Nov 27, 2012 2:09am

fantasy wargames are precisely that...

a fantasy


a figment of a bizarre imagination


and at least to me, 


why do so many philly area wargamers think that games set on other planets or in the far future represent anything other than the writer's imagination

historical and modern wargames are based on science

kindly name one true and real fact you ever learned from such a fantasy wargame


Nov 27, 2012 9:30am

Valid for what?  I didn't know you used a war game to conduct an actual military campaign against actual military forces.  Maybe you could but I am sure there are better ways of going about that.  Lets be frank, you guys aren't using this knowledge that you've gained from your games.  So why not step off the high horse?  To many games are just that -- entertainment.  How does one entertainment have more validity than another one?  Oh, your preferences are the objectively superior ones?  Gotcha ;)

Your reality statement is really more a statement of ethics and value.  You are really saying that historical wargames are more VALUABLE than fantasy based games and people SHOULD be playing them over the less valuable games.  The reality statements are immaterial as I have shown.


Nov 27, 2012 10:44am

when I play a modern tactical wargame I see patterns of force which correspond to real-life situtations.  not military situations

I do not conduct military operations

but when I observe the way in which a solid front of tanks is eroded from the flanks, I also see that pattern in nature, in the way sand dunes are eroded by wind and waves, in the way leaves are forced to fall from the trees in autumn, in the way the sunflower seeds I put out for the chickadees are eroded from the flanks.


these patterns pervade through nature

when I see how the first tanks to fire at the enemy are the first ones to draw fire themselves, I see the same patterns even here on the forums of okcupid.  the trolls who attack first are those to be destroyed first.


those patterns are part of human psychology


when I see the old LAWs and dragon anti-tank weapons bounce off the hulls of the newer russian tanks in a wargame, I see nothing other than the real laws of physics in operation.  these are real facts of the universe, not some bizarre and phony creations of some weirdo who thinks he can write wargame rules based on his own sick imagination.


what can we take away from these observations?

namely, that historical and modern wargames show the reality of nature in action, and fantasy wargames show us nothing more than the imaginations of the writers



Nov 27, 2012 11:48am

Do I dare ask whether writers or imaginations are real or part of nature?  If they aren't what are they?

But mostly, I guess I'm just wondering how someone could be so worked up about such a preference here on a dating forum, in a thread purportedly about, well... I guess it didn't get very far.



Nov 27, 2012 1:26pm

out-flanking a squadron of tanks has nothing to do with how sand dunes erode... so i'm not sure what he's going on about.


Nov 27, 2012 1:42pm

have you ever watched a sand dune erode?  I have.  they tend to dissolve slowly first from one flank and then another

the sand slithers to the back and the stronger sand still stands

the strongest sands are the ones in the middle

that is exactly how a russian tank front would normally dissolve under heavy fire

sorry for stealing this thread



Nov 27, 2012 5:15pm

Divis1onbyzer0,  a game can be seen as  a mathematical
model, but insofar as the model is representative and can show
information is where the interest lies for me. Recasting a detailed
Civil War simulation as some sort of economic 'game' without any 
underlying reality actually being modeled is not going to give any
of that information.


Lets be frank, you guys aren't using this knowledge that you've gained from your games.  So why not step off the high horse?  To many games are just that -- entertainment.

True enough in my case. Just as I might choose to read history over science fiction.
I might prefer reading actual science rather than creation myths.

In both games and books, I enjoy both. I also recognize that there is a sense of 'realism'
in something which describes or models a thing that actually happened - or one which COULD
happen. I don't see one as inherently more valuable - but I'm grounded enough in reality (barely)
to realize that there are no fire-breathing unicorns hanging around.


Nov 27, 2012 5:55pm

that is exactly how a russian tank front would normally dissolve under heavy fire


It's the same way that a 50 orc battalion dissolved under my 20th level elven mage thief's fireball spell. 


Nov 27, 2012 6:11pm

why do so many philly area wargamers think that games set on other planets or in the far future represent anything other than the writer's imagination


Once the players play with it, they often make it their own.  In that sense it become a cocreation of the players and represents the imagination, interests, and proclivities of the players.  This would be more evident in a game with more roleplaying and storytelling aspects than a war game, but it's there with the war game.  People build their own terrains.  Create their own units.  Paint their own armies.  Etc.


Nov 28, 2012 11:39am

yes you made some good points, but also there is this...

when a modern wargamer, or a historical wargamer, for that matter,  makes some terrain for their games, it is a terrain which represents a real place.  

for example, right now I am working on a large three dimensional model of the worlds end state park for my next modern wargame

that is a real place.  it would provide many challenges for the attacker due to the sinuous twisting of the gorge through the mountains.

when a fantasy wargamer makes some terrain, how do they know that there really is such a place in existence?

likewise with painting an army.  my merkava tank battalion is painted exactly as the Israelis paint their tanks, albeit with less detail

and how do you know that that is how an army of orcs would crumble under fire?  there is no such thing as an army of orcs. how do you know for a fact that orcs do not start laughing and singing when fired upon and join hands in a great big circle and start dancing the hootchi-koo?

sorry, I respect your opinion but my views have not changed as a result of your arguments.  I still consider fantasy games a complete waste of time and money


you should try some real wargames.  you would probably never play with your orcs again


Nov 28, 2012 4:28pm

I still do fantasy stuff. In fact, I came to it a bit later than to 'real wargames'.

