Tuesday, 26 January 2010


The Spencer Smith plastics have been de-flashed and washed -twice- in warm soapy water. They already look presentable. I'll post no pics this time. So let's throw a stick in the hen house...

I've been musing on that famous "tongue in cheeck" humour almost everybody is talking or writing about. I mean, do you have to use it to be classed as Classic or Old School and aren't you allowed to use it to be "modern". Some already consider a French unit named Regiment du Camembert or a general called Boursin  as T-i-C.  Some people -I feel- are just trying to hard ,but -to my taste- it does only really work when it comes sporadically and naturally. Unless of course you're making a movie or writing a book, gently poking fun at some aspects of a certain genre, while still relying on its conventions. And if writing gaming rules or books: what genre is the subject of the T-i-C humour? Real war, the gamers themselves or other game rules?
So, yes, I do think T-i-C is a bit overrated. Maybe one should, when writing something not to be taken seriously, just use a subtle sarcasm or use a more ironic, slyly humorous writing style, instead of all that T-i-C stuff.
Or is it me living "abroad" -being Belgian, no less- that I just don't get it? I guess that's what happens to a population that lives in Europes most fought over and occupied piece of land: they loose their sense of humour.
Now where is that chocolate?

Happy Gaming


  1. We would certainly have to de-frock various OS authors if Tic humour was mandatory. I don't believe you will find it in Featherstone and certainly not in Joe Morschauser's work. I'm not exactly a renowned sociologist, (tavern philosopher would be closer) but it seems to me that it is perceived rightly or wrongly to be an English characteristic (and I mean English not British) and gamers on this side of the Big Water will tend to adopt a phoney 'English' accent when expressing it verbally. Odd that one never hears even an "hola mon vieux" from would Napoleons as the enemy's dice all come up 1's.

  2. Not sure what you mean by TiC humor here - my dictionary defines it as gentle irony. I myself have a penchant for puns. I also like to use names that are plausible if a bit improbable.

    There are different kinds of humor and different people have different preferences. For example, I'm not a 3 Stooges fan, but I love Laurel and Hardy movies. There's nothing wrong with keeping the humor subtle (or leaving it out altogether, if you prefer). I think for some the humor is a response to some gamers who take things overly serious. For some I think they picked it up from the OS classics by Grant and Young.

    In the end it all comes down to personal taste and individual preference. Do whatever makes it enjoyable for you. :)

    And the chocolate makes up for a multitude of other shortcomings! ;)

  3. Possibly the humorist is trying to inject a certain levity into an activity that does have its ... erm ... grave side. But it also sometimes serves to supply a deficient imagination when it comes to names of personalities. For instance, no musician myself, I tend to associate classical music with Vienna, myself, and so my imperial personalities, following the lead of Young and Lawford, (not to mention the precedent of the Piccolomini family)are discovered to have names of musical instruments: The canny but aged Emperor Violoncello, Archduchesses Harmonica and Viola; the Archduke Piccolo, Graf Tympani, Baron Glockenspiel and the like. The Electoral personalities are somewhat more bibulous in appellation: Barons von Muller-Thurgau, von Rheineck and von Steinlager; Graf von Carlsberg... and so forth. The exception is the Elector himself: Draco XVI, latest in the long and fiery Spitzensparken dynasty.

    As for names of units, Altmark-Uberheim did have in its service the Ewige-Blumenkraft Regiment, but eventually I decided to go down the Grant/Young/Lawford track and use real regimental names. My Imperialists use Austrians; the Electorate, Prussian; M'yasma look to Russia for its precedents, and Ursaminor to Sweden. The Landgravate of Jotun-Erbsten (itself an anagram) was modelled pretty much upon Napoleonic Hessen-Darmstadt.

    I don't know how other nationalities think of this, but I do like 'Joke' names. English is a rich source of these, but other languages (for non-speakers of those languages) seem almost as fertile. I seem to recall from Charles Grant Snr, a certain MacAbre, an executioner in the service of the Vereinigte Freie Stadt, and the lovely and lethal Bella Donna, courtesan and spy.

