Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Before There Was Greyhawk

Chris Kutalik of Hill Cantons fame pointed me toward a blog post over at Vintage Wargaming that includes scans of pages from issue #116 of Don Featherstone's Wargamer's Newsletter. In that issue (November 1971), Gary Gygax reports on a Chainmail miniatures battle called "The Battle of Brown Hills." The battle is between the forces of Chaos, led by the warlock Huldor ap Skree, and those of Law, led by Count Aerll. Of particular interest are the various Greyhawkian and proto-Greyhawkian names scattered throughout the report. It's a fascinating read for anyone interested in the prehistory of our hobby.

8 comments:

  1. Very cool report; the Greyhawkian names were interesting, but some of the others were true groaners. 

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  2. Time to make that sand table. Any Minnesotans want to replay? Thanks for posting the link James!

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  3. Aha!  This explains why you can find so many magical swords lying around in the Flanaess.  No one thinks to look for them after battles.

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  4. Where would one get a copy of chainmail these days?

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  5. It's interesting that Gygax says he came across an "old map" he had drawn of a mythical continent. I mean this was 1971 and presumably one of the first fantasy Chainmail games since the rules would have just been published. So how long before was he futzing with world building?

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  6. I wrote down the various place names in a mind map format. Perhaps with a little work, it can be worked up into a campaign map.
    http://randomwizard.blogspot.com/2012/06/pre-greyhawk-gygax-map.html

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  7. Why wouldn't Law take and hold the eastern hill (on their right)? Even with the dragon coming in unexpectedly, the Elven archers could have held that position with far greater success than advancing on the chaos ranks.

    What am I missing?

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  8. Chainmail was first written in 1968, so it was in use for 3 years before being published by Guidon Games:  that may account for some of the "lag" (so to speak).

    Allan.

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