Thursday 13 September 2012

From My Ancient Past (part one)

My first brush with ancient wargaming came back in about 1974 when I used some money from the 13th birthday fund to purchase this Avalon Hill game. Alexander the Great was designed by Gary Gygax and recreated the battle of Gaugamela. As soon as the package arrived I got my two wargaming friends around to play it. Naturally, as the owner of the game I got to pick sides. The Persians had elephants, so I went for them. After five moves it was plain that I had made the wrong decision. "This is stupid. You can't win if you're the Persians" I whined as one-by-one the not-so-great King's cardboard counter units were removed from the board. We never played it again. Alexander went up in the attic with the Christmas decorations.


  1. I have that as well... played it a few times via the web using Battle Chronicler... when I was at Uni I even painted up a board so we could play Hydaspes...

  2. I had quite a few Avalon Hill games when I was in my early teens though the only one I can remember playing a lot was Gettysburg, which I even managed to force my Dad to play with me.

  3. Now that brings back memories ! It was the reverse though, my dad forcing me to serve as cannon fodder in numerous Avalon Hill games. Tactics II lit the fires of his board wargaming passion and he had a good long run with the AH games. At that age, I preferred to be outdoors playing baseball but the enthusiasm eventually rubbed off on me.

    You mean the first edition of Gettysburg with the long rectangular infantry counters, right ? Liked that one too. Ditto Le Mans.


    1. Thanks Steve. Yes it was the original Gettysburg in the nice blue and grey (I guess that should be gray?) box. I recall that each side began with just a couple of cavalry units and then the forces gradually built up. My entire knowledge of military tactics was based on Hollywood and I recall being dismayed that a charge by Union cavalry (probably in the column formation favoured by John Ford) failed to make any impact on the infantry whatsoever.