Home Forums General General Do the Use of Dead Figures Bother Anyone?

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  • #28778
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    Should we start a thread about whether Green Playing Surfaces offend people from the Orange Order? 

     

    As an Irish (well my father was) Catholic (lapsed) I’m offended by this comment.

    I am going to paint little names on all my dead markers and see if that has an effect. It works for Lions.

    Are you going to name them all Cecil? I suppose you could paint some of them cross-eyed and call them Clarence.

     

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

    #28780
    Shandy
    Participant

    Sorry, that may have been a bit unclear: What I meant was just that we have an emotional investment into the hobby. If I would take all your lovely painted figures and sprayed them black, would you just laugh and say: Nevermind, they are just models?

    I think you are mixing up ‘important’ with ‘Important to me.’

    That was exactly my point: What is important to you may not be important to me and vice versa. Some people don’t care about getting the uniforms correct, for others that’s the most important thing etc.

    But as far as we can tell, no one doesn’t like casualty figures, that’s my point – We are discussing a problem that doesn’t exist.

    Well, Mike said he didn’t use them (he didn’t exactly state he doesn’t like them). I don’t use them and don’t especially like them (although I’ve played in game where they were used). So there’s two.

    Also, I don’t think we live in a world where people get increasingly offended. What we do is live in a world where – due to social and technological (media) developments – people who wouldn’t be heard in the public in former times now have a voice. Welcome to democracy! The challenge now is to figure out a way to balance out these voices. Saying: “oh, you are not _really_ offended, you just want to be” is a way of silencing those voices. Who is to judge whose matter of concern is legitimate and whose is not?

    #28782
    Altius
    Participant

    Casualty figures don’t bother me in the least. In fact, since these are Wargames and not chess, I think they enhance the game.

    If you watch a movie about a famous battle, do you expect to see the actors disappear on a puff of smoke when they’re wounded? Of course not. The actors flop down and roll around for a bit before going limp. It’s because it adds to the drama, and you wouldn’t feel any pangs of conscience about watching the performance, would you?

    I like to use them to mark hits on a unit. I think they’re more aesthetically pleasing than scattering red poker chips all over the table.

    https://studiovalidus.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/the-dead-cover-the-field.jpgCasualties

    Dead guys

    Where there is fire, we will carry gasoline

    #28783
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    Just a game…
    For me it is a game, maybe even just a game.
    I invest a lot of time and effort into my games though.
    I like them to be visually appealing and as close to what my mind’s eye pictures as possible, within the constraints of time/scale/budget.

    However, if wargaming suddenly became illegal or required an expensive permit or something happened that meant it was impossible for me to play them, then I would not be overly sad.
    There are other things I could do with my time that would stimulate my brain box.
    Judging how some people act on the net I would suggest that for those people, it is a way of life.

    Dead figures, not got any.
    Probably would not use any unless I was making more of a diorama than a game.

    Casualties, not got any.
    Probably would use them as they would be good for denoting a squad’s status.

    Hostages, not got any.
    Am in the process of having some made, good for scenarios.

    #28794
    Lagartija Mike
    Spectator

    If you’re too squeamish to allow dead soldiers on the table top, wargaming probably isn’t an ideal venue for your hobby dollars. While it remains just a simulation of war (generally a half-assed simulation but a simulation none the less), it’s a game built on grief. That doesn’t make the players complicit in the rape of Magdeburgh or Passchendaele any more than it transforms them bodily into Murat or Cortez, but it’s baldly dishonest, and aesthetically lame, to sanitize the experience.

    An aside, reading this thread and the recent patch at Frothers about the relation of wargaming to the socialization of war it became crystal to me why the Buttercream Behemoth banned so many accounts. I think it’s part of a conscious programme to keep the level of debate there simmering at just the picanthropus level and not one cranial centimeter more.

    #28795
    Sane Max
    Participant

    OoH Hostages, good point – a BBC TV crew is an objective marker for my AK47 games.

    #28796
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    picanthropus 

     

    Erectus.

     

    Excellent album by Charles Mingus.

