Saturday, 26 May 2012

The Jolly Good Fun Irregular Balkan War Game

I think completely unconnected to the recent post of the Miniature Warfare Balkans 1919 article, I received an e-mail from Stephen from the War Diaries of a Little Englander blog. This said: "I wonder if you could help me via your Vintage Wargaming blog? I’m looking for an article, or just an exact reference, that was either in Miniature Wargames, or Wargames Illustrated towards the end of the 1990s (I think). It was about playing a H G Wells’ style wargame using 42mm (Irregular figures, I suspect) , and used wine corks and beer mats. I seem to remember that the period was pre-Great War Balkans Wars. I posted about this the other day on my blog – War Diaries of a Little Englander – but with no luck, yet."

Fortunately a very small amount of digging unearthed two articles by Phil Gray in The Journal of Twentieth Century Wargamers (SOTCW) from 1998, one desecribing the game, with the second later article containing the rules. The game was inspired by Irregular Niniatures 42mm Toy Soldier range, HG Wells' Litlle Wars, and an account by Gerald Durrell. The game was run as a demonstration game at a number of shows, to promote the Irregular range, the SOTCW, and the Continental Wars Society.

Witht he pernmission of the author and of Richard Baber, the editor of the Journal, the original article is reproduced here, with the second article (the rules) in a separate post below. Phil doesn't remember submitting an article on this game to any of the glossy magazines, but if anyone knows any differntly, please let us know with a comment.

The SOTCW website contains information on The Journal, back issues, society membership, and the Society's on line forum.

The Irregular 42mm ranges can be see on their website - click on "42mm" at the bottom of the home page to see the lists, prices etc.


Ross Mac said...

I definitely remember an article in one of the 2 glossies as well, complete with colour pics and containing something about beer mats.
Perhaps that 4 figures were mounted on a beer mat and if an artillery cork landed on a mat it was a hit?

I strongly suspect WI but can't swear to it nor the date. I did keep the clipping for awhile but it finally went in one of my purges.
Not much help but it did exist. Was it some one else copying the original perhaps?

MurdocK said...

have used the Rock-Paper-Scissors (PSS) method before in some games with very young players to great effect.

Have also used shooters (single-malt scotch) as 'casualties' ... certainly made for the ample demonstration of poor decision making once too many 'casualties' were taken.

For tabletop minis I have not really ever used things-thrown-at-the-minis as there are just too many players with expensive troops on the table. Now though with all my own Napoleonic troops cast from Prince August Molds? .... something to consider.

Nigel Drury said...

I think I played this at SELWG a few years ago.

Small arms fire involved trying to land tiddly winks on the infantry unit (beermat) unit bases and artillery used wine corks.

It was a very good demo game. A few years back but certainly memorable.

Ross Mac said...

I have managed to find the end of the article (no idea what happened to the rest, there is an Irregular Balkan Wars add on the reverse and this was about the time I first got involved in home cast 40mm figures so I may have been saving the ad)

It was in Wargames Illustrated and mentions winning an award at Triples March 1999 so was presumably published sometime after this date.

Probably not much point in scanning the last couple of paragraphs.


The Old Metal Detector said...

Thanks Ross, I'll try to look that issue out now I know which mag it was in

Phil Dutré said...

Many years ago I made a small page on 'Little Wars', and it is stilla ctive on my old site:

It contains a scanned picture of the Balkans game, with beermats and corks, from Wargames Illustrated, November 2000.

Phil Dutré said...

Scanned picture of this game in WI, November 2000: