Thoughts on 2017 - Historical Wargaming, Facebook, and the BattleVault web site

Near term game and special event coordination and other hot news.
Tom
Posts: 2672
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 6:07 pm

Thoughts on 2017 - Historical Wargaming, Facebook, and the BattleVault web site

Postby Tom » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:15 am

I hope everyone had a great Christmas & New Year's break. My break was great, but now that it's behind me I want to take some time to reflect on where I want to prioritize my free time & hobby efforts in 2017. Part of that though process starts with reflecting on what did (or did not) happen in 2016.

For the most part, local historical wargaming in 2016 seems to have dropped off. I'm not complaining. It is what it is. I think our core group is getting older and just does not seem to have the energy to invest in wargaming that it used to. The downsizing of PSC, which use to provide a lot of open easy access gaming space conveniently located for many of us was factor as well. Especially with PSC being closed on Sunday now, which was about the only time we could get in there to set up a bigger multi-player game (Keith game! :)) I think we had a few FOTOG game days scheduled in 2015, but I don't think any happened in 2016.

The BattleVault web site, which use to really see a lot of coordination for community wargaming on it seldom sees a post these days. Facebook is a big factor here. Again, I'm, not complaining it is what it is. But now that I've been on Facebook for a years of so myself, it seems like it’s a great place for short term coordination, but less so for long term planning. The posts I normally see on the FOTOG Facebook group are about a game that will happen in the next day or so. Usually, I'm already committed to something else before I even see a game announced on Facebook. Facebook has the potential for better long tern planning and management, but as best as I can tell here it's normally focused on "spontaneous" near term gaming. And of course, not all of our gaming group is on Facebook or will be. There are folks who simply refuse to start an account and I can't say that I blame them. I use it, but it is kind of a dual edged sword. My concern though is that we have many who never hear about what's going own or can contribute to the community through Facebook.

I asked two years ago if the BattleVault was even relevant as a website as with the evolution of Facebook I was considering shutting it down. I spend about $300 every two years, to keep the web site up and operational. Some folks stated that it was very important and many kindly donated money, setting off my own cost by about $100. That was greatly appreciated but I'm still wondering if those kind gamers got their donations worth out of it based on how little the website forum was used in 2016.

The only thing that I'm certain of is that local historical wargaming is much lower than it has been in years past. I fear that Facebook has actually dived us more than it helped consolidated our efforts and we generally lack access to open gaming space. And as I noted above, we are all getting older! :)

So what does this mean for 2017 and beyond? Does it even matter? Maybe we are all a bit better off doing less historical wargaming. I know my wife has no problem with the fact that I wargamed less in 2016! :) Should we even bother ourselves about this? Maybe there is no issue at all and I'm just imagining it all. Maybe there is even more historical "basement" wargaming going on these days in small groups that I am unaware of.

So I'd like to ask our local wargaming community "Is there a problem?" As you can tell I feel that there is and I have some things I think we can do to address it. But there's no point in going in to courses of action for fixes if I'm wrong and everything is just fine. So I like to hold off on discussion on possible "fixes" until folks have had a chance to consider and discuss if there is an issue or not.

Thanks for taking the time to consider this question. I'm posting this same message on the FOTOG Facebook group.

Tom

mikepfanenstiel
Posts: 362
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 4:45 pm

Re: Thoughts on 2017 - Historical Wargaming, Facebook, and the BattleVault web site

Postby mikepfanenstiel » Sun Jan 15, 2017 4:05 pm

For me,
I spent a lot of time a few years a go supporting Flames of War, painting, Playing Campaigns, games tournaments, but my favorite periods are much earlier.
I really enjoy the time frame from ancients to American civil war, several rules have come out lately that I really enjoy. Maurice, Longstreet, Blucher and Aurilian.

I have been gaming more in my basement. Mike and I just finished Borodino.

My 2017 projects are Leipzig and the Alamo.
To me, I grew tired of FOW, tried all aspects. I am focusing on the periods that I prefer, but it does not seem like many in Louisville prefer those periods.

Mike P

justtony
Posts: 1009
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 1:57 pm
Location: Louisville KY

Re: Thoughts on 2017 - Historical Wargaming, Facebook, and the BattleVault web site

Postby justtony » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:02 pm

Tom, I'm willing to pony up at least $25 to support keeping Battlevault going. I do pop in and read from time to time, but my schedule doesn't permit gaming anytime but weekends.

Haven't done ANY mini wargaming since Jon's "Wedding" tourney at HKG. Kinda wondering why I'm keeping all this stuff.

