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Saturday, 8 February 2014

Thought experiment- a Continuation

 Following on from the Thought Experiment post and some of the comment made. I begin to wonder if many of the more vociferous amongst us are actually interested in battles and Military History at all.
 There are ,as Robbie Roddis comments ,still plenty of blokes who research their battles- any half decent show tells you that ,despite the numerous ficticious games,  you still see plenty of "refights"  but still thinking without the use of books I keep coming up with battles great and small that I can't recall ever seeing in a glossy. Most of these are fairly well known to Military historians
Her is Boney on his camel  in Egypt another campaign I can't remeber being featured in a mag- though I sort of remember Stuart Asquith doing something.

 Bannockburn- Scotland greatest victory  come to think of it I've never seen it done as a demo either but surely it has beem.
 Nevilles Cross - I've refought Nevilles Cross at least twice when I had lots of Medievals
Dupplin Moor
 Homildon Hill
Halidon Hill
Sikh Ghorracharra- Irregular Cavalry- some Sikh Wars battles have featured in the glossies- but not all .

 Stirling Bridge- again you'd have thought this one would have turned up after that godawful Gibson Movie
Otterburn- I know Dave Huntley-Sheepman- has a collection for this campaign but again I can't recall it ever appearing in a glossy - Mil-mod maybe as a Battles then and now but not a wargames mag.
 Also there is the not entirely irrelevant point that real battles provide scenarios for ficticious games  Anyone remeber Andy Callans article disguised Scenarios or Conrad Kinch column in the most recent MW.  Surely a real scenario is far far better than some "Command Challenge or Table top teaser"- where do you think those authors pinched the idea from in the first place? That even goes for the Fantasy and Sci-fi players many of whose source writers  pinch their ideas from real events.So why this antipathy to real battles and real history .
28mm Modern Brits from  the Brooks mins range. Only put in because I like them.

I seem to remember in the 80 and 90s there was a trend towards the obscure battles and campaigns - so much so that these once forgotten are now no longer so - The Maori Wars , Cape Frontier Wars, More obscure bits of WW2 such as Eritrea Spanish Civil War and these only  are the ones I remember- wargames mags gave us the intial wherewithall to get into these more obscure campaigns- showing the way so to speak  ,  this is now rarely the case yet there are plenty out there who are comparatively new to this. Are they so in thrall to the "Corporate Dudes" of the "Army List and Vacant stare" brigade that the simply don't want to think outside their little box?.  I really don't think so but there does now appear to be an element of that in the public face of our hobby - or perhaps I should say the commercial face. This might sound odd coming from a bloke who makes his living at this but I sell  toy/ model soldiers NOT games. Military history is an integral part of what I do.. I think I've shown that there are plenty of obscure battles and a good few not so obscure but the outcry against "retread history"  is now so loud I'm led to wonder if an editor would dare publish articles on mere battles after all what have battles got to do with wargaming


  1. There was a big campaign series on Napoleon in Egypt in (I think) Practical Wargaming so yes Stuart would have been involved - it was momentous enough that I have wanted to do the period ever since.. some exquisite plates by Bob Marrion I think (though I may be getting mixed up with the Charles Grant book)... there was a Napoleon in Egypt game of good quality at Warfare last November... re. Stirling Bridge - that would have been PW as well I think featuring the Charlie Wessencraft diorama (which is now at the Bannockburn visitors centre).... here's a contentious view - maybe most of your battles didn't feature because mediaevals as a period are not as popular as others???

    1. Steve I've seen a couple Napoleon in Egypt games- I've supplied the figures - and How long has PW been dead ? 10 years 15? the old Mil- mod specials also used to have Battles in them - including Falkirk
      As for Medievals you may be right- see one of my earlier posts on Medievals . Its a bit complicated for some - too much painting. Yet I do sell a fair amount of them over a year - perhaps not as many as I used to though.
      Part of my argument is about the current narrowing of periods within tyhe current crop of glossies

  2. " the current narrowing of periods within tyhe current crop of glossies" - no argument... WWII mainly from what I can see.....

  3. Steve its interesting that a post I considered to be deliberately quite bolshie has raised hardly a hackle so I can only conclude that actual battles now have little or nothing to do with wargaming- even withing the bloggersphere- which is supoosedly "where its all at"
    So my nest bolshie question is...
    What the EFFINELL is this bloody hobby all about anyway aside from the dread 3 letter F -word (and no EFFINELL is not where that pointy eared dude from Lord of the rings lives)

  4. Ha - you're not baiting the hook well enough.... I can only say that for me the battle is at the very heart of what I do - every single one of my wargaming projects is built round a battle - it's where I start.......

    1. Steve you have a point- the next bolshie post is already (de) composing in my febrile mind ....