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Title: Little Wars
Author: H.G. Wells
Category: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Entertainment
Price: $9.95
Language: English
Size: 4.25 x 7
Number of Pages: 98
ISBN Number: 0-9722511-5-4
Publication Date: June 2004

About this Book:

I was not familiar with these rules in the early 1980s, when some friends and I began to develop what came to be known as the Skirmish wargaming rules. It is amazing how many of the technical problems we struggled to overcome that Wells anticipated and addressed in Little Wars, and how useful a copy of it would have been to us. It is also interesting to note how many of Wells’ innovations have parallels in more recent wargames and to contemplate just how much influence the author had on the efforts that followed his own. This edition of Little Wars includes the original cover art, all 19 original black-and-white photographs, and about half of the nearly 150 original line drawings. A special feature of this version of Little Wars is the foreword by wargaming giant Gary Gygax, a man whose expertise in this field is equaled only by his generosity of spirit. His primary claim to fame is creation of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy roleplaying game. And, just as he has honored the author of this book and carried the game design tradition forward in his own work, so shall we in ours. —Michael J. Varhola

About the Author:

H.G. Wells (1866-1946) is rare among science fiction writers—and virtually unique among wargame designers—in that he was wildly successful and seen as a genius both during his life and long after his death. He published Little Wars in 1913, following the financial success bestowed upon him by works like The Time Machine. The fact that he wrote this book at all demonstrates a commitment to the concept of wargaming, and his execution of it reveals both his keen sense of humor and his abilities as a game designer. While Wells’ work remains popular to this day, he is sometimes derided for having been a pacifist. By 1913, however, military technology had reached a level of lethality that threatened to make warfare between industrialized nations a zero-sum game bordering on apocalypse, as demonstrated by the Great War that broke out the year following the release of Little Wars. Survival of the species probably motivated him as much as pacifism.

Book Review:

When defending the hobby of playing military miniatures games, I have often quoted or paraphrased Wells’ statements—as I do now—regarding the fact that miniature soldiers leave no widows and orphans, and that if more people were busy fighting little wars, they might not be involved in fighting big ones. There is no question that Wells wrote a ground-breaking work when he penned Little Wars, which started the hobby of military miniatures war-gaming. Had World War I not come hard on the heels of its first publication, military miniatures game play might have gained a far larger audience than it did back then. While military miniatures rules have come a long way since Little Wars was first published in 1913, the simple game presented in this book remains an unquestionably enjoyable one. Furthermore, when you read the work you will see that its basic concepts remain in many of today’s games. This book will give you the knowledge that there is strong fellowship between Wells and his wargaming companions and the military miniatures gamers of today. There is nothing more I can say—other than to enjoy your ride in this gaming time machine! —Gary Gygax

Order/Contact Info:

To order individual copies of Little Wars, go to To order multiple copies, contact: Skirmisher Publishing 9428 Park Hunt Court Springfield, VA 22153 (703) 913-6319

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