Saturday, 10 August 2013

Burn the Witch

More German support weapons...

I notice the question of 'realism' in wargaming has raised it's head again.

The discussion kicked off on the TMP pages,was responded to on Anatoli's blog,  has gone back to TMP, and has been mentioned on Lard Island News.

The catalyst for this discussion is Bolt Action - or Warhammer 20k (if you will) - which along with Hail Caesar and Black Powder has brought to the fore what one might describe as the Warlord effect. Namely players who have escaped the niche of 'The Hobby' but appear determined to bring all the unwelcome baggage of the 'The Hobby; to the wider hobby - the 'Warlord effect' is a title which occurred to me whilst reading this post from Der Alte Fritz.

Reading Anatoli's full blog post what strikes me is the number of false dichotomy's that over the years have become ingrained 'wisdom' within 'The Hobby' - lack of simplicity is only rectified by charts, button counters vs fun gamers, nothing is allowed to happen outside of the rules etc. Of all the unwelcome nonsense Warlord is bringing to historical gaming with it's attempts to rebuild Games Workshop in an historical setting, it is this last point that is perhaps the most unwelcome. As contrary to learned helplessness implicit in 'The Hobby', discussion of the rulings arising from a particular game situation should make reference to real world situation, and not rely on grammatical grubbing and word play from within the rule book. And by extension pointing out the absurdity of, for instance, the rifle ranges, or NCO's feeding machine guns, or Bomb Squigs being included in the game in the form of anti-tank dogs, and wanting to change rules for the sake of 'realism' does not require one also to model the pips on a major's epaulettes, or have the slightest impact on the level of enjoyment.

Now in fairness I have no interest in playing Bolt Action, the warning lights flashed up for me when a convert - an ex 40k player - was proselytizing about what a great company Warlord was because they were giving away unit organisations for free - as opposed to the evil empire at GW. When I pointed out that the unit organisations were freely available anyway on sites such as this, the reply came back that there were no points values, so the information was useless.

To anyone who has been in the hobby long enough this situation will be familiar. And is usually settled by giving those wishing to play non-historical historical/proprietorial system games their own section on forums.


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