Kriegsspiel News 55 June 2002

KRIEGSSPIEL NEWS 55
June 2002

Editorial
Well here we are with the June KN and it’s only July. Readers should note that KN follows the punctuality standards used by UK rail companies. When a train is no more than 5 minutes late, it counts as being on time!
The May game was a traditional detachments Kriegsspiel, featuring a rearguard action by the last formed brigade of a brave but defeated Blue army, attempting to hold off the pursuing forces of the rascally Red until the army’s artillery park could be removed to safety. Guess which side I was on. See below for a brief report from Arthur Harman.
Arthur’s running of this game was particularly creditable, given that he had been safely delivered of a baby girl (Charlotte) shortly beforehand. Sorry Arthur, I may have inadvertently put that the wrong way…. Anyway, hearty congrats to him and especially to wife Evelyn.
A break from games until the autumn, when we have an American War of Independence game from Dave Stanforth. Please note that this game has been moved from September to Saturday 5th October.

Contents
1. Forthcoming games
2. Further thoughts on the Matabele War scenario from Dennis Bishop & Howie Muir
3. Reflections on the May game from Arthur Harman
4. 1885 rules & equipment
5. Silicon Sid – some new Frank Hunter games
6. Helmet’s Feldzug Series of Napoleonic books
7. Letters
8. Contacts

1. Forthcoming games
Saturday 5th October 2002 Hemel 2.30 pm AWI from Dave Stanforth. Please note change of date
Sunday 24th Nov 2002 Hemel 2.30 pm To be advised. May be WW1 naval campaign.
Saturday 25th Jan 2003 Hemel 2.30 pm Large late Napoleonic battle
If you fancy running a scenario, let us know, as we are happy to re-jig the list to fit it in. We will also provide assistance with the design and umpiring if you need this.
Games are usually held at Bill’s house. Pick up from Hemel Hempstead railway station (and drop off) can normally be arranged. Games finish around 7 pm. If you are interested in playing, give Bill a ring or email as early as possible before the game so we can plan the numbers. If we know you are coming we can also let you know if there are any last minute changes to arrangements. For some games we send briefings out prior to the game, so early contact means you are more likely to get a key command.

2. Further thoughts on the Matabele War scenario by 2 of our experts

From Denis Bishop
I enjoyed reading the narrative and viewing the maps. The only things that I would alter might be the night attack by the Ndele. The Ndele did not attack at night, but they did attack at dawn when the sun would partially blind the defenders.
The other thing that I might add would be oxen and horses. The wagons were drawn by oxen and these had to be placed somewhere. At the Battle of Umbembezi River, the Ndele nearly destroyed the Rhode’s columns by attempting to stampede the animals. If the Ndele had been successful, the Rhode’s columns would have been forced to abandon the wagons and supplies, and would have to attempt to walk back to Salisbury.
This would have been a harrowing experience as demonstrated by the experiences of the Shangani Patrol (wiped out by the Matabele/Ndeli during the pursuit of the King after the fall of Bulawayo. Martin).
Something else that might be added was a trick that the Ndele attempted at Umbembezi. The warriors discarded their shields in an attempt to disguise themselves as Shona to penetrate the Salisbury laager. This nearly worked.
I must admit that when I designed the scenario, I thought that the Matabele would go for a full scale night attack – to minimise the British firepower advantage. Clearly the players had a better understanding of Matabele warfare than I did!
Interesting comment about the animals. In the game I assumed that they would be inside the laager but, on reflection, that’s an awful lot of animals. I seem to recall that the wagons used in the Zulu War had 10 oxen apiece, plus we have several hundred horses, and probably cattle too for food. So, one more problem for Major Forbes…..

