Monday, 11 February 2019

There ain't but one true scale

Co-author (well, main author these days) Phil was interviewed by Henry Hyde for his Battlechat series the other day, and the byline at the top of this page here was mentioned -- There ain't but one true scale.

The idea behind the byline is of course that, for me, there is only 'one true scale' for gaming, and that is 28mm. Except for planes, where it is 1:144. Oh, and WWII, where it is 20mm. Or 6mm. Bah - whatever :).

The very concept of there only being 'one true scale' to game in is of course ridiculous. Any scale of miniatures you have an enjoyable game with is the correct and one true scale, and there's nothing more to it than that.

That said, I came up with the byline because for my hobby, 28mm is the sweet spot. One of my main interests in this hobby is the visual aspect of it, and more particularly the (more or less) nicely painted toy soldiers we use.

In very broad terms, the things that attract people to miniature wargaming are in the name itself: miniatures, war (or rather, the history thereof) and gaming. Of those three, the 'miniatures' part is the main attraction for me -- I'd be playing historical board wargames otherwise. Painting miniatures (and terrain) is an essential part of the hobby for me. And I find that for the sort of painting I do, 28mm is the best. Hence the 'one true scale' bit.

As to the actual phrasing of the byline -- 'There ain't but one ...' -- that's a blatant rip off of a wonderful sketch by Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, which forms a perfect (and topical these days in Belgium) note to end this post on:

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Warcon 2019

This weekend I attended Warcon 2019. Warcon is a nice convention, with approximately 25 traders and the usual mix of clubs staging a game.

We should have been there too with a Chain of Command WW2 game, but a last-minute unforeseen situation forced Bart to stay at home, and since he was the one who had all the gaming stuff, we had to cancel our game.

I spend a few hours at the con, mostly chatting with friends and old acquaintances, and browsing the trading stalls. It was a nice and relaxed experience exactly what a con should be.

One thing that still confuses met at cons though, are the traders that are selling what I would call "assorted junk". These are not the established rules or miniatures or scenery manufacturers, but rather the traders who sell a mix of all sorts of wares (could be a shop). We need them, of course.

But what I am confused about, is that they haul the same boxes of old junk from con to con, sometimes year after year: large boxes full of old rulebooks, old blisters from long-forgotten gaming systems, repackaged miniatures in plastic bags that have been jumbled around so much they stopped being transparant, a weird assortment of half-painted miniatures, etc. I guess they show up at every con.

Now, this is still all good and well, except for the prices they are asking (this is what confuses me)! I simply cannot understand why someone would ask "new" prices for old junk, especially if you have seen that same junk for several years, con after con. What's the motivation here? The vague (and vain) hope that the right collector will show up? I always try to haggle for a lower price, but usually get a negative reply. But seriously, I am not going to pay 5 euros per figure, for a bag of unidentified old figures. And I'm not going to pay 20 euros for an old stapled-together rulebook from the 80s. Old does not always mean vintage does not always mean collectible does not always mean high prices! I simply do not understand. So rather than selling non-movable stock at a lower price, they prefer to haul that stuff around for years?

But anyway, enough ranting, here are some pictures (don't ask me about games or clubs, I didn't make notes):