Central War Gaming Blog

Central War Gaming Blog


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Uniformity, Immersion and Safety: a Bit About Rules

One of the things many of you have noticed first off about CWG events is the restrictions on equipment. It also causes some confusion and consternation despite our best efforts.
Uniforms have limited colors and patterns for, well, uniformity. "Looking uniform" is what makes an army look, feel and act like a cohesive unit. It also helps tactically to avoid shooting at friendlies, or even your own squad. (Yup, I've been shot in the back by my own squad because on a hot day I took off my Woodland blouse and was wearing an ACU undershirt. We got off line and someone saw tan and fired.)
Other equipment has no strict requirements, and that gets a little fuzzy. You cannot wear armor or webgear that changes the uniformity of your overall look. That can be interpreted as meaning that your webgear: 
  • Must match your uniform in color and pattern. 
  • Can be pretty much anything else as long as it does not stand out.

Both answers are right. Sorry it's not a simple and strict answer. But in the end it means there are actually fewer equipment requirements than you might expect from us.
Other equipment is required — or prohibited — not just to be pedantic or annoying, and not or for our interpretation of what it's like to be in a third world army. They are there for good operational reasons, for game play and balance reasons, and very often for well-considered safety reasons.
Lets take body armor as an example. Aside from uniformity, why don't we allow any mounting of pouches to your armor? Consider you are running around on an unexpectedly hot day with armor full of pouches with all your stuff. If you want to ditch your armor to be a little cooler, you simply cannot. So you keep wearing it and get overheated. Combat ineffective rapidly turns into heatstroke.
And when we talk safety, by far the biggest issue we encounter are heat casualties. We don't need more hot people, so we require you to wear webgear over armor so it becomes optional and you can stay cool, put on rain gear or warmth layers, and so on. We've seen all these things actually happen, and have dealt with the problems they result in.
Most every rule or bit of equipment is like this. There's some reason of safety, operational effectiveness, or game balance behind them all. And these took a lot to work out. Experience from many events, other training, soldiering -- and sometimes lots of arguing amongst ourselves as to the right answer.
I'd love to ask you to trust that we always have the best interests of you, your squad and the event at heart, but you can also just keep on asking us what the point is, or to clarify what we really mean.

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