- 10/11/2020 at 20:14 #146624
<p style=”text-align: left;”>I was thinking today about when I actually began wargaming as a proper hobby, as opposed to just playing about with Airfix plastic soldiers, and was able to narrow it down to January 1983, on a wet Saturday in Penzance.</p>
I was waiting for a train with my school friends and popped into WHSmiths, where I bought Issue 2 of Miniature Wargames. This was followed the week after by a copy of the Military Modelling Wargamers Manual in my local newsagent and then a long term loan of Tank Battles in Miniature from the local library.
I’m still going thirty seven years later and I still have that copy of Miniature Wargames as well.
How about you?10/11/2020 at 20:49 #146627Thaddeus BlanchetteParticipant
Hmmm. I think it was when I found “Charge!” in my local library and set up my Airfix guys to play it. That would have been around… Wow. Lessee. Maybe when I was ten? So 43 years ago in 1977. I’d already been playing board wargames for a year or two.
It would have probably been in summer, because I found the book at the Sheboygan Public Library when I was at my grandmother’s house on break.
We get slapped around, but we have a good time!10/11/2020 at 21:00 #146629PaintingLittleSoldiersParticipant
My grandad gave me the knock off Airfix 8th army and Germans from Hong Kong and we used to blow them up with firecrackers in the garden (which were made into trenches and such). A few years later I was given a load of 1/35 tanks and eventually some Italeri battle packs (Salerno was the first) and then it went from there.10/11/2020 at 21:35 #146630willzParticipant
Having played with Airfix toy soldiers from 8 years old then around 1971 – 72 a friend from school Kim Watts inviting me to the school wargame club and then picking up Donald Featherstones “wargame books”, Terrance Wise “Introduction to Battle Gaming” and Charles Grant “The Wargame” all picked up from Ipswich library got me into this wonderful hobby. Still going strong nearly 50 years later.10/11/2020 at 21:56 #146631grizzlymcParticipant
Model engineer exhibition 1970, I saw a Wellingtonics game being played and the next weekend my dad and I made up some rules and used my Airfix ACW figs and the confederates got some cuirassiers as cavalry.10/11/2020 at 22:35 #146634MikeKeymaster
I remember reading Blood Bath at Orcs Drift in White Dwarf 68 which was August 1985.
Though I don’t think I bought any rules until WFB 3rd edition, which was 1987, not sure on the month, but bought it when it came out.
That if anything would have been when I started wargaming proper.
I was into the hobby a bit before that, boardgames and painting models etc.10/11/2020 at 23:25 #146635Mike HeaddenParticipant
1965, summertime I think, though I don’t remember the month. After a year of regularly asking staff in the Children’s section to get books from the Adult section of the library for me, this was the one that not only started me on wargaming but also got my 12 year old self an adult ticket to add to my three junior ones.
Cue games on the back lawn with Airfix ships and Fletcher Pratt inspired rules. Halcyon days!
Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!11/11/2020 at 07:12 #146645MartinRParticipant
I used to push my Airfx figures around, then I found this:
That would be the early 1970s.
"Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke11/11/2020 at 07:31 #146650Not Connard SageParticipant
I used to push my Airfx figures around, then I found this: That would be the early 1970s.
Me too 🙂
"I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."11/11/2020 at 07:34 #146651Steve JohnsonParticipant
Hmmm, early to mid-1970’s with Thane Tostig fantasy and Airfix magazine guide WWII rules. Soon after D&D IIRC. It’s so long ago I can’t honestly say which came first!11/11/2020 at 08:55 #146654
I seem to remember my first proper metal figures were 15mm Peter Laing ECW. I also had some of the 28mm plastic WSS figures from Spencer Smith. After that it was Heroics and Ros micro tanks. Brilliant!11/11/2020 at 08:57 #146655
That was in the days when you could order individual 15mm figures… by post with a cheque. And they arrived in the early morning not mid afternoon.11/11/2020 at 09:37 #146656bobmParticipant
1970 with a friend’s Napoleonic Hinchliffe figures and Dicovering Wargames by John Tunstill rules….which we didn’t really understand at 11 years old
There's 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't.....11/11/2020 at 10:59 #146657John D SaltParticipant
I know my first HO/OO figures were the Airfix (first type) Germany Infantry and US Marines, in the old window-fronted boxes. I’m not sure what year that would have been; maybe 1966. I know I had “Airfix Magazine” regularly from 1968 at the latest, and at the age of eight years old was entrusted with sharp knives and industrial solvents to construct Airfix kits. I’m fairly sure the Spitfire IX was my first kit, and the Sherman my first military kit. “Proper” wargaming, though, didn’t start until my final term in infant school, in 1971. The school I went to had my own father, Dennis Salt, as headmaster. Dad used to say that everyone had at least one book in them; and, in their final term at his school, he asked them to write it, on any subject they liked. I had difficulty thinking of a good topic, so he suggested wargaming. Proper wargaming — not just rolling marbles at soldiers, or shooting at them with Britain’s matchstick-firing 25-pounders. Dad knew all about 25-pounders, as he’d done his National Service in the Royal Artillery just after the war (and just before Korea). I never did find out where he had heard about proper wargaming, though, it wasn’t that common a sport in those days; possibly he read my copies of”Airfix Magazine” more thoroughly than I did.
