Monthly Archives: June 2014

Nineteenth Century Military War Games: William Livermore’s American Kriegsspiel

Continuing our research series on the history of Kriegspiel and its offshoots

GH-KriegspielLivermoreRobert Mosher, 29 June 2014

This series of articles examines several 19th Century war games designed primarily for the use of professional armies. The first article reviewed von Reisswitz’ Prussian Kriegsspiel of 1824, considered by many to be the first modern wargame. This article looks at William Roscoe Livermore’s American Kriegsspiel: A Game for Practicing the Art of War Upon a Topographical Map, copyrighted in 1879 and published in 1882 and in 1898. Captain Livermore’s game is based upon the Prussian original, modified over the years to reflect technical and tactical changes, but he had limited success selling it to the War Department.  An 1865 graduate of West Point (sixth in his class), Captain Livermore was introduced to the Prussian wargame that year by fellow engineer William Popp, a former Bavarian Army officer. Livermore conducted topographical surveys in the Great Lakes and Texas, surveyed and supervised work on fortifications on both coasts, was Army Attaché in Denmark (observing Prussian military exercises), and served as a senior engineering officer with the VII Corps of Major General Fitzhugh Lee during the Spanish-American War. That Corps trained in Jacksonville, Florida and its low levels of illness compared to the rest of that army might reflect Livermore’s care in setting up its camps.



Origins 2014 – The Photos

Wrapping up the key Origins coverage of Origins 2014, here are several photo collections, covering gameplay, the exhibit hall, the minis room, and the GrogHeads Central Command.

There are some some interviews with people from Origins coming up later, but the coverage of the show itself pretty much wraps up here.  We hope you’ve enjoyed our look at a great game convention and that you can join us next year at the GrogHeads Wargaming Central Command at Origins 3-7 June, in Columbus OH.

Click photos to enlarge.  Photos by either Corinne Mahaffey or Brant Guillory


GrogHeads’ Central Command

with the Staff Wargaming team (man, we gotta get a better name for them!) and the organized wargaming events for Circle of Fire, Orange Crush, Sergeants! Miniatures Game, Julius Caesar, Spearpoint 1943, and Test of Mettle.

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Prosciutto – Hamming it up with the di Parmas… Part Six-and-Twenty

The di Parmas roll on as Oberto’s death rattles the family.  And now…?

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In Part 25 Duke Oberto died in an accident at the Emperor’s Grand Tournament, his son Benvenuto became head of the family but the di Parma lands were split amongst two other brothers. In Part 26 Benvenuto must appease the brothers or seek other diplomatic means to bring them to heel, calm the uneasiness in his vassals and bring stability to the region.




Benvenuto’s first action is to try and imprison Count Chiaffredo of Taranto. He is heading a faction to try and install a bishop within his land as Count of Salerno, and thats Benvenuto’s title. Its a risky move, if it fails and Chiaffredo rebels there will be a war fought Benvenuto can ill afford. In the end it pays off and the traitorous git is thrown into the dungeon




Here we go, the first brother, Buonconte challenges Benvenuto and starts a family civil war.

Origins 2014 – Surviving Origins with Kids
Dispatch from Planet Parent.

Your family plans to go to Origins with your kids…and if you ever want to go again, everyone needs to enjoy your four days of gaming.

Corinne Mahaffey, 25 June 2014

With many thanks to all the parents I spoke with, especially Kristy, and the Kids’ Room supervisor.

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Begin with solid preparation.  The first thing you should have done is pre-register, because there is no way your kids should be sitting in the registration line for 2 hours.  You get a kid’s badge free with an adult badge.  If you haven’t, get there early (by 7 am if you arrive Saturday).  The last place to open is the Exhibit Hall, at 10 am.  In the meantime, whoever isn’t in line can walk around the convention with your kids and the map from the convention book, and start scouting out the games you and your kids might be interested in, see the cosplayers, and locate essentials such as the Kids’ Room, the food court… and, of course, coffee.

The second key part of preparation is to book a hotel within very easy walking distance of the convention.  Look for an in-room fridge, free breakfast, and coffee. Yes, it is much more expensive than that distant hotel that you and your friends used to split costs on before you had kids.  But being close has all kinds of advantages beyond not having to try to get comfortable in a chair while your friends snore.  When the kids get tired and cranky, or over-stimulated, you have only a short walk back to naps, free coffee, and the hotel pool.  If you or your co-parent (meaning your spouse, or partner, or significant other, or the adult(s) who attend the convention with you and is/are helping with the parenting) is staying at the convention for a late, late game, you don’t have to coordinate transport.  We found that a two room suite with a fold out couch for the kids worked very well.


Ah Wednesday morning… the “no crowd” version of the main hall. This is the best time to check in for badges.

The third key part of preparation is packing properly.  If any of your children use a stroller or carrier, even just sometimes, bring it.  You can try out demos, play games, and eat while they sleep in it, and they, and you, will be more cheerful if they are not dragging around the convention, exhausted from walking.  Pack more of the essentials than you think you’ll need: diapers, wipes, snacks (especially snacks!) and everyone’s medications, because you don’t want to run out some late evening after the Kids’ Room is closed and you can’t ask their advice on where the nearest grocery is (North Market, across the street, btw) or the pharmacy (CVS, in the strip mall at the intersection at Neil and Collins).  Add some headache medicine and Pepto Bismol for the adults.  And more snacks for the kids.

Tuesday Screenshot – Shield of the Prophet

This week, we take a look at Graviteam Tactics Shield of the Prophet in the Tuesday Screenshot.

Click to enlarge

starter 2013-07-06 10-53-23-67

Image: Jarhead

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