There are few that can argue that Kriegsspiel has had an enormous impact on the wargame as we know it. I was rather intrigued to find out that the very first version of this was in fact grid based and with 3D terrain - the so-called 'Strict Kriegsspiel'. This particular side of the hobby went through several evolutions via the use of maps rather than model terrain before the Little Wars figure based game appeared but certainly still has its devotees, especially since Bill Leeson translated the German text into English back in the early 1980s. Much of Leeson's work is available from Too Fat Lardies and obtaining the blocks for use with the game from such suppliers as Irregular Miniatures or Command Post games is straightforward enough.
Recent events (and I include attending Salute in this) have given me much pause for thought in terms of how I want to fight my battles and I was properly surprised by this as I thought I had long since settled this argument with myself in favour of small selections of figures supported by the block armies. Seeing some of the model armies on display and in action has served to awaken many old ghosts and so wanting to amass armies of figures is once again testing my resolve.
If I am honest with myself (and that is not something I am usually very good at!) I think I like the idea of owning massed armies rather more than I am able or willing to execute this. This means then should I want to fight large battles I will need to make use of the block collection - which is exactly what it was designed for. Smaller actions could easily make use of figures and models - my Battlegroup plans are a good example of this as is my projected The Men Who Would be Kings/Congo set up.
The humble block - and I mean the military symbol type rather than the Command and Colours variety - has a distinguished place in the world of the military and of the wargame in my opinion and as I have said before - so who am I to ignore this noble tradition?