Being a wargamer’s executor

Yesterday I spent a large part of the day helping the recently widowed wife of a wargamer to sort out his collection of books, games, rules, and figures, prior to their disposal. They were her husband’s pride and joy, and represented many years of involvement in the hobby. Luckily she is a realist and knows that any financial return she receives from selling the collections will be a lot less than they cost, and she would rather that they went to someone who will use them than for the highest possible price she can get.

I know of two other wargamers who have performed a similar role over recent months, and it makes one realise that this is an aspect of wargaming that we all tend to put to the back of our minds. Sue and I recently redrafted our wills, and I made provision in mine as to what should happen to my books and figures. I strongly recommend that other wargamers do something similar: it will be one less thing that your family will have to deal with and will ensure that your collections goes to a good home when time with you is no more.


18 Comments on “Being a wargamer’s executor”

  1. Or you follow Don Featherstone's approach and start moving your collection on early….

  2. A.W. KITCHEN says:

    Makes you realise that it is a 'graying' hobby as the first generation of gamers depart, Tony

  3. Jim Duncan says:

    I'm certainly in the category that makes me think about what will happen when I'm gone.

    I am currently still dealing with my late friends collections, 10 months down the line and I'm thinking of just one more show sale and then dispose of the remainder.

    Next up is a clearing of my own decks, some of it will have to go as I will never be able to use all that I have in the foreseeable future.

    So many collections, so little time.

  4. Steve-the-Wargamer,

    It is certainly a strategy worth considering.

    All the best,


  5. Tim Gow says:

    I've been thinking about this for some years. My will now contains a clause asking Sara to contact a couple of named friends to appoint them as wargames 'executors'.

  6. A.W. Kitchen (Tony),

    Very true. As the first wargamers depart to the great wargames Valhalla, we need to make sure that their legacy is not lost or forgotten.

    All the best,


  7. Jim Duncan,

    Yesterday was a very sobering experience for me … and I am seriously thinking of downsizing my collection because I have to be realistic as to how much of it I am likely to use in the future.

    All the best,


  8. Tim Gow,

    I have also named the people who will execute the wargaming part of my Will. It will hopefully help to reduce the pressure on my family when the inevitable happens.

    All the best,


  9. Stu Rat says:

    All of my stuff goes on the longship with me for my Viking funeral. I'm going to need it in Valhalla, right?

  10. Stu Rat,

    But have you made provision in your Will for the purchase of a suitable longship for the funeral?

    All the best,


  11. arthur1815 says:

    Good points by all posters.

    Never having had a large collection of models/armies &c., and having disposed of my militaria years ago to help pay my daughter's school fees, I really only have my books and wargame magazines to consider.

    I think I'll just give my wife/children an envelope with the contact details of a few book dealers, rather than go to the trouble of adding a codicil to my will – why make work and fees for lawyers?


  12. Arthur1815,

    I quite agree that giving money to lawyers is to be avoided if possible. In our case Sue and I were going to redraft our Wills anyway, so including my collection under its provisions was simple. I think that your idea of a letter containing the names of suitable dealers is a very good substitute for a codicil.

    All the best,


  13. I have made a similar provision, though that might not now be sofeasible, as the 'executor's' circumstances have changed.

    Even so, I reckon at some point I'll have to prepare the whole thing for more straightforward disposal…

  14. Archduke Piccolo,

    Provision of some sort is better than none at all … and if the circumstances change, it should not be too difficult to alter the arrangements.

    All the best,


  15. I'm possibly fortunate in that sense – my son still has an interest in wargaming and has even got his girlfriend practising the art of painting figures (Garrison, of course). So that's where my collections will be going. Yes, it's already in my will!

  16. Xaltotun of Python,

    I think that your situation is probably less common than most wargamers would like. Having someone you can pass your collection on to makes life a lot simpler … although making proper provision in your Will is still a very good idea.

    All the best,


  17. Sun of York says:

    Very sobering stuff. My dad died relatively quickly and I'm still sorting out all his tools. Mum has moved from low care to high aged facility and I'm now sorting through her books and paintings. The thought of adding my varied wargaming stuff to this legacy is not attractive. Very difficult when some things have only (great) sentimental value while other things have (sometimes fleeting) real value.

    Thank God for red wine!

  18. Sun of York,

    Sorting through the possessions left after a family death is always a sobering experience, and it is one that I have done for my father and my father-in-law fairly recently. This experience led Sue and I to re-write our Wills to ensure that clear instructions were left for our executors. It also encouraged us to look closely at what we own and to doing some sorting out and downsizing ourselves.

    All the best,


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