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"TMP Historical Wargaming Poetry Contest" Topic

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3,205 hits since 1 Sep 2011
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Pages: 1 2 

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian01 Sep 2011 6:36 a.m. PST

The rules are pretty simple. The poem must be your own original creation, and to submit it for the contest, just post it to this topic.

The winners will be selected by TMP polls, with semi-final ("Top 5") and final (single choice) rounds.

There are no prizes, unless someone wants to PM me and make an offer… grin

Sane Max Inactive Member01 Sep 2011 6:42 a.m. PST

Back aching, eyes drawn we idly rattle
The sweaty Cubes of Fate in clench'ed fists
Waiting, waiting for him to make his move
Already planning out what we will do
When he has moved his piece and fired his guns.
Like Wargames, our life is episodic
We try to second guess the world itself
But fail. Like Bill, God does not play with Dice
He uses the Server, and that is Rigged.


Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2011 6:43 a.m. PST

There was an old man from Nantucket…

No rules on type? I can't write a sonnet or sestina to save my life, but anyone who can should get extra points.

Sane Max Inactive Member01 Sep 2011 6:52 a.m. PST

There was an old man from Nantucket
that rattled his dice in a bucket
when told of a hole
and advised to re-roll
Said 'Never Mind Liza, I'll luck it.'


C Anders J Inactive Member01 Sep 2011 8:13 a.m. PST

toy soldiers march off
to imaginary war;
silent drums keep time.

daghan Inactive Member01 Sep 2011 8:21 a.m. PST

Spot on with the haiku, Anders. You've got my vote so far.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian01 Sep 2011 8:35 a.m. PST

I'm thinking a sequel contest would be to make a video, putting one of these poems to music…

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian01 Sep 2011 9:01 a.m. PST

I'll throw in the first prize (but not necessarily "first prize," depending on what anyone else provides!) – a used copy of It Took Heroes – A Cavalry Chaplain's Memoir of Vietnam.

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2011 9:38 a.m. PST
Martian Root Canal01 Sep 2011 9:58 a.m. PST

Painting the intricate lace of the Prussians,
Basing the serried ranks of the Russians,
Playing a wargame to cure my Seven Year itch;
But invariably, life is a die and then you bitch.

sumerandakkad Inactive Member01 Sep 2011 2:06 p.m. PST

Those hallowed halls
when first we saw.
The Hussari charged
right through them all.

Napoleonic rollng thunder
of canon and musket.
Rattled the windows
as the Austrians went under.

Those Immortal men of Persia's story
with bow and sppear.
Advancing ever onward
to ancient glory

Sundance01 Sep 2011 5:38 p.m. PST

Bazookas to the left of me,
Bazookas to the right of me,
Bazookas all around me.
Into the Valley of Death rode my 600 Tigers.

JSchutt01 Sep 2011 5:38 p.m. PST

There once was the king of a forum
Who looked on distain at a quorum
Though he thought he was fair
He was led to despair
As he spent all his time on decorum

Cke1st01 Sep 2011 7:24 p.m. PST

I played a little game with little men
All painted to a standard very high.
My knights and footmen let their banners fly
Because they knew they soon would win again.

My foe had Orcs that all looked very boxy,
All primed in black with just one shade of green,
The lamest army I had ever seen;
His "Balrog" was a pepper mill by proxy.

He had no skill; he just set up a line
Without regard for who's in front or back.
I knew of all the tactics that he'd lack,
And I was sure the triumph would be mine.

Alas! To get it done, I was unable!
I rolled a 1 and fled right off the table.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian02 Sep 2011 6:25 a.m. PST

There once was the king of a forum
Who looked on distain at a quorum
Though he thought he was fair
He was led to despair
As he spent all his time on decorum

Sorry, it's a "Historical Wargaming" theme.

JSchutt02 Sep 2011 7:18 a.m. PST

How about this?

