Dan Carlin's Hardcore History take on Gaming

I’m not sure if this is the correct subforum, but Dan Carlin’s latest Hardcore History Addendum is all about “war gaming” and Dan’s own personal connection to board and video games as a gateway drug to history.

I thought it might be of interest to the grognards and video gamers among us.


And I now know what I’m listening on my run today.

He had an episode on: who would win, a Caesarian legion or a middle age army, where he went over the miniature rulesets he used to play.

The first 10 minutes of it were good, where he talked about his gaming history. Then he had the developer of some WW2 multiplayer FPS (at least that is what I think it was, I stopped caring when they said multiplayer) on and it was really boring. Turned it off halfway through, maybe it got better?

It depends on what you mean by better.

They spend a good chunk of time talking about whether the greater realism in the depiction of war violence in a FPS is a good thing or bad thing, and Dan contrasts that with “cleaner” higher level strategic war gaming in something like Hearts of Iron.

On a related tangent they talk a little about the political sanitization of wargames - should people be allowed to play as, win as, or enjoy playing as NAZIs, for example.

I think he circles back around in the end, but I do agree they spend a lot time talking about a particular Battle Field-esque sounding game in a way that smacks a little of “Look how amazing computer games are now, Grandpa! Modern PCs can do things the C64 couldn’t.”

He’s a producer from hell let loose, which is a more realistic focused fps (that just left Early access)

Hell Let Loose is pretty good if you’re into large-scale multiplayer shooters. I first played it because it had been compared somewhere to an updated Day of Defeat, which it is most definitely not (unfortunately, as I love that series and wish we could get another version ala CSGO).

Wow I totally missed he did a Greyhound episode with Tom Hanks.

Did Dan ever say the name of the computer game he plays now with the bad graphics? He referred to it in the beginning but I don’t think he said the name.

I think he was either referring to Hearts of Iron 3, which he mentioned in this, or Field of Glory, which he has mentioned in the past.

It is certainly fields of glory. He does mention it towards the end. And he seems oblivious to the fact it’s actually a direct adaptation of an existing “popular” miniatures rule set.

Tagging Dan Carlin superfan @Brooski to make sure he knows about this!


It is the original Fields of Glory or the newer edition? Because if it is the newer edition, he is really lucky he didn’t have to deal with the graphics of the original game.

If Bruce is anything like me, he listened to it the day it dropped on his podcast feed.

Wait - Hardcore History is in my podcast feed and has been for many years. None of these show up. Is this an alternate feed?

EDIT: NVM it is indeed a separate feed.

Tom is being his usual ironic self. I actually really dislike Dan Carlin’s podcast. We were coming back from dinner one time and another person asked me what I thought of Hardcore History, and they both got treated to my rant about “How do you think you would feel … IF YOU WERE FRANCE??”

I’d be interested in hearing what he has to say about wargames, though.

Why hasn’t this been featured on Wargame ? Why don’t you love us?!

Like pretty much anything that outrages @Brooski, it was immensely entertaining, all the more so for how it was utterly unexpected. Who hates Dan Carlin? You never figure you’re going to get treated to an impassioned anti-Dan Carlin rant, so when it arrives randomly and out of the blue, it can be a pleasant surprise.


Sounds to me like he doesn’t hate Dan Carlin so much as he hates empathy and France.

I know it’s pedantic, but to be clear, I don’t hate Dan Carlin. First of all, I don’t know him, but from the photos I’ve seen of him, what with his baseball cap and all, he looks like a decent chap. A real mensch. But I really, really don’t enjoy his podcast.

but do you like Game of Thrones?