From Howie Muir
How fascinating. I immediately recognized the map-photo as southern Africa before I even made it to the map with a label. I was a student in Rhodesia during the closing six months of the Civil War there in 1979.
I chuckle in recognition of Arthur’s observation about the game. I would comment that:
 his post-game realizations square well with my understanding of Rhodesian and South African military experience in the age.
 I think that the absence of “feel” on the part of the Colonial players could well, and unwittingly perhaps, mirror some of the unfortunate command choices made historically in colonial bush warfare by those commanders new to the theatre! I can sympathize with the change of mindset probably necessary to play the native forces, but I would encourage it in the spirit of the education, often inadvertent, that comes with delving into unexpected opportunities; it can be quite liberating to dump the tangle of received cultural wisdom and plunge unhindered into a new, possibly alien, world of possibilities.
 the sense of impossibility of actually keeping to the timetable is interesting. Do you think there was a disconnect between the ostensible orders and the time it would have required to cross the distance
unhindered? Or has the colonial experience merely been one that was not historically infrequent: a failure to match means and ends successfully?
 I am fascinated by Arthur’s observation that it would have been a dull game if the subsequently realized “correct modus operandi” had been pursued. I wonder to what extent that might hint at a real-world flaw
in historical disasters, the unwillingness to make the less glorious or less active choice and instead go for the glory….
 ahhh, this peculiar attribute of Kriegsspiel being “designed for armies equipped and organized in very similar fashions, operating within a common cultural framework” is probably apt not only for the cultural disparity of this game, but even a purely European exercise, as the 1824/28 version fails to take into account national distinctions. Hmmm.
Thanks much!
Not having any sources in this detail, I had to guess about the map, although I have been to South Africa a few times on business. But Matabeleland is a long way from Joburg. Glad it seemed reasonable. I did wonder whether I overdid it on the woodland – it did seem very difficult for poor old Forbes to find a place to laager where there were clear fields of fire in all directions. But perhaps that’s the way it was?

3. Reflections on the May game from Arthur Harman
My intention was to run a tactical Detachments Kriegsspiel using the full artillery fire and musketry rules as they appear in the original 1824 Rules – something we have not done for many years – which I believe are worth using to play small encounters, and could be an alternative to ‘conventional’ rules for tabletop battles.
The scenario was based upon that in the Sample Game from 1873 booklet, but set somewhat earlier, during a pseudo-Napoleonic conflict between Bosrovia [Blue] and Ruritania [Red], and with new briefings written to take account of the criticisms of the original General and Special Ideas voiced when I presented the scenario at a Chestnut Lodge meeting last autumn. The rearguard of a recently defeated army had to buy time to enable its artillery park and baggage train to withdraw to the safety of a fortress, by holding off the enemy pursuit for several hours. If insufficient players were available to control both sides, I planned to run a fairly static rearguard defence, based upon the dispositions in the original game, as I had done at Chestnut Lodge, but we were fortunate to have enough players to command both Red and Blue forces.
(For the 1873 game see below. Martin)
The only significant departure from the original Kriegsspiel system was that each player who was not co-located with another would have an individual set of map squares and troop blocks with which to portray his perception of events. There would be no visits to the umpires’ master map until the debrief at the end of the game.
I shall not give an account of the action itself: suffice it to say that both sides acquitted themselves well, but that the attackers were unable to drive the rearguard from its position in time to intercept the artillery park whilst it was on the map, although by the end of the game they had secured control of the road leading to the fortress, and could have sent cavalry in hot pursuit of the guns – though whether this would have proved successful was not determined. More significant were the lessons to be learnt from running a game in this fashion.

