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"Discussing History on TMP" Topic


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23 Jun 2020 8:27 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Crossposted to General Historical Discussion board

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1,652 hits since 23 Jun 2020
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian23 Jun 2020 8:23 p.m. PST

Because I am an ardent student of history, I feel a strong link between miniature wargaming and history.

I understand that not all of you share the same passion for history, and that's fine. For some of you, historical gaming is about having fun with historical toys, and you're not that bothered about the details of the history. And others of you eschew historical gaming, but enjoy fantasy and sci-fi gaming.

I sometimes hear complaints from people who say that there is too much historical discussion on TMP. They feel that the forum should be limited strictly to military history subjects that directly relate to our hobby.

I respectfully disagree. How can you separate one part of history from the rest of history? When I reviewed American Ghost recently – TMP link – I saw how a 19th Century Old West story related to many subjects, even the Holocaust!

So I will continue to allow historical discussions that are not limited to military history, and ask that you exercise your discretion in avoiding discussions that do not interest you.

On a related issue, there have been several times recently when history has intersected with current events: whether certain historical figures should continue to be memorialized or not, how modern society should view past wars and colonial issues. To me, these are part of the discussion of history. My high expectation of TMP members is that we can rise to the level of being able to discuss these issues without becoming rancorous with one another.

To those who do not wish to participate in such discussions, please exercise your discretion to avoid those topics. If you cannot participate in the discussion without becoming intemperate, then please avoid those topics.

Raynman Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2020 8:38 p.m. PST

I agree with you, Bill. I am a student of history and researching a new army and what it did historically is as important as it is fun to learn.

Personal logo D6 Junkie Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2020 8:48 p.m. PST

Sadly I find enough discussions about Modern Interpretation of history everywhere else these days. Every news network. Social media. At Dinner tables. No lack of it. All very political and very polarized. And I understand that fellow wargamers may want to discuss it on TMP. But wasn.t that the purpose of Blue Fez? I was hoping to just be able to opt out of Modern Historical politics at TMP. Yes I can not check the discussion and try and avoid the 'click bait', understood. But I would venture to guess that it's these 'discussions' that result in the most stifling. I just don't see how this promotes our hobby? How it cements those that enjoy our hobby?

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2020 9:00 p.m. PST

I fully support the position Bill has articulated here.

Personal logo PaulCollins Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2020 9:14 p.m. PST

I find that learning about the military aspects of a time period without knowing about the social aspects of the period often leads to misunderstandings on my part.The people who frequent TMP tend to be knowledgeable and serve as a good starting point to my understanding a new period. I fully appreciate Bill's stand on this issue.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian23 Jun 2020 9:16 p.m. PST

And I understand that fellow wargamers may want to discuss it on TMP. But wasn.t that the purpose of Blue Fez?

Discussing the Civil War or Colonialism isn't inherently political. Leave the party politics out of it. There are still real issues to discuss – Columbus, should he continue to be revered, or was he just a 'prop' to get the Italian vote back in the day? I found the issues about USS Chancellorsville fascinating.

I just don't see how this promotes our hobby? How it cements those that enjoy our hobby?

Love of history?

Personal logo D6 Junkie Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2020 9:22 p.m. PST

I certainly agree with a discussion of any historical period. How else can we be historical gamers. So yes, a discussion on the various political parties involved in the Carlist War is appropriate. But a post on 'Someone wants to now rename Columbus, Ohio" is about Modern Political views.

Personal logo D6 Junkie Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2020 9:31 p.m. PST

And go back and read the comments brought out on that Columbus Ohio post. Did it bring up a historical discussion of Columbus Ohio? Or just commentating on feelings about political correctness? Know you audience.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian23 Jun 2020 9:32 p.m. PST

But a post on 'Someone wants to now rename Columbus, Ohio" is about Modern Political views.

I would disagree there, because how can you have that conversation without evaluating the history relevant to Columbus?

David Manley23 Jun 2020 9:37 p.m. PST

I don't see a problem in discussing that. If it is a subject that interests you then read it and contribute if you have a view. If it's not if interest to you then don't read.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2020 10:11 p.m. PST

Indeed, much of Miniatures Gaming is historically based. However, discussions of history, without reference to miniatures seem inappropriate to The MINIATURES Page. This is a great forum, made up of folks with lots of historical knowledge. Maybe topics of a pure historical nature such as "who is the better general" or what if the US did not enter WW1", is Andrew Jackson as a racist but founder of the Democratic Party fit to have a statue in Washington, DC" , these types of discussion might be directed to a new forum -- the Red Fez -- or some such clever name.

