My original miniatures blog was called AWI Stuff and Nonsense and followed from my Advanced Squad Leader blog, ASL Stuff and Nonsense. It was intended to chronicle the building of my 15mm AWI armies, and for just over a year the entire content was AWI related. In late 2009 as I started to get a little more involved in my local club the ‘Diversions’ began and I chose to rebrand the blog as a general wargaming blog rather than period specific.
So my current projects and diversions are:
- 15mm AWI, of course (inc. my witch and zombie stuff!)
- 15mm Carthaginian
- 15mm Republican Roman
- 15mm Ancient Spanish
- 28mm a few WW2 Germans which I’ll maybe get round to adding to
- 6mm 1815 Prussians for Grande Armee
- 6mm 1806 Prussian for Lasalle (and Grande Armee)
- 6mm 1806 French for Lasalle (and Grande Armee)
- 6mm Early Byzantines for Impetus
- numerous odds and ends like 15mm werewolves and ninjas!
and finally, which brings me to the subject of this blog entry, my 1/300th for Cold War Commander and Future War Commander. It is this ‘diversion’ I want to examine in a little more detail.
Back in April this year I was contacted via the Tyneside Wargames Club website by someone wanting to sell off their son’s wargames collection. Cut a long story short, I eventually agreed to do this for him and over six months disposed of a wide range of gaming stuff for fair prices. Amongst the items to be sold were two boxes of Modern micro armour. Now, I saw this as a way to acquire opposing armies for a reasonable price. All were painted to varying standards and there was a lot of it:
Enough to do Soviets, West Germans and Belgians. Now I hadn’t really looked at Cold War type stuff since I read Hackett in my late teens and dabbled with some of the SPI games of the time. But help from club members (especially Ian) and, having decided on Cold War Commander as a rule set, the CWC forum were a great help, as was TMP.
Now in all my periods I like to do a little background reading but the perceived benefit of buying these models was to give me a Cold War gaming setup for minimal cost. With that cost saving priority clear in my mind the following happened…
- Ospreys – about a dozen on related vehicles and forces.
- Novels – Hackett, Coyle, Rouch, Clancy. Lots of ‘period’ books
- Reference – mainly books on Soviet armour
- Boardgames – the SPI Central Front series, several NATO games. I was even tempted to pick up Next War but knew I just did not have the space!
- Painted Lead – lots via eBay. More Russians, some Brits, Canadians, Americans.
- Belgians – traded 15mm Punic War stuff for a large Belgian army of which I have only used three models in the Belgian army I have put together so far for CWC!
- Unpainted Lead – God! Waaaay toooo much! I sorted out the spare unpainted I had the other night and compactly filled a shoe box – and I have big feet!
- Buildings – lots of ‘modern’ stuff none of which had been painted yet…
And on the back of this I picked up Future War Commander, two painted armies for that and a stack of unpainted lead still to do!
All of this for a ‘diversion’ who’s driving force was a low cost entry to Modern gaming! Now, I have a decent Soviet force put together:
and am close to finishing my Belgians.
Brits and Americans only really need infantry but I’m sure I’ll end up doing actual TOaEs and need to buy more. Germans need a full repaint. Canadians need a lot more though and work. But all of these have resulted in the purchase of more units. Some have been painted up and added to the rolls, others, like the Lebed hovercraft are in the shoe box ‘waiting’.
And in this 6-7 month period I’ve played precisely two games of Cold War Commander! And I’m STILL thinking of models I could buy to add to the forces, and I’m still watching 1/300 stuff on eBay!
Is this just me? Do all wargamers get hooked on a new period with little ‘planning’ ? And then throw themselves (and their credit cards) at it with abandon? Am I going to get diverted again soon and the 1/300 armies fall to the wayside? It could happen. Last night I started painting 15mm Balaeric Slingers! I’m planning to make the great WD3 Imagination game next year and have some 28mm RSM figures coming to do a unit for that!
I dread to think how much I spend on this – I think I have a lot of lead but I know others via TMP and blogs who probably buy more, but they seem to have the time to devote to it whereas with two kids and work I have to scratch together what time I can. My great 2010 Painting Plan ended up faltering mid-year. I’m starting to twitch again and thinking of making a start on the 1806 Prussians but who knows when…
Anyway, what’s the point of all this? Do I spend too much? For my current circumstances, yes. Do I have enough time to devote? No. Does that stop me buying more? Starting new projects? Buying books I’ll possibly never read as I get diverted to another period? No to them all.
However, I get great satisfaction from what I do manage to do and from the feedback I get here and on other forums. I’d like to get more games in next year though. The 4-5 I managed this year is not a good average. On the WD3 forums a few months ago I posited he idea of going ‘Wargaming Neutral’. Basically my gaming should be self funding. I can’t buy new lead until I have painted the same quantity. And the only money I can use to buy must come from selling unused/unwanted lead/books. This should at least keep the finances in check and hopefully provide me with an added incentive to paint! Yes, that’s the plan for 2011! Honest…
Hopefully the Balaeric slingers will be done in a week or so and over the Christmas holidays I can get a few more things done and make a plan for 2011. I know no plan survives first contact with the enemy but hopefully this one will lead to a great victory next year!