A TIMELINE OF THE HISTORICAL MINIATURES WARGAMING HOBBY
by Robert Beattie
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- Theo. Svensen reports in a 1963 issue ofTable Top Talk, that he played wargames with paper soldiers and shooting cannons as a child in the 1890's.
BEGINNING OF THE AGE OF WARGAMING
The Hobby is Published
- "Stevenson at Play" by Lloyd Osbourne, Scribners Magazine tells of Robert Louis Stevensons wargames. First published account of gaming with miniature figures
- The Great War Game. A set of 30mm hollow cast figures packaged with a rule book: War Games for Boy Scouts. Phil Dutre found a reference to this in The Great Book of Hollow-Cast Figures by Norman Joplin. The author says, "Probably made around 1910 by Hanks."
- Little Wars by H. G. Wells: Considered first published wargame rules for miniature figures. For a picture of the first edition and much commentary, check Phil Dutre's site:
See some sample pages here: http://home.att.net/~cmior/title.html
- Shambattle: How to Play with Toy Soldiers by Harry G. Dowdall and Joseph H. Glason. first wargame rules for miniatures published in United States. For lots of info on this book, check out Phil Dutre's site:
- Captain Sachs War Game, adopted as official rules by British Model Soldier Society.
- Fletcher Pratt publishes rules for Naval Games
- Jack Scruby (father of modern wargaming) enters the hobby playing games with 54mm figures
- Fred L. Patlel distributes mimeographed rules, "KREIG-SPEIL: A Wargame ! A Mimic Battle with Miniature Soldiers. Cover, Intro, Table of Contents
- Thomas Company releases 20mm (HO scale) American Civil War figures
- Jack Scruby molds first figures for wargaming in RTV rubber.
- Don Featherstone enters the hobby.
- First U.S. (if not anywhere) Wargaming convention, organized by Jack Scruby in California. Fourteen people attended, all playing with 54mm figures.
BEGINNING OF THE SECOND AGE OF WARGAMING
The Hobby is tied together by a newsletter
- Jack Scruby publishes War Game Digest to bring together informal network of some 40 gamers in U.S., Canada, and England (the original "Old Guard" of the hobby). Frank Tippets discusses moving figures into battle with trays, then taking them off when engaged, one issues deals with special troops - grenadiers, lights, and sappers. Charlie Sweet suggests particular rules for medieval period. WD was published 4 times a year for $4.00 per year. Early issues included copies of photos of games pasted on the pages. Original subscribers.
- Scruby Miniatures begins with 30mm figures at 15 cents.
- Swedish African Engineers (SAE) produce 30mm painted figure sets.
- Duke Seifreid plays giant Napoleonic game on 8 by 16 foot table with Scruby and original Duke 30mm figures
- Jack Scruby publishes "All About Wargames."
- Bob Bard (US) releases Making and Collecting Military Miniatures including a chapter on War Games including the activities of Charlie Sweet, H. G. Wells, and Herbert Sherlock.
- Lional Tarr in U.K. begins solo game of German Invasion of USSR that continues for 10 years, (as recounted in Wargamer's Newsletter at a later date)
- John Greenwood in U.K. produces 20mm figures of various historical eras.
- War Game Digest has article on Morale in Wargames by Charles Grant. September
- Mechanics Illustrated has article on wargaming. September issue, any one have a copy?
- Readers Digest has cover showing a war game in progress. Jack Scruby notes in War Games Digest that this is the first time a national magazine has a war game on cover.
- Jack Scruby begins producing his own design lead figures in 30mm; War Game Warriors-15 cents each.
- Avalon Hill publishes first modern military board games: Tactics II and Gettysburg
- Jack Scruby produces 20mm Greenwood figures under license in U.S.; also buys printing shop to handle magazine and catalog production.
- In War Game Digest, Gerry DeGer suggests use of written orders each turn during game.
- Airfix Ltd. introduces soft plastic HO/OO figures in retail stores: British Guards, band, German and British WWII infantry.
- War Game Digest split into two editions with the U.K. version edited by Don Featherstone and Tony Bath. Two U.K. editions and two U.S. per year.
- Article in WD on content and structure in wargame battle reports or "game commentaries."
