An Historical Wargames Website


History of Wargames

Throughout history army commanders tried to work out the strategies to be used on the battlefield on a table before and during the battle.

At the start of the 20th century, H.G. Wells wrote rules for a game called “little wars” involving miniature toy soldiers.

The last decades lots of rule sets were evolved by enthusiastic hobbyists.

"I wonder what they were playing...."

How do you play a wargame?

These games are played on a table, usually with little metal soldiers no more than 2,5 cm large. The games often paint these soldiers themselves and make little trees and terrain. This often is a major part of the hobby; collecting and painting miniatures. A game can involve hundreds of these soldiers.

The game really comes down to moving, shooting, fighting in hand to hand combat and morale testing. Every player is allowed certain actions every “turn”. In (big) rule books is described what every unit of soldiers is allowed to do and not to do.

Two units are fighting in close combat

Just look at it like playing chess.

  • But now we remove the checkerboard. Every unit has the ability to move a few cm’s every turn. Naturally cavalry soldiers move quicker than soldiers on foot.
  • A unit may shoot a certain distance, and a dice is rolled to see how many casualties are made to the enemy in reach.
  • Instead of “taking” an opponent piece, now the units fight in close combat when they reach each other: consorting many tables and throwing lots of dice amount into casualties that are removed from the table.
  • And last, but not least, the morale comes into the picture. The unit that looses the most models must test to see if their will to fight is not broken. The more casualties, to likely they will flee.

But just like chess, it all comes down to outwitting your opponent with a clever tactical move, and the fun you have playing. And it will take 30 minutes or even days to play a game.





Metal (vendors I have used on these webpages)

Personal Homepages





  • Ancient Rome, voyages through time (Peter Ackroyd)
  • Armies of the Macedonian and Punic Wars, 359 BC to 146 BC (Duncan Head) (really strange book with ALL the battles in this specific period)
  • Alexander the great (Jeff Jonas)
  • Battles of the Greek & Roman World (John Drogo Montagu)
  • Decline and Fall of the Roman empire (Edward Gibbon)
  • Le Costume Antique 1,2,3 (Jacques Denoel, Jacques Martin)
  • Fighting techniques of the Ancient World (Anglim, Jestice, Rice, Rusch and Serrati)
  • First Punic War (J.F.Lazenby)
  • Greece and Rome at War (Peter Connolly)
  • Die Karthager (Sabatino Moscati)
  • Murder in babylon (Graham Phillips)
  • Olympias, La reina de los cuatro nombres, Olimpia, madre de Alejandro Magno (Juan Carlos Chirinos)
  • Osprey books (Army of Alexander the great, the Thracians, Warriors of Ancient Greece, the Spartan Army, Early Roman Armies, the Persian Army, Ancient Greek fortifications)
  • Paestum, Greek and Romans in Southern Italy (John Griffiths Pedley)
  • Pompeji, geschiedenis, dagelijks leven en kunst van de bedolven stad. (Marisa Ranieri Panetta)
  • Hannibal's War (Lazenby)
  • The Roman art of war (C.M. Gilliver)
  • Slingshot, the journal of the society of ancients
  • The Spartans (L.F. Fitzhardinge)
  • Successors of Alexander the Great (Jeff Jonas)
  • The Ancient City, life in Classical Athens & Rome (Connolly & Dodge)
  • Warfare in the Classical World (John Gibson Warry, John Warry)
  • The Western Greeks (Giovanni Pugliese, Carratelli)
  • Zo leefden de Carthagers (Charles Picard).Warfare in the classical world (John Warry)
  • WAB Hannibal and the Punic Wars (Allen Curtis)

On Pyrrhus:

  • Epirus (N.G. Cross).
  • Pyrrhus King of Epirus (Petros Garoufalias).
  • Pyrrhus van Epirus: Zijn achtergronden, zijn tijd, zijn leven (Arie Bastiaan Nederlof ).
  • Pyrrhus: makers of history (Jacob Abbott).
  • Pyrrhus (Ulrich von Hassell).
  • Successors of Alexander the Great (C.A. Kincaid).

Novels set in the ancient world:

  • Paul Doherty ("House of Death", a detective story with Alexander the great)
  • Michael Curtis Ford (has written "the last king" about the king of Pontus; Mithridates)
  • David Gemmell (Troy trilogy)
  • Alan Gold ("warrior queen", the story of Boudicca)
  • Colleen Mccullough (has written a few novels based on the lives of Marius, Sulla and Julius Caesar. Gives an interesting inside into Roman society)
  • Valerio Massimo Manfredi  (has written a trilogy on Alexander the Great)
  • Helene Nolthenius ("vooruitgeschopt als een steen", about the life of the poet Leonidas that followed Pyrrhus)
  • Marie Renault (has written "Funeral Games" about the days after the death of Alexander the great)
  • Steven Saylor (has written "Rome" where the city itself the main character)
  • Gene Wolfe (has written "Latro in the mist" about a soldier with memory loss during the Persian wars)


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