Sunday, 4 May 2014

Are We Really Looking After Our Hobby?

I was sat, the other day, looking at old convention reports, programmes, and the like in one of my fits of nostalgia and it struck me just how poor modern shows are becoming.

It's almost as if we have a collective apathy when it comes to promoting what we do, we are entertaining ourselves and not thinking about expanding in a fit of wargames navel gazing of sorts.

I myself am guilty of this to a great degree, because there was a time when I would have knocked up a damn fine display game and done the rounds because I was full of vim and mustard and wanted to show the world what I could do, but alas these days I really can't be arsed.

Now, there are some mighty fine display, as my previous post made abundantly clear, but here we are in the cradle of wargaming and a it takes a dedicated chap from America to show us the way, the American Way which seeks to show the masses what is great about this hobby. Something ain't quite right.

With the exception of perhaps Salute, you can see some dire examples of the hobby which make me cringe now, indeed they would have made me cringe 35 years ago. A display which is nothing more than a board game? Half finished terrain boards? Oh come on people, is this the best we can do?

Look back at the days of yore... We may have only had by modern standards, crude models and enamel paints, but by god, there were some pretty impressive games be it historical or fantasy. I recall a game in the early 80s, put on by - I think - Warlords, where large fleets of starships were made from funnels and ballcocks, painted in bright colours and on tall flight stands. It looked awesome and was done with skill and enthusiasm, which are increasingly looking like dirty words, these days.

Next time you go to a show, take a slow look around... Not at the traders who are peddling vast amounts of the same stuff ( I refuse to be drawn into that topic as there lies madness - all I will say is think of the boast of Henry Ford regarding the colours available for the Model T) but at the displays. True, there are some really impressive ones, but there are some which are simply bloody awful.

Perhaps it's time for a Wargames Spring, where we collectively and metaphorically march on the capital and demand change, actively shun the tatty and pointless, the staid and stagnant and go for less bulk but better quality at our shows.


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