Tuesday 5 June 2012

Generals Without Armies Are Naked Indeed - More Thoughts on C&C

(More from the Great King's Jubilee: S Range Persian Infantry with the PBs Darius in front)
Back in the 1960s the ever feisty Don Featherstone lead a bellicose campaign against what he dismissed as "the command and control boys" he believed were hijacking "his hobby". His feelings about such matters ran so high he broke away from co-editing Jack Scruby's original wargames magazine, War Game Digest and set up his own. Unlike Scruby's publication The Don's Wargamer's Newsletter would vehemently resist the encroachment of fancy " military simulation" talk from the likes of the London Wargames Section and WRG. While contemptuously swotting aside comments about "playing with toy soldiers", Featherstone made no bones about the fact that he regarded the pursuit of "realism" in wargames as both ludicrous and pointless. Though, of course, if he had really believed that he would simply have played chess or bridge or l'attaque.

The fact that Don took particular exception to "command and control" rules is interesting and strikes at the heart of things. In Featherstone's battles the wargamer is less like a general than an omnipotent being, hovering over the battlefield and communicating with his officers by telepathy. Currently this is how things stand in Parum Pugna. I am certain this situation is not ideal, but rectifying it satisfactorily is another matter.

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