Home Forums General General There very well is a fantasy/sci-fi gaming community

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  • #48962
    RhodericRhoderic
    Participant

    So, I posted a somewhat ranty comment to the “Meeples & Miniatures #78” news item and Mike suggested I bring it up as a topic of discussion. The following is that comment reworded in part, and further elaborated on. I promised to make it more succinct, but it seems to have turned out even more verbose. Sorry about that. But I’d like to maintain that this is not truly a “rant”. It’s just a… heartfelt discourse, that’s all 

    This is in regard to some statements made by Henry Hyde (outgoing editor of Miniature Wargames with Battlegames magazine) as he was being interviewed in the aforementioned podcast (Meeples & Miniatures episode 178). It’s the bit from approximately 15 minutes in (or 25 minutes in if you’re in more of a hurry) to 30 minutes in. Basically, he says that “compared to historical wargaming, there is no fantasy/sci-fi gaming community”, that fantasy/sci-fi gaming tends to be brand-led and game system-led, and different tribes such as 40K players and Mantic fans don’t connect with each other. Now, obviously, the lattermost two statements do describe a large chunk of fantasy/sci-fi gamers, but I strongly, strongly disagree with the way he equates that with “there is no fantasy/sci-fi gaming community”.

    To be clear, though, I’m in disagreement with the statement, stripped of whosoever said it. Not with Mr Hyde himself. I’ve bought his product in the past (by having been a subscriber of MWwBG) and am happy with his contribution to the hobby in that regard. I don’t want to get into any of the controversy about his resignation, the future of Miniature Wargames magazine, or the other issues they discuss in the podcast. I think most of us on TWW gravitated here to get away from the storm-in-a-teacup bickering, anyway, so let’s live up to that spirit.

    So… is there a fantasy/sci-fi gaming community? Well, I’m part of it, so clearly it exists. And it exists – or I should say we exist – in much the same way, in the same dimensions, as the historical gaming community does. Whatever Mr Hyde says, it’s not all big brand loyalty and proprietary game systems, there’s plenty of us sci-fi/fantasy gamers who don’t pay much attention to that sort of divisions.

    For instance, most of the fantasy/sci-fi products I buy, use and talk about are from “indie” businesses (or “garage level” or “vanity” businesses, whatever you want to call them) which are part of the same scene as most of the historical wargaming hobby. Even when I engage with the bigger brands I tend to do it in a “disruptive” way, like when I buy miniatures from the Heavy Gear Blitz or Beyond the Gates of Antares ranges, but pay only limited attention (at best) to their proprietary rulesets, don’t lock myself down to their proprietary gameworlds, and gladly mix the figures with those of other manufacturers, even other scales.

    For another example, look at the presently thriving “old school” fantasy/sci-fi community: People who, to the consternation of contemporary GW and other companies like it, strive to recreate the magic of “Oldhammer” and other such artifacts from a time when those companies were not yet themselves attempting to foster blind brand loyalty and tribalism in their customers.

    Besides, there’s plenty of fragmentation in historical wargaming, too. It’s likewise “far from being a coherent thing”, to use Mr Hyde’s description of sci-fi/fantasy. There’s your DBx players, your FoW players, your WAB players (even if many of them may have now migrated to other rulesets that keep the WAB spirit alive) and other tribes. There’s people who game only 20th century and modern conflicts, or only horse-and-musket, only their own nation’s history, only true historical battles (ie. no made-up ones), only naval battles, only brigade-level or higher, only with 1/72 soft plastics, only with true 25mm figures sculpted no later than the 1980s, and so on. We don’t assume these people are so locked into their own sub-niches that they can’t engage with other hobbyists and be part of a larger community. Why assume otherwise of fantasy and sci-fi gamers?

    Here’s the point I’m trying to make: I genuinely don’t see why some historicals-only and historicals-mainly gamers keep seeing us fantasticals-mainly gamers like we’re a different species that seem to operate under different laws of physics. Sure, there’s your Games Workshop fanatics, your Privateer Press fanatics and so on, but there’s also a parallel community of people like myself, who go about the hobby much the same as historical gamers (not counting your Battlefront fanatics, of course). The only significant difference is that whereas a historical gamer’s next purchase might be more likely to be Artizan Designs Afghans or Khurasan Miniatures Marlburians, mine might be more likely to be Artizan Designs goblins or Khurasan Miniatures aliens. Is it that big of a difference, really?

    As for why there’s such a vacuum in regard to paid-for fantasy/sci-fi magazines relative to historicals-mainly ones (a subject broached in the podcast in connection to all this), I’m sure Mr Hyde possesses far more quantifiable facts than I do, but I would still certainly hope that it’s for other, more circumstancial reasons than “there is no fantasy/sci-fi community”, which to me is a terribly dismissive thing to say. They mention the failure of Harbinger Magazine in the podcast. My recollection of Harbinger is that, first of all, it didn’t get noticed very much to begin with, and second, the content was rather sparse and variable in quality. Much of the content consisted simply of pointing out what had been released over the past month by various manufacturers – it felt at times more like an advertising flyer. I put those problems down to the editorial team, not the vibrant and lively community it tried to cater to. Wasn’t Harbinger published by Griffin Miniatures, which became rather notorious for its unreliability, taking people’s money and never sending them the miniatures they ordered? The failure of that mess of a company proves nothing.

    …Heartfelt discourse. Not a rant 

    • This topic was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by RhodericRhoderic.
    #48964
    Victoria DicksonVictoria Dickson
    Participant

    There may be an element of truth to 28mm fantasy/sci-fi being to some degree defined by specific rule systems, but once you get to 15mm and below isn’t it likely to be less ‘tribal’ based on what rules you use than historical gaming, everyone sort of welcomes however you choose to do it?

    Anyway, have a cup of tea, take a deep breath and keep enjoying doing things your own way. 

     

    #48967
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Not sure there is a semi-gelatinous… I mean homogeneous… Historical community out there.

    I play a lot sergeants 3 rules because a friend runs the games but I see “soft” divisions in my local group among historical war gamers.  And I do not mean just rules, sizes/scales, game mechanisms, grittiness factors, but crossover tendencies.

    Historical game run in two streams, melee decisive (up to the mass usage of gunpowder,) and missile decisive with a grey zone inbetween sometimes called pike and shot/Renaissance/or several other terms.

    Everything else that divides historical games is a subset.  I include “non-historical” games into those same two categories (fantasy generally being melee decisive and SF missile decisive) but there are exceptions to every attempt to neatly categorize war games.  War game communities are like “neighborhoods” in a large city (or a medium one like Saint Louis, MO, where I currently work.)

    My wife was raised Roman Catholic (Mass in Latin) in another city but we have talked about the diversity (or lack of same) of services in Saint Louis and her home town.  Locally Saint Agatha’s still has Polish masses but there are Roman Catholic Churches in the city that have Spanish and Vietnamese masses.  As a Presbyterian I can only assume am sure there are people who see that as indications of a lack of community.  I disagree.

    I do not see the war games hobby in any sense a homogenous hobby in any of it’s artificially created divisions either.

