Sunday, 12 January 2014

Why Do I Play VBCW but Why Do You Play Your Game?

I was thinking about why I got into 1938 A Very British Civil War and what it actually means to me and I realised that it would be good to see why other people have got into this too. So I thought that a series of questions would be the best way to express this and it also might be of use to new players as way as old players alike. So here goes



Why do I like VBCW and Play the Period?


I was looking for a skirmish game has I was looking in getting back into wargaming after moving to Leicester and couldn’t find any clubs that didn’t play Warhammer/40K, Warmachine/Hordes or the number of other SciFi/Fantasy games that were out there. I used to play Flames of War and this this got me back into WW2 games and the games I played when I was a teenager but I didn’t like the tournament style games that were on the market, in fact after playing FoW for a number of years I really found that I wanted something that I could knock about with some friends was than building that killer army.

So I was listening to Meeples and Miniatures podcast cast and they was talking about A Very British Civil War and something inside of me clicked and I thought “Oh that sounds interesting” and I started to see what was out there. I original searched for the now 1st source book but found out that it was out of print and that was where my journey ended. Or it would have been if I didn’t notice that on TMP there stated that the second edition book as about to be released so I ordered it, being only a tenner I thought “What the Heck” and I found the book to be an very interesting read and I love the idea of a gentlemanly civil war.

After that I joined the GWP forum and joined in the discussions and I realised that this was the game I was looking for as it was ticking all the boxes, that being it was mainly played in 28mm, the figures sculpted by Paul Hick’s and sold be Musketeer Miniatures were amazing, the period feel was just right and most of all the players were really friendly and took on board your views and educated you if you didn’t know some part of the period.

Then I got more involved in it by becoming the illustrator for the books which led to my researching all manner of bit and pieces about the time and seeing where I could push it. My imagination was flowing with ideas and was busy collection random figures, painting them out but not actually playing the game, which I somehow didn’t mind as I was enjoying myself so much.

What Motivates Me?


I have to say that what motivates me the most is research. I became a collector of books of uniforms from the period, though I have to say I still don’t own the bible of WW2 British uniforms, British Army Uniforms and Insignias of World War Two by Brian L Davis, Tim Rose please correct me if there is another, even better research book, yet, and this started me into trying to correct a believable illustrations for the period.

This in its way started me into researching my local area and the history of it in the 1920s and 30s, and I was amazed at what I found. This started me thinking about my games that I wanted to play and my forces that I was going to use.

Still for me the one of the most enjoyable parts of VBCW is the research and I have to say it is something that I have stopped doing a bit recently and is something I need to get back to doing.

Why I play the Factions I Play?


I started with the idea that I was going to create a found based around the Archbishop of Canterbury’s personal body guard but I actually started doing some research in my local area and it wasn’t long before I started to create the Humberstone Militia, a Local Defence Force that was raised for the defence of the City of Leicester. This led to me finding out about the city of Leicester and using both local research and the information in the Gathering Storm book, I could see that the city was a Left Wing, Socialist city and I started to raise my troops for this.
Now I made a decision that the core of my forces would be civilians with units added to them to create the Socialist feel but also it meant that if I choice to do another faction I still could use these troops and use add the different units to make a different feel. Now that has actually led to doing more research in the County of Leicestershire and Rutland and the various peoples that inhabit it and now I have two forces, one for the Leicester Socialist Council, a part of the East Mids Socialist League, which includes Nottingham and Derby, and also an opposing faction of Loyalists led by the Duke of Rutland and his forces in the East and South of Leicestershire and the County of Rutland too.

This has led me to creating a background for both forces, which is always in development and I think has kept my interest in the game.

Where to Next?


I am lucky enough now to have a regular gaming partner in Leics_Gamer and we are happily playing our local campaigns around the Leicestershire area with the LSC and the Dukes force’s. We have finished a small mini campaign and have switched our attention to another part of the county. We are planning on doing some Big Games here in Leicester, linked with the small games that we have played and forward the storyline here.

Also developing on from the Partizan games I am looking to develop this in another direction but still having the two linked with each other.

