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"Wargaming: "A British Hobby?"" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian18 May 2017 12:46 p.m. PST

While I'm in a pensive mood grin what's with the small but vocal minority of British wargamers who resent sharing their hobby with anyone else?

They sneer at wargamers from other places and their contemptible views. They act as if the hobby belongs to a single country.

I've never seen this from any other nationality. Australians, French, Germans, Canadians, Americans? Happy to share.

This applies to TMP, in that I get a steady line of criticism that TMP is 'not British' or 'anti-British' or 'should use GMT' or just somehow unacceptable because we're not headquartered in the U.K.

If you're from the U.K.: Do you see British wargamers who are like this? How common are they? What causes this?

Gnu200018 May 2017 12:49 p.m. PST

This isn't something that I recognise.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian18 May 2017 12:52 p.m. PST

I've also been accused from time to time, by some of these very people, as being anti-British.

For the record, two of my great-grandfathers were born in the U.K. My grandfather, though born in the U.S., was a 'fine Englishman' who drank his tea and devoutly followed every coronation.

I don't have an ounce of 'anti-British' in me. grin

Moonraker Miniatures18 May 2017 12:59 p.m. PST

When someone else makes a sweeping statement like this regarding, for example, your inability to take criticism, you, Bill, invariably ask for examples.

So, let's have 'em – lots of them.


Knight of St John18 May 2017 12:59 p.m. PST

I wish there were more non British Wargamers and war game companies out there so the ranges of miniatures did not concentrate on British history so much.

Mike Target18 May 2017 12:59 p.m. PST

I cant say I have never seen such behaviour. I can't really comment on what might cause it. Any examples? Culprits to be named?

Project Vehemence18 May 2017 1:00 p.m. PST

I'm a Brit, and I dont recognise this issue. Perhaps 'small minority' is the key here, and maybe it's just that you have collected a vocal 'fan-club'..

sjwalker3818 May 2017 1:00 p.m. PST

I think that the appropriate British response, when a fellow officer in the Mess says something rather silly, is to pretend it never happened, ignore it completely and hope he doesn't repeat the mistake.

Especially when he seems to be in the mood to pick fights with anyone who catches his eye.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP18 May 2017 1:02 p.m. PST

I once saw an American wargamer cheat. Ipso facto all American wargamers aren't to be trusted…..see the logical fallacy there?

As a passport-carrying loyal subject of HM, I found the OP to be one of those Group Attacks that seem to be against the rules here.

sjwalker3818 May 2017 1:03 p.m. PST

Harrumph, rather inclement weather for the time of year, don't you think, Ochoin, old boy?

foxweasel18 May 2017 1:05 p.m. PST

Never met anyone who thinks like this.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP18 May 2017 1:05 p.m. PST

Simon, Old Bean, it's simply cats & dogs outside.
And a fair bit of stormy weather indoors as well.

Tarleton18 May 2017 1:07 p.m. PST

Can't say I've ever come across anything like it really.

Von Trinkenessen18 May 2017 1:09 p.m. PST

I would answer you Bill What's with the extremely vocal selection of xenophobic arrogant american gamers who diss everything and everyone not home grown?
Is it a sign of the times we live in (discuss on blue fez only).
Is it the frustration getting hold of products from abroad
(postal charges, customs duty, shipping ripoffs)it works both ways there is so much good product from both sides of the atlantic these days.
May be it's some of the british grognards not getting over giving away those troublesome colonies and not being able to participate in the US style of convention.
we are in effect two nations divided by 'one' hobby.
Like it or not we have to accept TMP is run by rebel colonists.
Guy T

willlucv18 May 2017 1:09 p.m. PST

I'd also like to see a specific example of this.

manchesterreg18 May 2017 1:13 p.m. PST

Well thats great, make a sweeping statement, in a perverse way, being offensive to British Wargamers and then put up no examples, no naming and shaming. Who are the small band of malcontents, ive been wargaming since 1965 and never heard a comment you seem to hear.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP18 May 2017 1:21 p.m. PST

I have certainly run into a (very) few British wargamers--here and elsewhere--who are anti-American or patronizing, but even though the issues are sometimes wargame-specific, I don't think it's more common among wargamers than among the general British population. For that matter, I've known American wargamers who mutter about British biases, or even mumble darkly about Canadian influence. And I've never heard a British wargamer say anything negative about wargamers of Australia New Zealand or Canada as nationalities. My policy is to mention a person or institution which is the complete reverse of the stereotype in question, than let the matter drop.

More study of one another would certainly help. There are British wargamers who can tell you the standard pace of every army in the Napoleonic Wars but who pretty clearly don't know how long it would take to cross the United States. And there are American wargamers who can discuss headroom in a T-34, but who have no idea of the floor space of a typical British domicile. More information will not prevent all arguments, but it can make discussions more sensible.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian18 May 2017 1:22 p.m. PST

…and then put up no examples, no naming and shaming…

Two examples:

Michael Stockin – Was really bent out of shape because TMP standardizes on American spelling. Started his own website that emphasizes being UK-based and on UK time.

