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Sunday 21 February 2016

Wargames Illustrated no 341

On Saturday morning the latest issue dropped on my doormat.  Now I don't subscribe and I don't - currently - advertise in this mag Some of the reasons will become apparent.
 The "Special subject" for this issue is the Duke of Marlborough so I expected to find  info on John Churchill and his campaigns- well I did , sort of ,but very diluted and lightweight even by magazine standards- now I don't expect a full detailed biography but I do tend to expect -in a magazine for  a supposedly literate audience- more space given over to actual text than pictures. A bit less obvious product placement might be nice too.
Once past the Marlborough articles- which were all pretty short and two almost identical Flames of War pieces on  the Pacificwe had more than enough fantasy - Oh dearie me a long article on various takes on Mad Max- and violent car racing games- how is that a "wargame"?? - but of its type well done and some stuff on Frostgrave - which is yet another identikit skirmish game. However that is not to the point . My problem with this mag is not what is contains- thats a matter of taste but how it is presented. WI does not speak to its audience it shouts at them. Its style is very White Dwarf- though perhaps not quite as loud- a couple of WW1 articles were in there too but once again had the same "corporate look" as all the other pieces- even down to the presentation of the models. Though the piece on the Siege of Kut wasn't bad at all . Its getting harder and harder to tell one Mafia outfit from another. Once you get past the eye candy and product placement  there IS some readable stuff there. Most notably a piece on Ospreys "En Garde" - which being a one time  fencing enthusiast- still have my  17th century swords- repros of course -interests me rather more than somewhat. One I'll have to pick up - the lad had read the manuals  but again I  had to get past the samey -gamey look of the piece to get to the rather useful meat within.
 Perhaps WI just needs to turn the amp down a bit so you can hear what they are saying above the white noise of the eye candy .....

Friday 19 February 2016

Miniature Wargames no395

A copy of this has just dropped on my mat. First impressions are interesting. There is a lot of stuff in it- even leaving aside the Hammerhead show guide- I don't attend.
 The on -off on off "Anti -figure Crusade" sort of continues with various chaps telling you how hard it is to actually use figures in a game and how" Ooh my back hurts"  and how - for some- plastikrap is now "the norm"- well no it isn't its too fragile and too bloody fiddly and frankly  makes our precious time  even more scarce. Also have not personally found any 28mm plastics I actually want to use.
However moving on  this does not stop the mag being pretty full of stuff to read. I'm not a fan of Game of Thrones- the TV series is rather good if a bit graphic in parts  but the books are turgid and overlong. Sort of Tolkien having a really bad acid trip .Nevertheless the article has some nice stuff in it- explains well what the author is after and if Westeros is your thing for a lightweight skirmish game then there it all is  but again as a limited skirmish game with "mechanisms" ... Some tasty figures though.
Neil Shucks column is as always worth reading - even if I gnash my teeth the while- as the "Anti toy soldier" view is shown again. Apparently toy soldiers put people off wargaming . Now I can't say he's wrong here however much  I prefer the toys to the games but boardgames simply have no bloody style and mostly bore the arse off me. There is nothing to look at while Jeff is fiddling about with his counters. There is no SPECTACLE so why bother.To repeat Mr Dutres phrase
 "Its about the figures"
 It is the toys that separate what WE do from the counter pushing introverts huddled around a small board sipping horlicks .....(yes I'm being waspish but board games are just so unappealing on the whole- I hate monopoly too)
John Tredaways column contains an examination of Beyond the Gates of Antares- and its not the sycophantic drivel I've seen in other places but a reasoned piece with some actual thought.
 All in all the mag IS a bit fantasy - heavy this month - no bad thing in itself even though I don't do Fantasy but there was a nice little piec on WW1 air combat- though 1/600th is far far far  too small a scale for such an individualistic period  and yes we do some of those in 1/100th- well they look the same to me anyhow !
So a decent mag with some interesting stuff in it just not all to my taste.

Saturday 13 February 2016

Superb Spanish Stuff !!

The following group of photographs were sent to me by Gregorio Salas of La Flecha Negra in Madrid One of Spains premier wargames amd model soldier shops. They do being gentlemen of taste and refinement stock Old Glory Command Decision and Blue Moon in depth. The photos show their take on some of Old Glory's 28mm product. . The two photos of the pirate ship- OGP38 I think but  I could be mistaken are expecially impressive- the crew are a mixture of our Pirates and our ECW range.
These are from our Landskhects- in the Italian Wars range.
I'm really impressed with the sails and rigging here.
Superb work this- some chap has the patience of a saint.
Spanish troops of the 17th century from our ECW range.

Gun Deck of the ship. The crew are a mixture of  figures from our pirate range and our ECW range . Excellent stuff. 

Thursday 11 February 2016

I wonder if anybody has noticed yet.....

Regular reader will have noticed that I'm just a tad cynical- it comes of being in the trenches so to speak. But I was having a look at the MWBG website a few minutes ago and of course its moving- to be subsumes into the Tabletop Gaming website of its "sister" magazine of the same name by the same publisher to wit - Warners.
 Now a CB like me is forced to wonder  how long MWBG will last as an "independent" publication. Two Years a Year, less?
Check out the website

I really do hope I'm wrong here but I wonder if we are to be further subsumed into more childish crap

The Following day.

I finally - after far too much faffing about- found the appropriate podcast and after I'd wondered why anyone would subject their lugholes to  such strange noises  on a regular basis found the appropriate part of the Shuck- Hyde conversation . Frankly I'm not convinced though my timespan laid out above was too short - so maybe 3 years then. 3 years is a long time in publishing.

Bizarre or what ?

What I found truly odd about the podcast experience was that people would actually listen to it in the first place. It took 20 plus minutes to get to the bit I was interested in  through what I can only describe as fluff and meandering fluff at that. Now I'm being harsh here as it was my first listen and I will in all probability have another bash but  the whole podcast looked interminable on my slider. The thing had barely moved after 28 minutes so I'd lose the will to live after twice that.
 Not that there weren't interesting bits. There was even mention of the Essen Spieltage- an event I attended for much of the 1990s with the Old Glory Trade stand so I KNOW  how big the boardgames market is in Germany- even the Bundespost  had a stand with a game- everybody is doing it Mein Herr .

 Looking on the bright side maybe Henry will get a chance to put a bit of blue water between MW and TTG in terms of style and content. I'm not hopeful but you never know...

Wednesday 10 February 2016

Thought Provoking ....

 As you'd expect there is plenty of stuff about Vapnartak out there on the various blogs- most exactly as you'd expect for such a fine show so I won't repeat them. Except to say that I and my team had a fine day.
 I sold many thousand of little men- mostly Blue Moon 15mm  but with an admixture of OG 28 mm and Drabant.
 The van was a good bit lighter than when we went so no worries there  other than ordering all the replacement stock which I'm currently in the middle of.
 However the main reason for this short post is to get you to read Tantobie Internet tattler - especially this post

Now Andrew is a mate so maybe I'm a tad biased but  I found this a very thought provoking post indeed coming as it does from a somewhat different angle than the usual wargamers blog post...
 Right Back to work in the Soldier land that never sleeps .....