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So I had a thought thanks to another thread.
I suppose historical war games have been around for ages. For some reason I seem to envision some Victorian era lead some Napoleonic solidiers...
Does anyone know whats the oldest TT game is that we are aware aware of?
I define that to mean:
1. Uses miniatures to represent units
2. Has a battlefield & uses terrain for the game
3. the game itself simulates battle and has a rules system
4. Not a board game I.e. The board is pretty much the same each time (risk etc.).
Chess uses a grid so would not classify as a TT war game, although highly strategic and arguably still the most masterful game to learn so gotta give props to chess! Still have never beat my dad in 30 years although we have reached a stalemate many times...
I like the feel of historicals, I think they are more about the spectacle then the game itself. But being 30 I can see how I would love to get into hail ceasar one day but not just yet.
Please post some pictures and examples if possible.
Looking forward to learning about some cool history and Hopefully see some miniatures!
Expecting a giant wolf to start eating the Sun any day now...
Nah, Go has a fixed board, so doesn't count for the OP's purposes.
The first game that fits the OP's criteria was probably 'Hellwig's Wargame', invented in 1780 in Prussia. It had a gridded 'board', but it was not fixed from game to game. You filled in the 'terrain' (using symbols and colour codes) on the grid before each game, so each battlefield layout could be unique.
During the Napoleonic Wars, George Leopold von Reisswitz (another Prussian!) was the first to throw out the grid and allow free-form movement over the tabletop, and his son Georg Heinrich completed the development of the game in 1824 (including the invention of the concept of hitpoints). His Kriegsspiel is the ancestor of all modern tabletop wargames.
"The trouble with the Heresy as envisaged by GW is it just feels like 40K - it doesn't have the feel of a genuinely different society that ten thousand years separation would give you. Whenever I wrote anything that referenced back to those times I always wrote in a legendary, non-literal style. It's as if you were dealing with something like the Iliad rather than literal history - and there you're only talking three thousand years - ten thousand years - that takes us back to the end of the last ice-age... and I don't get any sense of understanding about 'deep time' when I look at anything GW have set in the 40K 'past'." - Rick Priestley
'Modelling for Advantage' is not a real thing. When someone claims that your cool conversion is MFA, they're telling you they are the sort of whiny donkey-cave you probably don't want to play against under any circumstances.
The early German wargames didn't use mini's to represent soldiers though, just blocks or figurines like in Chess it appears. Only about 100 years later did people record themselves playing with toy soldiers to represent armies, so this would be the first instances on a 'Miniature' TT game, as per OP's criteria.
The first published wargame using mini's was Jane's Naval Wargame in 1898, according to the article. Used ships made of 'cork and wires'.
The discerning Victorian, for whom it was something of a craze at one point and played int he drawing rooms of the wealthy as part of a social occasion, would use lead figures for units. Some military units did as well but most used wooden blocks.
In terms of wargaming a battle it was used in various forms as part of military planning for some time, but as a narrative way. Kriegsspiel was I think the first to regularise random chance being a guiding factor for some battlefield situations.
In terms of a common mans hobby that came along in the 20th century with the first recognised publication being https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Wars - Little Wars: a game for boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys' games and books by H. G. Wells.
However, much as J.R.R Tolkien didn't invent the fantasy genre but helped re-popularise and define it, it was the English writer H. G. Wells and his 1913 game "Little Wars: a game for boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys' games and books" (imagine releasing that book today, yikes!) that is considered the modern precursor of miniature tabletop wargaming.
In Paris, there's a shop called "Au plat d'Étain", that has been opened since 1775.
A "plat d'étain" (literally a tin flat, Zinnfigur in German, which I think is where it comes from) is a "2D" version of a miniature:
According to the shop, lead soldiers were only created mid-19th century, so any wargame pre-dating that would have been played with tokens or "plat d'étain".