Monday, September 15, 2014

The Beginnings of Modern Wargaming: Making and Collecting Military Miniatures by Bob Bard.

One of the treasures in my library is a trim little volume called Making and Collecting Military Miniatures by Bob Bard. The book was published in 1957 and although it focuses on toy soldiers instead of miniatures designed specifically for gaming, there are plenty of glimmers of what modern wargaming would become. What began with Wells's Little Wars in 1913 would be developed to a level by the 1950s that dice were used in place of toy cannon and various rulesets were being created for particular eras of warfare. And even in this early age of gaming discussions about the proper scale or best ruleset were beginning as well as how well a miniature needed to be painted before being used in a game.

Below I've posted some of the most relevant images from the book along with their captions.

The game that started it all.


  1. My copy includes a set of ACW rules. Your edition looks older than the one I have--are the rules included in your copy, or was this a later feature?

    Best regards,


    1. Hi Chris,
      This copy did not have a set of rules. Would you consider scanning then so I could add them to this post? My email address is (remove underscores).
      I'd like to see them!

    2. I'd be happy to! The only fly in the ointment is having to find the dang book. I thought my family was moving a year or so ago, and just packed stuff into boxes ad hoc, figuring I would sort it all out when I got to the new place. Then we had to change our plans--so now I have to try to sort things out again. I will remember your request, though, and will send it on when I can.


  2. I had no idea that they used to actually shoot at the minis with toy artillery! The part about them changing the mini to represent his change in posture was interesting too.

    I couldn't help but chuckle a little at the picture of the father & son painting together. A mental image of them sitting in a small room, with no ventilation, leaning in over the turps & enamel paint pots, getting high on fumes together, popped into my head. Great times shared by father & son :D

    Interesting post, I might have to hunt this old tome down.