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Sunday, June 12, 2011

So what do you do with them?

Some people simply collect them. Some people use them for war-gaming. Some people like to build scenes or dioramas with them. Some people like to play with them. I've actually done all the above. When I got into toy soldiers as a child and my favorite game was to knock them over with marbles. Sounds simple, but if you've played that way against an actual opponent, you know that it is a game that requires very good aiming and it can get pretty challenging if you play it a good distance apart, and if you add the extra element of  fortifications and terrain cover. Every year or two I still battle it out this way with my old man and on a good day I can manage to only lose by a small margin. As a grown up I realized that I wanted to explore the tactical side that war-gaming provides so I've also tried that a bit as well. Unfortunately, even after developing a set of custom rules, I still find that sometimes these games move at a very slow pace, and you are always facing a trade off between quick, simple rules and more realistic rules that result in a slower game. So I am still looking forward to the day that I can play a quick, yet realistic war-game. War-gaming led me to building dioramas and trying to setup realistic scenes. That's convenient when I don't have someone to battle with, in which case I just fire away with my camera. Most of the time however, my troops are tucked away in their shelves and I am content knowing that they are there waiting for the next opportunity to do their duty. Speaking of opportunities, I am always on the look out for what would be a good scene. The pictures below were taken a winter some years back. The pictures are not great but they illustrate the point. Of course, after the pictures were snapped I happlily proceeded to unleash a snowball barrage. I am glad to report that after the snow melted, all casualties were retrieved. How about you? What do you do with them?

As an example of the scenes that I some times setup, here are some pictures of British and Waffen SS troops in action.

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