|photo from Sky News - I hope they won't mind me using it|
I had planned to post a game report tonight - but given the news from Ukraine, it did not seem appropriate.
This is the darkest day. There is a hideous, brutal attack on freedom itself, and on all of us who value freedom. Individually there may be nothing we can do about it, but we can think, and feel, and we can speak. I hope our hearts and minds are with the people of Ukraine as they face the possible ruin of their hopes, for no remotely valid reasons. I hold no grudge against the people of Russia; this barbarity springs from the mind of just one man.
We who share a hobby which itself engages with warfare, and involves a necessary interest in military history, may need to take a pause to think about ourselves, too. There is perhaps a natural tendency to be curious and 'nerdily' interested about the mechanics and details of what is going on - but we should be mindful that this is not like a wargame, this is a very real, large-scale horror, unfolding in real time. I am thus not going to get into a 'what if' frame of mind, not going to speculate about how things might turn out, and who might 'win'. There will be no 'winners', only different degrees of loss. I'm afraid that there is little hope of 'the good guys winning', at least in the short term. In the long term, we need to remember them, keep thinking of them, and not forget what is being done to them today.
We might also think about our hobby and our approach to it, as plenty of others would doutbless accuse us of glorifying the sort of violence unleashed today. I have never really been able to put my finger on 'the reason why' my interests have bent this way, and I am not sure I could confidently defend against such attacks. Perhaps at least by acquiring some knowledge, we are aware of the horrors of war, and hopefully less eager to promote the real thing as a result? And of course we should be clear that we are only playing a game, which can, in the final analysis, have not the slightest resemblance to the real thing - thankfully.
Enough said, I think. I don't know if this has helped me, or any of you. I don't know how this will turn out - except that we can be sure that no good will come of it. Stokes at the Grand Duchy of Stollen said 'there are no words', and he is probably more eloquent and profound as a result. But I wanted to at least say something, not just let it go, as only pictures and sounds from 'a far-away country, of which we know little'. I hope you will allow me that.
Keep well, and safe, everyone.