Monday, September 9, 2013


NEERWINDEN 1693: The fighting around Laer by LoA

I have never been one to resist the temptation of joining in a debate, particularly a controversial one. Seeing the mentions recently on this blog about the various perspectives on whether wargames should be permitted to look 'too good' or as an egalitarian alternative should assume a kind of Soviet sameness, I offer up some reasons why I believe they should at all times look as good as they possibly can.

Unfair odds: a lone battalion face the Maison du Roi
Effort inspires. Human beings love to keep getting better whether than be in sport, in business, entertainment, at cooking, acquiring knowledge or some other dimension of performance enhancement. My venture back into this hobby at 24 was solely a consequence of the inspiration drawn from the outstanding work from the best names in the hobby and featured in Miniature Wargames every month.

A sweeping advance by the chevaliers of King Louis XIV
Since that joyous re-acquaintance with a boyhood passion I have never had a single faded - jaded day when I didn't not want to do something connected with my hobby.

Today I worked on tidying up the next phase of Warfare Miniatures development. Having spent  heavy duty time packing, stock ordering and nosing through spread sheets to the comforting tones of Bill Nelson and Be Bop Deluxe for twelve hours, I am finishing the day poking through some old photo files in my vault.

I have stumbled across pix of a game which have never seen the light of day in full basically because I forgot all about them. It was run at Partizan, Newark probably in 2007 or 2008. It is the Battle of Neerwinden sometimes called Landen. I have fought it several times as a wargame both as a whole and in parts.

Here I offer no historical perspective on the battle just a series of nice shots of a lovely visual spectacle. Presented with my figures on Adrian Howe's beautiful terrain it drew much attention on the day and looks just as good now as it did then.

If this is wargames porn then I am a pornographer without shame. Enjoy my dark secret and damn the eyes of wargaming's Mary Whitehouse Brigade. Mediocrity breeds the same.


  1. Hear hear! Couldn't agree more with this post. I even dashed off a quick response to it on my own blog.

  2. Stunning pictures !!!

    Best regards Michael

  3. Porn it is, but the kind you can tell the mrs you've been ogling even if they're not that interested!

  4. Spectacular indeed, sir. Just wonderful. I'm envious.

    -- Jeff

  5. I don't understand the controversy at all... it is similar to the complaints about the current wave of wargame rules being filled with too many awesome photos (these folks are going to HATE Donnybrook).

    When I was starting out I played plenty of games on makeshift terrain or fielded unpainted (gasp) models and these were great fun, but my goal was always to build to the level of the games I saw in Wargames Illustrated and White Dwarf. For me building and painting terrain is a far more enjoyable and relaxing part of the hobby than slogging through another battalion of Napoleonic infantry.

  6. I am delighted to be corrupting you folks out there with my depravity. The inverse snobbery argument does not really hold water and I just wonder if RP was being a bit naughty and trying to hook a few catfish with some doublespeak.

    I'm glad this strand of porn has hit the spot because we've several other big battle 'centrefolds' to share with all you voyeurs soon :)

    1. dribble dribble.................

    2. To be fair, I could see RP's point as far as being a novice gamer goes--today's high standards of presentation in painting and basing might be a bit intimidating for a beginner. Then again, when I was just getting started in the early 90s, the 'Eavy Metal section of White Dwarf was a standard I aspired to, not one I shrank away from.

  7. Absolutely splendid looking figures on wonderful terrain.

    That is why I game. I am happy to spend the time to paint a unit the extra bit and I love great looking terrain that HAS to give an impression of the place being fought over - not a nondescript field or village somewhere in the world.

  8. Clarence and I have been discussing the 'setting' for games. We concluded that the shot itself can really be helped but some simple care taken to remove distracting objects and dress the surroundings of a unit of piece of action just a little more carefully. Photos last for ever and of course if we are all similar, we return to them again and again for inspiration.

    1. Barry you could write a small article about the photo sessions we did for Donnybrook and the care and attention to detail that went into each shot.

  9. Actually a good idea. I seem to remember that you were slightly weirded out by my extremely finicky attention to detail and anally retentive positioning of tiny bits of terrain. Maybe it was just the normal reaction you have to being around me Dave... weirded out!

  10. I wasn't 'weirded' out, I was impressed with you attention to detail and mentioned that I wish lots of other photographers would do the same. I think what we produced in the Donnybrook photoshoots are of the highest quality because of the care and attention.

  11. Totally agree. Your pics have been an inspiration for me since I first saw them in an old W.I.

    Although I game solo and in 6mm I do my best to make it look great. I use lots of little vignettes (shepard with flock,gallows, abandoned wagons etc)

    To me a green sheet and felt blobs just doesn't cut it these days.


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