Wednesday 29 March 2023

New Book: Blockbuster Wargame (1984)- American Army Wargaming Rules for Military Operations in Urbanised Terrain


Developed and played during the Cold War, BLOCKBUSTER, is a set of professional wargaming rules written by the American Army. Along with the better known Dunn Kempf wargame rules, they were tools for training soldiers in the 1980’s in the profession of arms.

BLOCKBUSTER is a three-dimensional, manual, battle simulation system designed for the purpose of conducting leader training in Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain (MOUT). Players employ miniature vehicles and dismounted units on a scaled terrain board according to the Rules of Play. The Rules of Play are designed to accurately simulate the capabilities of vehicles, weapons systems, and personnel. A 6-8 hour BLOCKBUSTER exercise can represent approximately 15-30 minutes of battle. BLOCKBUSTER trains company-level leaders from the squad leader and tank commander up to the company team commander.

The rules are published by the History of Wargaming Project as part of its ongoing work to document the development of wargaming. They are edited by John Curry and David Burden 

Thursday 9 March 2023

New Book- Battle in the Vietnam War: including Buckle for your Dust! and other wargames by Paddy Griffith and Greg McCauley


I am particularly excited to announce a new posthumous book by the late Paddy Griffith. There is still so much more to publish from his archive.

Paddy was the UK’s tactical historian of his generation. He was particularly interested in the face of battle, what happened when forces met on the field of battle. This book is an attempt to assemble his key writings and wargames around the Vietnam War into a single work, published posthumously. Written over a number of years, most of it was never published.

This collection of writings and musings begins with a brief review of the history of the war and delineation of some of its key features and themes. Especially intriguing are the essays about the birthing pains of the so-called electronic battlefield;” the role of the helicopter; the still evident American predilection for assuming fancy technology will work as advertised, and reduce the mortal dangers faced by troops in combat; and the natural consequence of that attitude, the still amazing distortion of battles created by the pressure to and success in evacuating casualties. But the book goes beyond raw historical analysis to dive into the question of why and how we can recreate aspects of the war using a wide range of wargaming techniques.

Also included is an account of Memphis Mangler IV, the first hobby megagame. From the perspective of wargaming history this was the game that launched the new genre of megagames; multiplayer wargames that attempt to represent a piece of history including command and control issues. Close reading of the detailed briefs for the roles in this first megagame is an excellent way to learning about Paddy Griffith’s understanding of the Vietnam War.