The primary function of The Miniatures Page should be the discussion of topics related to miniature/toy soldiers/figures and items related to playing games with them. Serious discussions of real history without reference to these issues should be somewhere else, but within the frame work that Bill has created.

Double plus good thanks to Bill for keeping this forum going.

Brownand24 Jun 2020 12:06 a.m. PST

Bobgnar, +1

FusilierDan24 Jun 2020 3:52 a.m. PST

Bobgnar, +2

Royston Papworth24 Jun 2020 4:17 a.m. PST

I like the "what ifs" and "who is better" topics and wouldn't want to go somewhere else to read them.

I think they contribute to the overall hobby.

Brownand24 Jun 2020 5:37 a.m. PST

Question: so we can discuss a historical statement although it can be a political issue today?

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian24 Jun 2020 5:48 a.m. PST

Question: so we can discuss a historical statement although it can be a political issue today?

Yes, but try to keep the modern politics out of it. We can discuss the merits of Robert E. Lee (for example) without needing to know what specific politicians today think.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP24 Jun 2020 6:16 a.m. PST

Bobgnar +3. I also say directly to you Bill, that if you want to have historical discussions on TMP, YOU have an editorial obligation to frame the discussion as a question of discussion -- not simply throw out headlines and one-liners that you know are going to generate controversy over content.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP24 Jun 2020 6:39 a.m. PST

Your site, your rules. I've already explained why I think it's a bad fit for TMP. The "historical discussion" we get with this is just a frantic search for suitable ammunition in present controversies. I trust you monitor the stifles and ignores? When the numbers go up, you might want to rethink the policy.

dapeters24 Jun 2020 9:21 a.m. PST

I agree historic stuff is fine when it relates to current events bounce it out.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP24 Jun 2020 11:08 a.m. PST

Bill,
Overall, I completely agree with you. The historical discussions are generally the ones I find most interesting and informative, even in periods I do not game.
With so much going on in the world today though, I think we need a moratorium on current event related posts.

Basha Felika24 Jun 2020 11:19 a.m. PST

Nnascati +1

Like Bill, it was a love of history, the ‘whys' and ‘what ifs', that sparked my interest in historical gaming, inspired by a history teacher who both told a good story and ran the school gaming club.

I'd like to think I'm pretty objective and dispassionate about most political/historical discussions that arise here and elsewhere – it's not always about winning the argument but more about adding to your knowledge, challenging your own ideas with the opinion of others.

BUT I understand that others do feel very strongly about some ‘sensitive' topics and find it difficult to keep an appropriate level of decorum in any thread, and may feel the need to call out opinions that they fundamentally disagree with, rather than just hit the stifle or complaint button.

Trouble is, it does mean a lot more work for the editorial team keeping a lid on things when it gets heated.

Lost Wolf24 Jun 2020 1:00 p.m. PST

Truth is, I've learned many new and interesting things about history from this site. This is especially true about the wars in England, Scotland, and Ireland. I had never heard of them before. Many times I've enjoyed many, many hours just chasing information. Many times I've said "Wow, I didn't know that!" So, yeah, it's a site about miniature wargaming. But, I greatly appreciate the extras that come with it.

Legion 424 Jun 2020 3:21 p.m. PST

And others of you eschew historical gaming, but enjoy fantasy and sci-fi gaming.
I am a student of history and enjoy gaming it. But now for the longest time all I do is Sci-fi.

+1 Lost Wolf ! That is one reason I come here daily !

Sadly I find enough discussions about Modern Interpretation of history everywhere else these days. Every news network. Social media.
Very true, and many try to put today's standards, beliefs, etc., into what happened in the past. As the saying goes times were different back then … whenever back then was. E.g. AWI, ACW, etc., etc.

Personal logo jsmcc91 Supporting Member of TMP24 Jun 2020 4:13 p.m. PST

Truth is, I come here to get away from the politics of everyday life. This is the Miniatures Page for a reason. Games, books, painting, etc. If I wanted to talk politics, I honestly would not want to do it here when it is my escape. There is enough craziness in the world to let it ruin our hobby.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP24 Jun 2020 5:11 p.m. PST

I just read a fascinating and serious non-historical discussion of the proper way to represent Orcs on the Lead Adventure Forum. More interesting that a lot of what passes for historical discussion.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian24 Jun 2020 5:15 p.m. PST

You can seriously argue that some of the worst racial stereotypes have simply been translated to Orks.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP24 Jun 2020 5:17 p.m. PST

I don't look at it as anything but fantasy. I'm not going to try and push current events into it.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP24 Jun 2020 6:55 p.m. PST

Unless you know the author's intentions, you really can't make that arguement.

