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"Is Historical Gaming Too Limited?" Topic

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06 Nov 2018 9:00 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Crossposted to Historical Wargaming board

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1,030 hits since 6 Nov 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian06 Nov 2018 8:59 p.m. PST

Do you find historical gaming to be limiting?

The Beast Rampant06 Nov 2018 9:08 p.m. PST

It's as limiting as you want it to be.

If you want to refight Waterloo with the precise historical OOB's, go ahead.

If you want the Army of Northern Virginia to face off against Middle Kingdom Egyptians, knock yourself out.

Whatever makes you happy.

Blutarski06 Nov 2018 9:24 p.m. PST



Skeets Supporting Member of TMP06 Nov 2018 9:35 p.m. PST


KSmyth06 Nov 2018 9:40 p.m. PST

Geez, I dunno--Sumerians to fighting ISIS seems like lots of opportunity for exploration.

All the scales from 2mm to 54mm. Single figure rules to corps level and beyond.

How many more choices do you mean. With all due respect to my fantasy and sci-fi brethren. Just answering the question.

Winston Smith06 Nov 2018 9:52 p.m. PST

Let me channel Major B here.
What do you mean by "limiting"?

TMPWargamerabbit06 Nov 2018 10:35 p.m. PST


Sumerians will win with their ox cart / chariot technology after WWIII.

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP06 Nov 2018 11:48 p.m. PST


Glengarry507 Nov 2018 12:08 a.m. PST


advocate07 Nov 2018 1:02 a.m. PST


Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2018 1:04 a.m. PST

If the world's military history isn't enough, then I don't know what will fill your cup …

warwell07 Nov 2018 3:04 a.m. PST

Yes. And I fill my cup with sci-fi and fantasy.
Others must feel the same otherwise no one would ever come up with something like this link

ZULUPAUL Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2018 3:10 a.m. PST


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2018 3:18 a.m. PST


jurgenation Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2018 4:09 a.m. PST

Not in our group.

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2018 4:12 a.m. PST


Personal logo Florida Tory Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2018 4:35 a.m. PST


FusilierDan Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2018 4:44 a.m. PST

warwell, it could be argued that that is Historical as an exploration of Victorian literature. So no.

Dynaman878907 Nov 2018 4:57 a.m. PST

I'll be finding new historical stuff to play out till I'm dead, if that doesn't count as a no I don't know what does.

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2018 5:34 a.m. PST


Ragbones Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2018 5:48 a.m. PST


CSherrange Inactive Member07 Nov 2018 5:59 a.m. PST

Is historical gaming limited?

Depends on your definition of historical. If you can make a generic, period appropriate force on force fight then no. If you limit to fighting only historical battles with exact OOBs and terrain, then yes.

advocate07 Nov 2018 6:01 a.m. PST

Or yes.
I don't just replay historical battles. I explore what-ifs. And the units are not entirely accurate even if I am getting close to an historical event.. Am I venturing away from 'historical' here?

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2018 6:22 a.m. PST

By definition it is limited, but is that important? Not at all. As written, this question hinges on the word "too". Also a no.

WarWizard07 Nov 2018 6:47 a.m. PST


22ndFoot07 Nov 2018 6:54 a.m. PST


khanscom07 Nov 2018 6:56 a.m. PST

My time to explore all the avenues of historical gaming that I would like is too limited.

Extrabio1947 Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2018 7:15 a.m. PST


Would you consider an Imperial Roman Army fighting Han Chinese to be historical? If the answer is "yes," then it's not limiting at all. If the answer is "no," then it is limited by a strict interpretation of history.

In other words, is "historical fantasy" a subset of historical gaming?

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Nov 2018 7:37 a.m. PST


advocate07 Nov 2018 8:06 a.m. PST

'In other words, is "historical fantasy" a subset of historical gaming?'
It's an intersection of the sets of Fantasy Gaming (it never happened; the way the armies would interact has to be based on a degree of speculation) and the set of Historical Gaming (the individual armies have been designed to represent their historical equivalents).
I'd argue that most 'historical' gaming involves some degree of 'fantasy' or at least 'speculation'. The question is how much of an overlap are you prepared to accept, it is by no means black and white.

Dynaman878907 Nov 2018 8:57 a.m. PST

> In other words, is "historical fantasy" a subset of historical gaming?


Garryowen Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2018 9:00 a.m. PST



Allen5707 Nov 2018 9:29 a.m. PST

Army of Northern Virginia to face off against Middle Kingdom Egyptians is not historical gaming. It is fantasy/sf. That is OK by me though I cant imagine gaming that combo.

I do not find historical gaming to be limiting though reality presents some limitations to your games. You cant put a Pz1 on the table for WW1 trench busting. If you do you are into fantasy.

Whirlwind07 Nov 2018 9:41 a.m. PST

I dunno what this even means. Is it more of a problem for historical gamers that they can't refight Hastings with goblins or for fantasy gamers that they can't refight Hastings with Normans and Anglo-Saxons?

advocate07 Nov 2018 10:27 a.m. PST

Many fantasy settings have an underlying source (eg Tolkien) that can restrict what is available to the gamer as much as any historical period. In some ways more restrictive since there is a limited 'canon' of sources. Then the player has to choose just what is mentioned or extend the range by applying some military logic, or flesh out what is only mentioned in passing.

warwell07 Nov 2018 10:40 a.m. PST

Is "historical fantasy" a subset of historical gaming?

