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#1 29-Nov-2017 07:43:13

dadlamassu
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From: Bonnie Scotland
Registered: 16-Mar-2012
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#2 29-Nov-2017 09:40:39

Richard B.
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Registered: 16-Mar-2012
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Re: Reichstag Captured

Not my thing (far too introverted) but a big scale thing smile


"“Sir with the compliments of my officer, your shooting was excellent – you killed four of our men”!
Un-named Traillieur to an artillery officer at R`Fakah, Morocco, Feb. 29th, 1908

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#3 29-Nov-2017 17:20:56

dadlamassu
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From: Bonnie Scotland
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Re: Reichstag Captured

There were a lot more buildings around when I visited the Reichstag.

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#4 29-Nov-2017 23:42:33

Seret
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Re: Reichstag Captured

I'm sure those guys think what they're doing is some kind of tribute to the men who fought, but most of it just looks like they're taking the piss.

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#5 30-Nov-2017 06:55:20

dadlamassu
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From: Bonnie Scotland
Registered: 16-Mar-2012
Posts: 1,122
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Re: Reichstag Captured

Are they not doing the same sort of things as we do with the difference that they dress up and personally take the part of our toys?  They made a model terrain, used replicas of vehicles, weapons, uniforms etc (albeit full size) and played out a game based on history.  They might have had a scenario script and perhaps some sort of rules of play.

A bit of a devil's advocate this time!

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#6 30-Nov-2017 07:53:44

granty101
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From: Durham
Registered: 26-Mar-2015
Posts: 1,984

Re: Reichstag Captured

Seret wrote:

I'm sure those guys think what they're doing is some kind of tribute to the men who fought, but most of it just looks like they're taking the piss.

Yes, the Russians seem to gloss over the historical truth of the situation...namely the executions and mass rapes that happened in Berlin once the war ended.

As someone once quoted "History is written by the victors"....sad, but true sad

Grant


Vot is your Name? Don't tell him Pike!!!

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#7 30-Nov-2017 09:29:19

Seret
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Registered: 15-Feb-2016
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Re: Reichstag Captured

dadlamassu wrote:

Are they not doing the same sort of things as we do with the difference that they dress up and personally take the part of our toys?

I don't really see much crossover there. What they're doing is much closer to cosplay, or airsoft. It's grown-ups playing dress-up. Tabletops wargames might be a fairly niche part of the wider mainstream of adult gaming, but there's not normally any roleplaying element to them.

I think if done realistically then re-eneactment (while not my cup of tea) is fine. There's a certain amount to be learned about history by having a crack yourself. But what was going on in that video wasn't in any way realistic. They may have had the clothes and the guns, but they clearly didn't have the first clue about how actual troops move and fight. The fact that it was being put on in front of actual military personnel was a bit embarrassing IMO. The poor camera work didn't help, but the whole thing looked shambolic.

I think if you're going to be a WW2 re-enactor, you need to do a lot more than just buy a uniform and a rifle. You should do the same training the infantry did, so that you can actual look like them properly. Your event should be organised and rehearsed so it doesn't just look like a bunch of people milling about in a field.

I also think fat 50-year olds pretending to be fit 19-year olds looks bloody ridiculous.

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#8 30-Nov-2017 10:04:29

Rumblestrip
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From: ...where the oatcakes live...
Registered: 25-Jan-2013
Posts: 413

Re: Reichstag Captured

Seret wrote:
dadlamassu wrote:

Are they not doing the same sort of things as we do with the difference that they dress up and personally take the part of our toys?

I don't really see much crossover there. What they're doing is much closer to cosplay, or airsoft. It's grown-ups playing dress-up. Tabletops wargames might be a fairly niche part of the wider mainstream of adult gaming, but there's not normally any roleplaying element to them.

I think if done realistically then re-eneactment (while not my cup of tea) is fine. There's a certain amount to be learned about history by having a crack yourself. But what was going on in that video wasn't in any way realistic. They may have had the clothes and the guns, but they clearly didn't have the first clue about how actual troops move and fight. The fact that it was being put on in front of actual military personnel was a bit embarrassing IMO. The poor camera work didn't help, but the whole thing looked shambolic.

I think if you're going to be a WW2 re-enactor, you need to do a lot more than just buy a uniform and a rifle. You should do the same training the infantry did, so that you can actual look like them properly. Your event should be organised and rehearsed so it doesn't just look like a bunch of people milling about in a field.

I also think fat 50-year olds pretending to be fit 19-year olds looks bloody ridiculous.

