Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Little Wars

My new iPhone has somehow breathed life into my blogging.  Here is my second post that has come via using my new electronic gadget.  In this case I was surfing the internet on war gaming topics while at lunch.  I came across an interesting tidbit about the birth of modern war games.   Apparently H.G. Wells was the first person to codify table top war game rules using tin soldiers.

He published a book, Little Wars, that gave all sorts of rules for infantry, cavalry, and hand to hand combat.  The book is available for download at Project Gutenberg in a variety of formats.  It's worth a peek just to see the creative use of building blocks for terrain.

The rules covered things we modern gamers would recognize: deployment (behind a curtain!) phases, special rules, "move or shoot" guns, even scenarios.  From what I saw, there was no dice rolling.  Assaults were settled by determining which side had more models in contact. I didn't see how shooting was resolved.

While the rules are musty and old news now, it is an interesting look at the roots of our modern games.  No matter how we jazz up things today, they tend to harken back to the basics laid out a century ago in this book.  I've only surfed through it, but at some point will probably read it all for the historical value.  It's more of a paper than a "book."  I think a lot of this book could be used today with some modifications.

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