There once was a man with a boarder
Who unknown to him was a hoarder
When his Legions did swell
His second floor fell
As the weight was to great for the mortar.

a bit of a stretch I know…

arthur181504 Sep 2011 2:52 p.m. PST


I am the very model of a modern wargame general,
I've information military, ludic, philosophical,
I know Napoleon's Marshals and can quote numbers historical
From the Fall of Troy to Waterloo, in Orbats categorical;
I'm very well acquainted, too, with rulesets mathematical,
I understand their CRT's, both logarithmic and quadratical,
About Georg von Reisswitz I'm bursting with great zeal,
With many cheerful facts about the virtues of Kriegsspiel.
I'm always playing wargames, with my buddies or alone;
I've a shelf full of books at home by Donald Featherstone:
In short, in matters military, ludic, philosophical,
I am the very model of a modern wargame General.
I've read of Uncle Toby, in eighteenth century fiction;
I understand von Clausewitz and his emphasis on friction,
I can interpret every sub-clause in the rules by Philip Barker,
I can mark a map with a chinagraph or water soluble marker;
I can tell undoubted Minifigs from Spencer Smith and Perry,
I know all the marks of panzer used in World War II by "Jerry"!
Then I can roleplay Marshal Berthier without a single stammer,
And list every single Codex from that utter nonsense Warhammer.
Then I can write out orders in Babylonian cuneiform,
And tell you every button on a Polish Lancer's uniform:
In short, in matters military, ludic, philodophical,
I am the very model of a modern wargame general.
In fact, when I can tell a spatha from a gladius,
When I can spot immediately Peter Hofschroer's latest alias,
When I can pronounce perfectly Russian names such as Bagration,
And when I know precisely what Bill H. means by "simulation",
When I have abandoned bouncesticks to determine long range gunnery,
When I know more of polyhedral dice and probability –
In short, when I've a smattering of miniature strategy—
You'll say a better post has never been on TMP!
For my wargame expertise, despite all that Nugget tells,
Has barely reached the heights of Little Wars by HG Wells;
But still, in matters military, ludic, philosophical,
I am the very model of a modern wargame general.

Personal logo Whirlwind Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2011 8:16 a.m. PST

thumbs up to all. Especially Arthur's!

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian12 Sep 2011 4:37 a.m. PST


First-place prize in the contest will be a $200 USD gift certificate from War Zone Gaming Terrain Systems.

I hope to have an announcement about a second-place prize shortly…

R Lee S12 Sep 2011 5:17 a.m. PST

My pile of lead did grow
the pots of paint did flow
All day long, was nothing but Fun
now it's off to the game I go.

evilcartoonist12 Sep 2011 6:44 a.m. PST

Asked the father to his son,
"How many are dead? Who has earned his medal?"
Replied the son to his father,
"None of them are dead; they're all made of mettle."

RobH Inactive Member12 Sep 2011 6:55 a.m. PST

A Tankers sonnet.

Angular, cold hard body, gasoline
Belching fume, oil, smoke the deafening roar
Iron clash, demonic with banshee scream
Vibrating, shaking through her very core

Creak and squeal, resisting, protesting groans
Slowly pulling, unwillingly she wakes
Each steel wheel upon metal track bed moans
Ponderous weighty beast reluctant shakes

Then eager, impatient joyful release
Music, harmony, atuned, the engine song
Urgent strain, rush on through the shattered peace
No effort advance, determined headstrong

My guardian, saviour, an armoured womb
Perhaps my doom, coffin, a steely tomb.

The Gonk Inactive Member12 Sep 2011 7:19 a.m. PST

The Charge of My Newest Unit

Half a foot, half a foot,
Half a foot onward
All in the valley of Ones
Rode the ten figures.
"Forward, newest unit!
Roll me a g** d**** six!" he said:
Into the valley of Ones
Rode the ten figures.

"Roll me a g** d**** six!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
You bet the grognards knew
The guy had blunder'd
Theirs not to tell him why
Just react on the sly
And watch his figures die:
Into the valley of Ones
Rode the ten figures.

