Saturday, 6 June 2009

Weird Wargames Technology

From the dawn of time wargamers have been coming up with ingenious (and let's face it, often ridiculous) solutions to problems which may or may not exist, and pursued these enthusiasms far beyond the bounds of common sense. This has resulted in a vast number of proprietary home made devices which have slipped from our collective memory.

I'm not deriding the thought and effort of the inventors of these systems, and I am certainly not poking fun at their willingness to publish them and subject them to scrutiny by others - I think they are worth making accessible, and may help people develop their own thinking.

There is a Heath Robinson feel to some of these gimmicks, while others have so obviously had so much intelligence applied to them that they are completely beyond comprehension - does anyone else remember trying to read the chapter on the Timms War-games Computer in Don Featherstone's Advanced Wargames (which also featured Ron Miles' Rounders)?

The appliances required (bounce sticks, log pins, burst circles etc) often form part of the charm of many sets of rules from the 60s and 70s. While there are any number of professionally manufactured dice, markers and other accessories available to the hobby today, the Barry Bucknell type DIY nature of these earlier gadgets give them a wonderful character all of their own. I will be keeping an eye out for examples of these ideas and devices and will be looking to post a number of them in the future. To start with I have unearthed the Hyper Miniatures System, and the Bloody Angle, below. Please let me know if there is interest in seeing more of this sort of stuff.

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