Swords & Spells Favorite Wargaming Moment

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The first tabletop wargaming book I ever purchased was the classic Swords & Spells (paid link) “rules for large-scale miniatures battles based on the game Dungeons and Dragons,” written by the man himself, Gary Gygax.

Since my friends and I were big fans of both original and Advanced Dungeons and Dragons back in the early 1980s, having a simple ruleset for playing full-scale sword and sorcery battles on the tabletop — or more frequently, on the floor — was a terrific introduction to the wargaming hobby.

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Around the time I bought Swords & Spells, I also purchased a copy of Chainmail (paid link), “rules for medieval miniatures,” written by Gary Gygax and Jeff Perren. While this book is a very interesting piece of gaming history, it pre-dated Swords & Spells and even Dungeons and Dragons, so some of the concepts were less familiar to me and my clan of neophyte wargamers.

Since those early games of Swords & Spells are some of my fondest wargaming memories, I decided to make a video recreating my favorite tabletop gaming moment of all time. (Watch above.)

Basically the scenario involved two teams of two players, with each player building a 5,000 point army using the Swords & Spells suggested point value list. Each team crafted its fantasy armies in secret, so my teammate and I had no idea what mix of units we’d be facing or what our opponents’ battle plan would be.

As it turned out, they had a very ruthless strategy in mind, designed to send our troops screaming from the battlefield before we could strike a single blow. As the saying goes however, no plan survives contact with the enemy, and instead my team achieved an unlikely and hilariously lopsided victory worthy of legend!

To watch this classic tabletop reenactment unfold in all its vintage wargaming glory, just click on the media player above. To get your own copy of the classic Swords and Spells fantastic miniatures rules by Gary Gygax, in either print or digital format, Click Here (paid link).