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Victoria Cross II: Deluxe Edition Review

Mon Dec 07, 2020 12:02 pm

“If 1,200 men couldn’t hold a defensive position this morning, what chance have we with a hundred?” Thus spoke Michael Caine in one of the most endearing and enduring war...

http://www.wargamer.com/reviews/victori ... e-edition/

keithrose
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Mon Dec 07, 2020 7:12 pm

Good review, shame about the editors apparently overwhelming need to throw in an apology for colonialism. Please stick to reviews guys, for everyone's sake.

Bill Maxwell
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Tue Dec 08, 2020 12:07 am

I completely agree. There's no place here for preaching and disclaimers about historical events that the overwhelming number of your readers already know quite a bit about. I almost stopped reading the review because of this "editor's note." If this is going to be the new policy I won't be back here.

Leftred
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Tue Dec 08, 2020 11:09 am

Hardly an apology or preaching. First and foremost wargaming is meant to be fun, I think that is something everyone agrees on. But I think there is also an opportunity to use it a an understanding of history from a different context. As part an excellent review the author is showing that awareness for all audience members... Not just the knowledgeable.

No one is saying that playing the British in this game makesn you a Rhodes apologist, but if you never take away context of where in history this heroic encounter fits you run the danger of missing some crucial history lessons. The review was right to take that approach.

If that's enough to make you stop using this site, I would suggest that maybe your over-sensitivity and not the author's.

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EICJoe
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Re: <t>Victoria Cross II: Deluxe Edition Review</t>

Tue Dec 08, 2020 11:28 am

For clarity, the 'other' Joe wrote the review, where-as the 'Editor's Note' was written solely by me, after the copy had been handed in just prior to publication.
"Determining the appropriate level of influence in somebody else's war is never a simple matter."
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JoeF
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Tue Dec 08, 2020 9:26 pm

Hi, I'm the author.
I'm an academic first and a gamer second and I appreciate Editor Joe's note. In an earlier, much longer draft, I had included more history, but trimmed it down before submission.
The context behind these two battles is as important as the battles themselves, and not knowing that context might give the wrong impression. I should have included more of that history, I think.
As LEFTRED implied, playing the British or any 'bad guy' in gaming does not mean endorsement or celebration. I do it all the time. But I also don't think complaining about the editor's decision to condemn a vicious colonial power grab is warranted.
Glad you all enjoyed the review.

PeteF
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Thu Dec 10, 2020 10:12 am

I was surprised at the comment ???We were massive toolbags, regardless of whether it makes for a good film or game.???

I think that such stereotyping is unhelpful. I fully support informed discussion and debate about all aspects of history but belive the current trend to demonise this country, in its entirety, for events that occurred in a completely different time is fueled more by a desire to virtue signal, rather than to understand. This can only lead to ignorance.

In this particular case I agree that the actions of certain individuals were disagreeable and ill advised, even by the standards of the time. However to gain a deeper understanding of the causes of the Zulu War you have to go back much further. It could even be argued that the Zulus themselves were somewhat colonial in their approach to settlement in Southern Africa. I know that this is currently unfashionable to point out but I make this statement to demonstrate that history is always more complex than a simple soundbite.

History shouldn???t be generalised. There were disingenuous people. There were heroes. On both sides. But most participants were simply ordinary people - just like us - but in extraordinary situations. Not ???massive toolbags???.

For those that want to understand, I personally recommend The Washing of the Spears by Donald Morris, as a very readable and well researched history of the Zulus and the causes of the Zulu War.

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EICJoe
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Re:

Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:10 pm

For those that want to understand, I personally recommend The Washing of the Spears by Donald Morris, as a very readable and well researched history of the Zulus and the causes of the Zulu War.
I have heard good things about that book. I've got Saul David's 'Zulu' which I've enjoyed reading in the past.
"Determining the appropriate level of influence in somebody else's war is never a simple matter."
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PeteF
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Thu Dec 10, 2020 1:51 pm

For those that want to understand, I personally recommend The Washing of the Spears by Donald Morris, as a very readable and well researched history of the Zulus and the causes of the Zulu War.
I have heard good things about that book. I've got Saul David's 'Zulu' which I've enjoyed reading in the past.
I agree. Saul David is a solid academic and a good writer. He used to be on television quite a lot but not so much lately. He did write a fictional spin off (sort of) called Zulu Hart which was okayish but I think he should stick to non-fiction.

Don't be put off by the length of The Washing of the Spears - it is quite a tome - but reads very easily.

Brutalius
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Sat Dec 12, 2020 2:27 am

The editor's note was unnecessary. Reviewing a good game set in a very narrow and specific context does not mean "glorifying" or "celebrating" the historical context. This virtue signaling needs to stop: it is pointless, meaningless and, therefore, irritating. If the author feels conflicted about reviewing a game, then maybe he shouldn't review it in the first place...

Does the guilt of Britain's past and the anguish of it only appear when writing the review? Or, are they tormenting the author during the gameplay or while viewing the film? Or, perhaps, in his every waking hour?

Well, then... Stop pretending you feel guilty about the British Imperialism. History of your country (I am not British) is amazing and it should be embraced as a whole, with its triumphs and its sins. There is no need to virtue signal about things that are universally understood to be bad, when/if they are bad.

Was British Empire terrible and unredeemable in its entirety? Was there nothing good about it at all?

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