Donald Featherstone’s unusual take on Casualties and Campaigns

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Evening News September 13 1952 (Sports Desk)

Medical Science
The part played by medical science in the treatment of injuries to footballers is the subject of an interesting article by Mr Donald F. Featherstone, physiotherapist to the Southampton FC in the current issue of the Football Association Bulletin.
Mr Featherstone keeps a daily log book in which details of injuries and the treatments given have been set out. In addition weekly charts have been kept showing in graph form the rise and fall in injuries and treatments as the season progresses.

The facts help in ensuring that eleven 100 percent fit players go out to the field for each game. The policy aimed at is that the player, theoretically at least, should be ready to take his place in a team immediately his injury clears up.

In other words ‘treat and train.’
Evening News September 13 1952 (Sports Desk)

Another unusual Featherstone article for someone to track down.

This is an early press mention of Donald Featherstone in his physiotherapist years, several years before he wrote his book on sports injuries and before he was regularly (writing about) wargaming.

What interests me is the connection or overlap between a football team as a trained uniformed unit fighting a series of battles (matches) over the course of a season (or campaign)  having to deal with injuries (battle casualties) and the war games campaigns that he would shortly be involved in and writing about.

This seems to me be an interesting overlap between Don Featherstone’s professional working life and his busy recreational gaming and writing life.

Football injuries and wargames campaigns? 

I was reminded of this clipping whilst listening to the Veteran Wargamers podcast with Jay Arnold in  America, interviewing Henry Hyde about his forthcoming book on Wargames Campaigns.

http://henrys-wargaming.co.uk/?p=2710

Henry and Jay talked about how battles are changed  in real life and on the table if you are playing or disengaging from action as part of a campaign. In this situation, you are aiming to inflict as much damage as possible whilst conserving your men and materials for the next battle, whilst considering how to return the wounded or injured to front line service. Jay and Henry both mention various sports and also sports based RPG or board games in their discussion.

Calculations of 1/3 casualties are dead, 1/3 are wounded in hospital  and 1/3 return fit for the next match (the remount department) are something that Donald Featherstone suggested in the Campaigns chapter of his first games book Wargames (1962).

Usually some kind of victory conditions are involved in the rules or scenarios  – reach the enemy baseline with half your forces (sounds a bit chess-like here) or entirely defeat the enemy as in Featherstone’s Close Wars. Alternately in other rules or scenarios you might have to retreat or concede when you have lost over fifty percent of your army, a certain number of army points etc.

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Victory conditions mentioned on page one of Close Wars, this handy two page rule set by Donald Featherstone from War Games (1962).

 

There would be none of the usual  fight to the finish as my small skirmish games are, despite using  such simple rules as Featherstone’s Close Wars useful appendix to his War Games book with its varied victory conditions.

https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/close-little-wars-featherstones-simplest-rules/

No doubt when Henry Hyde’s Wargames Campaigns book comes out, it will be compared with Donald Featherstone’s original 1970 book on Wargames Campaigns. Copies of Wargames Campaigns are available secondhand online or reprinted fresh via John Curry’s the History of Wargaming Project website http://www.wargaming.co/recreation/details/dfcampaigns.htm

Football otherwise didn’t  often make it into Don’s wargaming books, except a suggestion for high-kicking Wild West saloon  girls in Skirmish Wargaming converted or being made from Airfix 1:32 Footballers.

“For dance hall gírls, and those who cannot afford Rose Miniatures’ classy ladies, try converting an Airfix 54mm footballer. Adding certain natural attributes with Plasticine, trimming the waist suitably and dressing her in tissue petticoats – a high stepping Mama emerges!” (Figure sources and ideas, p.97 Skirmish Wargaming,  Donald Featherstone.)

.

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Can you spot the future high kicking saloon girls? (Image from EBay)

No game of mine has ever required this radical gender reassignment or conversion.

The mention of high kicking dancing girls reminds me of one of his other  non gaming books, 1970/1:

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Advert from The Stage newspaper, c. Late 1970/ early 1971

A glimpse of Donald Featherstone’s other life as a physiotherapist and author of such books as treating injuries to firefighters or Industrial injuries: Their prevention and treatment (1964)  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bjs.1800510554/abstract

Interestingly Donald Featherstone and Southampton FC were well known  enough  to have the following news widely reported in sports pages in March 1955:

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Birmingham Post, March 25 1955.

What an amazing and varied career.

Blogposted by Mark Man of TIN, December 2017