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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Tales from the Cold War: Assault on Bunker RGx.x


It was the early 1980’s when the peace protesters planned their assault. The aim was to attack one the ‘key’ components of Britain’s nuclear arsenal, a regional government wartime headquarters. Their aim was to enter when the Air Observer Corps were starting an evening training session, overwhelm the few who arrived early and enter the bunker. Inside they would ‘trash’ the bunker and on the way out, they would put stones through the windows of the cars of the militaristic Air Observer Corps parked outside. The assault was planned with military precision, include hoax phone calls to distract the police and delay the police response.

The Monday evening arrived and the peace protesters moved silently across the fields. They had formed up in the layby used for the odd visitor to the adjacent historical battlefield. A voice challenged them in the dark as they approached the entrance to the bunker. They charged towards the blast doors, stumbling in the dark. They were moments away from their objective.

Unfortunately, that evening the Air Observer Corps were present in force. All three crews were assembled, 450 in all, plus a contingent of the RAF Regiment. The intruder alert came out on the bunker tannoy and there was a rush outside. The Observers lined up and marched across the somewhat surprised peace protesters. Unfortunately, the odd peace protester person might have stumbled in the dark and might have hurt themselves in their panic. Apparently the RAF Regiment tried to intervene in the chaos, but someone in civilian clothes told them to ‘get lost’ and take a smoke break round the back of the bunker.

The police and ambulances arrived to find a lot of peace protesters who claimed they had been assaulted in the dark by hundreds of people. However, when they approached the bunker, the only person they could see was an elderly caretaker who said no-one was in the bunker and anyway, anyone could see only a few people could fit it inside (most bunkers are small on the surface). The blast doors were shut and he did not have a key. Eventually, the police left, somewhat bemused.

With hindsight, it was interesting to note that by sheer chance the protesters choose to assault the bunker on the rare occasions it was fully crewed. One wonders who suggested the assault and that date to them. Surely, Special Branch had not set the peace protesters up?

Some of the cold war was grim, but some of it was funny.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Early Wargaming II

Inspired by the discovery of Colonel's George Alfred Keef’s army and 60 pages of a campaign history from perhaps 1878-1882, I have been researching the start of hobby wargaming with toy soldiers. Colonel Keef's games seemed to be dependent on gunpowder in toy cannons, so were truly in the toy end of the wargame spectrum. 

Polemos (1886) published in Early Wargames Volume 2 was the earliest contender for a toy soldier based wargame, however I have now found an earlier game. 

The game is from approximately 1860 and was discovered by the late Hans Roer (an expert on early German figures). The two photo's below are reproduced from his book and are copyrighted to Hans Roer. 



This is clearly the earliest example of a hobby wargame with toy soldiers found to date. However, as I write this I already have more information arriving about even earlier wargames. 

My thanks to Brian Carrick for further information about the game. Brian is one of the editors of Plastic Warrior that marvelous hobby magazine all about collecting plastic soldiers.


Saturday, 7 December 2013

Fields of Glory- Ancient Warfare Card game now available.

At the UK Conference of Wargamers in 2012, played Martin Wallace's card game, Fields of Glory. This was a card game about ancient warfare and was highly amusing.

The first part of the game was about choosing your army and the second part was fighting the battle. Of course, you have a number of tricky decisions to make during the game.
Martin's games are always worth looking at for interesting ideas to borrow when designing games.

The reason I mention it is the game is only available from the Tree Frog website and is not going into general distribution. http://www.treefroggames.com/field-of-glory-2 (I am sure there is a story there).

The site also lists all of Martin Wallace's games; some of which are classics in terms of giving players multiple choices to make.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Early Wargaming Rules

Following the discovery of Colonel Oliver Keef’s collection of lead soldiers and wargaming campaign diary from around 1882, there has been some interest in early wargaming with model soldiers.

