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"Historical Wargamers Know Their History" Topic


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932 hits since 8 Sep 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian09 Sep 2017 12:02 p.m. PST

True or false?

Personal logo herkybird Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2017 12:16 p.m. PST

Yes….and No!

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2017 12:32 p.m. PST

No and Yes

advocate09 Sep 2017 12:34 p.m. PST

Better than most folk.

freerangeegg09 Sep 2017 12:38 p.m. PST

Possibly….

BW195909 Sep 2017 12:44 p.m. PST

Maybe not better then some academics, but better then most people.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2017 12:44 p.m. PST

Sometimes…

rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2017 12:45 p.m. PST

sometimes.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2017 12:57 p.m. PST

The desire to have polls should not degenerate into the urge to have meaningless ones.

Some historical gamers know some parts of history quite well. Almost all of us know political, military and diplomatic history better than the bulk of modern American college graduates--not that this is much of a standard.

And almost all of us use the knowledge to find loopholes. We want to make our games more interesting and our tables look better than strict adherence to history would permit. (No overcoats and cased colors on MY tables. Not much fog, either.)

CATenWolde09 Sep 2017 12:59 p.m. PST

The ones who paint usually (but not always) know the history of the uniforms and equipment. The ones who design historical scenarios usually know the details of those individual engagements, and often the campaign they are situated in. A few more of various sorts know the broader history – but simply wargaming a period is no guarantor of know the history of the period.

foxweasel Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2017 1:15 p.m. PST

Bit of both.

14Bore09 Sep 2017 1:41 p.m. PST

Better than avg, but then I have been reading military history my whole life so, and suspect most of us have.

skippy0001 Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2017 2:05 p.m. PST

Every gamer has special eras of history. What is important is a concise historical perspective-if you don't know, you know where to look or talk to. People today are oblivious of history and geography-it's too frustrating.

Personal logo Jlundberg Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2017 2:39 p.m. PST

I may know what happened pretty well, but I would not rank in academic circles because I cannot apply critical gender theory to the War of the Roses

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2017 2:41 p.m. PST

History, history? We don't need no stink'in history.

Unfortunately, many gamers know the military history of a certain period, war, country, etc., but that is all.
Geo-political, social, and cultural history are ignored.

Ottoathome09 Sep 2017 3:05 p.m. PST

they know the history that will support their army being a super force, a killer army and give them +3 on everything. Beyond that StoneMtnMinis hasn't overestimated they by much. As far as Geo-political, social, cultural and the like, they don't have the brains God gave a goose.

Don't feel bad. Most academics don't know that history either.

All they know is what they need to get tenure, and after they have that they get a complete accuracy and historical bypass.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2017 3:13 p.m. PST

Mostly

peterx Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2017 4:30 p.m. PST

Yes, mostly. Some gamers know more history than anyone I have met or taken a history class with. Some are history professors or teachers.

FusilierDan Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2017 4:35 p.m. PST

Not this one :-)

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2017 5:52 p.m. PST

Some are very well read while others don't know anything but what is in their army's book.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP09 Sep 2017 5:56 p.m. PST

This is important because….

KSmyth09 Sep 2017 6:03 p.m. PST

I'm knowledgeable about my projects, but you can't know everything.

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2017 1:39 a.m. PST

Read a lot of books on history but game for fun.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Sep 2017 3:16 a.m. PST

If I can't remember what I had for breakfast, do I not know my own history?

Personal logo Great War Ace Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2017 6:10 a.m. PST

We know A version of "history" that we accept is the closest to the truth (the truth cannot be known, there are no surviving eyewitnesses). We are doomed to repeat all other versions that we do not know/accept as truth………..

Codsticker10 Sep 2017 4:54 p.m. PST

We "know" some history.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2017 6:58 p.m. PST

For most part they know their military history. A few of us have a actual college degrees in history but, that is never a given. Historical wargamers as a whole are better read.

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2017 8:14 p.m. PST

It all depends on where they learned it [at the gaming table?] and what sources and/or who they relied on for the information.

Historical wargamers tend to know more history, particularly battles, OOBs and generals than the man on the street.

ITALWARS Supporting Member of TMP11 Sep 2017 12:12 a.m. PST

In my country definitivly no…simply because very few are sufficiently educated..and also because, except civil wars, a war is fought between two countries and frequently of different languages..well 99,99% of Italian wargamer (i would easy simply Italians) are 'nt able to read any source in foreign language..plus the fact that they do not care a bit to do it…and except badly transalated, generic stuf..you cannot find any translated foreign sources..ex for WW1 and WW2 i use maps, toes, accounts from British, French Official History….all that is alien if not averse for an average educated Italian…that's the reason why i play solo or with 2 or 3 Us, French wargamers and friends that know very well History..and that's the reason why Wargame related sites in Italian are, except some few illustrations, totally useless and boring…

23rdFusilier Supporting Member of TMP11 Sep 2017 10:14 a.m. PST

I have played with gamers who know their history within a certain period. Very well read in the history and period literature. some were considered subject matter experts on the academic level. Others, looked at the pictures in a osprey book of watched a movie.

