Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Early Wargaming II

Inspired by the discovery of Colonel's George Alfred Keef’s army and 60 pages of a campaign history from perhaps 1878-1882, I have been researching the start of hobby wargaming with toy soldiers. Colonel Keef's games seemed to be dependent on gunpowder in toy cannons, so were truly in the toy end of the wargame spectrum. 

Polemos (1886) published in Early Wargames Volume 2 was the earliest contender for a toy soldier based wargame, however I have now found an earlier game. 

The game is from approximately 1860 and was discovered by the late Hans Roer (an expert on early German figures). The two photo's below are reproduced from his book and are copyrighted to Hans Roer. 

This is clearly the earliest example of a hobby wargame with toy soldiers found to date. However, as I write this I already have more information arriving about even earlier wargames. 

My thanks to Brian Carrick for further information about the game. Brian is one of the editors of Plastic Warrior that marvelous hobby magazine all about collecting plastic soldiers.


  1. Wonderful stuff John - Merry Christmas and thank for all your hard work during the year.

  2. Through the toy soldier collectors network, I have now identified a number of early wargames using figures. When I get a moment, I will post a summary.