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Unas the slayer

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 1, 2017
1,492
Northern Italy
Some years ago, back in 2019, our gaming group managed to organize an event with miniatures expositions and many games. The municipality gave us the use of the public library and also some money as grant, because i presented the whole thing as a cultural event.

the event, advertised on the billboards, was this:

"THE WAR IN THE POCKET"
playing with toy soldiers, from the Prussian army to the present day

A wargame in its traditional form is a strategic board game, played on a map, which generally reconstructs historical or imaginary military events. After a series of experiments and prototypes, the first wargame in history appears in the 19th century, introduced by the King of Prussia Frederick William III and used as training in military maneuvers by the officers of the General Staff. Board war games then evolved, finding wide use in the military until the Second World War and then invading the homes of fans from all over the world, finding its logical development in the three-dimensional Wargame and in the use of miniatures.




I think that it could be interesting to post here the (translated) billboards and the posters i used for the cultural part of the event, the "war in the pocket".
It was basically divided in 3 sections: the history of the wargame, the playful wargame, the alternative wargame
 

MedMos

Skeleton
Sep 15, 2015
91
Møn
I didn't read through all the posters, but it seems like you put a lot of work into it! A lot of people don't know about the history behind wargaming, and simply see it as "toy soldiers". Though it seems that more people are doing their best to spread knowledge of the history, and modern use, of wargaming.
 

eatU4myT

Skeleton
Feb 8, 2022
70
Interesting stuff! I'd be interested to know, how many people here play historical wargames on a regular basis? It seems as though fantasy/futuristic wargames are more fashionable these days, and I wonder why that is? AoS, 40k, Star Wars etc. seem to attract more players than, say, WW2 games, or Napoleonics. Is it just that people are more attracted to games where there are exciting, dynamic miniatures to use, rather than just a Napoleonic line infantryman advancing with his musket?
 

MedMos

Skeleton
Sep 15, 2015
91
Møn
Interesting stuff! I'd be interested to know, how many people here play historical wargames on a regular basis? It seems as though fantasy/futuristic wargames are more fashionable these days, and I wonder why that is? AoS, 40k, Star Wars etc. seem to attract more players than, say, WW2 games, or Napoleonics. Is it just that people are more attracted to games where there are exciting, dynamic miniatures to use, rather than just a Napoleonic line infantryman advancing with his musket?
For myself, I reckon it has something to do with the freedom of fantasy and/or imaginary settings. World- and story-building i freeform. In a historical setting I'd have a harder time freeing myself from how history unfolded, who fought who, when and who won?
 
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eatU4myT

Skeleton
Feb 8, 2022
70
I can see where you are coming from there, and I agree that fantasy provides a lot more flexibility in some games where world-building is a big theme (e.g. Oathmark, where you begin by building your "kingdom", which then influences what troops you can select for your army).

But how about skirmish level games? For example, the WW2 game Chain of Command sees you fighting an infantry platoon, with a small number of support options, against a similar enemy force. How history unfolded and who won are largely irrelevant, as there must have been hundreds of actions at this size during WW2, with successes on both sides, and which only had a very minor impact on the overall course of history.

Just a thought!
 
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Raven Torrid

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 3, 2011
472
Croatia
Great work Unas the slayer, thanks for sharing!

Interesting stuff! I'd be interested to know, how many people here play historical wargames on a regular basis? It seems as though fantasy/futuristic wargames are more fashionable these days, and I wonder why that is? AoS, 40k, Star Wars etc. seem to attract more players than, say, WW2 games, or Napoleonics. Is it just that people are more attracted to games where there are exciting, dynamic miniatures to use, rather than just a Napoleonic line infantryman advancing with his musket?
I played Flames of War (WW2) a bit (still have miniatures), and currently I'm trying out Bolt Action (WW2). Bolt Action feels like a really good game (designed by former GW rules designers), it's pretty similar to 40k back when it was good and not the mess it is now. But their miniatures are really ugly imo, so my gaming group is using 1/72 historical models since these are usually really well sculpted, and the tanks/vehicles look fantastic. I guess it's a matter of preference, I personally find the technological side of WW2 (especially tanks) more appealing than other historical wargames (napoleonic etc.) so that's what I'll usually go to when I want a "real-world" wargame.

