Thursday, May 07, 2015

Love hate thing....

Buoyed by an enjoyable read on Big Andy's blog [clicky] where he documented his five loves, and five hates, of wargaming, I thought I'd have a go and do my own...

"Hate" (bit strong really - 'dislike' is probably more accurate; hating something to do with wargaming is kind of a first world problem ) :

1. Hex and grid based "wargames" Without a doubt top of my list of dislikes is ...  I've blogged about this previously, so no surprise....  for the record though, they aren't wargames, you're playing a board game...  Afficianado's of the milieu (hark at me!) will say that it means you don't have to argue about measuring distances for firing or movement...  I say if you are arguing about that then you aren't playing the right opponent....  DG and I have been playing games for longer than I care to remember and we have never, ever, in all that time had an argument in a game about measurement of a move or firing distance... at heart my opposition is the appearance on the table, but also the fact that my brain doesn't seem to be able to work out distances when using hexes (a source of some amusement to DG - he was forever counting hexes for me)

Even the mug understands....


2. 6mm and/or 1/300 figures - they're not figures - they're board game pieces... (there's a trend here..  ) I speak as someone who has had WWII and ECW forces in the scale (both now passed to DG) so I have tried to like them...  for me, wargaming is about the figures, and I need to see the detail, so 6mm just doesn't hack it (I even had a WWII GHQ army, and they are about the most detailed 6mm's you can get)...  Afficianado's of the milieu (too good a phrase not to slip into the post again) say there is nothing like it for showing the panoply and scale of large battles, but over and over, all that happens is that they paint a unit with the same number of figures as they would have in a larger scale unit, but it's on a smaller base... if you're going to do it you don't want 24 tiny blobs on a tiny base, you need to use the same size bases as you would for a 15/20/25mm game, but absolutely fill it....... 

Nice brushwork - but I'll take the one on the right, please...

3. Painted eyes on miniatures - just weird..  it would keep me awake at night thinking about all those staring eyes in the loft....  following you about as you move round the table....  look at someone across the office...  any more than 50 feet and you can't see their eyes....  "don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes"

This is the way to do it... from the incomparable brush of Scott MacPhee



4. Ultra modern wargame periods - some of you may remember my recent hissy fit about the ISIS range of figures being marketed by the numb nut in the US (and that's not a xenophobic statement I hasten to add, there are numb nuts everywhere.... ) One of the interesting thing about that post was the realisation that most of my fellow gamers have their own historical high water mark, and that it can differ from gamer to gamer.....   in my case Vietnam (old hippy).... 

5. Plastics - I am at heart an old school wargamer brought up almost solely on Featherstone, Wise and Grant (the Brigadier kind of passed me by.. I think I may have read him at the time, but thought it was a "little old fashioned")... anyway, back in the day the sheer range of scales/figures/periods/manufacturers just didn't exist...  the old masters hacked Airfix figures around and added plasticine covered in banana oil (no green stuff or Miliput then) to cover the deficit, but it was implicitly understood that these were no more than a stop gap until someone bought out a suitable range in metal....  metal figures are aspirational for me, I have erred slightly on the side of Zvezda for 15mm vehicles (just lovely...) but I can't see me every buying another plastic figure - not the least because you have to assemble the damn things as well these days, whereas at least Airfix came ready assembled.... 

Bear with...  the "Love" thing will be along imminently....  feel free to blog your own likes and dislikes..  it would be quite entertaining to see how my fellow bloggerati's minds work....

24 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Foy... no need to have deleted... I know enough about you from having followed your blog this long to know it was tongue in cheek... and to be fair, clearly the other four hit a resonance?? :o))

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    2. Hi Steve - agreed - all good points - I was having a lumpy day yesterday, and couldn't think of anything worthwhile to say, so I choked it. My grandma used to say, "If you have nothing nice to say, just button it", so I try to make Grandma proud of me.

