Saturday, 30 January 2010

Washngtons Army

Washingtons Army is the new American War of Independance rules from Peter Pig, currently in the latter stages of playtest. I have just returned from a great day down in Yeovil where we played a couple of games, chatted about the games and period and had a good time generally.

It helps that everyone was fairly familiar with the RFCM (Rules for the Common Man) ethos of gaming, putting the emphasis on the game and not the war. Once again I forgot my camera but with permission of those concerned I shall scavenge a couple of pictures where I can.

On the drive home I had plenty of time to contemplate the RFCM style of wargaming compared to others that I have experienced and seen. Now, wargaming is a broad church and in my eyes there is no right or wrong. What I enjoy from a game may not be the same as the next man. Even within those who enjoy RFCM games, we all get something different out of the experience.

I now that 'Trebbian' wrote an article some time ago in the wargames press describing the different sort of gamer you might meet down at your local club, from the rules lawyer to the historian to the uber geek. The type of gamer is directly related to the style of gaming you see. My club for instance, which is in reality a collection of rooms in which no two games are similar is a perfect example.

There is a strong Games Workshop element of players (amongst which I have and do participate). The style of game in their room is invariably 2000-2250pts of Warhammer 7th edition, or 1500pts or so of Warhammer 40K . Blood Bowl is the current flavour with a thriving league running. Nice tables and scenary contemplate some very nicely painted armies. On the whole everyone has a good laugh and playes in the right spirit, but there has been the odd outburst or tantrum thrown due to bad luck/bad dice/powerful army lists that conquer all. Thats no criticism, its just how the playing style has evolved with a competitive edge adopted from the odd tournament the players have entered over the years. Occasionally there has the truly spectacular large game put on (thanks to the efforts of Keith and Ade) which are a real break from the norm.

A big game of Warhammer a couple of years ago.

But move down the corridor and you will find Charles, Pete and the gang playing various games but with a strong leaning towards 'Wargods of Aegyptus', another fantasy game with an ancient Eygptian flavour. Now Charles in one of the most enthusiastic gamers at the club and puts on a good game, but he will be the first to admit the aesthetic appeal is occasionally lacking. But this is more than made up for in the amount of fun they all seem to have and they are always willing to shoot the breeze about what they are upto.

Charles Wargods game at a show a while back

In Johns room, you will at the moment find them playing mostly boardgames, but when he gets time, John will put on a massive Napoleonic thrash. 12x6 table, lovely terrain, professionally painted figures of which there are usually several thousand, played out using computer moderated rules. Great games and great spectacle but they do take some commitment from the players to attend week in week out as the games can last 3 or so months.
Dave and Jason in the next room over play a variety of periods in a variety of scales ranging from ancients through to ACW. Good standard club games, as are Phil, Alan et al in the last room, playing in their favourite periods.
It is unusal for any members to move rooms apart from the occasional game here and there and I guess that is due to the members enjoying what they do with similar minded members. Each to their own.
If you spend any time on forums or at wargames shows, it is a similar story. For some it is the beauty of the game with nothing but 28mm figures painted with several layers of highlight and shading. Others enjoy the WRG/FOG style competitions with felt on painted tabletops
FOG in action, I think at Britcon.
The Perry Miniatures Sudan game from 4 or 5 years ago.
For some wargaming is a more intellectual hobby, with the Wargames Development types dedicating themselves to rules writing and innovative mechanics or styles of game somewhat out of left field. Occasionally using figures too!
Some people call themselves wargamers but are in fact miliairy modellers who paint figures to an incredible level of detail.
Some people spend their hobby time of wargaming forums, either in discussion over apsects of the hobby, or else lurking to see what everyone else is talking about!.
My thoughts are there is room for us all. Forums do annoy me sometimes when people post things like " 'xxx' rules for 'yyy' period are rubbish because I think they do this wrong" or whatever. They rarley qualify this with "In my opinion", but state it as fact. Mmmm.
OK if you dont agree a particular mechanic, or approach, fine. Dont play them, or else write some ammendment to make them how you think they should be. Or, write your own. But to dismiss a rules set out of hand is bad manners. In my opinion.
But I guess its a free world and we have freedom of expression so who am I to dictate?
Whatever your flavour of this great hobby, enjoy!

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