Featherstone’s “Battles With Model Soldiers”

A friend scored this 1970 classic of our hobby when I was at BottosCon in Vancouver last week, and was kind enough to loan it to me right away, even before he’d had a chance to read it himself. A battered public library copy of this book was my first introduction to the idea of wargaming, when I was 9 or 10 years old! I was already into model building, and the idea of models you could use in games took root and hasn’t let go since…

It’s a fascinating look at what you might call the “early modern” period of wargaming, and demonstrates just how far the whole hobby has come in the intervening forty-some years!

I’m going to be using excerpts and favourite bits as material here as I read through it, but given my current interest in World War One and the Russian Civil War it was Featherstone’s short chapter on WW1 that I turned to first.

He had a novel suggestion for simulating the confusion and fog of war involved in a nighttime Western Front trench raid:

An extremely simple method—ensuring more than realistic confusion, since no one can see what they are doing—is to have the wargames table illuminated only by a small 5-watt lamp painted blue!

I think I’ll stick with Mud & Blood’s blinds, myself.

More quotes and excerpts from this book as they catch my eye!

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