Spartan International 08/1970 - Gary's Pre-Chainmail Rules
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Post Posted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:48 am 
 

OK, I was asked to start a new thread on this subject, so here it is - did not put it in TSR Collecting as this predates TSR, despite being written by Gary Gygax.

Now, I am not that familiar with the terms used in wargames (not a fan of them,) so my understanding of this roughly 4-5 (I'd have to look) page article is not too deep... but, what I have read of it has been interesting.

Firstly, you're not going to find dragons and dwarfs and stuff in here. But, you will find rules for cannons, arquebussers (these guys rock - anything they hit is killed), a mention of mines (only a mention - Gary says they don't exist unless you're doing campaign play, and that is it - so I'm guessing there might be a sequel that covers campaign play [like Chainmail which came out the next year...]) some stuff on some Swiss units (these guys are scary), rules on using prisoners (marked as optional) and some basic siege and terrain rules (like hills and mountains.)

There's also a neat "If you have questions, write Gary Gygax at..." and then gives a Lake Geneva address.

I haven't had much time to read it completely and it has been a while since I've read Chainmail, so a direct comparison is not possible at this time. However, it would be very easy to implement some of the stuff in this article into an OD&D game - especially siege warfare.

On the whole, I think it is a fascinating look into the mind and nature of wargames that may, or may not, have influenced the way Chainmail (and then OD&D) was created.

Please ask whatever questions you want. Also, if you have a copy of this, please chime in with your thoughts, too.


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:02 am 
 

OK, I would've thought there'd have been at least one comment, but that's cool. :) I did some comparison and this set of rules is not much like Chainmail, per se. It appears to be much more history oriented, and a tad into more details and specifics. I do think there are some similarities, though, and it is not a huge leap to go from this set to the other- one just has to allow for more variety.


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:03 pm 
 

It would be cool if you could post a cover scan of this treasure.


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:33 pm 
 

I can make a scan of the magazine cover itself, but I don't think I'll scan in the actual article pages.

Here is a picture of it (not a scan, I don't think) -- I took it from the auction I won.

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:06 pm 
 

serleran wrote:OK, I would've thought there'd have been at least one comment, but that's cool. .


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:39 pm 
 

serleran wrote:OK, I would've thought there'd have been at least one comment, but that's cool. :)


Sorry, been a busy week, and I was in Atlanta over the weekend....

serleran wrote:I did some comparison and this set of rules is not much like Chainmail, per se. It appears to be much more history oriented, and a tad into more details and specifics. I do think there are some similarities, though, and it is not a huge leap to go from this set to the other- one just has to allow for more variety.


Do you have Classic Warfare---if so, is the comparison any better there?


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 12:09 am 
 

I would say it has more in common with Classic Warfare (I no longer have my copy - it stayed in CA when I moved) than it does Chainmail, yes. However, I am uncertain if it is a complete game, or if it is supposed to be used with something else (I am fairly certain it is a stand-alone though not sure if there was more to come in future magazines) because there is a definite assumption the reader knows exactly what is being discussed (though this is not that uncommon for Gary.)

Hopefully tomorrow I can read it more in-depth and give more details like scale and basic mechanics, if my non-wargaming mind can decipher it.


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