Games and History: A 'Miniature' Something for Everyone

By Silbergeld, David L. L. | National Defense, September 1998 | Go to article overview

Games and History: A 'Miniature' Something for Everyone


Silbergeld, David L. L., National Defense


The Historical Miniature Gaming Society (HMGS) is an organization that meets the needs of people interested in military history or families that need an activity they can share. HMGS, recently, hosted a convention in

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, attended by more than 1,300 participants. It featured miniature war games, played by age groups from young history buffs-ages seven and up-to retired military personnel.

Families poured out of minivans and registered for the myriad events. Fathers and mothers ran to separate gaming tables, while kids sought challenges in their respective age groups.

Everyone toted miniature soldiers, tanks, horses, airplanes, ships, rulers-to determine properly scaled movements-and scaled trees, houses, fortresses, trains and terrain to lend accuracy to the play of events. Interest in military history was generated throughout the events. Individual players showed depth and breadth of knowledge of history, events, and circumstances that accompanied each battle or war.

The games ran the gamut from the Battle of Rourke's Drift at Zulu to Little Round Top at Gettysburg, to air battles of World Wars I and II, sea battles of Nelson at Trafalgar, and even the attack on Son Tay, Vietnam. All were laid out in detail with scale terrain, soldiers and equipment Referees selected by the society observed and guided the games, according to a pre-determined set of rules. …

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