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"Should the tone of wargames publications be neutral ? " Topic

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1,197 hits since 6 Jan 2013
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Dave Knight Supporting Member of TMP06 Jan 2013 1:37 a.m. PST


My thoughts on wether it is appropriate for wargames publications to assume natural support for one side in a conflict rather than the other.

I have had a couple of interesting comments already.

Mako11 Inactive Member06 Jan 2013 1:55 a.m. PST

I would actually prefer it not to be neutral.

Too much PC stuff in the world for me already, so I hope it won't intrude into wargaming publications, rules, etc.

We won WWII without all the ultra PC/liberal claptrap, so imagine we will as well now, and in the future.

Our enemies don't seem concerned about our feelings, or even the laws of war, so I rarely worry about their feelings.

Paint it Pink06 Jan 2013 2:54 a.m. PST

I imagine that it all depends on the intent of the writer. If the writer intends that that reader should empathise with one side then it will not be neutral.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Jan 2013 4:07 a.m. PST

That attitude to current or recent conflicts is what turns me off any games prior to WW2. I really don't see any interest for me in wargaming conflicts that I watched on the news.

If I wanted to discuss morality in warfare then I wouldn't chose the wargames table as a venue but, possibly surprisingly, I'd happily include many wargamers I know as they often have insights that non-military historians don't have.

Lee Brilleaux Fezian06 Jan 2013 4:36 a.m. PST

Good thoughts, Dave.

Unless I'm enjoying the memoirs of a Victorian retired colonel with a pint of pink gin inside him, I'd much prefer to see an objective tone.

Support turns to jingoism pretty quickly in print. Jingoism of any stripe gets objectionable in a hurry.

doc mcb06 Jan 2013 4:38 a.m. PST

Neutrality and "tolerance" generally come out of indifference. I am neutral about Athens and Sparta, because they are both gone and I wouldn't much want to live in either one of them.

But don't ask me to be neutral about Hitler or Stalin. I AM objective about WWII on the eastern front, mostly because I despise both regimes equally and pity those living and dying under them (including their soldiers)equally.

Dynaman878906 Jan 2013 5:06 a.m. PST

I prefer anything with stats and such to be as even handed as possible. There is a large difference between being PC and factually accurate in regards to capabilities and methods.

Lord Ashram06 Jan 2013 5:13 a.m. PST

We won WWII without liberal/PC claptrap? What on earth does that mean? That not having women able to fight in the war, and segregating black and Asian soldiers, was a good thing? Or that we were able to win thanks to those internment camps? Or that nowadays we would just say that Hitler has difficulty with neighbors?

Man, people make some strange statements.

As far as the OP, I don't care as long as there are nice photos of toy soldiers and good articles. I would assume a little "victors bias" in anything, and don't mind it if a magazine takes an occassional shot at Nazis or loves Napoleonic British a little too much;)

corporalpat Inactive Member06 Jan 2013 5:51 a.m. PST

Objectivity is not Political Correctness, it is simply control of emotions. Unchecked emotions can lead to mistakes in judgment, and distorted reasoning. Objectivity, allows for a more focused train of thought, and an ability to get at the truth of a subject. Opinion does not.

bruntonboy06 Jan 2013 6:06 a.m. PST

Seeing as the article is refering to a book of games scenarios I feel that a tone of objectivity in that book should be essential. With obvious bias in the writing it calls into question the balance of the scenarios. This can be done without any sympathy or admiration to either side and is needed in our quasi-historical hobby.

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP06 Jan 2013 7:15 a.m. PST

+1 to corporalpat.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP06 Jan 2013 9:36 a.m. PST

I hope this thread leads to mass Dawghousing. Just because.

If I were to break my self-imposed moratorium on Poll Suggestions, I would ask "Should everybody who mentions Political Correctness be given 3 days in the Dawghouse?"

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian06 Jan 2013 10:24 a.m. PST

…to assume natural support for one side in a conflict rather than the other.

Obviously, a publication has no idea of the opinion of any individual reader, so making assumptions is foolish.

GarrisonMiniatures Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member06 Jan 2013 11:36 a.m. PST

A publication may have no idea as to opinion of a reader, but the reader may have a good view of the opinion of the publication…..

Anyway, doesn't this depend on the purpose of the publication?

Let's go back to Victorian wars…. the tone of publications of the time are very much brave British (etc) soldiers fighting overwhelming numbers of uncivilised savages. Very un-PC today, but if you want a game based on that era then, assuming you are looking at it from the Western side, that should come across in a set of rules or publication supporting those rules.

Likewise, we have a set of 'beliefs' as far as modern wars go. An Iranian or Taliban publication would, of course, have a completely different slant.

So no, I wouldn't usually expect objectivity, not even certain if it would be possible. How many Western people would like a publication based on Iran concepts and prejudices? Likewise, we have our own – how many people would/could put them to one side?

Little Big Wars Inactive Member06 Jan 2013 11:56 a.m. PST

If the author said publication wishes to lend an air of academic legitimacy to his work, then yes there should be an attempt made to present the material objectively. State your biases upfront, present the facts, and save your judgement to the end if that's what you're gonna do.

If you're just presenting gaming material with no such illusions as to the academic merit of your content, who cares? Play your "good guys vs. bad guys" and have a good time…

GarrisonMiniatures Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member06 Jan 2013 2:16 p.m. PST

Remember, we aren't talking about academic publications. We are talking about wargames publications. Uniforms, weapons, unit organisations – yes, those would tend to be 'objective'.

Discipline, training, fighting characteristics, 'bravery', motivation, etc – lot harder to be objective there.

As I said, depends on the purpose of your publication.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP06 Jan 2013 3:36 p.m. PST

I don't want to be objective or neutral. I want to kill the Bad Guys.

WarDepotDavid Inactive Member06 Jan 2013 6:47 p.m. PST

I dont care but overall would prefer one side or another. No one seems to have the balls to put their arse on the line anymore.

Lee Brilleaux Fezian06 Jan 2013 8:48 p.m. PST

Put your underwear back on, David.

It's unsightly, undignified, and scares the livestock.

Aside from that, I don't actually know what you mean.

Cadian 7th Inactive Member06 Jan 2013 11:25 p.m. PST

I don't game modern. It is too much like tap dancing through my ancestors resting place. wink
However, I do agree with you. I'm more concerned about force lists and scenarios when gaming. I also agree with one of the posters from your link. No matter how well trained or ill-trained your opponent is, disrespect is only a shade away from being ignorant in contempt…that will go bad for you. I don't need to have an OP-ED in my wargame.
Besides, I'm Native American and Recon….I already know my capabilities! evil grin

Green Tiger Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 5:02 a.m. PST

I agree – I think that as in good history authors should keep their bias to themselves. Players should feel free to intorduce thir own bias when playing, that's up to them.

Personal logo Miniatureships Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 2:37 p.m. PST

Here is a question, what is the book about and does a bias exist? By the title, One can only assume it is about American Rangers. Beyond that nothing more is stated in the review to demonstrate that a bias exist or doesn't exist.

Is the scenario book about American Rangers dealing with over whelming odds?

Mr. Knight has stated that he already prefers having forces that represent his nationality. Thus, he has a bias that might be easily offended. The author of the publication could be stating fact that he drew from the references by which complied a what he wrote and therefore is not sympathizing with one side or another but is putting the emphasis on the challenge faced by one side verses another.

To assume the author of the publication has stated a bias by quoting one sentence without giving the context in which it is said, only reflects the opinion of the one making the claim.

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