Saturday, September 7, 2013

R.I.P. Donald Featherstone, A Founding Father of Modern Wargaming.

I've seen postings on a couple other blogs that Donald Featherstone, one of the founders of modern wargaming, died recently.  I've been out of wargaming for many years now but it's where I got my start.  I still have the very first lead miniatures I ever bought down in the basement.  At first it was playing with plastic figures by Airfix, then I discovered the metal minis almost by accident in a store in New York.  Soon I came across his book War Games.

This work was really an eye-opener for me because I'd never considered that you could "play army" with rules.  Plus, wargaming introduced the idea of simulation of reality such as turns representing a certain amount of time and a ground scale.  Soon afterwards I started reading the Conan books and Lord of the Rings which led to me using my medieval and ancient miniatures as fantasy armies.

But War Games also introduced me to the idea that you could make up your own terrain, your own miniatures, playing aids, and your own rules.  The chapter on ancients miniatures even used flat zinnfiguren instead of normal three-dimensional figures.  So cool.  No longer would I be stuck playing whatever the mainstream played.  And those valuable early learning experiences have stuck with me today.

Thank you, Mr. Featherstone.

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