Sixes to the right of them,
Sixes to the left of them,
Sixes to the front of them,
Shaken and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with red d6,
By terr'ble luck betwixt,
Into the jaws of Loss,
Into the mouth of Shame
Rode the ten figures.

When can their chagrin fade?
O the stupid charge they made!
All the game room wondered.
Laugh at the charge they made,
Mock how their owner played,
Brand new ten figures!

Terrement Inactive Member12 Sep 2011 7:36 a.m. PST


Goober12 Sep 2011 8:07 a.m. PST

The Wargamers

Three wargamers met in a room
Above a sleazy pub.
They had rented it for £40.00 GBP
And said it was their club
"We need a name, it should be good"
the first was heard to groan
but no consensus could they find
and not one dice was thrown

The second week they met again
above the sleazy bar
They have to choose a set of rules
Mongoose or old White Star?
And should they go for published rules
Or use their own homegrown?
They argued long into the night
and not one dice was thrown

The third week and they meet again
above the sleazy tavern
The fat ones brought some scenery
a super-detailed cavern
The beardy one is quite annoyed as
this is the wrong terrain
For German Panzers have no place
in a fantasy campaign

The fourth week and they meet again
at the door to their saloon
But a notice has been taped up there
"No wargames here, platoon"
They've got the rules and minis for
The Battles of Sarratoga
But the room is for another group –
the Mums and Babies yoga!


Moe the Great12 Sep 2011 8:27 a.m. PST

To Scale are the men.
Historically the fight.
The die casts their fate.

JammerMan Inactive Member12 Sep 2011 8:56 a.m. PST

Hard men of iron might, legionnaires to the core
Suffered cohorts torn from the eagles they adore.
Special they were, for he choose to lead them alone,
On the right flank rear he bade them stand weapons honed.
Battle on, as two lines charged forth against foe sublimed,
The orphaned cohorts readied a cunning fourth line.
When sword and spear met in a storm of impact woe,
Then his opposite set his horse, archers and slingers at a go.
Against the horse on left they came, an overwhelm wave,
But then he threw the orphans against them a deadly melee.
The horses ran and archers and slingers died that day,
His return to the third line bought blood and slaughter to bay.
Oh where is Pompey they cry through the night,
For he has left Caesar at Pharsalus in fright.
As the gamers met and discussed which rules are best,
Who can win, those whom roll deadly die on the quest.

Buzzkill Inactive Member12 Sep 2011 8:59 a.m. PST

Who looked on distain at a quorum

Good thing it is not a spelling or grammar contest!

Major WIttering Inactive Member12 Sep 2011 9:48 a.m. PST

The Wargamer's Complaint

After watching the film of Waterloo
I craved British squares, French columns, Old Guard.
Ordered twelve hundred ten mil. Painted two,
when Zulu's re-run shouted "Bromhead, Chard
in 1:48th". So I primed ninety shields,
trimmed assegai. Twenty eight days later
for some reason zombie vampires appealed.
Whilst twisting limbs that should've been straighter
the History Channel played Cromwell. Then
Henry the Fifth, Alexander, Das Boot.
Soon I'd immortals, u-boats, musket men
and, god knows why, twenty zouave recruits.

I ran out of cash. Sold the lot for some Sioux.
Then a great thought struck: how about Waterloo?

barcah200112 Sep 2011 10:03 a.m. PST

Rosey dawn on the falling die,
Decide fates. Are we but dew in the light?
Crap. A one

PygmaelionAgain Inactive Member12 Sep 2011 10:15 a.m. PST

The earth hove into view
whist o'er flew fire and shot.
Bullets dodged more than a few,
but this one I had caught.

My breath it left not to return,
a vision swam and dimmed.
Agonized, my bones they burned
and time was stretching thin.

"To me!" I gasped and bled,
but cheated well my earthy fate.
"Surgeon, worry not this horrid lead,
I've still got 10 regiments to paint!"

