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"The Big Problem with Historical Wargaming" Topic

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Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2023 6:16 a.m. PST

It was inevitable that this would creep into our hobby.

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2023 6:20 a.m. PST

Definitely an exercise in overthinking things. WW2 is not all of historical wargaming!

doc mcb23 May 2023 7:47 a.m. PST

But we now get the same problem in other periods -- MANY other periods.

Many wars have good guys and bad guys. Somebody has to play the bad guys if we are going to play at all.

Some wars are bad guys against bad guys (Hitler vs Stalin).

And some wars are good guys, or at least okay guys, on both sides.

Historical games and history generally has to deal with the (understandable) ERROR of unhistorically projecting modern attitudes back onto the past. Condemn where appropriate, yes, but not anachronistically (and often arrogantly) applying modern standards to cultures which simply did not think in those terms.

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2023 7:52 a.m. PST

YouTube link

A humorous way to look at it
YouTube link

nickinsomerset23 May 2023 8:09 a.m. PST

Same sort of people who want to edit out a scene from Monty Pythons' life of Brian, but want drag artists performing to 6 year olds!

Tally Ho!

Shark Six Three Zero23 May 2023 8:13 a.m. PST

Most of the video is a lecture on the immoral past and then they link it to the peopleof today.

"Let's not pretend that far right groups might still exist and their supporters MIGHT be in to table top games" and "

Then it cuts to a World of Warships commercial…a game using historical ships. Sure they will virtue signal and then take the money from a game that covers historical ships that were crewed by people that triggered them. Bleeped text.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2023 8:13 a.m. PST

Who didn't see this coming? Well there were a few.😂🤣

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2023 8:23 a.m. PST

Clearly, no one plays cops and robbers at recess these days.

There are levels of willful ignorance and fault-finding it is perhaps better to simply ignore. I can't remember any founding wargamer who actually served in WWII--Grant, Young, Featherstone, Vietmeyer, Morschauser--having any such reservations, and I don't know of any of the "how can you play Nazis?" crowd who ever bore arms against ANY evil.

I do find the notion of an expiration date for evil interesting--that it's different if the atrocities were committed far enough back. No one seems willing to commit to a date, though.

Shark Six Three Zero23 May 2023 8:29 a.m. PST

They hate the idea of playing games where there were facist factions inflicted suffering from war only to escape to a world run by facist factions inflicting suffering from war…….wait a minute.

SBminisguy23 May 2023 8:49 a.m. PST


I for one look forward to gaming the glorious victories of Oceania over Eurasia! I mean, EASTASIA, yes, EASTASIA, not our ally Eurasia!

Blutarski23 May 2023 9:34 a.m. PST

"Who are the Brain Police?"
Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention

YouTube link


UshCha23 May 2023 10:02 a.m. PST

You are always going to get those foilk deperate for content that they hope is contraversial in the hope of getting clicks.
Nothing you can do about it except don't give him clicks.

Thulclidies noted that often those with lkeast experience of war are most inclined to wage it.
This idiot fails to appreciate it and instead effectively due to a lack of undertstanding, does not realise wargamers are far more aware of the pointlessness of real war. An excellent repost H G Wells take in "little Wars". Perhaps if he studied a bit he would be better informed.

rmaker23 May 2023 10:27 a.m. PST

Clearly, no one plays cops and robbers at recess these days.

Of course not. Recess these days is organized. Let children exercise their imaginations and decide what THEY want to play? Horrors!! What a Fascist idea!

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2023 11:19 a.m. PST

I thought it might be because the average age is larger than the average waistband measurement. grin

Personal logo Mister Tibbles Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2023 11:29 a.m. PST

It has 5K+ comments so the video did its job catching the algorithm.

Rage bating is a huge thing to get clicks on videos, increasing their monetization. I think many people fell into the trap.

Personal logo McKinstry Supporting Member of TMP Fezian23 May 2023 11:42 a.m. PST

I seem to recall this being a "thing" in the mid-seventies and I believe the debate has never really stopped. The internet makes rage baiting easier and with a wider audience but nothing much has changed.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP23 May 2023 12:22 p.m. PST

I loved the 'historicals are all drab & camouflaged, not brightly coloured like <enter silly sci-fi/fantasy game here>' . I suppose they haven't heard of medieval or napoleonic wargames or is that they aren't done by the currently fashionable <insert brand name here>.

