"Nothing on this site is intended to promote any political, racial,
or social agenda.... It's nothing but a few guys having some mildly goofy
fun with toy soldiers."
Tremorden Rederring's Colonial-era Wargames Page
is really just a subcategory of board gaming, with more limited possibilities
of game design, but much richer visual simulation. Wargaming miniatures
usually take the form of individual soldiers cast in lead (occasionally
in plastic) which the hobbyist purchases individually or in units.
Generally the miniatures are made of lead and sold unpainted. Miniature
painting is a hobby in itself, and there are magazines
devoted just to the painting of wargame miniatures. Scale is an important
issue in miniature wargaming, just as it is in most "model" hobbies.
In miniature gaming, scale is measured according to the actual height of
the miniatures. Thus, in 25mm scale, miniatures are about one inch
tall, and in 15mm scale, they are a little over 1/2 inch in height.
Both of these scales are generally popular. The smallest scale, 6mm,
is about 1/3 of an inch in height.
The "board" in miniature war games is usually an scale diorama of terrain.
Though H.G. Wells often used books and boxes as his terrain in his Little
Wars miniature game, often terrain dioramas are more elaborately painted
and constructed. Terrains may fill up more than one large table with
landscape and structures. The pieces are typically moved using rulers
or measurement sticks. Methods for resolving combat vary. In
Little Wars, Wells employed a spring breech-loaded gun which fired a wooden
cylinder about an inch long. If a figure was knocked down or at an
angle by this gun, it would be deemed a casualty. Modern games are
less likely to employ this physical proxy, and more likely to use rules
and dice to resolve the effects of combat.
Obviously, miniature games can be much more expensive and cumbersome
than cardboard and paper wargames. For this reason they tend to appeal
to a smaller audience than general board games. Yet for those interested
in the re-enactment aspect of wargames, miniatures have offered a much
richer visual experience than ordinary board games have generally
provided. The continued vitality of miniature wargaming seems to
suggest that almost a century after H.G. Wells wrote Little Wars,
commanding armies of "toy soldiers"
still has an instinctive appeal for some wargamers.
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