Many people think HG Well’s was the first with his classic book Little Wars in 1913. Some know about the classic article about Robert Louis Stevenson’s toy soldier game from an article in the Scribiner dated 1898. My book on Early Wargames volume 1 has some further details about the Stevenson Game. It is possible that the actual Stevenson rules may yet reach the public domain. Both The Great War Game (1908) and The Game for Boy Scouts (1910) predated Well’s game.  (See Early Wargames Volume 1 link
Volume 2 of the Early Wargames series has the Captain Baring’s simplified version of the German Kriegspiel  (1872). Also included in the same book is the semi-legendary game of Polemos, This was first published in 1883, although I have reproduced the rules from a slightly later edition. Polemos is probably the earliest current contender for a wargame with model soldiers. It has the distinction of being a hobby game and realistic enough to be played at the RUSI the Royal United Services Institute in 1885.

There are other early wargames such as the game of war (1858) which uses counters on something like graph paper to arbitrate movement and the Invasion of Britain Wargame 1888 with its draughts like movement. The invasion of Britiain game was the first I have found with its clear political messages of do not build a channel tunnel and Britain is vulnerable to invasion.
Polemos may not keep the title of the earliest model soldier game. 19th Century Europe also had model soldiers and wargames. So perhaps the ‘New War Game of the War in Italy’ from 1860 with its 30mm semi-flats made by Allgeyer, might yet prove to the earliest wargame. I have not yet found a copy, so I reserve judgment at the moment.

I have several other early wargames from the 19th century and in the new year I will strive to get them into print.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Taxonomy of Defence Jargon

I was sent the following anonymously about current changes  in the UK MOD. The document attempts to include every piece of jargon that I have ever seen in the defence world and many that I have not. I think this particular piece is worthy of being recorded!

MOD TRANSFORMATION – HEADLINE UPDATE BRIEF

1. Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF).  Left of centre, right of arc, flash to bang, the deep dive into the kinetic degradation of ground-based facilities has been conducted.  Despite reports that when the adversary smells flowers, he looks for the funeral, in actual fact there’s a lot of air in the sky and there’s been more heat than light crossing the impasse across the strategy landscape.  The paradigm shift of the glide path’s trajectory has been mitigated, socialised, dovetailed and is gaining traction into a functional decomposition of the problem.

2. Background.

a. Playing with a straight bat.  Checks and balances from the slop chit have been tossed into the sea to see if they float and both hot threads and major strands have been tied up with belts and braces leading to some seriously nutritional and protein-rich blue water downstream in the basin of priority.  Going forward to derisk our germane posture in the oxygenated vector, there are a number of generic worry beads and stray volts nested and couched in the backwash, but if you keep your powder dry and lean into the issue there’s no need to set the hares running or waste any heartbeats.

b. Hub of the problem.  Ground truthing, force sensing and heavy lifting have provided some positive dynamics attenuating energy projectile on this buoyant lily pad, leading into a space where we have covered off some other people’s sandwiches.  En passant, the calculus of the non-viable mission capability is something for Town to scope with 5, albeit we can wait that out until we’ve run the opening salvo to ground, got our ducks in a row, harvested the low hanging fruit, squared the circle, fitted a round peg in a round hole, and taken the crocodiles closest to the canoe off message.  It’s all about the dead cat bounce opportunity.

c. Showing a bit of leg.  Entre nous, the cognisant wolves nearest to the sledge are providing buckets of sub-optimal friction in the shifting sands of their swim lane, but with some thoughts and ideas they can be handed off to prevent the stovepipes going nuclear – and everyone knows that in a game of prep school football there’s no traction without friction anyway.  In this Spinal Tap scenario we can continue to ride these two horses at the same time, and not asking a question to which you won’t get an answer is always better than a custard pie.

