for £18.00(obviously made by Rippem and Ferkoff but the bloody things seem to sell)
Anyway Back to the plot... So no I'm not in the same hobby as these chaps - I may visit once in a while but I wouldn't want to live there.
Now am I the Orangutan or the Giraffe- sarky comments may be written on a piece of paper and folded in a £20 note ....
So the idea that this is one single homogenous hobby is complete bum juice or as Stephen Fry memeorably referred to Dan Browns Opus- Loose Stooled Arse Gravy (he was right there too what twaddle and not that well written twaddle either )
I suppose part of MY problem is that I'm not a "games player" . Games of themselves are actually pretty tedious once you've discovered the trick . This is why the idea of playing the same "Wargaming Lite" game such as Saga or Bolt Action or any one of a myriad other skirmishy games over and over again just leave me cold. After the first half dozen what is the point ?
We now hand you over to Mr Snotgurgle Thundergust Head shop steward of Fantastical Alliance of Recreational Trades who will for the sake of fairness put the opposite case After all we at BABC (Big Andy's Broardcasting Corporation) are nothing if not fair minded .....
"We demand intelectual parity in all forms of recreational negotiations. Diversification of miniture production will not be tolerated in the recrartional workspace. A policy which enables my memebrs to to enjoy the fruits of someone else imaginary labour is only right and proper. We cannot allow bootleg thinking and individuality to contaminate the recreational negotiationary arena."
We'd also like to welcome Tarquin T. Nager 42 (and his mum) for his comments
Well it's da gamin innit.. 'istory wot's that.? Old dead dudes borin', innit. You 'ave to do Finkin' Finkin 's borin' innit,Roll some dices wiv lots of skulls on 'em (£9.99 the pair) Gotta read the 27th book Game of Death and Torture part III by F. Slymley Grabitt
( £19.99 ) Can I go home now Mum daylight hurts my eyes ..
Now Gentle reader it may be that I exaggerate just a tad and it has to be said that there is precious little difference to listening to some chap telling me how his Wundamarines beat up the Bimble -monsters of the Planet Prolapse to some other fella teling me how his late Romans won the DBm championships- and yes I've had both- though not for some years.. thankfully .
So yes in conclusion it is more about the journey than the destination I've tried to get my head around the non- historical stuff- most of which leans on history anyway . I've tried to do the gamin innit thing and my brain glazes over with sheer boredom after the first few attempts.
I'll go back to my history book thans ....