Misleading and factually incorrect about the title subject so couldn't be bothered to listen long enough to hear about their politics or how they'd like history twisted so they feel all warm and self-righteous.

If its brown & smells bad …..

Personal logo Stosstruppen Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2023 12:47 p.m. PST

I watched that video up to the ad for the naval war game. Interesting that someone that uninformed about the hobby would question it as he did. But then again, need to keep those view numbers up. The most hypocritical part was the wargame he was shilling in the middle….

dapeters23 May 2023 1:15 p.m. PST

I think that what you have is a couple who have been in the alt world of GW and they are looking at similar game systems, what they don't know they don't know. Also I suspect that Historic gamers have collections made up both sides, where some alt-gamers collect a particular faction. At the same time you see some historic gamers too interested in that "heritage" thing, it happen in reenactment groups as well.

Garand23 May 2023 4:43 p.m. PST

I can say the guy painting the panzer IV didn't put his oversized decals in the right places…


Archon6423 May 2023 6:40 p.m. PST

A club I was a member of organised an 'open day' to show off our games, models, wtc. There was interest from the local media. Then one club member turns up in his Waffen-SS cosplay…

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2023 9:55 p.m. PST

Lousy Vikings, with their looting and stealing and rapine and pillage and random murders! Oh, wait -- they're a sports team mascot now!

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP24 May 2023 5:41 a.m. PST

Piper909, That's offensive to my heritage! How dare you mock my ancestors by having a cartoony guy in a horned helmet as your team logo! :-P [/sarcasm] wink

I used to bring my copy of Battle Cry in to the library on the anniversary of the Battle of Franklin. I had mild concerns that someone would complain about the Confederate Battle Flag being on the figs, but nobody ever did. I let players choose which side they wanted to be, so nobody was "forced" to be the "bad guys." And no, despite being a Southerner, I do not consider the Union to be the "bad guys."

I actually wonder if the Confederate imagery is why this excellent game is no longer in production.

I'd also take in Memoir 44 on D-Day, but that game's designers were wise enough not to use the Nazi imagery anywhere on the forces or the cards.

For the record, I figured the video was a "click bait" story, so didn't follow the link. I also don't like to waste time on video "articles" or podcasts, especially when they're made by ignorant people. Avoiding such makes for a much more pleasant life experience.

Mr Elmo24 May 2023 5:47 a.m. PST

Confederate imagery

When playing ACW, remember:
No Confederate flags, it glorifies the South
No miniatures of Confederate Generals. They are all traitors and their statues (no matter how small) must be destroyed.

mildbill24 May 2023 7:30 a.m. PST

Hijack alert. The real problem with historical gaming is that it is a delayed gratification hobby being taken over by instant gratification marketing businesses that spoon feed the masses. This in a society that creates people addicted to instant gratification.

mjkerner24 May 2023 9:57 a.m. PST

They hate the idea of playing games where there were Marxist factions inflicting suffering from war only to escape to a world run by Marxist factions inflicting suffering from war…….wait a minute.

Fixed it for you (them, actually), lol.

HMS Exeter24 May 2023 10:23 a.m. PST


For WWII, play Germans vs. Soviets. There are no "good guys."

14Bore24 May 2023 11:05 a.m. PST

I play Royalists yet am not one

FusilierDan Supporting Member of TMP25 May 2023 4:44 a.m. PST

I don't see it as a problem. We play the games for the intellectual challenge of the rules, the spectacle of the craft of building the pieces and the comradery of our fellow gamers.

I build both sides in any period I play and am happy to play with anything I've painted.

Wargaming is about Military History. Political, Social and Economic are dealt with in other hobbies. Not that we can't study those too.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP25 May 2023 2:58 p.m. PST

I think you're missing the nature of the Midwich Generation, guys. Reason is not a large part of their thinking processes. Emotion and group solidarity are. If you really want to engage with them on this issue, look highly indignant, show pictures of Hamburg and Dresden and descriptions of 1945 Berlin and the expulsion of the Sudetendeutsch, and say that a refusal to play Germans supports genocide, ethnic cleansing and a rape culture.

