Tuesday, September 05, 2006
My Wargaming background and present
My Wargaming started "way back when"...
As a youngster in the early 1980's I first read The Hobbit and loved it. I then moved on to The Lord of the Rings, which took me an age to read that first time around. But that was me hooked on the fantasy genre.
I little while later I met an uncle of mine who was at the time going through University, where he described seeing whole tables covered in scenery and figures, with rules to play by. My young imagination went into overdrive and I soon picked up a copy of TSR's Dungeons and Dragons basic set. Getting together with a few mates we started roleplaying and had a tremendous time, working our way through the D&D set and "graduating" into AD&D.(Dungeons & Dragons now by Wizards of the Coast)
Amidst this time, I recall seeing a movie on TV (which I cannot recall the name _ but I think it my have been a spy thriller type thing) in which there was a scene where a mature gent had a table set up in a room of his house upon which he had what I think was a Napoleonic battle set up and he moved the pieces like some elaborate game of chess. This again fired my imagination back to my uncles descriptions of tables covered in figures. And thus my gaming interest embraced wargaming.
Going into my local games store, I came across a boxed set of rules called Warhammer (the boxed second edition rules I think it was).
And thereafter, all my pocket money was spent buying figures and paints and many hours trying to decide which models to buy.
Of course at this early age I did not have the discipline to collect one army but was mesmerized by the variety of models available and would buy whatever I liked the look of. And although these early figures were never going to make a cohesive army, they were ideal for my early painting attempts, and these in conjunction with articles from the Citadel Journal of the time and White Dwarf articles, I taught myself to paint.
The rest of my mates had drifted away from gaming, but it still held my fascination, and after re-reading the Lord of the Rings, struck an affinity with Gimli and decided to collect an army of Dwarves.
I spent the next year or so, working though this army, and finally had about 5000 points painted up, but sadly little or no gaming experience as I had not found anyone else who had an interest.
My gaming then went through a hiatus until much later after having gone though university and started work, I came across a new set of friends when I went into the local GW store and enrolled in the trip to Games Day at Nottingham. I hooked up with a bunch of blokes and we thereafter became a gaming group and had many years of fun playing Warhammer 40k (during which time I collected Squats and Orks) and playing Runequest RPG. This happy time, came to a close with the advent of the home PC as leisure entertainment at home. And thus once again my gaming took a break.
It was not until several years later, that a new acquaintance noticed some models I had on display in my home and inquired what they were for. It was at this time that the Lord of the Rings movie by Peter Jackson, was about to be released. There had been a TV documentary called "Bilbo and Beyond" in which wargaming was mentioned and included footage of people playing warhammer and warmaster. I had not come across warmaster and was intrigued, and so having obtained a copy of the rules, my new mate and I started collecting and painting warmaster armies. Another buddy joined in and we spent the next couple of years playing warmaster, and even attending tournaments including travel abroad to Europe for the Euro-GT. Having discovered the internet and yahoo groups made all this possible.
More recently, my interest in the historical periods was kindled after picking up a book on E-bay called "Last stand" which described various famous last stands throughout history. I thought it would be fun to try playing out these battles and started looking for a source of historical models and rulesets, and came across WAB - the warhammer rules I knew but for the historical setting. Perfect!
Since then I have completed a Medieval army suitable for the Hundred Years War, & War of the Roses periods. I have also collected figures for Imperial Rome and their Barbarian enemies. I have also become interested in the English Civil War Period and have purchased an army for this setting; Parliamentarians, about 50% painted as of September '06. My Ancient Germans are presently enjoying the application of paint (now finished august 07 - see later blog post), and dark age saxons have also been acquired.
The lead mountain continues to grow.....
In amidst all this, I have amazingly enough held down a good job, married, had children, and have emigrated to New Zealand! The emigration was again provoked by the Lord of the Rings movie, I had to see where it was filmed and visit "Middle-Earth", and having visited New Zealand, loved it so much, my family and I emigrated there In January 2005.
I must give thanks to my wife who after initial uncertainty has been very understanding and supportive of my hobby, and is pleased we have a prospective wargamer in our growing family. Bless him, he takes a great interest at an early age in daddies paints but it is absolutely impossible to get any painting done when he is bouncing on your knee and shaking up all your paint pots in glee!
So if you are interested in Wargaming and live near Kapiti Coast, New Zealand, please look me up.
Also, having finally completed (April '07) building our new home in New Zealand (thanks to "Homecreators"), I now have a dedicated wargames room, with a 12' x 6' table permanently set up, and areas for modelling work too. So I can't be told off for making a mess of the kitchen, dining room etc anymore! :-)
Now I find myself pulled in so may different directions, as differing periods and rules sets grab my attention, just about everything interests me, from Ancients all the way through to WWII, and also Fantasy realms, and some sci-fi including VSF.