Friday, October 10, 2014

A wargaming first, some Miniature Wargames articles, a fantastic prize and some splendid flags...





Well, not much progress on the painting front this week, other than a little bit of work on the Romans and a tentative start on my first Mars Attacks Martian.  My wargaming activities, however, continue apace thanks to the generous invitations of Eric the Shed.  This week, in the Shed, it was another new set of rules for me as we played Warmaster, the micro Warhammer game.  This was an interesting set of rules and for me, anyway, who is used to 28mm games, the amount of manouevre was rather liberating.  Although perhaps some of the permitted 180 degree turn sweeping manouevres were perhaps a little too extreme.  Still, I am gradually adapting to the concept of a game as opposed to a historical reenactment.  In fact, I realised, this was the first wargame I had ever played in anything other than 28mm!  It certainly made me happier about the big War and  Empire 15mm Kickstarter I have signed up for as maybe I will be able to play a game with mini figures!  Whether I'll be able to paint them is a different question.  Next week I have to decide which army to start with and I haven't got a clue yet! 


These were just our casualties


Eric and I were on the side of the Empire and our now quite regular other shed visitors played orcs and goblins.  In the end, after nearly three hours play, we had a draw; with both sides having lost half our units.  We played in quite a leisurely way until Eric, sensing a crushing defeat, went into blitzkrieg mode and ruthlessly selected enemy units to destroy to bring us back from the brink of disaster.  It's all about destroying whole units and I was spreading my attacks amongst multiple units, instead of wiping out one and moving to the next one, so my opponent scuttled off to a remote part of the board (and with 10mm figures you can have remote parts of the board) with several remnants of units which, however, did not contribute to our victory conditions. Something to remember next time!  I just don't have a gaming brain!


Some of my painted Battle of Five armies figures


I do have the GW Battle of Five Armies 10mm set which uses a version of the Warmaster rules, so maybe I need to get those out.  The only problem is that any extra figures now cost a fortune on eBay!  


A fiercely contested hill


I have only played one game of Warhammer; about seven or eight years ago at Guildford. I have embarked on collecting Warhammer armies several times for the full scale version (Dwarves, Empire and Dark Elves) but always got rid of them, reasoning that Lord of the Rings was enough for fantasy games for me.  Still, it is a shame that Games Workshop has stopped supporting Warmaster, as it was a fun way to play in the Warhammer universe without the incredibly time consuming painting their larger figures now need. I do wonder whether the increasing detail on these figures, and subsequent longer painting time, contributes somewhat to a loss of interest from teenagers.  Maybe a simpler, cleaner sculptural approach like Mike Owen's would work better and encourage more painted armies.  




Apropos to this subject, this month's Miniature Wargames contains one of those 'wargaming is dying' articles.  These are rather like the articles about hypersonic planes flying from London to Sydney in ninety minutes; I am sure I have been reading them for thirty years now.  Mr Barry Hilton bangs on about how all wargamers are middle aged and no youngsters are coming into the hobby.  Sound familiar?  My theory on this is that wargaming is, mostly, a middle aged man's hobby, always has been and always will be.  I played as a teenager and then stopped and didn't resume until I was in my early forties.  As I get older I get more nostalgic for things from my past (probably why I bought a book on Captain Scarlet yesterday) and I suspect others come back to wargaming, or even start it anew, when they are older.  So I suspect that those who give up on Warhammer 40K at the age of sixteen (or whenever else they discover girls) will reappear as historical wargamers twenty-five years later.  

