|40mm ECW troops on round bases placed in trays 8 to a tray . Its a small company of 24 figures|
One of the things that we HAVE to get used to is that this is not one homogenous hobby. We go on and on about Broad Church and all inclusivity but how true is that? There are a few common elements perhaps but how close is some chap who plays a single specific game - be it Flames of War or DBM or Void or Warhammer Fantasy or WH40k to a "period player" who studies his chosen era and builds his armies to fit them as he sees it then chooses his rules to fit his vision ..
At one extreme the dyed in the head FOW player will ONLY buy the overpriced and not always accuate Battlefront gear in the same way a Workshop junkie won't look at any other kind of Sci- Fant models- better and cheaper though they may be. Now as always there are shadings so for example I sell lots of WW2 stuff to chaps who use FOW but don't like Battlefront at the other end of the spectrum are those who only buy or even have made the figures that fit their particlar favourite period and style and the choose rules that fit in with their idea of how the 3rd Slobovian War was actually fought.
My point here is that these innumerable shadings are more like a random collection of potsherds in an arhaelogists trench than a single homogenous hobby . The different sherds come from subtly different pots- some pretty similar but others not and some not fitting this pattern at all- but perhaps THAT one over there in a different trench..
That some games outfits want to make us all dig the same trench and olny use the pots they "allow" is simply part of the normal commercial hurly - burly and organising a "single voice" would only aid that wish - even assuming such a monumental imposition was even possible let alone desirable.
Lets be honest here and pull no punches most chaps just want to do what they do they way the do when they do without interference from anyone- and indeed most do.
Bad shows should wither on the vine- nobody forces you through the door with a cattle prod. I've told you my personal solution. I'm down from a high of 26 shows a year in the mid 1990s to a mere 10 now and a couple of those may be in jepordy. Since the 90s costs have rocketed- Trade Stand Fees Van Hire Hotels Food Beer. the cost of doing even a small local show would be around £300-400 , .A Weekender further afield and I've kissed a grand plus goodbye before a soldier has gone over the counter, so I pick my shows carefully and if they don't cut the mustard they are gone.
However Chaps want shows to be local - witness the number of small local club shows in the small ads or even simply on the net I can think of loads of shows I no longer do- either because they were poor or because they are no longer being run but that doesn't stop new ones in the same mould sprining up all over. I've been to some God-Awful shows in my time both as trader and displayer. Some where the traders outnumbered the punters and where the little old Ladies wanderedin looking for the White Elephant stall !
I can remember a show where the organisers offered free entry and still no-one turned up. At another one- one of the bad mannered organiser shows.. another trader- no longer trading made a hlf - hearted attempt to run over one of my team in his poxy knackered old van - possibly because Jim had commented on his well ...stink... he was one of the most unwashed fellows ever !
so shows are much better now in many respects especially if you choose wisely.
Now on to diversity- todays PC buzz- word!
In our small and unrepresentative group none of us do exactly the same periods in the same scale Jim and I do AWI- me in 28 he in 15mm Jiom also does SYW in 10mm I no longer do Andrew and I both do moderns- different bits in different scales Jeff is mainly Naval - though does 15mm WW2 , Napoleonic and some 15mm Ancients and has other armies but usually only 1 side- a hangover from his competiton days .
I have 25mm ECW. I'm the only one in the group who does except perhaps new chap "Theatre" Dave- to distinuish him from Farmer Dave( lots of stuff see his Northumbrian Wargamer blog)- who has some as well as a bundle of 28mm Ancients. As far as I'm aware no-one games fantasy- thoug both Jim and I may paint the odd fantasy figure as a painting excerise.
I'm the only one who has a sci-fi collection - and that pretty modest.
So even in our tiny group the diversity is considerable- none are now competiton players and all are to a grater or lesser extent "period players" rather than points and armylist types.. By comparison to some g larger clubs I suppose we are pretty homogenous !!!
So are we doomed - no I don't think so changing certainly evolving perhaps- though when you see some of the 1970s unwashed brigade ... but I'm not joining the nay- sayers and Prophets of Dooms (or should that be profits of doom??)
As always if you can't take a joke you shouldn't have joined