Quite interesting this. Alan certainly makes me think a bit. Not sure I've come to any conclusions but one thing strikes me immediately - 'we' and 'they' are both groups of adults doing childish things. Both groups are 'playing at soldiers'. Neither can claim any great amount of connectivity with reality and both are just escapists. 'We' might claim some sort of superiority in terms of our rules, paintschemes, organisations etc amounting to a more historical/academic bent but I suspect that's relatively marginal and is primarily a matter of us trying to mask the essential childishness by putting a figleaf of grown up stuff like 'learning' over it. Actually as child psychologists will happily tell you - playing is learning.

Regardless, consider the outsiders' perspective (that's 99%+ of the rest of humanity). I suspect such people see no real difference between what wargamers do and what re-enactors do - in each case it's a group of men acting like children.

So that leaves the 'performing in front of the military' and the commemorative aspect of the video. I don't suppose much recreational wargaming happens in front of a military audience. Perhaps the show at Bovington comes closest and I don't suppose the military personnel there think any more highly of the wargamers playing with toys than do the Russian Generals in the video. As for the commemoration, it's certainly the case that a number of wargames are run in public on the dates of their actual occurrence 100 or 200 years later - the Somme, Cambrai, Waterloo as recent ones spring to mind. Personally I would argue that every wargame should be treated as a commemoration at its heart. Respect the fact that your gleeful celebration of a six represents the (usually extremely unpleasant) death of someone.

So, although I agree that the video looks a bit silly (I couldn't watch much of it), I am not sure any dismissive reaction to it is any better than or different to the one which wargamers gets from the rest of the population. So 'we' are more 'they' than 'we' might like to make out. People with niche hobbies draw distinctions between and amongst themselves in order to bolster their self worth and address the insecurities they feel about indulging themselves, seemingly unable to recognise that it's not a zero sum game.

Now what really worries me are the SS re-enactors. Even amongst re-enactors they are personae non grata.

Cheers

Andrew


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#9 30-Nov-2017 10:08:39

Rumblestrip
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From: ...where the oatcakes live...
Registered: 25-Jan-2013
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Re: Reichstag Captured

granty101 wrote:

...Yes, the Russians seem to gloss over the historical truth of the situation...namely the executions and mass rapes that happened in Berlin once the war ended...Grant

Not just the Russians, everyone glosses over the atrocities their forces are responsible for after a war.

Except perhaps in antiquity, where advertising atrocities was part of the propaganda war.

Cheers
Andrew


¡Vencerán…pero no convencerán!

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#10 30-Nov-2017 12:29:50

bannockburn bhoy
General
From: Glasgow
Registered: 16-Mar-2012
Posts: 2,243

Re: Reichstag Captured

Where all mock military "gaming " is concerned I have a predilection to disconnect to a degree, maybe im kidding myself on.   I have NEVER replicated real historical actions on the table top. I have built forces based on actual units and played similar type actions ,but not verbatim.
It has just never sat easy with me ,the idea of using toys to do what real men actually did , and fell in the doing.
Im not criticising anybody by stating this , nor claiming any moral superiority ,its just personal to me.
I remember Alan saying he saw a wargame at a show , where he was actually represented (or misrepresented if memory serves ) on the table, I thought how weird and bizarre that was.
At a very amateur level (for most of us) ,we are all as academically acquainted with war as the amateur is likely to be , and I think its fair to say that while some aspects of war can bring out the best in people ,it is most certainly humanity at its worst ,and to me that's not anything that can involve "playing " at it.
I warGAME but always with respect for those that were unfortunate enough to take part in the real horrors of war , I have seen first hand the detrimental effect that war can have on a life , and an effect that lasted for a lifetime.
Were gamers and for the most part its just a hobby.

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#11 30-Nov-2017 12:37:32

Seret
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Registered: 15-Feb-2016
Posts: 378
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Re: Reichstag Captured

Rumblestrip wrote:

Both groups are 'playing at soldiers'.

Are we though? I don't think we are. We're playing a game that has soldiers in it. Most video games do, too, and they're perfectly mainstream. We're not pretending to actually be soldiers. It's just a game. Nothing that happens in a tabletop wargame will make you anything like a soldier, any more than playing Monopoly is like being a banker or Pandemic is like being a scientist.

Granted, there are some people that seem to blur the line a bit in their heads. I do cringe whenever I see people playing wargames dressed up.

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#12 30-Nov-2017 13:11:13

Rumblestrip
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From: ...where the oatcakes live...
Registered: 25-Jan-2013
Posts: 413

Re: Reichstag Captured

Seret wrote:
Rumblestrip wrote:

Both groups are 'playing at soldiers'.

Are we though? I don't think we are. We're playing a game that has soldiers in it...We're not pretending to actually be soldiers.

