I am enamored with all things miniature wargame. Last year I dove into the world of boardgames (and card games) as my sons were now of an age where we could plays games that were enjoyable to each of us. Boardgaming is not, however, a hobby. A hobby requires hands-on creativity. (Aka, dirty hands.) A hobby is what you do between events. While I am up to the challenge of developing boardgames and card games it is too much of an intellectual challenge only and I have enough of that in my day-job. And further, I don't really want to do it.
As a young teenager I had a detailed model Great Western Railway in N gauge. I loved this hobby. It allowed for the creation of a whole world and one run with British timeliness. (Timeliness, is something that has vanished from the modern UK rail system, I am told.) Modeling railways and railroads are still something I look forward to doing again in my dotage, but not now.
What sparked my interest in miniature wargaming come from an unexpected encounter at the Hobby Bunker. This game store is near to my employer's office and so I went to it too look at their stock of boardgames. What I encountered was not, principally, a boardgame store but instead a miniatures wargaming store. As, as it turns out, the Hobby Bunker is one of the best such stores in the US. And so for two hours I wondered the aisles of shelves stocked with unpainted miniatures in plastic and metal of all historical periods; the selection of paints in acrylic and enamel; the shelves of books with the historical accounts of nations, armies, commanders, and battles; wargamer magazines; and wargame rules. (Hobby Bunker does also have a good collection of boardgames.)
That day I only bought an issue of Wargames Illustrated but the next time I bought some plastic saxons and the paint for them. And, like every good wargamer, they remain unpainted in the box still. But that is not because of waning interest but instead I have dove in the deep-end of the pool and am currently surrounded with magazines, military history books, wargaming books (mostly the foundational one), rule books, wargaming podcasts, and, soon to arrive, armies of vikings and saxons in 6mm.
As one of my sons noted, "you are serious about this dad!" I am.
I had a great time Saturday attending the Boston Battle Groups's Havoc Game Convention (HAVOC). My goal in attending was to see different historical periods and different rule sets in play. In the morning I watched Day of Battle rules payed out by Christopher Parker (the rule set's author), his brother, Jen, and Richard Brian. The game is driven by a unique combination of dice (d6) and a standard deck of cards. I need to see the rules played out in a tournament to make a judgement about them. I want to thank Chris and Dick for sharing their time and knowledge with me.
In the afternoon I watched a Punic wars battle played with the the De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) rules ((say what). This rule set seems most approachable. It had the feel of a boardgame but played with miniatures on an open table. Since returning from HAVOC I have spent the most time with this rule set. I want to thank Maureen, Spencer, Mike, and Harrison for a wonderful afternoon.
All in all, I met a wonderful group of people at HAVOC. All most willing to ofter advice and help. And Vic Gregoire invited me to join his "The Usual Gang of Idiots" for some wargames later in the year.