Monday, May 18, 2015

New directions for the hobby?

Bijlandt's Brigade at the LoA table from Carronade 2015
The Falkirk 'Carronade' show has grown in stature over several years to become in my opinion at least first equal if not the pre-eminent event on the Scottish wargaming calendar. The combination of a nice venue with well organized and helpful hosts has created a warm, friendly and lively atmosphere. The word is clearly spreading. I met with Wayne Bollands from Wargames Illustrated who had been sent north of the wall by Nottingham's new media magnate D.Faulconbridge to get some post Election coverage of Scottish wargaming.

I noticed several other weil kent faces from the south lands who had obviously put in some effort and covered some miles to be there. An impromptu discussion with Wayne and Charles Grant on the possibility of new wargaming directions seemed to parallel the zeitgeist of impending political turbulence and potential opportunity in the currently united, Kingdom.
Renamed La HALF Sainte by some wag.. the cut down Hovels piece
In what direction should WI travel now that it has gained independence from New Zealand? Will the magazine reduce its showcasing of FoW products and scenarios and cast a wider net across the ocean of wargaming life?

Interestingly for me, I was positioned in this conversation as one of wargaming's perennial grumblers. Wayne perceived my column pieces as somewhat equivalent to walking with a stone in your shoe. In no way did I infer that this was a negative comment rather more a necessary function which is not performed as widely as it should be. I do bemoan the the absence of an editorial and a letters page in WI these days.

Good news every day and lack of recognition of our (wargaming) societal disfunctions is somewhat Stalin-esque in its unerring focus on the positive.  Under the shiny, good news surface layer many major malfunctions threaten our sleepy world of expanding waistlines, greying locks and if my view of the wargaming public at Carronade was anything to go by, physical fragility.
Gerry and Bob DID actually play the game (a bit!)
We reflected back on Duncan Macfarlane's light touch ability to allow the pressure of opinion to vent via the letters page and the occasional sock puppeting outpourings of agent provocateur Peter Tanner (aka ?). Of course, the counter argument is that such arcane conventions as a letters page (pass the port old chap) are now completely unnecessary as we have super fast broadband instant-insults via the glut of fora now available via the keyboards of the world.

On the Friday morning before Carronade, Postie delivered a letter in a hand written envelope. It contained some kind comments from a man I had never met about the blog, the website, BLB and Donnybrook and the Anyburg article featured in WI a few months back. I was very taken by the effort expended on this act. The author had not included any contact information only his name. I tucked it in my Carronade folder in the vain hope that he may show up at the show. Early in the afternoon a shy chap did engage me in conversation and it turned out, it was he! I thanked him and mentioned where Warfare Miniatures was going over the next few months.. right into his period of interest. I said, why don't I email you some details. I don't have a private email he said. I must have looked astonished. I look at computers all day at work, the last thing I want to do at home is surf the net.

I bet he'd like a letters page.



3 comments:

  1. Evening Barry,
    I had heard that Wargames Illustrated had been offloaded onto the editorial staff, which may be a good thing. Especially with the way the magazine had been progressing.
    Although I still get it every month, the magazine has been poor for a longtime. I have often bemoaned the sanitised wargame accounts peddled by the magazine,'all fur coat and no knickers' comes to mind.
    I also have felt that none of the wargames magazines have provided a voice for the hobby, but that has been a problem since the demise of Wargamers Newsletter many years ago.
    I cant see it being beyond the wit of man to allow at least a couple of columns of text where wargaming issues could be discussed and argued over.
    We could even discuss the current issues 'over the wall' if we got stuck for wargaming ones.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well I am glad I have just re subscribed to a magazine I bought from issue 1 centuries ago.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think debate and discussion are essential to keep anything alive. Robbie used the word sanitized which is appropriate. The dumbing down process is also a symptom of magazines being careful not to bite the hand that feeds them.. not the owners, rather, the advertisers. Withdrawal of advertising revenue can kill a publication and of course an honest review of a product may create a backlash. The opposite end of the spectrum of course are the rants on TMP and Frothers etc... not edifying and simply a padded cell for the socially challenged.

    ReplyDelete

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