- Jack Scruby publishes his "The Strategic-Tactical War Game"
- Don Featherstone appears on BBC and commercial television discussing wargames and organizes the first U.K. wargames convention in Southhampton.
- Diplomacy published
- Jack Scruby and Don Featherstone stop joint publication of War Game Digest over difference of editorial policy. Don's article and the editors' exchange.
- Don Featherstones -War Games - published; first "modern" wargame book. I recently obtained a first edition of the book that belonged to Tony Bath. Click here Don's inscription.
- Joe Morschausers How to Play Wargames in Miniature published in U.S.
- Jack Scruby starts Table Top Talk, as he says, a promotional item for Scruby Miniatures. In No. 2 he states that he mailed out 400 copies. A ten fold growth since first issue of War Game Digest.
-Larry Brom and his cousin hold record for most wargames in one day and 30 mm figures cost 15 cents
- Don Featherstone begins monthly Wargamers Newsletter
- First report of a "Big" Wargame. Tom Bookwalter, Duke Seifried, Gary Locker, Dave Towell, Dave Glazier, John Chandler and others of "the Dayton War Game Gang" do Battle of La Fere with 8000 figures on June 29th.
-War Game Digest ceases publication.
- Jack Scrubys Table Top Talk becomes a regular subscription magazine at $2.00 per year.
- Gardner Fox complains in Wargamers Newsletter that ancient and medieval figures are in short supply.
- Don Featherstones Tackle Model Soldiers this Way published
- Fred Vietmeyer reports basing his figures on historical tables of organization rather than having all units of all nationalities on bases with the same number of figures.
- New Jersey gamers propose "infectious morale," troops being passed by units falling back must check their own morale
- Second "Big" wargame reported in Dayton, Ohio. This time with 15 players including Duke Seifried, Ted Haskill, Stan Glazier, and Fred Vietmeyer. 8,000 figures on four 6 by 12 tables.
- Jack Scruby requires cash in advance for payment of orders. The transition of wargaming from a business hobby to a hobby business. Also Scruby Miniatures produces Erikkson figures under license. 50/50 tin/lead alloy replaces type metal.
- First wargames convention on U.S. east coast sponsored by the Miniature Figure Collectors of America, in Philadelphias Essex Hotel, 80 people attend. Agenda included demonstration games from 1pm to 4pm, then discussion session, cocktails and dinner, followed by films and a pipe band concert until closing at 9pm.
- Graham Biddle suggests use of points for picking armies which are then unbalanced in numbers but balanced in points.
- Fred Vietmeyer introduces the concept of unbalanced equality for Napoleonics. Each nationality has some positive aspects and some negative ones.
- Jack Scruby publishes his Fire and Charge rule booklet.
- Testors "Dull Coat" arrives on hobby market. How many millions of wargame figures have been sprayed with this?
- U.K. wargames convention sponsored by Hinton Hunt which also enters the figure market with 20mm figures, larger than U.S. 20mm figs and so begins the great "mm (millemeter) Race." The Hinton Hunt figures led Jack Scruby to make matching figures which he called 25mm.
- John Chandler publishes first rules for a specific period, with historical details: Miniature Wargames du temps de Napoleon. "Complete approach to Napoleonic wargaming. Simultaneous action , man for man concept, over 40 photos, sketches, illustrations. $7.50 post paid."
Sports Illustrated publishes article on wargaming - "A Little War Can Be a Lot of Fun." Features Charlie Sweet and Gerry DeGre. Later CBS TV coverage by Mike Wallace and Walter Cronkite. Wargaming comes "out of the closet."
- Slingshot published by U.K. Society of Ancients, edited by Tony Bath. First historical specialized organization and journal for gamers. Page 1 Page 2
- Jack Scruby suggest combat points based on equipment and type
- Alberken Figures, U.K. (predecessor of Miniature Figurines) 20mm figures leads Jack Scruby to comment on the variable size of U.K. vs. U.S. "20mm" figures.
- Doug Johnson founds and edits Bulletin of Colonial Wargame Society, later Savage and Soldier , first special magazine totally devoted to era gaming.
- Pat Condray translates Le Kreigspiel into English.
- Aram Bakshian calls for positive as well as negative morale. That is plus factors as well as negative ones, predecessor of "uncontrolled advance."
