"Take a breath" - However Salute is not all wargame shows. And I have attended many where quite honestly I sometimes wonder why the club or group had bothered turning up! ("I'm not going to make any friends with that statement, But I feel it is time it was said").
Last year I attended Games Expo in Birmingham and with my trusty camera I browsed the Privateer Press Warmachine Tournament looking to see if there was any inspiration I could take from the dozens of tournament tables and battles being conducted.
There was one!
This was a major tournament (50 plus gamers) and there was only one piece of terrain I felt worth taking a picture of. I then came home and built myself a BETTER version of it!
Maybe I am alone in this - but I feel that wargamers are loosing sight of one of the most important aspects (and in truth one of the most creative aspects) of the hobby - the construction of terrain or scenery.
Regular readers will know that I build masters for Grand Manner, something that I am very proud of. I am yet to come across a comment that derides these superb models - I am not blowing my own trumpet as the bulk of the models are in fact sculpted by Dave Bodley - the owner of Grand Manner and not me.
The comments I do see are Grand Manner is too expensive, the shipping rates are too much, I would love to own one of these but the ready painted models are just out of my price bracket.
All of these comments might be true (and in this economy there must be many in a situation where they just cannot afford the models). But At least realise that without this quality terrain the whole experience of gaming - particularly wargaming is lacking. Here is the truth of the situation; Resin is expensive, shipping costs are increasing and to paint a piece of terrain to this standard takes time - skilled time.
As I write, I know that there will be many saying Yes I agree, well at least I hope so. So where is the counter argument. Where is the argument for fielding a beautifully painted and based army - all bright colours and carefully researched uniform detail on a table that any 4 year old could replicate with sticky back plastic and a green bed sheet.
On the news this evening was a comment that the designer of the new Queen Mary was inspired to build the new ship after seeing a piece on Blue Peter about the original. Let's inspire the next generation to build better terrain by showing them what can be achieved.
This is a call to arms - except the arms are modelling material to make new, better and real quality terrain for your own table top games.
Look at what is currently available on e-bay and what is currently on show in the published (and electronic) press, surely you can do better. I know you can.
I confess, I am a real 'terrain junkie' - going to shows to see what others have produced or painted. Please don't disappoint me.