3. Lines To Take (LTTs).

a. Dogs.  Given that the political atmosphere is so febrile, in our locale it is important not to step outside the policy box and into the generic media space across the piece, especially as most of these fundaments remain in the small box space of enhanced sensitivity.  On the subject of force projection and airframe generation, we must be reticent about releasing this excarnation of effects-based targeting more widely to wider Whitehall, and instead break out and excel in the area of augmentation and dimension management.  After all, everyone knows that a camel is a horse designed by a committee.

b. Stray dogs.  In changing the dialogue’s pH balance, we must remain alive to a streamlined, zero sum battle rhythm and take stock at the stocktake by brigading our niche upticks of activity to ensure that the theory of change remains explicit from the outset.  The staccato mood music in the minimalist camp provides putative granularity, while a weather eye warrants a situating of the estimate in order to get greater fidelity and more bang for our buck.  The ambiguity of our posture and stance is quite constructive, but only if the nascent sidebar is segued and the blue sky thinking is expedited once the dust has settled.

c. Stray dogs with fleas.  This clique is clearly apposite to the clarity of communications, so long as the conditionality chimes and users appreciate that this is not a cost-cutting exercise: it is about delivering improved value for money within the same resource envelope.  There are a number of evolving and interconnected strands of activity echoing and resonating, seeking to relife discipline in the contingent space – but we must remain concise, relevant, focussed and to the point while ensuring the rigour is there.

4. Recommendations.

a. Carry the can.  We don't want anyone to throw their toys out of the pram completely on the grounds that this is a self-licking lolly pop, about as much use as a chocolate fireguard.  We must ensure that this reaches the lights-out parts of the organisation which are otherwise below the radar screen, because if we are going to hoot with the owls we have to be able to soar with the eagles, all the while remaining within our C2 – ensuring that everyone is singing from the same song sheet and kicking in the same chorus line (although not concurrently) in order to have an impactive approach.

b. Take one for the team.  There are tunes to be played here, and definite memories of the future.  We must look out for burning platforms and vapourware.  Don’t be a trouble magnet; be a shock absorber, not a lightning conductor.  Despite being on a sticky wicket, we must ensure we aren’t bowled a googly; instead we must throw them a spin pass to see if they catch it.

c. Roll over and take it.  Remember: pain heals; chicks dig scars; glory lasts forever.  There’s a bit of spaghetti to be done here, and if that fails don’t forget that bad things happen to bad people, unless they’re built like Japanese racing snakes in which case our OODA loop will be pounded and we’ll have to swallow our own smoke.  We may be on a piece of string here, but it’s simply a case of Press to Test.

d. Bend over and invite them to ‘Please Park Your Bicycle Here’.  As a heads up, this will be managed with a long screwdriver, so the wave of chaos will need to be surfed.  It may not be our train set, but we need to get the engine straight before we can get the carriages on track.  Hope is not a plan of action, but we should be able to leverage synergies and clean fatigue it nonetheless.  The bĂȘte noire of working with OGDs doesn’t need to be like being handcuffed to a toddler with ADD.  Don't lose the will to live – suck it up, and don't piss in your chips.

5. Summary.  Robbing Peter to pay Paul may seem a little Janet and John, but it could go Pete Tong (and let’s not forget that he’s an expeditionary plenipotentiary of considerable sand) – so be sure to put pedal to the metal when the rubber hits the road.  It is literally a Clapham omnibus test and 100% of the plan is subject to refinement: the market is open for bright ideas to be bottomed out.  Not wishing to cartoon it, this Question Four moment is high-octane stuff, and flying a kite is pretty aerodynamic: these are principles, not articles of faith.  We’ve all got skin in this game, so buoy rounding will be an important caveat to the strawman on whether we are to solutionise or soultioneer, but the two mission critical questions that most need to be tracked are: Who is holding the pen on this?; and Is the juice worth the squeeze?  In sum, that’s me climbing out of the pulpit for now, d’accord?

