My copy of MW378 dropped on the mat this morning and to be honest I wasn't keen. This is not a criticism of the magazine but merely an observation that- in this issue there wasn't much in it for my personal interests.
I don't do Ancient - well not much nor boardgames nor Normandy nor teeny tiny Napoleonics nor really Medieval Skirmishing - which happens to be a pet hate despite the fact that I like and study Medieval Warfare , I have plenty of trees so non of the articles grabbed my attention - though Hery's photography article pointed up a couple of things I'd forgotten- not having read my "Manual of Photography" for a while.
The foregoing merely shows you how deceptive first impressions can be ....
The teeny tiny men- actually a fine article on the refighting of the Battle of Vittoria on a dining table was the star piece. Some consdiderable though had gone into this "top down" refight of the battle. these lads knew their stuff and kept to the plan - the idea of Dinign Table Napoleonics is not one I'd choose but that didn't stopthe piece being of interest.
the 2 pre-gunpowder articles whilst on the surface very different were actually quite similar - both being fior skirmish games of a very limited nature- the medival being based around the famous "Combat of the Thirty" during the Hundred Years War- actually during one of the Truces - and the other being Horatius at the Bridge- anyone who had to suffer Thomas Babbling Macualeys "Lays of Ancient Rome" might well shy off at this point victorian doggerel not being to all tastes . Whilst both game might be fun to play once or twice and might suffice as entry level the lasting appeal wwas pretty much nil.. One might comment upon the current fashion for light "post prandial " games . Like Western Gunfights or Gangster Brawls none have any deep or lasting interest
Conrad Kinch "send three and Fourpence" column hightlight those chaps who just HAVE to win and will go to any leangths- you know- cheats ! Bad cess to 'em . This is something that simply doesn't happen in our group- the Umpire would not allow it and the rest of the lads wouldn't tolerate it and at bottom franlky its simply too childish - if your life is so pathetic that you have to cheat then go and be pathetic somewhere else . Nuff said
then we get to Barry Hilton piece on the future of the hobby "Staying Alive"- Apaarently he's "not holding back- the Editors word not his .... .
Well now I can't actually disagree with this but its all been siad before- not least on this Blog and Robbie Roddis' . I might take issue with the idea that the hobby needs a single "voice" and I've been to enough US and Eurpean shows to know that they are not that different to British ones- except perhaps that some of the European ones are more over run with GW crap that ours are so far. That some shows are poor is obvious but so is the solution- don't go to 'em . I've dropped out of shows that I didn't like for whatever reason - not always simply for commercial reasons . I can think of one show where the decider - the straw if you like was the smell of Jockstraps and wee wee and another where the ill- manners of the organsiers was the final clincher,
Mr Hilton comments upon the commercial scene and product duplication are interesting to say the least - especially as he is in the biz himself and has contributed to the product duplication to an extent as in a way has anyone who has produced a range for a period that is already covered by somone else. Now currently we have more different product in more sizes from more makers than ever before so I'm not sure what his point is here- that some companies are seeking to dominate the market Workshop like with a limited number of products is - again obvious especially as those companies are run by ex-Workshop staffers who were handed the welly BUT and its a big but there are plenty of other outfits- mine included - who do not follow that path. One wonders if Mr Hilton should broaden his out look just a tad.
Likewise his views on the ageing of the hobby . Now for the record I don't own either Cardigan or Tartan Flask- or any of their aged derivitives. Despise meat paste sandwiches. God knows what kind of "Care Home Wargames Soeciety" Mr Hilton belongs to but ours isn't like that. I see more youngsters at shows that in former years- though by youngsters I don't just mean children but rather twentysomthings and thirtysomething- most often ex GW drones who have "woken up " . Even in our small and unrepresentative group we have memebers under 40 So we are not shambling to our dotage or ready for the knackers yet by a long way
That some shows need to sharpen their act is unarguable- but then so do plenty of wargamers- I'm in total agreement with Mr Hilton over the nay -sayers and the socially challenged - and especially the hygenically challenged- again see earlier posts on the blog - "In Vogue" for instance..
I can go on about the hobby's public image and indeed have - on this blog and have said many thimes that we do this to ourselves. By propagating the nerd image Mr Hilton does not help (though I doubt propagation was huis intent ) I'm not sure the constant obcessi0n with the kiddy market is to the point either - aim later Kids are too young for much of this. BUT no more friggin' meat paste sandwiches or flasks burn your bllody Cardigans. Equally get rid of the awful T-shirts which might have been cool in 1975 but not now Oh and some of you- have a wash once in a weekend and when you - stand closer to the soap