Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Donald Featherstone

The Father of UK Wargaming is 94 years young around this time, many congrats to him, his books got me started way back in the mists of time.

Dick Tennant passed this on to me recently for which very many thanks.



In peace there’s nothing so becomes a wargamer
          as modest stillness and humility;
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
          then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
          disguise fair nature with hard favour’d rage.
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect,
          let it pry through the portage of the head
like a brass cannon; let the brow o’whelm it
          as fearfully as does a galled rock.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide;
          hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit
to his full height. On, on, you noble wargamer
          whose blood is that of fathers who wrote the rules !
Fathers who, like so many Alexanders,
          have at these Conventions from morn ‘till even fought,
and pocketed their dice for lack of argument.
          Dishonour not your mothers, for did they not sit
whilst those whom you call fathers painted their armies ?
          Feel superior to players with troops in other scales,
and teach them how to wargame. And you, good players,
          whose hands were made for wargaming, show us here
the mettle of your army; let us swear
          that they are worthy of your painting, which I doubt not;
For there are none of them so mean and base
          that hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
          straining upon the start. The game’s afoot !
Rattle your dice ! And upon the charge
          cry ‘God for Scruby! Featherstone! and HG Wells!’