Anyway, it was off to Horsham library for me, and I discovered and devoured Don Featherstone’s “Battles with Model Soldiers”. What a revelation. I think the next books I swept up from the library were H G Wells’ “Little Wars” and Young & Lawtons’s “Charge”. A pretty good threesome of books to start with, on the strength of which I wrote my book, “Against Small Odds”, including my childish attempts at marginal illustrations in the style of J R Sinclair. Then, having discovered that Horsham Library (conveniently adjacent to Model Corner) classified wargames books under Dewey 355, I read my way through pretty much all the Featherstones then in print. I got a copy of Featherstone’s “War Games” as a Christmas present, and the first wargaming book I purchased with my own money, for the princely sum of a guinea (although the new money had come in by then) was Charles Grant’s “Battle”. This was the best of the lot, as it not only showed you how to play wargames, but showed you the logic behind devising a set of rules — still something very few books cover. Also in 1971, once I had started “big school”, I received a copy of Avalon Hill’s “Afrika Korps”, a cast-off from one of my Mum’s friends, whose 14-year-old had found it too complicated. This was the first of a collection of board wargames that has grown at the latest count to 252 titles. There may be better ways of being introduced to wargaming than Featherstone, Wells, Young & Lawton, Grant, and “Afrika Korps”, but I rather doubt it.
My father could not have guessed where his introducing me to wargaming would lead. It has given me a lifelong hobby — I still wargame with some of the people I started with in 1971 — but also a doctorate in simulation modelling, and a job that includes professional wargaming, and has seen me umpiring force development games at RMA Sandhurst. Dad died five years ago today, appropriately enough for an old soldier at about eleven o’clock. I shall be raising a glass to his memory tonight.
All the best,
John.11/11/2020 at 12:23 #146658Guy FarrishParticipant
Airfix 8th Army and Afrika Korps sometime in the early 60s.
Seeing Callan playing wargames on TV (a Secret Agent playing games with toy soldiers! Does it get any better?) in the late 60s alerted me to the fact you could do more with figures than blow them up and shoot them with an air rifle.
Bought ‘Charge!’ by Young and Lawford, in Mortens Bookshop, Sunderland Street Macclesfield August 1972.11/11/2020 at 13:45 #146669John TreadawayParticipant
Airfix Romans and Ancient Brits in the late ’60s followed by their Napoleonics. Always intersperced with some Roco Minitanks (of no particular period as they were all just ‘tanks’!). I gamed with home grown rules with the romans and brits (and an Airfix Mile castle and a Bellona vac formed Roman Marching fort) and in the early ’70s discovered Airfix magazine at school, plus Military Modelling and Airfix 1/32 soft plastic WW2. In the mid seventies I dound MiniFigs ‘not really Lord of the Rings, honest’ ME range and found a wargames club in ’76 or so.
Then it was all down hill from there!
www.hammers-slammers.com"They don't have to like us, snake, they just have t' make the payment schedule" Lt Cooter - Hammer's Slammers
http://www.hammers-slammers.com11/11/2020 at 18:40 #146681deephorseParticipant
I blame my mother. Or, more properly, I am eternally grateful for her pushing me towards this all engrossing hobby. I was gluing Airfix kits, and my fingers, together at about age 6. All those canopies ruined by glue fingerprints. At age 9 I too was pushing Airfix figures around the carpet. At some point in my very early teens my mum bought me this book, and I discovered that ‘pushing around’ could have regulation applied to it.
