Featherstone and Co. Naval War Games

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That magical number again 793.9 and the end of its (much borrowed?) library career.  

As mentioned in my recent blog posts on my Flying Tiger Pound Store Navy of eraser ships, I have sent off for two books on Naval  Wargames.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/19/my-pound-store-naval-convoy/

One is old, one new, one much borrowed, both are hopefully blue, as blue as the cruel sea …

I await my Lulu order of  Bob Cordery’s recent Gridded Naval Wargames, highly recommended by several people, no doubt being printed and despatched at this very moment.

The distinctive 60s Book jacket design surrounded by my Pound Store ships

However first to arrive, full speed ahead, at the end of its hopefully much borrowed forty year library career, was Donald F. Featherstone’s Naval War Games.

It has its fans, others condemned on my blog comments it as dry as dust. A reprint is available thanks to John Curry’s History of Wargaming Project:

http://www.wargaming.co/recreation/naval.htm

This used copy (in better condition than I expected) cost only a few pounds from Better World Books, an Abe Books Internet supplier of ex-library stock whose profits go to literacy and library projects worldwide. What’s not to like?

I never borrowed this Featherstone title from my local library, it was always out on loan.

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Stirring stuff? Do you always read the book jacket blurb? Would you be inspired and buy or borrow this book? 
The Tabletop Islands chapter by Joseph Morschauser is unusual!

A wide range of Naval rules by Featherstone “and company”

Some supposedly simple ‘back of postcard rules’ by different gamers that Featherstone starts with.

Slightly hieroglyphic for beginners like many “back of postcard rules”?

Jack Alexander (Jacklex figures) design: how to make a WW1 era battleship
Three completed ‘simple’ ship models shown
An innovative Fred Jane no dice approach to calculate firing and damage!
That eternal boy Donald Featherstone dreams of Pacific War Airfix Combined Ops games
Another inspiring Featherstone image from Naval War Games …

First impressions?

No obvious simple (solo) convoy game rules but should be some interesting ideas. Add Bob Cordery’s book and ideas as well, it should promise to be an interesting few months puzzling out some rules for protecting my eraser ship convoy from the Wolf Pack.

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, 23 August 2018.

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The magic number 793.9

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793.9 that magical number that ought to be the PIN number or four digit code of all gamers of a certain generation.

793.9 the most important bit of any school library or the adult section of the public library when you were too young to afford any gaming books except at Christmas or Birthday.

793.9 the public secret code to the portal of gaming. The cupboard to Narnia of toy soldier gaming. As I recall in one lovely tiny branch library of my childhood,  793.9 was round the back of shelving and out of view from the rest of the library.

What was 793.9 in the mysterious world of Dewey library numbers?

793 Indoor games & amusements
793.2 Parties and entertainment
793.3 Social, folk, national dancing
793.4 Games of action
793.5 Forfeit and trick games
793.7 Games not characterized by action
793.8 Magic and related activities
793.9 Other indoor diversions

http://bpeck.com/references/ddc/ddc_mine700.htm

793.9 other indoor diversions including Wargames 

793.9 has even generated its own 2014 book Dragons in the Stacks, as befits some of the more forward thinking libraries such as Kaptain Kobold’s local Australian library’s games events. http://hordesofthethings.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/dragon-rampant-at-library.html

 

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Mainly focussed on RPG games, snippets can be read on Google books.

http://www.librarything.com/mds/793.92  suggests that Wargames now have their own unique number 793.92

So who was Dewey the decimal library wizard?  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dewey_Decimal_Classification

Here is the man himself, American librarian  Melvil Dewey (1851-1931)

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The great man Melvil Dewey  1851–1931 (Image:Wikipedia source)

Would Melvil Dewey have approved of the activities categorised under 793.9?

Probably not, accorading to Anna Elliott’s article below. He did not seem too fond of “silly games” although arguably everything I have learned about history, psychology and tactics through gaming would class it as the sort of “self improvement activity” he enjoyed in place of “silly games” as a child.

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http://www.hwwilson.com/databases/PDFsample/WLB/dewey.pdf

What a singular man Melvil Dui turned out to be …

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN, player of Games not characterized by action