    I could go on, but I'll just leave you with this thought: 'the pun is mightier than the swearword...'


  4. In the earliest days of 'Slingshot', the Journal of the venerable 'Society of Ancients', wtiticisms and 'TiC' attitude were not rare, specially in Tony Bath's reports of his Hyboria campaign.
    As for 'funny names' and names involving puns, they are a tradition in France -as everywhere else, I'm sure: not in 'realistic' comedies (it would be 'overdoing') but in avowed fanciful settings, such as some popular comics (despite your young age you may know a little about them -so-called 'French' bande dessinee came from Belgium after WWII) such as as Asterix and (more relevant here, being set in the 18th C. -an an 'alternate' one, where a 'Germanic' kingdom tries to carve out a colony in North America) Oumpah-pah.

    Then for me I feel more confortable when wargamers unambiguously show they don't take their hobby *too* seriously.
    Why so? If you think a second about it, to associate war with game is rather abominable, obscene. Then, children *can* innocuously 'kill' each other -"Bang! You're dead!"- when playing cow-boys and Indians or pirates and Spaniards or whatever. Children are innocent but not stupid: how deeply taken by their games, they fully know that it's not serious, that they are playing. Thus, I prefer when wargamers acknowledge -even if implicitly, by pitching the cheese-named regiments of Fromagere against the beer-named regiments of Alemark-that they are adults playing with toy soldiers. With the innocence of children.

  5. I think you will find it is a peculiarly British thing. While other nationalities may dabble with T i C, when it comes to looking down on the rest of the world, you need to be a Brit! How else can you explain away the Charge of the Light Brigade, Isandhlwana etc.

    There are numerous film and television comedies that poke fun at "foreigners"-especially "Europeans". There was an entire genre of films (the "Carry On" series) devoted to this kind of humour. It is all old style comedy now, so probably involves wargamers of a certain age!

    We are an island race, cut off from the rest of the world and reality...you will just have to forgive or ignore us I suppose!


  6. abul666 - Speaking of Asterix the Gaul, I recall many, many 'joke' names in those remarkable stories. But my all time favorite was the brilliant translation of the name of Obelix's dog. In French (Belgian?) 'Ideefixe', in English 'Dogmatix'. Wonderful!
    Mind you, the Corsican Boneywasawarriorwayayix was a bit over the top...

  7. ... Besides, I could not possibly pss up his soldiers' nickname for their monarch and commander Draco the XVI: "Der Alte Blitz".

  8. Personally speaking, I'm with you on this one, Pjotr. I do find the endless joke names on imagi-nation websites a bit wearing at times. What will happen when wargamers run out of names of beers and confectionary? I guess they'll have to try to be a bit more original - like using the names of musical instruments. Nice one, Ion!

    But putting aside personal preference, the point that imagi-nations in general and joke names in particular emphasise a light hearted approach to wargaming is well made. Showing that we understand our 'game' is just that, and thus distancing ourselves from the realities of real war, is a very honourable position.

  9. Speaking of making up names... In a PBEM campaign just beginning, I've had some fun dreaming up one-off names for the back-history of my Spanish-Austrian Archduchy of Iberia. At the failure of the ruling Iberian line, the Cortes of the Provinces have had to cast about the ruling families of Europa (an island continent) for a suitable candidate, settling upon an Archduke Rupprecht, a younger and potentially troublesome member of the House of the Herzogtum von Rechberg.

    Of course, this alien prince did his popularity in Iberia quite a lot of good (after quiet and discreet enquiries of the Chancellor, Don Gregorio Garcia de la Vega) in marrying the lovely and popular, not to say talented, Donna Maria-Marcia de Montoya y Mantilla. These aren't 'joke names' so much as created to 'roll off the tongue'. I don't know: Spanish names tend to be like that...

    Mind you, I seem to recall upon his advanture in Spain, Asterix meeting up with a certain Don Huevos y Bacon...