While painting furiously for Curt’s Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge 2013, I’ve been thinking a lot about focusing my wargaming on creating a specific context and theme. I’ve blogged about this before, but not with any real clarity.
In a way, the background materials and after-action-reports from Bovington 2012 and from our Dux Britanniarum games last year were trying to help create a particular context among the players in those games. During this year, I want to really concentrate on doing this a great deal more and with greater clarity.
I’ve written a blog post for later in the month which looks at attempting to create theme and context in wargaming, drawing on particular location settings and the passing of time as tools which can be inserted into wargames to help create that context. I also want to follow through this approach in a couple of Verdun-related scenarios I’ve been working on which, I’ll post here when they’ve been play-tested.
But as in so many things, it helps to stand on the shoulders of pioneers who’ve travelled along these roads before.
Within this in mind, may I please direct you to a short series of truly outstanding posts by Rusty, from the blog “Hurry up and Wait”. His blog focuses on wargaming the 1982 Falklands War. All of the posts are well worth reading, and Rusty’s write ups of his games and his overall campaign go a long way to creating a verisimilitude that what you’re reading could be placed easily alongside actual battle reports.
I think that the jewel in his blog’s crown are his recent two posts (Method Wargaming and Longdon Preparation for Battle, 1-11 June 82) which take wargaming into a physical context in a real world setting. I won’t spoil your enjoyment by saying too much about the posts here, save as to mention that they create a link between wargaming and physical terrain. I greatly enjoyed them, and as I mentioned in the comments on Rusty’s blog, I thought they contain some of the most original ideas in wargaming I’ve seen.
I’m thinking of how I can try and mirror and reflect Rusty’s own approaches to a physical setting into the wargaming at my wargames club in St Albans. As often happens, reading something as innovative as Rusty’s blog has sparked all kinds of ideas in my own head. It’s remarkable how the blogosphere can stimulate thinking across all sorts of approaches and directions. That’s one of the reasons I’ve enjoyed blogging so much over the last few years.