Sunday, 5 February 2017

Fighting battles on a squared grid in 1968: The Armchair General Volume 1 No.4

A couple of days ago Tim Gow sent me a copy of the fourth issue of THE ARMCHAIR GENERAL. This was the first 'over the counter' wargame magazine produced in the US and it was published by the late Pat Condray.


Tim sent this particular issue to me because it features the second part of Henry Bodenstedt's rules for re-fighting battles of the Franco-German War using multi-figure bases and a square gridded playing surface. I have scanned the relevant pages, and they can be seen below. (The images can be enlarged by clicking on them.)




When time allows, I will try to transcribe the rules and publish them on my blog.

The photographs that were used in the article were not of very high quality, but I have scanned them separately as I know that quite a few of my regular blog readers will enjoy looking at them almost as much as I have!



32 comments:

  1. What a find,thanks for posting this.
    Alan
    ps photos are fascinating

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    Replies
    1. Tradgardmastare,

      I am very pleased that Tim Gow thought of sending this to me, especially as it dovetails so well with my current thoughts about wargaming on gridded tabletop.

      As to the photographs ... well they may not be up to the quality of those in modern wargames magazines but I find them more inspiring.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. Any thoughts on the make/scale of the figures Bob?

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    Replies
    1. Tradgardmastare,

      I suspect that they are 20mm Scruby figures, but that is only a guess based on what was probably available at the time.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. I have several "The Armchair General" magazines. In them are several gridded war-game rules. If you are interested, I can scan and forward you the rules.

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    Replies
    1. Jhnptrqn,

      I'd be very interested in having copies of those articles if you can scan them for me.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  4. Replies
    1. Tradgardmastare,

      If jhnptrqn can send them to me, I'll publish them as a blog entry.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  5. Unlike a lot of the Photographs adorning many recent rule sets and in the wargame press (28mm oversculpted giants displayed on huge table layouts) these photos leave you feeling that you could achieve that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barry Carter,

      How very true! That is why I adopted this style of photograph for my book.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  6. Delightful! I believe that I have a digital copy of the rules sans picturs squirreled away somewhere but its been too long since I last looked at them at it may be something different. I also have a gridded game that Henry designed using various Elastolin medieval warriors in a vaguely fantasy setting with Landsknechts, Knights, Huns and Vikings etc.

    There is a Scrubyish look to some of the figures but probably 30mm rather than 20. Pat sometimes used to game with flats early on and some of these appear almost semi-flat so it could well be a mix. If only the pictures were clearer or Pat was still with us!

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    Replies
    1. Ross Mac,

      I think that I may have a different set of rules written by Henry Bodenstedt somewhere on my computer, and will try to find them over the next few days.

      My guess as to the size and make of the figures in the photos may well be way off, and they could easily be 30mm semi-flats. Whatever they are, they certainly look good.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. Ross Mac,

      Henry Bodenstedt's Medieval/Fantasy games was the Seige of Bodenburg, and it even has its own page on Wikipedia!

      All the best,

      Bob

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  7. Bob, do the scans you have posted cover the whole of these rules? I am looking for a set of quick and simple hex bases rules for my FPW and Georland stuff - I am intending to lightly tweak Command & Colors Napoleonic - but I am also interested in any workable rules from other sets

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    Replies
    1. Vintage Wargaming,

      My scans only cover Part II of the rules, and the Artillery rules are definitely missing. Other elements may also be missing. If I can find the missing pieces, I will certainly publish the rules.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. I'd be very interested to see the full set

      Delete
    3. Vintage Wargaming,

      I'm working on it!

      All the best,

      Bob

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  8. Replies
    1. Conrad Kinch,

      It is ... and hopefully there will be more to follow.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  9. /Users/johnpatriquin/Desktop/Armchair General.pdf

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    Replies
    1. Jhnptrqn,

      Thank you very much for the link. I will investigate it later today (i.e. Monday).

      All the best,

      Bob

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  10. I think I have the first 4 issues of The Armchair General(TAG) I will do the necessary archeological dig and email you a scan if I can find them. TAG was how I got into the hobby. Pat sent a free copy to everyone he could identify as a wargame (I was an avid Diplomacy player at the time) and I wrote a note back that he published in #2 that suggested he publish a list of people (very few at the time, here in the US)who had figures and tables so that those of us who didn't, could be introduced to the hobby. Bob Beattie saw the note, dropped me a line and I was introduced to Column, Line & Square in 1968. Together Bob and I formed the New England Wargame Association (NEWA) with its newsletter, The Courier.
    Dck Bryant

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    Replies
    1. Dick Bryant,

      If you can find the relevant copy of TAG and send a scan of the text to me, I would be very grateful.

      It would seem to me that Henry Bodenstedt was one of the unsung heroes of early Wargaming who needs a bit more recognition. I know that he features on THE COURIER history of Wargaming timeline, but I doubt if many people outside the US have heard of him. Perhaps I can persuade John Curry (of the 'History of Wargaming' project) to re-publish a collection of Henry's work. He is always on the lookout for stuff from and about early wargamers, and it would fit very nicely into his growing collection.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. I remember playing in his "Seige of Bodenstat" (Sp?) game at a convention in 1968 held in Philadelphia by the Miniature Figure Collectors of America (MFCA)They were sponsoring wargaming tables as a splinter group of their Figure painters and collectors "Guild". It may be a week or so before I can dig out the TAGs (If I have them) But I will.
      Dick Bryant

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  11. Henry Bodenstedt was also the miniatures editor for the original S&T - this was long before Dunnigan took over.

    In Volume 1, issues 1-4 (1967) he published a WWII game called Bridge at Remagan. It had a square grid table/map and the rules were hybrid miniatures/board game.

    In some ways it was a very (as in VERY, VERY) simple version of Panzer Blitz, long before Dunnigan wrote TAC 3, the precursor to PB.

    I have copies of these issues as I was one of the original subscribers.

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    Replies
    1. William Stewart,

      Bearing in mind what I wrote in reply to Dick Bryant's comment, your information seems to make it even more imperative that Henry's work is republished for a wider audience. I am sure that if I can persuade John Curry to do that, he would appreciate scans of the original issues of S&T if he hasn't got them already.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  12. I found it! While searching old blog posts for early references to the PW I found this link in a May 2011 post:
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/33484056/Franco-Prussian-War-Game-by-Henry-Bodenstedt

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    Replies
    1. Ross Mac,

      That is great ... and will help me to put together a file of Bodenstedt's output.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  13. Bob,
    I sent you an email with a couple of PDF files attached; I was wondering if you received them?

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    Replies
    1. Jhnptrqn,

      Thanks for letting me know that you had sent them. For some reason my email program had decided that they were spam, and put them in the spam file ... where I have just found them!

      I look forward to reading them tomorrow.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  14. I am glad you received them. I hope they are useful. By the way, I received my copy of The Portable Wargame last week. It will be added to my "Classic Wargames" shelf. I am looking forward to your next book.

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    Replies
    1. Jhnptrqn,

      I read them with great interest, and hope to use them - and other stuff I have been sent - on my blog in due course.

      I am please to read that your copy of my book has been delivered and honoured that you consider it to be good enough to add to your bookshelf of wargaming 'classics'. I hope to get the next book written by the summer ... other projects permitting!

      All the best,

      Bob

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