Sunday, 1 June 2014

Thinking, gardening, and looking back

The good weather that we have been enjoying for the past few days has meant that I have been doing some work in the garden, and that has given my some time to think. (The use of the word 'good' is relative, and means that it is not raining most of the time.)

I have now installed wooden edging around all the flower beds and along the front edge of the cleared area underneath the laurel hedge. As part of this process I have removed all the earth that had built up around the garden shed, and with luck I should be able to begin sorting out what is in the shed as the summer progresses. I vaguely remember trying to do this some years ago, and a quick look back at my earliest blog entries shows that the last time I did was in 2009 ... and that my efforts were very short-lived!

The end of the garden. Until relatively recently the laurel hedge completely covered the shed.
The shed ... in all its unencumbered glory!
Most of my thinking has been about the possibility that I will ever write a set of wargame rules that meet all my needs ... and my conclusions were that it was very likely that I would not. I have had many attempts to achieve this aim, and have got close on a couple of occasions, but then I see something that makes me change tack and go back to the drawing board.

A look back at my blog shows that I have – over a number of years – written several sets of wargame rules that work and with which I should be satisfied. They are (in alphabetical order):
  • BUNDOCK AND BAYONET
  • CHACO WAR
  • 'ERES TO YOU FUZZY WUZZY
  • HEROES OF VICTORIA'S EMPIRE (HoVE)
  • HEXBLITZ
  • HORDES OF DERVISHES
  • MEMOIR OF BATTLE (MOB)
  • MEMOIR OF BATTLE AT SEA (MOBAS)
  • MEMOIR OF MODERN BATTLE (MOBAT)
  • MINI AND TOUTOU GO FORTH
  • OPERATIONAL ART
  • RED FLAGS AND IRON CROSSES
  • RED FLAGS AND IRON CROSSES – TARRED AND FEATHERSTONED
  • REDCOATS AND DERVISHES
  • RESTLESS NATIVES
  • RESTLESS NATIVES – TARRED AND FEATHERSTONED
  • RESTLESS REVOLUTIONARIES
  • SIMPLE COLONIAL WARGAMES RULES (SCWaRes)
  • THE PORTABLE NAVAL WARGAME
  • THE PORTABLE WARGAME (PW)
  • WHEN EMPIRES CLASHED! (WEC)
Not a bad record – even though I say it myself – but indicative of a rather butterfly mind!

I think that I need to go and look again at some of my past efforts, especially as I suspect that I may not yet have explored their full potential.

One thing that the better weather has not made to go away is the replacement of the gas supply pipe to the houses in our street. The trenches have got longer ...



... and the holes have got bigger and deeper.




The workmen were originally supposed to have finished installing the new gas supply pipe by the end of the month ... but I am fast coming to the conclusion that they meant the end of June not the end of May!

8 comments:

  1. Bob,
    I think the 'perfect set' of wargames rules that will meet all one's needs is an illusion; rather, one should regard rules like stage performances - both are, after all, trying to dramatise a narrative within severe constraints of material, time and space - that may be perfectly satisfactory at that moment, but seem less so when reviewed critically afterwards, leading one to consider how to alter/improve them.

    The great thing is to be prepared to adapt, change - and even abandon - a particular set of rules in order to enjoy a wargame. If a ruleset generates just one, truly enjoyable game it has served its purpose. The mistake, IMHO, is to devote an inordinate amount of study, time and expense to devise and/or learn a lengthy, complex set of rules hoping to use it in all one's games, when one could just select some simple rules that suit one's immediate needs, play a good game and then, perhaps, move on to something else.

    Why should one play all one's games - in the same historical period/level - with the same rules? Why not make each battle within a short campaign a chance to try out different systems? That way players might be encouraged to focus on tactics rather than the minutiae of rules; there's no point trying to be 'rules lawyer' if a different set will control your next game!

    Your rules, and the various versions thereof, offer just that sort of opportunity and are one of the main reasons I enjoy your blog so much.

    Best wishes,

    Arthur

    ReplyDelete
  2. Arthur1815,

    I had come to the same conclusion as to the impossibility of ever getting a 'perfect' set of wargames rules ... and I think that your analogy with wargames being like theatre is a good one.

    I keep coming back to simple rules that allow me to fight fun and interesting battles ... and I think that I have written several sets that I can use as and when I want to without having to rebase all my figures every time that I decide to change.

    Looking back at some of my earlier sets of rules has made me realise that I fought some great wargames with them, and that I need to make sure that I don't forget that fact.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't think I have even seen that shed!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Tim Gow,

    I haven't seen it for at least four years ... and thought that it was grey until I had cut the laurel hedge back and discovered that it wasn't!

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  5. Bob

    Well done with the yard work and the rules. Is my memory faulty or did you have a set of Spanish Civil War rules that were published in MW or Wi or WW at some point in the 1980s.

    Cheers
    PD

    ReplyDelete
  6. Peter Douglas,

    Thanks on both counts.

    I did write a set of Spanish Civil War rules back in the 1980s, and they were published in one of the magazines (I think that it was MW). An extended and expanded version were published by Partizan Press, and they were entitled ARRIBA ESPANA! (I understand that they were copied and republished by an American wargamer with a different title and all the measurements converted from metric to imperial units. I got no credit and he claimed sole authorship. Life is like that sometimes.)

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  7. Bob

    Are they still available or would you be willing to post a PDF of the original article?
    Cheers
    PD

    ReplyDelete
  8. Peter Douglas,

    Funnily enough I recently updated the original document into PDF format, and I would be more than willing to send you a copy.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete