Saturday, 14 February 2015

Ch- Ch- Ch- changes .....

 Of late there has been a lot of agonising about the "State of the Hobby" and it has to be said I've done my share However reading Robbie Roddis recent piece- "A Nostradamus Moment " and his critique of Mike Hobbs piece in MW382 I thought I'd better look at Mr Hobbs piece.
 So I read it and thought well  he has a point. List building isn't new - back in the 1970s when I played competition games it went on all the time . The method was different - we used actual sources but the IDEA - that of the "perfect killer army" was the same.
 The bit I find rather odd is the we- who wargme one way should "step aside" - but that phase does not seem to be Mr Hobbs'. Surely there are - as I have said time and time again- more than one way to wargame.
 Not one of the rule sets mention in Mr Hobbs piece do I own or play- no frankly would want to- though I may get "relatived" into 40K at some point Gawd 'elp me ! 
 The fact that I find the  games and methods used by these apparently younger wargamer narrow sterile and really rather  peurile  is not to the point. I find a good bit of the "older " wargames scene just as pointless and sterile  so its not an ageist thing.  If I have difficulty with Competitions based upon historical armies how much more  difficulty am I going to have with comptitons based in somebody else's Fantasy world that never existed? But perhaps you don't if you are 12
 The point that the Game is now in the ascendant is one I have made several times and it doesn't really change the way I'll organise my armies or run my games. Why should it?
 If I'm the only one who still does it the "old fashioned way"  then fine why should I give a monkeys what the other dweebs are doing. Wargaming should not be like a fly in Amber  it should change to suit its players. It has been doing so for most of its history- do we still all play Wellsian games No or all use Airfix again no . We each use what seems appropriate to us to achieve the ends we desire. If I or Robbie or anyone else  view those ends as narrow, limited and childish  so what .
 However where I do take some issue is with the idea that  because of the dominance of commercial rules and games that that is all that should be "allowed" . If you are too thick or lazy to read a whole book without pictures in order to develop your armies - well its not my problem !

Later Sunday Afternoon.
 While I sit here waiting for my Moroccan lamb  to cook I thought I'd add a few more points
 Again this tends to be about "Public Face"
 There  seems to be a ferocious narrowing of the hobby in the last decade or so - despite the fact that I sell loads of stuff to chaps returning after a break of anything up to 20 years -this as well as chaps who have been collecting  throughout that period AND to relative newbies there has been a "commercial concentration" in the public face of the hobby . This has not been primarily miniatures driven. The hobby is no longer miniatures driven but rather Rules( correct NEWSPEAK  term Games) and personality driven. I've never understood,  the urge to copy others in their endeavours - so for instance painting up a regiment in the same imaginary uniform as  one of Peter Youngs Charge units is to me really rather silly . Why not make up you own uniform if that is your thing? The drive to sell "Games" I completely understand- its just the same as me selling soldiers but I do have- always did have- a problem with the slavish following of those games .
 One of the reasons I wargame as distinct from playing Chess or poker is that the hobby is SUPPOSED to be open ended and freeform . Yet according to Mr Hobbbs this is no longer the case- at least in Cardiff it has for his clubs younger member become all about scoring points off you mates.
 If that is all there is then sod it "Ranting" .Robbie is right  there is no point.
 However fortunately it isn't there are still plenty of "rugged individualists" out here who will continue to do their own thing come what may.Long may it continue thus .
 so remember dudes
 The Resistance Lives On.  


  1. Well said, Andy, thanks for adding your thoughts. I've enjoyed reading the mag article and the various blog comments. Like you i think wargaming is OUR hobby, two fingers up to anyone who tells me not to do it my way.
    Chris G

    1. Precisely Chris.
      I do find the constnat narrowing of focus of many of today wargamers quite wearisome. What happened to the creative side of the hobby Is it now all about dice rolloing. If so Nuts to 'em..

    2. Nicely put - the hobby for me is the same one I started in 40 odd years ago - where research & reading, was as important as the painting, the gaming, the rule writing, the terrain making, and all the other facets.... the MTV generation seem to have a more impatient view of life - if I look at my kids as an example, they are easily distracted if something takes too much effort.....

    3. Steve Yes thats the point. Our hobby- the one we knew- was always so much more than "mere gaming". After all if gaming was all I wanted I'd use a computer and play any one of 9 zillion war- based games from Halo to Total War.

  2. Viva Glorious Little Soldiers!