A selection of games in the style of H G Wells.

I was going to do an update post but I thought you don’t want to just read about me maoning about my problems so I thought I’d do something more positive and tell you about something fun…

… one thing I’ve really been enjoying recently is a series of large scale outdoor games run by Tim. As I’m sure most of you know the first widely publilshed book on wargaming was H G Wells’ Little Wars*. These were games played on the floor with traditional 54mm toy soldiers. There has been a recent renassiance of these games with the publication of Funny Little Wars and Little Cold Wars, these games use the same sort of mechanisms (occasionally a matchstick firing cannon gets up- graded to a nerf gun). The games are based around fun and enjoying some gaming time with friends rather than a serious military simulation, however it is interesting how ‘good’ a result, ie historically plausible, these games generate.

Anyway enough waffle from, me on to the pictures:

The first game I joined in with was the defence of Fort Fisher in the ACW. I was one of the Confederate defenders against the Union combined operation.
The defences were manned but we were heavy on firepower but light on men. Still it was good funb firing the cannon at the ships as they closed in.
The Union tried to run a ship aground and blow it up to disrupt us. It didn’t work so well but they did make a landing in the centre of our fort and overrrun a few batteries (our defensive grapeshot, represented by party poppers, caused considerable casualties). Ultimately the Union didn’t have enough strength to sustain the attack so had to withdraw.
I played as the defending US forces in a game set in the early days of the Korean War in 1950. Task force Smith was hastily assembled to stop a North Korean armoured thrust south. With only 2 pieces of artillery and a few bazookas I only just managed to blut the attack.
On the same day as the Korean War game we played a small scenario representing the British parachute assault into the Suez Canal area in 1956. Each platoon stand was represented by a piece of card and dropped from shoulder height as we walked past the gaming area.
Although the troop quality of the British paratroops was much higher than the defending Egyptians they did have the advantage of starting in bunkers.
A much bigger parachute assault that I took part in was the 1970s South African asssault into Cassinga. Seen here are the defending African nationalist troops.
Due to winds over the drop zone (read that as being a bit breezy on the patio) the SADF troops were quite widely scattered. Ultimately their superior troop rating and a bit of air support won the day for them.
We revisited Suez 1956- expanding the game to include the French parachute assault as well.
Again the air support on hand was rather handy for getting the defenders out of their emplacements.
We went back to the first day of the Somme to test out some different artillery rules. Due to rain we had to move inside.
The Germans had three lines of defenses with the first row being very lightly held.
There was an extensive air phases prior to the troops moving (I was the RFC player for this).
As can be seen the British defensive fire was quite effective. Sadly, for the RFC at least, this was due to ground AA fire not from dogfighting.
The guns line up for the inital pre- attack barrage: this was a set number or rounds/ matchsticks against the clock. The artillery came in three phases: inital stonk, box barrage to suppress and destroy, then a creeping barrage as the troops went over the top. As was to be expected the British pals battalions took very heavy casualties, even though they made it to the first German trench line. The fun of the game was in the pre- assault preparation phases, working through the air combats and the different sorts of artillery.
It has become something of a tradition at these sorts of games that I provide a cake- usually a teaf loaf. The laidback, jovial nature of these games with plenty of breaks for tea and snacks, not to mention sandwiches has been a real tonic for me having not enjoyed gaming at home so much recently.

So there you have what I’ve been enjoying gaming the most recently. I hope you found it of interest.

I have got a whole pile of pics covering what I’ve been doing so I’ll put them out when I can in what will probably be a mixed up order.



* Robert Louis Stephenson had written a book on gaming earlier but it didn’t get anything like the wide reception Wells’ did.

39 comments on “A selection of games in the style of H G Wells.

  1. Hi Pete
    Some Great outdoor games there! Very Glad the SouthWon!;) Outdoor games can be alot of Fun:) God Bless you and yours.
    Keep up the Great post.
    Dave over the Pond

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      Thank you Dave. The game was great. It got quite tense blasting away at the ships as they got nearer.

      Tim’s use of a party popper (don’t know if you have them in the states- it goes bang and shoots out coiled paper streamers) for grapeshot was genius.



  2. Grown men playing with oversized toys outdoors. I could never…wait…the RMN Boys have a rather extensive collection of PlayMobile figures. Hmm…what to do?

  3. These look like great fun Pete!

  4. andyslack says:

    That looks like a lot of fun! I’m jealous.

  5. Brilliant Pete! 🙂 I like all of the games and it takes me back to my early teens using 54mm plastic figures for games in the garden! And you have tea, snacks and cake to boot! 🙂

  6. Well that puts the “Large” in large-scale battles. Very cool, never seen that before.

  7. Luke Z says:

    Looks like a lot of fun. Very inspiring. I now have a reason to buy those large scale ACW sets I saw at the bargain warehouse!

  8. What fun! I have been wanting to get in an Apocalypse-sized game of “Floorhammer” for a few years now. One day!

  9. Faust says:

    That looks like a blast! Pretty awesome to see the battles at such a large scale. I imagine there is less scatter damage from a clumsy pal bumping the table too, haha! That bread is making me hungry!

  10. Chris Kemp says:

    I’m always amazed at how much stuff Tim actually has!

    Regards, Chris.

  11. Guru PIG says:

    A great post The games looked awesome as does the cake. Great to see you enjoyed them.

  12. Wow Pete those games look great fun, and immediately reminded me of a game I saw many years ago at a show (can’t remember what show though) that had a WW2 skirmish game taking place out the front of the sports centre where the show was being held and a piece of grass with a few bushes. They were using “Action Men (GI Joe for the US readers) Dolls and some ply wood buildings/ruins, that too looked awesome fun! Thanks for dredging this memory back up! 😁

    Love the idea that rain stopped play (well outside play at least), and cake too, now thats my sort of gaming!

    Cheers Roger.

    • Pete S/ SP says:

      That must have looked great. I had aa few Action Men when I was growing up- I was quite taken with the tank they had based on the Scorpion which had working tracks. My friend had it.

      Was really good gaming.



  13. ignitedmoth says:

    How cool! Looks like fun, plus sweets are always a plus too! 😛 I also love to bring desserts to get-togethers but lately my go-to has been fancy cheeses and crackers and whatnot. 🙂

  14. […] “SP’s Projects Blog” mentioned he’d made a “Tea Loaf” for the lads playing in a few “Traditional HG Wells type games”, and the week later he posted the recipe on his blog too asking if anyone made one themselves, to […]

  15. Azazel says:

    Very cool set of games, Pete! I enjoyed reading Little Wars and your pics certainly evoke the feeling of the book! 🙂

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