For lack of an opponent, my brother was too young for the hobby, I looked around for another way to play wargames and I discovered the hex boardgame courtesy of SPI. After four or five years of playing these games solo I found that there was a wargame club in my town, and I never looked back. So I’ve probably been playing with toy soldiers for well over 50 years now, and I can’t see myself ever giving up. What a great hobby!
Less enthusiasm, please. This is Britain.11/11/2020 at 18:41 #146682
Dicovering Wargames by John Tunstill rules….which we didn’t really understand at 11 years old
That reminds me of my inadvertent misreading of Tank Battles in Miniature, when I thought that each turn representing one minute of real time, meant that you had only sixty actual seconds to resolve each turn per tank.
I eventually got down moving, ranging, traversing, firing, hitting and penetration to about forty seconds, with my alarm clock set to go off after the time was up. Not bad given all the tables involved, neatly copied out onto postcards.
Absolutlely the best tank warfare games I’ve ever played and very seat of your pants.11/11/2020 at 19:26 #146683jeffersParticipant
The name of my blog indicates my Eureka moment! But I rate 1983 as my second formative wargaming year. In late ‘82 I discovered Esdevium Games in Aldershot and spent most of ‘83 perusing their rules-packed shelves. Got into loads of things: Pony Wars, WRG 1950-85, Newbury Colonial, cowboys, Zulus, AWI, WW2, 1/32 in the garden…. and if I had no figures, I just used card strips.
Great soundtrack to the year too, even if it did start with Renee & Renato.
More nonsense on my blog: http://battle77.blogspot.com/11/11/2020 at 20:59 #146690
I used to go into Games Inc in Plymouth…a great shop with loads of rules and boardgames that I still have including Laserburn, WRG 6th edition, TTG micro games and Cry Havoc.11/11/2020 at 21:40 #146691PatriceParticipant
I was 12 (earlier than ’83!) I already had Airfix figures and I was playing with them (with no rules)… I went to the UK for a trip… and in a bookshop I found this:
It was in a bookshelf between “normal” books about fishing or gardening, this would have been unbelievable in France at the time.
I still have it. …In fact I never played with it, it’s unplayable, but it was fascinating, there are ideas to think about, and it did help me to understand that wargaming could be accepted by “serious” people and not despised as a kid’s game.
https://www.anargader.net/11/11/2020 at 22:32 #146694GazParticipant
Summer 1986. I bought the ‘Tragedy of McDeath’ at a dept. store in Dublin, not realising it was a just a supplement for Warhammer 2nd Ed. I purchased the rules soon after and I was pushing card counters around on a bed sheet for weeks.11/11/2020 at 22:58 #146697kyoteblueParticipant
I played with army men until my first Naval War Game in 1979 with Cordite and Steel.12/11/2020 at 01:26 #146701PaintingLittleSoldiersParticipant
Dicovering Wargames by John Tunstill rules….which we didn’t really understand at 11 years old
That reminds me of my inadvertent misreading of Tank Battles in Miniature, when I thought that each turn representing one minute of real time, meant that you had only sixty actual seconds to resolve each turn per tank. I eventually got down moving, ranging, traversing, firing, hitting and penetration to about forty seconds, with my alarm clock set to go off after the time was up. Not bad given all the tables involved, neatly copied out onto postcards. Absolutlely the best tank warfare games I’ve ever played and very seat of your pants.
Fantastic!12/11/2020 at 01:26 #146702Christopher FielitzParticipant
I started in about 1977. I had played a lot of Avalon Hill board games, but then my father took my best friend and I to a gaming shop in Chicago. It was all “down hill” from there! ;). My first rules where Chainmail and Angriff! Not sure if my friend is still gaming, but I have not stopped.
Chris13/11/2020 at 01:46 #146760irishserbParticipant
I bumped into wargaming a couple of times before tumbling into the rabbit hole. The first real game encounter came when I received a second hand copy of Avalon Hill’s France 1940 game in late summer of 1976. But rabbit hole event was when a friend introduced me to Heritage’s Panzertroops in the fall of 1980. We began playing with 1/72 scale airfix figures and various vehicle kits, and miniatures gaming has been a part of my life ever since.14/11/2020 at 03:15 #146816Shaun TraversParticipant
Bit late to the party but it was 1979. I had made some new friends at high school and I went round to their place and played a game using 54mm Airfix ww2 figures on a table tennis table (US Vs Germans) and these rules:
Great fun and I was hooked, going to the local wargames club a month later. I have never actually played those rules ever again though.
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