Sunday, 13 September 2009

Wargames Library Part I, Sidetracking and Making everybody very, very jealous

As promised, today I’m taking a look at my wargames library. This first part I’ll be taking stock of the rules I’ve collected. Next, technology permitting I’ll show the photograph that I talked about in my second post.
And last of all, a small announcement that will take wargaming to the next level…

So here’s my collection of historical wargame rules. In order of gaming period, commented as I see fit and not counting rules freely downloaded from the net.

De Sumer A Constantinople (D. Coulon & F. Devaux): bought these after meeting the authors during a demonstration. In the end like DBM, but with more detailed combat formations.
De Bellis Antiquitatis (Barker, Barker & Bodley Scott, WRG): rules for a quick uncomplicated hour of fun. SWMBO beat me almost every game. I let her win because she took pity on me when I asked for a rematch.
War Games Rules 3000BC to 1485 AD 6th (Ph. Barker, WRG): recently bought as follow up for 2nd edition. At first glance not sure if I like them as much. Difficult to read. Is it at this point DBM started growing?
Field of Glory (R. Bodley Scott, S. Hall & T. Shaw, Osprey): I still don’t like chess board like formations and battlefields. High quality publication.
Minden Rose (B. Lee, Emperor Games): one of the sets of choice for starting my 7YW project.
The War Game (C. Grant, Ken Trotman publishing): the final goal of my 7YW project. For some reason, I like these rules so much more than Grant’s Napoleonics.
Batailles de L’Ancien Régime (W.B. Protz, Jr., Self Published): holy-cow, I didn’t like the alphabetical approach. Not sure about the card activation. Will try these again when my 7YW armies grow larger.
Charge! (P. Young &J.P. Lawford, Morgan-Grampian): nostalgia. Saw these in use as a youngster. If ever I use them I will probably change the scale of the game. Companies becoming battalions, batallions becoming regiments or brigades because I feel you get a game that looks like a skirmish game but doesn’t feel like one.
Napoleonic Wargame rules (Tunbridge Wells Wargames Society, Bayonet publication): see my second post. My favourite Old School rules written by G. Gush. Will be resurrected once I get my Nappies sorted out.
Napoleonic Wargaming (C. Grant, Model and Allied Publications): not sure about this set. Can’t put my finger on it. Not as good as the Gush rules and The War Game, but I really don’t know why.
De Bonaparte à Napoléon (J.-C. Raguet, Vae Victis): french napoleonic rules based on a DBM like game engine (DBN).
To The Sound Of The Guns III (R.P. Butler, Tabletop Games): well…they’re To The Sound Of The Guns III (and Napoleonic).
Fast Play Rules for Napoleonic and Crimean Wargames (T.J. Halsall, Newbury rules): lite version of the above.
In the Grand Manner (P. Gilder, Wargames Holiday Centre): not simple, but great battlefields. Switched to General de Brigade as for me, not being English, the latter were more structured and therefore easier to assimilate, but with the same look and feel.
General de Brigade (D. Brown, Partizan Press): second rules of choice for my napoleonics. In the grand manner like gaming, but easier to assimilate.
Fast Play ACW Rules (David Bickley, Active Service Press): I honestly don’t remember how these played.
American Civil War Wargaming (Terence Wise, Airfix): great memories of blue against grey. In the bookcase, but not forgotten…
War Games Rules 1925-1950 (WRG): Fun rules, many 1/300 scale battles. Memories of terrain drawn in felt tip pen on packing paper, cardboard layered hills, lichen woods…the Eastern front on the living room table. Happy days.
Rapid Fire 2 (C. Rumford & R. March): I enjoyed these with the boys, playing with cardboard and pencil coloured armies. I’d still use them, but with 1 to 1 scale platoon or company sized actions.
Blitzkrieg Commander (P.A. Jones): based on the Warmaster game engine. Liked the rules, but to easy to play the rules and not the period (depending on your opponent and his knowledge of WW2 warfare).
Challenger 2000 (B.R.- Taylor & B. Connor, Tabletop Games): see sub-sub rule 25.36.54, if marked **, then +1/-4. Modern rules for the die-hard fan.
Wargames Rules 1950-2000 (Phil Barker, WRG): had a few good small games with small numbers of vehicles to keep it manageable. More accessible than Challenger, because of playing the 1925-1950 set.

And also:

PSL Guide to Wargaming (edited by B. Quarrie, Patrick Stephens Ltd): guided me into wargaming other periods then WW2 and napoleonics. Generic rules based on the WRG ancients game engine.
Little Wars (H.G. Wells, Da Capo Press): a classic, if ever I find a suitable artillery piece these armies will be resurrected in 1/32 plastic (or Lego, or Playmobil?).

Next up: a centrefold photograph of a Gilder set up of La Haie Sainte taken from “How to make model soldiers” by Ph. O. Stearns. You’ll understand what the attraction was.

Gentlemen, again thank you for the kind comments I received. When I follow other peoples blogs I tend to read the postings, but not the comments. So I take the liberty of repeating myself when I write I have to remember that the Chronicles are just a tool for the hobby. As it has, thanks to the readers, taken a flying start, it is difficult not to get sidetracked and spend to much time "blogging" instead of gaming.

And now for something to blow your fine gentlemens minds. I’m of playing C.S. Grants “Breakout” teaser from issue 18 of Battlegames magazine. “What? Nothing special in that”, I hear you exclaim. Well, sit back down and read on. I’m off playing it for real. Yes…10 days of fun in a Full Troop Exercise (FTX) in the Belgian Ardennes. I’m playing Opfor for some Special Forces and guess what: I’m responsible for organising a POW camp that has to be observed and in the end “liberated” by the SFG’s. I think I will call the Camp “Klapso” and I’ll be Major Pjotr Nuydrev, VFS camp commander…

I'll be back (in a forthnight)

Happy Gaming


  1. Peter,

    Hmmm, I might just copy your idea of posting my collection of rules . . . it is a nice idea.

    You MUST give us an "after action report" about your live "table top teaser".

    -- Jeff

  2. Clearly, you're a widely experienced wargamer ...
    and with an excellent command of my language!
    (Thank Heaven, my own command of other languages is incredibly minuscule).
    Most of my wargaming was with board games from Avalon Hill in the old days and SPI prior to the criminal takeover by Gygax.
    In miniatures, I'd stuck with pre-gunpowder until about three years ago .... so there's no way I'd match your collection of rules.
    About BAR ... ignore the rule book for a bit and closely look at the cheat sheets ... then the rule book clarifies them ...
    I hope that you will also give Koenig Krieg a try one of these days ...

  3. Arthur,

    I don't think I'm widely experienced as a wargamer. I just have this large collection of rules I've gathered on my quest for the ultimate set. Some of these rules never got beyond a first game, others were given up halfway through reading (like Challenger 2000).
    Let's just say I have a wide knowledge rather than experience.
    Koenig Krieg, heard of them, but can't situate the rules.
    Sorry Jeff, no AAR on this teaser (that's why it's called a teaser...)