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"Little Wars: How HG Wells created hobby war gaming" Topic

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1,208 hits since 4 Aug 2013
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Tango0105 Aug 2013 11:45 a.m. PST

"It is a century since HG Wells published the first proper set of rules for hobby war games. There's a hardcore of gamers who are still playing in his style.

Pine tips are stuck in the grass to represent trees. Roads are laid out with trails of compost.

This is the Battle of Gettysburg, with Union soldiers on one side and Confederates on the other. But the soldiers of this new Gettysburg are 54mm (2in) tall and mostly made of plastic.

The battle is taking place between a group of enthusiasts in a garden at Sandhurst military academy under rules derived from Little Wars, devised by HG Wells in 1913.

War was then looming in Europe and Little Wars was both an expression of Wells's passion for toy soldiers and to his fears over the coming slaughter. The science fiction author even believed that war games could change attitudes.

"You only have to play at Little Wars three or four times to realise just what a blundering thing Great War must be," wrote Wells…"


See here

Hope you enjoy!.


MajorB05 Aug 2013 1:14 p.m. PST

Oh dear, Armand you really are WAY behind the times this time! This was extensively discussed here on TMP for several days last week. How did you possibly manage to miss it?
TMP link
TMP link
TMP link

Lee Metford05 Aug 2013 10:06 p.m. PST

Cheers Armand! I sometimes miss other's posts and appreciate your dedication in posting what are nearly all interesting and entertaining items. Keep up the good work

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP06 Aug 2013 2:10 a.m. PST

Very interesting. Thanks for the link.


J. P. Kelly

FusilierDan Supporting Member of TMP06 Aug 2013 4:13 a.m. PST

I missed 2 out 3 of those links. thanks Tango01 and Major Bumsore.

Tango0106 Aug 2013 11:06 a.m. PST

Happy to be a litte useful here my friend.
Thanks for your kindly words my friend Lee Metford. (smile).


zoneofcontrol Inactive Member06 Aug 2013 12:16 p.m. PST

Thanks Armand. I just got back from a short family vacation to Gettysburg. You post was quite timely.

Tango0106 Aug 2013 9:43 p.m. PST

Happy for that my friend.


christot02 Sep 2013 4:03 a.m. PST

This isn't proper drivel- this is serious wargaming!

Part time gamer24 Mar 2017 9:25 p.m. PST

I think the comment "H. G. Wells created hobby war gaming." is a great compliment, though incorrect.

I would say that his writing of "Little Wars" brought to the light of the public, simply what many a grown men were and had been doing on the lawns of English estates for years if not generations. Who knows.

But WE who enjoy wargaming most certainly owe him a great deal of appreciation and respect for his contribution to the hobby we enjoy.
And as others have said;
"How many can claim: The rules they write today, will even be remembered, let alone in print and even still played a century later."

Jefthing26 Mar 2017 11:11 a.m. PST

I do indeed treat my figures "like my wife's jewellery": I flog 'em on eBay when I need a few quid.

The Angry Piper Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 5:48 a.m. PST

I just got a copy of Little Wars for Christmas. I'm leafing through it here and there while I read other things.

Hafen von Schlockenberg Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 7:23 a.m. PST

Armand has said repeatedly he doesn't read the front page,so irritation is pointless.

I am,however, outraged that neither this post,nor the linked posts,nor the links on the linked posts,were placed on the History of Wargaming board!

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.