As for the popularity of "imaginary setting" wargames, I think it has a lot to do with the longevity of GW and how they profiled themselves as "the best miniature makers in the world". Also the fact that their wargames had really good, detailed and fleshed out rules for a long time (now not so much). I do think they make the best models out there and are still the pioneers in taking the miniatures to the next level technically. Which is not weird given their size/worth and resources. So, for historical I'd say there is not much room for maneuvering in model design, and most companies aren't big enough to match the advanced quality of miniatures that GW (and some other manufacturers these days) has to offer. Also, from what I heard, the smaller the scale of miniatures (napoleonics usually), the less nuanced/detailed the rules are.
 
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Unas the slayer

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 1, 2017
1,492
Northern Italy
Great work Unas the slayer, thanks for sharing!


I played Flames of War (WW2) a bit (still have miniatures), and currently I'm trying out Bolt Action (WW2). Bolt Action feels like a really good game (designed by former GW rules designers), it's pretty similar to 40k back when it was good and not the mess it was now. But their miniatures are really ugly imo, so my gaming group is using 1/72 historical models since these are usually really well sculpted, and the tanks/vehicles look fantastic.

I play Bolt Action too... i disagree that the models are ugly (at least visually... to build them it's a nightmare), but in the end it's soldiers, jeeps, half traks and tanks .
The visual impact of fantasy and 40k models is totally different.

But in the end, what drives me much more toward warhammer is another factor.
i like history and historical games, but i like more fantasy and FS.
If you go by percentage in the wargaming world, it's harder to find someone that favors historical wargames over fantasy / SF
 
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Raven Torrid

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 3, 2011
472
Croatia
I play Bolt Action too... i disagree that the models are ugly (at least visually... to build them it's a nightmare), but in the end it's soldiers, jeeps, half traks and tanks .
The visual impact of fantasy and 40k models is totally different.

I believe the vehicles are good, but the infantry is just not my cup of tea. Heroic scale on "ordinary people" just isn't doing it for me. Much like most of the 40k Imperial Guard models which really need an update (which is apparently coming). Also, really not a fan of the faces. Overall, I much prefer the realistic proportions of 1/72 scale which is big enough to have some nice details as well. Pictures for reference:

Bolt Action German Grenadiers

402612002_GermanGrenadierStarterArmy_02.jpg


Zvezda 1/72 German Panzergrenadiers

1-72.png
 

MedMos

Skeleton
Sep 15, 2015
91
Møn
But how about skirmish level games? For example, the WW2 game Chain of Command sees you fighting an infantry platoon, with a small number of support options, against a similar enemy force. How history unfolded and who won are largely irrelevant, as there must have been hundreds of actions at this size during WW2, with successes on both sides, and which only had a very minor impact on the overall course of history.

Just a thought!
It's a good point, and I have looked at Chain of Command and others, for quick skirmishes like that. But with limited hobby time and cash, I have gravitated towards fantasy because I can have both skirmishes and big battles with the same models. I started with fantasy in my teens and just stayed in that "environment", starting today in my mid-40s might very well had sent me in a different direction.
 

eatU4myT

Skeleton
Feb 8, 2022
70
I was always really surprised that there wasn't a launch made of a skirmish level game to go with the "Vikings" TV series that Amazon Prime made. There are some pretty strong models out there for that time period, these are probably my favourite:

Vikings

I know there was a game and a model range set up for the "Game of Thrones" TV show, though I confess I've never even seen it being played!
 
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MedMos

Skeleton
Sep 15, 2015
91
Møn
I've been eyeing those victrix models for some time! I downloaded some free rules via Little Wars TV, to fight skirmishes with vikings. And I can use them for warbands in some fantasy skirmish games as well, so it might be my gateway into historicals.😁
Ash Barker has videos of the Game of Thrones game on his channel. It should play well enough, but don't think it's my flavour.
 
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eatU4myT

Skeleton
Feb 8, 2022
70
I tried Saga when I first painted up a Viking warband, it's quite a fun game, not too much depth to it and a little bit too luck-driven to really grab me in the long term. Excellent for only needing a couple of dozen models though.

I've also used the same models in both Lion Rampant (medieval skirmish, Vikings fit into the early end of it) and Dragon Rampant (fantasy skirmish, basically the same game but use whatever models you fancy).

If I could find a really satisfying game of Vikings fighting in skirmish and in shield-walls, I imagine I would get hooked pretty easily.
 
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MedMos

Skeleton
Sep 15, 2015
91
Møn
As mentioned, I downloaded some free rules. It's a game called Ravenfeast, I haven't tried it yet but it should be fairly simple and has rules for shield wall. I'll happily send you the rules, or you can go to Ravenfeast.com and have a look around. If you do try them out, feel free to share any experience, good or bad. I'm unlikely to find the time for a game anytime soon, but a positive review might push this project ahead in the ol' queue.😊
 
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