One reason wargaming is down for me is that Kae has no interest in wargames, especially historical ones. However, she's now running a once a month D&D game and I'm winding down a D&D campaign that will have run for nearly four years. Juggling schedules is a pain. And HKG moving from the closer side of Radcliff to the far side of E-town cramped things too.

Another reason is the fact that I've gotten back into competitive shooting. And that's something Kae enjoys a whole lot. We usually attend at least one match of some type, IDPA, Steel or 3 gun, every month. Most months, we try to make two matches. Now if I can just get her to buy her own guns and stop swiping mine. :D

Of course, for the next 4 months or so, we won't be doing much of anything. She had major shoulder surgery last Tuesday and full recovery won't take place until about late May/early June.

Oh yeah, and there's my efforts towards getting a writing career started. I have submitted one book to Baen Books Publishing and It has been selected out of the Slush Pile of unsolicited manuscripts for further consideration. Writing takes time, lots of it.

And the last year I played in FOW tourneys was simply one shit sandwich after another, for various and sundry reasons. The growing prevalence of "Must win at any and all costs" attitudes (you probably know to whom I am referring ;) ) and increasing whining and bitching about every little thing (e.g. the shit I took about my table at WK 2 years ago) has soured me on FOW. I'm not dropping major dollars to get into anything else.

I don't do Facebook much at all, so maybe I'm not keeping up there.

Ah, screw it, enough bitching.

You wanna keep the Battlevault up, I'll help with some cash. If not, that's fine too. It's your site, not mine. But I do like it.

Tony T
Remember kiddos, don't sweat the petty stuff and don't pet the sweaty stuff!

Tom
Posts: 2672
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 6:07 pm

Re: Thoughts on 2017 - Historical Wargaming, Facebook, and the BattleVault web site

Postby Tom » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:11 am

Thanks Tony, but I'm not actually solucting financial support, but rather just asking is this forum worth it? There really is not much of a "group" anymore. We are now gaming more in little clusters IF we are gaming at all. Maybe not be a "group" to even tie together anymore,

I'm generally up for weekend games, so when you get the urge to throw dice let me know. FoW will have version 4 out in March. It's getting mixed reviews, but if your interest in trying it out, I'll be up for it.

Tom
Posts: 2672
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 6:07 pm

Re: Thoughts on 2017 - Historical Wargaming, Facebook, and the BattleVault web site

Postby Tom » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:13 am

Also... good luck with the publishing effort!!

justtony
Posts: 1009
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 1:57 pm
Location: Louisville KY

Re: Thoughts on 2017 - Historical Wargaming, Facebook, and the BattleVault web site

Postby justtony » Wed Jan 18, 2017 5:06 pm

Many thanks, Tom.

I'll take you up on the gaming one of these weekends. Right now, I need to stay home and take care of Kae while her shoulder heals up. I expect another 3 or 4 weeks before she can start moving it enough to do anything.

And thanks for the support on writing. Wolf's read a couple of my things. He told me he generally liked them. :mrgreen:
Remember kiddos, don't sweat the petty stuff and don't pet the sweaty stuff!

ron winkler
Posts: 252
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:53 am

Re: Thoughts on 2017 - Historical Wargaming, Facebook, and the BattleVault web site

Postby ron winkler » Mon Feb 20, 2017 6:28 pm

Tom:
I still appreciate reading comments on Battlevault just to see what is going on in Kentucky. I also appreciated our game that Sunday while we were back in December. I don't think age is as much a problem as opportunity (I'll have my 76 birthday this year). Since I moved to California, I'm having at least one and often two games a week. Of course being retired helps. The breath of gaming is also broader. There is a core of us that have been playing Team Yankee on a regular bases. There is an active HMGS group that meets once a month at a Knight of Columbus hall so on Feb 11th we had a TY game on a 9'x5' table using 1/285th scale with over 200 points per side. Brookhurst Hobbies has opened a large gaming area that draws a lot of people but many are 40K players. A FOW group played their regularly on Sunday which is a problem for me because of family commitments. A lot if interest in FOW volume 4.

Other popular games are Bolt Action and Lion Rampant (medieval skirmish) which I have participated in. Now Charles C would love the fact that a group of 4 to 5 players are focused on pre-dreadnaught, WWI and WWII games using Seakrieg. I've tried to spark some interest in ACW and Napoleonic games with limited success. A friend has tried to interest me in Infinity but I just can't go there. He's also a regular DBA player.

Finally, where I live we have a vets group that meets once a month. Tonight the guest speaker is an army officer discussing the Cold War and Europe.

Best Wishes to all,

Ron


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