Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Featherstone's Lost Tales" - Donald Featherstone

First in an occasional series where I review what I believe should be the 'must have' books in any wargamers library - we'll start off with quite possibly the newest one "Donald Featherstone's Lost Tales including Wargaming Rules 300BC to 1945"

This is published by the inestimable John Curry as part of his "History of Wargaming" project and is the first new material we've had from Don in some considerable time (and according to John there's more to come!)

So what do we get?? A selection of content, but by far the greatest is the rules which were those given out free to "Wargamer's Newsletter" subscribers. These are all written by Don except for a couple that were written by Tony Bath (Medieval & 1750 Europe) - for those of you who were bought up on "War Games", these are different rules to the one's included there, though the WWII one's do originate there. The Ancients rules, and a set for fighting the Gallic and Punic Wars are previously unpublished.

Reading these takes you right back - or it did me anyway - and if you have read any of Don's rules before then there are no enormous surprises. Firing/melee by groups etc etc. Having been playing a long American Civil War game with DG since January using "Regimental Fire and Fury" I can say that I spent more than a little time perusing the ACW rules in the book and still intend playing a small game just as soon as possible to see if they offer any possibilities.

The full set of rules are:
  • Ancient Wargames 300BC-500AD
  • Medieval Rules (Tony Bath)
  • God for Harry, England and St. George! (also Medieval)
  • English Civil War
  • 1750 Period in Europe (Tony Bath)
  • Napoleonic
  • American Civil War
  • Late 19th Century including colonial wars against natives
  • 1917 German West Africa (including rules for early tanks and armoured cars)
  • Simplified WWII Rules
  • Realistic rules for the Peninsula War
  • Realistic rules for the Gallic and Punic Wars
In addition to the rules (which, by the way, I may have had a part in, as I scanned all the Wargamers Newsletter rules for John Curry some time ago - this book was a freeby in return - thanks John!), we also have a couple of chapters on Don's wartime experiences - Don served with the 51st Battalion of the Royal Tank Regiment (who had Churchill's) through North Africa and Italy - one of the chapters is a short history of the battalion.

A short chapter (& fascinating - I hadn't realised how much of an influence HG Wells had had on Don's early hobby) on how Don came to the wargaming hobby completes the book.. .

Overall Steve the Wargamer rates this as a good eight out of ten - as the first new published material from Don in years, it deserves to be read!


  1. I think I have Donogh's copy somewhere.

  2. Couldn't agree more,a must read.

  3. Now working on volume 2, the unpublished book by Don on Commandoes