Paddy Griffith's Visit to the AGA

Paddy Griffith is the gentleman featured in the centre of the above image


   On Sunday March 21st Paddy Griffith's visited the AGA whilst in Australia to discuss his War Gaming experiences, his historical research and run two demonstration Kriegspiel Games for AGA Members.

Who is Paddy Griffith?

   Paddy Griffith is a well respected and renowned British military author and historian who has written several books, including a number on War Gaming.  Paddy is responsible for the re-creation and resurrection of the Kriegspiel as a War Game.  For more information on Paddy Griffith take a look at Paddy's Web Site.

What is a Kriegspiel?

   Kriegspiel is a German word which roughly translates into English to "War Game".  In essence it is a Game where two groups representing two different military forces command their men on the field of battle, submitting their orders to an Umpire and receiving information as to the success of their orders.

   Perhaps the best way to explain what a Kriegspiel is is by quoting Paddy himself from his book 'NAPOLEONIC WARGAMING FOR FUN'.  "...two sides were each placed in a separate room with a model of the terrain or a map.  The umpires moved from one room to another collecting orders from the players, and then retired to a third room to consult the rules and find the results of combat."

   If you'd like a copy of Paddy's basic rules on how to run a Kriegspiel take a look at the Kriegspiel Rules Page.  The rules are simple and easy-to-use and are from one of Paddy's books on wargaming entitled, 'NAPOLEONIC WARGAMING FOR FUN'.

   The two scenarios Paddy ran for the AGA can be found at Die Freimontatkriegspielfreundegesellschaft Home Page.  Die Freimontatkriegspielfreundegesellschaft is the name of a free Kriegspiel club which, in the words of the Webmaster of this club's site, "convenes on the last Wednesday of each month in Nuneaton, UK. At the time of writing [of the Web Site] we have had 8 meetings and many military disasters!"

The First Scenario

   The first Game, entitled The Battle of Peyrestores, revolved around a battle between Spain and France in 1793 during the Revolutionary Wars.  The Spanish had advanced into France at this stage in history and were planning to invade the largest fortress in southern France, called Prepping.  The overall objective of the Spanish forces in the Kriegspiel was to take the fortress of Prepping, whilst the French were to defend their land against the invading Spanish using the fortress as a base.

   All of those members who wished to participate within the Kriegspiel were split up into two groups: one third of the members formed the commanders of the invading Spanish forces; whilst the remaining two thirds adopted command of the French.  Each person within each group was given a role of a specific General or important person (such as a Political Officer or Attaché) to play in the game.  These parts contained specific character-goals which players strived to achieve, adding an element of politics and Role-Playing to an Event which many expected to be a straight-out War Game.

   Perhaps the one thing few players expected from an event such as this was politics playing a major factor within the game.  The French forces were behind the ape-ball to begin with due to the fact that the Mayor of Prepping was a Spanish sympathizer being a former monk tutored in Spain.  The Mayor's objective in the game was to disperse as much of the French army from Prepping as possible, use his popularity with the people to gather a large force of town militia to take the French garrison in the fortress by surprise, and then surrender to the advancing Spanish.  With a convoluted power struggle occurring within the French camp the Mayor of Prepping was able to implement his objective without too much trouble and thus the Spanish forces won the day on the field of battle!

The Second Scenario

   The second scenario was taken from a battle in World War Two and staged on one of the AGA's sand tables with the use of miniatures.  Entitled Operation Bluecoat, this Game took considerably less time to play and occurred on a smaller scale.  For more information on this Kriegspiel take a look at the above Web Page.

A Note of Thanks

   The Adelaide Gamers' Association would like to extend its greatest thanks to Paddy Griffith for coming to Adelaide whilst in Australia to run this event for the club.  Indeed, the Event generated a lot of interest in this style of War Gaming and was a tremendous success.

   Further thanks must be noted for Malcolm Fraiser organizing Paddy's visit and Stephen Connolly for supplying the photographs and images of Paddy's visit seen on our Web Site.

   If you'd like more information on Paddy, Kriegspiels or any of the works on historical wars and battles he has written take a look at Paddy's Home Page.

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