Umpiring points arising from the game
One problem that I had not anticipated when planning to present a Detachments Kriegsspiel with separate maps and troop blocks for individual players was how to overcome the lack of duplicate half-battalion blocks with the same regimental numbers!
After I had issued each player with the appropriate number of troop blocks for his own forces, and set up the initial deployments on the umpires’ master map, I had also to ensure that players would refer to their troops using the same regimental numbers as those on the troop blocks on the master map. Failure to do so would have resulted in total confusion, as neither umpires nor players would be certain to which particular regiment, battalion or squadron an order, message or report referred. Players had, therefore, to take it in turns to visit the umpires’ map before play commenced in order to note down the regimental numbers used thereon and then draw up their own lists or diagrams to relate these numbers to those on their own maps. This did delay the start of the game somewhat, but did have the merit of ensuring that all the troops on the master map were deployed in accordance with the players’ own displays.
How to avoid this problem in future games with separate player displays? Obviously, preparing several sets of Kriegsspiel troop blocks with duplicate numbers would render those blocks less useful for games involving larger forces, even if it were possible to predict the number of separate displays that would be required, which is often impossible until the commanders have devised their plans and decided whether or not to detach forces from the main bodies. What is needed is a system for marking regimental numbers temporarily on the troop blocks.
Several ideas were discussed; the most practical seemed to be to coat the painted lead blocks with gloss varnish, upon which regimental numbers could be written with fine-point washable OHP marker pens over a white background for easy legibility, to be wiped off with a damp tissue after the game. This would also save one having to take care to maintain regimental integrity in storage boxes – one could simply store all infantry half-battalion blocks together, numbering them before each game as necessary for the particular scenario. It would then be possible to use the original unit titles if re-fighting a historical battle.
One could also use this system to change the weight of shot thrown by batteries of guns, rather than having to hunt for blocks painted with the desired figure. The possibility of painting alternative symbols on the bases of blocks, so that, for example, a half-battalion line infantry block could also serve as a unit of jaegers, a half-battery of guns or as the battery limbers and caissons when required, was also discussed.
All were agreed that having separate displays with troop blocks for each player improved the players’ perception of events and speeded up play by reducing the number of visits to the umpires’ master map considerably.
I believe play can be speeded up still further in these circumstances if the players move the troops under their own immediate command to update their displays, whenever possible without compromising the realism of the game, rather than having to wait for an umpire to come and do so. For example, let us consider a situation in which a regimental commander has ordered his three battalions to march down a road towards a distant village, believed to be occupied by the enemy, and to deploy into attack columns just beyond musketry range of the outskirts.
That player, armed with the movement scale printed in the 1824 rules, could simply advance his personal figure and each battalion the appropriate distance along the road each turn until the regiment approached the village, or until the umpires informed him of some enemy activity in response to which he decided to give new orders. It would then, of course, be imperative to synchronise the updating of the players’ displays, to ensure that all troops moved through the same period of game time. This could probably be achieved by the umpires blowing a whistle or ringing a small bell, loudly enough to be heard by all players, to signal the elapse of each two minutes of game time. Although the signal would indicate the elapse of two minutes of game time, it could, if the umpires had had some particularly complex situation to resolve that turn, be given after more than two minutes of real time, if necessary. If the umpires resolved, after checking players’ orders and troop movements, that nothing of any significance was going to happen for, say, ten minutes they could ring the bell five times in quick succession to inform players that they should update their maps by that period of time. The umpires would thus be free to concentrate upon updating their master map, resolving questions of visibility, musketry and artillery fire, or close combat and writing reports or messages from non-played characters.
An umpire would only have to visit the player to inform him when any other troops – friendly, hostile or as yet unidentified – became visible during that march, and to brief him on the apparent situation when his personal figure approached sufficiently close to the village to observe it through his telescope.
Suppose in our example that some enemy cavalry squadrons are concealed behind a wood close to the track along which the regiment is marching; if the regimental commander has not already ordered skirmishers to the front to investigate the wood, or does not do so when his troops draw near to it, the umpires will dice to determine whether or not some chance – a flash of sunlight reflecting off a sabre, helmet or cuirass – alerts any officer to the fact that a body of cavalry is in the vicinity. If the cavalry are noticed, then an umpire informs the player and it is up to him how to respond; if they are not detected, after a few minutes more game time an umpire will probably be telling the player ‘You hear the thunder of hooves. Looking over your shoulder, you see enemy cavalry charging out of the wood to your left!’
Even troops acting under the player’s orders, but not within his field of vision, could be moved in this way, to represent not what is necessarily actually happening, but what the player believes or hopes those troops will be doing. It will be clear from the position of the player’s personal figure which troops on his display fall into this category: these could, perhaps, be placed face down to indicate that their position is supposed, rather than real.

