Like a line of mindless steel beings, the legions of Rome array for battle. Unconquerable. Disciplined. Their highly-polished steel armour glitters unbearably in the British summer sun. They hold their decorated rectagular shields and their carefully wrought javelins at precise angles, their discipline beaten into them by harsh centurions. They advance, their bright red tunics flapping in time with their steady, steady march, merciless, unstoppable...
No, it's not a Hollywood film epic. It is a hobby that has spread over the whole world. It is the hobby of miniature wargaming.
What is miniature wargaming? For those of you who don't know, it is a simulation of historical battles, or a representation of fantasy-world battles, using painted miniatures on a miniature representation of terrain.
While this may sound fairly trite, actually seeing a real wargame, or pictures of them, will show you that it is quite a spectacle. Imagine, if you will, hundreds of intricately sculptured miniatures, painted according to scrupulous research, lined in neat rows, standing amongst miniature trees, hedges, rolling hills, quiet streams; imagine being able to "become" an ancient general for a day, moving your troops according to ancient battle-tactics, pitting your skill against a determined opponent, trying to anticipate every maneuver...
Yes, I am an ancients wargamer. There are, however, many other periods that may be gamed - in fact, every period of history, down to the East Timor crisis (say), or the Fijian coup, may be wargamed. For the young, (like me), fantasy wargaming is a flourishing and quite beautiful sub-hobby of itself. Imagine Rebel troops in a shootout with Imperial Stormtroopers in a galaxy far, far away...
Why miniatures? Why not computer wargames? Having played, and enjoyed, many computer wargames over the years (like Red Alert!), I can honestly say that miniature wargaming is more fun, and, surprisingly, looks a lot nicer. This may sound silly in a world of whizzy computer graphics, but a nicely painted miniature army knocks down even Starcraft and Age of Empires. If you don't believe me...visit a Games Workshop store!
Is miniature wargaming expensive? If you are a Games Workshop fan (or ex-fan) you would say "yes". But, really, most miniatures cost around half that of a Games Workshop miniature or less. Besides which, you can make savings everywhere. For instance, my latest army, of Ancient Romans, cost me a mere $30 (Australian) and is taking me only a few days to paint. This is because I have opted to use plastics, which cost almost nothing. Many other savings may be made - this is a hobby that thrives on scraps and garbage for raw material. _All_ of my scenery (hills and trees) are made of garbage (and look very nice, too). No matter how wealthy or impoverished (like me) you are, you can wargame.
What about rules, I hear you ask? Well, most rules nowadays allow swift, fun battles that require a minimum of dice rolling, bookkeeping and arguments, and a maximum of skill and tactics! If only computer wargames were this user-friendly!
So, without further ado, welcome to this website, and may you roll sixes!
This Website was fully launched today! 18/6/00.
Currently it contains:
-Small photo gallery
-Three essays on Ancient Warfare.
Soon to come (within a week, I hope):
-more Ancient Warfare essays (about 5 more)
-large collection of painting tips, army notes, as shown in the DBA Resource page (thanks to Chris Brantley for allowing me to transfer this material to my own website!)
-Promotional page for my WARGAMES PAINTING SERVICE
-Huge numbers of pictures, when my scanner starts working!