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Games Workshop kindly reminds players that the Imperium of Man is bad

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To quote myself from this thread:

[quote]I usually don’t mind when people use elements of the National Socialist aesthetic in gaming... I mean, let’s face it, they were unimaginably evil but they certainly had style.

Games Workshop themselves has invoked elements of the Third Reich in their game’s imagery, everything from the sculpts for miniatures (like the original Ork Stormboyz or the Armageddon Steel Legion) to some of the artwork in the books (like the many pictures of massed Astartes gatherings that are homages to Triumph of the Will and other propaganda films).

And GW is hardly alone in using National Socialist imagery as a visual shorthand for “the baddies.” It’s obvious to anyone and everyone that Lucasfilm ripped off the National Socialists lock, stock, and Hugo Boss designed barrel when creating the look of the Galatic Empire in Star Wars. I’m sure you can all come up with dozens of other examples...

But that kind of thing is usually done with either a more subtly or it’s done in a way that removes it from the historical context and/or makes it a clear satire.

But there’s a world of difference between something like Kromlech selling Ork dressed like a Waffen-SS officer and just straight up using the NSDAP flag as a chapter banner.

(Also, people playing actual WWII games or alternate history “Weird War II” games are totally allowed to use Nazi iconography on their minis without judgement.)[/quote]

But the incident that sparked this response, apparently, isn’t just that someone showed up to a game with miniatures that borrowed from the National Socialists in terms of aesthetics or theme. Apparently, some asshole showed up to a Grand Tournament in Spain wearing a shirt covered in National Socialist slogans, used the name ““Pintor Austriaco” (lit. Austrian Painter) on his entry form, and was just generally an unpleasant asshole.

I’m not an aggressive man. But, yeah, I’d have reacted quite violently to someone pulling that [big bad swear word] in my presence.

Cosplaying as the Red Skull at a comic convention? Cool. Wearing a Waffen-SS uniform as part of a living history reenactment troupe? Groovy. Using NSDAP inspired art themes to make fictional propaganda posters for your Star Wars Legion table? Fine.

Naming yourself after Adolf Hitler whilst wearing clothes with anti-Semitic slogans and Nazi iconography? I’m throwing hands.

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Had too look up NSDAP. Immediately face palmed. 

'Role Play' and 'Somebody has to play the baddies', aside...  I remember that we were all encouraged to 'just pick something that you think is cool, and then learn the rules.'

That's OK!

But it can be really bad advice for some people. You probably wouldn't enjoy a nice game of Chess with them either...

I'll play as Germany or Japan in Axis and Allies, with no compunction about being brutal and aggressive, I'll even tie the actions back to real world events, bad as they might be. The key is to have fun and get other players comfortable with the game and the gaming environment. Win or lose, everybody can learn something about how to have fun with the game. Then we rematch!

Be a good person, game on.


GW's Statement:


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29 minutes ago, Justjokin said:

Had too look up NSDAP. Immediately face palmed. 

I’m a pedantic history nerd. I prefer to call the Nazis by their full name (or at least the acronym for it, because Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei is a lot to type) to make it clear I’m referring to the specific political party that existed between 1920 and 1945, not just defaulting to the Internet standard “everyone I don’t like is a Nazi” mode of argument. 

33 minutes ago, Justjokin said:

'll play as Germany or Japan in Axis and Allies, with no compunction about being brutal and aggressive, I'll even tie the actions back to real world events, bad as they might be.

There’s quite a bit of difference between playing Imperial Japan in a game where the Imperial Japanese are part of the game’s narrative and showing up to play the game wearing a jacket festooned in symbols of the Kokka Shugi imperial fascist party.

I mean, I own and regularly wear polo shirts that have the logo of Cobra (from G.I. Joe) or the Adeptus Custodes on them. No one is going to think I’m actually going to help Destro and Serpentor overthrow the United Nations… No one is going to think I’m actually the bodyguard of the immortal space Emperor.

But this guy, seen here:


That’s a t-shirt with a variation of the logo of the Falange Española Tradicionalista (the fascist party of the Francoist regime). His jacket has a variation of the National Socialist swastika… I don’t recognize the exact group, but I don’t really care.

This is beyond “That Guy” levels of rude and uncouth behavior that sometimes infects our hobby. This is an actual freakin’ fascist. Not the overly hyperbolic “you’re rude to me so I’ll call you a fascist.” Not the  Godwin’s Law cliche “I’m losing an argument to you so you’re Literally Hitler.” 

The Francoist dictatorship ruled Spain as recently as 1975. This @&$%^€ is wearing a goddamn t-shirt for the fascist party and using the name “Austrian Painter.”


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