Firstly, I admire the stance that Henry Hyde has taken in his editorial against the use of the swastika as a decorative device. It is a symbol whose political connotations cannot and must not be ignored.
Secondly, there is the article by two Belgian wargamers, Phil Dutré and Bart Vetters, on the battle of Aspern-Essling in 1809. The twist in their participation game version of the battle is that the model soldiers act as the terrain while the scenery provides the playing pieces. I cannot begin to tell you how much pleasure that element of the game design gives me. Whilst you'll need to read the article (i.e. buy the magazine) in order to read the details, let me just quote Goethe (sneaking the pseudery back in there) to wet your appetite: "We will burn that bridge when we come to it".
All the above doesn't mean that there aren't bad bits. Neil Shuck is a columnist whose point escapes me. His view of wargamers is astonishingly simplistic and procrustean. I have a softer spot for Mike Siggins, although I don't know why. His column in this issue reads like, and quite possibly is, a reprint of one that was published in Wargames Illustrated a decade or more ago. He has had some sort of life-changing epiphany, is going to downsize his collection, focus his efforts more and paint more and game less. I'll bet you a pound to a penny that next month he has found a new period to champion - almost certainly with figures sculpted by the Perry twins - and decided that playing rather than painting is the thing. He is, let's be frank, Mr Toad. However, he is not without some charm. I have long suspected that his column is actually the work of Alan Bennett (a man surely never before mentioned in a wargames blog) and you will no doubt be aware that Bennett wrote an excellent version of 'Wind in the Willows' for the theatre. In the film of Siggins' life (already in pre-production or so I hear) he will be played by Thora Hird; and I defy MS Foy or anyone else to tell me that she's dead.
|Mike Siggins gives his 'View from the Armchair'|