Post by manoftinblog on Sept 17, 2016 22:20:21 GMT
As mentioned in a thread reply elsewhere to Brian Carrick on his Big Wars 1983 article in the Battle for Wargames magazine / annual Wargames Manual, I wonder why there is so little coverage in the games press of gaming blogs of outdoor garden Wargames?
It can't all be down to British weather.
What memories do people have of their yarden / garden games?
I collected up some links on garden games at my blog at:
Hopefully someone will have a happier answer. I suspect the lack of publicity may reflect a scarcity of practice compared to tabletop wargames. Too many of us may have become too consciously "grownup". Mind you the winters over here don't help even as a kid playing toy soldiers in 3 feet of snow wasn't all that tempting. (The picture from March 2015 posed below was just a photo op)
Ross What a fantastic snowy picture, staged or not. My part of the UK rarely sees a snowflake.
The red hats versus green helmets game in 2013 shows me there are more garden Wargames riches to be found out there in the blogosphere.
You raise some very interesting points.
I wonder if the same situation exists with garden railroading or railways? They are "outed" with / have high street magazines, forums, products, the respectable veneer of engineering and model village gardening.
Is it weather?
Is it our collectively ageing and creaky knees?
Is it the increasingly tiny to non existent gardens of modern British houses?
Is it too close to boyhood "playing with toy soldiers" without the "beard" or cover of children and grandchildren? My neighbours and friends know that I collect and make / cast old toy soldiers as they cover my desk, pop up in odd display places in our house etc.
I can't speak to most of your points but I think some aspects of the last two may be relevant.
The nature and size of modern Gardens and lawns doubtless play a role. Again, I can't speak to Britain but thinking of the wargamers I know personally, many live in suburbs with large yards full of carefully tended grass punctuated by tidy flower gardens and occasionally a veggie garden, with little or no privacy and little cover or terrain. Others live in flats or apartments with no yard at all so would have to seek a public park. Just a few live in older residential areas with smaller but more interesting yards or in a rural area like I do with variable terrain and the illusion of privacy.
So there may well be difficulty in finding suitable areas for outdoor games in ths grass as well as the "playing with children's toys" aspect, something a shy gamer can deny when playing indoor games with model soldiers on detailed terrain with an official glossy boxed ruleset to show that it's not just him/her.
I like to think that it takes maturity and a bit of chutzpah these days for a man to admit proudly and publicly that he is indeed playing with toys and using his imagination rather than golfing or playing a video game.
Post by manoftinblog on Sept 22, 2016 21:12:56 GMT
Ross I think you've identified an important feature re tiny gardens or no gardens;
My 1980s house in Britain has a 'small' back garden. More recent houses being built in the same area have tiny tiny gardens if any at all. Usually a lot of the space goes to a fair amount of communal space / landscaping / grass / parking but little private garden space, similar to apartments. No use to outdoor gaming.
I think I would fit into that shy gamer category in the sense that I doubt if I would use the 'public space' of the narrow strip of lawn at the front of the house for example. Not sure what the neighbours would make of it, without the cover of children ...
I agree with aducknamedjoe that the terrain is definitely more realistic!
I think it's a combination of thing's, with our busy lives it's hard enough finding an opponent for games in any scale and 54mm is a marginal activity in the hobby so players are even harder to find unless you belong to a club where some of the members are prepared to give it a go. Even then, garden games need to be played during daylight hours and most club's meet in the evening's so unless you're retired then games are further restricted to the weekends when there is more pressure to spend time with the family.
So, having coordinated players with a venue you're then at the mercy of the weather, i think maybe 50% of my garden games get called off or taken indoors at the last-minute due to rain. At the other end of the scale, it's not too pleasant to play in the searing heat of the mid day sun.
I'm fortunate to live in a Victorian house in West London with a reasonable size garden which I've landscaped over the years to provide a compromise between planting areas for Mrs C and wargame areas for me but all the new building development around us these days seems to be empty office blocks being converted to apartments. My neighbors all know that I collect toy soldiers and game with them, they appear to find this quaint and vaguely interesting but I don't know what they really think and frankly I couldn't care less.
I've tried wargaming in parks but in addition to the difficulties already mentioned you need to find a spot where people and dogs aren't likely to wander through, also you need to carry all the figures and paraphernalia you need from wherever you've managed to park the car so it's a bit of a pain.
Despite all of this I still think outdoor gaming with like minded friends is the best there is.
I haven't yet managed to lay a game in my garden despite good intentions. I did arrange a game for July this year but unfortunately people weren't able to attend. I am lucky in that I have a 1/3 acre plot and have a suitable side lawn. This is in view of the road but I have no qualms about playing with toy soldiers in full view of my neighbours...
I managed to get in a quick 'scratch' small solo game of 54mm "Close Little Star Wars" last Sunday outside in our narrow side yard / "Planet Yarden" well out of view of all neighbours but now the weather has turned, this could be the last of the 2016 season. If I had waited to paint my pound store space troopers, Star Wars Command (Wilko bargain finds) and motley Airfix Space Warriors, the weather would be gone.
I shall write it up and post photos for my Man of Tin Blog or my other Pound Store Plastic warriors blog on Wordpress. Little Wars with lasers, H.G.Wells for the 25th century, on a garden planet in a galaxy far far away ... It seemed curiously appropriate for the father of modern science fiction.
I'm not sure if garden gaming in the local park probably wouldn't get you arrested, on some grounds, crawling around on hands and knees ... Very suspicious behaviour ... Or savaged by wild dogs.