{Signed electronically on Dii}
J Argon MBE MSc BA FRAeS DiiF ASAP JPA RAF
Wg Cdr
SO1 Transformation Projection Taxonomy

Friday, 8 November 2013

New books on British Kriegsspiel and Bruce Quarrie's Wargamer's Guide to the Russian Campaign


The British Kriegsspiel (1872) The 1824 German Kriegsspiel game has been widely referred to as the start of modern professional wargaming. This book, aims to explore the British development of that early game in the 19th century. Much of the 170 pages of material has not been in the public domain since it was first published. The contents of this book include:

·         Map Manoeuvres: An Introduction to Kriegsspiel (1839)

·         The Rules for Kriegsspiel by Captain Baring (1872)

·         A newspaper report on the German Game of War (1878)

·         A discussion about how to create wargaming terrain in Aids to Kriegsspiel (1897)

·         The Dangers of Kriegsspiel and Political Officers (1899)

·         The problems with creating imaginary maps for war games (1888)

·         Bellum, an English Kriegsspiel Variant (1909)

·         The first medieval wargame in Kriegsspiel and the Teaching of Military History (1890)

·         The Game of Polemos as played at RUSI (1888)

·         A wargame with a political message, Lieutenant Henry Chamberlain's RN New Game of Invasion (1888)

Bruce Quarries's Tank Battles in Miniature Vol 2 A Wargamer's Guide to the Russian Campaign 1941-1945 is a reprint (225 pages) of one of Bruce Quarrie’s finest books.


 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Early Hobby Wargames- a 19th century lead collection

A recent edition of the BBC's Antiques Roadshow (Eastbourne Bandstand 2) had an intriguing item on a collection of around 1,000 metal figures dating from the 1860s and 1870s, which had been used for wargames by a boy who became and officer in the Royal Scots Fusiliers in 1878. He took the bulk of them on his first posting to Rangoon, where he played wargames on the floor of his bungalow with the Regimental Surgeon on a large canvas map spread on the floor. It is apparently a very early example of hobby wargaming from the 1870's.

More details can be seen at:

video onto You Tube http://youtu.be/3YHRTtBWv8Q

Hmm, I may have to update my Early Wargaming series of books as a result!

Friday, 27 September 2013

Phil Dunn's Fire and Fury, new naval wargaming book

Phil and I were talking about how to create some relatively simple naval wargames, so I set him the challenge of writing a new book. The result was a 107 page book with has various rules and scenarios that Phil has been playing for the last decade or so.

The new book was also the opportunity to include more of Paddy Griffith's previously unpublished material. The Paddy Griffith chapter includes the RMAS wargaming clubs naval wargaming rules for the Napoleonic era and includes a scenario as written by Paddy.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The Funeral of Sgt Donald Featherstone 51st Royal Tank Regiment

The service began with the theme music from the Battle of Britain film (Don liked it), then went onto an outline of Don's life.

Poverty, to soldier, physiotherapist, medical author, wargaming author, military historian, father, loss of his son, 200 battlefield tours, Rotarian, friend to many.

I spoke about Sgt Featherstone's military career, then Chris Scott gave a moving account of his wargaming and battlefield tours.

The celebrant included some quotes from the many eloquent reflections about Don made across the Internet.

Music included 'My Boy Willie' by the Royal Tank Regiment Band and 'We'll meet again' by Dame Vera Lynn.

It concluded with the Last Post and 'Taps' music.

A dignified occasion attended by his 2 daughters, 4 grand children and many of his friends.

Don, may you rest in peace, we will miss you.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Don Featherstone, passed away.

Don was one of the founding fathers of modern hobby and professional gaming. His contribution was vast.

Last year a young person came to my trade stand and explained to me that Don Featherstone did not exist. He was brand name. When I valiantly tried to explain that one man had really written all those wargaming, physiotherapy and military history books, he simply dismissed me by saying 'They did not even have word processors then'.

There is more to say, but not today. I worked with him closely over the last ten years editing new editions of his books and helping him getting new Featherstone books to print.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Tales from the Cold War



As result of the History of Wargaming Project, I sometimes hear some oral history. I thought I would share this one. If people like it, I have another couple to share. 

