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  • #92071
    Mike
    Keymaster

    There is a bit of a discussion going on HERE about where to put conflicts/wars/things that never happened.

    The event in question is what if the Romans fought the Chinese?
    Though it could easily be, what if the Vikings fought the Native Americans, what if Russia took up arms with a side in the ACW etc…

    My preference is that if the conflict never happened, then it should be in the alternate history forum.

    Even if the forces were around and could have ended up fighting, if they did not then I feel they do not belong in a historical forum.

    Currently I am advocating putting such things in the Imaginations forum, as whilst the nations are not imaginary the campaign is.

    I don’t think something that is not reflective/modelled on historical events should be in a historical forum just because the forces are historical.
    (I accept that most historical wargames are alternate history if the game does not reflect the actual events, though that is another topic for another time)

    I really do want to keep what is essentially ‘fantasy’ out of historical forums.
    But I am not some mad dictator (yet) so what do you all think?

    What if I made a What-If forum that sits in Alternate History that allows for historical forces fighting non historical conflicts?

    #92073
    Tony Hughes
    Participant

    Tend to agree with you Mike but the problem is where to draw the line.

    You can have ‘what ifs’ that are mere tweaks in history, investigating what might have happened if a different course of action had been taken or those similar to the case under discussion.

    Personally, if you are going to split these discussions into separate areas on the forum, I’d advise some clear descriptions of what is to go in each. That way you don’t have to continually monitor members’ interpretation of a forum title.

    What might be a way around the issue is to allow posts in historical forums referring to those in Alternate History so they don’t get missed by those who may be interested.

     

    #92077
    Victoria Dickson
    Participant

    I wasn’t trying to bring about any change, but since we’re discussing it now…

    I think it’s best to put threads in a section of the forum where people who might be interested in the subject are likely to spot them.  So I think it’s right that Madaxeman’s excellent ADLG reports remain in Ancients (or Medieval) even though they usually involve match ups which under your definition should really go in Imaginations.  You don’t move those reports there, and I think that’s sensible.

    If someone wanted to write about WWII starting in 1938 with an alternative Munich or with a WWII German invasion of Spain and attack on Gibraltar then those could go in WWII or What If, because people interested in both those categories might find something interesting in it.  People who’s primary interest is in made up countries would be less likely to find it useful.

    I’d rather Imaginations was for people using their creativity to invent new countries and armies, but that’s just my own taste and I’m really into that sort of thing because it frees me from criticism of poor research and historical inaccuracy (I’m great at both of those   ).

    I’d quite like a What If section and hope it would be busy enough to justify its existence.  

    #92078
    John D Salt
    Participant

    My preference is that if the conflict never happened, then it should be in the alternate history forum.

    Even if the forces were around and could have ended up fighting, if they did not then I feel they do not belong in a historical forum.

    This is a tricky one. Tony Hughes has correctly pointed out that it’s hard to pick where to draw the line. Victoria Dickson rightly points out that ancients and medieval match-ups are often ahistorical. I’m sure most of us are old enough to remember the days before DBA when ancients figure gaming was dominated by competition gaming to a points limit, with wildly ahistorical match-ups accepted as standard. When I joined Exeter University’s wargames club in 1978, the first question I was asked by a fellow member was “what’s the best army to fight Seleucids?”, and although I got out of it by pleading total ignorance on grounds of “not my period”, I would not be surprised if he was told he should go for Vikings with a maximum of double-weaponed A class fanatics. Competition wargaming does strange things to people.

    What is definitely my period is the Cold War, and under the definitions Mike offers above almost this whole topic would be cast into the Imagi-Nations forum. I would find it very difficult to know how to categorise my Air-Defence-of-the-UK-in-October-1962 game, “Neverwar”, because although the hypothetical nature of the putative conflict is obvious from the title, I have made the orbats, maps and briefings as historically accurate as my research will allow, and the three times it has been played so far the players have, quite historically, refrained from throwing buckets of sunshine at each other and blowing up the world.

    I’m going to suggest that the guiding principle should not be whether a conflict happened or not, but whether all parties participating in it existed historically in sufficient proximity to fight. VBCW therefore counts as alternate history because the political factions represented in it mostly did not exist, although Mosley’s Blackshirts did. “The Creature that Ate Sheboygan” and such-like count as alternative history because, no matter how historically accurate the 1950s B-movie soldier, policemen and civilians, and how accurate the map of Sheboygan, there never was such a monster. GHQ’s “Wehrmacht ’47” is alternate history because the Wehrmacht had stopped existing by 1947. SPI’s “Dixie” is alternate history because there was no Confederacy in the 1930s. But all those Cold War tanks battle, modern naval actions, WW2 fleet gunnery engagements, and Operation Sealion games can continue to be categorised as “historical” despite being nothing of the kind. The competition ancients people I am happy to consign to the “hypothetical” bin when they require time travel for a match-up to happen, but Paskal’s Chinese-vs-Romans would, I think, just escape.

    All the best,

    John.

