[answer at the end]
A few weeks ago I was bemoaning the fact that I had failed to buy a number of Wargamers Newsletters from the USA due to excessive postal charges. I would again like to thank Johnathan Freitag who lives in the USA who offered to find a way to obtain the issues and send them to me. It was a typically kind offer that one expects from fellow wargamers who are in the main generous souls where wargaming is concerned. Anyway the very kind gesture wasnt needed as I luckily managed to obtain a fair number of the back issues I 'needed' to complete my collection of Newsletters. They werent cheap and frankly some were extortionate but I bit the bullet like a true collecting nut.
I now only need locate 16 issues to have the complete collection of wargaming magazines that promoted the hobby when there was very little else apart from the odd wargaming article in the early Military Modelling magazines circa 1971.
Donald Feathersone however had kept the wargaming beacon alight for years before that, and certainly from 1964 when Tony Bath,Jack Scruby from the USA and himself had gone their separate wargaming ways for whatever reasons now lost in the mist of age.
I normally dont like to boast about what I am privileged to own but being able to read these early magazines is a guilty pleasure.
Yes some of the 'articles' are very brief, little more than tips and observations but like any history student if one wants to understand where we are, we need to study the past.
Reading the Newsletters shows how we came to be where we are now, the same arguments that troubled the early wargamers,[ less than 500 internationally in 1965 ] are still argued even now and their solutions are as relevant as the ones produced nowadays.
Amongst my purchases was this gem, a special issue full of wargaming articles from 1964.
I particularly mention this magazine because the late great Charles Grant contributed a lengthy article titled 'Experiments with a Battle' which is an account of his different refights of the classic Grant battle, Fontenoy 1745. This account is well before the release of his classic book The Wargame and shows how he was testing various ways to fight the battle.If anyone is interested I will scan the whole article although due to its age some of the printing is very faint.
In the lengthy introduction Featherstone jokingly moans of having embarked on too many wargaming periods [sound familiar] but blames Peter Gilder for at least two of the projects, simply because he was given some beautiful pieces of wargaming terrain made by Gilder.
So whilst desperately attempting to complete my Newsletter collection I was able to obtain the following wargaming gold [well for me anyway]
By accident I was able to lay my hands on a decent number of The War Game Digest, the magazine that Jack Scruby compiled from 1958 for the small number of would be wargamers that existed across the world. I have yet to peruse these magazines and wont until I have obtained some decent protective covers for them but this is the magazine that fired the enthusiasm of Featherstone, Bath and Grant plus several others.In fact it was the start of what we are all involved in, modern? wargaming.
In a couple of decade these pioneering wargamers will probably be unknown but whoever is playing the games of the future their pleasure will be because of a few people prepared to take a chance and create a series of magazines that would bring the disparate wargamers together.