You might even say that I'm disgruntled- but since I'm not sure I've ever been gruntled in the first place how would I tell?.
It will always be a fascination to me as to why many - perhaps most of our brethren can't or won't explain the why of what they do - it is as if they are ashamed of it. Do they indeed know why . Why indulge in any part of our hobby at all and "Cos its fun" does not alone cut it as an explanation. How did it get to be "fun" in your eyes ? What differentiates "funA" from "funB". Why are certain periods perennially popular and others "commeth up and are cut down like a flower" .
How did the hobby change from a - largely- miniatures driven hobby of the late 1970s- 1980s become the almost entirely "games driven" hobby of today . Is all the blame to be put on the "games designer dudes" probably not..
|25 or 28mm Normans . Painted by me about 20 years ago.|
|More of my ECW collection.|
|Indian Mutiny Puch - up.Hodsons Horse attacking Mutineers.|
Now I'm not entirely immune to the lure of games for their own sake- I love "Kingmaker" and quite like "Axis and Allies" but personally I draw a distinction between "games" and "wargames" , For example I could no more imagine a refight of Towton using DBA or Lion Rampant or Saga than fly in the air. The Battle of Towton deserves more respect than a 40-50 figures a side dice rolling contest. That distinction seems to have been lost some time in the 1990s or early nougties. Why? It can't only be laziness surely. Convenience Wargaming ?
So a few daft questions
How many sets of rules do you think there were in the 1980s compared to today. I'd really like to know and yes I'm only talking about historical rules here. My impression - and I could be wrong- is that there were far far fewer then than now WRG still dominated Ancients - but they were not alone there was Gawd 'elp us Newbury fast play- which wasn't ! and my still favoured Tactica. There were others I forget and almost certainly sets from the USA I've never heard of but were there as many as a dozen sets? WHAB didn't appear until 1998 so what did we have pre-1992?. Not simply Ancients but other periods too.. I recall rules by Tabletop games- most of which were unplayable I say 1992 because that was the year Old Glory UK came into being so in theory AFTER that date I'm a professional and some of what happens from then on IS my fault!
How many sets of rules do you own today? I hate rules in general and certain sets in particular. They can so often get in the way, Yet having said that I probably own around 30+ sets - most of which I've played at least once. Some of which I have played an awful lot over the years- with or without local modifications. Most of the sets I have are at least 5 years old, many somewhat older. Only a very few less than 5 years old as these latter all fall into the "been there done that" category- they have nothing new except eye candy. There are of course sets that I have not played for decades WRG1685-1845 for a start! as well as 2 by Tabletop from the 1970s- Lance- a medieval set I used to play quite a bit and Tercio for Pike and shot
. That number doesn't count sets in proper books and sets I wrote myself don't count at all .
Compared to some blokes a mere 30 sets is nothing. None of these are considered holy writ- no negative freedom here. Rules lawyers are consigned to the nearest scorpion pit without mercy. Argue from a historical perspective and- as Umpire I'll listen and you may win your point. Argue that "on page 239 of Wundarules 6.9 ..." and - metaphorically speaking its "hello stingy " . It is not beyond the realms of possibility for the Umpire to bin a set of rules part way through a game. Now the games players amongst you may gasp and mutter but since when was the conduct of warfare governed by set rules?. Indeed a few years back I ran a 40mm ACW game where I deliberately changed the rules every move or so to keep the players thinking.
Yet there are now more rules than ever before and far more games of a very limited nature . Imagination and the historical background has gone out of the window ....
Or has it?
|Drabant 28mm- we'll be taking the whole Drabant range both 40mm and 28mm .|
|Ottoman Turkish Dellis- "mad heads"|
Check out the list of games here
I'm actually looking forward to the show.
The lads from the "like a Stonewall" group (AKA Mansfield Mafia!!) are doing Quatre Bras .
My mate Peter Bradford is doing ACW "McPhersons Ridge" - both of these in 25mm - or 28mm if you prefer- since a goodly proprtion of the figures on each of these are Old Glory I should know how tall they are ! The Ilkley lads are doing Marignano- which I'll have to take a look at.
There is a noticable narrowing of the "available" periods however
Of the total of 43 or 44 games listed both Demo and PP
7 are WW2- though one of these may be listed twice
7 are Napoleonic- but mostly Waterloo campaign only 2 games NOT being hundred days inspired
5 are pre-gunpowder (1 Ancient 2 "Dark Ages" 1 high medieval 1 samuarai)
3 may be loosely termed "pike and shot"- this includes Poltava which is the only game set in the 18th century
2 are ACW
1 Colonial- Zulu War
2 Modern- Afghnistan and Africa
5 are WW1- technically one is a western gunfigt- set in 1917 - the Wild bunch but there you go !
|The Old Glory Turkish High Command- OXT23 6 different generals plus the Janisary "Kazan" cooking pot and some extra officers- a mere £24.00 per pack.|
|Janisarries. I almost have enough Turks for an army .... almost|
|Later Turkish Spahis- Suvallieri possibly mid 17th century or later as they have pistols.|
It is interesting in the wider context what ISN'T there. Nothing much from the 16th 17th or 18th centuries (3 games for 300years )no "BC" Ancients at all . Only 1 game that might be termed "Classical" Ancients- Teutoberger Wald . Of the historical games 24 are from the last 200 years of Human history but mostly concetrated into 4 areas within that. No naval at all only 1 air game the same WW1as last year- I wonder if its run by the same ignorant bugger who pushed me out of the way when I was having a butchers- silly sod in a flying helmet Oh dearie me !
No ECW or TYW Seven years War or AWI. No 19th century European- all of which have featured previously. Not sure if any of the games are 15mm- which is odd considering how many 15mm I sell and I know I'm far from alone here..I'm aware that it doesn't happen much but should any historically minded Joe public step in he'd have a thin time give the relatively few periods on offer.
Nevertheless these is still some intresting stuff there and I'm still looking forward to it so maybe I'm not as disenchanted as I though I was ....... maybe ........
PS The photos are all deliberately chosen as periods that are not in the list of games for the Derby show. But all are ranges that we WILL be taking to the show.We'll also be taking stuff that is being gamed at the show- so ACW Napoleonic and WW2 all in 15mm- ACW in 28mm too .