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Wednesday 26 August 2015

OOH Look at the pretty pictures ...some shiny some not ....

Despite the pressure of work and especially government papercrap I'm still managing to get a little painting and writing done. Not bad when we've shipped out over 70 parcels this past  week to assorted customers as far apart as Australia and Finland.
Now as it happens I still have a taste for painting figures and vehicles - far more than for the actual playing of games- though an intresting game can still engage my attention. as witness the recent French Revolution action in the previous post.
 However back to the plot. I've managed to finish the first Scorpion CVRT  for the slowly progressing modern  "green British" (that is as disctinct from my "desert British" ) This project isn't going as fast as I'd like simply because I'm getting sidetracked by other stuff- not least "Shinyloo" and a couple of articles I'm writing.
Curassiers and Carabiniers. These are the ones that needed a lot of TLCand a new coat of shinyness !

15mm Scorpion- part of the Command Decision CDMOD range. This model will join the small but growing band of 1980 British for BAOR.
 As for "Shinyloo"  there has bee a small upsurge helped not a little by a bundle of  rather knackerd Hinchliffe/Foremost  cavalry recently picked up on ebay. They had at one time been beutifully painted but had seen hard service and needed a good bit of TLC. Rebasing and weapon replacement as well as a general wash and brush up . They fit in well with the Staddens I've already finished but then they should as Gilder allegedly used Stadden and Willie figures as dollies- as well as Les Higgins Jason for the Hincliffe ECW range.
Stadden Royal  Horse Artillery with an old Hincliffe gun
 The Hincliffe /Foremost range fit into my self-imposed rules for "Shinyloo"- just having been in production since the mid-seventies. I've a dozen Hincliffe French dragoons from the same era - part of the same lot- who need a bit less TLC before they are added to the Emperor Shinypartes army !
On a separate note I've been pondering upon "games" and "Wargaming" and about how - potentially - they are now very  different- not in essence but in detail and of course the devil is in the detail.
 There are several "games" Saga, Lion Rampant , Frostgrave, Muskets and Tomahwks Dead Mans Hand  etc. etc . which all seem very similar to me , purporting to be part of "wargaming" . Doubtless there are plenty more especially in the Sci-fant arena.They appear limited in scope with  less than 50 figures a side masquerading in that most ridiculous of terms a "skirmish army" (yes gentle reader I've had that said to me more than a few times    
 "I want a skirmish army ")
 Hmm define skirmish and army ... thinks I  but these days  trying to teach any games player anything  is usually a bad idea. Like GW drones they get locked into the "gamin' innit" mindset and the reality and even the English Language goes out of the window. Now don't misunderstand I don't CARE but it does amuse me that- in our hobby as in life an idiots opinion however uniformed is  now apparently as valuble as that of a chap who knows whereof he speaks. Indeed  one might opine that the place is stiff with politicians.
 This kind of stuff panders to the instant gratification gang of course. Usually the gratifcation of the "game designer Dudes"  who peddle this limited type of stuff. The bit I really don't get- honestly I'm not taking the piss here is what the purchasers and players get out of this in the longer term. I can see that you might want a quick and simple kids game once in a while. But why would you play- say Frostgrave more than a few times. Saga is  a bit more open ended but the limits of 20 or 30 figure- if that- forces are sure to be reached pretty quickly. In a sense its just the same as DBA The limits of a 12 element force- no matter how many different ones there are will be reached pretty quickly. So where is the point after that ?. Slaving yourself to any given "games system" for the "gaming experience"  is such a narrow view of our open -ended and in theory virtually limitless hobby that I really wonder why you would bother.
 As an example  for me DBA palled after about half a dozen dice rolling contests- sorry games-  on the silly 2 feet by 2 feet "board" (notice board not table)  so just how are this new rush of  clone-a-skirmish games any different?
 Now I don't have a down on skirmish wargaming per-se- a skirmish or small action is part of any military operation  so some of the time you are going to want to transfer them to the table but such actions are not the whole gamut 
 There will be people out there who tell you "its all I can afford" or "Its all I have time for" - well if DBA was the only choice I'd get another hobby - watching paint dry would be of more interest.
 As for affording it well I've been skint so I have a little sympathy but I simply  decided what I wanted to do then worked out how money or not- back in the day it was Airfix  or nowt lad ! 
 I suppose it all comes down to the fact that I'm not PRIMARILY a games player- can't see the point of most of 'em- perhaps someone can enlighten me .... 


