Again in no order
Games Bores ......Man these Dudes can give me a pain- but I don't encounter them that often - and I can usually walk away so they are never going to be in the real "Hates" column. But I suspect that they are becoming more common as "the gamin' innit" takes over from the more free form hobby many of us prefer.
I don't bloody care if you rolled a 19 on a 17 sided dice.
I don't bloody care if you can recite every amendment to WUNDARULES v6.9(£29.99) in your sleep- go away and re-arrange your sock drawer- it will be more entertaining and intellectually stimulating.
I suppose this really comes from my basic antipathy to rules gobbeldegook- though I totally accept Sam Mustaphas argument as to its necessity. Such gobbledegook is really why I much prefer Umpire control. Rules are by their nature inflexible- the Umpire should not be.
Geeks and Old men with Tape Measures.....This kind of self denigration also gets up my nose. It might be funny once in a while but contantly p"""""g in your own nest gets really wearing. None of the TWATS -even Tom our oldest member in his mid 60s -falls into the "Cardigan and Flask" category seemingly so beloved of some of those of our commentators who wish to be thought or to appear to be more socially inept or deliberately dweebish
Of course the problem is that some of you CHOOSE to be old men with tape measures- and act like it no matter how old you actually are.
Now don't get me wrong I don't want the equally ridiculous SHAZAM- KAPOW ! of the comic convention or the GW dudes I run into and the awful sloganned T-shirts are a definite fashion faux pas but I've seen shows where- by Sunday afternoon there is more life in a 3 day corpse. Chaps wandering about with faces like a wet weekend in North Wales in the 1960s- when the pubs were shut all looking as if they are waiting for either a mercy killing or a number 19 bus to fall under.
I repeat- we do ourselves no favours here. Why are some chaps so insecure about what they do as a hobby - even to each other? Its pathetic.
Well done demo games.Now these I like but a really good demo includes a couple of talking heads in the demo crew who will give you the spiel - tell you whats going on and possibly allow you to play a move or two- without smashing the place up . Games do not repeat NOT have to be games for children- the average club show game is not a creche where you can leave young Tarquin while you go and spend cash the wife doesn't know about...
Yet there are some chaps who want to ban Demos from shows altogether and reduce all the games to fast kiddies games of a hour or less- or -perish the thought those bloody awful "Boutique Games" . This of course will massively narrow the hobby and turn it into merely a dice rolling contest or a chess or bridge tournament..
So at any show you need a mix- from entry level "throw a 6 to win" kids games to the more produced and yes sometimes complex re-creations of period battles in miniature.
Good middle sized shows.Another like. Despite some of the things I've said in previous posts there are still some good middle sized shows about.
Falkirk's Carronade last weekend being a case in point. There was a good mix of games from Durhams 54mm Napoleonic down to a couple boutique games- one being a massively overpriced Star Wars game. Which predictably was surrounded by kids- you need no effort to play and from my short watch it seemed massively simplistic superb if you are 10 .
Yet overall the show was a little cracker- and yes we'll be there next year.
This is the way a club show should be. Plenty of enthusiasm for whatever they were doing-games of several different types both historical and not right until the end no 3 day corpses' walking about and a good spread of age groups. There was no "Death of the Hobby" in evidence here.
This was - and is a proper grass roots show with real wargamers doing real things and not always pandering to the commercial whim of the games designer dudes .
From the Traders viewpoint- I made a few quid and covered my costs and got to talk to some of the chaps buying my toys- never a bad thing.- despite having to get up before first sparrow fart !
Unlike a larger event such as Salute and Derby the more local middle-sized show has something different to offer. The atmosphere is usually more relaxed without the frenetic" buy this now" shyte from much of the Fantasy lobby. As a Trader I get to talk to chaps more at the smaller events and as a hobbyist I get to see what other chaps are doing.
This tends not to happen at the larger commercial free- for- alls !
Of course in an ideal world you want a bit of both. Salute and Derby- now Donnington of course- have their own attractions and are excellent shows from both a Traders and a Hobbyists perspective and I heartily recommend that every serious wargamer goes to each at least once but a good local show also has stuff to offer- different one hopes from the mega-shows less strident perhaps. More detail less broad brush.
Now there are probably too many shows in any given year- but frankly I don't care about those I don't go to. In one sense if I'm not there either as Trader or Punter they don't exist .. I'll do 10 shows this year as a trader- already done3 of theseand one- Durham- as a Punter/ Demonstrator. Frankly that'll do me in a given year
Narrowing focus.Finally a deep irritation but one which ultimately doesn't matter. The HUGE narrowing of the hobby over the last decade. The emphasis on "games" has narrowed the focus rather more than somewhat. If all you do is buy off the shelf and do the army list thing. then you are of course restricted to the products that are put into your sweaty mitt. If you don't think for yourself - at least some of the time- then you will be to an extent in intellectual thrall to the producers of those "games" .
. Frankly I can't see the point of many of the "games" touted about today. SAGA with its 6 man shield wall and all its attendant copiers Muskets and tomahawks etc etc - Why are the so popular- ans- no brain cells required. No effort requred no sense of achievement required either ....