- Fred Vietmeyer releases battalion level Napoleonic organization charts.
- Jack Scruby makes first "25mm" figures, first colonial and then Napoleonic. 15/16ths of an inch high. 15cents for foot, 30 cents for cavalry. First shown at the 150th Anniversary of Waterloo Convention in London.
- Wellsian Society formed to further the cause of H.G. Wells games with 54mm figures.
- Table Top Talk pays $2 per page for articles.
- Lional Tarr advocates over and under ranging for artillery hits: 5/6 overshoot, 3/4 on target, 1/2 undershoot, then use template to measure hit area.
- George Bradford forms the Miniature AFV Collectors Association
- First wargames cartoon drawn by Jerry Eberling, published in Table Top Talk.
D. Featherstone, Naval War Games (UK)
- Don Featherstone offers Airfix Trophy to championship club at U.K. national convention. He produces eight historical rule booklets: Ancient, Medieval, 1750, Napoleonic, U.S. Civil War, Colonial (Victorian), 1917, 1944. Also, his book, Naval War Games, is published.
- Jack Scruby complains the Viet Nam war is driving the price of tin "sky high" and "it seems fair certain that metal soldiers are going to cost more while this war is going on." (Table Top Talk, January). His price for 30mm foot is 18 cents (one cent more than when he first started in 1958!). Also, he is accepting special request figures on commission. Scruby Miniatures is 10 years old. He describes a game with a roster variable combat strength.
- Dave Ballard presents rules for game based on historical performance statistics , movement scaled to real time, and sighting vision checks.
- Joe Morschauser describes a skirmish game with individual figures.
- Leo Cronin first to suggest in print, fantasy gaming, in particular a "mythical war game" based on the Fellowship of the Ring. In Wargamers Newsletter
- Fred Vietmeyer introduces idea of historically balanced armies; privately publishes first edition of Column, Line and Square for Napoleonic games.
- Michael Korns Modern War in Miniature published. Is this the first rules for role playing? The rules are for World War 2
- Terry Griner discusses pre-set written orders for units and couriers to carry changes to units.
- Ted Suren begins Willie Figures, connoisseur 30mm figures.
- Charles Stadden begins range of 30mm figures that can be used for wargames.
-D. Featherstone, Air War Games
- Bob Beattie, after playing with toy soldiers for 17 years, is introduced to organized wargaming through Column, Line and Square by Bob Cory, Collaborator with F. Vietmeyer in the Midwest Wargames Confederation (successor of the old Dayton gang), and Scruby Miniatures :)
- David Chandlers Campaigns of Napoleon published, the Napoleonic wargamers "bible."
- Bill Holmes begins "Deltorama", first wargame construction service.
- Lamming Miniatures begins range of U.K. style 20mm figures
- John Cape suggests game event probabilities based on 100 using numbered chips.
- U.K. Horse and Musket Society founded and publishes The Bayonet
- Les Higgins Miniatures (U.K.) begins with 20mm English Civil War figures
- Jack Scruby introduces 1" figures - Second Empire range
- Neville Dickinson acquires Alberkin Figures and renames company: Miniature Figurines.
- Jack Scruby ceases Table Top Talk and publishes Miniature Parade, a magazine for "advanced gamers."
- The Trumpeter and The Canadian Wargamer begin
- Command Post in California releases 30mm figures
- Peter Young and J.P. Lawford (U.K.) Charge! or How to Play War Games
Christopher Wagner begins Strategy and Tactics magazine that has both boardgame and miniatures articles
- Pat Condray publishes first "over the counter" U.S. wargame magazine: The Armchair General.
- Dick Higgs designs for Miniature Figurines (MiniFigs) first big 25mm figs, "S-range"
- Miniature Warfare, U.K.s second general wargame magazine. Don Featherstone says, "there will be no sniping from me."
- Henry Bodenstedt presents his "Battle Game" rules in The Armchair General, miniature rules for a specific battle.
- Angriff, World War II rules for micro and HO scale -- Z and M Publications, first edition
- Gary Gygax begins the GenCon conventions
- David Geisz suggests rules for fighting games of the American Revolution.
- Charles Grant begins wargame series in Meccano Magazine in U.K.
