Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Three Fathers

On Sunday a rendezvous in  a windswept motorway service station saw me taking possession of a package from Tim Gow of Megablitz and more containing various papers from the collection of the late John G Robertson of Dundee, who was well known in wargaming circles in Scotland. Chief amongst them was a copy of Don Featherstone's Wargamers Newsletter Wargamers Yearbook 1966/7, which I had never seen before.

It is a rich source of 1966 goodies and some of them will appear here in due course. However, the thing I have most been interested in is a long article by Don himself entitled The Early Days of Wargaming - The R.L. Stevenson story.

This reports research by one Karl G Zipple of Michigan into Stevenson's wargames at Davos in 1880-1883 and contains some sources I haven't seen before.

The reason it has caught my interest to so great an extent is in the context of George Keef and Georland, who got properly into his stride in 1872, eight years before  RLS at Davos. This shows the importance of George Keef as a previously unknown early proponent of wargaming with figures, and earlier than the previously accepted pioneer RLS.

Clearly, whenever people have had toy soldiers there have been people throwing things at them and fighting battles. However, reading Don Featherstone's article reinforced the view that George Keef is now eligible to be counted as one of the early fathers of wargaming, along with HG Wells and Robert Louis Stevenson.

More on this along with the text of the article can be found in these four posts over on the Georland blog.


AlFront said...

Totally off topic. But, what is known about David Nash and his 1974 book 'Wargames' ? I've posted about it on m'blog: http://alfront-wardiariesofalittleenglander.blogspot.co.uk/

Vintage Wargaming said...

David Nash also wrote a series called World of Wargaming A guide to tactics and rules for the 1808 - 1815 period in Almark Modelword. These articles covered subjects including Line and Mixed Order Formations; The Column: advantages and drawbacks; The Skirmishing Line; and Cavalry Tactics>

The first three articles are among the various posts referring to him on Vintage Wargaming - find them here: -http://vintagewargaming.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=David+Nash

he was a founder meber of the London Wargames Club and wrote a number of books for Almark, the best known of which is possibly his work on the Prussian Army.

AlFront said...

Aha! I knew you'd know! Cheers!