Are we not? We may not be pretending to be frontline grunts (although some skirmish games get towards that with some aspects of roleplaying) but I suspect most of us think of ourselves as Lieutenants, Brigadiers or Field Marshals, who are soldiers (although frontline grunts might disagree).

Seret wrote:

It's just a game. Nothing that happens in a tabletop wargame will make you anything like a soldier, any more than playing Monopoly is like being a banker or Pandemic is like being a scientist.

Which I suspect is what at least some re-enactors might say about their hobby. Of course there will be a continuum - with rabid fanatics seeing great learning in their experience; semi professional academics actually doing some research and those who just enjoy the company and the military themes. Just like wargaming. So although I don't want to do it, I am not so sure that, at its core, re-enacting is so different from wargaming.

I did see an SCW outfit once and (given my interest in the SCW) did suddenly 'get' it - fancy dress camping! I also liked the fact that
a) lots of women were in attendance (unfortunately tied to very traditional roles)...
b)...but this did mean the food cooked by the camp fire was excellent and
c) I particularly enjoyed that they were keen to find new ways to bait the SS re-enactors

I've no particular axe to grind in all of this, just musing on the need for groups to distinguish themselves from other groups. It's in division that you find conflict, so for me all divisions need examining.

Cheers

Andrew


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#13 30-Nov-2017 13:36:41

Seret
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Registered: 15-Feb-2016
Posts: 378
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Re: Reichstag Captured

Rumblestrip wrote:

Are we not? We may not be pretending to be frontline grunts (although some skirmish games get towards that with some aspects of roleplaying) but I suspect most of us think of ourselves as Lieutenants, Brigadiers or Field Marshals, who are soldiers (although frontline grunts might disagree).

I think that if you think that, you're kidding yourself. We're rank amateurs playing a game that bears a passing similarity to reality.

A good wargame might expose you to some of the same decisions that a real general might also have to make, but that exposes you to only a tiny sliver of their reality. Even those tactical or strategic decisions you do make are pretty anodyne, given how little is at stake.

Just because the military also sometimes do tabletop and map exercises doesn't mean that what we do trains us to be equivalent to an actual leader of troops operating in the real world. Tabletop exercises form a very small part of a real military leader's training, and for good reason.

From my personal experience in the military, few wargamers would actually be officer material in reality. Of course, that's true across society in general, but that's sort of my point. If you think shuffling some little toys around a table makes you a combat leader, sorry, but no.

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#14 30-Nov-2017 14:32:34

Rumblestrip
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From: ...where the oatcakes live...
Registered: 25-Jan-2013
Posts: 413

Re: Reichstag Captured

Seret wrote:
Rumblestrip wrote:

Are we not? We may not be pretending to be frontline grunts (although some skirmish games get towards that with some aspects of roleplaying) but I suspect most of us think of ourselves as Lieutenants, Brigadiers or Field Marshals, who are soldiers (although frontline grunts might disagree).

I think that if you think that, you're kidding yourself. We're rank amateurs playing a game that bears a passing similarity to reality.

A good wargame might expose you to some of the same decisions that a real general might also have to make, but that exposes you to only a tiny sliver of their reality. Even those tactical or strategic decisions you do make are pretty anodyne, given how little is at stake.

Just because the military also sometimes do tabletop and map exercises doesn't mean that what we do trains us to be equivalent to an actual leader of troops operating in the real world. Tabletop exercises form a very small part of a real military leader's training, and for good reason.

From my personal experience in the military, few wargamers would actually be officer material in reality. Of course, that's true across society in general, but that's sort of my point. If you think shuffling some little toys around a table makes you a combat leader, sorry, but no.

I didn't say I did think I was qualified to be a lieutenant, brigadier or field marshal. At no point have I considered my hobby to be the sort of thing which qualifies me as a soldier or an officer. I was simply making the point (which you have also made in your rebuttal) that we think of ourselves in that role (however inaccurate/self-misleading that may be). We are pretending... just like the the re-enactors - and equally as accurately. Which was the question posed in Alan's first post. The question here is not whether wargaming makes us likely to be competent generals or whether wargaming is like being a general - any sensible person sees the answer to that as 'no' - not least because why would anyone want to recreate a profession as a hobby? Very few jobs have 'play analogues' that recreate what the job is...because then they'd just be the job (which is rarely any fun). The question posed was whether the re-enactors in the video are fundamentally doing much the same thing as wargamers but in a different form.

And as far as I can see the re-enactors are also 'rank amateurs playing a game that bears a passing similarity to reality.'

Cheers

Andrew


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#15 30-Nov-2017 15:38:38

Seret
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Registered: 15-Feb-2016
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Re: Reichstag Captured

Rumblestrip wrote:

We are pretending...

