Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Normandy Orchards – 15mm Crossfire game

View from the US side: Americans occupy the
fields and woods (nearside), the Germans are
holding the bocage and village (far side)
The excellent Crossfire games  put on at the recent SELWG show by Martin Groat, Steven Thomas and friends reinvigorated my interest in wargaming in general and CF in particular.

Although my main immediate CF project is the 'Crossfiregrad' scenery makeover  (more anon), I thought I'd give my Normandy game an outing. As it happened two new club members fancied giving it a go, so we had two teams of two, each consisting of novice and veteran. CF is essentially a 2-player game, but we are used to taking a 'committee approach'.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Achtung Schweinehund! Voice of a Generation

Retirement hasn't brought the free time I anticipated, but a bout of insomnia gave me a chance to start on a recent second-hand book acquisition. Harry Pearson's Achtung Schweinehund! was published in 2008 and has been discussed on TMP but it was new to me.

It's essentially the personal odyssey of a wargamer, and for men of a certain age and inclination it's all so true: the cultural stimuli of the early post-WW2 era, the compulsion to collect, the oppressiveness of having to paint, house and play with a large and diverse collection, and the discretion with which one treats a hobby/obsession which is simultaneously seen as puerile, geekish and belligerent.

The book doesn't purport to be a comprehensive history of wargaming but I learnt things I didn't know and was reminded of things I'd forgotten. The author is rather harsh on fantasy gamers and LARPists, but being of a certain age myself I can appreciate his frustration at the way historical gaming has been crushed by the fantasy juggernaut.