Saturday, 14 July 2018

Data Driven Lives of Wargaming Miniatures (Video)

I am getting more like my kids and this is a good thing. I am learning to use YouTube more. True hours can be whiled away doing nothing particular, but every now and then amongst the "cats" videos something interesting turns up. If I said "The Data Driven Lives of Wargaming Miniatures"; pull up a chair, have a cup of tea/coffee, click on the link and trade 16 minutes of your life for something I found quite mind blowing - but I do have a 'tiny mind' (see link below):

My Pondering Thoughts: 
True it makes references the life and times of GW miniatures but "abstracting out" I think it is generic. Where it is going? That I don't know but the research [and research is often an open ended journey] is ultimately looking at generating better User Experience (UX). I found the first couple of slides new, so highly interesting and the "narrative of the object" again an interesting concept. However talking about the miniature without the specific reference to the game [why it is played] lessened the understanding of what [miniature-tabletop] wargaming actually is and that in turn weakened the understanding of the miniature's purpose [IMHO]. If you understand the game [or gaming] better then you understand the purpose of the miniature better; then surely you will be able to design [or evaluate] future 'things' much better. However if can you explain that to a mainly academic and non-wargaming audience in a few slides, then you are a better man than me.

Footnote: Climbing off my virtual soapbox I actually enjoyed the video and was genuinely excited about academics [daring to] create a video/research like this.

The chap who put the video together can be found at:

The "Paper" can be found at:

I wonder if he could be brought into the "historical fold" or venture into Connections UK or Wargames Development/Conference of Wargamers? I would have thought John Curry's History of Wargames web-site may be of interest or 'blow his mind' ;)

CoW 2018 Bloggers: Fine Fellows One and All

Monday, 9 July 2018

A Summary of a Summary of CoW 2018 ... and the reason why any Wargamer should want to go to CoW 2019

Best summed up by the Churchillian quote: "The Conference of Wargamers (CoW) 2018 was Blood, Sweat and Tears".

Blood - was all virtual, tiny metal soldiers or cardboard counters taking the brunt of things.
Sweat - the precious hours of "Game Designer Toil", followed by the "Fevered Excitement" of the Player 'decision and indecision' cycle and not forgetting the physical sweat actually caused by the 'Glorious' summer heat (27 degrees C).
Tears - Of "joy and laughter" (I have never laughed so much in ages) as even my numerous wargaming moments of nadir were to be celebrated and fondly remembered. I remember every game ending in sumptuous spontaneous applause.

See below for a flavour of the experience:

Nadir Moment 1: Having effectively lost 100% of my brave but badly lead mutineer Indians against the British Relief Force, I was left to beg and grovel for my pitiful skin. My survival depended on exchanging the European Ladies being kept hostage (and my few remaining working firearms) for a "I'll look the other way" moment from the officer commanding Bengal Lancers - It worked and I ran like the wind back to "my village" (see below, it was a wargaming low achievement high, that I had 'skilfully' deserved):

(Almost) Nadir Moment 2: While commanding the river-bound Khartoum relief force, having successfully forced passage of the Nile cataracts, against a fierce Mahdist skirmishing force all along the banks, I was positioned fortuitously in the province of Berber south of Khartoum poised to "Save Gordon" (which happened to be the name of the game). Then with almost the last fling of the dice (and in the best tradition of Matrix-Games) an outrageously bold abduction plot was hatched to kidnap me from the decks my Nile gunboat by Mahdist player "Lady C". Thus it was argued, the expedition would be thrown into chaos, dooming poor General Gordon. The 'project' was delivered with so much descriptive aplomb and creative ingenuity (to the point where the Umpire, a certain Bob Cordery from Wargames Miscellany, was seen therapeutically banging an empty plastic water-bottle off the top of his head repeatedly to help him make sense of the matter) that it 'might just work'. Knowing my wargaming fate was in the hands of Lady Luck (if I lost this I might as well chose crochet as a hobby) - Lady C was asked to throw two sixes. The resulting slow motion tumble of the dice remains crazily poised in my mind's eye, but only one six was thrown and nadir was turned to triumph, but total respect for the "move of the game" (see below, Save Gordon - the final position):

The best fun I've ever had while keeping my clothes on. My only dilemma is, that if I go around and start telling people how good CoW 2018 was then more people will just want to come to CoW 2019 .. but in that case the organisers would just have to put more games on .. so I guess it's really a WIN-WIN


Are you listening David Crook?


Friday, 6 July 2018

Next stop CoW

In the words of the great, late John Denver: "My bags are packed and I am ready to go."

For those not in the know, check out:

Tuesday, 3 July 2018


'Nuff said!

Farewell my Airfix Grey Acrylic Primer (01) it looks like the end of a beautiful relationship!

To the tune of American Pie (the Don McLean song, not the movies that is):

"I went down to the sacred store
Where I'd bought the "paint" years before
But the man there said the it wouldn't "sell"

Apparently I was the only one who liked using it :(
Gone even from the Airfix website
The HobbyCraft girl said Humbrol were cutting back on their paint range :(