Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Point of Origin

My wife declared a major purge on all stored stuff in the house. We are packrats (my wife more than I) and can't seem to throw away anything. I've been slowing sifting through the boxes and container earmarking items found as things to keep, things to be donated, or things to throw out or recycled. I came upon a box that I have been looking for, for a long time. It consisted of various military history and technical books, wargaming books, and how-to books on sculpting and painting.

Sandwiched among these various books was a copy of Wargamer's Digest, that dated June/July 1977 (volume 4, number 5). At the time this was THE magazine for miniature wargaming, at least as far as my friend Mark and I were concerned. Of course didn't know better. I bought them back in the late 70s and I have kept a number of them, though I am not sure where I kept them all. Definitely not your slick publication of today, with colored graphics and professional type setting (or even good editing at times!). It also seemed to contain a hodge-podge of topics, though later issues tend to have themes. The editor was a big WWII gamer and later issues reflected this. Despite its weaknesses, at $1.25, even back then, it was worth the price. 

There is one article in particular that is particularly important to me, in fact, its probably the reason why I kept this issue. The article was entitled The Battle of Ged, by Mike Covell (pages 24-25).

It was two-page after action report of a fantasy battle between the Royal Amy and the combined armies of the Haradrin, the Woodsmen Tribes and the Dwarves. Based on the one photo, it was gaming with 25mm figures.  Not too surprising given that 15mm was not that popular then, I don't even think there were any 15mm fantasy around at that time. If I had to guess, he used Chainmail for the rules. I like the use of LEGO bricks for terrain. He included a large map of the battle. 

This short report is important to me because between reading The Lord of the Rings, buying my copy of Chainmail, and this article, I got interested in fantasy wargaming. Something about this article lit a fire under me for fantasy gaming. I know that I already had Chainmail, but I think this article gave me some ideas on how to put together a battle.  Call me old school, but I've never been all that attracted to games where you had to use figures from one company in order to play the game. Even though he never says what brands of miniatures he used, I have the sense that it was whatever had had on hand. This agrees with my philosophy that its O-K to have a game where you field troops made from different companies, so long as they are reasonably compatible. 

Whatever the reason, it propelled me forward into a hobby that I has given me pleasure since I was a teen. 


  1. Very nice to find a little bit of ones roots :-)

  2. Ivan,
    I guess when one reaches a certain age, one get nostalgic and contemplates days long ago. Another find was some old photo albums that contained friends and family, some of which have passed.