03 August 2015

Gaming Inadequacy!

Yeah, I know what your are saying, "WTF man?" but hear me out. I guess my main issue is that I am rather dedicated to this hobby, but I wonder if my skill matches it. I will admit to not being the most patient fellow when I put things together. I am also the world's biggest klutz, and frankly, my stuff falls short of some of the real artistry out there,
Yeah, I know, the three foot rule. But honestly, I went to Historicon, put on a pair of games, and only one was up to snuff in the looks department....barely. I am not saying I am going to give up on the hobby, or become one of these folks whose only hobbies are what new trendy habit they can discover this week,  but dammit, I want a better look to my stuff. One that says "Hey folks, come play my game, you will have a ton of fun!"
I guess right now, I am left wondering what to do about this, and what else I can learn from the experience. I saw Jerry Frazee's setup, and what can I say, I WAS BLOWN AWAY! He more than deserved best of show.
I guess my main issue is, ok, so what do I do to at least look like I belong in the arena, and not like some 12 year old kid putting on a game with his friends (Not that that is a bad thing, I was once that 12 year old kid putting on games).

At the request of one poster...here is my tables....


  1. Can you say more about the ways in which you feel your tables or games are "inadequate?" That would help narrow the advice we could give you.

  2. Ok, I put out some trees that have plastic leaves on a felt forest base. Thought it looked good, but I look over, and I begin to realize...the flocked trees look a lot better.

    Another example, My Hotz Mat looked washed out compared to the richer base green of the terrain sheets others put out.

    I guess it is a case of...how does one "up their game" so to speak

  3. First off, you had me with the plates of decorate muffins/cakes. That's instant best-of-show material right there!

    More seriously, I know a little bit how you feel. I'm a lousy figure painter, and have given up trying and now settle for the block paint/Army Painter dip method. I'm a mediocre modeller at best, and I'm committed to practicality and flexibility, so all my wargames scenery starts with a green/sand/brown/grey felt sheet and has discrete terrain pieces placed on top. Beautifully sculpted terrain boards are nice, but horribly limiting and not for me.
    The secret, I have found comes from the old Soviet saying "Quantity has a quality all it's own." You want scatter terrain pieces and lots and lots of it. Little things that clutter things up and make it look "lived in" For your Stalingrad(?) game, the gravel is a good start, but you want multiple rubble piles, craters the odd burned out vehicle or wrecked cart, signposts, maybe a couple of telegraph poles with the wires down. For the green-field game (not sure where it's supposed to be), you want at least two bags of lichen on there scattered about, lining the edges of your woods and fields to hide the fabric edges, and along the roads. Whatever else might be found in that particular theatre, get a model of it and get it on the table. Water barrels, buckets, again with the signposts and telegraph poles. The more extraneous little details there are on the table, the more things there are to catch the eye and fool the brain into thinking the terrain is "realistic".

    Personally I don't think any of my terrain, taken individually, is that well modelled or painted. But I'm repeatedly getting compliments from people on the attractiveness of my wargames tables. And it's all green cloth, polystyrene hills and cheap home-made/painted terrain pieces, just with a ton of scatter and clutter pieces on top.
    Seriously, I suck so much at painting and modelling that if I can do it, anyone can.