No, I don't agree. You can play a game without pretending to be anything.

Take chess for example. It's an abstract tactical wargame. Are you pretending to be anything when you play chess, or are you just playing a game?

Some wargames are designed to encourage a bit of roleplaying. I'm thinking mostly of serious professional multiplayer games designed to train people for real world scenarios. But most recreational games aren't structured that way. They're just for fun, and don't ask you to pretend to be anything.

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#16 30-Nov-2017 16:08:28

Rumblestrip
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From: ...where the oatcakes live...
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Re: Reichstag Captured

Seret wrote:
Rumblestrip wrote:

We are pretending...

No, I don't agree. You can play a game without pretending to be anything...

Absolutely...but I am not sure you can play a wargame (well most wargames) without 'pretending' to be somebody military-like. The act of being presented with a martial situation, with terrain, forces and information on an enemy is akin to (not identical to, not anywhere near as stressful as) the role of a military commander and in formulating your solution to that martial problem (i.e. playing the game) you are acting out the role of commander (however incompletely and inaccurately). You are simply pretending to do some aspect of the profession of a military person (again, and of necessity, incompletely and inaccurately). To take from your previous post...

Seret wrote:

A good wargame might expose you to some of the same decisions that a real general might also have to make

...what is that (other than pretending)?

So many games do not require that you pretend anything (other than that you're having fun...with some of them) but it may be a defining feature of a wargame that you do pretend in some fashion.

Cheers

Andrew


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#17 30-Nov-2017 17:46:47

bannockburn bhoy
General
From: Glasgow
Registered: 16-Mar-2012
Posts: 2,243

Re: Reichstag Captured

I suggest sponge cakes at ten paces gentlemen  smile

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#18 30-Nov-2017 20:23:28

dadlamassu
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From: Bonnie Scotland
Registered: 16-Mar-2012
Posts: 1,122
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Re: Reichstag Captured

Yes, I saw a wargame of an action that I was actually in and there was a little tin man representing me (who looked nothing like me on the day - no moustache either).  Not only that but the wee tin man got killed!  It was quite an odd feeling to see what someone else thought the ground and the people looked like because they bore little resemblance to "the real thing".

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#19 01-Dec-2017 08:58:46

Seret
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Registered: 15-Feb-2016
Posts: 378
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Re: Reichstag Captured

Rumblestrip wrote:

Absolutely...but I am not sure you can play a wargame (well most wargames) without 'pretending' to be somebody military-like.

Well, I don't agree that we are to any significant degree. It's just a game. Suggesting that playing a game is equivalent to dressing and acting like something from the game is a stretch at best.

Lots of people play video games. Cosplayers dress up as the characters from the game. What you're suggesting is that anybody playing a video game/wargame is equivalent to what a cosplayer/re-enactor is doing, and I don't agree.

Roleplaying, cosplay/re-enacting, and playing video, tabletop or board games orbit around the same star, but they aren't the same thing.

Last edited by Seret (01-Dec-2017 09:23:55)

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#20 01-Dec-2017 09:35:37

granty101
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From: Durham
Registered: 26-Mar-2015
Posts: 1,984

Re: Reichstag Captured

Rumblestrip wrote:

Not just the Russians, everyone glosses over the atrocities their forces are responsible for after a war.

Except perhaps in antiquity, where advertising atrocities was part of the propaganda war.

Cheers
Andrew

You're right Andrew, but as I said, "History is written by the victors", and that is a universal truth, regardless of which army/country they are from.

Grant


Vot is your Name? Don't tell him Pike!!!

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#21 01-Dec-2017 09:58:58

Rumblestrip
Moderator
From: ...where the oatcakes live...
Registered: 25-Jan-2013
Posts: 413

Re: Reichstag Captured

Seret wrote:
Rumblestrip wrote:

Absolutely...but I am not sure you can play a wargame (well most wargames) without 'pretending' to be somebody military-like.

Well, I don't agree that we are to any significant degree. It's just a game. Suggesting that playing a game is equivalent to dressing and acting like something from the game is a stretch at best.

Lots of people play video games. Cosplayers dress up as the characters from the game. What you're suggesting is that anybody playing a video game/wargame is equivalent to what a cosplayer/re-enactor is doing, and I don't agree.

Roleplaying, cosplay/re-enacting, and playing video, tabletop or board games orbit around the same star, but they aren't the same thing.

In the interests of everbody's sanity I will simply say that you are mis representing what I am saying, I disagree and I am bowing out.

Cheers

Andrew


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#22 01-Dec-2017 11:42:58

bannockburn bhoy
General
From: Glasgow
Registered: 16-Mar-2012
Posts: 2,243

Re: Reichstag Captured

Seconded smile

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