Home Forums General General The Early Days of 20th Century Miniatures Gaming?

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    A lot of my miniature gaming interest is set in the 20th century, and lately, I’ve become intrigued by relatively rare photos and mentions of WWII and later games played in the “early days” of the hobby.  Recently, while leafing through Featherstone’s Advanced War games, I began to wonder what info might be out there after again looking at the photos of Lionel Tarr’s Stalingrad game and WWII and Vietnam games of Z. M. Iwaszko.  I’m aware of the “modern” rules created by them, and am curious about those and other early gamers, games, and rules set in the 1930s to 1970s that predate roughly 1974.

    I’ve been snooping around the internet over the last couple of weeks, but figured I’d ask, are there any web sites, blogs or books that offer information on this part of miniatures gaming history?

    I’m interested in the gamers, their games, rules, etc.  Basically anything associated with their efforts.



    Guy Farrish

    John Curry’s ‘The History of Wargaming Project’ has a lot of this info – but most of it is in reprinted or collated book form which you will need to pay for in this format – not a free service.

    John has put a huge effort into saving or recovering much of this info and getting permission from copyright holders where appropriate.

    Having said that some of the info is still out there in the nooks and crannies of the web if you feel like hunting.

    It’s certainly easier to buy the two or three books you would be  interested in.

    The History of Wargaming Project

    I know John but have no commercial link with the project.


    Any of the Tank battles in Miniature series from the History of Wargaming will have a lot of information.  The ones by Don Featherstone are great reads!

    Mecano magazine had a series of articles by Charles Grant for simple wargame rules for WW2.  The game is called “Battle” and has been subsequently published as a book and then reprinted recently with some extra material.  They used to be downloadable but apparently these were illegal scans of the magazine articles and I doubt you can find them right now.  Caliver Books republished Battle.

    Finally, Airfix Magazine guide #15 features some wargaming rules by Bruce Quarrie.  OOP but can sometimes be found for a reasonable price.

    I suspect there is not too much from the early days of wargaming (1960s) because many of the early gamers were also veterans of WW2.  The era may not have piqued their interest because they lived it.  It wasn’t much of a game to them.


    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

    --Abraham Lincoln


    Much appreciated guys, many thanks!!

    I’m not surprised that interest would have been limited, and was particularly surprised to find a Vietnam  game being played in miniature prior to 1970.  I also can’t imagine how hard it must have been to research this stuff back then, let alone trying to come up with figs.  I look at my own library and collection of figures and gain an entirely new appreciation for how spoiled I am.

    Thanks again.

    Not Connard Sage

    Terry Wise’s ‘Introduction to Battle Gaming’ has a chapter on WWII gaming. Not a lot of material admittedly, but worth buying the book just for an overview of wargaming in the 1960s, the AARs and the photos of his games using Airfix figures and ‘basic’ terrain.


    It’s been republished by John Curry. I don’t know the price, but my copy cost a guinea 🙂

    "I'm not signing that"


    Of no help to you whatsoever, a friend of mine still has his original copy of Bish Iwaszko’s WW2 rules. They are over 50 years old and rather battered! It would be nice if John Curry could republish them, but they were printed in an odd format so doubt the feasibility.

    More nonsense on my blog: http://battle77.blogspot.com/


    Here we go…


    More nonsense on my blog: http://battle77.blogspot.com/

    Guy Farrish

    Something about Captain JC Sachs’ rules on the same site:

    Captain Sachs an early pioneer

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