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Wargames Philosophy

Three weeks back in work and the time has flown. Quarter past eleven yesterday evening and I’m preparing a work presentation. My good lady wife asks who I am and what I have done with her husband……….

I tried explaining to her that I had a new guiding principle, or rather a whole collection of principles, the thoughts and actions of Marcus Aurelius. I had discovered my ‘ikigai’, the task I was created for. The aim was to get fit and be creative, to avoid distractions “like a Roman” but what about my ultimate “waste of time”, wargaming……

The close one!

The self discipline was working with my work life. The “unbearable” first ten days passed quickly. I was over the hurdle of cycling eighteen miles a day. I fixed the gears on my bike on day three, then they fell apart again , and I fixed them again. Wow, the old Emperor would have been proud of me. In the next ten days of establishing the habit, the fattest cyclist in Wales smashed into the side of my bike. My reaction was much more muted than said assailant could have expected or indeed deserved. The Emperor would have been amazed to see me actually help the great lump of Lycra up and even help him back onto his mount. Only a few months a go a “faulty” dice would have resulted in unwanted emotion for the stoic.

Umpire called to top table after “issue” develops 2019

Now it’s the last ten days of an established habit and I have found time for my hobby once again. I did fear that a hobby would not fit into the new regime but hobby time adds so much more to life than just a trivial pursuit. The point is to clarify just what one wants from your leisure. There is a hilarious conversation abroad at the moment , inspired by Little Wars TV; is our hobby dieing? Cities are burning, tales of  riots and looting horrify the Western world and in all seriousness we contemplate whether wargaming is in decline. You don’t have to watch Angry Viking to know we live in  violent times but whilst standing up to the challenges, our pastime does actually help. Like a fine wine, good friends or a long walk, you do need some rest and recuperation. I started on the low hanging fruit……

The miniatures are by Venexia and they are great sculpts. Now sold by Lancashire Games here in the UK, they were out of production for many years but they are amongst my favourite. I only had to base them and finish off one colour but I only spent ten minutes on one stand for To the Strongest….

In another ten minutes, I’d finished another ‘manga’ of sword and buckler men. I remembered my original plan, to refight the Italian Wars with Big Base DBA, I had prepared more under the desk……..

Ah, I found them. China -flu had given me time in the Summer to dream of a massive Spanish Renaissance army. Steve Balagan had posted all the uniform colours on his excellent blog. Eight bases of ten had been planned…..

In true Aurelius style, maintenance of aim prevailed. I had eight bases of sword and buckler men for eight Tercios, and then I remembered, I had sent for some samples before hand and had another thirty swordsmen. Steve Miller is currently debating whether to incorporate the swordsmen in with the pikemen. I was saved. The extra figures could go in with the pike block and then dart out to attack the enemy flank. And then I remembered I had prepared the Arquebusiers…….

The last three weeks have truly been so productive , both in work, at home and in hobby. “Momento Mori” indeed! Prepare for the worst but take time to enjoy yourself. You are a person worth caring for……spoil yorself!

Filed under: Wargaming

About the Author

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The wild ramblings of an infamous wit and wargames guru. One of nature's true gentlemen who devotes his time to the care of his two sons, i.e. giving realistic tactical advice in Fortnite games, and recreating great moments of military history using inch high toy soldiers. Currently a leading light in the Cardiff Dice Studz who meet regularly at Firestorm Games ( formerly Ali Baba's Carpet Warehouse), Trade Street, Cardiff, sunny Wales, U.K.


  1. Sounds like you have a nice work life balance. I admit that I find it hard to keep productive at times with the painting. Your figures look topnotch, I like the one standing over the dead figure good work.
    I liked Venexia they closed up right after I got a few figures. Really nice sculpts.
    Enjoy yourself.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I feel your pain. I think I went into overdrive painting during lockdown and then when I had to go back to work, hobby time took a knock. I’m a bugger for switching between projects and without a deadline for a game or a competition, motivation does really flag sometimes. Hopefully normal times are close at hand but what a year!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Love Balagans blog- a truly awesome resource for my Spanish Conquest Aztecs and Tlaxcalans. Glad to see you back to painting, good looking little Spaniards. As for philosophy, I’m keeping my faith in what made America great, and that the Silent Majority will show up. That and that while history does not always repeat, it certainly does rhyme.

    Liked by 2 people

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