Grognard

Grognard: Napoleon referred to the members of his Old Guard regiments as "gronards", meaning grumblers or complainers. So for me, it's an appropriate moniker. At various points in time I've been active in pretty much all aspects of gaming, but historic gaming is definitely where my heart is. My preference runs toward complex, detailed simulations of combat at the tactical and grand tactical levels. Traditionally I've had little patience for sissies who fear a few charts and a little complexity in their games (looking at you Reinhart), but in the interest of being a better person I'm trying to adapt to their needs.

“Without rules, we might as well all be up in a tree, flinging our crap at each other.” — Red Forman

 Table Top  Comments Off on “Without rules, we might as well all be up in a tree, flinging our crap at each other.” — Red Forman
Mar 022016
 

As a father with two kids who made it to age 20 and 22 with no jail time let me tell you:  Red Forman from “That 70’s Show” had the parenting thing nailed.

That doesn’t have anything to do with what we’re talking about today, but rules do.

 

How the hell do I build an army, where are the lists? With a few exceptions, they’re aren’t any ‘army lists’ or ‘authorized builds’ in historic gaming. Feel like recreating the fight at Rorke’s Drift? Get thee to the library or Google and do some research.  See what forces fought there and assemble your armies accordingly. “But the sides aren’t fair!” Damn straight they’re not. That’s true in quite a few historic battles.

Army lists and point systems are designed with two goals in mind: 1) to enable quick pick up games without a lot of prep work and 2) to ‘ensure’ a fair fight.  Objective 2 supposedly ensures that two forces assembled using the same point value are equal in strength and capability and so, theoretically, only player skill (and dice, always the dice) will determine the outcome. Games with these systems in place tend to be geared toward tournament or competitive play. The notable example of this in the historic arena is Flames of War, sometimes called 40K with WW2 equipment. We will speak no more of such games here.

 

About Adrian Benson

Grognard: Napoleon referred to the members of his Old Guard regiments as "gronards", meaning grumblers or complainers. So for me, it's an appropriate moniker. At various points in time I've been active in pretty much all aspects of gaming, but historic gaming is definitely where my heart is. My preference runs toward complex, detailed simulations of combat at the tactical and grand tactical levels. Traditionally I've had little patience for sissies who fear a few charts and a little complexity in their games (looking at you Reinhart), but in the interest of being a better person I'm trying to adapt to their needs.

Aug 012013
 

allthingsSo you read my last post, did your reading, and decided that you want to give historical miniatures gaming a try. Of course you do, I’m damned persuasive. You’ve decided on a period of interest; for our purposes here we’ll assume you’ve chosen the Napoleonic period (1798-1815). This is a good choice. Napoleonics is one of the top three periods for historic wargaming. The other two are World War Two and, here in the US anyway,  American Civil War. Choosing a popular period as your starting point is a good idea as you’ll soon see because it will give you a variety of sources for rules and miniatures.

You’ve made a good decision, but now you’ve got some problems.  Let’s say I roll out of bed tomorrow and decide I want to play Warhammer 40K.  No problem, as long as my bank account is relatively full.  I go down to my Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS), pick up the 40K rules, grab a codex that interests me, buy all the models I need and even the paints and brushes and glue needed to assemble them.  All of these items are very considerately provided to me by the same company, Games Workshop. If you are getting into historical miniatures gaming, those easy days of single source supply are behind you.  Of course so is some of the expense, so it isn’t all bad! Continue reading »

About Adrian Benson

Grognard: Napoleon referred to the members of his Old Guard regiments as "gronards", meaning grumblers or complainers. So for me, it's an appropriate moniker. At various points in time I've been active in pretty much all aspects of gaming, but historic gaming is definitely where my heart is. My preference runs toward complex, detailed simulations of combat at the tactical and grand tactical levels. Traditionally I've had little patience for sissies who fear a few charts and a little complexity in their games (looking at you Reinhart), but in the interest of being a better person I'm trying to adapt to their needs.