    Such conversations almost always depend on defined usage of the “same words” to mean “different things” for the participants in that conversation.   I prefer to think of all genres of war games as either poke/hack/slice them or shoot them but while that model works for me I know it doesn’t work for others.  Long live our common differences.

    #48969
    McKinstry
    Participant

    I view myself as a member of both and consider there is a far amount of overlap to the point of considering it simply one big tent.

    Most historical naval gamers I play with also have a thing for spaceships and VSF/sky ships as well. I know a lot of folks with 6mm Ancients and 6mm Sci-fi armies.

    It is a fairly niche hobby and limiting yourself to a select rule set or scale is certainly possible but just for me personally, I find a broad community without a scifi  v historical divide more my experience. I personally don’t do fantasy but I don’t see a gulf between that and historical or scifi and can certainly appreciate the figures.

     

     

     

    Never wrestle with a pig. You both get muddy and the pig just likes it.

    #48972
    RhodericRhoderic
    Participant

    There may be an element of truth to 28mm fantasy/sci-fi being to some degree defined by specific rule systems

    To some degree, yes (and the same can probably also be said of 10mm sci-fi lately), but from where I’m standing I’m also seeing much of the opposite. The other forum I frequent these days is the Lead Adventure Forum. It’s mainly a 28mm forum (the other scales never gained all that much of a foothold there, not sure why), but decidedly oriented toward “indie” gaming, and the sci-fi and fantasy boards are the two liveliest parts of the forum. Lots of 28mm fantasy and sci-fi going on there, largely independent of the major brands and game systems. I should point out I don’t – yet – count Frostgrave as one of the major game systems, though it might get there.

    Now, I’m aware that it’s largely an issue of perspective. I see a lot of indie fantasy/sci-fi gaming because I’m only looking in parts of the community where there is a lot of it. But even other parts of the community that are more oriented toward the major brands and game systems, aren’t really as locked in to them as all that, I think. Examples: DakkaDakka, a forum with a history as a 40K-centric community, has by now spawned its own little independent miniatures game (Maelstrom’s Edge). The people that made the excellent but short-lived Wargames Journal clearly came in part from a GW background given that they featured some GW-centric material in the magazine, but eventually they morphed into Spartan Games who now have a strong presence of their own in the industry as the makers of Dystopian Wars among other games. The numerous “boutique games” coming out of continental Europe (including Infinity, although that particular title has progressed well beyond the “boutique” level by now) were crafted by people who grew up immersed in 40K, WHFB and possibly Warmachine – there wasn’t much else around for them in the way of miniatures wargames before they started inventing their own. And need I mention Warlord Games, practically the out-of-wedlock child of GW? Or Mantic Games, obviously riffing off GW? (Substitute “riffing” for “ripping” if you so prefer.) It seems to me that the major brands and game systems have begun calving like icebergs, but I don’t view this as a process of fracturing, I view it as a process of diffusion. All that ice eventually melts into water. The smaller and more numerous the tribes become, the more syncretised they also become.

    Anyway, have a cup of tea, take a deep breath and keep enjoying doing things your own way.

    I’m rather overdue a cup of chamomile, aren’t I? *Puts kettle on* 

    I prefer to think of all genres of war games as either poke/hack/slice them or shoot them but while that model works for me I know it doesn’t work for others. Long live our common differences.

    Good point. For my part, I’m increasingly viewing all “genres” as just one thing: Adventure gaming. An orbital drop on an alien planet is an adventure. The battle of Fontenoy is an adventure. Conan the Barbarian exploring a ruined temple is an adventure. Operation Bagration is an adventure. I suppose some gamers might disagree with that notion (particularly historical gamers who are into the academia of military history and, I feebly imagine, view their gaming as more of an intellectual pursuit). But as for me, the fact that I view all wargaming as facets of the same thing is part of the reason I get a bit pained when a subset of historical gamers begin to construe all fantasy/sci-fi gamers as “a different beast”, as if desperate to distance themselves. But I don’t know, maybe I’m just too touchy about this. Probably. We all have our buttons.

    I view myself as a member of both and consider there is a far amount of overlap to the point of considering it simply one big tent.

    That’s pretty much what I believe, too. 90% or more of my direct engagement in the hobby these days is fantasy or sci-fi, but I still enjoy the historicals part of the community. I absorb many of the historicals-oriented threads here on TWW, though I may never have played, collected or studied the periods in question myself. The same goes for moderns. And when I read magazines like MWwBG, WI and WSS, I do it for all the content, not just the minority of non-historical articles. (I only wish there would also be a professional magazine – or even a well-produced webzine – that is the inverse of those three in regard to how much of the content is non-historical)

    …Now how’s that kettle coming along…?

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by RhodericRhoderic.
    #48974
    PatGPatG
    Participant

    I’m about the same age as Henry and for me there is a perceived if not actual generational divide. Back in when I started playing miniatures there was not nearly the same level of rules and figure lock-in as there appears to be now. You bought a bunch of archers or goblins and used them with several sets of rules – including Warhammer FB (shock horror). Same for SF and historicals, a Sherman is a Sherman is a Sherman. Ancients were particularly flexible once WRG basing or multiples there of became standard.

    Now the impression I get is that things are far more siloed – specific miniatures go with specific rules. Warhammer is the obvious example but there are others cough Halo cough. I must admit I was a little saddened to see IHMN – a game with a heavy design your own component – bring out companies specifically designed to sell miniatures.

    Fluff is also a component especially for SF but also fantasy – you can’t really compare the figures and rules in one universe to those in another the background stories are too alien. This too creates compartmentalization. On a Gruntz forum – there was a recent question asking where the stats cards were for the units pictured in the rule book since it was a given in the questioner’s mind the the rules were written for those specific figures. Historicals tend to have fewer problems in this regard – a sherman is still a sherman with fixed historical performance – regardless of the rules. Even so, I have seen more than one new(er) generation gamer say they didn’t want to switch from FoW to CoC because while they like the rules, they didn’t wan to have to sell all their 15mms and re-buy in 28mm.

    It’s mind boggling and gives the impression if not the reality that the SF and fantasy communities are at best fractured into tribes.

    I will also add that the 15mm and 6mm communities seem to be more open and flexible than some others.

    #48986
    Angel BarracksAngel Barracks
    Moderator

    Is there a sci-fi/fantasy community just as there is a historical one?

    Yes.

    Historical gamers like most gamers play a variety of periods/flavours.
    I know historical gamers that play WWII and Napoleonics for example.
    I know sci-fi gamers that play 40K and Infinity.

    I know historical gamers that play Bolt Action and Cold War Commander.
    I sci-fi gamers that play Future War Commander and Cold War Commander.

    I know gamers that play SAGA and WFB and Dropzone Commander and Blitzkrieg Commander.

    I know gamers that play all sorts.
    I know gamers that only play one set of rules.

    Is there a historical only wargames show?
    Don’t know, almost certainly.
    Is there a sci-fi or fantasy only wargames show?
    Yes.

    Do any of those sci-fi shows have more than one flavour?
    Yes.
    GW clearly have their own events that are all about the GW.

    But Blast-Tastic! For example is not brand driven, it is a truly independent event.
    So much so that even the company running it is not putting on a game to promote their own range of rules/miniatures.
    It is an event that is all about the love of the genre.

