100th Anniversary of HG Wells’ “Little Wars”

The New York Times has a fascinating article on the legacy of what is arguably the first “popular” wargame; HG Wells’ Little Wars. Here are some particularly interesting quotes, but it’s well worth reading the whole article.

While miniature war-gaming has never been able to claim a place in the mainstream, it has influenced almost everything we think of as gaming today.

The game designer Gary Gygax, in a foreword to a 2004 edition of the book, credits “Little Wars” with influencing his own set of rules for medieval-period miniature wars, Chainmail — which in turn became the basis of a slightly less obscure role-­playing game: Dungeons & Dragons.

Video games can provide rich worlds of entertainment, yet there is something just as immersive about pushing miniature soldiers around a lawn, carpet, or 4-by-8-foot plywood battlefield decorated with toothpick fences and cardboard hills. 

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Also, please don’t forget the Adventures Dark and Deep Bestiary Kickstarter going on right now! 900 monsters, suitable for most OSR-type games, all under one cover. Can you help get us to having an illustration for each and every one?

Written by 

Wargamer and RPG'er since the 1970's, author of Adventures Dark and Deep, Castle of the Mad Archmage, and other things, and proprietor of the Greyhawk Grognard blog.

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