Monday, 31 December 2012

Charlie Sweet: another pioneer of gridded wargames

A few days ago Jim Duncan - one of my very regular blog readers - sent me a link to a blog that featured an entry about Charlie Sweet. I have just got around to visiting it ... and I must thank Jim profusely for pointing me in this particular direction!


I had heard of Charlie Sweet but knew little about him other than that he was an early wargamer and that he knew and had wargamed with Gerard de Gre. As a result of this link, I have discovered that he was also one of the pioneers of gridded wargames.


Of particular interest to me is the reconstruction of Charlie's Ancient wargames rules, especially as I have had several requests to produce an Ancients version of my own PORTABLE WARGAME rules. I hope to spend some time over the next few days reading this blog entry and the other blog entries that it is linked to ... and I suspect that they will give me a few ideas.

16 comments:

  1. Jim Duncan,

    Thanks for this very interesting link. It has already given me one or two ideas that may prove to be very useful, especially if I chose to develop an 'Ancients' version of my PORTABLE WARGAME rules.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  2. Sean,

    I am glad that you found them to be as interesting as I did.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  3. Hi Bob (and Jim),

    Great article and link chaps - I am thinking that the Portable Ancient Wargame may be sooner rather than later!

    Bob, I know ancients are not your thing (despite being an ancient wargamer....) so I am happy to chuck some time at this using the humongous Command and Colours Ancients block collection I own. Also I am thinking that Morschauser may need another look!

    All the best and a happy 2013 to you and yours (and Jim and his!),

    DC

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  4. Thanks for sharing that Bob. peter had shared some memories of Charlie on the OSW Yahoo site a year or so ago but I didn't realize or maybe forgot that he had a blog and that Charlie used a Grid, I largely remember the catapults and artillery that fired.

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  5. i found the charles Sweet info inspirational too!

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  6. Glad you all enjoyed the post about Charlie and his games. He was a BIG proponent of gridded tables. The Vintage Wargames site has his complete Horse and Musket rules posted. I probably don't have nearly enough of the unique things that differentiate the various Ancient armies. I'm sure Dave must have a copy of the original Ancient rules somewhere, but I'm not sure they ever set the various distinctions down on paper. Unfortunately, as far as I know, Dave doesn't use email or the web to any degree, although I usually see him once a year at Historicon, and he usually visits Joe for a game once a year when he is back up this way from Virginia.

    More than anything else, though, I'd emphasize what a marvelous gentleman he was in the truest sense of that word. I was all of 18 years old when I first met Charlie, and although I was already a very avid gamer, the experiences I had at his home certainly helped set that in stone for a lifetime!

    Peter

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  7. David Crook,

    The link and the blog entry were inspirational, and have left me thinking seriously about an 'Ancients' version of PW.

    I hope to re-read Joseph Morschauser's rules before I begin work on a first draft, but if you want to start the spadework then I would be very pleased to make it a joint effort. I have already formulated a few ideas, but I will not send them to you until early in January ... once the effects of the New Year celebrations have passed!

    All the best (and have a great New Year),

    Bob

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  8. Ross Mac,

    It was a great pleasure to share this link with my regular blog readers as I thought that it would appeal to them.

    I am envious of you for having had the opportunity to wargame with someone who knew Charlie and took part in his wargames. It must have left you with some great memories ... and quite a few ideas!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. Tradgardmastare,

    I thought that it would appeal to wargamers like you, and that you would find it as inspirational as I had.

    Have a great Hogmanay!

    Bob

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  10. Gonsalvo (Pete),

    It was a very inspiring piece. I will certainly visit the Vintage Wargames site so that I can look at Charlie's Horse and Musket rules, and any information about his Ancient rules would be very helpful.

    It is always great to hear about early proponents of gridded wargames, and I am not surprised to hear that he was a gentleman. Everything that I have read about him makes me wish that I had had the opportunity to meet him.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  11. Happy New Year, Bob,
    I remember reading that article in the Sporting News when I was about ten years old. I saw it as justification for my earliest efforts.
    It is wonderful to have it to read again.
    I have played some Morschauser Ancients back in November and really enjoyed the experience. I know that an Ancient Portable Wargame will be something to look forward to.
    -Steve

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  12. The early wargame group (NEWA)of which I was a member visited Charly's home several times for games as he did mine. As editor of The Courier I published several of the game reprots and a complete set of DeGre's rules for Napoleonics within its pages. In his ancient game, Charly used a "paper,Scissors, Rock" technique for melees. My fondest memory was winning a game by "Forming Square" with an elephant on a bridge - no one could pass!
    If you send me an e-mail address, I can send copies of the stuff I have. mgluteus@aol.com

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  13. Steven Page,

    Happy New Year to you too … and I am pleased that you enjoyed reading the articl again!

    I was a bit older when I discovered that playing with toy soldiers was something that adults did as well … and it certainly helped to boost my self-esteem.

    I hope to spend some time re-reading Morschauser’s ‘Ancient’ rules and the reconstruction of Charlie Sweet’s rules over the next few days as I am sure that they will help me to formulate my ‘Ancient’ version of my PORTABLE WARGAME rules.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  14. Dick Bryant,

    I envy you the opportunity you had to fight a wargame with Charlie Sweet and to use his rules (and to have such wonderful memories!) … and I will certainly be in touch to obtain copies of anything that you have.

    I miss THE COURIER, and although I came to it quite late (copies not being easy to come by in the UK!) I always enjoyed reading it. It always struck me as being a ‘proper’ wargames magazine, and not just a colourful but rather bland publication like so many are today.

    All the best,

    Bob

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