Monday, 12 November 2012

The alternative proper wargamer

Actually, this is more a collection of...."You're not a complete wargame until......."

You've read at least one book by Donald Featherstone(1)
You've tried to game a period for which there are no figures.
You've played in a game using two way radios or field telephones.
You've taken part in a games day or tournament(2)
You've called down fire on your own forces.
You've done at least one plastic kit conversion(3)
You've written a set of rules that have been played by people without you there
You've started to amend a set of rules two turns into a game (or less).
You've completely misunderstood at least part of a set of rules.
You've built your own wargames table.
You've submitted at least one wargames magazine article that wasn't a battle report (4)
You've at least tried to play one of those enormous SPI games (Campiagn for North Africa, for example)
You've run a participation game at a wargames show.
You've won a wargames campaign by doing something completely different (5)
You've helped to run a wargames club.
You've dogmatically insisted you're done with a period....then gone back to it.
You've played in a command post exercise game without enough space to unfold the map (6)
You've been stiffled at least once on TMP
You've taken part in  mega-game
You've umpired in a mega-game
You have your own blog

I sometimes think we can get overly focussed on toy soldiers and rolling dice. Whilst I love both of these there are other ways to game some subjects, and they're often better.

And if you've never played a command post game in an improvised bunker with a map that's too big for the space, you really should.

(1) Although in truth some of them aren't very good.
(2) Just to see if you like it or not.
(3) Airfix T34 to SU85
(4) Didn't say anything about being published
(5) In my case a modern Africa campaign that I won with a "Hearts and Minds" approach*
(6) Ideally in a car or under a table

* I'm actually really proud of this. Whilst eveyone else was buying weapons and shooting people up I started digging wells for clean water.


  1. Oh good Lord, I have seventeen of those on my ledger. Maybe I should go outside today....

    Great list. For naval gamers: You bring a book to bed and complain "I picked up the wrong edition of Jane's Fighting Ships".

    1. 17's good. Work on the others.

      You've reminded me of a missing one:

      Played a Fred Jane's Naval Game in your back garden with the big airfix ships.

  2. Those are very good additions to the original! I'll have to work through them and let you know,

    The one about a period for which there are no figures is a good one. I want to do Japanese vs Chinese medieval but the latter just don't seem to exist.

    1. The difference here is this list is of things you should do, (with one or two exceptions!) rather than a list of things we've all done.

      Your list remains in the "often copied, never bettered" category.

  3. A much better list- done about half...



    1. I wouldn't say it is a better list, - however i think if you have done most of these things you will have left the hobby a richer and better place than when you joined it.

  4. Yes to all - except the TMP stifle. But I post there less than once a month.

    1. I got stifled inside 20 posts. You're just not trying.

  5. I am anything but a 'proper' wargamer, but have done over half your list, Trebian - nice one ;)

    1. Now do the other half! Make this your wargaming bucket list.

      And of course you're a proper waergamer.

  6. Well done! Looks like it is time to pull out my Featherstone book on Campaigning in the Peninsular.

    1. You only have to read one Featherstone book once to qualify.

      That's one I haven't read. I had his Napoleonic period Wargaming through the Ages, but I've lost it. Shame as it was a school prize so some one somewhere has that book with a commemorative bookplate in the front. Be good to get it back.

  7. I'm deflated ... I've missed out on not having enough space to unfold my map in the command post.

    I have called in artillery from an OP (real artillery, real shells ... but it should count as it was in a TA 'wargame') ...

    1. I'm surprised that as a CoW veteran you've never had the map problem!

      And I don't believe you've never done a blue on blue in a game.

  8. 17 also- never been stifled T Never built a wargames table but you should add
    Have been so disgusted with a range of figures/vehicles that I've spent money on that I've melted them down/thrown them away.
    (Ive done this 4 times- 3 times with the same company after being assured that "these are better" by chaps who'd bought them)
    Have bought sets of rules which you've never yet played.
    Have torpedoes or rammed your self in a Naval game.
    Have fought a battle where you completly failed to inflict a single casualty on the enemy.

    1. If you haven't been stifled you haven't tried.

      I've certainly melted figures down and recast them as something new. In my case I had a Prince August mold for a horse and another for a field gun that did sterling service when I did a lot of 25mm stuff.

      Everyone has bought rules and not played them. I think that was in the original list.

      The torpedo one I'd count as shelling your own side.

      Good additions!

  9. No, I'm still not a proper wargamer. Must try harder!

    regards, Chris

    1. You are too modest. To my personal knowledge you are up around 16 of these.

  10. Hi Trebian, here are my answers to your list. I liked them a lot, which prbably has to do with the fact that i enjoy megagames and other independent design.

    Regards Jur

  11. Jur,

    Thanks for taking the trouble to write up your answers.

    I can't believe you haven't done at least ONE plastic kit conversion.

    Even a simple one.