Henry Hyde, the otherwise estimable editor of the magazine, has been trying to get his readers to sign up to Twitter (has anything been so aptly named?) and this month explained how to retweet something.  I have to say I didn't understand a word of this piece and it wasn't helped by being illustrated using text that was so small that even with my glasses I was struggling to read it.  The core of his argument was "the more people who retweet us, the more widely our posts are seen and the more followers we get".  This, to me is where I fundamentally fail to understand this aspect of social media.  I enjoy writing my various blogs but almost solely for the pleasure of writing about something other than infrastructure projects.  I enjoy the bits of research I do and taking, locating and formatting pictures.  I do this for myself and am constantly amazed that anyone else wants to read my ramblings.  With Twitter and Facebook, however, the prime motivation  seems to be to collect friends, followers or likes; like Red Indians collecting scalps.  I am pleased that I have some followers who regularly take time to comment on my blogs but the bizarre Twitter and Facebook system seems to venerate the acquisition of quantity of followers and is not concerned, for example,  with any inherent quality of content.  It's not, "how interesting are my thoughts" but "how many people like them".  Tragic.




Anyway, much more positive news this week with the arrival of two books from Mr Daniel Mersey, author of Dux Bellorum.  He had a competition on his blog to win a copy of his new medieval rules, Lion Rampant.  Much to my surprise he kindly selected me as the winner and yesterday I took delivery of Lion Rampant and his book on King Arthur plus some roster cards..  Both of these were on my shopping list so I was surprised and delighted to win them.  These look ideal to sort out the issue I have of a number of late dark ages/early medieval periods I have been thinking about for some time.  I am initially thinking of, perhaps, Normans and Byzantines or El Cid or, indeed, Wars of the Roses.  ALl of which I have some painted figures for.  I am also very taken by the work Dalauppror has been doing on some Scandinavian forces and am very tempted by that too.  Also, there are the new Perry plastic Hundred Years War figures which give me thoughts of small encounters in France, without having to build full sized armies for Agincourt. Then of course there is Robin Hood!   Lots of options!   I'll do a more in-depth post on the rules another day but 24 to 60 figures a side sounds perfect for me!
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Another splendid fellow came to my rescue as regards flags for my recently completed Afghans.  Someone was asking on TMP (yes, I am still going there) about Afghan flags as well and Mr Patrick Wilson of that excellent site The Virtual Armchair General said he had got some he would email for free, as they were something of a work in progress.  Well, I thought, a work in progress is better than nothing at all so I sent him an email and he sent the lovely flags back by return.  I have bought his flags for the Sudan in the past and they are excellent.  I plan to give my Afghan standard bearer something to wave this weekend!


12 comments:

  1. Lion Rampant look like a nice set of rules, and the right number of figures for me! Any bigger and I'd never get them painted. Actually I haven't painted anything for ages...must try and get going again.

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    1. Perhaps we should pick a period and co-ordinate some forces!

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  2. Witter (sic) is the internet equivalent of a pyramid selling scheme.. and to be avoided at all costs...

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  3. Twitter looks bonkers, to me, but I must say that I have come to appreciate Facebook. This is not so much for collecting followers, but for the instant messaging feature, which has proved very useful for quick chats with mates. Also gives me some idea about what various wargaming chums are up to. Of course, it is yet another distraction...

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    1. The thing about Facebook is that everything on your page seems to be a post from someone else over which you have no control.

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    2. Not "your" particular page, of course. I set up a facebook page once and linked up with friend in Arizona. Unfortunately he was a LGBT activist at the University of Phoenix so my page started being deluged with gay friendly event notifications. So I closed the account down!

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  4. Delighted to welcome you again to the Shed. Interesting comment about youngsters...you'd think my 14 year old son might have a vague interest cos of my hobby...no.

    Much more interested in computer games, the opposite sex and music. However last weekend at BLAM he played several games and had a blast. Who knows maybe he'll want to get involved in the Shed...after all his nom de guerre is Shedson

    See ya soon

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    1. I think that anything their father's do is uncool by definition. I wish my son would show some interest in the opposite sex, as opposed to just Xbox!

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    2. Seriously just remove the xbox you will have a load of grief for about a week but net result he is much happier now

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  5. Oh dear. I have just bought him a TV for the extension...

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  6. Excellent article

    http://www.10mm-wargaming.com/

    Take care

    Andy

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