I have recently bought the Force on Force supplement Day of the Rangers. I like the rules although I don’t get to play that often and am slowly collecting the books.
Reading the introduction I was struck by the obvious implication that the reader would empathise with the US forces involved in the conflict. It talks about ‘the valour and sacrifice of America’s soldiers and airmen’ for instance. The language made me feel a bit uncomfortable, which rather surprised me.
I consider myself a patriotic Brit and when thinking about our military past I identify with the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have fought and died for their country. My interest in conflicts involving British forces does, to a degree, direct my wargaming interests. However when I get on a wargaming table I put all thoughts of nationality aside.
A wargames force to me is just that, a wargames force. Usually a lot of planning and work has gone into getting it on to the table. I want to enjoy the games I have with them and I certainly prefer winning to losing. What I am not doing is identifying with the ideology of the real life men the figures are designed to represent, be they British, American, Somali, Mongol or whatever. I suppose that is why the tone of Day of the Rangers made me uncomfortable. I would not have a problem with that sort of language in a history of the conflict.
In a wargames book such language suggests that one side is morally better than the other. Whilst that is very often the case in real life (and indeed in the case in point in my opinion) it is certainly not the case on the table.
Others may differ of course