Thursday, July 25, 2013

Author Rant

I have been reading a book this week while on holiday about the memories of a war gamer's life. It tells of his childhood collecting cap guns and reading Commando comics, playing with Action men and then Britain's toy soldiers( all this leading up to his joy of war gaming). I had read all this and was awaiting his chapter on him getting his first Fantasy figures which later progressed onto historical, but no. Instead he started to rant about Games Workshop and tear holes in the whole fantasy side of  gaming. He even went as far as saying poor old Tolkien should be put against a wall and shot for his part in the fantasy genre! At this point the book stopped being much fun for me and my reading started to tail off (I swopped the book for my HotT rule book instead). I will make myself finish it as I am almost there and there might be a small chance he can redeem himself. However, once you know someone is a history purist there isn't much point reading on. He also alienated me by slagging off 'collectors' who just put there figures on shelves and dust them once a year instead of gaming with them. This really put me out because due to space restrictions It's what I've ended up doing myself. Note to self...If writing a book on War gaming, don't slag off half of your demographic.

I myself don't mind taking the Michael out of GW, after all they are greedy bast@rds, but If It wasn't for them and the other companies back in the Eighties, I wouldn't have got into war gaming at all. There is a lot of good things to be said about the Fantasy ranges and their games and even though I joke about them, I can't ignore all the hundreds of hours of enjoyment my friends and I got out of them as teenagers. Even now reading HotT, I have started to look through my old collections and enjoy them again. I haven't played a Fantasy game for well over twenty years but I can't forget where It all began for me.

Anyway, that's it, rant over.

My rant was quite nice really, after reading two pages of the book to my friend, he was ready to murder something...probably an orc or some other made up f@ck. Thanks for listening and enjoy wargaming, no matter what bloody genre it is.


Paul said...

Like em or loath em, it is hard to disagree that GW had a massive effect of the quality of sculpting and painting. And without them many of the current crop of gaming companies would exist.

Ian said...

I like so many others have played Fantasy Roleplay etc. and whilst I am no fan of the modern GW I do remember their support of not just fantasy but historical (I bought my 6th Edition WRG Ancients rules from them).

I am not big fan of fantasy large battles but have no problem with it, but I do have a problem with one group taking the other to task, be that Historical hating Fantasy or the other way round.

Without Tolkien it's possible wargaming would never have become more than a minute hobby as like it or not Fantasy has pushed wargaming with figures hard and most of the new crop coming into historical are via GW then Flames of War

So I say thanks Tolkie Baby ;-)


Sire Godefroy said...

That's some serious, good points you made there. The author really couldn't complain if you gave the title of the book under review – so that others could avoid what appears to be a good read for the first couple of pages/chapters.

On the angle it takes: I have my quibbles and have had some rants about companies, people etc. But knowing that nobody's perfect and, after all, it's just a hobby I couldn't be bothered to have that printed. Publishers never cease to amaze me…

Cheers, SG

Tony said...

What was the title of the book?


Matt said...

Tony. The books sounds like 'Achtung Schweinhund' by Harry Pearson. Actually one of the things that got me back into wargaming after a few years hiatus! I agree it's completely biased when addressing the Fantasy element, but still quite fun to read and will have anyone of a certain age group bathing in nostalgia. As for GW, it has indeed become something of a mon$ter. I feel it's just sad to see how far removed it's become from it's more earthly grassroots beginnings.

James Brewerton said...

I also stopped reading the book but for me I got board, his story did not match mind so held little interest for me.
I see my gaming as just that be it historical of fantasy.
Peace James

Conrad Kinch said...

I would imagine you're talking about 'Achtung Schweinhund'. I rather liked it - though I don't share the authors disdain for fantasy.

Horses for courses.

Secundus said...

I must admit It did surprise me how I felt about reading his take on the fantasy genre. I couldn't help but take it a little personally.
Once you start putting your strong opinions in print, people are bound to react.
I also feel bad because the book was given to me as a recommended read. I have learnt there are very different types of gamers that share the same hobby.