Conclusion
I believe it is well worth persevering with this style of game, if we can create the additional troop blocks and maps which will be necessary, and hope to present another such scenario in the not too distant future.
I agree that giving each player their own display can speed things up a lot. The frequent, and understandable, requests from players to view a potion of the umpires map is probably the single factor which most slows games.
The Sample Game that Arthur refers to was originally published in a German family magazine, called ‘Daheim’ in 1873. It was a turn-by-turn chronology of a game played by officers, together with post game analysis by their unit commander. Bill republished this back in 1986, and may still have a few copies.

4. 1885 rules & equipment from Brian Tough
I thought you might be interested in the following. They are from the “List of Changes in War Material” and entered British service from 15th December 1885.
This is what I want to try and make. I have sent off a request to Irregular Miniatures via their web site, in the hope they still manufacture the pieces.

Document dated 15 Dec 1885 listing Kriegsspiel pieces supplied in a special box.

4949 – Kriegsspiel men, box of
A pattern box, as above, with its contents, has been sealed to govern supplies.
The box is made of mahogany, is provided with a lock and key, and is of the following dimensions:-
Length 12 ¾ in.
Width 9 1/8 in
Depth 3 5/8 in
It is fitted with two trays, each tray has a set of 308 “men”, for use in the war game.

The men are small oblong pieces of type metal, varying in size according to what they are intended to represent. One set is coloured red, the other blue, They represent, respectively Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery and Engineers, as follows:-
INFANTRY

Battalions in line 36 pieces
Half battalions (rifles) 6
Battalions in quarter column 30
Half battalions (rifles in quarter column) 6
Companies 24
Skirmishers 50
Sentries 15

CAVALRY

Squadrons, Heavy Cavalry 8 pieces
Squadrons, Light Cavalry 16
Patrols 18
Vedettes 15

ARTILLERY

Batteries, Horse Artillery 1
Half Batteries, Horse Artillery 4
Batteries, Field 9 pr 6
Half Batteries, Field 9 pr 6
Divisions, Field 9 pr 3
Half Batteries, Field 16 pr 2
Divisions, Field 16 pr 3
Wagons, Horse Artillery 4
Wagons Field artillery, 9 pr 6
Wagons, Field artillery, 16 pr 3
Artillery & Infantry Reserve Ammunition-
Column Wagons 3
Artillery Reserve Ammunition –
Column Wagons 1

ENGINEERS

Companies 4
1/3 Pontoon Train 3
1/3 Equipment Train 3
½ Telegraph troop 2
Trains 12

In the lower part of the box are contained the following articles:
2 Boxwood scales
2 Boxwood slope scales
2 Metal space scales
2 pairs of compasses
2 Instruments for moving pieces
2 dice and box
2 Yellow pegs
!0 Red pegs
10 Blue pegs
1 scoring board
2 Coloured pieces (metal) – 1 red, 1 blue.

These notes about the 1885 equipment are interesting. They tell us what was supplied in the set and obviously relate to the 1884 rules. The troop symbols above are some of those given in Rules For The Conduct of the War-Game 1884, Produced for use in the British Army. Bill.
The first person to tell email me the difference between a ‘patrol’ and a ‘vedette’ gets an honourable mention in KN 56! Martin

5. Silicon Sid – forthcoming attractions
Frank Hunter has a further 3 PC games approaching completion. For those unfamiliar with Frank’s approach, he focuses on the command & communication aspects of horse & musket warfare.
The Road From Sumter to Appomattox IV. A strategic level game covering the American Civil War 1861-1865. This is an update of version II of the game, which can still be downloaded (free) from the Adanac website – see below. This is the best ACW game I have played, in any media, and at it’s heart is the treatment of leadership. As Lincoln or Jeff Davis, you appoint the generals, but their skills and personalities are initially hidden from you. You thus find out about McClellan’s capabilities the hard way – just as Lincoln did. Lest hindsight give you too much information, you can play with randomised ratings instead of historical ratings. The new version will use the same game system, but with improved rules for supply, construction, troop training etc, together with a much larger map.
Campaigns of La Grande Armee – the 1809 campaign on the Danube. A follow up from the game on the 1806 campaign which received a positive review from us last year. Improvements to the basic system include PBEM facility, the ability to resolve battles using miniatures if desired, bridge demolition and pontoon construction, river supply. Personally I think this is a more balanced and interesting campaign than 1806. Now if you’ll just do 1813 next please (Frank)……
Trench! A strategic level game on the Great War in Europe 1914 – 1918. Time scale is variable length turns of two months or less. Corps sized units. Players control their nation’s armies, research and development, diplomatic efforts etc.
The games will sell for around $20-25 including shipping. For more details see the Adanac Command Studies website at http://www.adanaccommandstudies.com/

