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"Misnamed wargaming periods" Topic

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17 Jul 2015 5:00 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board
  • Crossposted to Historical Wargaming board

1,145 hits since 23 Mar 2015
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP24 Mar 2015 10:07 p.m. PST

The Dark Ages.

Having just recently gotten interested in the SAGA rules, I was rather forcibly told that the old wargamers' "short hand" term for the period isn't overly accurate. Historians prefer 'Early Medieval' now.

Even more recently, I found that the English Civil War (ECW) is being replaced by the term "British Civil Wars".

And there are others.

The once ubiquitous 'Biblical' seems to have fallen from grace.
Bronze Age or Chariot Wars seem more used.

Which old wargamers' or historical period is now most out of favour?

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Mar 2015 10:45 p.m. PST

What wargamers call the renaissance is usually referred to as the early modern period, although there is some overlap with the actual renaissance.

Weasel24 Mar 2015 10:53 p.m. PST

"Dark age" always seemed to be both outdated as well as eurocentric.

korsun0 Supporting Member of TMP25 Mar 2015 3:39 a.m. PST

Dark ages was apparently coined in the 1300s to describe the decline of Latin wasn't it? Later seized on by 19/20th historians to describe the "dark" as in unknown age of history. I read somewhere that the term Saxon and Viking Period is also used for Dark Ages but that could be wrong as well. I suppose the fact that we can now change classification of periods because of archaeology or scholarly research is kind of exciting because new discoveries are being made. I agree with Weasel though as the rest of the world was kicking on and hardly dark….

But us war gamers are Grognards and we will use what we want…:)

cosmicbank25 Mar 2015 3:44 a.m. PST

US Civil War should be War of the Rebellion or War of Northern Expansionism. Depends on where you live.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP25 Mar 2015 3:58 a.m. PST

Come up with a better name for Dark Agrs or Renaissance that doesn't sound like you are writing a doctoral dissertation, and then get back to me.

David Manley25 Mar 2015 5:03 a.m. PST

The Crimean War – whilst the stuff down there caught the headlines the war was won on the waters of the Baltic (hence many historians calling it the Northern War)

MajorB25 Mar 2015 5:38 a.m. PST

Wars of the Roses – they weren't called that until the 19th century.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP25 Mar 2015 5:42 a.m. PST

Out of curiosity, do you Americans object to terms such as "Victorian" or 'Colonial Wars' which are quite British/European?

nazrat25 Mar 2015 5:59 a.m. PST

Misnamed? Hardly. If you and your gaming group calls an era The Dark Ages and know what that implies then it's the RIGHT term. Don't let some damn pedants try and tell you what's "right". They're generally blowhards and not worth listening to…

Axebreaker25 Mar 2015 6:14 a.m. PST

+1 Nazrat


OSchmidt Inactive Member25 Mar 2015 7:31 a.m. PST

It's a game. You can call it "Fred" if you want.

Please be advised this is the stuff that academics salivate over, the redefining of this or that period. They talk of the "Long 18th Century" which goes from them from 1648 to 1815, or the "Long 17th Century" which goes from 1588 to 1715.

I make a proposal that war games began with Featherstone and Moreschauser and others defining the periods as "Ancient" "Musket" and Modern. We should keep these. Precise dates are to be.

Ancient – year 0 when the big bang happened to May of 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

Musket – The moment after Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue to The death of Queen Victoria is the Musket period.

Modern- The moment after Victoria died right up until this very minute.

Those who do not obey will be shot.

No… wait…

they will be sentenced to live imprisonment painting other peoples lead.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP25 Mar 2015 8:38 a.m. PST

They'll be sentenced to have this dreary argument with earnest people who will just not shut up about it.
While a fat Monty Python reenactor jabbers full pages from Holy Grail at his left elbow.

emckinney25 Mar 2015 9:06 a.m. PST


Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union

The General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the State Government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution. The State of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law in conformity with her constitutional obligation; but the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress. In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice b>fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constituted compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation.