    What I think is a key difference between historical and sci-fi is that historical is bound to reality.
    If you want to play historical games you turn to real life past events and use those.
    Sci-fi is based on fiction (the clue is in the name) and as such it constantly evolves and changes.
    There is no being tied down with sci-fi to factual events.
    It can change and morph and be something new each time.
    So I can see how it may seem that it is not coherent as there are no historical factual events binding it together.

    Historical games are about the background, and there they are fixed.
    If a brand new games company wants to break into historical’s it can’t lure you in with its own new rich and vibrant setting.

    Sci-fi has no fixed setting, no way of doing it accurately, no being bound to anything.
    There are some brands that have created a background and sold it so successfully that they have loyal customers.

    There are sci-fi companies that make figures not designed for any specific flavour.
    I don’t think there is a single historical company that makes figures not designed for some historical period. (there can’t be can there)
    All historical figures are designed with a setting in mind.
    Not all sci-fi figures are designed with a setting in mind.
    Now this does create a more loose and less coherent path for sci-fi gamers to work within.
    They can use their sci-fi models for one setting one week, and another the next week with no worries.
    WWII figures will always be WWII figures in historical games.

    So, I think I would agree that sci-fi gaming is less cohesive and less restrictive in what you can do with your stuff.
    But the community at large I feel is not less cohesive.
    As a sci-fi gamer I love sci-fi more than the gaming.
    As such a sci-fi show appeals because of the generic sci-fi-ness of it all, the actual models/background/setting are of secondary value, the love of the genre is what appeals to me.
    And it is that love of the genre that I think binds sci-fi gamers into a community as much as historical gamers are bound into a community by what appeals to them.

    That is a lot of waffle/head rambling.
    I hope it makes sense and that no-one is annoyed.

    #48990
    Victoria DicksonVictoria Dickson
    Participant

    Having thought more about this, we’re all just part of the miniature wargaming community, aren’t we?  Not sure there is any need to break it down beyond that, we like fighting battles with pretty toys.  If we see a clever rule mechanism, a cool terrain piece or a beautifully painted figure we all appreciate it regardless of which part of our community it comes from, don’t we?

     

    #49010
    Angel BarracksAngel Barracks
    Moderator

    Indeed, but as with anything where people are involved, comes bias and snobbery.
    This is NOT aimed at Henry…

    I have heard and indeed been at the end of comments from gamers about how sci-fi is not proper gaming as it is make believe.
    Which is clearly meant as a put down, but for me at least just strikes me as being very silly.

    But silly or not, having people say your way of doing your hobby is wrong, can get boring.

    #49016
    RhodericRhoderic
    Participant

    Having thought more about this, we’re all just part of the miniature wargaming community, aren’t we? Not sure there is any need to break it down beyond that, we like fighting battles with pretty toys. If we see a clever rule mechanism, a cool terrain piece or a beautifully painted figure we all appreciate it regardless of which part of our community it comes from, don’t we?

    You’re absolutely right, and I think I’m starting by now to sound a bit fixated on one single issue that may not even exist outside of my own overanxious mind, and that’s a bit distressing to me in itself because it rather misrepresents my general attitude in the grand scheme of things. I normally don’t go around on fault-finding missions like this one 

    BUT, to stay on this track for now, there seems to my eyes to be a minority of historical gamers who consciously or unconsciously try to create a distance between the historicals community and what I call the fantasticals community (although ultimately I do agree that we’re all the same community), by means of various fictional constructions wherein fantasticals gamers supposedly operate under different axioms, “so why even bother reaching out to them?”. What’s more, they often don’t even couch it in terms of “we’re not like them”, but rather in terms of “they’re not like us”. It’s about alienating the other guys, construing them as incompatible.

    I’m not accusing Henry Hyde of that, he does identify in the podcast as a fantasy gamer as well as a historical one. But I think he inadvertently plays into those fictional constructions by dismissively stating that a fantasy/sci-fi gaming community doesn’t exist, at least not (I paraphrase) in a way that is parallel, comparable and compatible to the way the historical gaming community exists.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by RhodericRhoderic.
    #49019
    PatGPatG
    Participant

    I Am A Serious Historical Gamer! (whose main Historical army is a theoretical ideal British Home Guard platoon for use in scenarios from an invasion that never happened.)

    Honestly though if you want to see a work of fiction look at any Late War German list for the rules set of your choice including my beloved Too Fat Lardies offerings. Puma? Check. JadgTiger? Check. +10 for SS? Check. Sturmgewehr with night sights for everyone! Check.

    If you want another work of fiction look at ancients rules especially the sources in the back. “This army list was constructed entirely from two fragments of pottery and eight lines of a poem written 300 years after the fact.”

    Apart from GW who have created a whole hobby just for themselves, war gaming is a very broad church. I do see compartmentalization but if others do not – that is the way it should be and a very good thing indeed.

    #49020
    Victoria DicksonVictoria Dickson
    Participant

    OK, I get where you are both coming from now, sorry if I was a bit slow.

    Yes, being told you don’t belong as part of a group you identify with sucks, I know that from other areas of my life.  In wargaming no one has any position of authority to do that, you’re just dealing with individuals who want to act like their prejudices have some weight which they don’t.  But that doesn’t stop it from spoiling your day when you encounter it. 

    #49022
    RhodericRhoderic
    Participant

    I do see compartmentalization but if others do not – that is the way it should be and a very good thing indeed.

    Hmm… It’s not that I don’t see compartmentalisation in fantasy and sci-fi. My first few years as a hobbyist I was such an immature WHFB puritan that I remember feeling genuinely offended once at the sight of another player using “unofficial” alternative figures from Black Tree Design in place of “official” Citadel ones. If it needs pointing out, I’m ashamed of that now. So, so ashamed. But more to the point, I also see a strong parallel tradition among fantasy and sci-fi gamers to subvert or simply ignore such presumptions of compartmentalisation. So I suppose there’s both kinds of fantasy/sci-fi gamer. Sometimes, as with myself, they’re the same person at different points in their life.

    The other thing is, I see compartmentalisation in historicals, too, but as with fantasy and sci-fi I don’t see it getting in the way of much of anything. There’s one paid-for fanzine devoted exclusively to 20th century wargaming. There’s another devoted exclusively to “the black powder wars in America, including the French and Indian War through the Plains Indian Wars”. I’ve bought issues of both, and enjoyed reading them.

    #49030
    ThuseldThuseld
    Participant

    I used to be exclusively into WW2 in 20mm. That was nice. There were some bloggers I had contact with, and on my one trip down to the wargame club I met some nice people.

    But the first time I ever really felt like a part of a wargaming community, and having come into contact with people who really share my interests was when I moved over to 6mm sci fi. While I still haven’t really met anyone, apart from one gentleman from my blog, I feel more connected. This is my community. I am running my own little universe using whatever rule sets I feel like and posting pictures of it online. I get very excited when people post AARs here, or their latest miniatures. I am excited for the possibility of actually meeting people at events over the coming year too.

    #49031
    John D SaltJohn D Salt
    Participant

    The world is divided into two classes of people: those who divide the world into two classes of people, and those who don’t.

