Wednesday, November 9, 2011

H.G. Wells' "Little Wars"

A video posted over at Mutants and Magic shows Peter Cushing playing with his toy soldiers "according to the rules laid down by H.G. Wells in his famous book Little Wars." How's that again? While probably very old news to serious wargamers, I didn't know about this... I've only just perused it but already see two great things going for it - it's rules light and in the public domain. You can download it from archive.org or Project Gutenberg. There's a short companion text too.

Have any readers actually played this? It seems like it might be a great introduction to the hobby for kids.

Of possibly related interest.

10 comments:

ckutalik said...

Make sure to check out Wells' companion book, Floor Games, which feels more freeform and RPG to me. The Gutenberg version misses something without the prints (maybe try and google them), but it's an interesting read.

Zak S said...

"We got two forces of toy soldiers, set out a lumpish Encyclopaedic land upon the carpet, and began to play."

S. P. said...

I've only read it, primarily because I'd prefer to have some actual spring-loaded cannons first for the full effect. Meaning I'd have to buy some, or raid my childhood, and I've presently done neither.

Roger the GS said...

The rules can also be played by "the more intelligent sort of girl."

John said...

"He says "a game for boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys’ games and books." I think he means "girls who like toy soldiers are rad, girls who play with dolls are doodooheads", not "this is the 1910s females are chimps". Or I'd like to think so.

Dangerous Brian said...

I stumbled across it in my High School library (of all things) about twenty years ago. Back then I was only really playing GW wargames and never really bothered to play it. I do remember passing the book to my mate Andy, who played a few good games. Very fast playing if a little simplistic, if I remember his opinion accurately.

bliss_infinte said...

Peter Cushing is awesome and this just nails why!

anarchist said...

I looked into this a while ago, but apparently they don't make toy cannon that actually fire any more.

Some people make model catapults, though they seem to be very expensive.

Garrisonjames said...

It is an interesting game. I'm still looking for the little plastic catapults and ballistas we had as kids that used rubber-bands to lob little plastic spears or rocks at things. They came in a set of knights & vikings that I believe Mattel manufactured. There also might be a way to scratch-build a few of these things, even a spring-loaded cannon shouldn't be too hard to cobble together...just keep them out of the hands of small children and the like...

pozatronic said...

Garrisonjames, are you talking about Crossbows & Catapults? It was redone not to long ago by Spin Master (I think) and called Battleground: Crossbows & Catapults. A friend of mine had it when I was a kid, and I bought the set for my son a few years ago. I wouldn't doubt you can find it used on ebay for not too much, although I'm to lazy to check.

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