Frothers – 'Nuff said.

raylev318 May 2017 1:22 p.m. PST

Bill, sometimes you're your own worse enemy.

Zoltar Supporting Member of TMP18 May 2017 1:26 p.m. PST

I have never run across this "phenomenon" in my life. And even if it did exist, this seems a completely unnecessary and intentionally inflammatory thread.

sjwalker3818 May 2017 1:32 p.m. PST

Oh dear, chaps, I think the Colonel's over-imbibed again….or he's gone down with the jitters again – maybe if we slip quietly out of the room, he'll stop chewing the carpet …

It's only a spot of rain, a brisk stroll around the parade ground will do us all good and things might have quietened down by the time we get back…

willlucv18 May 2017 1:37 p.m. PST

Righto, first off. British people often light heartedly complain about American spelling because we write in British English. Using American software which obviously spellchecks it as wrong. I find the American convention of putting the month first as Excel does more confusing.

Most online forums run on foreign time. The only foible with TMP is that British users have the maintenance downtown at breakfast time, when I like to peruse the netz.

Northern Monkey18 May 2017 1:45 p.m. PST

Why standardise on any spelling? It's not necessary. When you change press releases from British companies to use American spelling you achieve nothing but annoying the person who wrote the press release. Why not just leave it as its written?

Winston Smith18 May 2017 1:55 p.m. PST

Bill. EVERY nation has a vocal percentage who is pissed off at everyone else who isn't them. The Brits aren't alone in that. What do you think all those shouts of "USA! USA! USA!" are all about?
Speaking of Brits, what do you think 1776 was all about?

Tmp is standardized on American spelling? Will it prevent me from typing honour? Labour? Harbour?
I have a hard time doing that, but it's my cell phone that's doing it. Not TMP.

Bill, if your plan is to drive all those darn foreigners away, why not just come out and say it?

Shedman18 May 2017 1:59 p.m. PST

Michael Stockin lovely bloke

His new project Crom's Anvil 15mm Fantasy is excellent

Winston Smith18 May 2017 2:00 p.m. PST

As for Frothers, come on.
Three of the most vocal anti-TMP crowd over there are disgruntled Americans. Probably a lot more than that.
And you're not counting the annoyed Canadians and sneering Australians.

Get a grip and nuke this thread. You remind me sometimes of Custer in "Little Big Man".
"I could have you hanged, mule skinner, but it would not be worth reversing a Custer decision."

And if you dislike being accused of bring "anti/British", stop peaking at that thread on Frothers, and 90% of it will go away.

Rod I Robertson18 May 2017 2:01 p.m. PST

Humility and a more welcoming attitude to non-American gamers and their views would be helpful. Stop attacking what you (collective you) do not fully understand and leave room for cultural variation. If a Brit takes the Bleeped text out of you, it is often done in good humour (note the correct spelling here :-)!) and is not an attack. More generosity, thicker skin and less Editor-driven drama could possibly allow some of the wounds of the past to close and let new Brit wargamers feel more welcome here. If you attack them even obliquely through "innocent" questions such as this then you will impose a hobby apartheid here and loose a great nation of valuable and interesting wargamers. That is a very sad and immediate possibility.

Rod Robertson.

sjwalker3818 May 2017 2:01 p.m. PST

Remind me, what's the definition of 'Trolling' ?

Grignotage18 May 2017 2:06 p.m. PST

Trolling? Hell, this is ogre-ing.

Navy Fower Wun Seven18 May 2017 2:08 p.m. PST

I think Dear Bill has put it rather clumsily, but nonetheless it is an interesting question. Upon emigrating to Australia from the UK I expected to become a solo gamer, but no, many small but active wargaming communitites, mine in quite a small 'city' (large town by UK measures).

And not all of them run by ex-pats! (Although I daresay the majority of members hail from Anglo-Celtic stock, but a smaller and valuable strain from other backgrounds, Italian, French, and so on…Sadly I've not yet met an Indigenous wargamer, but I'm sure they are out there. Much polite interest shown in our uni games by international students, and one or two have even played a game or two)

jah195618 May 2017 2:14 p.m. PST

And to think somebody posted a topic about stupid posters not so long ago. This is not the sort of post one would expect from yourself. Is it???????
Sorry but turning brain on before posting would seem to be a good idea.

sjwalker3818 May 2017 2:17 p.m. PST

NFWSeven, I think you've been reading a different question to the rest of us. The dear Editor isn't asking whether there's only an active gaming community in the UK, clumsily or otherwise.

Bob the Temple Builder18 May 2017 2:19 p.m. PST

I actually feel quite insulted by a statement that appears to tar all British wargamers with the same brush.

I enjoy sharing a hobby with a wide and diverse group of people from many, many countries, and I certainly don't regard it as a 'British' hobby.

