Little Wars is a set of rules for playing with toy soldiers, written by H. G. Wells in 1913. Its full title is Little Wars: a game for boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys' games and books
The development of the game is explained and Wells's thoughts on war, as he was known to be a pacifist, are revealed in his writing. According to Wells, the idea of the game developed from a visit by his friend Jerome K. Jerome. After dinner, Jerome began shooting down toy soldiers with a toy cannon and Wells joined in to compete. The two decided that with an addition of written rules, a good Kriegsspiel type game could be developed. The game revolved around the use of lead hollow cast soldiers made by W. Britain and battlefields made from whatever materials were on hand, usually blocks or other toys. Simple rules of movement, firing, and close combat were developed with a set amount of time for each player to move and fire. Wells also provides a chapter of "Extensions and Amplifications of Little War". In an appendix, Wells provides "Little Wars and Kriegspiel"; more complex rules to be played in a larger space involving military logistics, military engineers, cavalry charges, and railway transport of troops.
Little Wars was first published in 1913 by Frank Palmer. Little Wars was republished in its unabridged form by Da Capo Press in 1977. There have been numerous other reprints and it is now available online at Project Gutenberg, along with a previous game book by Wells called Floor Games (1911). A 2004 edition of the book published by Skirmisher Publishing includes an introduction by game designer Michael O. Varhola and a foreword by Gary Gygax.
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