(What then is, generally speaking, the truth of history? A fable agreed upon. As it has been very ingeniously remarked...)
Las Cases (1823), Mémorial de Sainte Hélène: Journal de la Vie Privée et des Conversations de l’Empereur Napoléon, à Sainte Hélène. Cited at http://quoteinvestigator.com/2016/07/05/fable/
This post has been inspired by a couple of recent incidents.
Firstly, a questionnaire from Hat, one of the manufacturers of the wonderful 1/72nd scale figures that we like to use. They have had a change of ownership recently and have been surveying their customers a lot. One recent questionnaire posed the question:
"Are toy soldiers your main hobby?"I found the question impossible to answer. For a start, I do not like to call them toy soldiers, preferring military miniatures (a bit coy on my part, I admit). More importantly, none of the options was "they are not my hobby". The collecting of 'toy soldiers' is but part of the wonderful hobby that I enjoy, viz. wargaming.
Secondly, a bit of email correspondence between Julian and myself regarding 'home made' models which made me realise that, while we have quite similar preferences on most things wargaming, the ranking of key aspects of the hobby for each of us—perhaps even what we regard as the ultimate 'point' of the hobby— is quite different.
You see, for me, it is all about the history.
There are so many aspects to wargaming aren't there? Reading and researching the history, reading and researching uniform details, collecting and painting the miniatures, building terrain items and other wargaming pieces, designing scenarios, getting together with friends... not to mention playing the games (perhaps even satisfying a competitive urge or trying to do better than one's historical counterpart)!
History is no. 1 for me. This explains my strong preference for historical wargaming and playing historically-based games. I'll join in with a fictional action but it does not hold the same interest for me. I've even been known to play a fantasy game, but it has been just that, a 'game'.
This may be blasphemous on a wargaming related blog, but, if push came to shove, if I were on a 'desert island'#, I'd take my history books over my figures—all 21 714 of them at time of writing this (figures that is).
# It is quite a well appointed 'desert island', you see! Probably more Gilligan's Island. Marie-Ann or Ginger, that old boyhood question...
So, what is it that most grasps you in this wonderful hobby, interest (obsession!) that we enjoy?