Sunday, 18 November 2012

Am I A Proper Wargamer? Trebian´s Alternative List

Here are my answers to the alternative questions put up by Trebian of Wargaming4Adults. They are a responseto the original list of Phil Broeders. I like many of these questions, as they are signs of a more independent strand of wargaming. Yes, even in this niche of a niche, there's strands.

There's a mainstream of commercially published wargaming rules, but Trebian is an exponent of the self-publishing, houseruling and modelling type of wargamers. The questions will therefor not apply to all wargamers.

Is there anything that Featherstone did that ranks up with these?

  • You've read at least one book by Donald Featherstone
Nope, and I don't think I miss much except nostalgia, maybe. But I got some of the other classics, like Asquith, Grant, Griffith and Quarry.
  • You've tried to game a period for which there are no figures.
Nope. Although I've wondered about Thai vs Khmer wars in the 18th century and just assumed there wouldn't be minis.
  •  You've played in a game using two way radios or field telephones.
Several, of which Star Trek: The Final Frontier is well remembered for excellent radio procedures by the Klingons! But my first real, operational megagame, Kirovograd (third edition, I believe) with phones was just beyond anything I'd ever experienced before. Brilliant!
  •  You've taken part in a games day or tournament
Done a few club tournaments in the old days, and occasional big battles, like Waterloo, the Crusades, Borodino, Siege of Peking.
  • You've called down fire on your own forces.
  •  You've done at least one plastic kit conversion
No, I'm not the modelling type.

Samurai battles ruleset I wrote together with Dick Bax. Took a bit of digging to find my own copy back

  • You've written a set of rules that have been played by people without you there
Yes, two I think, but only a few times without me there
  • You've started to amend a set of rules two turns into a game (or less).
I don't think agreeing on a shared interpretation of the rules is the same as amending it
  • You've completely misunderstood at least part of a set of rules.
Yes, dozens of times. And it doesn't speak well for rules writing.
  • You've built your own wargames table.
No, I'm not the modelling type. Even though I used to lay railroad track all across the living room  and had a grass matt on a table where I played with toy soldiers when I was young.
  •  You've submitted at least one wargames magazine article that wasn't a battle report
Oh yes.
  •  You've at least tried to play one of those enormous SPI games (Campaign for North Africa, for example)
No SPI biggies, but I think Empires in Arms counts for this.
  • You've run a participation game at a wargames show.
A few times
  •  You've won a wargames campaign by doing something completely different
No, rather by doing exactly the same. We did a France vs Prussia Napoleonic campaign and as the French we just headed straight in without waiting for the reinforcements, catching the Prussians off guard before the Russians could come up like in 1806.
  • You've helped to run a wargames club.
Founding member and many years of duty at Murphy's Heroes!
  • You've dogmatically insisted you're done with a period....then gone back to it.
I never go deep enough into a period to be done with it. I've refused WWI, naval and air combat rules for a long time without having ever played them but come around. No spine, Sir. No spine at all.

My three shelves of WWI books and half shelf of air warfare books.
Almost all collected within the last 5 years

  •  You've played in a command post exercise game without enough space to unfold the map
Sadly, no.
  • You've been stiffled at least once on TMP
I don't do The Miniatures Page. This probably discounts me as a miniature wargamer. Whatevah!
  • You've taken part in mega-game
Dozens. Like this recent one about Vietnam, and a slightly less recent one about Operation Goodwood.

Umpiring in Long Live Death, megagame of the Spanish Civil War.
Dramatic win for the Republicans

  • You've umpired in a mega-game
Dozens. Designed and organised a few, too. And here's my shrine to Jim Wallman, Lord of Megagames.
  • You have your own blog
QED. But that doesn´t mean you´re a real wargamer. It just means you like the sound of your own keyboard.

See also my answers to Phil Broeders' original questions and to Lee Hadley's extension.


  1. I've enjoyed reading your answers to these J. I think for me the original list by Phil has sparked feelings not dissimilar to your own. Insofar as I see these more as defining what sort of wargamer you are, as opposed to whether you are a 'proper wargamer'. You could view them as being a bit elitist and snobby if you were being harsh. My Sunday Sermon is due to go live in a few minutes I think.

    1. Hi FG, enjoyed your Sunday Sermon and think we are indeed largely agreed. There isva sensevof elitism in the use of the word proper. I think Phil was being tongue in cheek.

    2. "Proper" is an interesting choice of word, as it implies that if the points don't apply to you in some way you're not "proper".

      Now, you can wear that as a badge of honour or you can conclude that you've over analysed Phil B's use of English. I suspect in my case it was the latter. However it did give me a chance to talk about what I find interesting in wargaming.

    3. @ J de Jong and Trebian, I absolutely have over analysed Phil's use of English, and I've made it clear in my article. Does't mean that the thoughts it inspired aren't valid, even if that wasn't Phil's original intention. More than anything I guess, with me at least, it started a piece of introspection that led me to look at the way I view other hobbyists and question my own beliefs. From that perspective for me it was more than just a tongue in cheek piece of humour, even if it wasn't intended to be more than that.

      What can I say, I'm a deep, dark and serious individual!!! :P


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