No, of course it doesn't make any sense. Sense is not the point.

gavandjosh0225 May 2023 5:57 p.m. PST

Every side is pure and innocent in your scifi/fantasy lore??? Spurious logic for the basic premise of you are what you play. I don't play historical because one side was really bad and you must support its activities if you play. I play fantasy/scifi where the lore and racial traits/behaviours can be horrific. BUT as it's fantasy/scifi I don't identify with what/who I play – because they are not real???

Jcfrog27 May 2023 7:54 a.m. PST

If you watch Hannibal,it does not mean you will cut and eat your neighbour.It is a game. If you whistle Erika , it does not mean you wished you belonged to Einsatztruppen, judt you like the tune. If you like cats, it does mot mean you would slowly dismember and play with mice.

Grattan54 Supporting Member of TMP27 May 2023 10:02 a.m. PST

We live in a culture today that is easily offended and goes out of its way to be offended. It is a game, just that. By the same logic we should never watch a movie or TV show with bad characters because then maybe we are secretly supporting them. Nor should we read books about war or evil for the same reason.

d88mm194027 May 2023 8:25 p.m. PST

Way back in the 70s, there was a convention in Scottsdale Az. My gang was putting on an Africa Corps game and my buddy brought a full-size Nazi flag to add a bit of dash to the table. Well, the organizer asked us nicely to take it down. We harumphed for a couple of minutes and then he said," I have media coverage coming and if they see that flag, it will be all about that flag and not about the games here.".
Well, we knew he was right and without further ado, down came the flag.
We all had a great time, there were no controversies, and our sense of dignity was just fine.

Dn Jackson Supporting Member of TMP28 May 2023 6:33 a.m. PST

He's worried that there might be right wingers in your group that support Nazis, (who weren't right wing, just nationalists), a group pretty much extinct for 80+ years. No worries someone will play Russians and support left wing groups which are still running around today causing all sorts of misery.

Wolfhag28 May 2023 10:12 a.m. PST

For decades I have envisioned a "Woke Mob" storming Historicon to purge the venue of Confederate flags.

and throwing red paint on your figures and terrain. It will happen sooner or later, you need security at your conventions to be on the lookout for them.

Hijack alert. The real problem with historical gaming is that it is a delayed gratification hobby being taken over by instant gratification marketing businesses that spoon feed the masses. This in a society that creates people addicted to instant gratification.

Nailed it! They are catering to many gamers that are looking for instant gratification too that are supporting these marketing departments that are driving the industry. If there was not a demand for instant gratification the marketing departments would be working on something else. The video game producers and marketing people know that better than anyone else:
Free download – point – click – blow up something and get that jolt of adrenaline – repeat. For a better high spend some money.

I'm not telling people what they should or not play, just my observation over the decades.


SBminisguy29 May 2023 8:04 a.m. PST

Wolfhag+1 – we did have our wargame club kicked out of a local library because of woke activists who were angered at the "glorification and promotion of war." It was a nuisance library anyway, had someone steal a platoon of painted 28 WW2 germans there. That sucked.

Wolfhag29 May 2023 6:22 p.m. PST

Hopefully, this insanity runs its course before the woke crowd starts protesting and getting violent at hotels holding our events.


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP30 May 2023 3:33 a.m. PST

Wolfhag, I was reading Camille Paglia about how the corner had about turned. Sadly, she was writing in 1990 when it was still called "political correctness."

Worse before it stops and my reading would be MUCH worse. Hope is not a planning consideration.

Nick Pasha04 Jun 2023 1:02 p.m. PST

30 years ago I worked in an office as a children's counselor. One day I brought in a small diorama depicting a clash between Union and Confederate troops. Of course each side had a flag. A coworker, who was black objected to the Confederate flag. I explained the diorama to him and the purpose of the flags. He understood and withdrew his complaint. We need to stop looking
at good guys and bad guys or winners and losers. We are playing historical games with historical armies. If playing one side bothers you then play the other side. As an American of Italian descent I never miss an opportunity to play an Italian army. I lose alot but its still fun.

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