Monday, 26 May 2014

Another war game world

I am indebted to John H for his flagging up this YouTube video to me.

It is from a Russian TV programme dubbed into English. At about 7 minutes 25 seconds it goes into an item about the toy soldier collection and war game of Boris Popov and his son Rudik. This revolved around a fictitious country called Elyria (I am not sure of the spelling). Boris Popov was an artist and started a Chronicle of the country in 1912, recording the major battles fought out with his brother and sister. It was illustrated by its author and the Chronicle itself and some sample pages can be seen in the YouTube item.

John was struck by the similarities with the Keefs and Georland. True, it dates from some 50 years later, and the figures in the collection were flats, not demirondes. As artists the Popovs also made a large number of buildings. Many of these were lost as the family was forced to move around in Russia, but Rudik Popov has recreated many of these.

Another difference with Georland is that the rules of the family wargame survive, and a game is show in progress. Moves are measured with dividers, missile fire is by nails fired from cannon, and hand to hand combat resolved by six sided dice.

Thanks very much to John for this find. It has many parallels with Georland as well as interesting differences. It makes you wonder how many more similar collections and set ups are out there waiting to be discovered.


Will McNally said...

Interesting find

Robert (Bob) Cordery said...

How very interesting!

I have visited St Petersburg but managed to miss seeing the collection and/or display at the Hermitage ... which would gave been the highlight of my visit.

I thought that the section of the video about the Popovs and their imagi-nations was inspiring, and the quality of their modelling was outstanding. What a pity that the war diary is not available in English, as I am sure that it would have been a joy to read.

The rules were an interesting parallel with those used by H G Wells, and although I would not want to fire nails at my figures, I can see why the Popovs did.

Many thanks for sharing this with us.

All the best,


MSFoy said...

Fantastic - thanks very much Clive - that got my Bank Holiday off to a very enjoyable start. Most astonishing is that the armies survived at all - definitely a hobby for the bourgeoisie.

I'm going to watch it again now.

Colin said...

Excellent find!

Mark Hargreaves said...

I have just nominated this blog for a Leibster Award on behalf of all of us of a certain age!

Vintage Wargaming said...

Hi Mark

That's kind of you but:

I don't think I am eligible (too many followers); and

I tend not to do these awards (Stylish Blogger etc)

But as I say thank you for thinking of it.


Евгений Красюков said...

I have a book "Ship and soldier" by Rurik Popov. It is his war games rules, land and naval, very simple and fun. I think, that they are same ages as "Little wars". I am was very young (1988), then my mother buy this book for me, but I make wooden ship and try to make tin soldiers. Now I have only e-copy of this book, if you wish I can send it by email. But books on Russian.

Vintage Wargaming said...

I would be interested to see it. I don't read Russian but I know people who do. If you post a comment (which I won't publish) with your email I will contact you. With thanks