GiloUK18 May 2017 2:20 p.m. PST

Sorry, but this is total garbage. Come on, Bill; you're better than this.

fantasque18 May 2017 2:43 p.m. PST

I am another UK gamer wondering why in heaven's name Bill is taking some very specific personal quarrels and choosing to publicise and amplify them into offensive, xenophobic statements about a whole country and a major section of his customers.
If I had been daft enough to do something similar it would likely be down to an awful day followed by rather too much to drink – probably whisky.
Note my arrogant and provocative insistence on British spelling ;-).

Fingerspitzengefuhl18 May 2017 2:45 p.m. PST


If you've got this much time on your hands go fix the bugs!

Or dog House yourself

RittervonBek18 May 2017 2:46 p.m. PST

Stupidity has no gender or ethnicity. Or nationality. Ignorance like its estranged siblings courtesy and respect are stateless and universal.

Andrew Preziosi18 May 2017 2:46 p.m. PST

Bill, sometimes you're your own worse enemy.

Sometimes??? Dear Editor, literally, picked two fights today, for no reason and out of the blue and people are leaving…as of this moment, leaving.

You can't make this stuff up? (Well, you could, but you'd have to be in a certain Administration in a certain World Capitol to even come close to this one).

Andrew Preziosi…Honorary British type Englishman Not from the UK.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP18 May 2017 2:53 p.m. PST

I, too, have never met any British Wargamers who think everything should be British – friendly. Sorry.

PrivateSnafu18 May 2017 2:53 p.m. PST

Bill seems to learn the hard way all too often.

fantasque18 May 2017 2:57 p.m. PST

I will be extremely surprised if any learning, far less revising of opinions, resulted from this feedback and discussion.

Gone Fishing18 May 2017 3:12 p.m. PST

This is an incredibly asinine, offensive thread, Bill. What are you thinking? Are you thinking?

Not sure on this, but if Michael Stockin is the fellow who runs The WW, he is one of the nicest, most helpful web admins I've ever run across – he stayed online when it was the wee hours his time, just to help me, a complete stranger (and an American!), with a registering snafu. You could learn something from him.

VVV reply18 May 2017 3:14 p.m. PST

Well looking at the history of modern wargaming, it is quite British. Very popular in Germany up until WW2.
I once went to a US wargames convention to show players in the USA why Greek armies were doing so well in UK Warhammer Ancient Battles tournaments. Only to find that they had their own 'house rules' which would have made my army illegal (in the USA). Strange to say, they thought that UK gamers should be playing the way that they had decided to play. I would also mention that I found US gamers far more impassioned by their hobby than the average UK gamer.

Jamesonsafari18 May 2017 3:22 p.m. PST

I've met more Americans who are puzzled and contemptuous of anything different from their experience.
But I live closer to the US than the UK.

Try being a Canadian. Everything comes from out of country and your military history has until recent decades been overlooked.

Doug MSC Supporting Member of TMP18 May 2017 3:29 p.m. PST

I have many friends in England. If fact I am going over there for the 4th time this summer to spend some time with them as well as visit some places there. We light heartedly tease each other and have fun doing it. I've run across some people, on both sides of the pond, who have negative feelings about all kinds of things. For the most part, I think all wargamers enjoy each others company.

GarrisonMiniatures18 May 2017 3:31 p.m. PST

'While I'm in a pensive mood grin what's with the small but vocal minority of British wargamers who resent sharing their hobby with anyone else?

They sneer at wargamers from other places and their contemptible views. They act as if the hobby belongs to a single country.'

Strangely, I see that attitude from a few Americans…

Bill, anyone else starting this thread would be looking for a visit to the DH.

GarrisonMiniatures18 May 2017 3:34 p.m. PST

'Can I insult some group I don't like?
No. Your gaming group might enjoy your jokes about (fill in the race, ethnic group, nationality, political party, or faction here), but this is an international forum. You should not attack any group that applies to our members. You should also not attack the TMP community itself. [GROUP ATTACK RULE]'

Rakkasan18 May 2017 3:34 p.m. PST

I have gamed in the UK and the US. I found welcoming people in both places and those that are less so. All of the gaming merchants that I have dealt with in the UK wither in person or via email were top notch folks.

I don't go to the F site too often but it seems to be populated by folks from a variety of countries not just the UK.

GarrisonMiniatures18 May 2017 3:35 p.m. PST

'Can I start a flame war?
Depends on your purpose. A flame war is defined as an "acrimonious debate," and we have plenty of debates here. Starting a topic on a controversial issue is fine, as long as the topic is in good taste and in the appropriate forum. However, deliberately trying to "stir up" acrimony by provocative or offensive posts is trolling and is not permitted. (The Editors are the final judge on what is or is not flamebait.)'

Cosmic Reset18 May 2017 3:50 p.m. PST


I'm just going to be honest.

I think you need to have a really honest talk with God about the true face of what motivated you to make this post. Then, act accordingly.

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