Dr Duncan James > Games > Wargames

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“It is difficult to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.”

Adlai Stevenson


This can be a controversial choice of hobby. I believe it is a fun way of dealing with serious issues. In my everyday life I am a pacifist, a supporter of Amnesty International and I am not a fan of "conflict resolution through violence".

A lot of human history has to do with war. Will warfare turn out to be an historical blip? We are not certain (at least that is my current understanding of our historical knowledge) whether war was really much of a thing more than about 10,000 years ago. And maybe it will stop soon. In which case it could be a short period in the vastness of human civilisation. Regardless, I feel our ability as a race to wreak such horrors on each other is worthy of note. Should this be reflected with a game? Games are a construct that can allow us to explore and discuss many topics and it does not have to mean they are being trivialised or validated. I think wargaming, particularly narrative wargaming, offers the chance to enjoy the tactics and challenge but also be clear about the fact that war is very very bad.

“It is in the nature of adventure to risk that it will not be as expected.”

Pryn Company Commander

Pryn Company Training

Pryn Company are an Imperial Guard Company in a backwater of our galaxy. In the Warhammer 40k universe they find the need to train constantly to be ready for action when required.

I made four test wargames videos in November 2014. I learnt a lot of useful things about editing and filming that has helped with all my videos. At the time I thought it would build into regular wargames videos. I was excited about taking a unique, pacifist approach that would still capture all the usual fun of wargaming: however IP problems with the videos (Games Workshop at the time did not feel supportive of content like this, unlike for example Lego) meant I gave up on it.

I have a lot of problems with the "conflict resolution through violence" that can be encouraged in wargaming. My unique take on wargames was going to focus on a harrowed band of soldiers try to make a home for their families in a far sector of the universe. But this never got past the test video stage!

Pryn Training Episode 1 (YouTube)

Pryn Training Episode 2 (YouTube)

Pryn Training Episode 3 (YouTube)

Pryn Training Episode 4 (YouTube)

“I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.”

Steven Wright