Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My views on excessive rivet counting in real-world wargaming

To preface: I am not writing this in response to any particular criticisms to my work, I am merely sharing some thoughts that I have had over the years and that were stirred up by the concluding video.

When I was a tad younger I used to be something of a purist when it came to modeling. I would always go for the product that demonstrated the greatest amount of real-world fidelity. I think this is a perfectly fine methodology to approach our hobby from, but really it is ultimately a personal choice; while I felt this was the most rewarding way to approach the hobby, and couldn't quite understand why others would choose another path, I never expected nor criticized others for having more lax views on, say using early 90s US troops in their ventures into Helmand in 2010.

As I've gotten a bit older, however, I've found that personally my views on accuracy versus fun factor have begun to shift. My modeling efforts today are not designed to replicate the precise reality in detail, but rather emulate what I view as the predominant themes of modern conflict. Thus, when I paint a platoon of marines I am not concerned with generating an accurate 1/72nd color-correct uniform, but rather to convey the general chaotic nature of contemporary counterinsurgency and the ad-hoc nature of the USMC itself.

This is, of course, my own subjective view, and it has certainly evolved over time. Despite my internalized development, however, I have always tried to maintain a healthy respect for other people's views on hobbying this period and more generally. One thing that I often notice, unfortunately, is the tendency for many to simply attack other people's work because it doesn't fit with their own paradigm of what 'hobby' should truly be. Of course there are the ultra-liberal views that often can stray into the absurd in this respect, but there is also a worrisome tendency for many to adhere too close to the concept of 'rivet counting', i.e. extreme fidelity to the real world. While there is certainly a degree of benefit from following this type of approach to hobby, and obviously a necessity to it to some degree, I think it becomes something of a self parody when people start to visibly chafe over whether a 1/100 scale T-9873493 should be 5 inches or 5.1 inches in length.  

At the end of the day, this hobby has a heavy art form component, and art is not simply a pursuit in absolute literalism.

To conclude on a lighter note: Hitler's views on rivet counting

Friday, January 24, 2014

Tuna boat of doom


Stowage is cool

There are few things more stowaged up then a USMC AAV-7, which is designed to carry close to a platoon's worth of heavily armed marine types straight into the crucible of battle. I've previously painted up one of these beastys and left off any real stowage. Not this time, however....

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

ad-hoc Syrian dakka

I've always been a fan of weird, spliced together armor pieces. With all the oddities popping up in the Syrian conflict I thought I would try to retool and repaint my previous "Zeus Chariot"





ready for those high-angled urban shots.

Cold War Crisis with Khurasan

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My recent experience with the Chain of Command rules has injected a bit of excitement back into me lately. Force on Force's charm has been wearing pretty thin lately, as I feel it suffers a distinctive degree of "Sameitis", with the overlapping elements of the turn system blurring everything together into a big mess. Realistically reflective of war? Perhaps. Fun? Not so much, lately.

Dan lured me in with promises of delicious new, fertile ground with Chain of Command and I have to say I am pretty stoked by the system. The initial scouting phase really adds a different dynamic to the whole feel of the game. Combined with randomized command dice, a nice solid core list structure and the different methods of taking control of units, I feel this is a really nice, well rounded way to play with mandollies.

My new objectives are to create a bunch of 'core' forces based on the initial CoC rules ported over into a cold war setting. For this I will also be switching scale, as I have been finding that logistically, 20mm can be a bit of a hassle to transport around, particular when your main mode of getting places is a Z3.

As such, I started laying the groundwork with a couple of Khurasan's new tanks, Cold War rivals T-62 and M60.

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I have always been academically aware of the relative height difference of these two beasts, but it really hits you in the face visually when they are next to one another

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For now the objective is to get a mid Cold War US and Soviet force done, as well as finish up the WW2 Soviet unit I am currently 3/4s of the way through. I also plan on doing an ultra modern mid-range Russian federation unit utilizing Eureka's Russians and a combination of Khurasan and Zvezda products.