    Or, to be slightly more sophisticated, there are splitters and lumpers, and the splitters would subdivide these categories further.

    There are any number of classification systems one might use to divide up the wargaming hobby (or anything else) into parts. As I have strong lumpist tendencies, I tend to think that most of the are not very helpful; but as I like to distinguish things that are meaningfully different, I do have occasional surges of splitterism.

    I am reasonably firmly an historical wargamer, I think because I am fascinated by history. At the grammar school I went to, art was a subject one had to be invited to do at O level, as there was only one art teacher, and everybody would probably have picked the subject if they had been allowed to. It was the only subject to be limited in this way. I loved art, and was good enough at it that I was invited to join the O level set. Unfortunately choosing art would have meant giving up history; and I loved history even more than art. So I became the first boy in living memory to turn down the chance of studying art to O level. History, particularly military history, still fascinates me, and as a reader at the National Archive I can do historical research from primary sources. I feel privileged to have met and known people who have lived through extraordinary historical events; a pilot with 303 (Polish) fighter squadron, a WW2 Commando sniper, a Lancaster tail gunner, a glider pilot who was at both D-Day and Arnhem, the widow of the Colonel who was killed leading 1st South Lancs up Queen White, a survivor of the battle of 150 brigade box, a man who got his MC leading a forlorn hope through the sewers into Fort Dufferin, another who got his MC in the Jebel Akhdar campaign, a survivor of Dresden, a survivor of Auschwitz. The art master had served in a flower class corvette, HMS Abelia, in WW2. Fantasy and SF gamers simply have no equivalent of this. If anyone tells me “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate”, they are absolutely right, I shan’t believe them. And it seems to me that, if you are going to make any division at all between categories of things, the most obvious is to make the distinction between the things that are or have been, and the things that are not. Which would be a nice knock-down argument were it not for the fact that motivation for all simulations is to answer the question “what if..?”, and all wargames exist more or less in the subjunctive mood. One of the dialogues in Hofstadter’s wonderful “Gödel, Escher, Bach” includes a hypothetical device called a subjunc-TV. This has a control that lets you see instant re-plays of sporting action, but instead of seeing what really happened, you see whay might have happened if things had been different. So if you really want to be a lumper, you can argue that historical and F&SF gaming differ only in how high the subjunctivity settings are turned up.

    Returning to our sheep, I have to confess to be rather baffled by Henry’s claim that there is not a SF&F wargaming comunity in the way there is an historical one. I consider myself definitely a member of the “historicals” tribe, but it astonishes me to hear that the other tribes don’t exist, or don’t exist in the same way, and I don’t believe that any more than that rubbish you were trying to have me over with about the Tannhäuser Gate five minutes ago. And I find it hard to believe that the SF&F community or communities are any more clearly sliced up along commercial product lines than the historical community is sliced up by period.

    The divison that really grips me is the one between boardgames and miniatures games. In the UK at least there is a long-standing assumption that “real” wargaming means miniatures wargaming. Wells, Jane, Featherstone, Bath, Tarr, Grant, Wise, Young & Lawton, Barker, Hyde — all great names, all miniaturists. I challenge you to call to mind an equally long list of similarly well-known UK names associated with board wargames. One of the points made in the Meeples & Miniatures podcast was that lots of boardgames include miniatures — and, I might add, these days lots of miniatures games include hexes or squares. But what really intrigued me was the question “At what point does a miniature become a token?” It seems to me entirely obvious that miniatures are always tokens — ornate and highly decorative tokens, perhaps, but still just tokens. I am baffled at the idea they might be thought of as something else; and perhaps this shows that there is still something I don’t get about minature wargames (I’ve only been playing them since 1971, after all; but I have been playing board wargames just as long). One of the things I took away from Henry Hyde’s “The Wargaming Compendium” was how a well-respected figure in what I thought of as my hobby could hold a conception of it so utterly at variance with my own. I am never going to want inspiration from seeing colour photographs of other people’s toy soldiers painted to a higher standard than I could achieve; I am never going to “hone my skills” in tabletop warfare by practice; I cringe when measurements are given in inches; and I can think of few duller ways of playing with toy soldiers than lining up equal sides on opposite side of the table and having them advance towards each other. But there seem to be a goodly number of people in supposedly the same hobby as me who enjoy all these things, get snappy if the word “simulation” is mentioned, and shout down any too-clever-by-half pseudo-intellectual discussion by bellowing “It’s supposed to be FUN!” as if this was an idea they thought could never have occurred to the too-clever-by-half pseudo-intellectuals.

    So, is anyone going to enlighten me by telling what a miniature is supposed to be, if not a token?

    Or if you prefer you can yell “It’s supposed to be FUN!”, that will make me feel right at home.

    And, as somebody’s grandmother is supposed to have said, it’s a good thing we don’t all like the same things, or they wouldn’t sell many mixed biscuits.

    All the best,

    John.

    #49059
    Henry Hyde
    Participant

    Crikey, I’m honoured to have triggered such a well-mannered and fascinating debate!

    The problem with podcast chats, especially when under time pressure, is that it’s easy to slip into using language imprecisely.

    Quite clearly, you’re correct and there is as much a f/s-f “community” as there is an historical gaming “community”.

    However, so far at least, this has not manifested itself in the publishing world in a coherent way, other than in either short-lived or brand-led ways. My comments should therefore be seen in the context of the discussion on the podcast about the specific problems faced when trying to create and market a traditional printed magazine based solely around fantasy and science fiction gaming. The evidence to date is that the f/s-f community is a more nebulous and difficult audience to address: the “community” such a publication might serve is less easy to identify.

    Moreover, this isn’t to say that a non-traditional, digital publication wouldn’t work and Warners are planning to release the new ‘Critical Hits’ centre section of MW as a stand-alone e-publication. Good luck to them, and it’s success or otherwise will be down to folks like you. If it gets enough support, they’ll pursue it; if not, it will die in short order.

    Henry

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by Henry Hyde.

    Editor, Battlegames
    http://battlegames.co.uk
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    #49069
    Angel BarracksAngel Barracks
    Moderator

    However, so far at least, this has not manifested itself in the publishing world in a coherent way, other than in either short-lived or brand-led ways.

    Yeah I think that is fair.
    White Dwarf being an obvious brand led magazine, and there are a good number of fanzines, but most to my knowledge are tied into a company somehow and not generic like historical magazines.

    #49070
    RhodericRhoderic
    Participant

    Crikey, I’m honoured to have triggered such a well-mannered and fascinating debate! The problem with podcast chats, especially when under time pressure, is that it’s easy to slip into using language imprecisely.

    That’s understandable. I’ve been seeing the statement as a different thing to what you’re seeing it as.

