Thursday, September 20, 2012

Heckenfeur

Or:

The disorganised ramblings of a tired mind.

A few nice toys bumped their way into random corners of the garden this week, courtesy of Australia Posts' parcel delivery service. I think I am on first name trems with most of their drivers.

Among them were sufficient Castaway Arts Egyptian Infantry to flesh out a fourth TSaTF unit - I'm intending to use them as skirmishers who'll pop in and out of the square at need. lovely clean castings as ever and sterling service as usual from Mr Webb.

Also on the pile are some lovely Willie 21st Lancers. These castings are rather better than some I have had from Tradition Scandinavia in the past, so I'm hopeful for the rest of their part in my Colonial plans! So, 16 of those, but I will build the unit up to 24 or so castings. The idea is to build a "dioramic" unit which when laid out will represent the 21st's charge at Omdurman. I'm wanting to get a lot of movement into the unit through careful figure selection - the horses will play a big part here - I'll be using either Spencer Smith "Classic" range horses with a few extras bought in from the Tradition range. Expect the odd  Ansar to share the bases with them! That's the plan. Let us hope the execution is up to it!

What else? I bought a pair of Le Creusot Long Toms fm the TVAG website. Part of the Richard Houston range of guns, I snapped them up the moment I saw them and have an eye on their 4.7", 3" and Pom-Poms. It's a bit crude in places  - especially around the wheels, but nopthing that can't be overlooked. I'm thinking of getting a bunch of the Willie Boers and with a little arm-bending, produce something like this:

Again, that's the plan - the proof will as ever be in the execution.

All of this leads me by circituous means to the following observations:

Got many grand plans that have led you into a severe case of overreach recently? I'm looking especially hard at YOU, Imagi-nations! Here's the life-cycle - The blog is announced with a fanfare on the OSW site or on TMP. It has a span of a few weeks or months or a year as one company of the 16-regiment, Charge!-styled army is painted, photographed, named (with many a ponderous pun) and abandoned as it all suddenly seems too hard. The bubble bursts and the blog disappears.

I fear my own version of overreach. I call it Grand Designs gone wrong. I fear I may be rather prone to this megalomaniacal  tendency. Too may "big" projects on the go at the same time = too little appreciable progress on any one of them. Stagnation, frustration... you get where I am going here.

My other observation. why is it that we feel so constrained by "historicity" in some periods, and so little by it in others? Do we feel constrained by it at all? I certainly have no compunction whatsoever with regard to my Duchy of Alzheim (ahem, Bavarian) and Imperial (ahem, Austrian) armies, yet I do with my FIW armies. I feel free to mingle units from different battles and even different campaigns in my colonial forces, yet might feel the need to be rather more rigid were I ever to get into Napoleonics. Maybe it's what we have fed back to us by the hobby-at-large. Maybe it's what we feel the need to do to be taken seriously by other gamers? Maybe it's just that Grant and Gilder "allowed" us to take things more lightly in these periods - certainly I've been happy to take my queue from them.

I think an interesting discussion might be had on the topic.

What do you think?

7 comments:

Fitz-Badger said...

My answer to both of your observations is "it's about the fun".
Large Charge or Grantian units and armies were never in my sights, because I know my limits and knew I wouldn't have fun that way.
I do have different projects going on and different games and figures, because that's fun for me.
I don't worry much about "historicity" in any period/genre I game, mostly because my inspiration comes from Hollywood and other fiction as much as or more so than from history. For me that is fun. Delving into the history and "historicity" may be fun for people that go that route.
After all, this is a hobby - it should be fun. :)

tradgardmastare said...

Fitzbadger has said it well.Many projects equals much fun.Like browsing in a library I pick up periods,run with them,put them aside and pick them up again.The cycle is ever going onwards and is enjoyable.
Some folk in the ether try to make one feel "bad" for not doing one thing,one vast mega project.It is a shame for that is not the way for all of us.So what if we start something and move onto another period.Only to revist a year or so down the line.
Let's enjoy our hobby and celebrate the orginality of others!
cheers
Alan

Bloggerator said...