  1. Wile I've never been a competition gamer (wrong head space/attitude) I would say that the game element of *my* wargame hobby (ie. not everyone's) has always been present - the old masters were certainly competitive and I think I got it from them.. I also enjoyed DBA for a long time (DG and I played most lunchtimes at work using cardboard counters and flip chart paper for a couple of years) and understood it was a high level representation... these days, the game is still important to me, and I will even play smaller skirmish games (period dependent), but the history & the research is just as important..... there's no formal definition of the hobby - there's a lot of room for manoeuvre in it...

    1. Steve I agree with the idea that there should be a lot of room for manovre and that there is amongst the cogniscenti ( I was going to say old bleeders like us but thought better of it!!). I've even competed in the past and the TWATS are thinking about a small Tactica competition day- for beer probably but the mechanics of games often simply leave me bored these days- been there done that.
      However I do sometimes feel that the current fashion of game before everything leaves out more than it includesandf the idea that rolling a dice is some kind of intellecual exercise ... well...

    2. Well there I'd have to agree with you... I'm not really interested in the "it all comes in a box just play it" games - top down I think they call that, I prefer my games bottom up.... but like it or not we are living in the internet/MTV age - short attention spans - and the manufacturers are also looking to the huge piles of cash the Warhammer top down model generates..... yeah... all changing....

    3. Afternoon Andy,
      I love the Hinchliffe heavy cavalry, they were a great find.
      Anyway onto the more serious stuff. Its funny but during our refight of Leuthen this afternoon, we were just talking amongst ourselves about this very subject.
      For me personally I dont mind the very odd skirmish game, but personally there doesnt seem much mileage in the thing really.Once you fought two or three scenarios the pleasure has gone. Perhaps if there was a series of linked encounter games with a final objective then maybe that would maintain interest. Otherwise it becomes very samey quickly.
      DBA was a set of rules in point, to me it didnt feel like a wargame, and it certainly didnt look like a wargame, but then thats my personal opinion.
      As for the newer skirmish games, this is obviously the current flavour of the month, but I honestly dont see the trend lasting too long. They just dont hold the allure of real wargaming, ie historical armies fighting over some half decent terrain, which looks like a real battle, albeit less bloody and of course much prettier.
      Being a dinosaur, I do recognise the need for instant gaming gratification in the current day and age, but boy does that soon become boring and the players will soon move onto the next thing on their tick list.Whether that's wargaming or kite flying.

    4. Steve Top down or bottom up I thought you were talking girls and fast cars there for a moment ! Change is not in itself a problem- if it was I'd still be doing Airfix. The problem may lie in the percieved lack of alternative that out of the box MUST be better becasue its fashionable this week .

      Robbie Skirmish games have their place but I couldn't ONLY do skirmish games in the same way I can't only drink one kind of beer or one brand of whisky- or even whiskey . My concern - assuming I have one is the way the hobby seems to be narrowing down to comaratively few high priced rulebooks which are percieved as "allowed" - as usual this is about public face rather than grass roots- chaps like us will continue to do what we do as we do whatever transpires .

  2. Like Steve, I have played a fair bit of DBA using counters. It makes for a quick, portable game that is economical in figures. I much prefer DBMM100 as it allows you to break away from the 12 figure limit - important for Romans vs Celts. In its larger points incarnation I found DBMM gave a very good impression of what an ancients battle might have looked like.

    So Warband games... I have both Saga and In Her Majesties name. I agree that they are not classical war games since their connection to history is tenuous or absent. I would disagree in that I think they can both have considerable replay value with the right group of players.

    Low figure count is not necessarily indicative of limited or a-historic game play. In Chain of Command you have to use proper tactics or you will get your posterior handed to you. This is a proper wargame.

    I am not sure how I view these band games - more like a side dish to the larger meatier war gaming meal I guess - nice to have but not essential.

    1. Pat as a side dish I can see the point of such small games. I can also see the - commercial- point of short attention span- we can bring out another tsats just like the first one but different in a different box with a different picture on it!!
      Low figure count is not indicative of a- historic play - I never said it was but tends towards repetitive play just like DBA- I've played DBM and DBR and hated both of them. the only thing in favour of DBM was that I hated it less than the other two. DBR still gets my vote for the worst piece of published crap masquerading as a set of wargames rules.
      I'm aware that some games players like the repetitionand the strict limits- it must give them a sense of security to know that the march to victory is unencumbered by anything as unreliable as a human element or an imagination.
      Can't comment on Chain of Command - not a set I've used or am ever likely to but you are far from the first chap to rate it