New: Bolt Action Deutsche Afrika Korps Dice Bag available from Warlord Games

By Polar_Bear
In Accessories
Aug 5th, 2013
19 Comments
1617 Views

Warlord Games has a new dice bag available over in their webshop. This one’s for the Afrika Korps.

From the release:

For all you chaps currently fighting in the desert we have the first of two new dice bags for the forces of the Third Reich…

This dice bag makes a perfect companion for one we released a few weeks ago for the British 7th Armoured Division – the famous Desert Rats. This is a great way to make sure you don’t lose any order dice in the sand!

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  • nonamenoslogan

    Maybe I’m being overly sensitive, but it seems like they maybe should have picked a different symbol.

    • Ghost

      That’s why (despite playing SS) I chose the US Airborne bag 😉

      Swastikas in gaming; a classic conversation heard at WW2 tables. Consensus seems to be that players who are sensitive about it should avoid the period. Of course this doesn’t help those who stumble upon a swastika at conventions, demo games or scrolling through gaming news sites…

      • nonamenoslogan

        That’s why I don’t play FoW. I’ve heard that it’s a great game, but I just can’t get past the period.

      • odinsgrandson

        Still, I can see there being places to use them, and places not to. For example, I don’t think twice about seeing a Swastika in an Indiana Jones film (or any other film portraying WWII). But no one is wearing Swastika t-shirts as movie fans.

        For me, I can’t see it leaving the minis themselves tastefully. I figure that at one level it is historically accurate and such. But I really can’t see why you would put it on any kind of swag.

  • cannondaddy

    I don’t think I would use it. It just doesn’t feel right. I wonder if people will still be sensitive about swastikas a hundred years from now. Maybe there’s a reason I’ve never been a historical gamer.

  • Nachtpfiffel

    In Germany it is still forbidden to own something like that.
    There had been even problems for people using anti Nazi Pins that showed a swastika tossed in the garbage.

  • Afternoon gents,

    This was always going to be something of an emotive product but we would rather give our customers the options to buy the very items they have been asking us to produce than pretend these symbols didn’t ever exist.

    Is the swastika a symbol of a tyrannical regime that visited death upon millions be they armed or otherwise? Most certainly. However, we didn’t receive the same reaction to the Soviet dice bag and I’m sure we all agree that the Soviet union had a similar record. Come to think of it the Romans weren’t angels yet plenty of Roman re-enactors, etc. The Waffen-SS were fanatical and responsible for an atrocity or two yet they prove extremely popular subjects for wargames armies. Where do you draw the line? In the end that is up to each one of us to decide.,

    Ultimately this comes down to you the customer and your own ideals. If you find the image less than savoury or distasteful then please don’t buy it. For many, this is merely a symbol of the army they choose to wargame with and nothing more. For those players, we have produced this dice bag. It is not intended as a political statement but as a receptacle for your 6-sided gaming dice that follows the theme of the army of toy soldiers you choose to play with.

    As this is only available via our webstore it will be up to the individual to decide whether they wish to add this to their wargaming collection or not. It won’t sit on store shelves or be thrust upon the unwary at shows. Any questions of legality or morality falls firmly with the customer – we do not presume to tell anyone what they should or should not buy. We are aware that in Germany the Swastika is banned but, like our other dice bags, it will not be made available to retailers and therefore not pose a problem.

    We fully appreciate that this will not be everyone’s cup of tea, just as political correctness isn’t pleasing for others. Please take this for what it is – a dice bag for playing games with model soldiers.

    Cheers,

    Paul Sawyer
    http://www.warlordgames.com

  • I think most people living outside of Germany cannot fully understand how problematic this item is for Germans. Heck, I have seen “Führer Bier” – beer bottles sporting a Hilter portrait – in Italian shopping windows. And you can freely buy “Mein Kampf” e.g. at Japanese airports. These things simply don’t mean the same to everyone.

  • kope

    ” we didn’t receive the same reaction to the Soviet dice bag and I’m sure we all agree that the Soviet union had a similar record. Come to think of it the Romans weren’t angels yet plenty of Roman re-enactors, etc. The Waffen-SS were fanatical and responsible for an atrocity or two yet they prove extremely popular subjects for wargames armies. Where do you draw the line? In the end that is up to each one of us to decide.,”

    Spoken like someone who is trying to profit from the worst parts of history.
    All of those other societies mentioned stood for many other things in their 100+ years in existence. The swastika represents one group that existed for a short period of time and stood for one thing.
    In context it is a symbol representing one faction in historic games or film or any other form of entertainment from that short period of time. Out of context it is a symbol that even today is used to represent hate. As a producer of merchandise from this period you have a greater responsibility to think about not only how your product will be perceived by the public but also, how are you helping to spread the use of the swastika outside of a historical context.

    What would be next on your list of merchandise to do list? A swastika sticker? A t-shirt with a swastika on it? How about selling a series of flags with the symbol?
    This company could just as easily have made a dice bag with the iron cross or any other number of German symbols. But instead they chose this one.
    There are so many other symbols to use. Why choose this one?

    • Dude

      I don’t think slapping swastikas on merchandise the best way to “profit from the worst parts of history”. It’s historical. The genre, the game, the symbol – all of it.

      I don’t play the game, and if I did I would not feel comfortable owning such a product. But I wouldn’t presume to think that anyone who did play the Nazi forces and emblazoned his troops and product with the correct symbols corresponding to them would be spreading the use of the swastika in any other context.

      • Soulfinger

        I am typically very sarcastic and/or comical in my comments on this site. That is not the case with this post. My mother and grandparents were interred in a concentration camp during WWII (not a death camp). I also have relatives who lived under Soviet rule following the war.

