Monday 8 October 2012

The Courier Interviews Glenn Kidd - December 1980

Taken from Volume 1, No.4 of the Courier magazine. An interview with the then President of Ral Partha, Glenn Kidd. Quite amusing to look at it with the hindsight of 32 years later.....

Photo by Desmond

Courier - Tell me Glenn, what aspect of the hobby interests you the most?

Glenn - The comradeship of the hobby-most of the close friends I have now I've met through the hobbyI've developed many years of friendship with 20 or 30 different people I've met in the hobby .

Courier - What do you like least about the hobby?

Glenn - I dislike the people who take the hobby too seriously to the point of when they loose they get all upset. I dislike the petty bickering . I think as a hobby, it should be fun. I hate to see people "cry" and argue that this rule is not "real" or isn't " fair". I like to play wargames , I like to have a good time, I like to laugh . I don't like being very intense about it.

Courier - If there was anything you could change about the hobby, what would it be?

Glenn - Well , I think I would change the things I just  mentioned . I would try to make the people realize it was just fun. I'd try and make them realize that just because they lost a battle or a game the world isn't ending . They' re only cardboard counters or lead figures and it doesn't really matter.

Courier - Do you think Americans, Canadians or Europeans are the most serious about the hobby?

Glenn - I'm not qualified to answer that. If I were guessing I would say the English are the most serious about the hobby. I think the Americans are the most paranoid about the hobby.

Courier - How did you start your company Glenn?

Glenn - Well , four years ago, Tom Meier, myself and a fella by the name of Rich Smethurst got togetherand put up a certain amount of money-we found it wasn 't enough so we got three other people to join us: Marc Rubin, Jack Hesselbrock and Chuck Crain. After we bought all our equipment, we found we had a very small amount of operating capital , so we ran the company out of my basement for a year and a half.

Courier - How high a price do you think wargamers will pay for a 25mm figure?

Glenn - Well , I think right now the price is about 50<): .With continuing inflation it 's going to go higher and higher, I think it's all wrong. In 1970 I paid about 20<): or a quarter a piece and that seemed a bit on the high side then but people are paying 50<): now. I have no doubt that the price will eventually go to 75<): or even a dollar and 75Q: or a dollar will only be worth 50<): thenso I think it's all relative .

Courier - Do you think the trend is turning towards using 15mm figures exclusively?

Glenn - Not exclusively . I think the trend will go more and more towards 15mm's because of the cost. But there are some miniatures games where you don' need hundreds of figures and 25mm's are quite suitable . There are a lot of people who don't want to try to paint 15mm's who are very happy with 25mm' sI think there ' ll be a place for a long time for 25mm' s.

Courier - What new historical lines will you be producing and when do you plan to release them?

Glenn - Well we' re doing a complete Renaissance line, that's armies of the 1500' s, right now. We' rplanning on doing 100 different figures of that lineWe've got a 25mm Napoleonic line that's on hold right now and we' ll be finishing that up within the next few months . It will consist of the armies that fought at Waterloo; the Prussians, the French, the British and the British allies . We' re considering doing a 15mm line next winter and we've haven 't decided as yet what it will be . It might be a 15mm Ancients lineit might be a 15mm Musket and Pike and it might be both . We' re just researching the matter now.

Courier - Would you ever consider doing a Napoleon-in-Egypt line?

Glenn - I don't think so. We might consider adding it on to the 15mm Napoleonic line we have have nowbut it seems a bit obscure. I don' t think there' s a really big market for that .

Courier - What set of Historical rules has made the most impact on the hobby?

Glenn - Wargamers' Research Ancient Rules.

Courier - Why, because it's the most popular?

Glenn - It's the most popular and they were probably the first out that everybody accepted.

Courier - How popular in general do you think wargaming will become in the United States?

Glenn - It's becoming more and more accepted every day. I doubt it will ever be on the level of bowlingtennis or golf but I think it 's coming of age. Nineteeyears ago it was very rare that you ever heard of anybody that gamed. Now you can read about it in newspapers, magazines , it 's more open. It's still rare but not so rare that you' ll never hear about it.

Courier - What do you think about women in wargaming?

Glenn - The same thing I think of women in anythingIf they want to do it fine .

Courier - Do you think wargaming can ever be viewed as an art form?

Glenn - No .

Courier - Even when you consider all the creativity in figure painting?

Glenn - That's not wargaming. The painting of figures is definitely an art form . The game itself is just a game by definition and I don't think a game can ever be viewed as an art from .

Courier - Do you think the hobby has grown in the last few years?

Glenn - Oh it has grown enormously, probably in the neighborhood of 500 to 1,000% in the last few years .

Courier - What do you think was the most significant reason for this growth?

Glenn - Fantasy . The emergence of fantasy wargaming and role playing .

Courier - Then obviously you don't think fantasy is just a fad that will die out .

Glenn - No. It's too open ended . Fantasy is wherever your imagination will take you . It might cool off but I don 't think it's a fad . It seems like it 's growing in geometric proportions and I don' t know how long it will keep up . I think fantasy is here to stay .

Courier - Thank you Glenn, I appreciate your comments


scottsz said...

Very nice interview. Thanks for posting this!

Scott Burnley said...

Thanks Dave! I wonder: Is Glenn Kidd still in the industry? He seemed to have a grasp on where we were headed!

David Wood said...

I believe he works in the computer industry - a US friend sees him at shows. I'll try and pick up more info!

Hiatt said...

Hello All,

My name is Hiatt and I'm Glenn's step son. I came across this article through Glenn Kidd, Jr., who is his son and my step brother.

I just want to let you know that Glenn Kidd Sr. still attends all the HMGS conventions here in the US. He retired from the computer industry in early 2000s. Now he operates a miniature rules publishing company called Test of Battle with Frank Chadwick, who is also a titan in the industry. Their website is at:

I guess that is all for now.

Happy gaming!

David Wood said...

Thanks for that Hiatt. I enjoyed looking through your own links. Do you know of the Ral Partha Yahoo Group?