Sunday 21 March 2021

Unsuitable for the Table?

Today's video stems from a conversation I had recently after purchasing some civilians for my WWII games. It raised the quite legitimate question, should such elements even feature on the tabletop? Historical wargaming is of course in part a form of entertainment, but it's also a way for us to learn and understand history. Removing elements like civilians or casualties to sanitise the games table may be to overlooks an important element from our games. 

An interesting and for some people a controversial matter of discussion that I hope you found interesting. I'd love to hear what you think about this subject in the comments below, or over on the Miniature Adventures channel. 


  1. To be honest, "should such elements even feature on the tabletop" is not a question anyone should ever be asking. Don't tell other people how they should do their hobby. The answer to what should be on the tabletop is going to be different for different people. For example, personally I wouldn't game modern wars that are still going on, but plenty of people do, and it's not my place to tell them they shouldn't.

  2. Playing a game is playing a game. I've been in combat and civilians are everywhere - but I wouldn't put that amount on a table. The other thing (based on my experience) is how much fire is also in real combat - but we are playing games.

  3. Indeed as Neil says, we are playing games.
    Civilian figures in narrative terms purely on a toy soldier gaming level (not historical reality) add an element of peril and impediment into a narrative - rewatching 90s series like the XFiles on Disney, the gutsy more vulnerable female of the detective pair is more often than the man being put into peril, waiting for rescue. Thankfully sometimes this is reversed.
    The rescue and breaking or relieving the siege narrative is always a good one.
    In many of my frontier games, the settlers are armed in self defence.
    Civilians often get in the way, an impediment to the narrative.
    Even in my Snowball fight rules, wandering NPCs get in the way of possible shots, just like trees do, with demerit points to the throwers for being hit and blocking shots at the other side.


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