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"The History of Wargaming" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP08 Jul 2020 9:19 p.m. PST

"Modern miniature wargames (See "What is Miniature Wargaming") are quite similar to military wargames in one respect. Both actually evolved from games played principally for fun. The first of the military games is thought to have been Wei-Hai ("encirclement"), a Chinese game which is usually now called Go. A later, similar game was the Indian Chaturanga, the system from which chess in its various forms came about. Chess itself gave birth to at least one game which more formally depicted armed combat. This was the 1644 design known as The King's Game from one Christopher Weikmann. It included 30 pieces per side of 14 military types, each with a different fixed rate of movement. Like its predecessors, it was played principally for pleasure but differed by its emphasis on the strategic level of war.

The first game to break away from chess, however, was invented by Helwig, Master of Pages to the Duke of Brunswick in 1780. This game included 1666 squares, each coded for a different rate of movement depending on the terrain the square represented. Playing pieces now represented groups of men instead of a single soldier, and each unit was rated for different movement (infantry moved 8 spaces, heavy cavalry 12, for example). There were also special rules for such things as pontooneers and the like. In 1795, Georg Vinturinus, a military writer from Schleswig, produced a more complex version of Helwig's game. He modified it in 1798 by using a mapboard that depicted actual terrain on the border between France and Belgium…"
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