Monday, 31 December 2012

Free Roco Minitanks

I have been contacted by David regarding 40 Roco Minitanks "from his youth" which are available free to a good home for anyone who will pick them up from Portsmouth UK - NB THESE ARE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SOMEONE WHO WILL GO AND COLLECT THEM - NO POSTING. I have no further information on which models they are, condition etc. If you are interested use the "contact Vintage Wargaming" link at the top of this page and I will forward your e-mail to David.If I hear from David these have gone I will remove this post.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Looking for the Nelson Touch, and more

Den has been in touch trying to track down a couple of multi-part articles from the early to mid 1970s. They were by Rod Hunt, from either Sword & Lance or Military Enthusiast magazines. The first was the Nelson Touch Napoleonic Naval Rules, and the second WW1 Dogfight Rules.

Boardgame Geek has an entry for the Nelson Touch, which appeared in Military Enthusiast #2 and #3 in 1976, including a couple of scanned pages.

If anyone knows more or has any information on either of these sets of rules, could you get in touch either through comments on this post or using the "Contacting Vintage Wargaming" link at the top of the page.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Groves & Benoy - Boy Band 1812

I don't think that would be how they would have appeared in a catalogue (had there been one) and I suspect at least some of these are intended to function as muleteers. The one on the third from the left needs to work a bit on his dancing.

Groves & Benoy - not the next Archbishop of Canterbury

Made from a basic figure and some metal sheet, this is the famous Spanish priest.

Groves & Benoy - Ladies of Spain

Groves & Benoy - Spanish Gentlemen

Groves & Benoy - the Light Company

It seems that these figures represent the 33rd Foot (Yorkshire West Riding Regiment). This is a bit of a poser as they didn't serve in the Peninsular War, as far as I can determine. However, the other two lots from this seller, which Harry Pearson bought, comprise battalion company and grenadier company men from this regiment, as shown by the Regimental Colour they carry.

The light company seem to have two Rifles officers attached (and I'm sure Brig Benoy had never heard of Richard Sharp). O)ne of the light company officers seems to be a Frenchman with a paint job.

The sergeants are decorated with sashes appropriate to their rank.

Groves & Benoy - mules

I seem to have acquired 28 of these, which suggests Brigadier General Benoy's appointment as the BEF's Quartermaster General may have affected his wargaming rules.

Not all of them have their full loads or reins.

I suspect some of the civilian figures are intended as muleteers (some of the boy band, perhaps), though I am not sure which ones.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012


What are these then? A major find from e-bay - I also won 28 mules and 14 Spanish Peninsular civilians.

Can anyone identify the manufacturer? Further pictures and the answer (if no-one gets it) will follow. If you think you know, please leave a comment below.

Clue: there are some pictures of figures by this maker elsewhere on the blog.

I am very, very, very pleased to have bought these figures - probably my second or third favourite purchase ever.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Lamming Seven Years War Range

The Lamming Seven Years War range has almost a mystical standing. Released for only a short period in the 1970s, no-one seemed to have any figures, pictures, or lists for the range.

Recently two things have happened - first, this turned up in a mixed bag of figures:

a previously unseen Native American figure with a characteristic Lamming Easter Island face; although obviously a copy rather than an original figure, this has the look of a Lamming figure, so I wonder if it might be a Lamming SYW - no other obvious candidate for which range it might be from (though as mentioned above in the absence of a list for the range there is no evidence it was included).

I am by no means 100% sure this is a Lamming figure but currently that seems the most likely option. Maybe someone out there might recognise this figure.

Then a few weeks later some figures appeared on ebay billed as Lamming SYW. I was pleased to win them but a little disappointed when they arrived that they are clearly not original figures - the shiny metal mix is wrong and bubbles on the underside of the bases show they are recasts.

Prussian Grenadier

Russian Jager

However, I have never seen them before. They clearly are Lamming - a give away is the dimpled grass effect on the top side of the bases, and the Jagers are very reminiscent of the rather lovely Lamming Napoleonic dismounted hussar. Also, the code on the underside of the Prussian Grenadiers have survived the recasting progress, so we can at least make a start on a Lamming SYW range list - P1 Prussian Grenadier.

Finally, the loveliest figure is this Cuirassier. It came as a surprise that this is a one piece figure. It came with a standard made from brass sheet. It looks like this might be a conversion of an officer or trooper figure with drawn sword.

If anyone has any information on the Lamming SYW range, any figures from it or photos of figures from it, or a listing of the figures in the range, I would be very glad to hear from you.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Looking for Neil Cogswell

I've had a request from Patrick who is trying to make contact with Neil Cogswell (of War of Bombar Succession fame)regarding Horace St Paul, an Englishman who served in the Seven Years War. Patrick believes Mr Cogswell has studied Horace St Paul in some depth and would like to ask for some help regarding a volume of St Paul's correspondence published in 1904.

If anyone is in contact with Mr Cogswell and could help put Patrick in touch with him,
please could you respond using the link in "Contacting Vintage Wargaming" at the top of this page.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Simply wonderful - portable gladiators

This is based on an idea in an article in Military Modelling from 1973, put into practice by Ian Hayward when he was 12. Which makes it just about bang on for Vintage Wargaming.