What brought us together was playing a wonderful game.

Blutarski11 Sep 2017 10:33 a.m. PST

23rd Fusilier wrote – "I have played with gamers who know their history within a certain period. Very well read in the history and period literature. some were considered subject matter experts on the academic level. Others, looked at the pictures in a osprey book of watched a movie."

+1 and true words indeed.

I can add one other category (obliquely alluded to by Otto): the dreaded rules lawyers. They may or may not know much about the history, but ignore anything that interferes with their competitive ambitions.

B

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP11 Sep 2017 4:49 p.m. PST

The dreaded rules lawyers.

Generally they are the folks who don't care much about history, but are attempting to 'interpret' the wording of the rules to gain some advantage. You know, like lawyers.

Condottiere11 Sep 2017 4:50 p.m. PST

It's a mixed bag. Most gamers with whom I've gamed over the decades have taken a keen interest in specific periods of history, with their knowledge focused on battles, tactics, weapons, etc. Then there are those who bloviate seemingly endlessly, without a true grasp of history. One gamer even pretended to have a PhD in history! (Found out it wasn't true--may explain his endless attacks on academics!)

Blutarski11 Sep 2017 6:05 p.m. PST

McLaddie wrote
"Generally they are the folks who don't care much about history, but are attempting to 'interpret' the wording of the rules to gain some advantage."


Phil Barker, with his dark and uncontrollable fixation upon convoluted subordinate clauses is considered a saint by rules lawyer in the ancient gaming arena.

;-)

B

USAFpilot11 Sep 2017 7:17 p.m. PST

Yes, they probably know certain details about history more than your average joe.

Now about "rules lawyers"; don't hate the player, hate the game.

Personal logo COL Scott ret Supporting Member of TMP11 Sep 2017 7:25 p.m. PST

I would say that "most" historical wargamers know "more" history than "most" of the general population. "Some" historical wargamers know only the "popular" view of history that is "common" to their area of the world.

For any rules lawyers reading this please note the large number of weasel words that allow me to say what I just wrote can mean almost anything I later on want to change it to mean. wink

This poll will obviously need a wide spread of how much wargamers do or don't know as compared to the general populace, and of course the obligatory "Don't know" and "don't know any historical gamers".

ITALWARS Supporting Member of TMP11 Sep 2017 11:58 p.m. PST

the true disapointment that i have experimented in games is that those so called "rules lawyer" even if, as frequently, do not know history..win on tabletop confrontations against people that know history and used specificic historical tactics

Ottoathome12 Sep 2017 4:29 a.m. PST

On the other hand from my disparaging remark on war gamers, even that abysmal level for most gamers there is the example form a graduate class I was in.

In this class which I reiterate was IN A GRADUATE LEVEL HISTORY PROGRAM, one sweet young thing was enlightening us all on her opinions and she said… and I quote… (it will live with me forever…)

"I don't blame Japan for attacking us at Pearl Harbor, after all, we dropped the atomic bomb on them at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Objections from causality and anachronism had absolutely no effect. She dismissed them all with "Those are all right wing lies" and the universal word of power-- the wave of the hand and a roll of the eye and a bored-exasperated "Whatever…"

Blutarski12 Sep 2017 7:14 a.m. PST

Stupidity can assume truly awesome proportions, Otto.

B

USAFpilot12 Sep 2017 8:07 a.m. PST

Reminds me of the scene from the movie Animal House. "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?" Other guy says "Germans?" Another guy answers, "Don't stop him, he's on a roll." lol

ITALWARS Supporting Member of TMP12 Sep 2017 9:26 a.m. PST

"one sweet young thing was enlightening us all on her opinions and she said… and I quote… (it will live with me forever…)" "She dismissed them all with "Those are all right wing lies" and the universal word of power--"

I'm sure that with this pedigree she is now an Editorialist of New York Times

Ottoathome12 Sep 2017 10:56 a.m. PST

Dear ItalWars


Oh no, she's teaching Gender studies at a woman's college in Massachusetts. Her latest course I am told, is "The burden of White privilege in America." She is white.

Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP12 Sep 2017 11:23 a.m. PST

At least most war gamers know why Shermans were "Ronsins". I have quit correcting people on this, too much trouble. Ignorance is bliss.

wolfhag

Blutarski13 Sep 2017 7:34 a.m. PST

USAFpilot wrote – Reminds me of the scene from the movie Animal House. "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?" Other guy says "Germans?" Another guy answers, "Don't stop him, he's on a roll." lol


OK. I admit it. I was drunk at the time I said that.

;-)

B

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Sep 2017 8:48 a.m. PST

I'm sure that with this pedigree she is now an Editorialist of New York Times

Nah … they were perpetrators of the right wing lies by publishing the two stories out of order four years apart.

picture

picture

ITALWARS Supporting Member of TMP13 Sep 2017 11:00 a.m. PST

that's true! :-)

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