Teignmouth is a small tourist seaside resort in south Devon with an active commercial harbour. It has a long association with piracy, for example that led to the French burning down part of the town in 1690. The smuggling tradition was equally strong and continued, apparently, in Cold War. 

In 1974, the Russian submarine surfaced just off Teignmouth beach of and armed short parties started to disembark into small boats. Despite being early in the season, a few hardy tourists saw this' invasion' and called the local police (in those days dialling 999 reached the local police station). The police gave the cryptic response, 'The're not Russians, the're Poles' , as if that changed the fact boats with armed foreign sailors were heading towards the shore. 

One of the boats went to the docks and unloaded a large number of crates... of Polish vodka. In exchange they received foreign currency and various bottles of spirits. (In those days, ships captains often gave gifts to the Dockers. These were not bribes, but a way of saying thank you for getting their ship unloaded or rapidly loaded. They went into the Dockers Christmas party stock...) Other boat crews ran around the town buying up fresh supplies, 2nd hand camera equipment, pasties and fresh cream cakes (it was someone's birthday). It must have been a surprising sight for tourists to see Polish naval ratings pushing to the front of shopping queues in their haste. The locals were used to it.

While this was going on, one army officer, with more inspiration than common sense, decided to take a boat load of army cadets from St Brendan's College CCF out to the Warsaw Pact (enemy) submarine off shore. One imagines a boat load of British soldiers heading towards the partially manned submarine in British waters could have caused a major Cold War incident. However, the crew were Poles, not Russians, and they recognised the soldiers were just children and did they obvious; they invited them on board. The cadets has a short look around the submarine control room. Then the cadets returned to shore as the submarine crew came back from their smuggling operation. The submarine then submerged and sailed back into international waters.

If the Polish navy wanted to shop and to drink a pub dry on the occasional evening, no-one in Teignmouth minded. Many of the older people had served with Poles in WWII or knew someone who had. In the days before Twitter, YouTube and Facebook even a small town could keep secrets.
Some of the Cold War was grim, but some of it was just funny.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Letter to the Editor



As editor of the History of Wargaming Project, I am privileged to receive collections of wargaming books, rules, magazines, unpublished wargaming material and recollections from early wargamers on a regular basis. Recently, I received a particularly interesting letter centred around Lionel Tarr from an early wargamer (David T. Bradley).  It is reproduced with permission.

I apologise for getting in contact "out of the blue" but have just finished reading the latest volume in your History of Wargaming series - More Wargame Pioneers and I wanted to say how much I enjoyed it. I was particularly interested in the section covering Lionel Tarr's contribution to wargaming in general and the "modern" period in particular.

Certainly it was Lionel Tarr, of all the wargaming pioneers from the 1960s, that had the greatest influence on the development of my wargaming interests. I corresponded with him on-and-off over the years, he was always ready with help and advice and I actually had the pleasure of meeting him.

I had played "Little Wars" with H.G. Well's rules and my Britains toy soldiers, growing up in the late 1950s, but my wargaming epiphany came in early 1960, after my father, who had seen an article in one of the national newspapers about Jack Scruby, wrote a few letters and as a result I received a copy of the first Don Featherstone edited issue of Wargamers Digest. I read it to almost the point of destruction and I remember that one of the (many) articles that caught my attention was a battle report by Lionel "Into Odessa". In it he described the capture of the port by his German forces from its Soviet defenders. The reference to tank duels, street fighting, aerial bombardment quite seized my imagination. However in those days none of the (very limited number) of wargame soldier manufacturers seemed to make World War II figures. So I turned to my other military history interest (like many others) the American Civil War.

As you are probably aware, assembling a wargame army in those days was an exercise in patience and logistics, as the only suppliers were either in South Africa or Visalia, California (Jack Scruby). Therefore  delivery in those pre-air freight days was by ship (and very slow ones at that)! Later that year Wargamers Digest carried further articles by Lionel on his wargame, his forces and methods, so I was able to explore this area while waiting for my Civil War Armies to complete their voyage to South Yorkshire!

