Saturday, 18 June 2011

Some Miscellaneous musings, things and majigs

First things first. Today is the anniversary of the battle of Waterloo, and I have nothing to show for it! No, my artillery is not done. I am unsure if artillery is my achillies heel, but these guys just seem to be taking alot longer than they should. I have had next to no painting time of late, due to work then hockey commitments, so they are still not finished. I will try get some work done on them tonight, then tommorow. I need to keep up my painting momentum more than anything else!

So, the things and majigs. First, I am a reader of Wargames Illustrated (for better or worse, judge me now). I find it good because I come from a very World War 2 background of wargaming, so seeing other periods laid out I find really interesting. Now, to this months issue, number 284. There is an article in it about how someone has used wargaming to answer some of the mysteries of the battle of Waterloo. Now.... Call me a cynic but... Really?

The lessons learned from having toy soldiers on the table, are they really going to 'reinvent the wheel' per say? It seems like a nice premise, but to me feels like someone trying to justify the amount of toy soldiers that they have in the house! I appreciate that the reports and historical study of Waterloo are fantastically conflicting, argumentative and potentially wrong, but are toy soldiers the solution?

To me, wargaming is all about enjoyment. I fundamentally enjoy painting, I enjoy using my spare time to paint toy soldiers, and then push them around a table against another painted army, enjoying a game with another human being. If I didn't like painting, I would play a computer game. If I didn't like people, I would read a book. So, from that perspective, I wonder why people try to make it into something that (in my opinion) it is not?

Lastly, I did get something painted. This is for all of those people who headed down to Southcon to really enjoy, but everyone else needs to see the true might that is Wojtek the bear!
This guy is proof that real life is far sillier than fiction. He is a black bear that the Polish army captured in Romania in World War 2, adopted as a pet, then taught how to carry artillery shells. They fed him beer and cigarettes, and he lived a full and happy life. He survived the Italian Campaign; and went on to finish his days in a zoo, where the polish servicemen would sneak him in beer and cigarettes till his dying days.



  1. My position is that wargames certainly can add to the understanding of historical events, just as they can aid planning for actual operations of many sorts.
    Most successful organizations that have to deal with the 'fog of war', logistics, or planning for moving large numbers of people uses wargames, or 'sandtables' for practice.
    Now this understanding is primarily about better visualization of the events as they have or are supposed to unfold. How terrain effected something, the speed it takes to get x number of men across a river in small boats etc may also be helpfully illustrated.
    However, I do agree that any sort of Eureka new discovery of information from wargaming would be taken with some salt.
    I mostly play for fun too.;-)
    Huzzah on the Wojtek mini!

  2. Fair point,'seeing it' in 3d is much different to 2d. I accept that!

    I find alot of fun in the historical aspect of it, as well as the game itself, I just wonder as to how many hard and fast conclusions you can draw from it...