Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Too good too miss

I normally confine my musings on the history of wargaming to the Christmas period but recently my good friend, (and source for all things German) Martin T, wrote such an interesting addition to my thoughts on wargaming and the occult that I simply had to reproduce it in full here.



A rare shot of the venue for the infamous 1927 National Convention

Over to Martin......

In response to your recent blog entry "The Mystery of the Fourth Wargamer...", after studying the picture I have come to the conclusion that the man in the centre "chanting from a book" is probably intending to make the figures move of their own volition...

This brings me to another matter involving the Forces of Darkness, namely the way in which perfectly normal, rational people become possessed by malignant spirits (lets call them entities) when they go near a wargames table. You have probably seen this yourself- faces contorted with fury over some minor point not dealt with by the rules, etc. Although I have never seen anyone actually throw a table over, I have witnessed people packing up and storming out in the middle of a game... rules which seem to give particular scope for these entities include WRG 6th Edition Ancient Rules, and the Napoleonic rules written by a certain Mr Quarrie...

Further to your comments about Aleister Crowley in the same blog entry, I have come across the following in the book "Collision of Empires. Britain in Three World Wars 1793-1945", by A.D.Harvey (incidentally a great read for anyone interested in the British war effort in these wars; it also has a great deal of comment and detail about Britain`s allies and enemies): In 1907 J.F.C. Fuller, later a military theorist, historian and Major-General, published his first book- "The Star of the West: A Critical Essay on the Works of Aleister Crowley". This was originally the winning entry in a competition for a study of the works of Crowley with a prize of £100, set up by Crowley; it was the only entry, and Crowley never paid the £100.

Fuller later went on to write various pieces for Crowley`s magazine "The Equinox". Harvey then goes on: "Fuller`s instinctive leaning towards hocus-pocus also appears in his writings on military tactics, even a quarter of a century after his final break with Aleister Crowley: "It [the tank] is a two-dimensional weapon when compared to infantry, which is a one-dimensional arm; that is, it moves in lines and fights in lines. Whilst the old tactical form of war was linear, the new is based on plane surfaces (areas) and is developed in cubic spaces - three-dimensional warfare".

"Several questions arise from the above:Did Fuller, who had an interest in the occult, ever wargame with Samuel MacGregor Mathers, a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn? If so, in how many dimensions?If we set up an 18th Century wargame with linear formations and tactics on a plane surface, would it then be three-dimensional? What might this look like?Why are some people more prone than others to possession when near a wargames table?

Martin T.



Unlike Martin I have actually seen a wargames table turned over, and yes it was WRG 6th. Assyrians and Romans if I recall correctly. But you know the funny thing is, now that I think about it I cannot remember anyone actually touching the table?

1 comment:

SteveGill said...

In Battlegames 25, John Kersey reviews John Curry's "Army Wargames: Two Centuries of Staff College Exercises" and mentions that in his background material, John Curry refers to Colonel F N Maude being a friend of Crowley.