    Moreover, this isn’t to say that a non-traditional, digital publication wouldn’t work and Warners are planning to release the new ‘Critical Hits’ centre section of MW as a stand-alone e-publication. Good luck to them, and it’s success or otherwise will be down to folks like you. If it gets enough support, they’ll pursue it; if not, it will die in short order. Henry

    I suppose that may come down to how Mantic-centric the publication turns out to be. On that count I share the concerns you voiced in the podcast. But I see that as a “top-down” problem:

    If it turns out to be a mouthpiece for Mantic Games (and, worse, John Treadaway has to edit the rest of MW with one hand tied behind his back in regard to including additional/alternative/parallel fantasy/sci-fi content that may clash with the Mantic message), it’s a case of a single company trying to overlay its own agenda upon a broader community that simply isn’t interested in being played that way. So either it fails on those grounds or it manages to subsist on the minority of the community that comprises the Mantic fans, plus those of the rest us who are prepared to read a Mantic publication for the general inspiration that may be had from it.

    It wouldn’t be the same as a magazine of “bottom-up” origins like MW, BG, WI or WSS, one that has no other agenda but to cater to the same broad, diverse community from which it sprang (and be economically viable in that pursuit, but not by pushing “extraneous” products that generate conflicts of interest in regard to magazine content).

    As for why a successful “bottom up” fantasy/sci-fi magazine doesn’t exist, well, that’s where my insecurities come into play. Are we really that bad? That incoherent? If Critical Hits turns out to be a publication worthy of the community – ie. more than just a Mantic mouthpiece – and it fails anyway, suffice it to say I’ll be pained. It’s a sense of distress I can only hope historical gamers would sympathise with, not gloat over.

    #49074
    Henry Hyde
    Participant

    @Rhoderic

    You’ve hit the nail on the head there. I had been planning to include more generic f/s-f in the extra 16pp of the ‘bottom up’ type you describe, giving John T more elbow room. Quite how he must feel about this situation… Well, you’ll have to ask him, but I can’t quite see how they’re going to square this circle.

    Meanwhile, my life has changed vastly for the beter already and I can safely say it’s Not My Problem any more! 😄

    Editor, Battlegames
    http://battlegames.co.uk
    Battlegames on Patreon
    https://www.patreon.com/battlegames
    Author, The Wargaming Compendium
    http://amzn.to/leWoNO

    #49076
    RhodericRhoderic
    Participant

    It’s a dark cloud on the horizon for sure. But I’ll leave it at that as I don’t really want to wade any deeper into the Miniature Wargames / Critical Hits controversy (in this thread, anyway). Besides, part of me is still curious to see what happens next.

    #49078
    PatGPatG
    Participant

    So, is anyone going to enlighten me by telling what a miniature is supposed to be, if not a token?

    It’s another facet to the hobby, a value add to the experience and with terrain a way to more easily achieve immersion in the game. I’m very much in the it’s a counter camp and have played many a game using bits of MDF with the unit name penciled on. While my figures are painted to a table standard I am comfortable with, I completely understand that painting miniatures has an appeal all of its own.

    I would also say miniatures are a way to hack the game in terms of units and also bring more beauty to it. PanzerBlitz for example has chits with a fairly soulless outline and some very practical numbers printed on them. You can make your own for units not in the proscribed mix (I have) but even then your room for creativity is limited. System 7 Napoleonics was better in that you had coat and facing colours on the chits but even then it was sterile. You can’t really show the mud and blood that spattered the Old Guard at Waterloo on a blue and white cardboard chit but you can certainly do that with a box of Perrys and some pots of paint.

    Finally, and this is certainly not for everyone, there is the question of the soul of a unit. One Imperial Star Destroyer counter is pretty much the same as any other in the same class but a model you have spent hours of time on takes on a character of its own. Becasue it is unique, the model can get a reputation for pushing the rebels hard or cutting and running at the first sign of trouble. It creates a story. For my VSF collection I painted up a unit of skirmishers and gave them all red caps as a unit identifier. But then I asked the question of why they had red caps and a whole back story came into being. When I needed another unit of the same figures, they got blue caps and a whole rivalry was born. I can actually get enjoyment out of the hobby by looking at figures sitting in their storage box. I don’t think you can do that quite so easily with chunks of card or MDF.

    #49079
    MikeMike
    Keymaster

    I can actually get enjoyment out of the hobby by looking at figures sitting in their storage box. I don’t think you can do that quite so easily with chunks of card or MDF.

    Me too, I often just look at a set up and that is fun.

    #49081
    John TreadawayJohn Treadaway
    Participant

    I won’t be drawn very far into this right now, if that’s ok with you all.

    However, I will say three things (because I probably should!):

    Firstly my reputation of putting non-historical wargaming in ‘harms way’ – by which I mean right in the middle of ‘historical’ gaming magazines – is a matter of record. Military Modelling magazine, Military Modelling Wargaming Annuals, Practical Wargamer, Wargames Journal, Wargames Illustrated, Miniature Wargames (under four different editors) I have written for them all and being a columnist in three for well over three decades. All are primarily historical wagaming magazines. In addition I’ve written pieces for other magazines (most of which are no longer with us as they were non-historical – ie F&SF only – mags) like Red Giant. In all that time I’ve written mostly non historical pieces but have strayed into other areas (anyone remember Low Level Hell, the Vietnam game I was involved with in the late ’90s?).

    Secondly, when Henry brought me in to re-boot my Fantasy Facts column when he became MWWBG editor, one of the (many) things that he impressed me with was his stance on non-historical gaming and in that we were pretty much in complete agreement. Henry is – out and out – a gamer, both historical and non-historical. In an ideal world, we both believe(d) that there would not – and should not – be a separation within a publication for the same reasons that this sort of thing never works at Wargames Shows (see below). But what I have noticed from feedback in the last two weeks on forums and the dreaded F^ceb**k is that there are utterly die hard ‘historical gamers’* that want no non-historical content in a magazine whatsoever. Within MW, handling such an enormous increase in F&SF content in what is still seen by many as a fundamentally historical magazine is therefore not going to be easy, however it is done. Let’s see how the new (16 page F&SF section) approach works out. This is, after all, printed paper, not hieroglyphs carved into stone.

    Thirdly, some of you may have heard of Salute 🙂 Whilst I haven’t been significantly involved since 2008, I spent almost 30 years closely – and as the years progressed – ever more closely – involved with that show as it transformed from an event in two large rooms in a town hall to the monster it is today. That monster is, I believe, one of the greatest indicators (and leaders) of gaming trends in the UK (and therefore, much of the gaming world – where are the majority of gaming manufacturers based? Ah yes…). Salute has – for at least two decades – been a superb showcase for exactly what UK wargaming is, period and theme wise (or so I believe – and, for 7 years, I had thousands of questionnaires as feedback from the show to prove it). In short, I believe that Salute’s mix of Historical and F&SF (somewhere about 60%/40%) is about perfect for our ‘community’ today (and I do also take the word ‘community’ – as does Henry – under advisement).

    I hope that – in some fashion – MW can reflect that in the issues to come.

    John Treadaway

    * I’ve never, ever met an ‘historical’ wargamer (at least by my definition of ‘historical’). A gamer that doesn’t play anything other than reenactments of historical events with exactly the same troops, exactly the same terrain and weather (and probably the same outcome?). Like Yeti and Sasquatch I’m not going to state as a matter of fact that they don’t exist… I’m just saying I’ve never met one face to face…

     

    John Treadaway

    www.hammers-slammers.com
    http://www.hammers-slammers.com

    "They don't have to like us, snake, they just have t' make the payment schedule" Lt Cooter - Hammer's Slammers
    #49156
    Guy FarrishGuy Farrish
    Participant

    Well I am basically an ‘inclusiver’ (I wonder if that is the same as John Salt’s ‘Lumper’? I also have urges to define things precisely from time to time however) – if you want to be included in a made up group name  to which I might belong that’s pretty much okay with me as long as what you are doing isn’t morally repugnant and/or illegal!

