Sunday 4 February 2018

Wargaming... What is it good for?

Liesl Harmse when proudly representing South Africa in Athens.
Wargaming not to be confused with tactical wargames (paintball), is a game of strategy that simulates historical (or a-historical) battles on a purpose built board with miniatures representing different troop types. Wargaming allows players to refight ancient or modern battles or create their own scenarios if they so wish. Do you want to find out how French knights would fair against the Mongol hordes? Or perhaps the Vikings versus the Legions of Rome? These battles and many more can be played out using a variety of rulesets and army lists.

The rule-set that is currently used in MSSA tournaments is DBM, this rule-set is accompanied by a series of army lists, that can be used to build an army of your choice.

So what is wargaming good for? Well it teaches players to think on their feet, unlike chess where the results of a move are always known, that is a bishop can never fail to take a pawn if it is legally allowed to do so, most combat outcomes in wargames are influenced by a die roll which simulates the chaotic nature of combat. This results in a fluid combat dynamic that rewards calculated gambles based around a firm understanding of statistics.

Wargaming is also useful for understanding history and why historical battles ended as they did, for instance no one who has wargamed a battle between Gallic barbarians and Roman legions will be in any doubt as to the superiority of the legions.

Wargaming is also very sociable and your opponents will often have a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips making every game an education in and of itself.

In short wargaming is a thinking mans' (or womans') game. If you think you might be interested in playing a game contact MSSA to find a club near you.

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