David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occassional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, onetime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.



Saturday, 1 May 2021

I was just thinking...

 ...apropos of nothing in particular, but hobby and personal stuff in general rather. I suppose in part it was all pushed to the fore in my thoughts by a visit recently to the National Trust's Wightwick Manor to meet up with Phil and Charles for a socially distanced - God how I hate all this coronavirus malarky - coffee and chat. Chewing the hobby fat is one of the mainstays of our hobby I would maintain, whether over the table during a game, at a club night in general, but perhaps more importantly when meeting one's wider circle of friends at one of the many wargames shows across the country. 

Well obviously, for most of us here in the UK at least, all of these have been hit on the head by various Borisbans over the last seven months or more. Many folk of course have found ingenious ways around this enforced hobby solitude, most innovatively via online games hosted through technology available via zoom and the like. So I'm sure like me you've followed game reports from Phil, Matt and Colin for example highlighting games they've staged as the months have dawdled by. You may even have been able to participate in such games yourself, unlike me of course as regular visitors to my blog will of course have noticed over the last few months.

It's well over seven months now since the last face to face game staged here in GHQ. As a profoundly hearing impaired wargamer Zoomed games, lacking subtitles, are not possible, as I couldn't hear anything said to me, necessary for playing the game of course! That extends to chatting over the phone or via Duo and it's ilk too. In short I could easily be described as a true Billy No Mates for the duration! That is were it not for three lifelines that have sustained me when the old black dog has drawn near or threatened to hang around too long: that is, the rich vein of fellow gamers' online blogs and forum boards;  my monthly hobby boost provided by Wargames Illustrated; both supplemented by text chats with Matt, Phil, Jon, Kevin and Dan (at Wargames Illustrated) . Without these I doubt I would have got through all the attendant malarchy sustained just by the creative elements of the hobby in the form of painting, modelling and planning! I'm still here, still enthused by our marvellous hobby and sustained by family and good friends! Thank you all! Roll on 17 May when the first game here in GHQ will burst into life I hope! A Punic Wars debut for Coronus Cunctator(Phil) against Hannibal Bicca(yours truly) with the two new armies painted under conditions I hope never  to have to encounter again!

Dan hard at it in GHQ MK1 taking pictures to accompany one of the two articles I provided for WI's 300th celebratory issue.
Phil handing out another thrashing the last time I was hors de combat, thanks to my hip replacement!
Lord Walton/Jon surveying the field with his usual skill prior to giving me another beating I expect.
The next generation of enthusiasts in the form of two of our grandchildren, William and Emma. Probably the only important contribution I may have made to our hobby.


24 comments:

  1. As you rightly say wargaming is more than just painting, collecting and playing and the interaction with like minded people is by far the most important aspect, without that the rest is, merely something to while away the long, dark evenings. We should take cheer however that the plague is to all intents and purposes over and the vaccinations have worked, I hope to jump back in with two feet and get to use all those new items as soon as I can. Courage mon Brave.

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to respond George, it's always good to hear from chums as I say.

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  2. Good to hear that you are still beavering away at all sorts of things. Being anti-social has meant that I have coped with this quite well and my weekly Facebook entries have kept me beavering away at projects as I haven't done in years. Take care!

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    1. I've followed your splendid progress on Farcebook John, but space gnomes and fairies, well...

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  3. Thanks David, and your blog has been one of those that has sustained me, not just through Covid times but during the 8 years I was in foreign climes and wargames were a long and expensive plane ride in any direction. Alphonse De Bickla looks in need of one of the officers camp chairs that seem to have been a thing in the Mahratta states. Effectively a well leather upholstered folding deck chair which included wide arms and a place for ones drink and cheroot. I have a picture of one somewhere, alas I never bought one but settled for the rourkee chair of the later C19th.

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    1. Thank you for the kind words and encouragement Graham. Next time I drive to Phil's for a game, a mere 15 miles or so, I shall remember your 'plane ride away'!

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  4. We are indeed blessed to have such an hobby I hope other fellow hobbyists have similar experience during these trying of times. With light at the end of the tunnel spurring onward to better times. May the 17th be with us.

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  5. I suppose one thing to take away from this time of madness... is the highlighting that there is more to wargaming than just painting and playing with the toys...
    Like you I have missed the chance to get together with like minded souls and talk hobby.
    As fun as my FaceTime games with my daughter are... I much prefer a face to face game with people I like. Solo games are okay...but I really only play them as a way of getting to know a set of rules... and the knowledge that I am guaranteed a victory 😁
    All the same I am not sure how I would have coped without the creative side to keep me going and the contact and support from my fellow bloggers.
    With my second vaccination jab flowing through my veins I am looking forward to getting back to something I consider normality.
    It’s been well over a year since we have put the world to rights... far to long.
    Keep up the good work.

    All the best. Aly

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    1. Thanks for dropping in to comment Aly, especially as you agree with me. From your text though it seems you don't like your daughter, shurely Shum Mishtake...?

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    2. I see what you mean 😂
      Of course I don’t like her... I love her to bits

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    3. We are all pleased to read that now I suspect.

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  6. The old saying “you don’t realise what you had until its gone!” perhaps will now ensure that the downward trend on show support that was happening in some places before the pandemic, will see a dramatic reversal of fortune and the shows will become more valued and treasured by a wider audience. I think I have missed the shows more than anything else.

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    1. I hope you are right on shows Norm, I've really missed those as well. I see from the Partizan website today that Crisis in November is cancelled now. Not a good omen I'd say.

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    2. One of the other reasons, aside from Covid and the issues Europe is currently having, the amount of paperwork the traders would have to fill in makes it far from worthwhile attending due to the UK now being outside the EU. The same may affect UK shows when the EU has to implement the same 'tariffs' in June (I think).

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    3. Folk will adapt given time I'm confident. Money talks they say, but it also focuses the mind too on problem solving.

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  7. Despite being able to play solo games relatively easily at home, it is that social aspect that I really miss; of having a chat and slice of cake before hostilities commence, the good natured ribbing during the game and the post game analysis. It's only when it's gone that you realise how much you miss it. Let's hope May 17th allows us to meet indoors with friends again.

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  8. Glad to hear you have been able to catch up with Phil. The remote games have been a godsend for me, and in fact have opened up some new opportunities which will carry on after lockdown has finished. Like you I didn’t realise how much I would miss visiting a gaming show almost just to soak in the atmosphere. Roll on 17th May. Although you will see we have started gaming outdoors this weekend 😀

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    1. Gaming outdoors? Oop north? By gum but that's hard!😉 Thanks for the comment though, it's appreciated of course. I hope to see you at a show, but probably next year is my guess.

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  9. Gosh! Isn't little Emma like you. Although it may be the pigtails that are doing it ;-)

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    1. I believe you are right, other than the pigtails of course.

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  10. While we are so fortunate not to have the same restrictions here in NZ, I am effectively a solo gamer and find solace by listening to others talk on podcasts while I paint. What I worry about is when will I be able to get in one of those metal tubes and visit an UK show to stock up on lead and plastic!

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    1. In truth I have missed chatting about our wonderful hobby far more than I expected, but blogs have been a lifeline for me. I'm hopeful shows can resume next year, this year I'm not so sure about really.

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