The only problem I have is that the most popular stuff has a silly feel - but that's just subjective taste.


Nov 28, 2012 6:59pm

Surely the fantasy terrains only represent imagined places.  Or I suppose they could have it represent an actual place and just use their fantasy units.

you should try some real wargames.  you would probably never play with your orcs again


While under the right circumstance I would try it military history and tactics isn't a huge interest of mine.  I'd just play a Planescape or Dark Sun campaign in D&D or something if I was to do more gaming like that.  I've frankly never even played a fantasy war game.  The only game along these lines I've been playing lately has been Dominion which is a card game.  It is only very loosely representational but it is very fun.  Its something you can even play with your your mom or sister or someone else who isn't a hard core gamer because the learning curve is not steep and it doesn't really require a background interest in the representated subject matter. 

I don't play wargames.  That orc example was from a dungeons and dragons game.


Nov 29, 2012 1:43pm

would the right circumstances involve a small apartment room with a huge friendly dog in it, some strong columbian coffee and free sandwiches, and copious amounts of fairly good herb?

this aint your mother's kind of game though, this is some seriously deep cerebral planning.

the games can last anywhere from a few hours for small platoon level tank battles to days for a large, battalion-level game

it wouldnt cost you a cent


but you cant rob me and take my sunflower seeds when you leave


Calan - whats your favorite modern-era game?


Nov 30, 2012 6:16pm

whats your favorite modern-era game?

I don't really pick favorites. There's some really good lighter power-politics stuff out there though -

Labyrinth, Andean Abyss.


For detailed wargames, it's even rougher - most of the 'modern' stuff that I have (or was produced)
is cold war (Fleet Series, Strike Series, Central Front Series, NATO, Central America, even Flashpoint Golan). None of it really catches me - I pretty much lose interest after WW I (though VG put out some really outstanding non-hypothetical cold war stuff - Vietnam, and The Korean War - the later of which I covered). Most of that Cold War stuff was well-informed fantasy anyhow - even guys like Dunnigan, who had something of an inside track with the Pentagon, were still presenting projections based only on mechanical values and guesses as to effectiveness in some future war.


Dec 1, 2012 10:58am



Dec 2, 2012 3:47am

I didnt mean to scare division by 0 away

I do hope he's not terribly upset

anyway, Calen, do you have any videos about Fleet Series, Strike Series, Central Front Series, NATO, Central America, even Flashpoint Golan?


any chance you could direct me in the direction of videos about you favorite modern era wargames?

you have so many videos on youtube its hard to find the right ones

have you ever come across good rules for sighting units through forests, particularly down deeply forested hills?

as a side note, it must be hard to play a political game solo.  seems like the kind of thing which requires two people


Dec 3, 2012 5:20pm

I haven't done any of the Cold War stuff yet, IIRC.

Don't know anyone who has.


My BGG thread gives the easiest sorting I think:


There are links to the games. There are also a decent number of written reviews of games in their DB - usually including good full color pictures.


Dec 3, 2012 6:25pm

I would consider play wargames with you.


I do not actually live in philly but in the south jersey area. 


Dec 3, 2012 7:12pm

I think we could discuss Physics in the middle of the act. At least, I hope so every time...


Dec 4, 2012 10:09am

I'm all for playing wargames and whatnot (Wesnoth being my all time favorite for grave personal reasons), there's more than the sheer cool geek factor there, but I just wanted to chime in and give some perspective on the kinds of wargames played in the military. Military as in guys who do actually wage wars with tanks and other things that make loud noises (no elven mages thus far, but the principle would work for those just as well). I used to be a sysadmin for one system called JCATS, which is a brigade and higher level game, and represents the computerized stage of map expercises rather well. So there's something more than gut feeling here.

The point of such games (somewhat differently from squad/platoon/company level ones) is not at all to be scientificaly correct in terms of the penetrative power of various AT weapons or the MG rate of fire. Of course it makes everything easier to grasp and provides for a better experience if units are familiar and behave in expected ways most times, but what is actually trained are staff procedures & command chains. In this regard it does not matter whether recon reports seeing a company of enemy infantry or a flying squadron of witches on broomsticks, as long as they report it according to the procedures. And it does not matter whether brigade HQ orders an artillery strike or evokes a dreadful spell as long as they process the information according to the procedures and make decisions based on solid data.

Then there is also the resource management aspect, that can again be isolated from any specifics. In JCATS as in others it tends to work in terms of units, ammo, food, morale, weather — familiar elements. But from the POV of how to handle and train resource management, you can just as well add a batallion mana pool to the mix. It would be just another variable to keep track of, use, conserve, transport and account for.

So I hope what I am saying makes sense — that depending on the desired learning outcomes, games need not deal with real life data at all, just the entry barrier is less steep when they try to align themselves with those. But once you're in, you can still train on completely bogus units and get real-life experience in certain areas.

Back to the topic: the word sapiosexual draws geeks, for they tend to be rather sharp yet not the most social bunch. So the OP got what was asked for ;)

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