- Fred Vietmeyer releases 2nd edition of privately printed Column, Line and Square -- $15 then, now original copies have gone at auction for $100.
- Ray Johnson writes " Wargamers Corner" for Strategy and Tactics
- Ed Miller writes "Wargamers Corner" for The Guidon
- Bob Wall devises a diceless tournament miniatures game for 5th annual Miniataure Figure Collectors of America Wargames Convention. (Picture taken following year, shows NEWA members playing at a meeting)
- Dick Bryant introduced to wargaming by Bob Beattie; they form New England Wargamers Association and begin Newsletter (later Bulletin) of NEWA, later to become The Courier (see below).
- First issue of the Newsletter of the New England Wargamers Association, beginning of what was to become The Courier. page 1 page 2
- Wargames Research Group founded by Phil Barker and Bob OBrien, publish first edition of Ancient Rules with general orders for units and casualties per figure so figures stay on the table, also reaction tests so troops can get out of command control.
- NEWA demonstrate first skirmish wargame, with each figure representing one person, at MFCA gaming convention. Game is Irish Rebellion, 1920-21 by Leo Cronin, wins Best in Show award.
- Don Houghtons "At the Colonels Table" (in Wargamers Newsletter) - the all time best wargame battle report.
- David Wesley, Midwest Military Simulation Association, runs first fantasy role-playing game.
- First printed reference to MiniFigss S-range figures being 25mm instead of 20mm.
- U.K. Guild of Model Soldier Manufacturers formed, with the purpose, according to Don Featherstone in January Wargamers Newsletter, to put Miniature Figurines out of business. The politics of the hobby begin. Guild members will not advertise in WN nor will Miniature Warfare take MiniFig ads.
- Jack Scruby ceases publication of Miniature Parade.
- The Courier begins publication as independent magazine instead of organ of NEWA; with Dick Bryant as first editor (Bob Beattie has moved to Michigan. He wanted to call it The Volley but was outvoted:( )
Henry Harris releases How to Go Collecting Model Soldiers with a chapter on wargames by Don Featherstone, and a picture of him demonstrating a game.
- D. Featherstone, Advanced War Games
- Terry Wise (U.K.), Introduction to Battle Gaming
- NEWA display first large scale fantasy miniatures game, Middle Earth, at MFCA gaming convention. Wins Best in Show.
- Scruby miniatures joins Ambrite Industries, tries to streamline production and lower prices with "ready-cast" line, 15 cents for 15mm infantry.
- Pat Condray publishes The Wargame - musket period warfare rules.
- Wargamers Newsletter announces availability of 20 sided dice and has article on electronic random number generator..
- Douglas Miniatures (Canada) -- 25mm Crimean and Napoleonic figures
- Waterloo - the "wargame movie"
- Les Higgins (U.K.)-- 20mm Marlborough figures
- SEGOM (France) -- 30mm hard plastic Napoleonics
- Steve Curtis, Ian Colwill, and Mike Blake (U.K.), Western Gunfight Wargame Rules
- Bugle and Guidon (U.S.) -- 30mm Custers Last Stand figures
- Jack Scruby has heart attack, slows down designing a bit, but his article on Unit Efficiency appears in The Armchair General (TAG).
- Airfix introduces Napolonic figures.
- Neville Dickensons rules on English Civil War appear in TAG.
- McEwen Miniatures (U.S.) -- 25mm Napoleonic artillery
- Miniature Figurines casts riders with saddlery so games can use same horses for different units.
- P. Dunn, Sea Battle Games
- C. Grant, Battle: Practical Wargaming
- D. Featherstone, Wargames Campaings
- Gary Gygax and Jeff Perren release Chainmail, rules for medieval miniatures, first with rules for a fantasy game. Gary writes in Wargamer's Newsletter that he will write rules fo fantasy games with 20mm hobits and 70mm giants.
- Mike Reese and Leon Tucker's Tractics for modern warfare is first to us 20-sided dice.
- Don Houghton makes first mention of a science fiction game, in Wargamer's Newsletter. "What rules might apply for a regiment of Daleks or a squadron of mounted Cybermen?"
- Airfix releases Astronaut figures, prompts Don Featherstone to ask, "Do we have the scope for Space Wargames?"
