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"Most Misunderstood?" Topic

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07 Oct 2017 12:22 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Crossposted to Wargaming in General board

03 May 2018 4:51 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board

1,258 hits since 7 Oct 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian07 Oct 2017 12:21 p.m. PST

Which period or genre of miniature wargaming is the most misunderstood by the general public?

JimDuncanUK07 Oct 2017 12:32 p.m. PST

Just about all of them.

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2017 12:36 p.m. PST

+1 Jim.

rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2017 12:38 p.m. PST

Agree, all of them due the way history gets oversimplified by some to make a point or others to get through all of the material they need to cover in a semester.

Oberlindes Sol LIC07 Oct 2017 12:46 p.m. PST

I don't that the general public understands any period or genre of miniature wargaming.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2017 12:47 p.m. PST

Agree with all of the above. Ask me if I care.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2017 12:55 p.m. PST

All, agree with the above.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2017 1:38 p.m. PST

If I know that Abraham Lincoln's mother died when the family dairy cow ate white snakeroot and Mrs Lincoln drank the milk* does that make me somehow superior?

History is an interest of mine but I'm certain a knowledge of it is not essential to lead a rich & fulfilling life.

I read here & elsewhere history buffs smugly assuming a supercilious superiority to the common crowd who don't even know that the Roman emperor Caligula made his horse, Incitatus, a consul**. Historical knowledge can be, sadly, no more than a reason to stroke your own ego (& we all know people who do this) & pompously pontificate on the pages of TMP & elsewhere.

Read this for some harsh truths.:

* this is true BTW
** a distorted account & possibly an ancient calumny anyway

21eRegt Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2017 2:41 p.m. PST

Any period that Hollywood gets their hooks into.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Oct 2017 3:38 p.m. PST


In my experience, fantasy is the genre that more than others, the general public (everyone except fantasy miniature wargamers, including other wargamers) thinks is one homogeneous thing.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2017 4:16 p.m. PST


saltflats192907 Oct 2017 4:55 p.m. PST

The War of 1812. Hands down.

Hafen von Schlockenberg Inactive Member07 Oct 2017 5:37 p.m. PST

If I'm reading Bill's question right, he's not asking about a historical period, but a wargaming period.

Etotheipi may be on the right track with fantasy. Makes sense.

But I have no idea what the answer might be.

PrivateSnafu07 Oct 2017 6:22 p.m. PST


Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian07 Oct 2017 6:27 p.m. PST

Anime is often misunderstood.

WWII if you've got Germans (or, heavens forbid, SS) on the tabletop.


Ultramodern – Just saw a post on FB from someone who says the ultramodern gamers are getting hassled where he lives…

USAFpilot07 Oct 2017 6:41 p.m. PST

I agree with Hafen. The question was not asking about history per se, but wargaming. I don't know the answer but I'll take a guess. I imagine myself as a kid witnessing my first war-game. It happened to be based on the American Revolution so I knew what i was looking at based on having learned about it in school. I would probably recognize war-games based on the other major conflicts learned in elementary school or as seen on TV and therefor could recognize the uniforms at least. I'd recognize some fantasy based on my reading "The Hobbit". I think the hardest to understand and grasp IMHO is modern. The US has been in a state of constant war since 2001, but what modern warfare actually looks like on a game tabletop may vary greatly to the point of unrecognizable. (Just think, modern terrain includes cyberspace.)

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2017 7:13 p.m. PST

The only people I've ever met who mis-understood a game was about Dungeons & Dragons — ohhh, big-time mis-understood!

Personally, I can't speak to miniatures wargames as I haven't met folks who couldn't grasp it.

Hafen von Schlockenberg Inactive Member07 Oct 2017 7:45 p.m. PST

I suppose one way of thinking about it would be to imagine someone who's never heard of Wargaming wandering,somehow, into Historicon.

At which sort of game might they exclaim "What the heck is that"?

Or maybe "Oh,that's awful"!

Or it might be something as minor as "What century is this game set in"? Or what country is this? Hell, I do that myself often enough. I mean,if I see kepis, I know it's not likely to be Lobositz ,but. . .

I don't know what the British experience might be. Based on nothing more than reading the British magazines over the years, it appears that at least some of the initial motivation for Game Days was to introduce wargaming to the public--hence the "demonstration" game. Comments in those magazines have been made to the effect that said "public" is pretty much a figment of the organizers' imaginations. But the fact that some of the shows used to attract protesters at least indicates both exposure and misunderstanding.

