Friday, 17 June 2011

What does the future hold? ... Lots of potential!

The response to yesterday's blog entry was incredible. I got lots of very good advice and support, and it has helped me to give some serious thought to what I intend do for the foreseeable future.

At present my thoughts are moving in the direction of beginning a 'big project' that will have lots of potential to generate several parallel 'minor projects'. The likelihood is that the 'big project' will:
  • Be set during the 1880s to the early 1900s
  • Be set in an a group of small imagi-nations that 'inhabit' somewhere very akin to South and Central America
  • Use my PORTABLE WARGAME rules
  • Use my Heroscape™ and/or Hexon II hexed terrain
  • Use a number of newly-built Ironclad warships models, scaled so that my figures will not look too ridiculous when placed near them
  • Use 15mm-scale figures drawn mostly from the American Civil War, Franco-Prussian War, and Colonial Wars ranges of various figure manufacturers
  • Use my HO9-scale model railway track, locomotives, and rolling stock
The joy of such a 'big project' is that I already have a lot of stuff that can be used to start it, and what I will need to buy I should be able to acquire without having to spend a great deal of money.

This is just a starting point, and I might change my mind about the location of the imagi-nations and move them to the Balkans. Alternately, I may locate them in a totally imaginary world based on an existing map from a fantasy book (e.g. Robert E Howard's HYBORIA or J R R Tolkien's MIDDLE EARTH) or even one that I have drawn myself.

Robert E Howard's HYBORIA


As Arthur Daley once said, "The World is your lobster, my son."


  1. Bob

    That sounds like a plan. Looks promising indeed. I have to say it's nice to see a sunnier outlook today - you and RossMac had me pondering my own mortality yesterday!


  2. Peter Douglas,

    I think that it is a good plan; not a great one, but certainly a good one.

    I don't think that Ross Mac or I intended to be depressing in any way; it is just that there comes a time when one has to face up to the inevitable ... and plan to make the most of one's opportunities.

    All the best,


  3. I think you're onto a really good track, Bob. I'd be tempted to go the whole hog and build an Imagi-world to house your Imagi-nations, that way you can have your Europe analogue with a few Great Powers and as many little Balkan states as you want, while also having a distant colonial continent of new nations as your South/Central American analogue.
    Question: What do you get out of wargaming? What's the appeal in it for you?

  4. Hi Bob,

    Lots of potential there methinks - certainly more than enough to keep you very busy indeed!

    Intrigued by the 'newly built ironclad warships' - I assume the famous Cordery Cartoon Specials? Are they still under construction?

    You realise though that you will need a campaign system for PW to keep it all ticking over and I hope a journal supporting all the intrigue and diplomatic wranglings with personalities etc to match will also feature at some point!

    Go on, you know you want to....;-)

    All the best,


  5. Dr Vesuvious,

    I must admit that it is very, very tempting as I would be able to give full rein to my sense of imagination (no pun intended!). It is something that I am going to have to give considerable thought to.

    In answer to your question, my reply would have to be fun and mental stimulation.

    All the best,


  6. David Crook,

    I have not built any ship models recently, and this project would give my the impetus to do so ... and yes, they would be built in my usual 'cartoon' style.

    I have a few ideas about how to run a potential PW campaign, but whatever form it takes, there will definitely be some form of written record (including plenty of blog entries!).

    All the best,


  7. Oh dear Bob, sounds like our amateur efforts at peering into the future have been making the professional uneasy!

    There is a lot to be said for a wholly imaginary setting but it can be a lot of work and does sacrifice the ability to tie in actual history.

    Fitting in a few small fictional countries into an area where there are several small historical countries blends some of the freedom of an imaginary land
    with the interest of real history. Inventing a large island/mini-continent in our world is a similar approach blending fact and fiction and one that I have tried with a fair amount of pleasure though I eventually gave in to the desire to set my fictional wars in the real world so I can go visit the battlefields.

  8. Ross Mac,

    You were quicker on the uptake about the professional interest in mortality than I was!

    What I am thinking of starting with is something like Eric Knowles' 'Madasahatta'; a separate entity that could exist alongside the 'real' world. That would give me the option to go totally 'imaginary' at some point in the future, should I so desire it.

    All the best,


  9. OK, let me ask it another way, what parts of the hobby give you that fun and mental stimulation?

    For me it's mainly the story. An epic charge against the enemy position despite overwhelming odds is more fun for me than a cunningly conceived and perfectly executed flank attack. I like to see the narrative of the battle develop as the game progresses.

    After that it's research. Not so much in the scholarly hard facts and figures sense. I love immersing myself in a period, reading up everything I can, fact or fiction and watching any movies or TV series that help build up the feel of the setting.

    The rest of it... collecting and painting miniatures, competitive gaming, reconstructing or refighting historical battles or developing clever tactics or rules tinkering, all of those are way down on my list.

    So having picked out those aspects that give me the most fun, I try to focus my activity around those aspects.

    I have a friend who's an accountant by trade and as you might expect, he loves his spreadsheets and min-maxing. I'm sure he'd love a campaign setup with a fully realised economy as outlined in Tony Bath's "Setting Up A Wargames Campaign" that he could tweak and optimise in order to get the greatest advantage out of it. That's great for him, but personally I just want to get little lead men on the table and find out if this time the Blue Guards can make up for their poor performance in the last game, so I want a simpler, narrative campaign system.

    Others love recreating actual unit uniforms in as much detail as possible. So it would make sense for them to focus on a strictly historical period and theater with distinctive uniforms. Me? I'm colour-blind with the shakes and a squinty right eye. Ain't no way I'm going to be getting the right number of brass buttons on the 15th Hussars' pelisse, so Imagi-Nations or a quasi-historical theater works better for me.

    Do you see what I'm driving at? What aspects of the hobby give you the fun and mental stimulation you're looking for? Answering that question will help you focus your efforts to give you the most bang for the buck, I think.

  10. Dr Vesuvius,

    A very long and detailed comment that requires an equally long and detailed reply.

    I am going to have to give some serious thought to what you have written before I reply ... and my reply is very likely to be in the form of a blog entry today or tomorrow.

    All the best,