I would say no, it is not. In my book, it is historically themed fantasy gaming.

Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2018 11:09 a.m. PST


I am sure I don't even understand the question.

rmaker07 Nov 2018 11:30 a.m. PST


Legion 407 Nov 2018 12:00 p.m. PST

No …

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2018 12:23 p.m. PST


Not even close. Plenty of subject matter to last several lifetimes.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2018 12:30 p.m. PST

Only in the sense that writing poetry with rhyme and meter is more limiting than cranking out a little prose with odd line breaks and calling it "free verse."

All games have rules. The "meta-rule" if you will, of historical miniatures gaming is that the game has to respond to historical reality at least in uniforms and tactics. If you don't abide by that rule, no one's going to stop you--but you're not engaged in historical miniatures wargaming.

Which is why I'd put Han Chinese vs Roman on the edge, and Ottoman Turk vs Samurai--it came up here a little while back--over the border. Not because they never fought, but because they were never really one one another's radar. You can do historical uniforms, but armies are trained and organized to fight projected opponents and in certain terrain. You can imagine a sort of preliminary Han-Roman skirmish, but by the time they were maneuvering decent-size armies against each other, they'd have been making adjustments to their tactics and organizations in ways we can only guess at. Even Braddock on the Monongahela was picking up local woodsmen, and not using a pure Continental English army.

So when someone tells me they're fighting New Kingdom Egyptians vs Inuit in the tournament, and the Egyptians are penalized for their lack of snowshoes, no, I do not regard it as a triumph of historical miniatures gaming.

Yeah, I'm surly and not in keeping with the spirit of the age. I'd say "sue me" but today someone would. That IS in keeping with the spirit of the age.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2018 12:37 p.m. PST

There is no such thing as "Historical Fantasy" it is an oxymoron. There are hypothetical scenarios based on historically plausible situations played with historical figures.

For example, I want to see what happens if George McClellan at the Battle of Antietam had committed the 5th Corps. That is historical. That scenario is testing a plausible hypothesis.

Yes, I do realize that there is a genre of books called historical fiction. As for example "The Killer Angels" But still most are based on historical facts, like "The Killer Angels". Anyway we are talking about gaming not books.

Allowing Confederate Dragons to swoop down and destroy the Army of the Potomac. That is fantasy. Historical gaming is based on facts, even hypothetical scenarios. Even though it would be kind of cool.

Okay, I will get off the soapbox.

Winston Smith07 Nov 2018 12:57 p.m. PST

I guess my Ork invasion of Canada in 1885 through aStargate is beyond the Pale.
Too bad.
I'm not losing sleep over the disapproval.

Winston Smith07 Nov 2018 1:03 p.m. PST

Seriously. There's a whole gamut of games that fuddy duddies like to go tsk tsk over.
There are Aunt Nellies who wish to ban tournaments from so-called historical conventions.
Then there are Imaginations. Fetch the smelling salts!
What about World War II going into 1946? Red Star White Star? Team Yankee? They never happened so are not historical.

What if Lee heads West to relieve Vicksburg? Would dragons make that more palatable?

The more time we spend worrying about things like this, the less time we spend painting dragons. For Cowpens.

raylev307 Nov 2018 2:11 p.m. PST

No, but I love military history so it's all good.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2018 2:25 p.m. PST

3,000 – 4,000+ years?

I'd say, not really.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP07 Nov 2018 4:05 p.m. PST

Hmm. Yes, Winston, I would indeed insist on historical games at historical conventions, though I can be fairly broad in my definition of "historical game." If it could have happened, I say go for it, and if "imagi-nation" translates "generic" and not "super army" I've got no problem with the Army of Petrus I. I also wouldn't admit RPGs and video games to our cons. We're outnumbered, we skew old and the vendors go where the money is.

My local convention admitted any sort of "gaming." The dealers and guest attractions went with the fantasy/RPG majority, and now you have to be at least middle-aged to remember historical games at the con--which means we have no event at which to meet and recruit, and there are even fewer of us. I have to troop up to the Seven Years War Association Convention. THEY stuck to their guns, won't admit anything before Marlborough or after the start of the French Revolution and get by just fine.

Do you also think board game conventions should include RPGs, or Chess meets should include video games? Or is it only historical miniatures which shouldn't be allowed it own convention?

Winston Smith07 Nov 2018 5:08 p.m. PST

You're putting words in my mouth.
I have no control over what goes on at a convention, nor do I want any.
That's the job of those to whom we graciously fork over $45 USD to decide.
If they feel they have to allow Yoga or goldfish breeders to break even, that's not up to me. I can stay away if I wish. Like you do.

Magnus Carlson will be defending his World Chess Championship very soon. I rather doubt the organizers will feel the need for a 40K tournament.

Chuckaroobob07 Nov 2018 5:19 p.m. PST

No. But sometimes ya gotta sneak out the pulp figs!

23rdFusilier Supporting Member of TMP08 Nov 2018 5:21 a.m. PST


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