Smash fascism (and the patriarchy)

The representation of women in wargaming is an ongoing discussion. That women of all ages, and children and older people (of all genders), have been victims of war is a fact that can only be disputed through a narrow interpretation of facts. However, gaming (overwhelmingly) focuses on the soldiers, the majority of who have been male.

Fantasy and science fiction have an easy fix available: create worlds where the patriarchy is consigned to the dustbin. Creations like this cannot be disputed for inaccuracy. That we do not is a reflection of our communities’ biases.

rohan-riders-2

Historical gaming has a genuine challenge here, since overwhelmingly combatants were (and are) male. There are companies that are seeking to shift this balance, and being companies I guess they are doing so in response to demand. Good on them. Bad Squiddo Games come to mind as doing a particularly good job of making women warriors available, consciously rejecting the pernicious sexualisation that mars so many female figures (Games Workshop is an easy source of examples, but are typical rather than especially poor in representing women).

Given there were only ever around 1500 tiger tanks produced and I suspect far more than this in service on wargame tables, I have no particular problem with female soldiers appearing more frequently than they did (or even stretching some of their roles). For WWII gaming, the Soviet Union and Partizan forces both provide historical basis for creating armies with female combatants.

female partisan

Black Tree Design

Konflikt 47 has a wonderful opportunity, being a fantasy (diesel-punk) extension to the second world war. The background story has nuclear weapons tearing strange holes in space though which the competing nations receive information about how to build new (and terrible) weapons. The new technology see the Germans hold the allies east and west, extending the war into 1947. Part of the story extends real world events and strains: the Soviet Union splits from the allies, making the war three-way in Europe and the Middle East.

A real world shift not emphasized in the story to date is the role of women in the war. In every country, women stepped into roles dominated by men: particularly in factories, on farms, transport and planning. The access to the new rift-tech still requires soldiers to wield the new weapons.

The trend in the Soviet Union was to include women, and with two potential new fronts (Japan and Iraq) and the ending of US Lend Lease, this trend will be accelerated.

The United Kingdom, except for possibly India, were under enormous pressure after six continuous years of war. Given the opportunities given to women in the quirky Operation Sealion expansion for Bolt Action, I think getting a few into khaki for K-47 makes sense.

The United States still had a lot of man-power, but the rising affluence (and influence) of women could plausibly see them not just building the tanks but operating them.

French women took up arms when they could to liberate their country. I think they would not shirk their duty given the chance in 1947.

The case for the axis is less clear. While Germany faced acute shortages of combat fit soldiers, the deeply dysfunctional and conservative regime seems to me to be unlikely to recruit women (outside of home defense units). Unlike the other nations, the role of women as mother and wife was central to the nazi regime’s view of itself. I think it is plausible that Osttruppen, Hitler Youth, and Volksturm could all include women. And armed BDM seem to be more likely than flying vampires.

The Italians have less opportunity given their lack of resources and constraints from allies, but I think for different reasons the rump of the fascists in the north (desperation), and the newly liberated nation of the south (revenge) would both allow women into their fighting units.

rocketeers

Rocketeers from Eureka Minatures

New possibilities for armies, miniatures and expanding representation on the table top. I can see no downside here. So how about it Warlord?

 

Advertisements

Eureka Rocketeers

I always enjoy visiting Eureka Miniatures, there is always something new to have a look at, often just before it appears on the web. Nic has a lovely way of getting you to walk away with more than you meant to when you walked in.  The team create some lovely, quirky and characterful miniatures. A nice example is the Pulpitations range by the crazy talent of Kosta Heristandis. I picked up a unit of the Rocketeers back in August last year:

33520904425_bc5d0c1ddd_k

Some of the rocketeers prior to clean-up; there isn’t a lot to do, some minimal flash and mould lines

Other projects were in the queue, so they joined the rest of my US army in the cupboard:

32706151723_312fa02a4e_z

Eventually these guys will get to invade Italy

So, with a vague idea that I won’t buy anything new until I paint the stuff I have – hah, like we all know how well that works! – I did make a start on the Rocketeers:

In part I used it as an opportunity to test some green colours for the US. (Or is that green color, when you do the USA?)  I bought a selection of women with caps and helmets. All of the figures come with either.

They are nearly done, the bases mostly, but I think the US need to come forward in the queue so I can have an excuse to get these girls on the table. K-47 has jump troops, so I think they will work nicely to add a touch of weird science to what I intend to be mostly a Bolt Action force:

33520902755_899e3a1d26_k

33363840642_b9be0ad1e9_k

Just noticed googles and some other bits and pieces still to do. So, nearly there, but not quite

Catch you around the battle fields of 1947 one day.

D.

Fear the Big Bunny

A change of pace from Bolt Action. I found some samurai rabbits from Eureka Miniatures in a box. I mean, who doesn’t have some sword wielding rabbits in their cupboard?

One day I will get around to adding something to their banners. And, I found that while I was painting them I’m missing horns from some of their helmets. I have a dim memory of thinking, “Gee they’re small, I’ll but those here for safe keeping …”

Their most likely use would be to make up a war band for Osprey’s A Fist Full of Kung Fu. I have a Japanese princess that would work nicely as a sorcerer to lead some magical minions. That is yet another one of those games on the shelf that I will get around to playing one day. And when I do, I have a warband ready to go.

And, just like sword wielding rabbits, who doesn’t have a game (or three) on their shelf that they will get around to playing, one day.

Sayonara,
D.

Late Christmas

My golly gosh! What a busy and rather fabulous couple weeks for gaming here at the Republic of Northcote.

A Stug III ordered from Black Tree Design one lazy day between Christmas and New Year arrived in the post. While the kit took three attempts plus some green stuff to assemble, I got it base coated this morning and it looks OK.  My Germans will be pleased that some reinforcements are on the way.

Then there is Arc.  That needs a whole post for itself but will need to wait until my head stops spinning. It was a great weekend of gaming. Six good games against six great opponents, amidst the mayhem of 150 other gamers doing the same.
(Five losses, but you can’t have everything.)

The forces of chaos were not totally at a loss over the weekend because WATT – on our 9th attempt – won the Saturday night Apocalypse game known as the Golden Fez.
A twitter run down can be found here (For those who don’t know me, I’m the homeless looking guy holding the fez; the one on the left, not the homeless looking guy on the right.)

Arc is such a blast I arranged a day off work to recover. And I’m glad I did, because a Kickstarter from Empress Miniatures arrived today: a platoon of modern Chinese PLA. These are really very nice miniatures and I’m looking forward to get them on the table against some of my Eureka moderns. Another blog post waiting to be written.

I’m off to bed now. I need a lie down after all this excitement. Oh, and I have to read the Fate Core rules that Gaming Guy put me on to.

Photos and detail will follow in the next week or three
(painting desk and work permitting).

D.