Friday, 9 November 2012

Another Anthem

The Siren Song of Simplicity.
So here I sit wondering why other wargamers do stuff the way they do. For nostalgia- I find that ain't what it used to be.Because they can- a good reason one I use myself. Becasue its cheap- never the best of reasons for doing anything in my view becasue its easy- heard it not always good, because its simple- aye well serves you right. There are as many reasons as wargamers and I suppose most of us wargame and collect the way we do for many reasons but I've also met just as many chasp whio have trouble telling you WHY they use a given system or collect a given range other than "cos its good innit" which may be expressive but isn't very illuminating. So putting my money where my mouth is I thought I'd try to sit down and work out why I wargame and Collect the way I do NOW rather than the way I did then- 10 years 20years or Gawd 'elp me 30 or 40 years ago Howver first a small timeline.
40 years ago- as far as I can remember. Collection Mostly Airfix. A few Higgins Garrison and later Hincliffe. Periods Napleonic and WW2. Rules Terry Wise, Featherstone or home grown. Figure painting reasonable down to vile.
30 years ago Still some Airfix but now a good few metal armies Lamming, Garrison and Minifigs. Periods- Ancients and Dark Ages. ECW. Lots of Medivals a bit of Dwarf Fiddling on the side!! Rules WRG5th ,WRG Gushand a set called Lance for medivals. Painting reasonable to awful
20-25 years ago- but before Old Glory QT,Citadel,Irregular some Stadden.Hotspur. Periods- all sorts ,I remember- Pike and Shot- Elizebeths Irish Wars. Hundred Years War Colonial. 20mm Moderns, Ancients- Romans and Carthaginians. Dark Ages and Early Medivals AWI ACW at the end of this era . Not all at the same time but mostly . Rules Tactica for Ancients Home grown for Dark Ages and ACW. Still the odd bit of Dwarf fiddling Painting Good to reasonable. I even win some painting comps and modelling comps with my few 54mm and 90mm figs. I still have my Stadden AWI from this period.
Stadden 30mm AWI cavalry- these are the "longest posessed" figutre in my current collection being about 25 years old. They've been touched up and re-based a couple of times but I've has the castings since the late 80s
20years ago- after Old Glory- as above but adding French and Indian War and a large ACW collection 20mm Moderns More Dark Ages Wellinton in India and Indian Moghuls. Makers Old Glory- obviously but also Redoubt, Connoiseur and Eagle. Still ac little Dwarf Fiddling but I've got it under control. Rules more or less as above but adding Age of Reason for FIW and Revenge! for medivals.
10-15 years ago All the plastics have gone now. As has the ACW collection the Ancients and by the end of this time the Moderns and mostof the others to be replaced by a Seven Years War and ECW collection and the first of the 40mm. However in between times I amass a 25mm Peninsular War collection- which goes after abouout 3 or 4 years and a 15mm FPW collection likewiseand the first- but not only 15mm WW2 collection . 20mm WW1 which I still have. Dwarf fiddling finally cured. Painting- still getting better. Rules ECW-Forlorn Hope< 18th century AOR. ww2- Command Decison./blockquote>
The last 10 years or so. Armies Still ECW and 7YW.15mm WW2 but for the Desert War. Allsorts of bits and pieces amassed for the display case at shows. The Wellington in India have gone but I have 40mm ACW and Napoleonic Peninsular and most recently 15mm Moderns, as well as various projects on the go-40mm Marlburians and ECW 40mm Dark Ages.. Rules-more or less as above but with a homegrown accent for the 40mm. Painting - getter better or perhaps more satisfied is the correct term
Some of my more recently completed models- the Warrior IFV'S are Old Glory the shilka AA a QRF piece.
So a potted history of my wargames armies- what does it tell you? Possibly that I'm an impatient SOB.I prefer to see it as a progression throught my chosen craft- which sounds pretentious but I work at this almost 24/7 so it is a craft. So no I'm not having a second childhood. If there was a "Golden Age" for me it was the 1990s but I'm not even sure about that. It might be now. I can do things now that I could only dream of when I was 15 or 25 or even 35. I can should I wish and as ever finances permitting commision my own figures and cast them- could do that 20 years ago. I have far more choice not only in what I do but more importanly -to me at least HOW I do it. So no I don't pine for some mythical "Simple Golden Age" The siren song does not ring in MY ears.


  1. Afternoon Andy,
    That is a very interesting timeline you've put together.
    I would bet that most wargamers of our age, [I know you are younger]will have followed something like that. Mine was a bit more dramatic is some respects, but certainly Airfix was the starting point for wargaming, except before that I had my Timpo figures and the pieces of paper and a deck of cards!.
    I only wish Id had the foresight and realistically the money to have kept my original collections.I always wanted Les Higgins figures,but money dictated that I go for Minifigs,and Garrison.
    Thinking of a Golden Age, well figure wise, it has to be now.
    A Golden Age for wargaming ideas, I would say the late 1980's and early 1990's.
    But a Golden Age for actual wargamers,ie members, I think that must have been the late 1970's and early 1980's, because there was a real buzz about the hobby and being pre Digital age,it was easier to get young people interested.
    Anyway,another good post.
    Thanks Robbie

    1. Robbie I deliberately missed out the Timpo and Britians because I didn't really Wargame with them. I've also missed out a good few individual armies that I didn't keep for long. I had a Dixon Samuai army in the late 70s but only for a few months. A garrison 7YW british army that I sold when I was skint- it never fought. Approx 5 different Nrman armies over the years Starting with Lamming and Garrison going through Minifigs Hincliffe Asgard Citadel and finaslly Old Glory. I'd agree with your ideas golden age but would probably put the "members" golden age in the same period. But I see your point- though computer have made it easy for memebrs to connect so I'm not sure maybe the Golden Age is now...