Monday, 11 November 2013

More about Matrix Games

Chris Engle of Hamster Press has been the driving force behind the development of Matrix Games, and over the years he has published – and continues to publish – books and booklets about them.

This morning I went through my collection of wargames publications and found that I own the following copies of Chris's work:
  • CAMPAIGN IN A DAY (1992): This explained how a Matrix Game worked, and included two examples; Peninsula Campaign and Ancient Sumeria.
  • CAMPAIGN BOOK (1992): This was the companion volume to CAMPAIGN IN A DAY and contained all the information needed to set up and run ten Matrix Game campaigns. Each section contained a description of the historical situation, orders-of-battle, and each player’s briefings and goals.
    • 1066
    • Bannockburn
    • 1494
    • Blenheim
    • Bonnie Prince Charlie
    • Peninsula Campaign (as featured in CAMPAIGN IN A DAY)
    • Russian Campaign 1812
    • March To The Sea
    • Zulu
    • Save Gordon!
  • MINIATURE BATTLES: STUPID SIMPLE RULES (1992): This was the third book in the series and featured rules that could be used to fight any battles that were ‘generated’ by a Matrix Game campaign.
  • THE MATRIX GAME! (1995): This book included a revised (and in some ways simplified) version of the original Matrix Game rules.
  • SCOTLAND THE BRAVE (1995): This book was a complete scenario (including player briefings) for a Matrix game set during the Scottish Wars of Independence (1295 AD – 1314 AD).
  • MATRIX GAME RULES (2000): A revised – and very easy to follow – version of the original Matrix Game rules.
  • SHERLOCK HOLMES CASE BOOK (2005): This book contains and explanation about how Matrix games work and the scenarios and player briefings for six murder-mystery Matrix Games:
    • Sherlock Holmes Mystery
      • The Case of the dead Duke
      • The Case of the Missing Bride
      • The Case of Bad Blood
    • The Fenian Murders
      • The Fox Hunt
      • A Shot in the Dark
      • The Fenian Plot
  • DESERT RATS: A MILITARY CAMPAIGN GAME (2005): This book contains and explanation about how Matrix games work and the scenarios and orders-of-battle for six Matrix Game campaigns:
    • Desert Rats
      • Rommel’s Advance
      • Jihad
      • Rommel in Defeat
    • Dar as Salaam: The 1880 British Invasion of the Land of Peace
      • A Small War for Empire: The Invasion
      • Allah U Akbar! : The Dervish Counter-Attack 1881
      • The Hunt for Ali Baba 1885
I am sure that I also have a copy of Chris’s POLITICS BY OTHER MEANS (PBOM) rules, which are a very simple set of wargames rules for fighting battles with toy soldiers. I think that a synopsis of the rules is available on his website here.


  1. Sad to say I've never played a Matrix Game. Wouldn't know where to start as an introduction, that said the one in the latest WSS could be a good starting point...?



  2. Pete,

    I think that everyone should play a Matrix game at least once ... if only to discover that it is not a game format that they like.

    I did not know that Matrix games had been featured in the latest WSS. I will look out for a copy when I next visit the local newsagent.

    All the best,