Feedback from the hobby.. a scribbler connects with his target

Barry Hilton - Having been asked a couple of years ago to write a column piece for Wargames Illustrated I thought over it and agreed. I wasn't sure how it would work out as the brief was brief yet at the same time the lines on the playing field were fairly clearly marked out. I would definitely know when I was offside.

White haired, old and curmudgeonly - Hilton

My personal approach to the activity was to choose topics which I held some kind of opinion about or had some significance for the collective body of wargamers. I also wanted to keep the whole thing somewhat light and lubricated by what I consider  to be humour (although I accept that view may not be widely shared).

I had no idea whether anyone would be remotely interested in what a middle aged Scot may think but enough time has passed for me to be able to comment on the comment.

Having penned many standard hobby pieces about battles, scenarios, rules and the like I find most incoming comments relate to the column. In general these have been kind and in the form of 'I enjoyed your piece on' however (as intended) I occasionally provoke someone enough to get a more spiky reaction.

Made the cover but possibly in a bad tempered way

A recent piece in Miniature Wargames pointed at some worrying trends in the hobby as seen from my trench. The (I presume) veteran gamer (as I have seen his name around the place for years) Arthur Harman was motivated enough to comment in print and in detail on several of the key points I made. Henry Hyde duly published his reply.

That both men were prepared to do as they did was admirable and I consider it a mission accomplished. I used to enjoy very much the exchanges on the letters page of WI and the interjections of nom de plume writers who performed a similar social function to that I am attempting albeit under someone else's name. It was a forum with some gentility and unlike the non-regulated internet septic tanks where a lower form of the art of debate is now practised.

The fearless editor

I have absolutely no comments to make on Arthur's piece other than it is well written and boldly argued. The fact he sees things a little differently is wonderful. I inferred nothing from it other than the frequent use of Mr before my name. Ironically this level of frequency is  usually reserved for someone you disrespect rather than the opposite.. funny language English.  As he and I are unlikely ever to share the corner of a saloon bar there is no possible damage done. Thanks Mr Harman for taking the time to put finger to keyboard. It was a nice trip back to the old days and I enjoyed that. 

Two people at the Crisis show actually mentioned the duet of articles. Recent conversations at Carronade, Claymore and Partizan have informed me that I am spending time verbalizing many issues that many gamers are thinking and they have been generous in their appreciation of that.

The red brick sheds on the Scheldt - CRISIS venue

An interesting perspective on my hobby personality was made obvious through a chance meeting at Crisis 2014 in Antwerp. As I took a couple of iPhone shots of my game a WI shirted cove who I did not recognize introduced himself as Wayne. I had in fact corresponded with him several times on email. When I revealed myself to be a scrivener for his illustrious employer he was genuinely surprised. You are Barry Hilton? my God, I was expecting a white haired old curmudgeon!

I duly pointed out that my wife may have agreed with the description minus the hair colour. Was this perception a look in the mirror without preparation or, a tone struck through subject matter and writing style? 

I am indeed a lot of things that may not be considered pure and good and true but curmudgeon... no.

Who says writing is an unrewarding activity? Target bearing at one - seven  degrees..... Load!