Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life, featuring small skirmishes and big battles from many historical periods (and some in the mythic past or the far future too). The focus is on battle reports using a wide variety of rules, with the occasional rules review, book review and odd musing about the gaming and history. Most of the battles use 6mm-sized figures and vehicles, but occasionally 15mm and 28mm figures appear too.

Saturday 24 December 2022

Amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics...

Gaming has been a bit of a struggle recently.  Not because I have started to dislike the hobby or anything but the actual practicalities of it have been hard to manage: space is becoming a real issue!  When I re-started figure gaming in 2007-8, there were lots of spare rooms in the house but as my family has grown and grown-up, all that spare capacity has been taken up.  At the moment the only very viable option for setting up a game is in my bedroom, which also has to serve as my storage area, my office and my gym, at least in winter.  It also has to work as my painting and modellling area. The room is becoming too full and messy, making it hard to work in or play in.  The more communal areas in the house are generally too busy and too full to be used instead. 
In the summer I can set-up in the garage but it is just too cold to be much fun in the winter, unless I spend some time and money converting that, which is possible but no quick fix.  More club/face-to-face gaming is a possibility, but that brings its own issues in terms of work and family commitments - one reason that I am mainly a solitaire player in the first place. This is especially true currently since I have recently started a new job that is very interesting and exciting, but it is also very demanding in terms of both time and mental effort.

Where I think this goes is that I may have to abandon any hope of getting anything but the smaller games played in the colder months of the year and I will have to 'save up' the bigger games for when the garage is workably comfortable, at least until it is converted into a more usable space.  I have mentioned this before in a couple of hobby updates over the last few months, but I will need a few neat boxes of figures and terrain, and perhaps a few boardgames, that can be easily stored near my workplace without them getting in the way or being distractedly messy. I think that the most promising collections for this treatment are:
C18 (WSS and Jacobites) for 'Tabletop Teaser' and 'One-Hour Wargames'-type scenarios
WW2 reinforced platoons for 'Pint-sized campaign' battles and similar 
8-12 unit armies for DBA & Neil Thomas' type games; at a push this could go up to the Polemos 20-base army size, although I need to see if two armies would fit into a single box...
Twilight of Divine Right forces for its scenario books
Portable Wargame armies for the relevant periods (WW2, Napoleonic...I could get the Pike & Shot one too)
28mm fantasy for 'Two-Hour Dungeon Crawl' (I think that the requirement for 28mm terrain makes 'Five Leagues...' a less good choice perhaps; this also applies to 28mm Napoleonics)
Two War of 1812 armies for Polemos Ruse de Guerre might align with the Portable Wargame armies...or it might be better to use the C18 stuff and proxy.
Some "maybes"
15mm WW2 and/or Cold War skirmish is marginal, more-or-less entirely because of the terrain requirements.  I need to check this out and work out what I think the minimum viable terrain is for this.
Air and naval stuff have low model and terrain requirements but tend to work better with a reasonably sized board or map.  Not sure how well they would work in this case.

Now, any regular readers of this blog might well remark that that is pretty much no change - and in a sensem they would be right: that is more or less what I have managed to get to the table this year (and perhaps most of last too),  at least to an extent.  But that hasn't reflected what I have spent my time thinking about and planning.  So all of this is trying to align the realities of my situation to how I imagine my hobby and organize my stuff and my space to enable that.  In any case, something has to give, because things are not working out for me at present.


  1. Good luck with coming to solutions. I have a slightly reversed position with the seasons. I play under glass, so winter is the least problematic and summer, especially with recent heatwaves, just makes the ‘glass room’ too hot, warping terrain and drying out mounted maps.

    It is something that I would like to see wargame shows give some thought to, having a gaming area that is deliberately intended to inspire those of us with gaming restrictions - especially space and that doesn’t mean that everything has to be 2mm!

    Anyway, I hope 2023 delivers something sustainable for you. Best Wishes for Christmas.

    1. And to you too Norm, and thanks for your comments. I think the point about wargaming shows is well made: I think there is a good blog post to be had about that.

  2. Good luck with your plans. To the untrained eye, it looks like you have a workable solution in place for these long, cold winter months. Another possible avenue of approach is to consider exploring remote gaming via Zoom. The only space requirement is room for a computer or tablet.

    1. Thanks Jonathan for the kind wishes and the suggestion: I will give it some thought.

  3. I can relate to a lot of this as I foolishly thought that I would have more room and time to play as the kids grew up, fool that I am. Even now as a full-time parent-carer it can be a struggle to put on a game. This year I have enjoyed playing on a 2' x 2' board on the dining table and still having fun and challenging games. With smaller scale figures and rules with distances halved, equates to a 4' x 4' board in 28mm. Thos chaps across the pond, Little Wars TV, have been show casing some great games, again on similar sized boards.

    I hope you can find a solution to your current issues for 2023.

    Until then I wish you and yours a very Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!

    1. And to you too Steve - and thanks very much for the encouragement. The whole post is a bit of a cri de coeur, as it ties in to a whole host of frustrations which have affected my gaming. But I have a plan, and fingers crossed, it will work.

  4. I do feel your pain. I foolishly thought that when the kids left home I'd have loads of space for a big table, but evidently not as we have to keep their rooms for visits (they are all here now). So I'm also stuck with the dining table, which is fine, I've had a lot of fun with smaller games.

    1. Don't disillusion me that's what I was holding on to!!!! Hmmm, the case for spending a bit of time and money doing up the garage this year has just got stronger...