Saturday, May 29, 2021

Wargamer Perfectionist

A wargamer friend of mine recently told me I am a perfectionist.  I was surprised by this comment.  After some thought, he is right.  I do find myself spending time getting things right.

Perfectionist: a person who refuses to accept any standard short of perfection.

In our hobby this can apply to painting, terrain, rules and/or scenario design.  I don't think it is a bad thing, I just spend a bit more time trying to get things right.  Maybe I do this based on past games I've run that I felt did not work out well.

This is probably where I spend my most time (apart from painting).  I try to find a map from the period or close to the battle and also try to find a good deployment map.  The terrain can be important to a battle, so I spend time tracking down what the terrain should be recreated on the table.  The OOB for the scenario I'll track down to the best I can get it.  I also look to acquire a good book on the battle I'm going to do.  I think all our scenarios have improved with internet now.  

I have been known to not do a historic battle because I can not find the correct miniatures for the battle, whereas I think most would make do with what is available.  Fortunately, by waiting, some of the miniatures have been sculpted and I've put on the battles.

I am an average painter.  Where I focus more of my time is researching the uniforms or ship/plane camouflage correctly.  An example is researching exactly what a ships camouflage was for the battle it was in for the scenario I'm using it for.  No, I will not repaint a ship for a scenario, but I'm certainly tempted to have an additional version of a capital ship if the camouflage is significantly different.  My miniatures painted up are not perfect.  As long as they look good on the wargaming table.

For each scenario I try to layout the right terrain for this scenario.  Recently I could not find a building for a 28mm game.  Nothing looked like the historic building in the battle, so I decided to build one from scratch.  I think it turned out pretty well.  Yes, I could have just thrown down a building and no one would be the wiser, but I guess the perfectionist in me couldn't let that happen.

We all have our reasons for choosing our favorite wargame rules.  I think we are always searching for the perfect rules.  I certainly look for rules that can generate a historic outcome and takes into consideration the period.  I have been known to be very interested in the scale the rules represent (i.e. 1" = 25 yds).  Though, a complex ruleset might just run too slow and boring for players.  I try to stay clear of those.

Is being a perfectionist a bad thing?  I don't think so.  As long as it doesn't get in the way of enjoying the hobby.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Danger Close movie

Highly recommended!

I recently read someone recommending the movie Danger Close as a good war movie.  I had never heard about it, but do know about the Battle of Long Tan.  I did not know the specifics of the battle, so went into the movie not knowing much.  I'm always up for a new war movie and also have an interest in wargaming the Vietnam war.

After watching this movie I have to classify it as one of the top war movies I've seen.  There is very little non-war content and focuses on the full timeline of the battle.  All the aspects of the battle were covered, except the North Vietnam side.  The key aspects were the D Company, chain of command, communication, artillery, APCs, and helicopters.  A close movie comparison is We Were Soldiers.  As mentioned the movie Danger Close focused solely on the battle, which We Were Soldiers did not.  It jumped back and forth to the home front.  Don't get me wrong, the battle scenes in We Were Soldiers was good, but the movie is disjointed.

While watching the movie I kept thinking Hollywood and figured there were going to be mistakes in uniforms, equipment or terrain.  The battle was mainly in a rubber tree plantation, the film seemed to be actually filmed in a rubber tree plantation.  The uniforms to my knowledge were completely authentic with all sorts of variety.  The weapons, artillery, APCs and helicopters were spot on.  The details on how all the equipment was used was cool.  Maybe someone can pick out a mistake in the movie, but it looked bang on accurate to me.  Maybe the NVA uniforms looked a bit too mint condition.

It is interesting to learn new things from a movie, such as I had no clue Australia had conscription during the Vietnam War.  A lot of focus has been on the American involvement in the Vietnam War and this movie was good to watch showing some of the Australian and New Zealand involvement.

Whether you are interested in the Vietnam War or not, I recommend this movie as a great war movie and a must see.  It is available for streaming on Amazon Prime.