Welcome to my miniature wargaming page. I expect to continue working on it, so I apologize for its state of construction, especially right now.
I am not a particularly experienced miniature wargamer; there are many who are far more skilled than I am. It is, however, one of my many interests. As such, I have decided to place the topic as a page on my web site.
War games have been around for almost as long as has war. They are a means of applying different strategies and training units in the hope of becoming more successful in war.
How are miniature war games related to this?
Simple. It is not always possible to have men available to participate in training sessions. In that case, should those that lead in war not have an opportunity to become more skilled at it?
Basically, a miniature war game attempts to codify a set of possible combat scenarios into a simulation. It challenges the commanders (players) to see different possibilities and learn to use opportunities as they are presented.
Today, computers are used to simulate war, both for entertainment and actual training. It could even be theorized that computers were developed for that specific purpose, and that nearly all of the applications that we use today in the business world and entertainment industry are a result of that push. But that is a different topic.
Before computers, other resources had to be used. I think it likely that board games developed out of the desire to improve one's chances of victory in war.
Weiqi, known as Go in the western world, is perhaps the oldest board game in the world. There are a number of legends that discuss the origin of Weiqi, but most indicate that it was invented between 4,200 and 4,300 years ago, and that its purpose was to teach or enlighten. In any case, it is probably the oldest strategy game in the world. It isn't really a war game though.
I believe that Chess, or one of its earlier incarnations, was the first miniature war game. The field is flat, but it has different types of units, represented by each piece. A pawn takes the place of infantry, they have limited movement, but are a necessary part of the game. The rook, knight, and bishop are stronger units; they have greater movement, and each one has its own special style of play. The queen represents an elite unit, she has as great a movement as the other pieces but can adapt more easily to different situations.The king is the HQ, the headquarters unit. He has limited movement, but is the most important piece on the board. If he is lost, the game is lost. The goal of chess is not so much as to destroy your opponent, as it is to put him in an untenable position.
Chess is an excellent strategy game, but to teach war, other things need to be addressed. The world is not flat, and not all armies are exactly equal. Also there is an element of chance that can not be overlooked, as well as the so-called fog of war, which interferes with full knowledge.
From those limitations modern war games developed. Games of chance have been around almost as long as games of skill. Elements of these games, such as dice, were brought into the war games arena to provide that unknown quality -- luck.
Modern miniature war games require no less skill than those of the past. These games incorporate many new ideas that could not be easily simulated in simpler games. Ideas such as logistics, terrain obstacles, technology, varying types of units, training difference between armies as well as different types of attacks. They still provide an opportunity to learn, and the ability to practice to improve your skills. They just offer more flexibility in doing so.
Chess is still the best strategy game, as in ease of learning, difficulty of mastery, and well known, almost international, rules. It is unlikely that Chess will ever lose that title, but sometimes I want just a little more out of a game. Below are some of the other miniature war games that I play, or rather, try to play.
I hope you enjoy these links.