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

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.


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