Dropzonetoe Fezian Inactive Member12 Sep 2011 10:46 a.m. PST

I cannot tell what color lacing to paint upon this soldiers facing.
I looked a lot and cannot tell, Napoleonic's can go to hell

Only Warlock12 Sep 2011 1:55 p.m. PST

War Zone

I held my blade at quarter guard
The Foe within my Reach
The GM Rolled a Pair of Dice
They tumbled in the breach
Frame'd by hills of blood-drenched foam
I looked on in dismay
Double Six they spelled my doom
Another game to play…

I held my Rifle in Cov'ring fire
Advancing down the trail
Eyes were narrowed, senses keen
I looked into the Mire
The 'Cong were in the jungle Trees
They were for Ambush Made
My point man severed at the knees
Double Six the Cong grenade.

I held the Flintlock aiming high
Scanning hills ahead.
Past the Foam Rock Parapet,
I looked for bobbing head
Metal Soldier Enemy
With Brown Bess Oh So keen
Blew my head off smokily
Double Six the roll, so mean.

Wars are fought so endlessly
Across my War Zone, dread.
To the boldest,victory
Come Lads, Push Some Lead!

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP12 Sep 2011 2:25 p.m. PST

Alas to the top of the peak
To find what he had been sent to seek
A trickle of lovely red warm coats and guns
Invaders of our homes we shun

There amongst the hidden fey
Shadows along the canyon wall
You cannot slip away
For all I have to do is call

Home to fires I will go
Striding as I go
To become a man I go
Atop that peak now set aglow

Stork1066 Inactive Member12 Sep 2011 3:01 p.m. PST

There once was a gamer named Ned
Whose little soldiers were all Dead
The camp had been Sacked
The General's been Hacked
At least all the Widows were Lead.

quidveritas Inactive Member12 Sep 2011 3:06 p.m. PST


The foe assembles on a distant hillside
Across the valley dotted with hovels and streams
Our messenger mounts and away he does ride
Bearing a message to a man lost in his dreams

The enemy advances each base with great care
Firing cannon through impossible gaps
My men move away -- they were just over there!
Why doesn't this terrain resemble my map?

My attempts to stem this panic struck hoard
Aggravate the tingling in my wrist
As more and more troops are removed from the board
My opponent suggests I should cease and desist.

Get a cool drink -- that's my advice
The others have all drifted away
Just give up the fight and lay down your dice
No more good can come of further fighting this day

But No! Just one more roll of the dice
Just one more attack on the right
Ha! you see the foe scurry like mice
Don't tell me my troops cannot fight

As night approaches and yawns fill the room
The battle still sputters and flares
My prospects have vanished -- my plans all face doom
I persist though no one else cares

In equal measure this day
I have experienced victory and strife
My host won't give up -- he continues to play
My battered toy figures come back to life

Just a few more turns -- that's all that I need
Then I can finish this fight
My blurry eyes burn -- I just gotta pee
Why does it look like its night?

An unexpected event produced my army's doom
A swift and violent end to our strife
Without explanation my host leaves the room
I've just been ordered out by his wife!

Fellspar Inactive Member12 Sep 2011 3:17 p.m. PST

In lead and plastics
We rewrite all history
On the table top

madcam2us12 Sep 2011 6:28 p.m. PST

More Hiaku….

Forever chasing youths fancy
our chosen lot
Parade before our eyes

Martian Banshee12 Sep 2011 7:23 p.m. PST

Forward full
my troops do march
my skirmishers
run off the flank

my foe
he also cannot hide
ambush may never pass

with sorrow do I tell the tale
of how my ex did throw my goods
throw my terrain into the trash

indierockclimber Inactive Member12 Sep 2011 7:37 p.m. PST

Early War fans had felt torment
For the BAR had been found quite inordinate
So BF made the change
and upped the whole range
Then nuked the whole site from orbit

proudgeek159 Inactive Member12 Sep 2011 10:56 p.m. PST

The dice may roll in your favor one day
Instead of leaving you stuck with just 'ones.'
And maybe just once your foe's troops they'll slay,
But instead you'll just say you're 'playing for fun.'

