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Origins of kriegsspiel

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Origins of kriegsspiel

Post  Martin on Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:45 pm

See the following link for a useful article on kriegsspiel (and other forms of wargame) before the rules were first published in 1824. I should warn you it is in German.

http://forum.kriegsspiel.org.uk/login.forum?redirect=/search.forum&search_id=newposts

Even for non German-speakers though, the article is of interest as it includes the most detailed photos I have seen of the apparatus made for the King of Prussia by Reiswitz the elder.

There are many similarities with the later Kriegsspiel sets, but there also
appear to have been some differences. I think the terrain was represented
by plaster tiles in this early version, rather than maps, the playing pieces
were ceramic, rather than metal, and there also appears to be a wider
variety of pieces (eg ships). Very interesting.

My thanks to Andreas Helling for alerting me to it.

Martin

Martin

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Re: Origins of kriegsspiel

Post  Martin on Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:53 pm

Further discussion wirth Andreus reveals that the chest housing the apparatus is on display at the Charlottenburg Palace (German: Schloss Charlottenburg), which is the largest palace in Berlin.

The game parts are stored separately in a repository, as they are very fragile, but it's possible they could be viewed by arrangement. There is also apparently a film, although I'm not sure what's in it.

I'll see what else I can find out.

Martin

Martin

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Re: Origins of kriegsspiel

Post  MJ1 on Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:35 pm

Linky poo does not work....

MJ1

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Re: Origins of kriegsspiel

Post  Martin on Fri Dec 10, 2010 9:42 pm

Dash it all......how beastly.

Actually I think I posted the wrong link. Try this one

http://www.boardgamestudies.info/pdf/issue3/BGS3-complete.pdf

Martin

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Re: Origins of kriegsspiel

Post  MJ1 on Sat Dec 11, 2010 10:04 am

Thxs found it. An interesting article and some good photo's

MJ1

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Re: Origins of kriegsspiel

Post  Martin on Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:40 am

I've just heard from Andreas again. Living in Berlin, he has made an appointment to view the k/spiel apparatus on Friday. Lucky chap!

He has kindly offered to take additional photos or measurements if there is anything specific we are interested in. He is also going to try and obtain a copy of the film - hopefully they have it on DVD.

I'm quite interested in the terrain tiles. From the photos we've seen, they look to be geomorphic to allow for varying battlefields. If so, were any schematic maps provided to aid set-up, and possibly players during the game? Otherwise I can imagine creating the battlefield for a game would take quite a while, and you would then have had to draw out several sketch-maps for the players.

I'm also interested in the troop blocks. In particular, how did they represent commanders on the map?

Happy to pass on any other questions, but we need to be reasonably quick obviously.

Martin

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Re: Origins of kriegsspiel

Post  Martin on Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:20 pm

I asked Andreas if he could find the answers to the following specific questions concerning the k/spiel apparatus now on display at Potsdam, and I thought I would post his replies. My thanks again to him for the time & trouble.

1. From the photos we've seen, the terrain tiles appear to be geomorphic, presumably to allow for a variety of battlefields. Is that correct?

Yes, the terrain tiles are geomorphic (and 3-dimensional). I don’t know exactly how many tiles there are, but in 11 of the 12 drawers there were tiles, or „Typen“ as Reisswitz called them, so many different terrains could be laid out.

2. If so, were any schematic maps provided to aid set-up of various map configurations, and possibly players during the game? Otherwise I can imagine creating the battlefield for a game would take quite a while, and you would then have had to draw out several sketch-maps for the players (who are normally not allowed to see the main 'map').

This point, I could not find out, but there is a list of every part of the game and thay are scanning it to me. But I’ve read somewhere, that the king did spend half days of building the terrain, while the game itself lasted only a short time.

3. I think I read a long time ago that these terrain tiles in the elder Baron's apparatus were made of plaster, and that the game pieces are ceramic. Is that correct?

The terrain tiles are made of wood and painted quite delicately and very realistic, seen from above, they really look like old maps, but in a rough scale. I think the surface is rasped or milled and maybe some fine details are worked out in plaster, but I could not see that during this visit. I could not see the troop pieces either, as they were in storage, but they are made of ceramic or porcelain. Additional pieces are made of tin or sheet metal and have a pin on the underside.

4. What are the dimensions of the cabinet, and of individual terrain tiles?

The cabinet is 88 cm high and the top plate (folded) is 129 x 76 cm, unfolded it is 129 x 152 cm. Apart from the dark border there are 15 x 18 squares of 8 cm length, so the dark border should be ca. 4 cm wide. The terrain tiles are accordingly 8 cm square, there are half-tiles and quarter-tiles of 8 x 4 cm and 4 x 4 cm

5. Are there spare terrain tiles, or just enough to fill the space on the top of the cabinet?

Well, 11 of the 12 drawers contain terrain tiles, the exact amount follows with the contents list

6. Is it possible to confirm the ground scale used?

I was told that one tile corresponds to 500 ‘Prussian feet’, which corresponds to ca 185 m, this would give 1 cm = 23,125 meters (Hilgers mentions a scale of 1: 2373). As the tiles vary slightly and there are small spaces between the tiles being put on the table, the whole (table) terrain covers ca. 3.300 x 2.775 meters

Martin

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Re: Origins of kriegsspiel

Post  Martin on Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:19 am

Andreus has kindly sent some more information and also a short film on the elder Reisswitz's game, which I would like to post, subject to copyright issues which I am investigating.

I was particularly interested to see the scheme used for the troop blocks,
which appears to be somewhat different to that used in the younger Reisswitz's 1824 version.

In particular, the cavalry pieces are twice the height of the infantry ones.
Which is quite logical actually. There is also quite a profusion of colours
used, whereas we tend to follow a basic red or blue scheme for each side,
with usually one other colour, to distinguish individual brigades or divisions.

Martin

Martin

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Re: Origins of kriegsspiel

Post  Martin on Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:23 pm

We are now cleared to put the film, and an article on the origins of kriegsspiel, on the website. Am investigating how best to do that with the webmeister.

My sincere thanks to Andreas Helling, who made this possible.

Martin

Martin

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Re: Origins of kriegsspiel

Post  Lugnakh on Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:15 am

Martin wrote:We are now cleared to put the film, and an article on the origins of kriegsspiel, on the website. Am investigating how best to do that with the webmeister.

My sincere thanks to Andreas Helling, who made this possible.

Martin

Well done! Look forward to seeing it.

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