Friday, 3 May 2013

H G Wells "Little Wars" Centenary Games April 2013 - Part 1

Last weekend, the 27th/28th April, a diverse band of toy soldier enthusiasts were drawn together in the Surrey countryside, it wasn't a wargame convention or a collectors show but more a celebration to mark the 100th anniversary of the publication of H G Wells' book Little Wars.

The event had been at least two years in preparation and was the brainchild of Mr Paul Wright, author of "Funny Little Wars" (an updating of Wells' rules to take account of small arms fire, morale etc.) ably supported by members of the Funny Little Wars Yahoo Group for chaps who enjoy playing with larger size toy soldiers.

The event was split into three rounds, each with four games being played simultaneously.  First up was a staging of Wells classic Battle of Hooks Farm, which had to be played indoors due to rain, and here is what the armies looked like:  (click to enlarge)
The Russian contingent (Army Green) commanded by Dr Mike Snape, the infantry are by Armies in Plastic (AiP), the cavalry converted from Britains show jumping riders and Italieri Mamelukes.

Army Red/White/Blue, the American Rough Riders led out by Mr Jack Wright. more AiP infantry with cavalry by Britains Deetail and Paragon Scenics

Dr Anthony Morton offered us his Army Red/Khaki, The British Army in overseas order, most effectively formed up on movement trays from Warbases (note to self: must get some of these) 

By the unanimous vote of all present this Teutonic Army Black won the "Best Painted Army" prize for Mr Stephen Thomas.  More AiP infantry, traditional Britains 4.7s and elephants!   Well who wouldn't vote for them.

The composite Imperial Force comprising RN blue jackets, Canadian Horse and these rather splendid cyclists under command of the Duke of Tradgardland aka Mr Alan Gruber

Here we see Army Red face up against errrrrrr.... Army Red?  At the far end of the table a satisfyingly nostalgic collection of old Britains and other hollowcast figures from Messrs Julian Spilsbury and Andy Hussey advance toward a solid red line of the Little Wars Revisited range of figures produced, and commanded here. by Mr Mike Lewis.

........And finally my own humble contribution to the proceedings, the steadfast Turks of Army Turquoise.  the central column and artillerymen are my conversions from BMC American Civil War figures while the flanking Regiments and cavalry were fashioned from HaT figures by the skillful hand of Canadian veteran gamer Mr Ross Macfarlane

One army is missing from the lineup above; the Forbodians of Mr Tim Gow who was charged with assisting to umpire the first round.


  1. Good stuff Brian - I thought your Turks were magnificent!

  2. Any army based upon Turkey, Fezzia or Tarbooshia is, by default, magnificent.

  3. The "Turks of Turquoise'. I so like that name, that it quite makes up my mind that my empire of Porphyria will not after all be vaguely Turkic.

    I was having some trouble deciding between Turkic, Russian or maybe even Byzantine, supposing that in the world of Ruberian (Anglic) and Azurian (Gallic) rivalry a remnant of a Byzantine-like Empire fought to a standstill the burgeoning young empire of the Turques.

    Mind you, I have no real intention of building armies for Grauheim (Allemannic) or Porphyria/Zelyoniya (Russian)... Oh dear... Erm...

    I do like the look of these 'Little wars' Armies - all of them. Some of the additional equipments - trucks, staff cars, gatlings and infantry guns really set the off.


  4. 'T of T' sounds like a good handle for an army. I'm glad you got to play. Good to see some of Ross's handy work ... Jeff

  5. Great photos Brian.Have a splendid day at the show tomorrow and I hope you can take some photos for us and post them here.

  6. Hi Brian, I am so envious of you! What a wonderful event to participate in, you are truly living the dream Wells style! I'm not sure, but I think that Army Turquoise may be the real painting champion! Maybe it's just the photography, but your army does look brilliant! Thank you so much for letting us enjoy this experience vicariously along with you! Brad

  7. Brad DeSantis4 May 2013 at 14:17

    Hi again Brian, I have to add a postscript:
    How great it is to see all of the Armies in Plastic figures! I know that they are the bulk of my collection because they are truly perfect for 54mm wargaming and represent the eras that I am interested in! They paint up beautifully, are sturdy enough to stand up to battlefield rigors, and most important of all, cheap as chips! Tony C. at AIP deserves all of our appreciation for his fine work!

  8. Splendid armies ! Lots of creativity at work, very well done by all. I do look forward to seeing more, Brian.

    Do I detect Skinner's Horse engaged in the Army Red photo ? I have a nostalgiac fondness for them, my second ever set of Britains after the charging Highlanders. All long since disposed of.


  9. What splendid looking armies! The Red/Khaki looks business like and playful like all at the same time. To help make up for not being there I just gave the floor game a go at Huzzah this last weekend. It might be the first time my 4.7" was ever fired in earnest if not in anger.

  10. Brian Part two is mentioned on my blg "Reading List" but I can't find it here.Is blogger up to it's old tricks again?

  11. Many thanks for all the comments and I am remiss at not responding to them individually but I am struggleing to keep up with this blogging thing! My appologies Alan, part two appeared prematurely due to an overactive keystoke on my part, now rectified.