As I've said before, my first wargaming influences were Featherstone, followed by WRG, Lawford & Young and HG Wells. Who I haven't given enough credit to is Gene McCoy and his Wargamer's Digest. (Not to be confused with the similarly named Scruby/Featherstone publication.) When I came across issue Volume 2, Number 1 in November, 1974 (at International Hobbies in Montreal if memory serves) I was thrilled and eagerly awaited each issue through my college years even though the gaming presented tended to be of a very different style to what I was used to. The different gaming and rules style commonly used may have made it harder to relate some articles to my own gaming but the articles were still interesting and useful. Many dealt with things like applying military principles to your games (surprise, concentration of force etc), translating historical organizations into practical wargame formations or translating historical actions into table top battles and articles on game theory and design.
I never did convert styles, and while I have played many of the slightly later CS Grant "Tabletop Teasers", I'm not sure that I ever played out any of the similar concept, "Battle Stations: Small Unit Actions" despite reading many of them over and over. This year I intend to put that to rights. I got rid of most of my original copies during a purge of magazines in the early '90's, most, but not all and there is a Yahoo group which includes some articles in its files. Unlike the Grant Teasers, McCoy's Battle Stations came with a suggested solution, so I'll have to take care not to re-read the solutions before playing them out! (Some of them had limited intelligence about enemy forces, I haven't decided yet just how to handle that!)
Oddly enough, my first issue, one I still have, contained an article discussing Marathon, Thymbra and Double Envelopment. Yes, Thymbra, the battle where Croesus, King of Lydia was defeated by Cyrus the Great, King of Persia. Those who have read my other blog, Gathering of Hosts, will be aware that I am in the process of reforming my various ancients into Mede/Persian and Lydian armies. Last year I fought Marathon, it seems only right that this year I fight Thymbra. I have more troops to paint so look for it in June. A Battle Station should appear later this month.
EXERT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)
"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."
-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013
Monday, January 3, 2011
A New Year, A New Old Resource
Born and raised in the suburbs of Montreal, 5 years in the Black Watch of Canada Cadets, 5 years at the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean followed by 4 in the navy. 25 years with CPC in IT simultaneous with 23 years running a boarding kennel. Inherited my love of toy soldiers from my mother's father. Married with a Whippet, 10 Italian Greyhounds, 4 cats and a bird. Prematurely retired and looking forward to leisure to game, garden and sculpt in our 150 yr old farmhouse.