Sunday, January 10, 2016

Paint Table Saturday

Paint Table Saturday a Day Late and Other Things

Well I am doing well for 2016 as I have completed the 4Ground farm house to go along with the two barns I finished in 2015. The last of this lot is a few walls and the cemetery. Not bad starting out 2016 with one of my two Christmas orders almost completed. Now the half tracks and armoured cars will take a little longer. The early war support troops may never be completed as I only needed six figures and an infantry gun out of the pack for Martlet. May have to find another pint sized campaign to handle these unneeded (currently) figures.

Now the first battle between Mark and myself was not good for the Germans. My troops had trouble getting on the board and the mist had little effect on the British. Not a great first game.

Now the second battle that will be fought latter this month has a lot of prospects. The Germans are ready and I am sure Mark is all set.

This image is from Daddy's Little Men. Additional images and a write up by Mark can be found on the blog.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

State of Gaming in 2015

I love when the end of the year rolls around and we read of predictions (including ones we make ourselves) for the new year and a look back on our general state of affairs. I know I will not make my painting goals or games played. I can live with that and try harder for 2016. Yet as a veteran gamer I do like to think about our over all condition of our hobby and for some their professions.

My history with gaming goes back forty plus years and I have seen many trends come and go. I know there will be a few new companies on the scene each year and few will also leave us. There will be the latest games dealing with The Battle of the Bulge, Midway, Waterloo or Normandy because we still have not created the ultimate gaming experience. This is generally not a bad thing, but we keep re-fighting the same two to three months of history year after year and convention after convention.

So where are we today; probably in the best possible position for our hobby ever. I will defend this statement by siting three items, technology, shows and demographics.

Technology such as 3D printing and Social Media allow gamers to have access to information and products we never believed possible. 3D printers allows designers to offer many versions and types of vehicles without the long drawn out process of traditional sculpting. This comes with a cost, in dollars, euros and pounds, but we now have the ability to add support vehicles to all of our armies. I can even add the AA-tanks to my 3mm Poles to use in Northwest Europe. Major companies have trouble making lesser know vehicles available economically. 3D printers make this possible.

Social Media not a new trend but definitely maturing, allows groups to gather and share research and technique. This also comes at cost, I need more shelf space for the books that I have acquired because of these conversations. These communities help you to find local gamers and clubs. It is surprising how many of us are out there.  If you take the time to be active on these communities you will add gaming buddies as well as friendships as some of use share their lives on there as well. Even picked up so awesome recipes from the Lardies.

Conventions and Shows are changing and in some ways for the better and others, well not so good. Attendance in the big name shows are down. That goes for attendees and the vendors. While the numbers are rarely released on the shows listening to the tone on boards and social media you get the feeling that the world has changed. I know this as I have attended some of these shows since the mid-1980s.  I have found that the major sows I attend here in the US do not have the same excitement that they did in the past. Some blame the Internet and the fact that we do not have to come to shows to buy everything we need for the coming wargaming season. But when I come to a show now there is not the excitement of seeing something new, I saw it already on line. We can do better with demos and generating the excitement online before the show, but it takes effort and that I see is missing.

But smaller regional shows are all the rage here in the northeast. There are more of them popping up all the time. Within two hours of me is a club or show event going on at least once a month. In the summer and fall I can choose up  to three in a month. Yes there are more of us out there (am I repeating myself) than we think. Are they generating excitement, some, but they are smaller and scrappier and I see them only getting better.

The D word, Demographics. I want to end on an up note for 2015. Our hobby is growing in both numbers and diversity. WS&S magazine did a second survey and the results are encouraging.  What we need to remember is to be more inviting, to get people to our clubs and allow the army of solo gamers to have a chance to use their troops against real opponents.

While I may not have painted as much as I would have wanted, I am looking forward to 2016 being a great gaming year. Now I have to place that order for the Unix P107. Von Luck needs at least two. :-)