Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Model making for a living

Are all wargamers modelers?  In my experience, generally so.  That being the case, if you want to turn your hobby into your profession you might wish to stress the modelling aspect.  Here's a couple (sort of) recent articles from Australia about people who make ends meet by making miniatures.  One does it part time, as her first love is the theatre, the second works for the big boys in defence.

I was waiting for a third similar story before posting but it's been a while now and none has crossed my path.  I assume therefore that most professional miniature makers remain unemployed.  Joy.

Monday, July 08, 2019


According to this news article, Role Playing Games have become socially acceptable behaviour, no longer the sole preserve (soul preservative?) of 'geeks' and other social misfits.  This is reflected in the growth, popularity and commercialisation of such practices as cosplay and comic art, recreationists, and its standard's use as a trope (?) in pop culture icons such as 'Stranger Things'.

Fair enough, just goes to show it means something to everyone.

Also mentioned is a Wizard of the Coast employee stating in 2016 that sales of the latest edition of the AD&D Players Handbook had tripled all previous iterations.  If it's profitable, it must be good.  Right?

Digital and communications technologies now provide enhancements of the experience and facilitate the spread of the game into the broader population.  In some ways this works contra to the Wizard of the Coast definition of 'good' (ie. removing the need to buy expensive books and have a maths degree to go dungeon crawling).  On both fronts, a good thing.

Finally, the article draws reference to the growth of grrrrl power and other demographic changes in the population of RPGers.  On reflection, all but one of my RPG groups over the decades had at least one regular female player (and in defence of my first group, at 13 years old we didn't know many girls except for my annoying 11 year old sister).  I'm pretty sure that in those days no one over twenty in Adelaide had even heard of the concept.  I have since played RPGs with younger generations, so that's changed, but I do wonder how many female DMs there are?

All in all, an interesting opportunity to reflect on what's changed and what's not.  I bet first time adventurers still get into a bar fight in their first town.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Memory of 'Bloody Omaha'

It's 75 years since the D Day landings, 25 years since I participated in a 6mm exhibition rendering of the landings at Omaha at the South Australian Historical Wargaming Society's open day.  I was the German CinC and had only one subordinate commander.  I think the invading hordes had at least three commanders at work.

My memories are limited and there are no photos of the game that have come into my possession (though I know some were taken).  I recall endless repetitive waves of landing craft, shore defences being pounded by naval salvos and then swathed in smoke, reinforcements being destroyed on their way to the front by swarms of fighter bombers.  All very depressing, especially when my promised armour never turned up.  Still, an enjoyable game and recalled with pleasure this long time later.  From memory, we had at least a division of americans modelled, and several understrength german battalions across a table measuring at least 8' square.  Amazing what we could do in the days of our youth.

The game inspired me to learn a lot more about this important event in 20th century history.  I'm still learning, could probably write a book or three on the subject myself.  And there's still so much more to take on board.  It's fascinating how an event such as this, huge as it was, is so difficult to get one's head around even now. 

It took me around two hours to recount the tale of the invasion to my grandson (he's taken up asking me for stories about 'real' events and people these days).  It would have been nice if one of the TV networks had shown 'The Longest Day'.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

We're not in Adelaide any more...

You know, a lot has changed since 2013, those dark days when my gaming life appeared to end and most of the rest of it to be unraveling.  Back then, a new boss at work (not like The Who said, this one was worse, way worse), midlife crises, and lots of other stuff going on led to some difficult times.  Thank goodness I discovered ice hockey, running and fitness generally.  And then they offered reasonable redundancy packages at work and then me and the missus found a nice little cottage in a small country town a couple hours north of Adelaide, and ... and ... and ... and I'm sure you get the picture.

Now, all these years later as the gamer in me re-emerges, I realise that this ol' blog's title probably doesn't really reflect reality anymore.  I could change the title, I could start a new blog, I could do lots of things.  But I reckon I'll leave it as it is and just keep going from where I left off.  Tipping my hat to my own legacy, I suppose.

So what does 2019 hold in store.  Well projects in various stages of gestation include finding some opponents to play Here I Stand - Wars of the Reformation (GMT games), getting together some saxons and arthurian britons and vikings and having a go with Dux Bellorum, and getting in a game or two of Stratego - Waterloo.

Oh, and getting the library organised.  I've just finished insulating a big shed out the back which is now lined with book cases, of which one shelf is stacked with games books and a couple crates of rules and scenarios and a few more crates of board games, and a few boxes of figures and scenery, etc etc etc.

We'll see how we go.