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

    #28800
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    I agree with Shandy. It doesn’t hurt to think about these things.  When I first started going to wargaming conventions, back in the mid 90s, people were still a bit uncomfortable with wargaming Vietnam.  There weren’t terribly many figures available on the market.  Now, I’ve never heard of anyone flipping out at a convention because they saw a Vietnam game, and it triggered a flashback/upset their political sensibilities, but I remember people being uneasy about it. Not really an issue any more. Hell, there were games of the invasion of Iraq at Historicon in ’04, I think—that war had barely even begun.

    I don’t think it’s PC silliness to worry about these things, or to discuss where the line is. There is obviously a line—nobody’s gonna run a Nanking scenario, for instance.

    #28801
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    There is obviously a line—nobody’s gonna run a Nanking scenario, for instance.

     

    Why is there obviously a line? Where is that line? You may not run a Nanking scenario, and neither would I, but someone might.

    One only has to look at certain boards on other fora to see how out of whack some people’s moral compass is.

     

    As for Vietnam, my then club were happily playing Vietnam games in the 1980s using the old Platoon 20 figures. We were also playing ‘ultramodern’ games in what was then a very real Cold War. I don’t recall ever being accused of being a harbinger of the Nuclear Apocalypse.

     

    I’m thinking Sane Max has the right of it here. Those that want to be offended will be, even if they have to find a tenuous reason to be offended

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

    #28802
    Lagartija Mike
    Spectator

    No one would run a Nanking simulation? Clearly Nathaniel has never seen the TMP faithful gathered ’round the cracker barrel, slackjaw riffing on the lighter side of genocide.

    #28803
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    I’ve used casualty figures as “morale” markers and I thought about using them for skirmish games when characters got hit.
    Doesn’t bother me PERSONALLY, but then, if someone didn’t want to use them, that’s fair game on them. We’re gaming to have fun, not to make big observations about life.

    As someone else said, I don’t think this has ever come up in an actual discussion, but our gaming group (consisting of a variety of hard leftists and petty-libertarians) is pretty much open to anything.

    To me it’s like people who don’t want to play certain periods. I know people who won’t play games in periods they were personally affected by.
    I also know people who exclusively play the bad guys they were trained to (or did) fight in real life.

    It takes all sorts and it’s really no skin off my nose what someone wants to do or not do.

    From a game writing perspective, I tend to be pretty PC.
    Never got any complaints about it, so I figure I’m on about the right track for my specific audience.

    Of course “PC” has different connotations.
    One person might use it to mean “Don’t be meaninglessly offended by some petty thing, instead of just playing a different game”, to someone else it means “Not have games filled with Nazi worship and Lost Cause ranting”.
    We all know the one guy who spends a little too much time talking about his SS armies.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by Ivan Sorensen.

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

    #28820
    Northern Monkey
    Participant

    I’ve never met anyone offended by dead/casualty figures, in fact most people I know would use them in every game if they could be arsed painting/making them. They add to the visual impact of the game and make for a more interesting looking battlefield, how can anyone who wargames be truly offended by these models when the main aim of most wargames is killing the opposition!

    My attempt at a Blog: http://ablogofwar.blogspot.co.uk/

    #28822
    Patrice
    Participant

    I’m not uncomfortable with anything, if there is a good reason for it in an interesting scenario.

    But then, I wouldn’t like to play with people too happy of displaying swastikas where there is no reason for it.

    And, if playing in a public event, you must respect the average visitor. I would have no problem to play a game about WW2 Germans vs French partisans in a wargames convention in a large town; but I certainly wouldn’t suggest it in a all-hobbys public event in the small village where I live – I’m sure that some old people here would be very unhappy to see it.

    BTW, some years ago, in one of our pirate games, one of my gaming friends (in the role of a privateer ship captain) came near a Caribbean island where a few miniatures of native warriors (NPCs) were waving their weapons. He fired the guns of his ship at them, preventively and just to make sure they wouldn’t attack him, without even thinking. …Later, after the game, he thought about it, and he said he was a bit uneasy to realize it had seemed so natural to him to do a genocide… He told us something about “cognitive dissonance” – whatever that means

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
    https://www.anargader.net/

    #28823
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    Right. What’s okay depends on the venue.

