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H.G. Wells Little Wars
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 3:17 am    Post subject: H.G. Wells Little Wars Reply with quote

http://tomeoftreasures.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=378&highlight=wars

I just noticed this item in the research forums. While putting up the International Wargamers, I have noticed quite a bit of mention of this item and the author as being the dawning of miniature gaming and godfather of wargaming. All achieved at the incredible time of early 1910's.

That looks like a first printing, right Kynan?

Anyone got any ideas of what amount these typically sell for? What are the rules like and how do they translate in your judgment?
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They do come up and they usually go for $100-$250 depending if the source is ebay (cheaper) or a bookseller (more expensive).

The one listed here is a first print. It is considered by many to be an important marker in the development of wargaming, but it is not even close to being the first. Kriegsspiel appeared in 1824. The English publisher Bill Leeson had translated and reproduced the game in 1983. A copy of that translation is listed here. The British Library has original copies of many of the old wargames. Leeson has been thankfully re-presenting many of them to a whole new generation. As for Wells' his Floorgames book is much rarer.

The real takeoff in wargaming came in the late 50s with Scruby and then Featherstone in the early 60s. Featherstone's books were and are immensely popular. I've added some of those too.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome. Thanks for the overview. I am more than a few steps behind in this area!

Is this the same Kriegspiel that I am reading about in these IW issues? Seems like they write much articles and variants for this game. Did Avalon Hill or someone reproduce this in the 60's?
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AH did release a game of the same title in 1970, but I seriously doubt it has anything to do with the original.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just entered March 1970 of IW and they do a review of this game. Weird coincidence.

In the review, it simply states that Kriegspiel means 'wargame' in German. It does not mention this particular game you are speaking of here at all. Only the AH item.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

in fact the correct german version would be "Kriegsspiel". When I was young....


wow! over here in germany we are sooooo behind on all this war games stuff. i guess in the 60s and 70es, when the wargames became popular in the usa, no one in germany wanted to play such games as we idiots had just started and lost ww2.

even now a "few" years later i can't imagine playing a real scenario from ww2 and taking the german side. shocked


... but i guess that's a good thing.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
even now a "few" years later i can't imagine playing a real scenario from ww2 and taking the german side


The German military machine of early WWII had the best troops, the best equipment, and the best tactical minds of the day. It was the leadership that was weak, thankfully. It's too bad so many people had to die because of a handful of weak-minded men. There is no form of government on earth that protects its people from the effects of incompetent leadership.

There are many ways to lose a war. The Confederacy lost because they couldn't match the Union's industrial capability during the Civil War. Lee was brilliant and Grant was brilliant and the troops on both sides were dedicated, but if you don't have the materials to maintain the war machine, it's over. Much of the iron used by the Japanese in WWII came from the United States. They bought shipload after shipload of scrap iron before the war, but that pipeline ended, of course. The Soviet Union collapsed because of economics--they couldn't compete with the West. It takes $$$ to build and maintain a war machine. They were already losing and Reagan suckered them in to an even more costly competition.

I suspect the next war will be lost in the classroom. The United States has to hire more and more people from outside the country in order to meet the demand for educated labor. Our service-oriented economy is creating a nation of low-skilled, poorly educated workers. China may very well be the next world power. They own the labor card. The trade deficit with China essentially means that China owns more of the US each year. In the long-term that must necessarily be unsustainable--there will be another depression here, although a different kind. Stockholders will be insulated provided the company is multinational and/or has access to educated labor and so it may continue to produce and sell, but everyone else is screwed because the living spaces will be occupied by educated workers from other countries like India. In short, the middle-class here won't be American in its demographic. This will fundamentally change how this country looks and thinks and runs. If the new demographic is offered citizenship and gains the right to vote, we will become a true melting pot. It should be interesting to watch.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glgnfz wrote:
in fact the correct german version would be "Kriegsspiel". When I was young....


wow! over here in germany we are sooooo behind on all this war games stuff. i guess in the 60s and 70es, when the wargames became popular in the usa, no one in germany wanted to play such games as we idiots had just started and lost ww2.

even now a "few" years later i can't imagine playing a real scenario from ww2 and taking the german side. shocked


... but i guess that's a good thing.