    I think JT’s definition of historical gamer is (I suspect deliberately) rather ‘tight’.

    I am not now nor have I ever been a fantasy gamer – or have I? I’ve never owned an elf, goblin or orc – but I have a copy of Frostgrave and a wizardy type, apprentice and skeletons. And other non existent entities are an option. I’ve been a mystical Japanese assassin in a live action role play at COW many years ago as well but don’t tell anyone.

    SF? Got some of Mike’s stuff , will probably get more and have delusional plans to build a large ‘settlement’ around some sort of ‘processing plant’ a la Quatermass (but with more shooting).

    So mainly historical (based on real earth time period history in the subjunctive mood – thanks Jon, good concept) for me.

    I confess I had presumed that Henry was talking about a freelance magazine supporting community when he said what he said so it slid straight past my consciousness that there could be anything controversial in it. Obviously I was wrong.

    I do find a certain sensitivity sometimes in SF & Fantasy gamers, that if you don’t say you’d love to play ‘X’ game you are a snob. I don’t like playing some historical games either. It isn’t snobbery it’s just that for whatever reason; rules, figures, but more likely narrative drive and vision behind the game, I don’t want to play it. That’s all.

    Figures as tokens. Always have been John. They were probably more useful as such when each one purported to represent a set number of soldiers, occupying a certain amount of ground and were removed to represent casualties. Now, so often just sitting there taking up undefined space and not diminishing until evaporation, one wonders if Paddy Griffith wasn’t correct when he said ‘Down with Toy Soldiers’ (except they are often quite pretty – back to fantasy cf the average squaddie).

    #49157
    John TreadawayJohn Treadaway
    Participant

    I do find a certain sensitivity sometimes in SF & Fantasy gamers

    I don’t disagree with you, Guy, but I think that there is probably a good reason for that. I think that – for years – when historical gamers discussed historical periods it was rare that anyone ever said “I’m a WW2 guy – can’t stand Napoleonics: all those colourful uniforms and silly hats – I just can’t take it seriously”. And why would they?

    The situation, however, with a certain breed of dyed-in-the-wool historical gamers talking to non-historical gamers, often degenerates in that sort of comment: remove the word “Napoleonics” in the sentence above and replace it with (say) “Lord of the Rings” and… well I’ve heard it (and its like) before. Often. And even recently…

    The probability is F&SF gamers have become rather sensitised by that kind of thing. Maybe – sometimes – it triggers a snippy response.

    What I would say is that – in recent experience – this has become less and less of a ‘thing’. Hostility from both ‘sides’ of this argument is decreasing and – for me – there’s a big reason for that: more and more gamers play in all periods. At one or two of my local clubs, long standing members who – twenty years ago – were purely (what they fondly imagined were) ‘historical’ gamers, now play all sorts of non-historical games (Kings of War, Frostgrave, 40k and others) often – but not always – for tournament reasons but it shows a broadening of tolerance.

    To elaborate on the end point of my last post, for me, the terms ‘historical gamer’ and ‘non-historical gamer’ are simply too rigid and ‘either/or’.

    Almost all gamers I meet now are on a scale of some sort. In a ‘One to Ten’ where ‘One’ is as I described in my foot note (totally ‘Historical’) and ‘Ten’ is, say, purely F&SF and absolutely nothing else.

    Personally, I know a few 2’s and some 8’s and 9’s but most gamers seem lie in the middle bracketing.

    Guy, you sound like a 4!

    John Treadaway

    www.hammers-slammers.com
    http://www.hammers-slammers.com

    "They don't have to like us, snake, they just have t' make the payment schedule" Lt Cooter - Hammer's Slammers
    #49168
    Guy FarrishGuy Farrish
    Participant

    John, Try as I might, I don’t think I can argue with any of that (although I might put myself as a 3, purely on the evidence although I may have tendencies towards a 5!).

    I didn’t mean anyone in this discussion and thinking about it I’m probably looking back a few years re my sensitivity comments. Happy for any and all to be ‘wargamers’ if they want. (Strange idea – I think of it more as an affliction. Best of luck with the new job by the way.)

    #49175
    RhodericRhoderic
    Participant

    In short, I believe that Salute’s mix of Historical and F&SF (somewhere about 60%/40%) is about perfect for our ‘community’ today (and I do also take the word ‘community’ – as does Henry – under advisement). I hope that – in some fashion – MW can reflect that in the issues to come.

    Sincerely: Good luck! I do acknowledge that the historicals purists may have a legitimate claim to preserving “their” magazine on the grounds that it was “theirs first”, but even so, some instinct for what I suppose I must forthrightly define as self-interest compels me to wish you good luck. Obviously the more ideal thing would be to get more F&SF content published in a way that doesn’t tread on the toes of historical gamers, but meanwhile I do genuinely hope that the historicals purists are only a small but vocal minority and the conflict is not really as severe as their protests on Facebook and elsewhere make it out to be.

    As for what I said about the possibility of Critical Hits turning out to be a mouthpiece for Mantic Games, I’d like to stress that I only meant that as one possible scenario. I only brought it up so as to argue my point about a “top-down” problem versus a “bottom-up” problem. If an F&SF publication does everything right (ie. stays open-minded, steers clear of the “brand-led” avenue, and is high-quality to boot in terms of content and editing) and yet it fails anyway because the community won’t support it by purchasing/subscribing or contributing, then that’s a bottom-up problem. On the other hand, if it turns out to be a mouthpiece for a single brand, then that’s a top-down problem – it doesn’t reflect back on the possible shortcomings of the community, but merely on that one single company (fairly insignificant in the big picture) that’s trying to “harness” the community (mostly to the disinterest of the community itself).

    The top-down problem scenario doesn’t fluster me much. I’ll either only pay casual interest to a Mantic-centric publication, or I’ll just ignore it if it turns out to be truly devoid of inspirational material. In either case I’ll not lose sleep over it. On the other hand, I genuinely fear the scenario of the bottom-up problem. I cannot bring myself to accept that there can’t be a professional F&SF-oriented magazine because the community is too fragmented, or too anarchic, or whatever other reason. I just can’t. It goes squarely against my hopes and ideals for the hobby.

    I do find a certain sensitivity sometimes in SF & Fantasy gamers, that if you don’t say you’d love to play ‘X’ game you are a snob.

    I don’t disagree with you, Guy, but I think that there is probably a good reason for that. I think that – for years – when historical gamers discussed historical periods it was rare that anyone ever said “I’m a WW2 guy – can’t stand Napoleonics: all those colourful uniforms and silly hats – I just can’t take it seriously”. And why would they? The situation, however, with a certain breed of dyed-in-the-wool historical gamers talking to non-historical gamers, often degenerates in that sort of comment: remove the word “Napoleonics” in the sentence above and replace it with (say) “Lord of the Rings” and… well I’ve heard it (and its like) before. Often. And even recently… The probability is F&SF gamers have become rather sensitised by that kind of thing. Maybe – sometimes – it triggers a snippy response.

