Monday, April 03, 2006


So, Ive been wargaming for a long time. No, a really long time. In my defence I started very young; back when librairies actually had books on this sort of thing I came across a copy of a Terry Wise book on wargaming and started using a dice to decide which of my 1/35th scale airfix and corner shop soldiers would get blasted out of my back yard trenches next. That sufficed for a while, until a charles grant book fell into my possession with simpler rules. I had something basic to work with, and transferred to 1/72nd scale matchbox and airfix soldiers. Pretty soon a selection of plastic kits that were often beyond the abilities of my eight year old fingers started to follow, along with model railway scenery looted from my dad and brother and a board on the floor of the spare bedroom. As a child opponents were initially easy to find, until most kids either discovered football, girls or beer; after that, in late 1970's Britain, there was no particular hideaways for devotees of toy soldiery. According to the books I had, you needed to be a veteren of at least one world war, and own a tweed jacket to play with model soldiers.

Incidentally, to my childhood shame, my parents bought just such a tweed jacket for me, our holidays abroad saw us parade around like Anglican missionaries.

Anyway, this devotee made it through the early eighties on solo gaming and it has to be said a fair amount of secrecy about my odd little hobby, arcade games and pop music were a lot cooler things to be able to talk about at school; I kept my head down, studied very occaisinally, and filled a draw and several creakily built shelves with gradually more competantly assembled tanks.

Eventually, when my parents judged it slightly unhealthy that I wasn't inclined to get out much I was allowed to go to an odd little place called a wargaming club; a friend of my dad would go every so often and so I was encouraged to give it a try. From then on it was assured that what may well have been grown out of, when I discovered beer, became an enduring obsession, when I first saw 15mm figures, by the hundred, painted and arrayed on bases together advancing across carefully made terrain on massive tables!

Also a like minded group of similar teenaged gamers made for all the social life my folks wanted me to have; I wasn't going to complain either!

Over the years since then I've lasped at times; eventually beer and girls got in the way of little men for a few years, there was a questionable period of fantasy gaming and roleplaying (no regrets but I doubt I'll go back to it now). Latterly I had to move away from the wonderful club of my younger days - work can do that to a man (curse it, curse it all to hell!) - and ended up resorting to popular store brands to get any sort of games at all for a while. But once life settled down, the buying of miniatures and the planning of everything from skirmishes to great campaigns began again. The lead and plastic never seem to go away.

The last count showed 5000 of the blighters painted on my shelves.

So here we are in the digital age; so what better than a blog to record victories and defeats, battles planned and fought; painting projects, hints and tips? Well, it seems all the rage anyway, and I'm not short of idea's I hope. I don't know if this will be terribly helpful to anyone, but, in the world of wargaming, maybe it'll at least become an interesting read...

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