This is a very interesting point to make. I think for similar reasons, no one in the wargaming circles from the IFW period was playing any Vietnam wargames or even Korean wargames from what I can gather. It is almost all WWII and before with a few exceptions regarding Nuclear war possibilities.

Personally, I can't imagine playing any wargames. I guess it was a sign of the times regarding popularity. The seeds to role playing games are in those wargames though. We wouldn't have anything close to what Dungeons and Dragons become without those.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I can tell, the British really ran with it. The interest in wargaming was historical reconstruction--pick a battle, imitate it and/or tweek it to see what happens. You might think of early wargaming as the modeler's experience. It was expected that the wargamer prepare an army, similar to Warhammer. As you can imagine, that made wargaming more expensive. When they started coming out with the die-cut counters, it put the ability to play wargames in the hands of many more people. Producing historically accurate figures was an important consideration. More than anything else, I'd argue that it's the figure which links wargaming and role-playing because they are both individuals.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 7:43 pm    Post subject: History of the Wargame Reply with quote

For really good history on Kriegspiel and Wargaming in general, I refer you to Section 1: The History of Wargaming in Strategy & Tactics Staff Study Nr.2, Wargame Design. -Tom
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For very early history, Featherstone has an article in Wargamers Yearbook 1966/7.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tfm wrote:
More than anything else, I'd argue that it's the figure which links wargaming and role-playing because they are both individuals.


This is an interesting point that I would agree with more or less, in that the 'player' takes on an individual in the game rather than a unit, fleet, army, etc. There are also lots of game mechanic clues that I have noticed that link wargaming ultimately with rpgs. The premise of opposing sides in melee, with turns, damage, morale, defenses, movement, etc.; are all there in many of these wargames predating rpgs.

There are also some abstract qualities that I believe link the two together, such as letting decision making and theoretical discussion dictate the direction of the game-play to a certain extent. For this reason, Diplomacy seems to catch my fancy as a game that seems very abstract and given to a more open format. I can only guess as I am gathering my thoughts based specifically on Len Lakofka's writings in some of my IWs. I would like to take a harder look at this connection at some point.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings, all! First post!

I have a question for Glgnfz: I have been trying to get my hands on a copy (facsimile, preferably) of the original German-language Kriegspiel rules from 1824, and even contacted a military library collection in Freiburg im Breisgau a month ago, IIRC, but they told me they didn't have it, or perhaps they were telling me to buzz off so they could go back to sleep. Wink

Are there any places in Germany that might have this text, to your knowledge?
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome Yogah of Yag!

Wonderful tag! "The Tower of the Elephant" is one of my favorites.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh my god - there are few things i know less about than war games...

but i'll see what i can do. RAAAAAAAAAAAAALF, help me! shocked
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

are you talking about "Das taktische Kriegsspiel" by baron von reiswitz?
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the warm welcome! Cool
I'm quite the haunter of various fora, including Dragonsfoot, the Acaeum, Knight-n-Knaves, Mongoose Publishing and similar places, although usually under different names. Wink

My question was about the 1824 Kriegspiel by von Reisswitz. Not that I am doubting Bill Leeson's ability to do sound translation, but I always begin by doing research, if possible, in the original language, and work from there. I will be purchasing the very recent reprint of Mr. Leeson's translation by TooFatLardies, released just a few days ago, as a matter of fact, and I hope it will arrive in good condition.

On a side note, I've been studying Phil Barker's rules for 3000 BC to 1485 AD (6th edition), and am pleased about the thoroughness of his rules.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi and welcome to this site!

Yogah of Yag wrote:
Greetings, all! First post!

I have a question for Glgnfz: I have been trying to get my hands on a copy (facsimile, preferably) of the original German-language Kriegspiel rules from 1824, and even contacted a military library collection in Freiburg im Breisgau a month ago, IIRC, but they told me they didn't have it, or perhaps they were telling me to buzz off so they could go back to sleep. Wink

Are there any places in Germany that might have this text, to your knowledge?