Jul 012013
 

walter_historyHistorical gaming has a problem. It isn’t a big problem, not yet, but it could become one.  People who enjoy historic wargaming tend to look like me; stunningly handsome, but a bit gray.  I won’t go so far as to say we’re a dying breed, because that isn’t true at all; a visit to Historicon will prove there are plenty of us around.  Still, it would be nice to see more younger players taking an interest in the historic side of gaming.

Younger gamers interested in miniatures gravitate toward Warhammer Fantasy or 40K, Warmachine, maybe Dystopian Wars, things like that. It isn’t hard to figure out why really. One thing those systems have going for them is one stop shopping. Rules, miniatures, supplemental books with scenarios and army lists, how to books on terrain making and figure painting, and all the tools needed to paint and build said figures and terrain are all conveniently available from the same publisher.  Gamers don’t have to hunt around for figures that work for the game they’ve chosen and they don’t have to wonder if a particular army list is appropriate for the rules they have.  In short, they don’t have to worry if they’re “doing it right.”

Another thing I think keeps younger, especially high school and college-age, players away from historical gaming is that…it’s history. I mean c’mon, didn’t they just have to turn in a fifteen page paper about some guy who did something a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away? And now for recreation they’re supposed to play a game dealing with something that happened to some people a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away? Sci-Fi and fantasy games are awesome. They’re pure escapism and I love them. Gamers look at historical games though and I think they see them as some kind of test that they’d rather not take. Too much like being in the classroom. The thing is, historicals aren’t a test, they’re escapism too and in their way they’re more rewarding than sci-fi and fantasy games.

Continue reading »

About Adrian Benson

Grognard: Napoleon referred to the members of his Old Guard regiments as "gronards", meaning grumblers or complainers. So for me, it's an appropriate moniker. At various points in time I've been active in pretty much all aspects of gaming, but historic gaming is definitely where my heart is. My preference runs toward complex, detailed simulations of combat at the tactical and grand tactical levels. Traditionally I've had little patience for sissies who fear a few charts and a little complexity in their games (looking at you Reinhart), but in the interest of being a better person I'm trying to adapt to their needs.

What do we have here? Another noob.

 Interview, Table Top  Comments Off on What do we have here? Another noob.
Jun 222013
 

AdrianHi, my name is Adrian and I’m a historical gamer. If that sounds like the beginning of an introduction at an AA meeting nothing could be further from the truth.  I don’t have a problem and even if I do, I don’t want to quit.

My good friend Jon Reinhart of Wargaming Recon and Geeks Explicitly fame asked me the other day if I would be interested in writing an occasional piece for Troll in the Corner about the various aspects of historic wargaming. Up to this point, Jon has been the only contributor to TitC who covers historic gaming and he asked my friend Adam and I if we would be willing to help out. I jumped at the chance. I’ve been reading Troll in the Corner since its inception and was thrilled to be asked to contribute.

I’ve been around the hobby for a long time. I started wargaming in 1978, back in the glory days when Avalon Hill wasn’t just another division of Hasbro and when if you were a miniatures gamer, Minifigs and Airfix were about the only games in town in terms of figures. I wasn’t too into miniatures back then and my introduction to the hobby was an Avalon Hill board game called Third Reich. It is a grand strategic level treatment of the European theater in World War II. It remains one of the most abstract and complex games I’ve ever played. A very poor first choice.

Continue reading »

About Adrian Benson

Grognard: Napoleon referred to the members of his Old Guard regiments as "gronards", meaning grumblers or complainers. So for me, it's an appropriate moniker. At various points in time I've been active in pretty much all aspects of gaming, but historic gaming is definitely where my heart is. My preference runs toward complex, detailed simulations of combat at the tactical and grand tactical levels. Traditionally I've had little patience for sissies who fear a few charts and a little complexity in their games (looking at you Reinhart), but in the interest of being a better person I'm trying to adapt to their needs.