Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Friday, 23 August 2013

Chatter Behind The Bike Sheds History and Gaming

I got a game in last night against Matt, well two actually. You will have to wait till tomorrow though for the AAR. But whilst at Matt's I mentioned it was the anniversary of the Raising of the Kings Standard which kicked off the First English Civil War. Matt had not realised this which I found odd given his interest in the period and simply being a wargamer.

I should not have as it seems I did him a disservice as I also dropped the historical ball not realising it was also the anniversary of the Battle of Bosworth this being 22nd August 1485. Maybe if Charles realised that was the fated day one English King lost his crown, he would have chosen a different day to try and keep control of his! Mind you as Nottingham was to become a Parliamentarian stronghold for the vast majority of the war he would have done well to pick a different location.

As I left Matt's last night I did mention that perhaps we should have played out an ECW game rather than the Check Your Six WWII plane action, which of course got me thinking of the possibilities of playing games linked to actual anniversaries or at least close too. How about that for choosing which periods to play that night. Personally I think that would be really cool and another item to add to the list come the day I win the lottery.

I think most wargamers have more than a passing interest in history and I tend to enjoy blogs that mix games and history together the most so I was real happy when follower number 179 turns out to be one of those types and better still he is just starting off his blog so I can follow from the very beginning. So why not head over to Flintlocks to Steel Pots and see for yourself.

The ECW is my favourite period historically but overall I have cooled to the period wargaming wise and yet have started a new army in 6mm and started to convert my old Tercio army over to FoG:R. I am not at all concerned as we wargamed it to death all those years ago. Now I am looking forward to trying out the new to us rules in 15mm and I have a few ideas on writing up some 6mm rules specific to the ECW itself.

This of course begs the question, "What is my favourite period to wargame?" and no doubt many followers will say Napoleonic's but the truth is not quite so simple. I really like Napoleonic's and think it may be the one for me but Ancients still hold a great deal of attraction with the many sub periods and variety of troop types and look of units. I intentionally ignore WWII and ASL as it's kind of a separate entity as it's a boardgame. It would also rank number one my a country mile so lets not go there.

I like so many other wargames read a lot about the various periods I game but unlike the wargames I tend to stray around quite a few different periods but seem to stick to one for a period for awhile before heading off in another direction. The two periods that have the lions share of my library is of course ECW and WWII though I have only in the last four or five years read books on the pacific theatre of WWII whilst I have books covering pretty much everything ECW. Napoleonic wars has understandably taken a leap forward in the last couple of years, especially the last year. Maybe more of a surprise is the very low number of books on the Ancient period, odd I think for a period that absorbs me on the game table.

So does your book collection dovetail your wargaming interests or have you some oddities?


  1. I might have forgotten about the anniversaries around the ECW and Bosworth. But in my defence its my wedding anniversary tomorrow and I remembered that!


  2. You boys know your history. Me, I must know fantasy and not surprisingly I own many, many books on the subject!

  3. Two dominant periods for me are the one from the death of Alexander through Fall of the republic, and the "long" 18th century. Some outliers, of course, but I'd say reading and rules tend to coincide.


  4. Samurai history takes up a lot of space on my bookshelves with WW2 a close second and modern starting to take a hold, reading about it is half the fun.

  5. @ Matt, well I would have no excuse for forgetting a critical date for the ECW LOL. Hope your having a great anniversary.

    @ Anne, Each to their own I guess but I have a fair amount of Fantasy books myself, reading the next to last Wheel of Time books right now.

    @ Firemonkeyboy, Reading rules for some is a hobby in itself.

    @ Fran, Samurai history does not get me going but I hear you on WWII. But have you got a Samurai army?


  6. I don't 'do the wargaming' unless I like the history so, yes, my book collection includes my wargaming interests,but overlaps it in a range of periods. I've also got a thing about social history and also the Enlightenment which are only really any use as background for the wargaming side.

    Read fantasy and sci-fi/steampunk but don't game them. Really I've just got too many damn books!