"If men make war in slavish obedience to rules, they will fail."A quote from one of my favourite characters of the American Civil War, Ulysses S Grant, which seems very apt to me in respect of the approach a number of folk in our hobby take to a game. You know the type, I'm sure: slavish adherence to the rules as written, allied with a total lack of imagination, seeming inability to think for themselves and an apparent lack of any historical knowledge beyond perusing the captions to an illustration in the odd Osprey. A harsh judgement you may think, but I've encountered a few of these in my time I have to say. On the other hand, I am blessed with the friendship and company of a small group of like minded chums, for whom the rules ~ even ones I may have written ~ are merely a starting point for discussion. A healthy scepticism in approaching any rule set will, even after much labour, always produce a better experience than merely following the text blindly I believe. Moral of the tale? Rules, like laws, are for the guidance of the wise and the obedience of fools.
|U S Grant hisself|
Of course, you can deduce from this that I'm not into competitive wargaming ~ the wargames equivalent of synchronised swimming in my opinion! I keep a record of my games each month, purely for fun and to know how our games went, much like I keep a tally of figures painted, places or events I've been to and stuff I've bought, and sold, for the hobby. All just for fun really, but I do look back over it from time to time, to see what I've been up to when the old memory lets me down.
|Making notes on the hoof?|
I had such a moment recently when my non gaming brother in law mentioned something he'd read on my Blog, so I've delved back into the record just to see...
Taking the first six months of 2013 as my field of enquiry I find that I played 33 games in all, of which I won only 9; drawing a further 6, and sadly losing 18 in all! Clearly as a gamer I'm more of a Wigan than a Manchester United! I played the most games in May, 9 in all, but I find at least I won one game each month! Perhaps I'm not beyond hope after all? But, the main thing is, I know that I enjoyed each and every game, and I put that far above winning as a desired outcome in my hobby.
|Probably my 'best' effort at painting|
Turning to painting: I find I've painted 279 28mm figures this year so far, in a whole eclectic mix of periods, reflecting the way I've diversified my interests in the eleven years since I retired. I know that I feel that my painting muse is weaker than it was, but the figures don't seem to back this up, so I must have a stern word with myself I think.
|Did you say left here Phil?|
In the area of visits this year I have been to a number of shows: Vapnartak, WMMS, Salute, Triples and Partizan. I've also been over to the Foundry shop in Nottingham twice, which came as a surprise as I only recalled going earlier this month! Perhaps the visit I enjoyed the most though was to Battlefront/WI HQ to stage the refight of Devil's Den from the iconic Battle of Gettysburg, which I was subsequently to write up for the WI Salute special. A timely boost it proved for my Bull Run to Gettysburg rules too, as I gather Foundry have sold out of them now!
Now, none of us knows what tomorrow may bring, but I do hope that the second half of the year, and many more years to come, will bring my small group of chums and myself great enjoyment, boundless pleasure, and good company ~ an even the odd win for myself perhaps! But, whatever aspect of wargaming floats your boat, I hope no less for you than I do for myself! That our wonderful hobby will reward us with good times, good games and good dice!