Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Love & Hate, A Wargamers Slant

Relic of a hobby offshoot 

Paul over at Grimsby Wargaming has followed the trend of writing up his likes and dislikes of Wargaming so I thought I would follow suit.

Like Paul I will start with the dislikes (I don't really hate anything so dislike will have to do)

1. The Jerk and The Bore.
Whilst rare to have the misfortune of being both types in one I have linked them as they really deserve the top spot so why not? Someone always springs to mind whenever this subject comes up for all of us. The jerk often moans load about his bad rolls but laughs far louder at your misfortune. Will argue the rules from whatever point gains them an advantage even if argued the opposite minutes before! My worst experience was at a club game where the jerk was losing his argument and resulted in calling the others by the C word and if they did not agree with his view they should take it outside. He was in his thirties and the guys facing him 17 at the oldest, yep classy guy.
The bore just spends the whole game talking about historical accuracy, how well badly/well the rules handle this situation or just constantly repeats old stories that they ALWAYS mention every time you play. Time ticks on and you don't get to finish your game again.

2. Moving goalposts.
Rule systems that rely on your buying new supplements that you need to buy to remain up to date and it provides a new army that now can beat out that last army that beat out the others. 

3. Poor Rulebooks.
Layout and position of rules, Field of Glory, the rules are all over the place. Slowed down play and makes it difficult to learn the rules. 
Flames of War, yes I said it. I really want to like the rules, it's a great way into historical wargames for the GW customer but every time I see a AAR with pictures of tanks all in lines track to track it turns me off. However you can play it without such methods but if your opponent keeps the tactic you will more likely loose. I need to play it some more but I don't see myself going to this more than the odd game.

4. Scale and Period Snobs.
Far less troublesome than the Jerk/Bore combo I rate these as mildly annoying. These are the guys who would cross a busy street to be offended by the wrong scale or a lesser period than their personal favourite. Will often stand looking at a display game or trade stand coming out with the same old bull about too small to paint or six figures don't make a regiment. I only skirmish in 28mm and struggle to see that six figure cavalry unit as a regiment (says the man who uses nine figures for a 6mm cavalry regiment) but I am not offended by those that prefer this scale.

5. Alternative History.
Whilst I am OK with Imagination and campaign settings that are not fully historical but use historical figures, including A Very British Civil War (just) the wealth of alternatives such as On Her Majesties Service and Weird War II do leave me cold. I just do not get the logic behind the trend. The figures tend to be more expensive, the rules lend themselves to 2 above and I do think it has the potential to damage the hobby as money is moving away from mainstream. Or could it be the first signs of our hobby starting to implode as interest drops from the Historical?
I am well aware that my view stinks of 4 above, the irony does not evade me :-) But I look at the Northstar bulletins and to a lesser extent the Osprey and the space given over to this genre is large and getting larger. This shows that it's successful, so maybe I am a stick in the mud. My only saving grace is that I do not mind others enjoyment though really I should LOL.

OK onto the positive.
1. Friends.
It should be corny but I know all of you understand how it really is. Most of my internet friends are, well acquaintances and nothing at all wrong with that. Mind you they know more about me than my neighbours and I am OK with that. However I have friendships that I value greatly. From the long ago next door neighbour through flat mate all the way to the internet friends I have met and made strong bonds with. I guess all other hobbies are the same, I have witnessed the friendships my wife has struck up in her stitching hobby but I can't honestly see any matching a number of the friendships I have gained over the years. I meet up with one most Saturday nights for some VASL ASL and the game is second to the chatting we get to do, marvellous.

2. Memories.
Too many to count and they keep on coming. The hobby is rich with them. Be it playing a large ASL scenario for 18 hours over two days to lose on the last dice roll at 2am and then sitting jawing about it till 4am as too jazzed to go to bed! To attending the first and second Blog-Con's and starting up some new and meaning friendships. Project Waterloo will supply a raft of these and I can look back with pride on most of my experiences and hope to have learnt from the ones that I am not proud of.

3. The History.
My knowledge of war and social history has far more to do with my interest in wargaming than any other factor. Don't get me wrong, I was into history before I leant about wargames though only by about three years but the real thirst stems from wargaming.

4. Painting.
This could have been number three, indeed I consider it equal to the history. Since getting back into the hobby I have spent a great deal of time on painting, far more than gaming and I still think that rediscovering painting in the darkest days of my illness has a big share in my recovery and continues to keep me healthy. I paint a lot of hours a week and yet it remains a joy to do. I am very lucky my wife continues to support my need to paint and understands the benefit for me.

5. Playing Games.
I am lucky that I am at that point in life where both myself and my mates are into the games for the fun factor. It's a rare event that someone gets annoyed about a rule query, though we often have opinions why that rule sucks we live with the rule or it has been house ruled into conforming to our collective view. Please note, disregard this point for games at Kev's Cabin, were still working out the bits we don't like or agree with and not all views are shared LOL.

Well I have missed out a few points in both pro and neg but on the whole that about covers it. I would like to play more often and Kev now provides for a weekly session though I can't always make it whilst Lee and Matt give me less games than I really want with them but they are always packed with fun when I can get them. Life is good regards the hobby, well better than good it's rather splendid and yes I know I am a lucky man.


  1. Really interesting and I agree with all except alternative histories. Although I could substitute it with fantasy and my version would be word for word. Hate magic and don't wan't to be be a 19th level pixie

    1. I like fantasy, 19th level pixies are the best LOL


  2. OMG! I'm a scale and period snob... Okay it's a fair cop. ;-)

    I'll chip in on Alternate History... for me you are describing Sci-Fi/Fantasy, nothing 'historical' about them whatsoever.

    In fact I sometimes get the feeling that history is beginning to become a dirty word as far as some games go, which is not helped by the button-counters (or bores) pouring scorn on people who paint brass buttons "when everyone knows that they were pewter after breakfast on 4th May 1776".

    Good post!

    1. I have no problem with Si-Fi (but not my cup of tea) nor Fantasy as they don't try to emulate history fudging the boundaries.

      Historical has come under attack and as you say not helped by the jerk element. Not that I think pure history has anything to worry about from the ones who dislike history in favour of Fantasy/Si-Fi as they tend to be poles apart anyway.


    2. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy fantasy and sci-fi and read a fair bit too... it's probably unfair to lump 'Weird War' in with them to be honest, as most sci-fant is far more imaginative, Games of Thrones being the obvious example, but there are many others.

      When I talk about alternate history, I see the possible (however implausible) rather than the impossible; Britain and Italy going to war over Abyssinia in 1936, Kennedy invading Cuba in 1962 and yes, even VBCW.

      Germany not only hanging on after 1945 and not only developing advanced tech items, but also having the capacity to make them into the bargain? My Little Pony is more plausible. ;-)

    3. For me it's Steam Punk and such, funny how it seems to be attracting gamers who would not have looked at GW but go for this, just seems a little off kilter to me