A nod to Harry over at Parum Pugna for unearthing this gem. I've reposted here as some of you may not be visitors at Harry's blog - if not, I do recommend it, again. And just call me Tango 002.

You can go direct to Ian Hayward's page for this project by following this link.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Callan on the Wireless

BBC Radio 4 Extra are broadcasting a new radio adaptation of Red File for Callan by James Mitchell, read by Ben Miles. For UK listeners at least the first episode is available on the BBC iPlayer here

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Nice surprise in the post 2

An interesting A4 envelope from Rob Young at Garrison popped through the letter box today. After 40 years' gap Rob has decided it is time for a second edition of the Garrison Journal. Officially the first one was the Greenwood & Ball Journal, edited by Charles Grant and published in the Summer of 1972. I did think I had previously posted about this original publication, but if so I haven't found it (so another post later...)

Rob's new effort contains some history of the ranges, old advertisements, and his battle report for Cunaxa 401BC. It looks like he intends this for limited circulation only - if he decides to make it more widely available I will add the details to this post.

Either way, it is very welcome. Up with this sort of thing! Careful now!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

A new history of wargaming

In a bit of a departure this week I received a complimentary copy of a new book by Jon Peterson, called Playing at the World a History of Simulating War, People and Fantastic Adventures, from Chess to Role Playing Games.

As I understand it the book seeks to trace the origins of Dungeons and Dragons through to modern role playing games, from earlier games from chess, through kriegspiel, and wargaming with model soldiers.

I think I will have received this copy because of the posts of early material from Wargamer’s Newsletter here by Gary Gygax and others, the Wargaming in the Twin Cities post, and some of the material on the debate on the place of fantasy in wargaming.

My own interests are UK based, historical miniatures gaming; the focus of this book is US based, board games, fantasy and role playing. I haven’t read it all but I have read Chapter Three, which offers a history of wargames, from 1780 and before, to the appearance of Dungeons and Dragons.

My reading is that the narrative drive of the book is towards the emergence of Dungeons and Dragons, and this means its emphasis and interpretation can seem a little odd to someone reading it from my perspective. It seems to me, for example, that it gives slightly more emphasis to the role of Tony Bath than others may, as the thesis is that Bath’s medieval rules from 1966 contributed to Gygax’s development of his Chainmail medieval rules, which in turn influenced the development of Dungeons and Dragons. There is also a considerable discussion of Bath’s Hyboria campaign. The author’s description of Tony Bath as among the most influential British miniature wargamers may read a little strangely to UK eyes – perhaps because he did not publish as widely as others; although Hyboria was certainly much admired.

This emphasis means, for example, that while Charlie Wesencraft is referred to three times, on each occasion it refers to his rules on mercenaries which influenced Gygax.

This isn’t a light read – it is written in the form of an academic work, with quite dense use of primary sources. It is particularly strong on collections of wargaming periodicals – more on the board gaming and fantasy side, but for example referring to several key articles in the BMSS’s Bulletin.

The general history of wargames it presents is interesting and contains a fair amount of material that is new to me. There is a very detailed account of the various versions of Kriegspiel and its antecedents, with interesting accounts of Robert Louis Stevenson and hG Wells. I was particularly pleased to see reference to Bob Bard's Making and Collecting Military Miniatures and a picture of rather better copy than the one I used of the Wargaming in the Twin Cities article from 1966 featuring Dave Arnesen and David Wesely.

If this all seems a little half hearted, it isn’t meant to be. The author’s interest in wargaming is substantially different to my own, but there is much interesting information here. some of which was entirely new to me. It isn’t an easy read along the lines of Achtung Schweihund! but if you are interested in the fantasy and role playing side of the hobby it may be just the thing for you.

The book is clearly the result of an immense amount of research and hard work. In the spirit of Blackadder III reading Dr Johnson's Dictionary,

I will only mention that I found it surprising given its interest in Kriegspiel and military board gaming that Guy Debord's Game of War makes no appearance. (I must admit I am relying on the index for this assertion as I have not read all 698 pages.

The book can be found on on Amazon UK here and you can use the Look Inside feature to see some of the content – if you think you may be interested in it I would suggest having a look at Chapter Three and seeing what you think.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Le Kriegspiel - Part 1 - Foreword, Introduction and Terrain

I am grateful to Pat Condray for his permission to post his 1969 translation of Pierre Foure and Jean Belaubre's Le Kriegspiel rules.

I have split it into five sections to make it easier to use.

My apologies for the quality of the scans - these have been taken from a slightly dodgy photocopy, rather than an original of the book.

Le Kriegspiel - Part 2 - Tactical Units

This section contains rules for infantry, cavalry and artillery units within the game.

Le Kriegspiel - Part 3 - Combat and Situations

Two further sections from Pat Condray's 1968 translation of these rules - thanks again for his permission to post these.

Le Kriegspiel - Part 4 - 1680 Variant