Something that's kind of interesting to me - I initially poured scorn on the concept of Apple's iPad. I couldn't see a good use case for me when they were new. It's now nearly a decade on and frankly... that hasn't changed.

Our household contains several tablets that we've acquired through various means and they're just sort of, well, useless to me. We sometimes use one to interface with our recording equipment for podcasts but that role is equally served by any phone with a headphone socket.

I suppose the general point being that with some technologies I think they're brilliant for me and for others not so much. Some win me over, most don't.

The world has embraced tablet computing and I'm no luddite. I'm just still not convinced. This may be because I'm part of the internet's 1%. I create content. Lots of content. Tablets aren't really conducive to that.

I currently create both images and video, program, and write. Those kinds of tasks don't really gel with a keyboard-less device, I suppose. It does make think of the phrase "I'm a lurker, not a writer" which is apparently a popular motif for underwear. How odd.

This isn't a condemnation of tablets, it's just a little introspection.

I've been playing the Battlefield series of games for a while now on a variety of platforms. I enjoyed the hell out of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 on Windows, had a fairly okay time with Battlefield 3 on Windows, then dived into Battlefield 4 on Xbox 360, and now I'm onto Battlefield 1 on Xbox One X.

It's essentially mandatory at this stage to mention that Bad Company 2 is really the pinnacle of the series. That. Make that. It was an amazing game and still looks lovely today. It also had mechanics that I really enjoyed, weapons that fitted a variety of playstyles, and an expansion pack set in Vietnam.

You can view my stats for my time with Bad Company 2 here. My favoured weapons were the M1 Garand, the Type 88 LMG. Interestingly one can see it's early in my Battlefield career as my cumulative Kill/Death ratio is only 0.82 after 263 hours.

What tends to happen is that I suck most heartily for quite a while. Then I find some weapons that fit my tastes, get a feel for the maps, figure out the game mechanics, and then get (fairly) good.

For some context, here's a little table:
Bad Company 20.82263 hours
Battlefield 30.9949 hours
Battlefield 41.36247 hours
Battlefield 11.2347 hours

It's taken next to no time at all to get a positive kill/death ratio in Battlefield 1 as I'm just better at these kinds of games these days. I may not be a spritely twenty something but my reactions are plenty quick (and frankly reaction time isn't the limiting factor!).

It's only tabulating the data that has me noticing a trend. I'm writing this post because although I'm now good at BF1, I'm just sort of... done with it. I was similarly done with BF3 and it's rather impressive how close the total playtimes are. Huh.

However I wanted to provide a bit of info first to thoroughly support the notion that I've put the effort in to get to know the game. One could view these hour counts as wasted time too but I don't play these games as a hobby. They're part of actively relaxing. Trying to be productive every waking hour just results in my brain feeling like it's disintegrating. Being that it's me I try to min/max my relaxation too and so blog posts like this result.

A further bit of context - I watch a lot of Forgotten Weapons and have done for some time (Jenny interviewed Ian for her podcast last year!). I'm interested in a variety of firearms, often for their place in history. "Last ditch" weapons are a particular favourite, for example.

Coming to Battlefield 1 I had a rough idea of what to expect. What caught me off guard and still annoys me is the degree of silliness. These games have four classes whose roles vary a bit game by game. There's usually a machine gunny role, a sniper role, and an assault rifle role. Other stuff gets shuffled around but broad strokes here.

World War 1 is the setting for Battlefield 1. Assault rifles effectively weren't invented until the late stages of World War Two. Hmm.

Well we've got light machine guns, they were a thing. Ish. Sure, whatever, if you like. Similarly snipers were very much a thing. My grandfather passed the third cigarette on to his children, for example (Yep, my grandfather was a Victorian - he was born in the late 1890s).

Submachine guns then. What about them?

Basically they weren't starting to see use until 1918. Even then we're not talking vast quantities. Between 5,000 and 10,000 MP18s were issued, for example. It's a mainstay of Battlefield 1. Everyone's packing one. Well, everyone that hasn't unlocked the bloody Hellriegel, of course.

The Hellriegel might as well be fictional. Do you know how many were built?


All we have are some photos of the damned thing.

But if you're playing BF1 you'd be forgiven for thinking it was the main weapon of World War 1. Both in multiplayer and campaign it's everywhere.

Similarly there's various self-loading rifles in the game for the medic class. They're mostly ridiculously obscure things as far as I can tell. No, 200 rifles do not count. In a war as big as that I cannot have that handwaved. Sorry, no.

German tanks. In the game they're all over the place. In reality there were 20. By comparison there were 150 British tanks.

Yeah, sorry, knowing that the chances of a German tank appearing were that minimal makes it very difficult to not feel like the entire game is written by morons. It isn't. They made choices that made sense for their expected player base. It was created to make money after all.

That said it's very difficult to take the game seriously when you're in the Sinai desert and find a German tank has teleported there from France. Sorry, no.

Having seen footage of the sequel, Battlefield V, I'm concerned that they're pulling similar dumb bullshit (24 Flettner Fl 282s were built, DICE. Helicopters didn't feature prominently in World War fucking Two).

I enjoy the odd obscure weapon (such as the inclusion of the damned Kolibri pistol in Battlefield 1!) but they should be fun references, not the main armaments. Once you take it too far the fourth wall breaks and the whole backdrop of the game goes with it.