Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Why I wargame: Ross Macfarlane's statement is spot on

I have been following Ross Macfarlane's blog BATTLE GAME OF THE MONTH for a long time, and even had the pleasure of meeting him when Sue and I visited Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 2013. He is slightly younger than me, but we have both been wargaming for roughly the same amount of time and share a lot of common wargaming interests and outlooks.

In a very recent blog entry he wrote about his current interest in wargaming the early stages of the First World War. Included in the text of this particular blog entry was the following statement:
The real point is that, while preparing an old Crescent 18pdr for repainting in grey, it occurred to me that my recent enthusiasm for WWI figures and books and plan for a Centenary Homage game may have unintentionally given the impression that I might be on the cusp of reverting to being a bona fide historical miniature wargamer. Let me assure everyone that this is not the case; I remain a proponent of the Little Wars approach. Not the specific bit about shooting toy cannons but the general approach of studying history but playing a game with fictional armies of toy soldiers.
I have emboldened the last two sentences because Ross's statement encapsulates my approach to my solo wargaming. I still fight historical wargames with the other members of Wargame Developments and the Jockey's Field Irregulars, but when I am at home fighting my solo wargames I am always happier using the armies of historically and fictionally-based imagi-nations.

In his most recent blog entry, Ross Macfarlane mentions that he owns a tinplate castle that is very similar to the one I found during the recent sort out of my shed. I have now done some research and it would appear that the castle was made by Crescent Toys and was sold in at least three boxed versions:
  1. Gatehouse, small square towers, and walls
  2. Gatehouse, large round towers, small square towers, and walls
  3. Gatehouse, large round towers, small square towers, walls, and a selection of Knights
Mine appears to be the second of these versions, although the small square towers – which I remember owning – seem to have been lost at some point.


  1. I agree about the why of wargaming. The play's the thing, eh?
    It's similar to the reason I like certain war movies and adventure movies and westerns and fantasy movies. It's the entertainment and an engaging story.

  2. Fitz-Badger,

    I suspect that there are quite a few wargamers of a certain age and/or experience who would agree with us.

    All the best,


  3. Looks like between us we have a delux set.

    I have once or twice, not recently, used it as a city wall on one edge of a battlefield when wargaming with 25mm or 15mm figures.

  4. Ross Mac,

    I think that you are probably right!

    A complete set - in its box - is worth between £90 and £100 ... so don't lose yours!

    Now that I have rediscovered my tinplate castle I hope to use it in a similar way to the way in which you have done.

    All the best,