Well the latest Classic Wargamer’s Journal is out – and in it is an article from Dan Grove of the HATSOFF (Heart of America Tactical and Strategic Order of the Followers of Featherstone) Wargaming Club. Dan points out that in addition to rules for playing wargames a club also needs rules for the club itself. The HATSOFF Club have their 10 ‘commandments’ which have been in play for 35 years and Dan assures readers their club has run to the spirit of their intent the entire time. In the unlikely event something crops up outside the particular rules of a specific game they also have a ‘Quadribium’, which consists of the 4 senior club members, or the 4 members hosting the game(s), who are called on to make a unanimous adjudication – the Quadribium has been convened once in 35 years!
We presume Dan and Sam Gill (the author of the HATSOFF 10 Commandments), and Phil Olley (Editor CWJ), won’t object to us reproducing them here publicly (with minor contextual edits for relevance):
- Wargaming shall be a social event, not a contest of will, skill, or manhood. The wargamer shall be valued for his company first, before, and in lieu of, anything else.
- Wargamers shall not be obliged individually, to expend time or money on periods of military history which do not interest them in order to game with others of the club. Pursuing those periods which are of interest to them, will eventually benefit the club as a whole.
- Wargamers shall be obligated to produce quality hardware when they choose to raise armies. Shoddy paint jobs and poorly researched uniform data have no place on a club wargaming table.
- The Wargamer will try to be well read in military history.
- A club wargame shall be an honest contest between trustworthy, honourable opponents who subscribe to the hallowed Principles of War(gaming), Vis…
- Thou shalt follow thy orders to the best of thy ability.
- Thou shalt take no advantage, based on historical hindsight or special knowledge, not possessed by the officer thou art portraying.
- Thou shalt play each set-piece game as if it were a campaign battle.
- Thou shalt ask no more of lead soldiers than flesh & blood could reasonably deliver.
- For the club wargamer, realistically creating an accurate historical context is far more important than winning a wargame.
- A club wargame, unless specifically designated otherwise, is to be played from the point of view of a General Officer, using simple rules to reflect the complexity of that officer’s view of the battle.
- Argument has no place round a club wargame table.
- Club wargamers should strive for, and welcome the introduction of, locally generated new rules, periods, and information which promises to expand the gaming scope of the club.
- The club wargamer should strive to be a missionary to the less scrupulous gamers so that, by his example at least, others may be shown the True Faith. However the club gamer should remember that wargaming is an elitist sport and a ‘calvinist-like’ doctrine. Many are called, but few are chosen!
Note the AWC doesn’t necessarily subscribe to these – they are presented simply out of interest for public perusal as one club’s approach to wargaming.