This is a long running and continuing journey around a collection of ideas, projects, games, models and a variety of wargaming related themes from my own imagination and from others. As I have been described as having the attention span of a forgetful goldfish you can rest assured the resulting subject matter will be diverse and (usually) entertaining! "He lived in a frenzy of enthusiasm — but nothing
lasted for long with him".
Monday, 16 July 2018
Battle! Practical Wargaming
The original version of Charles Grant's classic title devoted to WW2 wargames.
The edition currently available from Caliver books. There is a lot of additional material in this although the photo quality for the original chapters is quite poor - even in the original 1970 book they were not great!
Another of my ‘go to’ wargames books – although not recently
which is rather surprising given my WW2 project – is Battle! Practical
Wargaming by Charles Grant. If I am honest I would say that I preferred this to
his book the Wargame, probably as when I first read it, I was heavily into WW2
courtesy of Airfix and numerous copies of Commando comic books!
The subject matter is WW2 land warfare using 20mm Airfix
infantry and Roco Minitanks (for the most part). The rules were simple and
Grant unashamedly used vehicles for what they represented rather than what they
actually were. I recall copying his idea for a conversion of a Russian
infantryman kneeling firing into a bazooka gunner using some wire and
fashioning a radio operator from the smg carrying squatting figure by the
hugely technical use of a small square of balsa wood and a another piece of
wire. I also remember making the measuring stick for antitank fire with the angle
of strike device as well as the various other templates the rules used. It did not stop there either as I also used to make tanks from cigarette and match boxes as well as buildings and ploughed fields from corrugated card. It was all great fun and driven by my modest financial circumstances.
I fought many games with these rules when I was a teenager
on the Isle of Sheppey using unpainted plastic figures although the vehicles,
at least when they were kits that is,were painted. For some reason we never bothered with the Airfix
In the book Grant covered most of the usual WW2 tabletop
features we are familiar with although there was no mention of aircraft. I
enjoyed reading his rationale behind his rules and his comments on visibility
and the effects of chance in wargames have stayed with me. I flirted with the
idea of ‘hexing’ the rules but did not really pursue it to any great extent. I
also enjoyed the actions he fought using his rules.
I would happily use these rules again and I seem to recall
that someone had updated them to include more complete vehicle lists and
certain missing weapon types. I believe that a modern version also exists.
When I first considered using 20mm infantry figures from the
Axis and Allies board game my initial thought was to use Charles Grant’s rules
as they are simple and great fun to use. I suspect he would not have been
overly concerned about aesthetics in respect of what equipment was being used
by whom as the game was the thing.