    I recognise myself in these descriptions. Over-sensitive, sometimes wrongly so, but also sometimes with good reason.

    Strange idea – I think of it more as an affliction.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by RhodericRhoderic.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by RhodericRhoderic.
    #49185
    John TreadawayJohn Treadaway
    Participant

    Good points throughout this thread, I feel.

    Rhoderic – I can say that I’ve seen the contents of the first F&SF section in 403:

    Panzerfauste: yes.

    Frostrave: yes

    Fantasy Facts (written by me so completely independent – but you’ll have to wait to see what I’m covering*): yes

    Mantic: no

    In four years of writing Fantasy Facts I haven’t been able to get a single review of a single product from Mantic. If that changes because of better links with the company, I’m not sure that’s entirely a bad thing (Mantic are a sinificant contributor to S&SF gaming). But that’s not the starting point of my plans (such as they are!). But no one company will be dominating this section, or any other part of the magazine.

    As I said elsewhere (on TMP) -keep your powder dry, gentlemen: there’ll be plenty of time to shoot me later!

    John Treadaway

    * I have to keep something to tempt you all with!

    John Treadaway

    www.hammers-slammers.com
    http://www.hammers-slammers.com

    "They don't have to like us, snake, they just have t' make the payment schedule" Lt Cooter - Hammer's Slammers
    #49186
    McKinstry
    Participant

    I find this a very interesting discussion. Thank you for a thoughtful grown up dialog.

    I keep thinking back to the US and HMGS. HMGS arose out of the perception that fantasy/D&D and board gaming was driving historical gaming into an ever diminishing back corner primarily due to the lack of attention at Origins when Avalon Hill was still driving that bus. HMGS went on its’ own way and grew modestly into Historicon (Fall In & Cold Wars et al.) as a bastion of purity for the oppressed historical community but almost immediately despite the odd fuss from a few, the lines between historical and VSF and SF and Fantasy and things in between have so blurred that a gander at the events listing for any convention will show (depending upon your definition, where do Imaginations fit?) a mix usually between 33-50% ‘other than historical’ gaming. Origins and Gencon make no distinction simply offering spaces for miniature gaming where I suspect a careful analysis would be more like 33 historical, 67 other.

    This is a windy way of saying I think whether we want to consider ourselves inclusionists or separatists,  the facts on the ground of miniature gaming has on a broad scale declared that we are all in that big tent and whether we consider ourselves in corner X or Y, the tent is all pretty much the same niche.

     

     

    Never wrestle with a pig. You both get muddy and the pig just likes it.

    #49236
    John D SaltJohn D Salt
    Participant

    Guy Farrish wrote:

    I think JT’s definition of historical gamer is (I suspect deliberately) rather ‘tight’.

    “Tight”? It’s not just tight, it’s totally blootered, hog-whimpering drunk, blood alcohol levels you could flambé a Christmas pudding in. It’s as sober as suggesting that “beer drinkers” never drink any other liquid, by which definition I have never met a beer-drinker. Who all those people were I saw drinking beer down the pub I have no idea. Likewise, even if there are no “historical gamers”, I swear I saw a lot of people playing historical games at Salute this year (and you’d have surprised me if you’d told me they were only 60% of the event).

    Wondering how far aong the historical spectrum I am, I wrote a quick list of all the titles in my boardgame collection I could remember (I know there are some titles I haven’t listed, but the collection is in boxes or in Wales, so I can’t check at the moment). This shows 8% fantasy and science fiction — including some things that are pretty questionably wargames, like “Witches” or “Cyclades” — as against 9% naval, and 11% air, both normally considered minority sports.

    one wonders if Paddy Griffith wasn’t correct when he said ‘Down with Toy Soldiers’

    Indeed — I think the rejection of toy soldiers was one of Paddy’s greatest strokes of brilliance. It is, after all, quite difficult to think how one would cast a chaff cloud, a rustle in the bushes, or a target reference point as a 25mm miniature, but you might want any of those represented in a game. One of the things I learned from Tom Mouat’s “Lashgar Pol” game was that, if your resources and interests are not represented by counters, then all the other players leave you alone. I suspect that the traditional inadequacy of wargames in dealing with things like electronic warfare, target detection and command and control might largely be explained by the lack of obvious miniature tokens to represent the entities involved.

    Sure, I get the thing about models looking pretty, but there is to my mind a yawning gap — much wider than there was when I read Airfix Magazine in the 1960s and 70s — between the quality of modelling modelling and wargaming modelling. Current standards of scale modelling I find absolutely breathtaking. You would, however, be a mug to build wargames models like that, as they would never take the punishment of tabletop handling. A pal of mine developed some very interesting guidelines on how to make 1/76th plastic kits for wargaming, including means of reinforcing or protecting delicate gun barrels, and (he was a biologist) a preference for “sessile” rather than “pedunculate” headlights (which would just snap off). And it strikes me that while scale modellers continue to work overwhelmingly in plastic or sometimes wood, one thinks of wargames miniatures as being made of metal (invariably called “lead”). Even I do this, and I use plastics practically to the exclusion of all else in my miniatures collection. Because of the limitations of the medium, lead soldiers tend to be squat, megacephalic fellows, not really proportioned very much like real people at all. These problems lead to all sorts of nonsenses — scale creep, wargamers getting hot under the collar about the very idea of a “scale” for their oddly-sized toy soldiers, and the absurd idea that people’s height is properly measured to the eyeballs. I generally don’t find such things especially inspiring gloating material, which explains why I have not bought any glossy picture-filled mainstream wargames magazines for over a decade now. And I must disagree with PatG that Panzerblitz counters are “soulless” — the game may be rubbish, but the counters are lovely, testimony to Redmond Simonsen’s genius as a graphic designer. See http://gregpanzerblitz.com/ and http://www.imaginative-strategist.layfigures.com/ for examples of how they have enthused people.

    All the best,

    John.

    #49242
    RhodericRhoderic
    Participant

    As the original subject of this thread has probably had more than its share of attention by now, and has been nicely bookended by McKinstry, I’ll just weigh in briefly on the token debate.

    I’ll acquiesce to wargaming miniatures being tokens… in the way actors in a movie are tokens or the characters I subjectively visualise in my mind’s eye when I read a book are tokens. That’s how I view my miniatures. They’re my little adventurers, my dramatis personae. I can view traditional boardgame tokens in the same way, I suppose, but it helps if I can connect somehow with the “soul” of what they’re supposed to represent. Having my tokens be sculpted, painted miniatures is a crutch in that sense – not an absolute necessity, but they make it easier for me, subjectively.

