I've been pondering....
There is a noticeable number of gamers doing "imagiNation" armies, campaigns, etc. While I admire their creativity, I find myself asking "why"? That question is really the topic of this post.
I think there are 3 categories of games, and gamers. I limit this purely to "historical" miniatures, not SF or fantasy. In broad terms:
Historical Fiction gamer
The Fiction gamer is the realm of the guys with imagiNations. There isn't really historical context, other than very broad strokes such as tricornes and muskets, horse and musket armies, etc. I also put ancient tournament gamers in this category. These are the folks that play Persians against Normans and it doesn't bother them. I guess another way to categorize this group is that the game itself is the most important thing to them.
The Historical Fiction gamer is most likely the biggest category. These are folks that don't necessarily follow exact troop ratios, or use historical scenarios, or require that every game be exactly based on an historical incident. I fall squarely in the group. For example, my French Napoleonic army sports early period flags and uniforms. But I also have an 1813-1815 Prussian army that they fight. Oh No!!! It can't be!! Yes it can. I rarely play games based on historical scenarios, rather choosing to create situations that are interesting. My Confederate army all sport the Army of Northern Virginia flag, but have fought in western theatre based games. Guard units show up in games with historically too high of a force ratio in some games. The constant through this thread is that the games feature historical armies fighting other historical armies of roughly the same time period (only Napoleonics vs. Napoleonics, for example - regardless of whether they are early or late in the period. My Austrian Napoleonics all have helmets, but I'm sure I'll be adding later uniforms in shakos to the army. Why? Because they look cool, and I'm not going to duplicate an entire army for a trivial difference.
The Non-Fiction gamer is where you find the button counters, the debaters, the boardgamers, the guys that only play a game that is straight from history. I don't have any problem with this, I just find it limiting. Doesn't it get boring playing Gettysburg for the 53rd time? I find it interesting that boardgamers value the scenario and not the rules. To me, that is the exact opposite of miniature gamers - who tend to be Historical Fiction gamers. Boardgame companies regularly give away their game's rules for free. The value of the game is its replayability and the game scenario that it presents. The rules are just a means to an end.
So, what's the point of this rambling post?
Not much of one, really. I just find it interesting to see how different we all are, yet we all share a passion for military history and wargaming in all of its different variations.