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"New Board: Old School Wargaming" Topic

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Back to the Old School Wargaming Message Board

1,448 hits since 9 Aug 2011
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian09 Aug 2011 7:31 p.m. PST

The support was overwhelming, so here is the new board. Use it well!

Clovis Sangrail Inactive Member09 Aug 2011 7:44 p.m. PST

Thank you Bill for helping the gentlemen of the hobby.

aecurtis Fezian Inactive Member09 Aug 2011 7:52 p.m. PST

<click> And… off.

I'm an old school wargamer every day. I have no need for a "special" board.


Dropzonetoe Fezian09 Aug 2011 7:56 p.m. PST

define old school… what genres, what year make it old school. Rogue trader is old school to me, 2nd ed 40k for a 16 that just joins the board. I don't see what I can talk about here that cannot be better described in relevant boards. Not being snarky just cannot see the purpose of it right now.

aecurtis Fezian Inactive Member09 Aug 2011 8:05 p.m. PST

I'd expect it to cover "Charge", Charles Grant, Donald Featherstone, Joe Morschauer, and others' early rules. Not sure whether to include TMPer Don Lowry; he's sort of on the cusp between wargaming (rather than historical) periods, IMO.

But I'm quite happy to discuss that style and philosophy of rules on the appropriate historical or fantasy period boards. Further fragmentation of TMP discussions is of little benefit, again IMO.


Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP09 Aug 2011 8:14 p.m. PST

"Old School" is whatever you want it to mean.
I remember some games from back in the 70s and 80s with fine print so small you could go blind, and were almost 100 pages. They were called "fast play". grin
Since I never ran into Featherstone until much later, to me he is not "Old School", oddly. I came into miniatures through SPI games, God help me, so that was Old School to me. I EXPECTED complicated unwieldly rules that you could never get right because you missed or could never find the Angry Bear rules in the siege and Stratagem section.
SPI inured me to pages and pages of errata, so I expected that too.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian09 Aug 2011 8:27 p.m. PST

Maybe it's like the "oldies" station on the radio – they keep redefining what an oldie is as the years go by… grin

Battle Works Studios Inactive Member09 Aug 2011 8:46 p.m. PST

I ran into a guy at the local game store last week who'd never heard of Avalon Hill, SPI, or TSR. Weirdly, he knew Metagaming quite well, which says something when you consider he was -12 or so when they went out of business.

Doug em4miniatures Inactive Member10 Aug 2011 2:10 a.m. PST

1970s WRG rules are old but never Old School. I think Charge would be the exemplar. That young Donald Featherstone chap can never qualify – always thinking up new rules ideas and messing plastic figures about with banana oil. Shudder.


Lee Brilleaux Fezian10 Aug 2011 4:51 a.m. PST

I will be writing a letter and posting it to the editor for inclusion in this newsletter. My typewriter needs a new ribbon, though.

ochoin deach Inactive Member10 Aug 2011 4:57 a.m. PST

Old School: blackboards instead of interactive whiteboards
& exercise books istead of laptops/tablets.

Nostalgia looks better with time.

PatrickWR Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2011 6:17 a.m. PST

Old school: Hewing to no particular miniatures manufacturer or model line in your games. That's the modus operandi of my group, though we don't play particularly old school rulesets.

CPBelt10 Aug 2011 6:31 a.m. PST

This is a huge movement in RPGs. I follow a number of old school RPG blogs and retro-old school RPG blogs.

The same seems to be going on with board wargames, with many people devoting blogs to old school wargames like SPI, AH, and VG.

But I don't see this as much in miniature gaming. If someone came out with a miniature based on mechanics used in the 1970s and 1980s, I think people would laugh at it. Am I wrong?

Thomas Whitten10 Aug 2011 6:53 a.m. PST

I agree it is going to be one of those things that depend on the person. Still, it's an intriguing concept and I'm curious as to what will be posted.

MajorB Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2011 6:58 a.m. PST

If someone came out with a miniature based on mechanics used in the 1970s and 1980s, I think people would laugh at it. Am I wrong?

Have a look here:

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2011 7:32 a.m. PST

You don't get more Old School than Column Line and Square. I never encountered it, but I heard about it, with its huge binder, and even more binders filled with errata and ammendments.

I bought a lot of rules back in the 70s and 80s that were huge, bloated and unplayable.

Derek H10 Aug 2011 7:39 a.m. PST

Old School – completely meaningless term.

PatrickWR Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2011 7:46 a.m. PST

I agree that old school means less in miniatures than it does in RPGs. There's a strong nostalgia factor in RPGs that I don't see as much in miniatures.

