Saturday 17 December 2016

With Thanks to Henry Hyde Editor of Miniature Wargames 2006-2016

Henry Hyde stepped down as editor of one of the major wargaming magazines in October 2016 to pursue other projects.

He was editor during a period of great change in wargaming:

Over the last 10 years:

  • Wargaming shops on the high street have almost vanished. 
  • Ebay has become a major part of selling and buying 2nd hand wargaming stuff. 
  • Facebook/ Twitter feeds, blogs, Pininterest and other social media have allowed geographically dispersed wargamers to link up and network. 
  • Professional wargaming has emerged from the shadows and the hobby is contributing to professional games and visa versa. 
  • The hobby has rediscovered its respect for some of the early modern wargames, acknowledging the best work of the founding fathers, and in the finest tradition of the early wargamers, many people are again writing their own rules and modifying the work of others. 
  • The History of Wargaming Project has developed into  a key focus of older wargaming material, as well as documenting professional wargaming. 

Henry, through his  editorship of Miniature Wargames has been a commentator on these paradigm changes and also a part of influencing these changes.

So this wargamer would like to publicly say thank you for your hard work and encouragement over the last decade.

Tuesday 8 November 2016

Sandhurst Krieggspiel now in print

This book is about training games for the modern infantry officer.

Wargaming has been an important part of military training since the Prussians first used it to develop their warfighting capabilities in the 19th century. The aim of this book is the first of a series to provide off the shelf wargames that may be of immediate use in military training. 
This book contains 4 ready to use wargames:

Game 1: The Sandhurst Kriegsspiel aims to allow officers to test the plan they devised in a TEWT on the actual ground using the tool of wargaming. The explanation includes an example of a platoon as well as a company level game. 

Game 2: The Battlegroup Kriegsspiel is next level up game. While still a kriegsspiel, dependent on sound military judgement by the umpire (and players), it includes some hard operational research based tables to help arbitrate the combat outcomes. 

Game 3: Current Ops: the Modern Infantry Battle is a more rigid kriegsspiel, with more detailed rules to govern movement, combat, suppression and ammunition expenditure. It is more similar in format to the hobby wargames, but still embeds some key military lessons within it. 

Game 4: Counter IED Kriegsspiel is an excellent example of using some of the recent developments in wargaming to create an engaging game to be used as part of training around patrolling when faced by an IED threat.

The black and white edition of the book can be bought from or the full colour version can be bought from 

Tuesday 1 November 2016

George Gush's A Guide to Wargaming

This classic book is now available again via the project. First published in 1980, it was at the end of the first golden age of wargaming publishing. So it contained an excellent summary and analysis of where the hobby was at that time.

The book includes 3 sets of rules; later 19th century, 20th century skirmish and medieval wargaming rules.

Sunday 18 September 2016

New book Paddy Griffith’s Counter Insurgency Wargames (1980)

Paddy Griffith’s Counter Insurgency Wargames (1980) 

with a foreword by Brian Train

Paddy Griffith (1947- 2010) was a leading British military theorist and historian, who used wargaming as part of his tool set to critically analyse operational and tactical military history. This book includes two previously unpublished COunter-INsurgency (COIN) wargames from 1976 to 1980 and an example of a British Army live-roleplaying COIN from 1980.

Paddy Griffith examined COIN situations using wargaming as part of his professional work, which included being a lecturer in war studies at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. This book includes previously unpublished material from his archive about three such exercises.
The first COIN game, Longreagh Village, is about a security force base facing a particularly challenging week of supporting the local police in a border village. Briefings are provided for the security forces and the opposition group. This is supported by a sketch map, intelligence files and a breakdown of activities for each day of the week. 

The second COIN game, summer in Dogem-on-Sea, is set in ORANGELAND. The local police are facing a two pronged threat against the local population. The security forces part of the game was run as a committee game, whereas the opposition side was run as a role-playing game. Detailed briefings are provided, the events diary of the local police commander, tactical sketch maps of key locations as well as other background material. 