6. Helmet’s Feldzug Series of Napoleonic books
Bernhard Voykowitsch has written to me with details of a range books he is publishing, which feature new material from the Austrian and French archives.
No.1 of the series “CASTIGLIONE 1796” was published in 1998. It describes the battle of Castiglione where Napoleon defeated Wurmser’s first attempt to relieve the fortress of Mantua during his first Italian campaign.
The next one due is Marengo 1800. Many others are planned including little known battles such as: Neerwinden 1793, Courtray 1794, Tourcoing 1794, Mincio 1814.
Style is similar to the Osprey series, but with very detailed OOB and maps showing dispositions down to battalion level. Find out more on Bernhard’s website at http://members.kpnqwest.at/helmet
6. Letters

From Paul Dowden
Impressed by the latest newsletter; the web addresses therein led to a surfing marathon of about four hours last night!! Steve and Vince (2 new readers) will be interested in the new Kriegsspiel site, bearing the back issues of the newsletter, but I’m afraid it had disappeared from its URL last time I looked.
I found this link to the Luton club: http://www.steinnet.freeserve.co.uk/locationmap.htm
The website is now back by the way. But we’re still in construction mode.

From Tom Spinks on email games
I now know that e-mail games as umpire you need to be on a 1-2 basis, meaning 1 umpire to 2 players no more. The amount of paper work becomes more heavy the longer the game progresses and it is difficult to keep up with everything that is going on !
Regrettably Tom’s ECW game has had to terminate due to pressure of work and the exponentially increasing demands of the game.

Dave Stanforth
As a player I’ve enjoyed all three games I’ve been involved in (yours Tom, and two Ben has run) – perhaps we need to share ideas re. umpiring these kind of games to see if we can come up with a more workable model? Any thoughts?
Umpires overwhelmed by workload is a recurrent them with email games. I will include a piece on pitfalls & possible new approaches in KN 56. As ever, everyone should feel free to chip in.

From Jeff McCulloch
Okay, it looks like I going to have to run an e-mail Kriegsspiel of my own. How about the Mexican War, with the possibility of the US getting caught in a war with Great Britain over the Washington/Oregon territory? Good political stuff to throw in there.
I would be interested in playing, and I’m sure we could rope in some others. Although both recent email attempts have generated umpire overload, I’m convinced it is possible to run such a game with streamlined mechanics. If you want to bounce ideas off me before starting the game, do feel free.
I can certainly understand overload potential. What I have planned should be fairly simple. First off, each player represents one of the “great” combat personalities in the war. This means that everyone involved is completely self-serving and motivated purely by potential political gain (on both sides of the conflict). The victory conditions will reflect this. There should be plenty of political back-stabbing going on. The political standing of the players will, in a large way, determine the size of army and type of campaign they can run.
I’m working on a method of working out the battles interactively. I may end up using Campaign Cartographer for both the battle sit-reps and the campaigns themselves.
I’ll provide more details soon. I hope to have it started in a few weeks and will give you a firm date as I near completion.
From Maurizio Bragaglia
Should I send what I write to the Yahoo list or to you?
A good question. My feeling is that Yahoo should be first choice for short game approach/theory questions. To get most out of Yahoo, we need to maximise our use of it. This may well mean that the letters section of KN (and thus KN itself) shrinks.
With the website & Yahoo now available, KN may metamorphose into something different. Don’t really
know yet, and would welcome ideas. At some stage the need for KN may even disappear…….
If the what you write is more substantial – say article length (which I’ll hereby arbitrarily designate as anything more than 2-3 paragraphs) – then it would perhaps fit best in KN. Tables, maps etc would also fall into this category. As editor, I’m always looking for copy after all! We can then continue any discussion on it on Yahoo.
Also, there may always be some folks who would prefer not to sign up to Yahoo. So there may still be some letters in KN. Unless it’s something really special, controversial or important however, I am not intending to duplicate stuff in KN that’s already been on Yahoo.