- Wargames Research Group releases rules 1750-1850
- Smaller armor scale begins with 1/150 AFV models
- Duke Seifried's Der Kreigspielers Napoleonic figures are first bagged figures released for retail distribution.
- Peter Guilder designs Hinchliffe Figures, first release is 25mm Napoleonics
- Jack Scruby publishes encore edition of War Game Digest, Vol. 7 No. 1. Last Scruby gaming publication.
- Knights Battles for Wargamers book series launched, U.K. The Alma 1854, H. Harris; Borodino 1812, E. Holmes; Saratoga 1777, J. Sweetman
-Charles Grant The
- Peter Laing, U.K., invents the 15mm wargaming figure.
- Jack Scruby offers 9mm/N-gague figures as an alternative to Micro Scale 1/300.
- Peter Guilder, U.K., designs lead 25mm (20mm) World War II figures and equipment
- Phil Barker writes Armies and Enemies of Imperial Rome, first reference and uniform book directed at wargamers. MiniFigs later releases figures based on book - the PB Range.
- Dick Higgs, MiniFigs designer, produces 5mm figures -- Napoleonics and Modern. He also does the first commercial fantasy range -- Middle Earth
- Ray Seton, U.K. sets up Warrior Miniatures
- Les Higgins dies but work taken over by Phoenix Model Development
- Jim Oden begins Miniature Figurines, U.S.A., importing MiniFigs to U.S.
- Hardtack, first U.S. published American Civil War rules
- Alex Collet, U.K., produces hard plastic Springwood Models -- 25mm Napoleonics
- Stan Johansen, U.S., forms miniatures company, 30mm figures.
- Steve Curtis, Ian Colwill, and Mike Blake add Colonial Skirmish Wargame Rules to their publication list.
- Atlantic Figures produce HO/OO soft plastic figures in Italy.
- John Mansfield initiates The Signal in Canada.
- Military Modelling first published
- Miniature Figurines advertises as 25mm as opposed to 20mm
- Jacklex, U.K., offers 20mm U.S. Civil War figures, later Victorian Colonial
D. Featherstone, Solo War Gaming (UK)
- Terence Wise, Battles for Wargamers series begins, The 2nd Punic War, The Roman Civil Wars, World War II: The Western Desert (1973) (UK)
- D, Featherstone, Wargames Through the Ages, Vol. 1 3000BC-1500AD (UK) Note how dates correspond to WRG Rules.
- Wargamers' Digest begun by Gene McCoy, " A digest of some of the best military thinking down through the ages, amplified by reports on current war gaming going on around the country, with an analysis of the military actions involved" Pays $25 per article.
- Wargames Handbook published by Z and M Publications
- Tony Bath, Setting up a Wargames Campaign (UK)
- Tank Battles in Miniature series begins with Western Desert Campaign, 1940-1942, D. Featherstone
- D. Featherstone, Solo Wargaming
- Dungeons and Dragons reviewed in The Courier. Conclusion: "...concept and imagination involved is stunning. However, much more work ... is necessary before the game is managable. ... I do not suggest these to the average wargamer."
-David Nash Wargames (UK) in the Hamlyn all-colour paperback series. TOC
- Alien Space by Lou Zocchi, first tactical spaceship game
- McEwan releases 25mm science fiction/fantasy figures and Star Guard science fiction miniatures rules
- Wargamers Digest article on Panzerblitz with micro armor
- Heritage Models founded by Jim Oden from Miniature Figurines USA, inc. (Dallas) begins casting Hinchlife figures under license
- Archive Miniatures founded, release 15mm Napoleonics and 25mm ancients
- C-in-C offers 1/285 armor
- Custom Cast founded by Duke Seigfried--25mm Fantastiques (fantasy figures)
- C. Grant, The Ancient War Game, (UK)
- C.F. Wesencraft, Practical Wargaming (UK)
- D. Featherstone, War
Games Through the Ages, Vol. 2 1420-1783 (UK)
- Phil Barker, Airfix Guide No. 9: Ancient Wargaming (UK)
- D. Featherstone, Wargaming Ancient and Medieval Periods (UK)
- Unpainted plastic Elastolin figures imported by Continental Hobbies
- Column, Line , And Square Battle Manual by Jud Baumann and Fred Vietmeyer
- Miniature Figurines releases Pirates of the Spanish Main
- Boot Hill, first U.S. gunfight rules by TSR with counters but can be played with miniatures
- George Gush, Renaissance Armies (U.K.)