    Chiefly, in the spirit of inclusivity, I’d hate to construe any artificial division between “miniatures wargamers” and “boardgamers”. We’re all tabletop folk.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by RhodericRhoderic.
    #49246
    John TreadawayJohn Treadaway
    Participant

    “Tight”? It’s not just tight, it’s totally blootered, hog-whimpering drunk, blood alcohol levels you could flambé a Christmas pudding in. It’s as sober as suggesting that “beer drinkers” never drink any other liquid, by which definition I have never met a beer-drinker. Who all those people were I saw drinking beer down the pub I have no idea. Likewise, even if there are no “historical gamers”, I swear I saw a lot of people playing historical games at Salute this year (and you’d have surprised me if you’d told me they were only 60% of the event).

    Gosh – I don’t really know what to say to that…

    I guess just maybe that my definition is just as valid as anyone elses, isn’t it? I chose to define in terms of a scale and not a cut off point, a hard to maintain (in the face of evidence to the contrary) ‘line in the sand’, as it were.

    If that’s ok

    And – whilst it is possible that I’ve not been paying attention for the last four decades – by my definition (tight, drunk or sober) – though I’ve met lots of ‘Threes’ and ‘Fours’ (and even some ‘Twos‘) – I’ve never yet met a ‘One’ (on my scale of tightness!).

    Or a Yeti.

    But – like I implied – I keep an open mind (and a song in my heart…).

    John Treadaway

    www.hammers-slammers.com
    http://www.hammers-slammers.com

    "They don't have to like us, snake, they just have t' make the payment schedule" Lt Cooter - Hammer's Slammers
    #49278
    John D SaltJohn D Salt
    Participant

    John Treadaway wrote:

    I guess just maybe that my definition is just as valid as anyone elses, isn’t it? I chose to define in terms of a scale and not a cut off point, a hard to maintain (in the face of evidence to the contrary) ‘line in the sand’, as it were.

    Why would your definition be as valid an anyone else’s? It’s hardly possible to have a free market of ideas if there are price controls in place to make the value of all of them identical. That’s even worse than the “I’m entitled to my opinion” fallacy, which doesn’t go so far as to claim any particular value for the opinion one has a right to.

    The only problem with maintaining lines in the sand arises from your own (tighter than an owl) definition of “historical wargamer” as someone who plays strictly historical wargames to the exclusion of all else. People who use the more commonsensical definition of “historical wargamer” to mean “someone who plays historical wargames” don’t suffer such difficulties of categorisation. There are worse definitions — “the Javanese stinking badger” or “a soft metal mined in agony by the inhabitants of the Urals” are clearly much worse definitions of “historical wargamer”, but I doubt anyone will want to lay claim to them.

    Anyway, good luck, Mr. Editor. You may need it.

    All the best,

    John.

    #49292
    John TreadawayJohn Treadaway
    Participant

    John

    We’re never gonna agree.

    Have fun.

    John Treadaway

    www.hammers-slammers.com
    http://www.hammers-slammers.com

    "They don't have to like us, snake, they just have t' make the payment schedule" Lt Cooter - Hammer's Slammers
    #49298
    Victoria DicksonVictoria Dickson
    Participant

    The only problem with maintaining lines in the sand arises from your own (tighter than an owl) definition of “historical wargamer” as someone who plays strictly historical wargames to the exclusion of all else. People who use the more commonsensical definition of “historical wargamer” to mean “someone who plays historical wargames” don’t suffer such difficulties of categorisation.

    If I asked a wargamer what their hobby was they’d say wargaming, they’d only say historical wargaming if they wanted to make clear they don’t play non historical games, wouldn’t they?

     

    #49299
    Angel BarracksAngel Barracks
    Moderator

    I have 2 answers.

    To those outside the hobby, I am a wargamer.
    To those inside the hobby, I am a sci-fi gamer.

     

    What do I mean by sci-fi gamer?
    My primary interest is sci-fi.
    I only own/buy sci-fi models.

    If someone gives me a choice between a sci-fi and a non-sci-fi game I will almost certainly pick the sci-fi game.

    Will I only play sci-fi?
    No, but it is very much my preference.

    Meat is also my preference, but I will eat leaves when the fancy takes me.

     

     

    #49307
    BlackhatBlackhat
    Participant

    Some historical gamers have been complaining about Fantasy ever since the “Fairy gamers” debate in Battle for Wargames in the late 1970s…

    Same thing for “the greying of the hobby…”, etc etc

    Mike

     

    Black Hat Miniatures -
    http://www.www.blackhat.co.uk/

    #49312
    Not Connard SageNot Connard Sage
    Participant

    Some historical gamers have been complaining about Fantasy ever since the “Fairy gamers” debate in Battle for Wargames in the late 1970s… Same thing for “the greying of the hobby…”, etc etc Mike

     

    He’s right you know.

     

    I think we should all get over ourselves.

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

    #49317
    RhodericRhoderic
    Participant

    If I asked a wargamer what their hobby was they’d say wargaming, they’d only say historical wargaming if they wanted to make clear they don’t play non historical games, wouldn’t they?

    On that count I must admit to having used imprecise terminology on my own part in this thread. I’ve referred to myself as a fantasy/sci-fi gamer but I’m not fantasy/sci-fi exclusively (even if historicals are only a minor part of the hobby for me). So I think some leeway for imprecise language has to be allowed for. Or else I’ll have damned myself 

    If I was 90% a historical wargamer and 10% non-historical and someone asked me what I do on my free time, I might possibly reply “historical wargaming” so as to signal to the other party that it’s probably no use asking me what I think of the new editions of WarmaHordes or which is my favourite faction in Dropzone Commander. Not because I’d “hate” that kind of stuff, but simply because I probably wouldn’t know much about it. That said, I personally would be more likely to reply “wargaming, mainly historical”, leaving a window open to discussion on non-historical subjects. But that’s just personal preference.

    I just hope that when I (as my non-hypothetical self, a mainly F&SF wargamer) simply tell people I’m a “wargamer”, no one is going to automatically expect me to know what a SdKfz 138/2 looks like or which side won the Second Battle of Bull Run. I try to know that kind of stuff, but there’s just an awful lot of it, isn’t there?

     

    I have 2 answers. To those outside the hobby, I am a wargamer. To those inside the hobby, I am a sci-fi gamer. What do I mean by sci-fi gamer? My primary interest is sci-fi. I only own/buy sci-fi models. If someone gives me a choice between a sci-fi and a non-sci-fi game I will almost certainly pick the sci-fi game. Will I only play sci-fi? No, but it is very much my preference. Meat is also my preference, but I will eat leaves when the fancy takes me.

    Oh, oh, oh. So you hate fantasy, do you, you sci-fi snob! 

    (That was completely a cheerful jest, I just worry sometimes that a smiley face is not always enough to signal irony/facetiousness online.)

     

    I think we should all get over ourselves.

    Yeah, sorry about this thread. It’s… a slightly precarious one.

    #49318
    Angel BarracksAngel Barracks
    Moderator

    Oh, oh, oh. So you hate fantasy, do you, you sci-fi snob!

    🙂

    You know, that is interesting.
    I am not sure what I would pick between fantasy and historical.
    I have no preference toward either, as I do with sci-fi.

    It would very much depend on the period/setting/look of the game.
    hmmmmmm thinking upon it.

    I think I would also pick say a great looking historical game over a dire looking sci-fi game.

    I am, it would seem, a moth with sci-fi leanings.

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