Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Daily Archives: 22/10/2011

The History of Wargaming Project

John Curry has issued an update on his History of Wargaming Project:

The next  wargaming book now in print is Early Wargames Vol 1: The Wargaming Pioneers including Little Wars by H.G. Wells, The War Game for Boy Scouts and The War Game by Captain Sachs (1898-1940).

As a result of three years work, Volume 1 of the Early Wargames series contains a compilation of fascinating pre-Donald Featherstone wargames written between 1898 and 1940. Prior to Donald Featherstone publishing his classic book War Games in 1962 there were numerous attempts by other authors, to create wargames. H.G. Wells’s 1913 Little Wars, was the best known early wargaming book, although only one of a number of early wargaming rules. The many similarities in the rules indicate that H.G. Wells was clearly familiar with some of these when devising his own rules. This book contains selected key wargames all written between 1898 and 1940 including:

  • Notes on the Robert Louis Stevenson Game (1898)
  • The Great Wargame (1908)
  • War Games for Boy Scouts (1910)
  • Little Wars (1913) by HG Wells
  • Sham Battle 1929 (Extract) by Lt. Dowdall and Gleason
  • Mechano Artillery Duel (1932)
  •  The Liddell Hart Wargame (1935)
  • Captain Sachs War Game (1940)

For those who would like to see an account of an early wargame that apparently does not exist, see the Tin Army . I have been assured that all copies were lost.

The other book in print again today is Donald Featherstone’s Tank Battles Vol 4.  A fine account of the battles in the Meditteranean 1943-45, with much of Don’s personal experience.

The other three recently added books are Charles Grants Campaigns; Stuart Asquith and Charles Grant’s Scenarios for All Ages; and Peter Perla’s Art of Wargaming – the finest book on professional wargaming, in particular intergrating the development of the hobby and professional wargaming. (Note due to demand of libraries and military establishments, this book is hardback. If I told you who one of the households who bought this book, you would probably not believe me.)

For those in America, Connections is an interdisciplinary conference looking at the potential of wargaming to advance and preserve the science of wargaming. They run an annual conference in the USA each year.  It looks like a bigger version of the Conference of Wargamers (COW), but in the USA. Of course, I am sure they are far more sensible and have no games involving the lawn or wearing period hats.

Donald Featherstone has finished his new historical novel about the life of a cavalryman in the British Army in Victorian England/ India. He is finishing another novel called ‘The Quack’, I assume it is about a doctor, not a duck. He has also written several chapters on various aspects of History.

Other books coming to print include a new version of Donald Featherstone’s Air Wargames (this one will have some of the missing rules in it’ the original was err… cut by the publisher and not necessarily in an intelligent way).

More books to follow.

The picture above (taken from John’s website) is of the classic 1974 wargame of Operation Sealion (the proposed German invasion of Britain in WWII) held at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

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