Saturday, 20 September 2014

Not holding back ....

 My copy of MW378 dropped on the mat this morning  and to be honest  I wasn't keen. This is not a criticism of the magazine but merely an observation that- in this issue there wasn't much in it for my personal interests.
 I don't do Ancient - well not much nor boardgames nor Normandy nor teeny tiny Napoleonics nor really Medieval Skirmishing - which happens to be a pet hate despite the fact that I like and study Medieval Warfare  , I have plenty of trees so non of the articles grabbed my attention - though Hery's photography article  pointed up a couple of things I'd forgotten- not having read my "Manual of Photography" for a while.

The foregoing merely shows you how deceptive first impressions can be ....

The teeny tiny men- actually a fine article on the refighting of the Battle of Vittoria on a dining table was the star piece. Some consdiderable though had  gone into this  "top down" refight of the battle. these lads knew their stuff and kept to the plan - the idea of Dinign Table Napoleonics is not one I'd choose but that didn't stopthe piece being of interest.
 the 2 pre-gunpowder articles whilst on the surface very different were actually quite similar - both  being fior skirmish games  of a very limited nature- the medival being  based around the famous "Combat of the Thirty" during the Hundred Years War- actually during one of the Truces - and the other  being Horatius at the Bridge- anyone who had to suffer Thomas Babbling Macualeys "Lays of Ancient Rome" might well shy off at this point  victorian doggerel not being to all tastes . Whilst both game might be fun to play once or twice and might suffice as entry level  the lasting appeal wwas pretty much nil.. One might comment upon the current  fashion for  light "post prandial " games . Like Western Gunfights or Gangster Brawls  none have any deep  or lasting interest
 Conrad Kinch "send three and Fourpence" column hightlight those chaps who just HAVE to win and will go to any leangths- you know- cheats ! Bad cess to 'em . This is something that simply doesn't happen in our group- the Umpire would not allow it and the rest of the lads wouldn't tolerate it and at bottom franlky its simply too childish - if your life is so pathetic  that you have to cheat  then go and be pathetic somewhere else . Nuff said
 then we get to Barry Hilton piece on the future of the hobby "Staying Alive"- Apaarently he's "not holding back- the Editors word not his .... .
 Well now  I can't actually disagree with this  but its all been siad before- not least on this Blog and Robbie Roddis' . I might take issue with the idea that the hobby needs a single "voice" and I've been to enough US and Eurpean shows to know that they are not that different to British ones- except perhaps that some of the European ones are more over run with GW crap that ours are so far. That some shows are poor is obvious but so is the solution- don't go to 'em . I've dropped out of shows that I didn't like for whatever reason - not always simply for  commercial reasons  . I can think of one show where the decider - the straw if you like was the smell of Jockstraps and wee wee and another where the ill- manners of the organsiers was the final clincher,
 Mr Hilton comments upon the commercial scene and product duplication are interesting to say the least - especially as he is in the biz himself and has contributed to the product duplication to an extent as in a way has anyone who has produced a range for a period that is already covered by somone else. Now currently we have more different product in more sizes from more makers than ever before so I'm not sure what his point is here- that some companies are seeking to dominate the market Workshop like with a limited number of products is - again obvious especially as those companies are run by ex-Workshop staffers who were handed the welly  BUT and its a big but there are plenty of other outfits- mine included - who do not follow that path. One wonders if Mr Hilton should broaden his out look just a tad.
 Likewise his views on the ageing of the hobby . Now for the record I don't own either Cardigan or Tartan Flask- or any of their aged derivitives. Despise meat paste sandwiches. God knows what kind of "Care Home Wargames Soeciety" Mr Hilton belongs to  but  ours isn't like that. I see more youngsters at shows that in former years- though by youngsters I don't just  mean children but rather twentysomthings and thirtysomething- most often  ex GW drones who have "woken up " . Even in our small and unrepresentative group  we have memebers under 40 So  we are not shambling to our dotage or  ready for the knackers yet by a long way
 That some shows need to sharpen their act is unarguable- but then so do plenty of wargamers- I'm in total agreement with Mr Hilton over the nay -sayers and the socially challenged - and especially the hygenically challenged- again see earlier posts on the blog - "In Vogue"  for instance..
I can go on about the hobby's public image  and indeed have -  on this blog and have said many thimes that we do this to ourselves. By propagating the nerd image Mr Hilton does not help (though I doubt propagation was huis intent ) I'm not sure the constant obcessi0n with the kiddy market is to the point either -  aim later Kids are too  young for much of this.  BUT no more friggin' meat paste sandwiches or flasks  burn your bllody Cardigans. Equally get rid of the awful T-shirts which might have been cool in 1975 but not now Oh and some of you- have a wash once in a weekend and when you - stand closer to the soap


  1. I must admit, I've been considering not renewing my subscription when it comes due. The mag gets opened, a quick look through, perhaps a read of a bit that catches my eye, then it goes on the pile never to be seen again. Not sure what the answer is though.
    As to shows, I don't get to many, and the ones I've been to seem similar - lots of traders selling their wares, games set out on tables with participants studying rulebooks or chatting to each other (and I agree with the dress code - if it's a club, why not a standard T-shirt/sweater with logo, if it's a smaller group then dress decently, not grubby sweatshirts and jeans) and I've often felt like asking questions but felt unwelcomed. Must stop before it gets to be a rant!

  2. Evening Andy,
    I havent read my copy yet, so I dont want to comment on your post until after that.
    Its been an age old complaint with wargamers about the wargames magazines etc.
    I can remember bleating to John about Military Modelling when it took over Battle magazine.As for shows, I will come back to that as well, yet again.
    Thanks Robbie.

    1. Robbie and Joppy. I think my main point was that it has all been said before.
      I'm not bothered so much about a dress code - I DON'T want the "Corporate look" to take ove but a wash code for some would be nice.
      One of the things that does do my head in at shows are the miserable sods wandering about with their brains in neutral looking as if siomebody has just widdled in their beer.
      Shows are pretty much the same and yes I've had the Nobody at this game wants to talk to me thing over and over- but also I've had the opposite where chaps are eager to talk you ears off AND I've seen the rudely rebuffed
      Also you get the 40 year stare- variations on this
      Chap comes to your stand and fiddles about with the stuff-
      "Need any Help" or similar says I or one of my guys
      If you are lucky
      you may get a reply but quite often its a 40 yard stare or a grunt- sometimes both and a shamble off into the gloom (if its Newark! )
      Now don't get me wrong not everyone likes OGUKs gear but sutrely common politeness would prompt an answer to a question . even telling me to *** off would be an improvemnt ! and no don't take that as a challenge .....

  3. That "aging of the hobby" bollocks has been around since I started playing wargames in the late the 1960s. All it means is that the person spouting the bollocks is getting older.

    1. Yes agreed. there are plenty of dudes who WANT to be old and decrepit . Not me By God !