I've checked a couple of libraries online, but they did not have it. An original was on display during an exhibition in a German museum: http://www.dhmd.de (all texts in German) http://www.dhmd.de/neu/index.php?id=649 is the link to the exhibition.

You might try to contact the museum, maybe they remember who donated the original to the exhibition?

Is it not possible to contact the translator of the english transcript?
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yogah of Yag wrote:
Thanks for the warm welcome! Cool
I'm quite the haunter of various fora, including Dragonsfoot, the Acaeum, Knight-n-Knaves, Mongoose Publishing and similar places, although usually under different names. Wink

My question was about the 1824 Kriegspiel by von Reisswitz. Not that I am doubting Bill Leeson's ability to do sound translation, but I always begin by doing research, if possible, in the original language, and work from there. I will be purchasing the very recent reprint of Mr. Leeson's translation by TooFatLardies, released just a few days ago, as a matter of fact, and I hope it will arrive in good condition.

On a side note, I've been studying Phil Barker's rules for 3000 BC to 1485 AD (6th edition), and am pleased about the thoroughness of his rules.


If I recall, Bill Leeson did his translations from copies at the British Library. I wouldn't hold out much hope for finding these at an American facility.

I'm interested to hear that "TooFatLardies" are reprinting Leeson; from their site I'm not sure which edition they're reprinting (the 1983 or the 1989)? The 1983 is more of a free-form translation, incorporating some elements of later Kriegsspiel texts in order to produce a playable game (mine came with maps and counters in a plastic bag). The 1989 is more of a faithful attempt to reproduce the original 1824 text, and was much more cheaply produced (plastic ring binding).

It looks like they are also reprinting some of the War Game Library Supplements (the Meckel maps, 1828 supplements and the 12 scenarios), which is handy. Those are annoying rare but at least as rewarding as Reisswitz. Still, that's quite good news for wargaming historians everywhere!
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

increment wrote:
Yogah of Yag wrote:
Thanks for the warm welcome! Cool
I'm quite the haunter of various fora, including Dragonsfoot, the Acaeum, Knight-n-Knaves, Mongoose Publishing and similar places, although usually under different names. Wink

My question was about the 1824 Kriegspiel by von Reisswitz. Not that I am doubting Bill Leeson's ability to do sound translation, but I always begin by doing research, if possible, in the original language, and work from there. I will be purchasing the very recent reprint of Mr. Leeson's translation by TooFatLardies, released just a few days ago, as a matter of fact, and I hope it will arrive in good condition.

On a side note, I've been studying Phil Barker's rules for 3000 BC to 1485 AD (6th edition), and am pleased about the thoroughness of his rules.


If I recall, Bill Leeson did his translations from copies at the British Library. I wouldn't hold out much hope for finding these at an American facility.

I'm interested to hear that "TooFatLardies" are reprinting Leeson; from their site I'm not sure which edition they're reprinting (the 1983 or the 1989)? The 1983 is more of a free-form translation, incorporating some elements of later Kriegsspiel texts in order to produce a playable game (mine came with maps and counters in a plastic bag). The 1989 is more of a faithful attempt to reproduce the original 1824 text, and was much more cheaply produced (plastic ring binding).

It looks like they are also reprinting some of the War Game Library Supplements (the Meckel maps, 1828 supplements and the 12 scenarios), which is handy. Those are annoying rare but at least as rewarding as Reisswitz. Still, that's quite good news for wargaming historians everywhere!


I received an email today from TooFatLardies:

Quote:
Neither, it is the Lesson translation but completely reconfigured, with all new artwork, the rules section is in full colour, the appendix contains the Berlin Kriegsspiel Society amendments from 1828, so it is completely different to either of the former editions.

Regards

Richard


I guess I'll go ahead an put money down on it. I will put up comments/review if anyone is interested at a later date.


--Yogah.
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