Category Archives: Games

Soviet vs. West German Playtest

Soviets begin their assault

Many months ago I ran a game with my son to test Fistful of TOWs 3.  The game was of a Soviet T80 tank regiment assault on two companies of West German Leopard 1A4s. My son played the Soviets and I played the West Germans. 

The Soviets attempted to flank the Germans from both sides and ended up destroying the German defenders, though at a loss of nearly half the regiment.  In retrospect, the center battalion should have held off its attack until North and South battalions commenced their attack.  Amazingly, the last stand of the center tank battalion managed to survive its morale check.  I put up a slide show of the game.

In addition to this game, I ran another game that I will post about later.  I haven't had much time to game, though I painted my LeClercs and YPR-765s.

Follow up on my guns and government oppression post

In the (generally) Facebook discussion of my Is there an instance where an armed citizenry prevented US government oppression? post, the responses were either of the form:

  1. it is too early to tell (as if 200 years of US history would not give us some useful examples) or
  2. the examples were so small they weren’t in the historical record.

I did find two US historical examples of a group of armed citizens which successfully used firearm violence to counter what they perceived as government oppression:

  1. The violence by Southern whites before the Civil War to get the South to succeed;
  2. The violence by Southern whites during Reconstruction to reestablish the power of the white planter elite.

For the white planter elites and their supporters, they perceived that they were fighting for their liberty from what they thought of as an oppressive Federal government.  However, former slaves, poor whites and most people a hundred years later would doubtless have a far different perspective.

Based on these examples, I believe that guns help authoritarian, elite power and really haven’t moved us closer to a more just society or even kept government from being oppressive.  In the examples above, they have been used to foster oppression.

The larger issue I get from my albeit brief analysis is that when firearms are used by those not in power, then they will be opposed by the larger society by all means necessary (see the examples in the earlier post). When those with firearms do have power, then there isn’t a need to resort to firearms or if they do, then they can use the power of the state to full effect to back them up.

In my mind, the historical examples don’t back up the thesis that an armed citizenry keeps oppressive government at bay, but I am still willing to hear about other examples.

Is there an instance where an armed citizenry prevented US government oppression?

One of the assumed truths in the US is that an armed citizenry will prevent the US government from becoming oppressive and taking away our liberties.  Recently I have seen people state that the Tea Party folks brought guns to their rallies and the police were respectful of their rights to assemble, but the Occupy movement (and various left-oriented movements in the past) didn't have guns and so got attacked by the police.

I am curious about this line of reasoning and have been seeking an actual instance of when an armed citizenry prevented government oppression. 

I can think of examples where an armed citizenry didn't stop government oppression such as:

Indeed that the anarchists or Black Panther party had weapons (and sometimes used them in self-defense) were used as excuses to use overwhelming government power and surveillance on them, which is part of the reason nonviolent tactics proved more effective

Are there instances where firearms really did stop government oppression or did they only serve to bolster the power and privileges of the (generally) white wealthy power structure?  I know some of you will think the question is loaded, but I am seriously trying to find an instance where firearms did stop government oppression.

Links 6/25/2012

Posted draft rule sets

I posted two of the miniature game rule sets I been working on over the last many years.  Both are not complete, but it is better that they are available for comment than that they sit alone and unloved (except by me) on my computer.  They are posted on the side bar, but you can also find them here:

By Will Alone: Nonviolent Action Rules

My By Will Alone site came about because of a nonviolent direct action miniatures game I have been working on.  I haven’t done much with it since 2007, but if you want you can find the rules I wrote:

I have play tested it a few times, pictures of which you can see from the front page.

Send comments to me via jokeefe at jamesokeefe dot org or voice/txt to (617) 863-0385.

That will have to do until I get around to updating them.