The 20th Century

I’ve never really considered the 20th century as a favourite period for me.

I was especially put off by modern warfare, because it seemed like the guy with the biggest gun wins, and that doesn’t seem like much fun. I’m a social sciences person; I’m primarily interested in people, not the machines they drive, which is why modern warfare, so mechanised and technologically advanced, put me off.

Modern warfare may seem like this, but it isn’t really.

My first modern period was the Russian Civil War. The First World War was too grinding to really catch my attention. The Perfect Captain’s Red Actions ruleset, provides a great balance of fun, even quaint toys (armoured cars, machine guns on the back of wagons, biplanes AND ARMOURED TRAINS!!!!) while still focusing on the calibre of the individuals and soldiers who fight and win wars (ruthless Cheka, disciplined Germans, savage Cossacks, etc.). This is one of my all-time favourite games, and one I keep coming back to.

The Second World War is interesting because of the vast variety of fronts and theatres. You’ll never run out of potential operations to re-fight. I like that sort of diversity. I’ve also bought a Second World War aerial combat game from TwoFatLardies to refight all those boyhood memories of reading avidly about Spitfires and Hurricanes and Messerschmidts and Focke-Wulfs!

And most surprisingly to me, I game modern warfare occasionally, using Force on Force, a relatively simple, people-based game equally suitable for conventional warfare post WW2, or counter-insurgency operations. I am not comfortable with playing games about wars that people are still dying from, so I’ve often just used hypothetical “Blue Force” and “Red Force” based on western armies for the few games I’ve played.

My modern warfare page is also my page for Wargame: Airland Battle, a beloved computer game I got for my 21st on a hypothetical “Cold War Gone Hot” in Scandinavia. With over 700 units, realistic line of sight, 20-40 minute games and really nice graphics, it’s a real winner. It also makes this 90s kid realise just how scary the Cold War really was. This wasn’t a bunch of grumpy old ideologues scrapping with each other while the love generation partied on- this was serious stuff, and we should all be very thankful it never turned hot.

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