These ends it endeavored to accomplish by a Federal Government, in which each State was recognized as an equal, and had separate control over its own institutions. The right of property in slaves was recognized by giving to free persons distinct political rights, by giving them the right to represent, and burthening them with direct taxes for three-fifths of their slaves; by authorizing the importation of slaves for twenty years; and by stipulating for the rendition of fugitives from labor.

We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

ArmymenRGreat Inactive Member25 Mar 2015 9:08 a.m. PST

Out of curiosity, do you Americans object to terms such as "Victorian" or 'Colonial Wars' which are quite British/European?

I don't object to them at all, but I also like the term "Dark Ages."

ArmymenRGreat Inactive Member25 Mar 2015 9:15 a.m. PST

@emckinney – What's your proposal for re-naming WWII?

Weasel25 Mar 2015 9:29 a.m. PST

"The even greater war" ?

nochules25 Mar 2015 10:15 a.m. PST

"Early Medieval" is just as Euro-centric as "Dark Ages". "Medieval" is dependent on a three part division of history based on what was going on in Europe.

If I'm likely to have a uncouth gentleman with a large beard do me in with a huge axe then I am playing a "Dark Ages" game. If not then maybe it is an "Early Medieval" game.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP25 Mar 2015 11:09 a.m. PST

" Out of curiosity, do you Americans object to terms such as "Victorian" or 'Colonial Wars' which are quite British/European?

I don't object to them at all, but I also like the term "Dark Ages.""

Me too.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP25 Mar 2015 12:43 p.m. PST

I've always had this sort of mental picture of the Dark Ages:


emckinney25 Mar 2015 1:15 p.m. PST

What's your proposal for re-naming WWII?

I only react to silly proposals that attempt to hide historical reality.

If anyone wants to toss out a stupid idea for renaming WWII, be my guest.

Personal logo DWilliams Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member25 Mar 2015 3:09 p.m. PST

I'm still wondering about "Malburian Wars." I have always thought the origin was the original Minifigs range, which misspelled "Marlburian" (Marlboroughian?) in its catalog. Just a guess, but it's interesting to see how this odd spelling has been perpetuated by other manufactures.

Ivan DBA25 Mar 2015 4:14 p.m. PST

It's still the Dark Ages as far as I'm concerned. The end of the Roman Empire was a cataclysmic event, and the name should reflect that.

skippy0001 Supporting Member of TMP25 Mar 2015 6:39 p.m. PST

I just call everything the -"AAARRRGGHH!!" Age.

Gennorm26 Mar 2015 6:51 a.m. PST

Is that "AAARRRGGHH!!" as in alarm and surprise?

Gennorm26 Mar 2015 6:56 a.m. PST

Reformation rather than Renaissance.

Tommy2026 Mar 2015 7:24 a.m. PST

World War One instead of Great War.

"Wait, what? We're going to have to do this AGAIN in 25 years?"

Weasel26 Mar 2015 10:37 a.m. PST

We name "horse and musket" that way, based on prominent features.

So call dark age "spear and helmets, but not the roman kind". :)
Rolls right off the tongue.

"Not that ancient".

"People that didn't write things down much"

"The time before the viking age".

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP26 Mar 2015 1:55 p.m. PST

It's a game. You can call it "Fred" if you want.

Except in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark (and Frisia, if you don't obsess over spelling) where "fred" means "peace". :)

I nominate all wargaming activities be renamed "The Dork & Agéd".

JC WOM Supporting Member of TMP26 Mar 2015 3:45 p.m. PST

I recently ran across King Arthur's Britain directed by Francis Pryor (2004). Though not terribly recent, it was an interesting perspective regarding the Dark Ages not being entirely dark.

Personal logo Toy Soldier Green Supporting Member of TMP26 Mar 2015 5:10 p.m. PST

SYW to World War I, Napoleonic Wars to WW2, etc etc.

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