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▶  More from Gaming Guest Authors The Man Cave Man Gearing
Tabletop to Computer Gaming
Nero the Pict and James on Varg and Simulation Platforms

Some Varg related stuff that you might enjoy...


I notice that you've been posting a fair amount of Varg stuff lately. Don't know if you are aware of the mans biography or pedigree. Here's a really good look into his mindset, background and ethos. Far better than much of the sensationalist drivel that has been written about him. A sober accounting of his early life etc. It's interesting that he was/is an obsessive RPG player and wargamer. Also he was involved in an ersatz version of stick fighting etc in the woods. Mock medieval battles and such. I have a feeling that you might even enjoy some of his anecdotes about the Norwegian Black Metal Scene (even if you don't care for the music—funny how "scenes" are the same everywhere).

Here's a question for you—Do you think that anything has been lost by the transition of analog mediums such as RPG's and Avalon Hill style board games to the digital ether??? So many people I have known (myself included) who are just plain ornery/contrarian/outcast or whatever you want to call it went through periods of reaping tabletop slaughter and conquest. What drew the dissident mind to such entertainments?

Here's that link:

Take care out there,

-Nero the Pict

Briefly, Nero, let me dispense with the validity of my opinion on video games, for I have only played one, Rome: Total War, which seemed like an AI version of a blind deployment tabletop game.

I found Total War to be alternately therapeutic and caustic psychologically—mostly therapeutic—did not rate the mental stimulation as high as tabletop gaming and enjoyed it very much, too much. I eventually realized that I was submitting to a trance induction at the hands of an artificial intelligence and stopped.

As for tabletop role playing, the only kind I have any experience with, I am of the opinion, that if well done, it helps young people prepare for negotiating social landscapes dominated by either pagan gods, the jealous, micromanaging Judeo-Christian God or ethically locked corporate constructs and might eventually help prepare dissidents for dealing with a AI-managed, globalist Info-Eden.

As for tabletop wargames, the every best, by designers such as Mark Herman, teach us something about the operating perspective of the various belligerents and help dispel the black-white, good-evil axis perpetuated in media history. As with all competitive pursuits with significant technical nuances, just "playing to win" and "game lawyering" I other words applying our current social ethos to playing such games, distorts and degrades the historical lessons the game is supposed to teach and also retards our development as active thinkers.

Nobody has the play testing hours available to make a game with no holes. For instance in Civil War—by an excellent designer I have forgotten—there is a hole in the rules, whereby, if one places Nathan Bedford Forest under Robert E. Lee, the army under Lee's command becomes invisible, as if it has a Romulan cloaking device! Once discovered, I pointed out that since Lee refused to serve outside of Virginia and that Forest had alienated his superiors by threatening to beat the shit out of them if they were "any part of a man" that he would not be receiving any promotional appointments out of the rough and ready West and into gentile Virginia. We now play with the rule that lee must stay in command of The Army of Northern Virginia and that Forrest is not welcome east of the Appalachians. Wargaming without honor uses most of its value.

in table top wargaming avoid using pat formulas for victory that "game" the rules and instead try to abide by the spirit of this simulation.

The greatest value for me, personally, of playing table top war games, has always been the opportunity to be "the stupid ass in the room." In the grocery store and boxing gym and on the city bus and in the Baltimore barroom, I am rightly regarded as a wonderkin of towering intellect. However, around the tabletop war gaming table I'm operating with a lower IQ than most of my opponents. When facing such an opponent—especially one who has a better command of the game mechanics [some of these games have magazine length rule books and favor a man with a Napoleonic gift for applied mathematics]—I delve into my intuitive capacity. Tattoo Rick [another relative dummy in the war gaming fraternity] accomplished this by "Fucking With the genius" doing stuff like making Chinese bugle sounds with his paper dice cup while SJ was making his strategic bombing escalation calculations and trying not to get canned by Truman for taking the Korean Theater to the brink of nuclear war.

I went three other ways with my opponents who have high order calculation ability:

1. Game the terrain, not the unit values.

2. When my opponent is moving I pre-calculate my primary, secondary and tertiary option, so that he never gets to see me think, as we use board displayed information to make our calculations. [This is also realistic, in that in a real command situation I wouldn't be able to see all of his unit movement, let alone his supply calculations.]

3. Develop a sense for when the bulging brain across the table from me has "figured out my equation." I trust him, as he has gotten to know me, to have made the correct analysis of both my best option and my most likely inclination. This is when I go for option three—which is the "fuck it" gambit, which has generally taken my chances of success fro zero to 30% in such situations where a smarter man with more experience ahs me figured out. I have refined this to behavioral feinting on an operational level, pretending to be playing in one manner and then changing up.

The easy guys to play are the ones who can't read me, the person and rely only on game board information. The frequency of these types of gamers has permitted me to cultivate a reputation as a formidable foe amongst better armed enemies.

In the end, what has drawn us dissidents to war gaming is what drew Tamerlane and Biazed, Sultan of the Ottoman Turks, to their chess boards, true knowledge that they were at war with the World and that, on some level, the World new it. Where a cat sharpens its claws in preparation for its deadly tryst with life, a man sharpens his mind.

Waking Up in Indian Country: Harm City: 2015

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