What does the future hold?Posted: June 16, 2011
To set the scene, I am sixty one years old (but feel like a twenty year-old [don’t we all! – it’s an old joke, but …]) and have been a wargamer since the mid-1960s. I played with my collection of toy soldiers before then, but I count myself to have become a ‘real’ wargamer (whatever that is) from the time when I bought a copy of ‘Charge!: Or, How to Play War Games’ by Brigadier Peter Young and Colonel J Lawford and I found a copy of Donald Featherstone’s ‘War Games’ in the local library.
My wargaming interests have been very varied over the years, but in the main they have been concentrated on the period 1850 to 1950, with a particular emphasis on:
- The American Civil War (both on land and sea)
- The British Colonial Wars of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (including the conflict in Africa during the First World War)
- The Inter-War period (but especially the Spanish Civil War)
- World War II (especially the Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War)
I have owned numerous armies – and navies – for these conflicts in a variety of different scales, but over the years I have ‘rationalised’ my collection so that it is mainly 15mm or 20mm-scale, but with the recent addition of quite a few 54mm/1:35th-scale figures and equipment.
My ‘retirement’ from full-time work is now only a matter of weeks away (twenty one working days, to be exact!), and after my wife and I return from our Summer holiday I will have to give serious thought to my wargaming future. Certainly my budget for buying new ‘toys’ will be more limited than it is at present, and the space I have available for all aspects of my wargaming – including storing my figures, terrain, and books – will need to be reorganised. But before I undertake that task, I need to set down some initial thoughts and ideas:
- Solo wargaming is likely to be my main wargaming experience, interspersed with the occasional game with one or more members of the ‘Jockey’s Field Irregulars’ and my annual attendance at COW (the Conference of Wargamers).
- Building up my collection of imagi-nations as the background for most of my solo wargaming. I have already created a number of African and South Asian colonies/countries (Dammallia, Mankanika, Sultanate of Marzibar, Deutsches Sudan, Zubia, and Chindia) as well as two Northern European countries (Opeland and Upsland), two small Balkan states (Laurania and Maldacia), and a South American country (Cordeguay). If I could tie these together into some form of imagi-world, I would have a whole range of possible conflicts that I could ‘fight’.
- I need to rationalise my figure collections or at least try to avoid unnecessary duplication. I currently have several 15mm-scale Colonial armies (both on single and multiple figure bases) and quite a lot of unorganised 15mm World war II figures and equipment, 20mm-scale World War II Russian, German, and Hungarian armies (mainly based for MEGABLITZ but with a substantial number of single figure bases as well), and a 54mm-scale collection of American Civil War figures that are going to form the basis of my FUNNY LITTLE WARS Army of Cordeguay.
- The fact that I have several collections of figures and equipment in three scales creates problems with regard to the terrain that I need to keep and store. I have a large collection of Hexon II hexed terrain that can be used with all three figure scales as well as an equal substantial amount of Heroscape™ hexed terrain. The latter works well with 15mm-scale figures if the figures are mounted on single figure bases or small multi-figure bases. It also takes up less table space than the Hexon II terrain if one is solely looking at how many hexes one can get onto the tabletop. Add to this the number of buildings I own in different scales (including HO/20mm and N Gauge railway scales), and the storage of my wargames terrain could begin to become problematic if I acquire more items.
I may have to make some quite drastic decisions about the direction of my wargaming future over the next few months (although I hope that the decisions will not be too drastic), but whatever the end result, I intend that it will remain my main hobby for as long as I am capable of throwing a die and moving a figure.