Dn Jackson25 Jun 2020 2:48 a.m. PST

I'm with Bill. We can all disagree without being disagreeable. And if there's something I'm not interested in, I don't read it. I happily sit with my friends and talk history, gaming, politics, and other things. I enjoy doing it here too.

platypus01au25 Jun 2020 4:36 p.m. PST

Maybe the Editor should set up The History Page for that…

JohnG
PS: Bobgnar, +4

Brownand26 Jun 2020 6:36 a.m. PST

Dear editor; I don't understand your answer
"Yes, but try to keep the modern politics out of it. We can discuss the merits of Robert E. Lee (for example) without needing to know what specific politicians today think."
as you brought up yourself a discussion about renaming miitary bases which is influenced by recent political issues as the article you linked to states:"
U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy is open to renaming military bases named after Confederate generals, an issue getting increased attention in recent weeks amid nationwide protests against police brutality and racism following the death of George Floyd, Fox News has learned."
Imho thgis contradicts itself

Legion 426 Jun 2020 9:36 a.m. PST

You can seriously argue that some of the worst racial stereotypes have simply been translated to Orks.

Well … yeah … maybe … but mine are all 6mm. So most don't notice. And most are just Orks … So … evil grin

SBminisguy26 Jun 2020 2:01 p.m. PST

You can seriously argue that some of the worst racial stereotypes have simply been translated to Orks.

Ok -- why is this a thing?

Orcs were created by Tolkien in his Middle Earth epics, and are not human nor are they based on any human race. In the Silmarillion Tolkien describes how Morgoth, an evil entity that wants to corrupt and control all life on Middle Earth, used fell magic to warp and twist captive *Elves* into Orcs, and created them at a genetic level to be loyal foot soldiers with innate hatred of all things opposed to Morgoth's designs. Evil is literally baked into their DNA. The nature of "Orcs" is also heavily based on folk myths of various evil faeries (goblins) and creatures who considered "good" to be their foe and delighted in destruction and chaos. Most of these myths are European (unsurprising since Tolkein was a European Dark Ages scholar), but many cultures have similar beings, like the Korean "Dokkaebi," the "Gudrobonga" from Bangladeshi culture – others include several Native American cultural myths, China, Japan, etc. So "Goblins" and evil beings are a common myth globally.

From reading Tolkien's life history, I'd hazard to guess that Orcs are essentially representations of the author's experiences in WW1, surviving the hell of the Trenches, major battles like the Somme -- where he lived in "Mordor," a hellish landscape of death and despair…and Orcs as the remorseless German Army, faceless behind gas mask and helmet, merciless with shells, machine guns and gas.

In contrast there are a range of human races depicted in Middle Earth, based loosely on real cultures -- the Haradrim are basically the Persian Empire, the Easterlings are basically the Mongols, etc. They are depicted as cultures of Man that have fallen under the influence of Sauron, as Numenor and other cultures have -- as the Dunlendings (Picts) fell under Saruman's sway.

If you want to create Orcs as just another race of beings, good/bad, etc., more like World of Warcraft -- it's your game, go do that. At some point you end up with just "people" of no specific race or species that you slap some traits on top of. Fine, do that -- I'll take Humanoid with a side of extra Strength, tusks and green skin. And can I add pointy ears to my order please? Thanks!

So there is no basis for saying that Orcs are depicted in a "racist" way unless *you* do that in your games as a gamer, or you have an agenda you're pushing…

Basha Felika26 Jun 2020 3:25 p.m. PST

SB, thank goodness for a bit of well informed common sense

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian26 Jun 2020 4:38 p.m. PST

So there is no basis for saying that Orcs are depicted in a "racist" way unless *you* do that in your games as a gamer, or you have an agenda you're pushing…

When I said Orks, I meant GW Orks.

Henry Martini26 Jun 2020 7:46 p.m. PST

This is all getting a bit… orkward.

arthur181527 Jun 2020 2:30 a.m. PST

A friend of mine ran a series of games in which things were presented from the point of view of 'The Free Folk' (as the orcs called themselves), which reversed the 'traditional' roles of humans and orcs in a vaguely Tolkeinesque world, so they were the 'good guys' and the humans were the 'bad guys'.

Legion 427 Jun 2020 9:06 a.m. PST

What ? Wait … You mean to tell me Orks [or Orcs] don't really exist ?!!?!? huh?

Boy talk about racists ! evil grin

Foulksy28 Jun 2020 10:05 a.m. PST

Everybody knows Orcs are cockneys – just listen to those accents ;-)

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