Interview with a gamer no3: Jon

Please introduce yourself

Hello, I’m Jon (known on various forums as jp1885).Gaming-wise I’m a tabletop wargamer at heart, (at least during the rare momentsof free time) and enjoy painting and converting miniatures as well asscratchbuilding terrain from bits of rubbish. I’m also a blogger ( my current blog) and run the Hereford Wargamers website (

I used to be co-organiser of the Herefordshire Very BritishCivil War big games, attracting players from all over the country, and was alsoa regular contributor and sub-editor of the satirical website Newsbiscuit, until Istarted taking it all too seriously.

How many games do you own?

Wargames-wise I own a few rulesets, but currently onlyactively play one of them (Frostgrave). I have hundreds of miniatures andmodels, mainly for Frostgrave and my previous obsession, Very British CivilWar.

Board games-wise, nothing that would probably be taken seriouslyat the meets! Being father to two small girls, most of the games in our house involveprincesses or mermaids.

How many of yourgames have you not played?

Wargames – I’ve played them all at least once. Board games,we’ve played them all frequently.

What is your oldest game?

Ooohhh let me think… probably Tummy Ache (I did tell you Ihave small children)

Last game you played?

Labyrinth – my eldest loves that game and is annoyingly goodat it.

Best gaming experience?

Gaming with my kids is top of the list. Also the VBCW biggames before organising them became a pain and introducing Frostgrave to theHereford Wargames Club.

Favourite colour to play?

Being the only man in the house I’m invariably blue.

Favourite person /people to play with?

My family.

Your favourite game to play?

Labyrinth – it ticks all the boxes for me and my family (whofor some reason think that a grown man playing with toy soldiers is weird)

Wargames – currently Frostgrave, where I get to be a wizard.

Which game would you save if there was a fire?

Labyrinth again (Wargames – don’t even mention fire; thethought of my collection going up in smoke is not a nice one!)

What game advice do you have for a new gamer?

Don’t take it seriously and laugh when you lose (I don’tguarantee that I follow this advice myself though!)

What type / themes /styles of games do you like to play?

Wargames – small scale skirmish games that have an elementof role-playing (I’ve recently backed a Kickstarter for a dice game calledEscape the Dark Castle, which combines this with more traditional games).Although moving huge armies across a massive table has its attractions.

Board games – something I can pick up easily and is fun toplay, natch.

How competitive are you and how often do you win?

I’m too competitive for my own good and win veryinfrequently. Hmm… I need a new hobby…

What would your ideal game session be, with whom, where and what game? Be creative

Obviously at home with my family, but preferably somethingthat doesn’t involve pink sparkly things. Either that or anything with friendlycompany and the occasional beer. Not very imaginative, but hey.

Wargames – I have simple tastes, so a nice big village hallfull of gaming tables groaning with everyone’s toys that we can all admire andbe jealous of. And with catering (Oh, and a set of dice that roll high all day!)

Have you any game and mental health / community related stories to share?

Though not game related I’ve had dark times like most people.I’m forever grateful that I managed to get myself out of them but wish I’d havetalked to people more than I did.

The wargames community is a very friendly one by and largeand many gamers share their mental health issues on the various forums andblogs. The response is usually fantastic, and it’s not been unknown for wargamersto raise money for other wargamers in dire straits who they don’t even know.

I guess the lesson here is to open up to those whoseopinions you respect and/or trust; even if it’s a bunch of middle-aged men who play with toy soldiers on the internet (generalisation alert!).

Finally what question would you want to ask of the next gamer to take this quiz?

Is it boardgamer or board gamer? One word or two?

Oh, a proper question? Ok.

This from a wargamer to board gamers (not that there shouldbe a distinction between the two): what interests you about wargaming and whatputs you off wargaming?