Saturday, May 28, 2011

Reliving Military History through Gaming

   I know personally and I think our hobby as whole has a hard time explaining to people what we like about miniature gaming. I know for me, I do not want to get a negative reaction or worst of all be thought of as a Nazi.  I was afforded the opportunity to help explain our hobby in a good light.
     A very good friend of mine, Jim Wonacott, was asked to give a presentation about historical miniature war gaming at the Schultz-Holmes Memorial Library in Blissfield Michigan.  He was kind enough to ask if I wanted to assist him.  I thought it was a great idea and jumped at the opportunity to assist Jim. 
     Jim made up four tables with examples of AWI, ACW, WWII and Modern Conflicts.  I brought a bunch of 1/300 scale airplanes, 1/285 tanks painted and unpainted.  I also brought along some 3mm miniatures to demonstrate how small miniatures could be.  I brought a bunch of paper buildings too.  One emphasis of his presentation was on how to get into the hobby cheap.  As we all know this hobby can quickly spiral out of control once one is hooked on those damn little men.
     Jim’s presentation started out with how he got into the hobby and then he went onto each table in chronological order.  He explained the scale and how he painted the troops.  He also had a table with tools of the trade. We brought several kinds of paint, including craft paints, to emphasis the inexpensive end of the hobby.  Jim and I then entertained questions from the audience.  We had 16 people attend, this included Jim, Laura (his wife) and myself.  There were several artists and they totally understood why we liked painting the miniatures.  One visitor brought his grandson; he was going to be graduating college and attending ROTC there.  He understood it and paid particular attention to the modern table.  Another guest was a computer gamer, as he was leaving, he hoped his wife understood that she was now going to loose her quilting room.  I know we had one convert.
     It was interesting, that once the hobby was explained, that people really understood it. They appreciated the time and effort that went into being able to field units so they could go on a table.  

Jim being introduced by the Library Director.   
Gathered around the AWI table.

The AWI table

ACW table

WWII table

Modern Table

Modern Table part two 

1/285 & paper buildings

1/300 airplanes & various other miniatures

Answer and question period.


  1. There has been many a time, when asked what I did in my spare time, that when replying that I was a wargamer, I would be met with either a slightly puzzled look, or else be met with the question "So you run about the woods and fields with a paintball gun??"
    Even when you took the time to explain what it was you actually did, the glazed look in the eyes told me pretty quickly that they really didn't understand....

  2. I really try to judge by the individual and tell them if I think they would understand. Kudos to Jim for the interview he gave to the local paper. I am not sure if I would be really comfortable with the whole world knowing. I really do not want to be judged by people that do not know me.