Saturday, 4 June 2011

What is a wargamer.... ???? part 1

nO I'm not about to go all deep and meaningless on you but it does bear a thought or two. Now thankfully our hobby is a very broad church - even if I exclude the Dwarf fiddlers and Zombie strokers which of course I wouldn't ... resally even if its something I find a little odd amongst adults- even when consenting. Sorry but I just can't take Fantasy seriously even when I fiddled myself (and yes gentle reader I did -mea culpa mea maxima culpa ! but I got out of therapy years ago )I did it mainly for laughs the armies and games were full of daft puns and silly jokes and the whole thing was deliberately light relief- I had a gay dragon who would only eat male virgins! and a Jewish Vampire so the cross had no effect- not my idea this but Alfie Bass in "Dance of the Vampires". The human armies- my Grenadier late medivals with a bunch of character figs bolted on were the "human league"- lots of frilly shirts and dubious hair dos. Barbarians were all conanesque. Dwarfs were in 7 man units... think about it .Ideas were stolen left and right but whenver I ran a game at our old Games Workshop heavy club the outraged seriousness of the nerd brigade knew no bounds- now theese were not kids- my risque games were for grown ups- but knew how to act like 10 year olds. I even ran a game at a convention- based on a Conan story which was basically a bsattle between Conan and a bunch of Samurai .
Once again the bafflement and outrage- albeit at a more subdued level was palpable At this point I packed it in . The Fantasy suff was sold off- exit villain sneering. So now the only non historical stuff I have is an equally light hearted Sci - Fi set upo which owes nothing to GW but a fair bit to SF author Gerry Pournelle.
What made me cringe over the whole sorry farrago of idiocy was the idea than fantasy HAD to be of a certain type. I remember the debate in the late 70s early 80s in Battle and Mil mod - people were trying Fantasy because it was- in their eyes then -more free form and less complex. Yet afew years later this was no longer the case-AND fantasy had become as tired and anal as historical player were contantly accused of but in my expoerience were not.


  1. Luckily my only, brief, brush with funny creatures came during pre-GW days with Minifig, Heritage & Garrison LOTR & Hyborian figures (and a few McEwans)

    That said, I still occasionally get the urge to revisit those "literary" wargaming eras. Going off and painting some obscure Persian auxialliary usually cures it.

  2. for me LOTR carries too much baggage with it Tolkien was a scolarand linguist who couldn't write. LOTR is often turgid with poor characters. The interesting parts are the appencices. I get bored with ringers telling me what a literary giant tolkien was- I always quote CS lewis at 'em... "Not more f****** Elves !