- D. Featherstone, Skirmish War Gaming (UK)
- D. Featherstone, War Games Through the Ages, Vol. 3 1792 - 1879 (UK)
- Miniature Figurines fantasy range, Sword And Sorcery
- G H Q releases 1/1200 hundred sailing ship figures
- Superior Models releases 1/2400 ship models
- J. E. B. -- U.S. Civil War rules by Scotty Bowden
- Arnold Hendricks, Sword and Spear and Ancient Warfare
- Jack Scruby enters fantasy field
- Full scale war gaming rules for live "Game of the Rings"
- Grenadier Figures, (U.S.), 25mm figures
- Panzer Warfare first rules designed for 1/300 scaled games
- The Strategic Review Journal published by TS R
- Earth Of Olde, Heritage 25mm scale of fantasy figures
- First ORIGINS convention in Baltimore: National Gaming Convention
- Background Books for Wargamers and Modellers set published: The Battle of Fontenoy, C. Grant; The Battle of Salamis, R. Nelson; The Battle of Waterloo, B. Hurren
- Barry Carter, Naval
- Garrison releases fantasy line
- Custom Cast releases 25mm Greek and Persian line--Thermopolites
- Stalk-- the miniatures board game
- Miniature Figurines releases 15mm U. S. Civil War figures cast on strips
- Arnold Hendricks publishes War In The Americas
- Valiant Miniatures releases 1/2400 scale sailing ships
- Fantasy Unlimited publishes--Legion, Royal Armies of the Hyborean Age, and Gladiators
- Blue Light Manual, U.S. Civil war rules
- The McCoy " standard unit " for World War Two games published in War Gamers Digest
- Battleline publishers Rally Round The Flag, Ship O ' the line, and Fighter Pilot
- Gloria Micelli, first woman to win a war game figure painting contest
- D. Featherstone, War Games Through the Ages, Vol. 4 1861-1945 (UK)
-G H Q releases modern armored fighting vehicles
- Custom Cast introduces 15mm World War Two Panzertroops
- Miniature Figurines offers 15mm Tricorn range
- Scotty Bowden publishes Redcoat
- 1776 published
-TSR publishes Little Wars under
editorship of Timothy Kask, picking up the for The Courier which
- First U.S. WRG ancients tournament organized by Dick Bryant at M F C A convention
- Universal Soldier rules published by RAFM Co.
- Die Kaiserzeit--25 mm World War I figures
- Origins III in New York City
- Miniature Figurines releases official " Dungeons And Dragons " 25 mm figures
- Scotty Bowden publishes the original version of the Empire rules for Napoleonic warfare
- Old Guard introduces 25mm figures for The Empire Of The Petal Throne
- Stone Mountain Miniatures--25mm American revolution figures
- Systems Analysis T A C-50--Mitre, Mustache, and Musket (1740's); Valeur Et Discipline (Napoleonic); and Kepi and Pickelhaub (1845-1880)
- Z and M Publications releases War Gamers Guide To Ancient Combat
- Merger of Custom Cast and Heritage Models
- Battle magazine becomes Battle for Wargamers and Terry Wise begins Observation Post column
- D. Featherstone, Wargaming
Pike and Shot (UK)
- Origins IV at the University of Michigan (Bob Beattie puts on first Column, Line, and Square game at national convention)
- John Niblett (U.K.) offers 20mm English Civil War figures
- LittleWars magazine--"Scalplock" Miniatures Rules for American Indian Fighting in Early America"
- Wargamers Digest has rules for tactical air support
- Ral Partha introduces 15mm North African "Desert Rats" figures
- British television has 6 half-hour weekly programs on war gaming hosted by Edward Woodward
BEGINNING OF THE THIRD AGE OF WARGAMING
The Age of the Glossy Magazine
-Dick Bryant brings back The Courier
- PennCon - Jay Hadley organizes first national all historical minatures convention
MORE to come
C. Grant War Game Tactics (UK)
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