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.


  1. You know, while I mostly enjoy each issue of MWBG in its current incarnation, the fantasy stuff would be best left to other publications. It takes up valuable space that might be occupied by more interesting articles about military miniatures in all of their various permutations/gaming uses. And, having played a few myself over the years, I agree with you when it comes to military boardgames (with their cardboard counters in the hundreds/thousands). Nothing against those who enjoy them, but not my particular cup of tea either.

    Best Regards,


    1. I'm always ambivilent about Sci-Fant. Sometimes I like the miniatures and I do have a small sci-Fi collection BUT I can't take the games at all seriously. So on the rare occaisions I get the 69th M.I.L.F. out its an excuse for really bad taste jokes and assorted silliness.
      I don't mind some of it in mags as light relief- but would not miss it if it wasn't there.

  2. Interesting remarks as usual, Andy. On GofT, I'm inclined to agree: watchable and readable, but.... well, you want to feel that the story is going somewhere. It the end of the 6th book (yes, I read the lot), I've been wondering if I can be bothered with the rest. As for the TV series - can take it or leave it.

    I own a number of board games, including the old SPI Waterloo, but I've played but one of them... once. I find them useful for ideas, though. My own ACW miniatures rule set (Bluebellies and Graybacks) owed something to the Terrible Swift Sword game system pioneered by SPI. I'm thinking of translating the Waterloo game into a miniatures game using my 'Big Battles for Small tables' ideas.

    1. Ion- Agreed. I have 1 boardgame- Kingmaker I played it once last year or was it the year before. But I have an idea to use it in conjunction with a modified Lion Rampant for a quick WOTR campaign using my 40mm figs for the battles- Need to paint some more up first though.

  3. Nice review and I especially agree with your assessment of plastic figures. They are nice looking, but I don't want to spend all the extra time that's required to assemble the little fellows. I keep hearing the argument that one "can do lots of figure conversions with plastic", but I wonder how many people really spend much time converting figures? Sort of like dismounted Dragoons and hussars: there is a clamor for them but I never see them in any wargamers.

    I liked the essay on WW1 airplanes even though I don't have a gaming interest in that era and Mrs. Sutherland's how to build it articles are always interesting.

    1. Fritz As for conversions I do quite a few overall but all in 40mm and all in metal as I prefer working in that material. The GOT article has several nice conversions in it but on the whole I suspect comparatively few people actually do them.
      Your point about clamour is apposite- I get the same - usually its the same 3 blokes who want 2 figures each !

  4. Thanks for the nod :-)

    Anyway, I was also a bit upset by Neil Shuck's column, but towards the end, he sort of says that it comes down to whatever is your personal preference.

    But yes, it's about time more people realize miniature wargaming is about miniatures. If I would be interested only in the gaming aspect, there are other forms on the market. One could probably make the claim that miniature are suboptimal as a medium for representing or studying war.
    But, it's all about the visual spectacle and playing with toy soldiers!

  5. I agree with most of what you say. I am concerned that the hobby is moving away from the spectacle and being reduced to a "game" only. All of us who have large collections were once new to the hobby. all of us were, or still are, strapped for cash to buy new figures in bulk at some point. we were all inexperienced figure painters in awe of our peers. did any of that stop us from getting involved with thr hobby? No. Why? Because it was more than just a game. it was something to enjoy looking at and playing with.

  6. Phil and Paul "Its da gamin' innit" is now the mantra of many of todays "gamers" and as I repeat - sometimes ad nauseam there is more to this wargaming lark than mere gameplay otherwise as Phil says there are other methods . Some of which may do the gaming part better.
    On reflection I sometimes think that parts of this hobby are motivated by fear . Fear that I'll have to work for a living if I can't think of a slick and simple game mechanic , Fear that I might have to pay to have this "army" of OOH 47 figures painted. Fear that if I'm not careful I might be thought intelligent cos I've been caught reading a book that didn't have pictures in . but mainly fear that I can't have what I want NOW without putting in any effort myself...
    Yes I'm being facetious but Paul is absolutely correct. None of today's perceived pitfall stopped us but then perhaps for most of us it STARTED with the toys and the look of the thing rather than "play game now"
    Those of us who are more "figure-centric" in our games perhaps need to make more noise.... well I do my best .....