    I’ve had old veterans who didn’t take kindly to German ww2 re-enactors and others who didn’t mind at all.

    Our gaming group tends not to play colonials, because we, personally, aren’t really comfortable with the period.
    But then, plenty of people do enjoy it and have no problems.

    Our own tables, our own rules. Everyone is happy.

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

    #28824
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    The problem with this comment, which is very much on the side of recent history:

    “offending someone is not an innate right”

    is the depth of depravity of the alternatives.

    If your right to do things is restricted by the degree to which they cause offence (as opposed to harm) then there are only two ways of furnishing that restriction:

    1.  We can take the extreme view that if you have offended you must cease or desist.

    2. We can establish a body of people who will develop a standard of what is offensive and what is not.

    Either way, such power in the hands of the offended will not be used to ensure a society built on truth and reason; rather it will be subverted to ensure that the lies and fabrications which enable the worthies who determine what is offensive and what is not to pursue their prejudices will be perpetuated in the name of that most heinous of sins “the common good.”.

    Everything is offensive to someone, let them be offended, let them use their right to offend to illustrate the sin of the thing, but once we cede to them the power to declare things taboo because of the offence that they cause we lose all that they claim to defend.

    In your home, you may have a line against the rape of Nanking, or einsatz truppen, or even of Cecil hunting.  At your club, you will have a voice to champion that line, but you will, as a member, have submitted to accept the decision of those who may not agree with your line in accordance with the club’s constitution.  But you can only be the arbiter of what other people can do by the worst of all possible repression.

    I reserve the right to feel, and express, my contempt for Nazi fanboys inter alia, but I would defend to the death their right to ponce around a table filled with jagd tigers in their black repro uniforms, swastika armbands, coal scuttle helmets, gayboy boots.  Hell, if they want to rent a stadium and ponce around with kitsch eagle standards and making like John Cleese, let them do it.  Should they start throwing stones through the windows of the Jewish shop, I do hope they get some months in a rough prison where they can sharpen their philosophy; should they declare industrial war on civilised people I will be happy to express my pleasure at the thought of their children being destroyed in a firestorm.

    I am curious that people think that the symbolism of a vignette of rape is in some way worse than the smoke coming from the tank.  Have you never read about what happens when a tank burns?  There is a book out there by an American mechanics mate who used to clean the residue out afterwards.  When your Boko Haram forces occupy the girls school, have you no idea why they get victory points for each of the five turns and why they need to withdraw at half speed to win a decisive victory?

    Sure it is only a game, but I learned at an early age that if you allow other people to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do you will never be at peace.  If someone is offended, tell them to deal with it; if they get in your way, slap em around and they will get tired of it before you do.

    #28825
    Cosmotiger
    Participant

    I’m not bothered by casualty markers with “dead” figures on them. I think something like Altius’ markers would  improve the appearance of a game, compared to using tokens or dice as markers.

    On the other hand, if I saw someone using markers that were extremely graphic in depicting gore, guts hanging out, severed limbs, and so on, I’d be annoyed, mainly because that seems like something someone does to try to seem shocking — some kind of socially inept bid for attention.

    I guess that amounts to sanitizing the horrors of war into something genteel and not so disturbing , but that’s what we’re doing  when we play a wargame anyway.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by Cosmotiger. Reason: Edited for misspelling
    #28831
    Rules Junkie Jim
    Participant

    I sense a certain defensiveness amongst some concerning their gaming behaviour, so it might be a good time to state that

    You are bad people and ought to feel ashamed of yourselves.

    But I think you know that already, don’t you?

    I don’t use casualty figures on the table because I’m pure of heart, decent, and kindly. Also, paying money for soldiers whose sole function is to be dead goes against everything I hold dear. And what if you turn up for a tournament (assuming you go in for that sort of thing) and get there to find you’ve only brought the dead ones? What do you tell your opponent? “My entire army is dead”? How stupid would you look, even in a pursuit where looking stupid is a given?

    #28836
    Ivan Sorensen
    Participant

    “They’re the 23rd Guards division pre-animation spell”

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

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