I don't recall ever seeing an anime miniatures game. Shows what I know.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2017 8:05 p.m. PST

Hafen, I find it pretty easy to explain the Girls Und Panzer anime miniature game that I've been running at a lot of local conventions — "it's based on the anime of girls' high school team combat sport with WW2 tanks!"

Hafen von Schlockenberg Inactive Member07 Oct 2017 8:07 p.m. PST

Oh yeah, forgot about that one. I've yet to see a game of it,myself.

Of course, the next question would obviously be "What's anime?".

Speaking of obvious questions, I neglected the most obvious: "Why are all these grown-ups playing with toy soldiers? ".

Hafen von Schlockenberg Inactive Member07 Oct 2017 8:26 p.m. PST

A few years ago, a friend told me of a possible PR campaign:

"Chess too challenging? Skiing to exciting?
Why not try spending hours moving little lumps of lead a few inches?"

That should bring them in.

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP08 Oct 2017 2:40 a.m. PST

"Do you make sounds when you play your game ?"

Nuff said …

cameronian08 Oct 2017 2:41 a.m. PST

Begs the question if the general public thinks anything about wargaming at all. Why should they? Peoples lives are full of far more important concerns than playing with toy soldiers.

Ottoathome Inactive Member08 Oct 2017 7:52 a.m. PST

Oh… I think the general public understands war games and war gamers perfectly. "Big Bang" has done a wonderful job at this.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP08 Oct 2017 7:59 a.m. PST

I play X-Wing, of course I make sounds when I play!

Everybody understands the need to go "Pew! Pew! Pew!" with X-Wings and Star Fighters. Engine noises and seismic charges too.

bobm195908 Oct 2017 9:47 a.m. PST

The general public will rarely understand anyone playing a game of an event where they had a relative involved; especially so if they were a casualty or POW.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2017 8:31 a.m. PST

Fantasy because a lot of people don't have a frame of reference for it. With the exceptions of Harry Potter and LOR.

Historical gaming at least has some frame of reference. Even if it's a lesser known period, like the Franco-Prussian War. When you say 1870-71, it gives them something to go by.

Great War Ace Inactive Member10 Oct 2017 10:24 a.m. PST

All wargaming is a mystery to the general public. But the only one of those mysteries that got Medía attention was D&D back in the day. I haven't heard or read of anyone paying the slightest attention to the hobby or its participants since that tempest in a teapot died down. It did die down, didn't it? At least I stopped paying attention.

Hafen von Schlockenberg Inactive Member10 Oct 2017 12:27 p.m. PST

GWA: Oh yes,it died down. Remember that it coincided with the "Ritual Satanic Abuse" hysteria of the 80's,and when that delusion collapsed, so did the Anti-D&D campaign,for the most part. Not that some lives weren't ruined in the process, particularly from the former. This woman had a lot to do with fanning the flames (literally):


I was living in Richmond at the time, and read the interview with her with some disbelief. An indication of her mental processes is her estimation that 8% of the population of Richmond were practicing Satanists:

"Eight percent? That seems high".

"Well,four percent of adults,aand four percent of children".

Anyway, since the mainstreaming of RPG's, and fantasy in general, it's unlikely something of that nature will happen again.

As a note on the latter, I read an interview with a major book publisher about 15 years ago, in which the interviewer was asking about mainstream fiction vs. genre fiction such as Fantasy. The response was "Fantasy IS mainstream. Everything else is genre".

As far as miniatures gaming is concerned, GW's relatively high profile may have sparked some reaction, but as I don't follow them,I can't speak to any possible controversies surrounding them.

If historical wargaming ever started becoming anything close to a "mainstream" hobby, maybe we might see something happen in the US similar to what I mentioned above in the UK.*

But despite what we may hope, that's not going to happen. I don't know if I'd much enjoy a Gencon- or Comicon-size Historicon,anyway (though I'm sure the dealers would!).

*BTW--Any UK gamers care to comment on this?

Oberlindes Sol LIC12 Oct 2017 11:57 a.m. PST

For no particular reason:

YouTube link

RudyNelson16 Oct 2017 7:39 a.m. PST

All of it. I do not care what they think. This is my hobby and they can have their hobbies which I do not like or understand.

138SquadronRAF Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2017 8:32 p.m. PST

We British tend to be much more tolerant of eccentricity than the Septics. Wargaming remains on a par with Morris Dancing and Train Spotting – alright for the Anoraks.

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