I find that my pattern is a little like this: I start or to be honest, pick up a project started months ago. I work like mad on it. Get distracted by another, run hard on that, then another until I have 3-4 on at the one time, dind my efforts are too dissipated, get discouraged, shelve the lot and then the cycle starts again! Like the tide, with each wave I advance a little further up the beach!

Greg

Archduke Piccolo said...

I think I see a pattern, here. I am much the same - with several projects and ideas going at once. Some of us do have excuses, or reasons bordering upon excuses (exogenous and unforeseen interruptions). Less excusable, but more compelling are detours into other worlds, realms, periods, and ideas.

For all that, I do feel that I'm gradually closing in upon something. At least I am in a position to fight some sort of campaign in most of my favoured periods. Give or take a playing surface...

Ross Mac rmacfa@gmail.com said...

Firstly, thanks for painting up the lancers and the Long Tom, 2 more things I won't have to do myself, :)

As for the rest, there's a couple of questions wrapped up in there. The short answers I think are expectations and impatience.

Starting with the mega project, a lot of the original inspiration comes from a less urgent age where people expected things to take time and hobby projects were about the doing not the final outcome.

I tend to do things in a haphazard way, it is my nature, but despite this I have vague sorts of plans of where each part of my wargame collections are headed over a period of 5 - 10 years as well as shorter goals along the way. As I look about the room, I have about 15 different periods in 3 scales on the go with as many past and gone. The oldest one stretches about 38 years, the youngest one, only 3, is faltering and vague, not knowing where it is going or if it is, is at least gameable and has been played.

As for imaginations, it is our own chains. There is a more public face to fictional Colonial campaigns and Tricorne campaigns because of a few individuals but one only needs to scratch a very little to find such things throughout the breadth of wargaming from ancients to modern, from the Hyborian Campaigns of Tony Bath to AK47 etc etc.

I find that it is hard to inject fictional countries into very specific settings, such as the F&IW but it is relatively easy to inject fictional units and campaigns. eg Colonel Blood's expedition against Fort Rien on the Neverwaussie River.

Anyway, I think the mini-diorama idea is not a bad one. Esp if it is a temporrary diorama in Toy Soldier fashion which could at some point be used to play games should the occasion arise.

-Ross

tidders said...

Historicity - I try and keep it to the period with variations, sometimes a mix of real and imaginary units. The look of the period is important to me; some periods need more exactitude.

Projects - I've got too many (?) but I find that it provides variety. I try to get to a point on startup of a project to enough for initial game, then I may move to another project for a change of pace or different modelling challenge etc

above all enjoying the hobby time is the main point

-- Allan


Bloggerator said...

On behalf of Pjotr:

Greg,

I write you this mail because I can't convince blogger I'm not a robot.

First of I'm rather getting tired of writers patronizing me in gaming magazines and I don't appreciate these fellow hobbyists telling what "us" wargamers and "you" wargamer really want or ought to do: I can make up my own mind thank you. I mean, all the stress of reaching goals and keeping focussed...I have that at work...I don't need that in my free time.
That's just the fun of having a hobby: I can do whatever I want, when I feel like doing it.
I should feel bad having run over someone with a car, leaving my pregnant wife and two sick children, ...but come on, should I be talked into feeling bad because I started a project and not feeling up to it any more, or having other interesting things to discover for the moment.
If you are content enjoying many things but not reaching any goals...be happy with that.
Well, I guess somebody got me on my horse a while ago, but I just don't like wasting time and money by reading how to optimise my hobby output to reach certain goals again and again. It's just not interesting, at all.
I like looking at pretty pictures like your latest painted colonial miniatures (really wonderful), reading the odd battle reports and refights. Spending time painting and organising armies without feeling obliged to write about them in a blog, just because once I thought it would be fun doing so (for me time spent not blogging is time spent modelling) but in the end wasn't fun.

Anyway, I guess the point of a hobby is that it should be impossible to have bad feelings about it.

Right, got that out of my system, thank you for your patience. I just hope you get my drift, it's not aimed at you at all.

Pjotr