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    3. Foy - something I try to do myself.. not always successfully.... I did think afterwards by the way, if DG ever popped up from deepest darkest Wales with a hex gridded cloth a box full of 6mm and a messianic gleam in his eye, I'd still play it with pleasure... :o))

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    4. Just picked myself up from the floor!
      That time may come sooner than you think Steve ;o)
      DG

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    5. Oh Lord... what have I said...! :o))

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  2. I do like the idea of plastic figures, everyone seems to be getting in on the act, nowadays and I've got to admit the casting is second to none.....BUT, I nearly had a mental breakdown trying to glue some GB plastic vikings together. I'm not known for my patience, but what little I had was beat to death with a shovel, never, never again!!!

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    1. Ray, not quite the same, but did you ever build the Airfix Churchill 1/72 scale model...hundreds and hundreds (it seemed like) of little wheels.... all stuck to the ends of your fingers with that powerful smelling glue that dried to a glass like consistency on any missed body parts... *shudder*... never again...

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  3. Obviously I agree with you on painting eyes. Even on 1/35 models, they look . . . wrong. 6mm, though. It can look good en masse, as you write.

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    1. Scott - I'm nowhere near the brush man you are but your style for painting faces directly influenced mine... and you're right about 6mm en masse... this is the way it should be done... http://folk.uio.no/arnsteio/DBXin6mm/alexander/bilder/ps_pk_sp_top_600x395.jpg

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  4. Steve- Hex - grids- as its not wargaming I didn't bother to mention them ..... but I don't like the look they give AT- All
    I've seen teeny tiny men en masse- a thousand fig 10mm macedonian pike phalanx and it looked fine indeed but I'd never be happy with 6mm - even though I had some ones

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    1. Andy... I've tried and tried with 6mm... I've had at least a half dozen projects through the years.. after initial outings I never went back and when I thought about it afterwards it was because I couldn't engage with the little blobs.. no character... :o)

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  5. Hahaha, great post! Perfect list of fair points cleverly disguised as wind ups :)

    More please!

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  6. I agree with all your points save 5 - I'm a big fan of plastic figs - brand me a "new School" gamer on that point!
    :)

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    1. Miles - happily we're all different.. vive le difference!

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  7. Sooo much to be righteously offended by... Hex grids - the first wargame I played was a board game Panzerblitz. Candyland it ain't.

    6mm one of the first wargames by your definition was WRG/Challenger modern rules. It's about the only way to get a proper looking game (ie non-FOW tank park) with modern weapons. Oh and while I'm at it, at the time it was ultramodern. I even modeled the reserve mortar platoon I was serving in at the time.

    Painted eyes and plastics - I'm with you there generally except for some 1/48 - 1/56 plastic vehicles and 1/72 bendy figures that make it dirt cheap to try out a period before committing to lead.

    All of this is horses for courses and that is truely important is that we are happy with our horses on our courses.

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    1. Pat - I started with Panzerblitz as well...was so off put by the complexity I just used to get it out and lay the boards & pieces out for the pleasure... how times have changed!

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  8. Hi Steve

    1 Wrong
    2 Wrong
    3 Right
    4 Right
    5 Wrong

    keep up the good blog ;)

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    1. Lupus - two out of five ain't bad! Ta for the kind words!

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  9. Man I am hurt, cut to the bone :-(

    My poor 6mm's LOL

    As you said at least you have tried :-)

    Ian

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  10. Hexes ... I am a fan of them. But the biggest advantage isn't speed of play or measurement, although that's a nice side benefit. The biggest benefit is that you substitute the footprint of your unit by a hex instead of the unit's basing. Hence, less focus on basing requirements, less worrying about centimeter-adjusted placement of your troops etc. Just plop down your figures in the hex and it's all good.

    BTW, the difference between miniature wargaming and board wargaming are not the hexes. It's the open-minded spirit that surrounds miniature wargaming vs the closed-system that are boardgames. E.g. improvising scenarios, using umpires etc.

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  11. I agree with most of your comments there Steve. Especially the eyes.
    Plastics - been there & decided I don't like them overly mch. But if there was a choice between plastics in numbers or 6mm then I'd chose plastics.

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