By Jim Rohrer
This issue might be relevant to the decision about which era you to prefer to wargame. We all can agree that war is a nasty business and should be avoided at all costs. But wars do happen and wargamers should have some opinions about which eras were better than others for the common soldier.
Personally, I have an aversion for weapons of mass destruction and in my mind that should include artillery and air raids.
Secondly, automatic weapons bother me. Soldiers spray thousands of bullets at each other. The single shot rifled weapon seems better to me.
The musket era might have some appeal but marching in formation instead of shooting from behind cover is counter-intuitive. Can you imagine John Wayne doing that? Musketry was more effective when fired in volleys which pretty much requires exposed formations.
The popular notion of the medieval era carries a lot of romance with it. Crowds of men whacking each other with heavy or sharp objects would have been unpleasant but that is better than marching into a hail of canister fire. Perhaps I would have been useful with a crossbow. Maybe not. I was a poor shot with a M16 so a crossbow would not have been a better weapon for me.
The Dark Ages relied on the shieldwall. Those were bad but probably better than marching into a hail of lead. They would have put me into the levee. That would have been okay. I could have been a scythe-man.
What about the ancients? Was that the best time to be a common soldier?