The excellent Little Wars channel has asked the question is Historical Wargaming dying, they asked a fair few hobby leaders and many Vloggers took to YouTube to give their opinions, we merry few, we band of brothers also broached the subject on our last club Zoom call. Did we get a definitive answer or did the others, nope I don't think so. I have wargamed for over 50 years and in that time I have been a member of two clubs, Carluke and Lancaster, due to the time lapse Carluke was overwhelmingly historical and Lancaster is a mix of historical and fantasy, possibly 60/40 but definitely with historical in the lead. My own opinion is that no, historical is not dying but is it increasing, no I don't think so it is merely holding its own and with the plethora of games available these days that is surely encouraging.
I spent ten years at Carluke and hardly missed a weekend but when I left we still had the same guys who were there when I first joined and we did try our best to get new members. I have been at Lancaster for about four years, maybe five and again a very welcoming club and member Rob and others put on demonstration games at some of the larger shows but again I think we have managed to get and keep maybe two new guys. Against this I look at the growing Aladdin's cave or that warehouse in Indiana Jones and the sheer volume of stuff available for historical wargamers, yes I know the same applies to fantasy etc. but that wasn't the question, this cornucopia just gets better with each passing year.
I watched an interesting video entitled "Are you old enough for historicals" or something like that and I think that does play a part, we in the Old Guard now generally have enough spare time and money to indulge ourselves therefore we keep the industry turning over so they do not have to rely on new blood. So after all that babbling, I do not think we are in trouble, I was in at the beginning in the Sixties and now in the words of a British prime minister "We have never had it so good", or is it "Crises, what crises?"
I am nearing completion with my reserve Waffen SS squad, now I only got these because although I have a full platoon it is always useful to have a reserve squad for games, all my forces now have reserve squads, and though they rarely see the table I of course 'need' them just in case. As I look at them awaiting their varnish I realise they only have one LMG, now that is fine for army units but this unit being Waffen SS they are most likely to also be panzergrenadiers, and they get two LMG's, yes my Germans have more LMG's than you can shake a stick at but the men do not wear Autumn camo smocks and I therefore cannot use these. I could just say that in the heat of battle these guys left their LMG behind or it broke down, but that also won't work, so I ordered up an LMG this morning. Another thing which has been bugging me for a long time is that my War and Conquest warbands are not big enough, they consist of 32 men and should be at least 36, so two days ago I ordered up for each an extra four men, Picts, Welsh, Saxons and Franks along with new, larger bases. Yet still I am not completely happy, I would like another Roman cohort to add to my Imperial Romans and I know I cannot resist this much longer, once Aventine finish redoing their molds I may have to scratch this itch as well. This leaves me with a quandry, my Galatians, I know the unit I have is 'wrong' but they fight like Trojans, Aventine have Galatians and I am torn between keeping the fighters or getting a new, more historical unit, this one may continue to play on my mind for some time yet.
The map front seems to have recovered from the Covid curse, as well as continuing with the Atlas I have recently finished a very interesting set for a book on American naval aviation during the Vietnam war, I don't have the exact details but I had to draw one of their bases in California. I am also doing a large project for a book about Charles XII of Sweden for friend and Helion editor Charles Singleton.
The weather recently has been very nice, an Indian summer here in the North, but Winter is coming. I have now persuaded myself I need city ruins, no more deliberation on that front, only a matter of when, certainly not this month nor perhaps next month as I have a couple of SYW battalions I want, I have the flags so just need the troops now. I shall therefore need to take over more of the lending library shelves in the Post Office but no need to upset the Memsahib yet.