From Bill Jennings
Is there a set of standard Kriegsspiel rules? If so, can you tell me the best source for obtaining a copy?
The first published rules for Kriegsspiel were written by the Prussian Lt. von Reisswitz in 1824 for military training purposes. Bill Leeson unearthed these several years ago, translated them and published them with a commentary. This really was the trigger which got our own group going. Bill still has copies for sale, so I’ll copy him in on this. As far as know, he is the only source.
During the 19th C the use of the game spread outside Prussia, and it was increasing played for fun, as well as for training. Bill has also published some of these other rules sets.
While we still use many of the original concepts for our own games, we have also developed new approaches, particularly for larger scale games. We are constantly modifying our approach as new information is unearthed on how battles were actually fought. You can get some of this (for free) from KN 48 & 49.

From Dave Stanforth again
Does anyone out there have any ideas where I could get hold of maps of the US/Canadian border – suitable for using/adapting for AWI & War of 1812 games? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

From Maurizio Bragaglia again
It would be a good idea to make some of the old KN articles available on the Web page. It would mean quite a lot of work for somebody though.
Another thought. We should try a classical Kriegsspiel game , a small one through the internet again. I’m convinced they can be streamlined. If it works it could become a monthly or bimonthly feature. People could be encouraged this way to produce new scenarios.
I agree re the old KNs. We do intend to get some at least onto the website. This will depend on how much file space they take up, and on webmeister Richard Madder’s ability to make the time.
I like the idea of another internet classic detachments Krieggspiel. Ben Hutchings did this 2/3 years ago, and it really worked very well. One of the few email games played to a conclusion. I would be very keen to participate in another. Is this you volunteering to umpire it Maurizio?!!

From Tony Hawkins
Here is a site for the magazine. It deals with 19th Century Military history.
http://www.geocities.com/robertaveryuk/19thCHome.html
The site focuses on the period between 1815 and 1914, and contains short articles on several European and colonial wars, plus a few longer pieces. It’s very much geared to the wargamer, with rules for re-fighting battles, and details of army organisation, troop quality etc. Coverage is normally much briefer than the articles on the ‘By Jingo’ website.

From Jeff McCulloch again
I’m probably going to convert/create colored cardstock pieces for the game in May. The pieces that I have are okay, but could be better.
And finally, the referee of the CD3 (Command Decision) game has decided to do a CD3 Kriegsspiel using the Meckel map. This should be interesting. Each map section translates into about a 4X4 foot game table for CD3.
Let us know how the game went Jeff.

From Arthur Harman on early Kriegsspiel Apparatus
(at the May game, Richard Madder mentioned that he had found a website for a German museum with photos of what appeared to be an early example of the Kriegsspiel apparatus. You can find it at
http://images.google.com/images?q=kriegsspiel&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF8&hl=en&btnG=Google+Search
Martin)
I checked out Google’s image search for Kriegsspiel and immediately turned up two very interesting pix at the site of a Berlin museum dedicated to computer games! Unfortunately, my knowledge of German is too limited to decipher much of the accompanying text – I’m not sure whether the picture only, or the actual artefacts are in the museum.
The pictures show a display case with several drawers, and modular terrain pieces laid out as if for a game. I believe this could be the set created by Reisswitz’s father for the Crown Prince, or a similar set. What could be a rulebook lies open in the foreground.
This looks extremely interesting! I suggest we – jointly via Bill, whose status as the English translator of the 1824 rules must give him more credibility than the average casual enquirer – contact the proprietor of this museum to ascertain whether this apparatus is still extant, and to gain further details of the terrain pieces, troop blocks and any rules. He may? not know much about the 1824 set and subsequent derivatives, so we could exchange information. If a set of rules exists, perhaps we could obtain a copy for Bill to translate and publish? We might also be able to replicate the terrain squares in modern materials and recreate the original game….
At the very least we should be able to increase our knowledge of the early Kriegsspiel and generate some material for KN and perhaps one of the glossy magazines! Perhaps some of us could make a brief visit to Berlin to study the original and record this piece of wargames history, if it still exists.
Yes, I did the same thing after Richard mentioned the site. I’ve always wondered whether any examples of the original Reisswitz apparatus survived. This does look as though it may be even earlier. It was frustrating because the photos could have been clearer & larger.
Excellent suggestion. Bill, will you take up the baton and contact the museum?