As it happened, there was in nearby Sheffield a model railway shop that specialised in Continental manufacturers - Marklin, Fleishman etc., and to complement these, they also sold scenic items, again from continental firms. One of these was Roskopf who, alongside models of various railway related vehicles, also produced a small range of 1/100 military vehicles, mainly post war, but some WWII models. I started buying these so I managed to acquire two small "modern" armies, supplemented by some Matchbox vehicles - a M3 half-track, a Saladin armoured car, a Ferret scout car and a Saracen APC. Britains did a "OO" scale Centurion, a Sexton SPG and some lorries.

Then Airfix brought out their first 1/72 figure sets. The first was pretty useless (from a wargaming point-of-view) - the Brigade of Guards band! However another early set was of (British) modern infantry combat troops with officers, radio operators and riflemen, sub-machine gunners and stretcher parties plus some "wounded" figures.  

They all appeared to be scaled down versions of a similar set of 54mm figures produced by Herald. Paint could transform them into British (khaki), German (grey) or Waffen-SS (unhistorical black). I had already written to Lionel who had kindly provided me with a set (hand-written) of his rules. For the actual games, I followed the example of the British war films of the period - Ice Cold in Alex, The Red Beret Carve Her Name with Pride etc. by just using British vehicles decorated with a black cross to indicate the enemy - if it was good enough for J. Arthur Rank, it was good enough for me!

The next significant event was Don Featherstone's first Wargame “Conference” at his house in Southampton in 1961. The event coincided with the Bay of Pigs Crisis, but we were too busy to concern ourselves with that!

 Lionel gave one of the talks, on how he operated his solo wargames and I was able to talk to him and, like everyone in the wargaming fraternity at the time, he was only too happy to give of his time and advice. I asked him about his vehicles and he offered to send me some from his collection.

The models he sent me were incredibly crude by today's standards but at the time I thought they were absolutely fantastic. Lionel sent me six in all. For the Germans, a Tiger, a Panther (some of these can be seen in the photographs for the World War II game in Don Featherstone's War Games illustrating The Tank-Infantry Action on the St James Road) and a StuG III. For the Soviets a T-34, a KV-1 and a Su-122. They were mainly made of Plaster-of-Paris for the hulls, carved wooded turrets and doweling gun barrels. The T-34 and Su-122 had doweling fuel tanks on their rear decks and the latter even had a commander in the turret. The Soviet vehicles were camouflaged in green. The German vehicles were similar except that the StuG was all wood. The German vehicles were all painted black. At last I could set some of my battles on the OSTFRONT.

I was intrigued by the point you make in your book that the early wargame pioneers had not only done military service, they had fought in a World War. Don Featherstone in tanks through Tunisia and Italy and Lionel at Arnhem and then in German captivity. Real-life experience that informed their wargaming and how they developed rule systems to portray it, in a totally different way from today's wargaming generation. You might have thought such experiences would put one off things military for life!

The other point that needs to be acknowledged is the amount of original research Lionel had to do on weapons, vehicles, tactics and organisation, let alone the details of the Eastern Front campaign. Now we can look at a host of reference material providing the answers to all those questions. When Lionel was assembling his wargame forces there was a minuscule portion of such material and what there was, not particularly accessible.

I next became involved with Lionel in the 1963, the year I went to University. In one of the first issues of Don's Wargamers Newsletter there was an article by Lionel (which you reproduce in your book) on RETASOL. That didn't last long and was succeeded by a more informal set-up called COSOL. I wrote to Lionel asking if I could join in, and was assigned a section of the southern portion of the Eastern Front. Unfortunately by the time I got the necessary War Office General Staff maps, COSOL itself had also broken up. However Lionel offered to act as my German directing opponent while I managed the Soviet forces. So in the weeks before I went up to University, Lionel acted as commander of my German forces on the approaches to the Crimea.