And then comes the day when a gamer sans tact
Will say, "You painted your Hessians all wrong;
They're mustaches weren't waxed – well-known fact!"
Back to your Ospreys to paint all night long!

And one day you'll think you're finally done.
You've finished your Russians! You can just play!
But you make a mistake, a tiny one:
You read on TMP, "New 15s Today!"

But when it's all done, you'll think with a sigh,
Once long ago, real men fought, bled, and died.

skippy0001 Supporting Member of TMP13 Sep 2011 5:55 a.m. PST

Go tell the Spartans! O, Passerby.
That here we stand, filed, columned or squared,
awaiting Fate's throw of a die!

Go Tell the Spartans! O, Passerby,
of the Battle of NeverWhen at NeverMore!
Where we strove for Victory, with unholy might, through ungodly terrain, ever forward, smiting and smashing those of equal art, talent and worth!

Go tell the Spartans! O, Passerby,
Prevailed did we as our banner'd host, shrunken yet still whole, take what was needed and created history anew!

Go tell the Spartans! O, Passerby
For here we lie, cushioned by foam, boxed, shelved.
for the battles of NeverWhen and NeverMore are NeverEnding.

sneakgun13 Sep 2011 12:03 p.m. PST

The house is empty now,
all the anger drove them out.

Gabriel Landowski Fezian Inactive Member13 Sep 2011 12:05 p.m. PST

Out of the roar that buffets me,
Loud as the wail of losers when,
I thank whatever luck may be
For my unconquerable tiny men.

With the deficient objective of happenstance
I have not winced nor cried a foul.
Under the bludgeonings of hositle glance
My minis naught know the towel.

Beyond a wall built of navy beans
Looms the horror of an opponent's line,
And yet, history against me leans
Usually beaten but marking time.

It matters not their lines held straight,
How excitement filled they start again,
My dice the master of their fate:
But I the captain of my men.

jdeleonardis Inactive Member13 Sep 2011 1:00 p.m. PST

War Zone gives best prize
for the little man poem
that they like the best

jdeleonardis Inactive Member13 Sep 2011 1:01 p.m. PST

We are all giant nerds
playing with little toy men.
War Zone, I love you.

jdeleonardis Inactive Member13 Sep 2011 1:03 p.m. PST

You might think me dum
Flattery is everything
to win the award.

religon Inactive Member13 Sep 2011 1:13 p.m. PST

The Needful Gamer

The ponderous man alone at night,
Applying the tones, accurate and bright.
Dutifully painting his little wee men,
Desperately scribbling numbers with pen.

Jaunty, bare dice clatter with abandon,
Hopelessly resulting… much too random.
Looking to charge, envelop and flank,
Measuring for every tiny tank.

He thinks himself clever, and with wit,
Seated and alone, the hapless twit.
Agree with him, even on a trifle,
Otherwise, you shall earn your stifle.

Abruptly he notes a shout in the dark,
Tiresomely voicing a shrill remark.
His Mother wants him here, he chooses to boast,
But before bed, just one last post.

This middle aged man most truly,
Does desperately need more boobies.

Martian Banshee13 Sep 2011 1:16 p.m. PST

Daily did I battle once
maroon beret lost in the sand
toil through desert, yes we did
the General's wish was our command

forward through the desert sand
at the shoulder of my brother
perhaps a day did pass this way
Lawrence or another

now troops are mine to command
across the dining table
through swaths of felt or stacks of books
only are they able

for good terrain's no longer here
it does make my eye twitch
for my ex threw it all away
I'd like to shank the bitch

Evil Eli Inactive Member13 Sep 2011 4:46 p.m. PST

Once there was a wife in pain
From tripping over terrain
She bought him a table
So he would be able
to keep her from going insane

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