    #92079
    Russell Phillips
    Participant

    I think it’s best to put threads in a section of the forum where people who might be interested in the subject are likely to spot them.

    That’s what I wanted to say, but Victoria put it better than I could.

    My example would be Cold War turned hot in Europe. It never happened, so it’s a what if, but I tend to think of it as belonging in Modern. That may be because I started wargaming it in the 1980s, when we called it ultra modern 😉

    Military history author
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    #92080
    Mike
    Keymaster

    I am getting the feeling from this topic and the other, that whilst there is no binding definition of what constitutes a what-if/alternate history, most people are quite happy for a ‘plausible’ what-if to be posted in the historical forum that covers the period of said what-if?

    #92083
    Russell Phillips
    Participant

    That’s what I was trying to say, yes.

    Military history author
    Website : Twitter : Facebook

    #92084
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    My example would be Cold War turned hot in Europe. It never happened, so it’s a what if, but I tend to think of it as belonging in Modern. That may be because I started wargaming it in the 1980s, when we called it ultra modern 😉

     

    Wot ‘e said.

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #92086
    John D Salt
    Participant

    most people are quite happy for a ‘plausible’ what-if to be posted in the historical forum that covers the period of said what-if?

    It certainly seems more sensible that lumping Cold War armour, Vikings vs. Chinese, Harry Turtledove and VBCW all in together. The question then becomes, what counts as “plausible”?

    All the best,

    John.

    #92087
    Mike Headden
    Participant

    Operation Sealion, Chinese attack on Roman territory, Cold War gone hot were all feasible ( for a certain value of feasible 🙂 ) and planned for. The Chinese invasion of Norway was neither.

    The former are historical ( for a certain value of historical) the latter is not.

    Sumerians vs Samurai games possibly belong in an AAR/ Games Played subset of each period sub-forum?

    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!

    #92089
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    most people are quite happy for a ‘plausible’ what-if to be posted in the historical forum that covers the period of said what-if?

    It certainly seems more sensible that lumping Cold War armour, Vikings vs. Chinese, Harry Turtledove and VBCW all in together. The question then becomes, what counts as “plausible”? All the best, John.

     

    Most gaming is implausible. 🙂

    Especially if you’re into the competition side of the hobby. Which I’m not, although my Aztecs and Incas have been known to get together for a scrap. As have my GSFG and BAOR, and that never happened either, thank gods.

     

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #92090
    Patrice
    Participant

    It has long been accepted (at least when I began wargaming a long time ago…) that people playing rules as WRG, DBA, or DBM, with historical armies respecting their army list, were playing “historical” even if these armies never met in the real world.

    I would draw a line between this, and armies which never really existed: the VBCW as others have said, or WW2 extending to 1947 etc, for which there obviously cannot be “historical” army lists and also because of a tendancy from companies to imagine and produce un-historical vehicles and weapons etc for such imaginary contexts.

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
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    #92105
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    My gut feeling is that they should go with the period they are a “what if” for.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #92110
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    I’m good with whatever happens.

    #92123

    I do think ‘Imaginations’ has carved out a niche for itself: fictional nation-states set in a particular time period, generally but not necessarily pre-modern. And, to me, there’s a lot more to Imaginations than just a one-off battle or two. There’s a whole fictional history to construct, personalities to bring to life, campaigns to plan and document. ‘Alternate history’, though, seems to be of smaller scope; fictional battles between contemporary though perhaps geographically distant, historically plausible forces.  So, China vs Rome is ‘Alternate History’ (to me) but not ‘Imaginationary.’ I would expect to find Alternate History AARs with the historical stuff. I would not necessarily expect to find Imagination AARs with the historical stuff. Granted, though, the crossover point is fuzzy and indistinct.

    Self taught, persistently behind the times, never up to date. AKA ~ jeff
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    #92180
    Cerdic
    Participant

    I would agree with the general sentiment here.

    If I’m interested in a historical period I would expect to find all the stuff pertaining to it in the same place. Including ‘what ifs’.

    I’m a big fan of KISS. Keep It Simple, Stupid! Helps my confused brain….

    #93904
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    “Competition wargaming does strange things to people.” This should be tattooed on the inside of wargamer’s eyelids.

     

    I like Vicky of Dock Green’s test of plausibility, although it’s tough.  I find Georgians vs Edwardians plausible (if a bit revolting – it’s fine for Johnny Foreigner to sort out politics by force of arms, but civilised people leave it in Westminster) as do  I the Great Franco Italian War of 1935, or the Great Anglo/Franco Japanese war of 1940, or the late 19th C Anglo Franco Russian and Anglo German naval wars or the Great War in Blue Red and Green.  Some of my South American wars are awkward, but I would do Peru or Argentina Vs Chile as modern, or in the latter case, maybe WWII.

    I think imaginations is Bongolesia, Grand Duchy of Fenwick and Dutchy of Lorraine Vs the Vereinegte Free State.  There are issues with fictional states which are common to all periods.

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