Yearning for lower quality miniatures molds and/or dense rulebooks produced on typewriters just doesn't tickle my fancy. But again, that doesn't seem to be the spirit behind old school wargaming. To me, it's more about playing the miniatures you want using the rules you want, without being bound by a company's edicts re: what you can put on the tabletop or how you can paint your little mens.

PatrickWR Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2011 7:47 a.m. PST

Also: I'll keep an eye on this board if it contains anecdotes and stories from the early days of the hobby, because that is absolutely something I'm interested in.

Dan 055 Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2011 7:57 a.m. PST

Wow, now that we've heard from everyone that DOESN'T want to post on an Old School board . . .

MajorB Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2011 8:00 a.m. PST

Old School completely meaningless term.

Nebulous, but not meaningless.

Old Bear Inactive Member10 Aug 2011 8:14 a.m. PST

Old School completely meaningless term.

That's a bit unfair, Derek. There's a thriving Yahoo group full of people who clearly find a meaning in it and Phil Olley had a go at running a magazine in the 'Old School' style recently, although it is currently in hiatus.

It's pretty clear that Old School is a reference to that period of wargaming where actual 'reality', such as it can ever be seriously portrayed in a tabletop game, did not even come onto the radar. Where the names Featherstone, Grant, Bath, Morschauser et al were looked upon almost like gallant explorers rather than the celeb figureheads of a commercial enterprise. Perhaps one might suggest that wargaming was no more than the sum of its name back then, with little of the intense attempts at detail and the modern business mdels we now see.

I don't pretend to know what is best for every other wargamer and I wouldn't try and tell them, but those seeking a retro feel to their gaming do appear to like to congregate and share their ideas just like any other group.

MajorB Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2011 8:51 a.m. PST

Phil Olley had a go at running a magazine in the 'Old School' style recently, although it is currently in hiatus.

??? The latest issue of CWJ was published on 24th July.

Marc the plastics fan10 Aug 2011 8:52 a.m. PST

Well, this is nice. I hope we can maintain it as a place of civility and open mindedness. I especially need that as I game with 1/72 soft plastic :-(

M C MonkeyDew10 Aug 2011 8:57 a.m. PST

This is all a bit confusing. I incorporate themes from Featherstone's work in all of my gaming yet do not use any of his rules verbatim.

So am I old school or do I need to play with my poorly painted Airfix figures from the old days to qualify?

EDIT: Thought it best to have a look at the other posts on the board to see where this is heading. As of this time there is nothing there that would not fit on the existing boards but hope springs as they say…

Old Bear Inactive Member10 Aug 2011 9:02 a.m. PST

??? The latest issue of CWJ was published on 24th July.

I had a note in with my copy saying that it was on hiatus followiung the July issue. That was the last info I heard on CWJ.

kustenjaeger10 Aug 2011 9:34 a.m. PST


I agree it's a bit difficult to define Old School Wargaming.

Different people have different concepts. Henry Hyde's introduction to OSW is available at link

For me OSW is stately large C18th units (~50 figure infantry battalions, 12 figure cavalry squadrons), with straightforward rules and indivudually based figures (though mine will have magnetic movement trays).

Note that liking 'OSW' for a bit of variety doesn't mean I don't play other gmaes as well.



Binky the Wonder Pig10 Aug 2011 11:35 a.m. PST

For me, old school wargaming is Stratego. It plays a lot faster if you invert the numbers for a result (ie scouts become the most powerfull piece in the game)…….

Binky says "OINK"

Andrew May110 Aug 2011 3:52 p.m. PST

Old school? Is that like Eton or something? All the cool kids know that Old Skool is where it's at…

Personal logo Saginaw Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2011 8:45 p.m. PST

100% lead miniatures = "old school".

'Nuff said.


Personal logo Florida Tory Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2011 11:27 p.m. PST


thumbs up


Ilkley Old School11 Aug 2011 5:10 a.m. PST

And dont forget that to be true Old School you need a table painted green with simple functional terrain.

Recently painted my table and nice shade of green and made hills out of MDF. So much simpler to set up than my Hex terrain.

Phil Dutre16 Aug 2011 11:13 a.m. PST

For me, Old School has not so much to do with rules or figures, but rather with a certain spirit of wargaming, that borders much more on the 'playing with toy soldiers' experience rather than the 'let's run a military simulation' experience. This idea can be supported by specific visuals (old style soldiers, scenery, and/or rules – although not strictly necessary), together with a healthy dose of imagination.

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