        Gaming can be a rather impolite hobby when it comes to our sensibilities as individuals. A big part of this is that our hobby spans an increasingly broad demographic. We have diverse religions, politics, and ages. Added to that, gaming is far from the fringe activity that it was in the 1970s — some gamers are even girls these days. We aren’t united by our outsider status, not with nearly 10 million people killing orcs online. The hobby itself is nearly as fractured as rock music. You like Cannibal Corpse and original Avalon Hill. I like Kenny Loggins and mature-themed Vampire games. Yet, we hang out sometimes.

        So, these kind of debates are always going to spring up. Personally, I would like to say that I am not bothered by the swastika in this context (at least, not until I read Mr. Sawyer’s response), because tanks are f’ing awesome when you are a teenager, and that kid with an interest is far more likely to comprehend the horrors of Dachau as an adult than your average Ford enthusiast (good ol’ Henry Ford and the “International Jew”). Maybe, just maybe, history games make for history students.

        Somebody has to play the bad guys, and is showing a swastika any more offensive than those sexy Nazi frauleins we all take for granted? Here, at least, the symbol is staring you in the face, unequivocally certain in its meaning. It doesn’t turn the Nazis into a joke or a sex symbol like so many of the Axis-punk themed games out there, which enjoy the cool imagery and technology while trivializing or neutering the atrocities and the “science” of Josef Mengele. It doesn’t take the uniform of the men who executed my next door neighbor’s family and use it as lingerie for horny teens, like Fantasy Flight or Grindhouse Games does. Products like this dice bag make Nazis . . . Nazis, not the cool as sh*t baddies who everyone wants to play, just Nazis.

        @Paul Sawyer: “The Waffen-SS were fanatical and responsible for an atrocity or two yet they prove extremely popular subjects for wargames armies.” Your response feels as contrived as someone at a Tea Party rally explaining how bad the Nazis were after stating their position on how welfare recipients, immigrants, and Insert Demographic are ungodly leeches on society. By your logic, can we look forward to the KKK themed dice bags for Rev. Kenneth Molyneaux’s Racial Holy War RPG . . . at least, if there is demand to be met, because morality is the responsibility of the buyer? I know that this isn’t how you meant to come across, but my goodness, “an atrocity or two”? It all comes down to the consumer is such a transparent and threadbare justification these days. Pretend that I am your grandfather, and I have a number tattooed on my wrist. The Nazis killed my brothers, my parents, my nieces, and nephews (Mengele removed their limbs without anesthesia after giving them candy and asking them to call him Uncle). Tell me, what army do you play in Flames of War? Explain to me how exciting this new dice pouch is for maintaining the theme of your army.

        @Kope “All of those other societies mentioned stood for many other things in their 100+ years in existence.” May I recommend “The Unquiet Ghost” by Adam Hochschild, and “Under a Cruel Star” by Heda Margolius Kovaly. The Soviets may have stood for other things, but they murdered a lot of people and destroyed the lives of many more, just as the swastika stood for more than murder by the bushel.

    • Ghost

      They also have a grey one with the Balkenkreuz.

  • Riquende

    “This company could just as easily have made a dice bag with the iron cross or any other number of German symbols. But instead they chose this one.”

    Good research on that one – Warlord DO make a dice bag with an iron cross for their German army bag. So not ‘instead’, but ‘as well’. It’s hard to take people’s criticisms seriously when it transpires they don’t really know all the facts.

    Having said that, I don’t think Warlord will sell many of these bags, a lot of people will be uncomfortable with them. But I’m glad they feel they can make whatever products they like, just as I’m glad people can choose whether not to purchase them.

  • kope

    @Riquende & Ghost
    I was just going by the above press release and the post by the creator which didn’t mention those bags. But I did click on the link earlier and was more confused by way they make this bag. They have a great line up. Plenty to choose from.
    The creator is within his rights to make this item, and Riquende is correct that people can choose to purchase or not purchase this item.

    I think the rest of my original statement holds up. If you’re someone making a product and you’re contemplating putting a swastika on it. I think you just have to know what that symbol means to people. Historic related games can be fun but they are also a chance to educate. The farther that symbol gets from actual Nazi soldiers and the atrocities they committed the more diluted it’s message becomes and the easier it is for future generations to forget the scope of what happened during WWII. I personally wouldn’t want to profit from it, but that’s just my opinion. And this bag is far from the worst use of a swastika I’ve seen in games or comics. It’s very tasteful compared to other things out there.

  • Basileus

    I am German and think that kope summed it up pretty well.

  • Basileus

    we didn’t receive the same reaction to the Soviet dice bag

    Nationalists seem to have a far bigger impact in Russia than they have in Germany. At least from what I read in the news and hear from friends. I also think that there are certain differences in dealing with history.

  • Shouldn’t this be tagged “not safe for work”? Seriously, I’d be way more afraid to have a colleague pop up over my shoulder while there’s a swastika on my screen than some ridiculous naked metal miniature.

    “It’s just accessery for people in my hobby that like to play Nazis.”

    “Rrright…”

    :/

    With the chance of this appearing as some related product anywhere anytime on the Warlord Games website I personally ban their website when I’m at work or somewhere public. It would just be embaressing. Nazi accessories.

    For me the point is: Swatikas on toy soliders or film requisites are part of the theme. As a wargaming player you enjoy the challenge of controlling that faction. That’s one thing. But when you carry symbols on your dice bag you are moving away from merely controlling these figures and start sporting the symbol in a way that you are identifying with them. It’s the “identify” aspect that is expressed when you purchase such accessory which doesn’t neccessarily exist (so strong) on the figures that really makes this problematic, I think.

    • Basileus

      +1

    • grimbergen

      Interesting and very good point I never considered about the differences on where it’s used.