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"Wargaming is Dead, Long Live Wargaming" Topic

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1,140 hits since 12 Jul 2016
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2016 3:47 p.m. PST

"Wargaming is in an interesting place right now and arguably the genre at large is more accessible than it's ever been: more choice, growing communities, mainstream acceptance of games in general… The rise of videogames also presents interesting avenues in terms of computer assisted wargaming AND alternate platforms. And yet it could also be in very real danger of dying out all-together, according to one man.

We were very lucky to have a quick chat with Richard Bodley-Scott, one of the three original creators of the Field of Glory tabletop wargaming system, and designer of digital spin-offs Pike & Shot and Sengoku Jidai. Read his thoughts on digital wargames, design adaptations, and why he thinks digital wargames are the future…"
More here


HangarFlying12 Jul 2016 4:50 p.m. PST

I don't know what that guy's history with wargaming is (beyond FoG) but he definately is not a table-top wargamer.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2016 5:19 p.m. PST

It all depends on computers. After Der Tag there won't be any and figures will be The Way.

evilgong12 Jul 2016 5:22 p.m. PST

RBS' great achievement was to take the ideas of Phil Barker and help form them into the spectacularly successful DBM.

DBM showed that you could build a rich and challenging game from rules that were at their core quite simple – a typical 'easy to learn, years to master' system.

The interview is pretty depressing for table-top gamers, but I suspect many don't share RBS' antipathy with painting and preparing an army – the standard of army presentation is always increasing.

Where RBS accurately describes table-top games as having a huge barrier to entry – via cost and time to produce an army (and complexity of rules, which he doesn't quite say) his idea is to say that problem is unsolvable and go in the direction of computer representation.

Another fork in that road might have been to say that 3D printing could be the solution to cost and convenience of army construction. OK a 3D printer can't paint figs, but just give it time.

RBS' attempt to make a computer game drive a bit like a table-top wargame will look to me just like a computer game, no matter how good the graphics or how interactive the player inputs might be.

Table-top gaming's human and social interaction is a key part of its character.

Having said that, if somebody could cook up a portable hologram system that otherwise played like a table-top game it might prove to have the same visual appeal and none of the barriers to entry as a traditional figure game.


David F Brown

Personal logo jeffreyw3 Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2016 6:49 p.m. PST

In the mid-'90s, while transitioning between the "World at War" series, and the first "Close Combat," I designed out a Napoleonic game, very similar to what Bodley-Scott was describing--from the POV of Ney managing Waterloo. The appearance would have been similar to N: Total War, but isometric 2D. In the end, after prototyping, there really wasn't a lot of game there, because all you could do is send orders and watch the results. It was realistic to a fault (unlike table-top gaming), but without any real consequences from losing, it was fun to watch once or twice and that was it. Hard lesson learned.

I do think the article misses the point that for many of us, the game itself is an excuse to play with the figures we've created--certainly something you can't get on computer. Just being able to create something tangible, that exists in the real world, and not on a hard drive makes it different enough to survive.

Kevin C Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2016 8:20 p.m. PST

Well said Jeffreyw3. I like my toys.


VVV reply13 Jul 2016 2:03 a.m. PST

Well I can see digital wargames working for me when we have holograph wargames tables. No more figure painting, you can field any army you wish and the mechanics of moving and combat are handled by the computer. I look forward to the day.

(Phil Dutre) Inactive Member13 Jul 2016 2:50 a.m. PST

Miniature wargaming is about moving toy soldiers on a table. That's were the fun is, even if the toy soldiers are badly painted. The tactile aspect of it all, of manipulating toys and dice and rulers is hard to replicate on a computer. Moreover, playing at a big table full of nice toys and props is an esthetic experience all by itself.

Some people like computer games more. Good for them. But that's not my hobby.

I always compare it to bow-and-arrow shooting. Why don't they use a pistol, or even a machine gun to hit the target? Because hitting the target is only a proxy. The real joy is shooting the bow-and-arrow.

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP13 Jul 2016 4:21 a.m. PST

Wargaming is a broad church, you can be of many persuasions, hexes and counters, miniatures, colourful plastic counters and a board, computers, sitting a room reading reports and staring at maps, or even dressing up in a uniform and freezing in a manhole in Bastogne for a week …

Once in a while one of them will claim to see the light and declare their little corner of the hobby is the dominant one and will wipe away everything else in the next 15 years.

There will always be a group of people playing with Toy Soldiers and anything new will only enrich the hobby as a whole.

olicana13 Jul 2016 6:26 a.m. PST

Digital wargames are the future, for sure. But not yet.

There will always be a space, even after digital has become so good and so varied and it covers everything well, for figure gaming. It will be niche and one day unsupported by any industry worth talking about – but games with antique model soldiers will continue well into the future.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP13 Jul 2016 10:27 a.m. PST



Ottoathome Inactive Member13 Jul 2016 3:25 p.m. PST

Oh pull it out yerazz. This argument was around 30 years ago and It was wrong. A computer game geek predicts he downfall of all but his own product. Yeah.

Minis has always been a niche hobby and will continue to be, populated by people who like to paint and play with miniatures.

It ignores one salient fact. It is absolutely imbecilic about technology which is ironic for a person trumpeting it.

If computer graphics ever get THAT good as to look like real miniatures, it will be good enough so that the graphics will look like REAL people! Why bother then with miniatures? Make the computer game like a real professionally produced Hollywood movie. Program in all the realism, blood and gore, and forget the minis.


HammerHead14 Jul 2016 2:28 a.m. PST

I think wargaming is coming out of the closet with many shops opening their doors to people who can't make the club scane. Are clubs dyiing?

Cosmic Reset Inactive Member14 Jul 2016 4:46 a.m. PST

After reading the interview, I feel like I just dealt with a used car salesman trying to sell me a car that I don't like.

The key element in my hobby isn't the wargame. That can be taken away, but my hobby goes on.

The key isn't the people, I've mostly taken the people out of my hobby, but my hobby goes on.

The key element in my hobby is the miniature. Without the miniature, there is nothing.

He just doesn't get it. Creating the miniature is the hobby, like oxygen to life. I find myself deeply offended by his presentation.

Markconz14 Jul 2016 2:03 p.m. PST

Yes he doesn't seem to get it, and this is an old dead argument. His advocacy of computer gaming only really makes sense if like him you're someone who finds the miniatures problematic instead of a key part of the hobby! All wargamers I know play computer games to a certain degree, but tabletop wargaming has a different appeal.

Crafting, painting, and the aesthetic appeals of something you've created. Socialising in face to face settings and around a table at a club. A humanising break from damn computer screens for a time! Tabletop wargaming is stronger than ever despite massive technological advances that were predicted in the 80's to spell its end.

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