As a child I spent my weekly sixpence pocket money on a toy soldier, US cavalry, second world war infantryman, cowboy, sometimes a knight. With friends, father or often alone I would line them up and fight mini battles on my bedroom floor. There must have been hundreds - I wonder what happened to them all.
Of course teenagers don't play with toy soldiers do they? But when I found "Charge! or How to Play Wargames" in the local library (between chess and football) it was a revelation. Playing with toy soldiers didn't have to end with primary school and short trousers. But of course other things got in the way, music, girls, football etc etc. And despite attempts at painting up an army of airfix, and later Spencer Smith's plastics I never actually got round to playing a game using Charge rules. And yet every so often I would pore over the games and friendly banter of Mr Smith and Mr Jones as described by messrs Young and Lawford (I actually bought the library copy for 20p).
Wargaming didn't go away and University provided a few opponents mostly in the revolutionary new, cheap, easily stored 6mm. Later Birmingham Wargames Society provided a friendly place to fight. Keeping up to date with the latest innovations armies appeared and grew and were sold, rules came and went 10mm, 15mm, 20mm. WRG, RFCM, Volley and Bayonet, Crossfire, Impetus, we tried them all. But none had what Charge! had. Je ne sais quois?
But now, courtesy of internetland, I find I'm not alone in this mini obsession with a 1967 games book.
This blog is my incentive to creating two armies and two imagi nations to fight table top games in the manner of messrs Young and Lawford. The nations are Fromagere and Weinpfalz; the Wars of Wine and Cheese.
The Pretenders with 'Message of Love' (1981)
9 hours ago