Going round and round … and getting nowhere

Over the past few weeks I have felt a general lethargy and lack of enthusiasm for almost everything … including wargaming. It may be a result of the change in the season or it may be the fact that I seem to have had a persistent and bothersome head cold for several weeks. Whatever the cause, I have just not felt much like wargaming.

Looking back over my blog entries, I realised that since COW2014 I have only fought three battles … and they were short, solo actions to test a game mechanism. Is this a sign that my disinclination to fight wargames has been around even longer than I realised?

I don’t know … but I suspect that it might.

One thing that I have been trying to do – without much success – is to revise my PORTABLE WARGAME rules … but each time that I have tried, I seem to be making them more rather than less complicated.

At times like these I find that the best thing to do is to look at the work of the ‘Old Masters’ of wargaming for inspiration. (The ‘Old Masters’ I am referring to include Donald Featherstone, Joseph Morschauser, Peter Young, Charles Grant, Terry Wise, Charles Wesencraft, and Lionel Tarr.) I have been doing just that … and it has helped to raise my spirits somewhat.

One thing that has particularly claimed my interest – yet again – is Joseph Morschauser’s ‘Frontier’ rules. In an article he wrote in 1967 he describes using these rules with his famous Roster System, and having re-read what he wrote several times, I think that it points a way forward for me. What is more, it has given me the feeling that I want to try them out … and if it cures my lethargy, so much the better!


16 Comments on “Going round and round … and getting nowhere”

  1. I've been down as well, and what made it worse, I've found out my current company will not give me another contract, so I have six months to find another job!

  2. JWH says:

    What is it that particularly interests you about Morschauser's Frontier rules and the roster system?

  3. Morchauser's enthusiasm is hard to resist. Hopefully he will be the wind that lifts you from the doldrums.

  4. Irishhighlander,

    At least I don't have worries about employment now that I am retired. I used to find the the annual contract renewal discussions were always stressful, and my final contract was cancelled at relatively short notice. That said, the writing was already on the wall, and it was no surprise when the inevitable happened. It was at that point that – at the age of 63 – I decided that I would retire (I was already receiving a pension after 32 years service in education).

    Good luck with finding a new contract.

    All the best,


  5. JWH,

    It is the simplicity of Morschauser's rules and Roster System that I like. The rules take about 10 minutes to learn and the Roster System means that units are slowly worn down before they are removed. Furthermore, it doesn't require special dice or equipment.


    All the best,


  6. Ross Mac,

    You are absolutely right. It is difficult not to find Morschauser's enthusiasm infectious … and the elegant simplicity of his rules is very appealing.

    All the best,


  7. I hope the frontier rules continue to inspire you and you feel re- enchanted soon.
    best wishes

  8. Dick Bryant says:

    Though sometimes suffering the “doldrums” as we call it here across the pond, I find that gaming with my regular crew just about every week keeps my interest in the hobby high even at the worst of times.

    Dick Bryant
    “No scenario survives first contact with a wargamer”

  9. Tradgardmastare (Alan),

    I hope so, I really do hope so!

    All the best,


  10. Dick Bryant,

    Funnily enough, I had the chance to play a wargame with a group of friends today, but my wife and I were already booked to go out with some other friends. Unfortunately one of the people we were supposed to go out with cried off at the last minute due to illness, so in the end I did not go out and did not take part in a wargame.

    That is how my life has been for the past few months … so matters are due an upturn sometime soon!

    All the best,


  11. Jim Duncan says:

    Hi Bob

    I have not played a wargame in a year now, at least not with human friends. You will know the reason why.

    I have, however, been very busy painting and modelling as well as getting my fight fix via my computer.

    It matters not whose rules you find inspiration from but the fact that you find inspiration in the first place.

    Make a plan, take steps towards completing it and you will get there no matter how long it takes.

    Distractions will always come your way but look at the finishing line and take the hurdles as they come.

  12. Jim Duncan,

    Wise words indeed … and from someone who knows what it feels like.

    I have a plan in mind … and intend to stick to it if I can.

    Watch this space for developments as and when they happen.

    All the best,


  13. Fitz-Badger says:

    I've been in the doldrums myself for a while now. For a variety of reasons. Even when I have a bit of time, like this weekend, I find myself reading or playing on the computer or watching videos (netflix or youtube). And then the weekend is over with little to show for it. I'm not sure how to break out of the cycle. I guess I need to find something to fire up my enthusiasm a bit.
    I hope you find your way, and also that your cold is over soon!

  14. Fitz-Badger,

    You have pretty well described my last few weeks/months! Lots of positive inactivity and not a lot to show for the time expended. Today – however – has seen a bit of an improvement. I have printed off a copy of the rules and scribbled notes all over it … and I have dug out the figures I intend to use.

    Not a bad start. All I have to do now is to build upon this start.

    All the best,


  15. Chris says:


    Besides you and the other guys who said they are kind of unenthusiastic right now, my buddy and I have both been feeling that way–getting together once or twice a week makes us both feel better, but's about it–and I've seen the same comments in a number of other blogs. OMG–is there some kind of a wargame virus going around? Forbid it almighty god!!!

    Worried (not really)

  16. Chris,

    I suspect the lethargy that is affecting so many of us is more to do with the transition from one season to another than anything else.

    In the UK we have had a longish mild summer that seemed not to change much when autumn came along … and seemingly overnight the weather changed, the nights seemed longer, and the skies became overcast. That is enough to knock anyone's overall wellbeing sidewise.

    Either that, or it is an outbreak of 'wargamer's fuguitis'!

    All the best,


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