By that time things were better regarding on the availability of models. Airfix had started producing their range of kits and I had some of these for "Normandy" type battles inspired by Don Featherstone’s World War II section in War Games. However there was still very little Eastern Front, especially Soviet, equipment.

So, for the campaign for the Crimea, I was using 1/100 scale Rosfkopf German and Soviet armour, supplemented by Denzil Skinner metal models at the same scale, Airfix German infantry, and for the Soviets the British combat group supplemented by Matchbox half-tracks and other armoured vehicles which again can also be seen in some of the photos in War Games.

After university and post-graduate work in London, I joined the MoD as a civil servant and attended meetings run by the London Wargaming Group. For a variety of reasons wargaming was on the back burner for a while, but I did have the pleasure of meeting "Bish " Iwasko - the doyen of modern wargaming in the London Group and later John Sandars, through our joint membership of MAFVA (Model Armoured Fighting Vehicles Association) and us both working in the MoD, at the time John was a serving RN Lieut.-Cdr with a staff appointment in Whitehall.

In the early 70's I again got in contact with Lionel. By then his campaign had reached the banks of the Volga but he had no interest in making the return trip to Berlin. He mentioned that he had offered his armies for sale to Ed Saunders who had turned down the offer. I offered to buy them and he accepted. Some weeks later some very large boxes were delivered.

In all it totalled some 90 armoured vehicles, 36 artillery pieces, 100 armoured and soft skin transport vehicles, 4 assault boats and 2 Fiesler Storch aircraft. Also some 1400 German and Soviet infantry supported by 17 anti-tank guns, 20 machine gun-teams and 4 mortars (I had to go out and buy some steel shelving units to house it all)!

All of the Plaster- of-Paris models had long gone and the majority of the armour were from ROCO Minitanks who were, by then, widely available in the UK, although Lionel had sourced his from Germany and Austria some years earlier. Most of the vehicles were unpainted but en masse they were certainly an impressive sight!
Over the years I played with them, replaced some and disposed of others. I passed on the balance of the collection some time ago as the pressures of family, household moves intruded. I wish I had hung on to more, as I am now retired and have the time and space.

Along with the troops and tanks, Lionel also provided his rules and organisation charts for his forces, these I have retained.

The rules in particular make very interesting reading. They reflect Lionel’s latest thoughts and are more comprehensive than those you and Don Featherstone printed. It is interesting to see how Lionel modified various aspects over the years.
The strike and defence values for tank combat he had abandoned and replaced with a system based on details of armour protection for individual vehicles and data for the penetrative power of various weapons on armour. The element of chance was greatly removed. I think this was the influence of Carl Reavley. In 1961 or 1962 Jack Scruby published Carl's set of modern wargame rules in one of his edition of Wargamers Digest. They were very comprehensive and even included helicopters, quite a novelty at the time. No dice were used at all. Effects were based on tables and were unmodified by any element of chance. Destruction and casualties were inflicted by referring to tables of weapon effects on various targets at various ranges - no exceptions.

I was also intrigued by other features in your book. I have some a copy of Michael Korns Wargame rules. The data he collected is fascinating but as a game unplayable!

 The picture of Tony Bath on page 52 (I think that is David Chandler sitting on Tony's right) I am fairly certain was taken at the Duke of York's Chelsea barracks for a massive refight, in 25mm, of Waterloo - I think one of the earliest, if not the earliest, "mega-game"!

The photo of Tony Bath, with Charles Grant on page 41 taken in Don Featherstone's wargame room during the Southampton get-together in 1962, brought back many happy memories. I think I may even be the headless figure standing on the stairs! The dress code for wargame gatherings in the early sixties was sport-jacket and tie - a bit different from the hobby's sartorial standards today.

I apologise for going on at such length. "Wargame nostalgia" is a dangerous sentiment! Thank you again for your fascinating book and allowing Lionel Tarr's contribution to the development to wargaming, and in particular the inspiration he provided to many others, finally to be given the recognition it deserves.