So that’s my thoughts and motivations and what are yours? I love this period, even if at times it is hard, but that’s what makes it rewarding. I would like to see this game carry on for years to come, gaining new players and even popularity as I thing it is a jolly good, enjoyable little game.

Now its over to you chaps, why do you play the games you do, not just VBCW, though I hope some of you do.

18 comments:

  1. Thanks for this great account. It's always interesting to note how many gamers who do what I consider to be interesting projects seem to have a gaming journey that goes through the mass-market games (GW, FOW, etc) to end up somewhere eclectic. I think people with an historical and an imaginative nature, such as yourself, gravitate to a kind of gaming where they are in control of the narrative. The Imaginations / SYW crowd, a similar story, I think.
    While I can't see myself playing VBCW myself (I wonder if it is a phenomenon confounded to UK gamers), I enjoy reading your blog and considering this "what if" aspect of history, though I find it doesn't bear thinking on too much. A real civil war in the UK on the eve of WW2 would have been tragic.

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    1. I totally agree with you there especially about the link between Imaginations and VBCW.

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  2. The depth you guys go into is fantastic even though I have no intention to dip my toe into it myself, I do follow your journey closely.

    I am one of those who want's his own games to be all Historical, not a real fan of Killer armies though I do try and build an army that can work well if used correctly. if it was a winner every time, or no hoper I would tire quickly.

    Ian

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    1. Thanks Ian for the comments and I think we all do the research so not very different really. Killer Armies just get my goat, its the way that those type of people get every ounce out of there armies and just minimax

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  3. Interesting to find out what motivates you especially as this (to me anyway) is what we all know you love doing.

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    1. I am glad that you have found this interesting Simon

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  4. James Clavell's "Shogun" started my Samurai army fixation but can you fall out of love with a period?

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    1. Thats true Fran and I do. Maybe I wrote this as I way to remember myself why I do this. BTW I too love the James Clavell's book along with Akira Kurosawa and Shogun Total War PC game, but so far no Samurai

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  5. I did enjoy the read Peter. But I am far too much of a crazy human pinball to stick at a set period for too long. I have good intentions but get sidetracked far too easily.

    That said I would be grateful if you could point me towards any information on the Middle east in this fictional setting as I am currently painting 1916-18 Arab revolt figures and I don't think the weapons or clothing is very much different to VBCW. So It would be nice to get a duel purpose from the figures and terrain.

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    1. Cheers Clint I have glad that you liked this and I am a bit of a wargaming butterfly its just I come back to VBCW and most of my time is with VBCW.

      As for the Middle East, gosh, the Civil War would race across the Empire and Britain's Protectorates so the scope to have chaps in Iraq or Palestine or even Egypt fighting along the similar lines in the UK would be great. If you really want you could get the "Fall of Empire" book but really a colonial flavoured VBCW would be quite something

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  6. Really interesting PK. I for one could not care about tournaments, points, balanced s enarios etc. I was always a big battalion type of gamer, but after a decent period away from the hobby I got rid of my Napoleonics. Coming back in after 10 years away I found a real sea change into skirmish games. I wanted something a bit different and after buying a few old west figures just because I like them I found a whole mini world open up. I allows me to create a narrative if I want to, or a simple straight up shoot em up.

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    1. I so know what you mean there Dave and you're a man after my own heart.

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  7. Great post PK, In the past I have done tournament gaming and had a belly full of the kind of nobs that dont understand the idea of a game is to have fun.
    I game in a very small group now, and prefer it, we do mainly large battles or scenarios, however we also do skirmish games but they are all historical.The emphasis is on a good night of fun and plenty of banter flying around the room, this for me is more important than a killer list where is the fun in that

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    1. Thanks Loki and fun is the most important part of any game but it is the part that a lot in our hobby forget.

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  8. Its always interesting to hear another chaps motivations.

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  9. Excellent post, very interesting as always. At the risk of waffling I'll try and be brief, I love the interwar period (from uniforms to ideology), there's a lot of chances to play "what ifs" and get a bit creative with the history and the chance to imagine a local conflict and use local landmarks is always appealing. That's it in a nutshell I suppose

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    1. Thats the reason I play the Interwar too. I think its all to do with watching too many Tarzan and war movies when I was young

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