Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Friday, 8 August 2014

Blasts From The Past Part Three

Books are not the only source of inspiration, the most obvious other diversion made of paper has to be the wargames magazine. My first experience of this was whilst in sixth form bought from the newsagents in the local town and being.....

Yes issue ten, and whilst I still have this issue it's not in the best of shape with the cover being detached and dog eared. Looking at it these days and you have to think it's not that polished but back in the day it was EXACTLY what a new gamer needed. I do wonder if the modern editors could do well to revisit such early publications and try to emulate some of the feel that these old mags produced at the time. I subbed to this magazine well into the 100+ though by this time I was also getting Illustrated Wargames. Anyone remember the days of MW for the articles and WI for the eye candy?

Eventually I found that I was reading less and less till I was often doing little more than flick through them. Finally I cancelled both and have never had a full time professional mag since, unless you count Arquebus or English Civil War Notes and Queries in the same category as wargame mags. Still these magazines introduced me to many more periods scales and ideas. I was like a sponge in those early years and I think a lot of my preferences remain fixed due to those mags and it seemed that anything was possible though I think all the images of those beautiful 28mm Napoleonic's actually put me off trying Napoleonic's in that scale. Indeed it was quite a while before I actually tried Napoleonic's at all.

Of course the other big influence has to be ones mates. Andy who was my first wargame opponent and the one to get me into the hobby in the first place also had the Avalon Hill WWI boardgame The Guns of August and the idea that this type of game actually existed was a revelation to me and we played it a few times and whilst it's not the best game in the world (yes it replicated WWI fairly well) it was the game that got me into war boardgames and for a time I had quite a collection though one game was to take the centre stage and it's grown up brother is still with me to this day.

Squad Leader and Advanced Squad Leader deserve a post all to themselves which will be the following Blast but it's a fitting place to end tonight's post. If on discovering this game I had found an opponent who was as into it as I was I am fairly sure I would have dropped out of figure gaming many years before I did. I sure am glad this did not happen as I would not have developed my painting to a point I would have come back to the hobby and when all is said and done ASL is one hell of a jealous girl when it comes to sharing you with the rest of the hobby.

11 comments:

  1. MW for the articles and WI for the pictures - spot on!

    I've still got all my issues, must be a hundred of each I think. Not sure what I'm going to do with them.

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    1. I got rid of the WI I think, the MW are in the loft but I plan to get some down for my Son to look through

      Ian

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  2. I owned a copy of Squad Leader in high school but I never found an opponent if I had I might not have gotten into miniatures either.

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    1. I loved SL, I think if they had stuck with SL it would have never grown to the size of ASL but Don Green felt ASL was his biggest mistake as they never made money from it due to man hours spent.

      Ian

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  3. My word you really do have a fabulous wargame pedigree! I've heard of Squad Leader but never played it I'm afraid.

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    1. I have been a lucky guy in that I got into wargames when it was starting to flourish and was at an age I could throw myself into it. I also had plenty of opponents allowing me the chance to play lots of different games

      Ian

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  4. Many of us seem to follow a similar path into the world of wargaming. I started at junior school playing Napoleonics with Airfix figures mostly unpainted. Then ACW and WW2, and then discovered the board wargames of which Squad Leader was my favourite and still is. For a while didn't play miniature games. Never played ASL though.

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    1. ASL does demand much if you want to be any good at it. I was averaging 90+ games a year until I got back in to figure games. I get 40+ now but have been in a drop off for months now but coming back out the other side. I think once I have the pressure of the Waterloo painting off me I will increase further again

      Ian

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  5. That brought back memories, had them all at one point. There is a certain something about the old magazines .

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    1. As I said above I will get them down for my son but I think I will poke my nose back in them again

      Ian

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  6. A lot of souvenirs for me! Squad leader, of course, and also Guns of August, fantastic games...

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