From Dave Stanforth yet again
Just did the same search and found the photos – very curious – the German text mentions Reisswitz, 1812 – but the English summary just describes it as a computer and video games museum set up in 1990? Can’t wait to here what Bill makes of this. Do EasyJet do cheap flights to Berlin?!
Yes, we could go as a group. I can see the headlines now “English Kriegsspiel hooligans hit Berlin!” I will see if group rates are available for head shaving & tattoos…….

From Bill Leeson
It seems incredible, but I think we are looking at the original Kriegsspiel set that was specially made for the Prussian King by Reisswitz, father.
This paragraph is from “The Reisswitz Story”. Reisswitz the elder had given a demonstration to the two princes, Wilhelm and Friedrich in 1810. They had told their father about the game. He had asked to see it for himself and Reisswitz decided to up-grade his sandbox to something more presentable for a king. He duly arrived at the palace with it about a year later.
“It was in the shape of a large table open at the top for terrain pieces to fit into. The terrain pieces were 3 – 4 inches square, and the overall area was at least six feet square. The small squares could be re-arranged so that a multiplicity of landscape was possible. The terrain was made in plaster and was coloured to show roads, villages, swamps, rivers etc. In addition there were dividers for measuring distances, rulers, small boxes for placing over areas so that troops who were unobserved might make surprise attacks, and written rules which were at this stage not yet in their fuller form (i.e. as Reisswitz the younger and his group had developed them by 1824).
The pieces representing the troops were made of porcelain. The whole thing was extremely well painted, and the king was so impressed that he ordered it to be set up in the Queen Louise Salon, next to the Great Assembly and Tea Room, where it is to this day. (The SansSouci Palace at Potsdam).”
I did write to the Palace at Potsdam some time in the eighties, but at that time Kriegsspiel was not politically correct in the Eastern Zone, and I never received a reply. Well what do you know!!!
I came across an email point somewhere on the site so I wrote an email telling them about the article in the Militar Wochenblat which tells the story of how the apparatus came to be installed in the Potsdam Palace (1874 no.3).

From Bill Leeson again
The last paragraph (Fur alle Strategiespielefreaks…) is roughly:
“For strategic games freaks ‘our’ area has a specially mouthwatering morsel. The only example of the origins of all strategy games – ‘The tactical strategy game‘ (devised in 1812 by Baron von Reisswitz) – can be seen. In contrast to the rest of our exhibition, however, it is not for trying out.”

From Chris Russell
The YAHOO site has had no posts in June – is there any KN stuff to go on? What about an update on activities for the rest of the year?
You’re right. No activity. I will be sending KN 55 out in a few days (with quite a few letters!). I
will use the opportunity to try and steer folks towards Yahoo. Consider yourselves steered folks.
KN 55 will also have details of future games this year (see Section 1. above).

Anything in this newsletter is freely available for you to use and disseminate for non-commercial use, as long as attribution is maintained. The aim is to share fun and enlightenment.
There is no charge for the newsletter, but if you would like to receive future issues you will need to send some SAE envelopes to Martin (or even better let me have you email address). New players are very welcome. If you would like to know more about what to expect, give one of us a ring.

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