As one of my daughters is engaging currently in teacher training I was reminded of this text , so popular for a time in my own career-
I was reminded of this when I was thinking about my own “black box” my permanent potting bench gaming area. For me it is a black box where any game can take place through the transformation of terrain , rules and figures. It also needs to be pleasing to look at, in my eyes, as it stays up all the time , is played over days or weeks and if not filled up with a game can deteriorate into a dumping ground for books etc. What is needed are different gaming experiences rather than the same with different bits of lead moving around. I am thinking of moving towards my collections having a unique set of gaming experiences in terms of rules and playing environments. I’m not sure how to do it...
Basically for me there are games on grids or not gridded, hex or square or plain. Currently I have an all encompassing backdrop and green cloth ( plain or gridded in various sizes) or a winter backdrop drop with a white ( grid or plain ) cloth. One step would be to get a desert or seascape set up. Man of Tin’s recent post reminded me that my black box is essentially a stage needing sets and lead or plastic actors. I would like to add height too in some way. Any thoughts on set dressing ideas or how to use rules and scale to get differing gaming experiences are welcome and positively encouraged!
Excellent post, Alan. Very thought provoking. I suppose that's the rub. How to keep it interesting, yet not become so scattered you've got 50 partially finished projects (which would be me). I don't think I have a ready answer. I will have to ponder. But I think it's a bit like cooking. Change the texture, the spice level, the way you arrange it on the plate. That way you are thinking INSIDE the box. Personally, I am looking at an offset grid.ReplyDelete
I once drew up an offset grid and used it for some time, it worked well. I like your cooking analogy.Delete
I like your comparison of the wargame "table" as a stage - I hadn't thought of it like that.ReplyDelete
Interesting thought, particularly applicable literally to my three sided bench with me as the audience.Delete
Alan, I don't know how helpful this will be, but I was recently inspired by an article in WI about using an expanded board from the old Little Big Horn game by Waddingtons with 54mm figures. I have on order a 6' x 4' mouse mat of the board, and have started collecting othe rboard games suitable for such a conversion, such as Victoria Cross (Rorke's Drift) and Waterloo (from 2009 using meeples as playing pieces). My point is that one gets attractive gaming mats covering various periods without having to acquire lots of terrain, although one can of course add 3D terrain to the board if desired. To me it's a way of ringing the changes easily without having to launch into long time-consuming projects. Best wishes, Anthony.ReplyDelete
Which issue was that, I rarely get the glossies these days. What an interesting idea, I really look forward to seeing them. Food for thought indeed.Delete
It was issue 395 (last month). I was surprised and delighted to find an article on 54mm wargaming with Timpo figures in a mainstream wargames mag!Delete
Interesting re Timpo too.Thanks for the issue no too.Delete
I have been pondering the links between The Toy Theatre and early Wargamers for a future post (entitled The Toy Theatre of War?)ReplyDelete
There is an element of framing, set dressing, assembling the protagonists or characters, behaving in the beginning in preset ways to set plans (take the ridge, cover the bridge, advance and occupy the town) etc and then each of the scenes making up the acts (beginning, middle, end?)
One way to avoid the clutter on your black box table in between games is maybe to create a tiny vignette to look at, or a quick parade etc, easily packed away to prepare for the next game.
Height is an issue, the larger your figures become, the less groundscale (height or length) etc available - easier with 15mm or Airfix, not so easy with 40+ mm in a small space.
On a Duchy of Tradgardland point,Delete
I noticed also that in Denmark the Toy Theatre is called the Dukketeater, according to this book review http://www.papermodelkiosk.com/books/toy_theaters/toy_theaters.html
I look forward to reading that. The table saving idea is indeed a plan , one well worth trying...Delete
15 yrs ago, my plan was to have some represention of each of the major "periods" and as many of the scales as I could manage but to have each use a different set of rules and provide a different ki d of game (skirmish, small battle, big battle, gridded, off grid, single, multi stand units, one stand units.... Yup, I did alot of spinning on my tires.ReplyDelete
I've cut it down to 6 active ones, still trying to get each to have give a different sort of game (ie 1/72 corps sized ACW, 54mm 1870s brigade sized games, 1 stand is a unit 40mm 16thC etc)
Took hard work letting go but I'm happier and actually making progress on what has stayed active (and of course there is a second tier of "I'll put these in the cupboard just in case" as well as a lot that I've rehomed.
But to each what works for your desires.
Interesting to read of your journey Ross. I need to have a think about active and non active collections...Delete
Thought provoking post. By “different gaming experiences” do you mean something beyond changes in period chrome on otherwise ‘universal’ rule mechanics?ReplyDelete
I think I mean that and more. Skirmish and big battle, simple rules and simpler rules, grids and no grids. I am still trying to get my head round it all...Delete
I've been encountering the idea of sets as gaming stages more and more lately it seems. With things like interchangeable backdrops, some set dressing and the like they can be good for small footprint games, for taking photos, and I imagine, for long distance gaming via the web.ReplyDelete
I also think of them as dioramas that aren't necessarily all fixed in place with one scene for all time.
If sized right they can be made to fit onto bookshelves or other storage spaces for display and storage between using them in games.
Using multiple ones for different parts of a larger whole is also an idea to consider.
As for different experiences, scales, periods, etc., I'm realizing more and more that I get too scattered that way and probably need to focus on completing a smaller set of stuff for a smaller number of games. Won't stop me from going in other directions in between, but maybe I can at least complete some projects (or bring them to stages of completion that allow for some gaming).
Lots for me to ponder here.ReplyDelete