The third COIN game is an outline of a British Army live-roleplaying exercise, with a cast of 250 people. Soldiers and civilians were drafted in to create a backdrop for an intensive 48 hour exercise to allow the officer cadets of Sandhurst to gain practical experience of COIN. As a lecturer in war studies, Paddy Griffith contributed to these exercises, in particular, the development of the exercise narrative. 

This book is almost unique in providing detailed historical examples of COIN exercises and as such is a window into the professional perspective of the British Army into COIN at that time.
The foreword is by Brian Train, a well-known current game designer, who specialises in producing games about irregular warfare.

Thursday 21 July 2016

I must study war

"I must study politics and war, that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain."
John Adams in 1780 (President of USA 1797-1801)

Wednesday 29 June 2016

Academic References for Matrix games

I was preparing a lecture on the use of wargaming for education for a conference at Bristol University in July 2016, when I started looking for references to the use matrix games (invented by Chris Engle). I stopped after the first 10.

John Curry and Tim Price MBE (2014) Matrix Games for Modern Wargaming Developments in Professional and Educational Wargames Innovations in Wargaming Volume 2

Bryan R. (2016) Exploring matrix games for mass atrocity prevention and response

Major Mouat T. (2016) Matrix games for language training

Colonel Hall J. and Lt Col Chretien J. (2016) Matrix games at the US Army War College

Taylor B. (2014) Toward serious matrix games

Dixson M., Couillard M., Gongora T., Massel P. (2016) Wargaming to Support Strategic Planning

Capt Davis C., (2016) Using a matrix game as an intelligence training tool

Nicastro L. and Platz I (2016) “Burning Shadows”: Toward matrix gaming as a tool for joint professional military education

Major Mouat T. (2015) Cyber Operational Awareness Course matrix game

Bryan R. (2016) Exploring matrix games for mass atrocity prevention and response

Bryan R. (2014) ISIL matrix game AAR

Friday 17 June 2016

Charlie Wesencraft running a game in Newcastel

Charlie Wesencraft is running a game about a Viking invasion of Tynmouth at the Low Light Museum.

31st July 11.00- 3.00 museum website

North Shields, New Castle Upon Tyne, UK.

He has been hard at working finishing off a diary about his father in law who served in WW1. This book will be published in a few months by the History of Wargaming Project.

Saturday 19 March 2016

Classic Quotes from Professional Wargaming 2016

My wife compares the History of Wargaming Project to a lost parcels office. Stuff which no one else knows what to do with eventually arrives here. Sometimes it is old material, sometimes it is relative new developments in professional wargaming.

There is also an oral history of wargaming being developed around us. Sometimes quotes from this discussion about professional wargaming are worth repeating. These are my 3 favourite for the financial year 2015/6

"If someone in the military dismissed a wargame designed by a civilian with "only soldiers could create real wargames" ... There is no known correlation between being good at one's job and being good at analyzing it." Stephen Downes Martin, Fellow of the Naval War College

“Only soldiers can create them games that reinforce their prejudices and demonstrate their brilliance to themselves, if not to the enemy. The guys with that attitude don't want to know what's true, only to confirm what they believe to be true.” Peter Perla Author of Peter Perla’s Art of Wargaming.

“I have been to hell ... and it's full of bureaucrats masquerading as wargamers.” Stephen Downes Martin, Fellow of the Naval War College.
Do you have any classic wargaming quotes?

Tuesday 23 February 2016

New book by Stuart Asquith and new book on naval wargaming

Barry Carter's Naval War Games 1975 had a simple set of rules for WW1 and 2 combat.. It was a key book getting people into naval wargames after Don Featherstone's book on naval wargames. The rules are still used today for solo or two player games, where the aim is to play a WWII naval campaign in a single day.

The second book is Stuart Asquith's Wargaming 18th Century Battles; Including Rules for Marlburian Warfare 1702-1714. This book is a compilation of some of a key contributors best work into a single volume. It is the 2nd of a 7 book series to celebrate the work of Terry Wise and Stuart Asquith.

I was greatly assisted by Arthur Harman in the preparation of these works.

The project is now moving into the next phase, in which the majority of work will be previously unpublished material from the history of the hobby and from the current practice of professional wargaming.