Oh yeah, this is not going to bare any resemblance to Eat Pray Love, in case you were wondering or have read the book.
So lets start with Hate. Why should I find anything to hate about a hobby I choose to be involved in would be my first observation, so I gave it some thought and this is what I came up with. Long winded as usual but I think if you are going to bore the pants off people you should do it properly.
I should also point out that I'm more Old School than new, I love my figures shiny, I cherish and play Grant and Featherstone rules, I find green painted contour block terrain and home made balsa scenery a joy to look at... particularly with a regiment of Willies or Surens holding the ridge from all comers. Do I limit myself to the old ways, not likely. I enjoy looking at and reading glossy new rules, talking to people that play them. I've embrace the new approaches that gamers and designers have introduced to the hobby, and if I don't find something appealing or useful to me and my hobby I don't have to buy it or adopt it but accept that others do.
So on with the show
While I was mulling my "that shits me" part of the post over It occurred to me that when it comes to dislikes a theme was definitely starting to develop, my dislikes all shared a common root ie people or to be more precise whinging people. This is sort of odd because one of my chief likes in regards to war gaming is the people. Maybe having been a bit of a whinger in my working life (who doesn't though) I now find the type eternally annoying, besides life is too brief to be spoilt by your own or listening to others boring whinges.
|and now I don't need to whinge anymore|
2. The rules winger exhibit B. I'm referring to that champion of all that is wrong with the latest set to hit the shelves, but doesn't own the rules or play them. Either the rules are too expensive or have too many colour plates or they are too dumbed down or the author is too popular or not as knowledgeable as the complainant or all of the above and more (authors seem to be an easy target for the type). In every case it is the thin edge of the wedge or the very thing that will make the hobby implode or corporate greed feeding off imbeciles much too stupid to think for themselves. The most remarkable aspect is these chaps have, in just about every single example I can think of never owned a copy, never borrowed and read a copy and never played a game using a copy of the rules yet they are fully qualified to pass judgement. Be very afraid if they are called up for jury duty.
|War gamer formulation, extra strong.|
3. The rules lawyer whinger, it is an easy term to kick around and to label people with so I shall explain. In my opinion it is the type of chap or gal with a uncanny recall of every sentence in a set of rules and also every circumstance not covered by the rules. And here is the rub, they display an incomplete understanding of historical tactics and battlefield nuance, or more correctly, deliberately ignores them in the interest of a favourable outcome with a ready argument to justify their position. This is how I describe a rules lawyer, frankly I cant think of anything as likely to destroy my enjoyment of a game more than these pests. Indeed I will often excuse myself from a game if one is in attendance and asked to be informed when the game is over and another due to start, that is how I deal with them. You may think the bat and ball approach only serves to make me look foolish (pfffft, as if i need help with that) but when you find reasoned discussion fruitless as often as I have try it, life is too short to be wasting it on un-enjoyable games.
4. The observer whinger, never games just hangs around the table edge commenting "that shade of green is all wrong for January 43 - mid May 44 pea dot cammo" "RPG's don't have that range in real life in fact they are blah blah blah " "that figure is completely wrong, Vikings start their beard plats left hand over not right" "your watermill should be undershot for this period the over shot mill was developed some where around the blah blah blah". Usually inhabit the fringes of demo games but may be found at your weekly garage game, these types usually have the biggest piles of shame (lead mountain) and will offer to sell you figures at 10% more than the retailers asking price.
|You know you want to|
Interlude, as the title suggests this is a Hate Play Love post, I have done away with the hate... or the "things that shit me" as I prefer and it is time for the Play.....
|Can you guess what I'm going to be playing this year?|
Some WF Saxons thegns and fyrd which will provide ample opportunity and spare parts for some creative conversions and lastly, what you cant see (in the baggies), a good haul of Foundry Vikings for my wife's SAGA war band. Foundry figures offer some lovely stereotypical caricature miniatures just right for SAGA's individually based figure system. Now I just have to get the shield maiden set to go with.
Now in case some of you missed that bit, I said my wife's war band, yep SAGA and a certain telly show, have got my wife into having a go at war gaming. Amazing what an overpriced, dumbed down, glossy, corporaty set of rules coupled with a non historically correct, button counters nightmare, fantasy of a telly (which never tried to be more than a piece of telly entertainment you pedantic so and so's) show can do. Fortunately buying second hand I didn't fall into the trap of purchasing Gripping Beast figures and displaying my inability to think for myself. I bought my 2nd hand GB figures about a month ago and they are being prepped for Impetus instead
It's time to feel the Love people
1. This is too easy the "thing" I love the most about war gaming is the interweb. The whole wide world of gaming is at your command, obviously the most (not necessarily important) useful aspect would have to be that it has changed the whole dynamic of buying figures, rules and other accoutrement. For those living outside of the UK (arguably the home of figure manufacture) this is a massive plus, we can browse, compare, decide and pay with a few simple clicks. And then there is blogging, I can see what you and you and you are doing, how you paint or bases and game with your toys, blogging is a wonderful tool, I don't really have to spell it out do I. Forums? While forums are a great place to have an in depth discussion involving more than 3 or 4 people face book is (and I predicted so, along with many others) where it is at at the moment, war gaming companies were a little slow to take fb up as a whole but now they are on board (most anyway) and we can get our gaming news as it happens, and we can share links and ideas with our mates instantly, even via video chat. One last word on forums.... ahhh.... nope I wont go into this, let me just say I would recommend the Lead Adventure and Steve Dean forums over any other nowadays, if I were to be asked by a noob. Want a quick intro to your new SAGA rules or Impetus or any number of rules to see how the game plays and study the mechanics, jump on You Tube, there is sure to be a video on how to play. Finally I have met (in the virtually sense) and kept in touch with some wonderful people over the internet, I cant imagine anything that has enhanced my hobby more in the last, almost 40 years that I have been gaming.
|Working that lead mountain|
3. Painting, sculpting and modelling, some may call one or all a chore but I don't see how you can be a war gamer without having an attraction to painting ye olde hoard of figures (okay painting services do make it possible). Yes painting can be a pain in the arse sometimes, but I loves it anyhows and you get a real sense of achievement when that motley collection of bare white metal men/women/vehicles/mechs are finally finished, same goes for scenery, basing or conversion tasks. We have great quality paints and brushes to work with nowadays (ahh I miss the smell of Humbrol enamel in the evening), beautiful transfers for our shields and flags for those that can't, green stuff and such like to flex our sculpting/conversion muscles and that much under rated material MDF which really has made this gaming life so much easier, whether you buy pre-cut or scratch build MDF is the ducks guts.
|I love converting figures, now if I just give this a little tap....|
4. Research, yep, collecting books and studying the history of the period I'm gaming. Once armed with "the knowledge" I can then go on and create a narrative for a campaign, series of scenarios and even rules! ImagiNations, those endearing creations would not be possible without a solid grounding in the history, political and military, of the period, a Very British Civil War or the Weird War themed games require a good knowledge of the history of the times and then set the gamer free to go with their imagination. Some might say I'm talking a load of old tosh, maybe, but let me point you in the direction of a certain chap who must be the premier example of carefully studied history unleashed into fantasy a certain Mr J.R.R.Tolkein. I guess the same could be said of sci-fi creation, I'm not a fan of sci-fi so I shan't try to comment. Yep, studying a given period in history and creating a narrative for a campaign or even a battle whether fictional or otherwise is a truly wonderful thing... well I think it is.
|It's easier than it looks|
Thanks for looking
As usual all errors grammatically and in composition are the sole responsibility of google and the reader