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Tuesday 29 March 2016

Goin Going Gone ....

I take it from some of the comment I heard and read that a lot of chaps didn't think much of Triples this year. I know some traders had a torrid time.

 I was not one of them.

 Old Glory UK had its best Triples for at least 3 years

Mind you things were not that rosy in other parts of the venue.  With a couple of notable exceptions the games were awful .
  Most of the games were either 
 A Unintelligable.
 B Small - and virtually invisible from less than 5 feet away- even if they were in "28mm" - silliest of these was what looked like a WW2 game-  I saw Russian AFVs  on a3 feet by four feet table
C crewed by blokes who didn't want to talk to you  or indeed not crewed at all ..
D run by traders wanting to sell you their latest fantasy/sci- fi skirmish.

Oh Dearie Dearie me.

 The exceptions were however not like that.

 There was a 6mm game which frankly I should have taken more notice of- the terrain was lovely likewise an Ancients game which  looked pretty good
A large Napoleonic game in the centre of the main hall looked excellent  with loads of troops and a band of enthusiastic players.
 And Best of all the Grimsby clubs fantastic Dutch Wars Naval game- the quality of the model ships was stunning. The work and effort that had gone into this project was immense..
 Google Sheffield Triples 2016 for images of this and some at least of the other games on various other blogs.
 However the quality of the "Good" games at this show is not my major point here. I expect other bloggers have given the Triples organisers a kicking but there is only so much that they can do. If several traders don't turn up  how is that the organisers fault?. If the games turn out to be crap how is that the organisers fault.
 Perhaps other blokes find these 3 foot by 3 foot minigames acceptable- some must, as there are a hell of a lot of them about these days. They even  sometimes call it "skirmish gaming" perhaps to differentiate themselves from we of the "hardcore"!!!! However consider- these games are by their very nature limited- limited space limited number of units so again by its very nature they are tactically limited too. That means limited in terms of gameplay- repetitive and ultimately little more than a dice rolling contest so after half a dozen or so games must pall and- to a decent set of working braincells become boring so why are they supposedly so popular- I simply can't work it out nless wargamers are thicker than I think they are ....
 The idea for some  seems to be that show games should be the same as "club night" or even "dining table night" but surely a "show game" should be something a bit special to show what we CAN do not merely what some  do do  as it were. I've heard the argument that a really well displayed game can put people off and it has some value but consider with that attitude  the Motor show would never have had E-type or Aston- Martins only second hand Mondeos and. London Fashion Week would be run by ASDA.(That would be Walmart for chaps across the pond )
 However Show  gamers are volunteers so organisers have no control over what they do.  Though you might make a large exception when games are being run by commercial outfits who are also trading at the show,. Spartan games for instance had 2 or 3 small tables running various of their "games"  at Triples. They and others of course do this at other shows too. Are organisers now so short of games that they let these chaps in free? I don't know. But it makes you wonder. Is"hardcore" wargaming dead then or at least unwell or uninterested in the bigger picture. Or has the bigger picture simply become much much smaller and more introverted and dare I say it Juvenile?
 Now as we know most of the club demos or PP games are run by volunteers- sometimes they have sponsorship. For Instance I have and sometimes still do sponsor show games but IF I do I want some input into what is happening. I always had that input with the Stonewall group .. Obviously I can't speak for other outfits but it does make you wonder how  things are organised these days. .  I know of Railway modelling groups for instance who EXPECT expenses from the organisers of one of their shows for turning up and running their layouts. Never heard of that at one of our events in over 30 years- though at Derby at least the winners of the various prizes received small cheques.
 So the question must be what is the incentive to put sometimes years of effort into a show game- for the commercial outfits it is obvious but for clubs? Will we see show games taken over by  commercial minigames and therefore the visible face of the hobby become narrower ?. As the definiations of what "miniatures wargaming" actually is changes on an almost weekly basis- always to the detriment of "hardcore" historical wargaming (or so it often seems to this admittedly biased observer)

 Riddle me that one dudes? 


  1. Way back in the dawn of time I was a member of SSWG and we, as a club ALWAYS used to build bespoke display games for each of the shows we attended. More often than not we came away with an award for it all as well. Andy Finch may have been the key driver in these projects but there wasnt one of us that wasnt proud of what we were able to put together.

    I dont buy that these examples of passion and creativity would put anybody off the hobby, and if it did then their place is with board games... or on an XBox. Frankly I think it would be a crying shame if we started to lose these types of games at the shows and would be a big reason not to go to them any longer... although to be honest I dont really see that happening (Thank God!!!!)


    1. Can't argue with that. I agree entirely . I recall several SSWG games of the past at Salute most especially a pirates one with a HUGE set of fortifications ... Wonderful stuff.
      Like you I don't agree with the "good stuff puts me off" argument but it IS one I hear more these days and it has appeared more than once in the pages of the Glossies.
      As I've noted previously there is a sort of on off on again anti figures crusade that buys into that twaddle.

    2. Sound like the inbred redneck I work for Avalon Hill brigade to me mate :D

  2. I think there is a move to boxed product that has a defined shelf life before the next big thing. As with most commercial opportunities, people see where the money is going and follow it, until there comes a point where interest wanes and demand collapses back to it's previous niche level. You only have to look at the discounting of Halo games and add-on packs to find evidence of that. Where it leaves the "hardcore" hobby, well, pretty much where it's always been. There will still be a demand for the "hardcore" side of the hobby, just the size of the market will change.

    1. In the "Age of the Butterfly Mind" this is inevitable I suppose and the wheel will turn faster as the toe dipping butterflies are less and less able to concentrate but shout "me want more shiny thing "