Fictitious Wars

A long time ago — 20 years, in fact — I wrote an article by this name that was published in Miniature Wargames in the days when Duncan Macfarlane was still at the helm. It pre-dates the current excitement about ‘imagi-nations’ by at least a couple of decades (I thought I was alone in my madness in those pre-internet days). So here’s a PDF of the piece that appeared in issue 47 of April 1987. (2.7Mb).


Creating fictitious maps

Wargamer Jonathan Broadus has achieved what I could never do — with a bit of programming wizardry, he has created a system that will generate a map for you based on the dice-rolling methods I outlined in my Wars of the Faltenian Succession piece in Battlegames issue 3. You simply enter the number of columns and rows you want for the width and height of your map, and hey presto! the JavaScript behind the scenes presents you with a randomly-generated set of grid squares. If you don’t like the look of the first map presented to you, well, you can just keep trying until you get something that suits you better. Absolutely marvellous — well done Jonathan! Of course, if you prefer, you can still go ahead and roll all those dice instead.


Minifigs catalogue

Some of you may be aware that Miniature Figurines are still going strong. However, like many wargames companies that have been around since before the Internet was invented, they have an ongoing and uphill struggle to get images of their figures online.

To this end, with thanks to Ben Waterhouse, I have scanned in an old printed Minifigs catalogue which you can download as a PDF. Please note that it’s a large (18.5Mb) file — at 120 pages, including images, it’s tricky to make it any smaller without reducing the resolution and image quality to a point where it becomes hard to read and useless to print out. Please note that the catalogue has been scanned ‘as is’, including Ben’s handwritten notations and even a large coffee stain! The photos of figures are in the centre of the catalogue.

Please note that this catalogue dates back to the 1980s: you should consult the Minifigs website for up-to-date listings of the ranges and figures available.


The Siege of Dendermonde

In Battle Magazine for Wargamers, from December 1976 to July 1977, there was an inspirational series of articles by Ron Miles who ran an astonishing siege game in his home. For the sake of posterity, and with the help of members of the Old School Wargaming group, I have assembled a PDF file of the entire series. Click here to download the Siege of Dendermonde file (about 4.7Mb).


  1. I have acquired some old minifigs 15s, which are previous to the listings in the catalog you posted. They are in an earlier numbering, in which the ancients are A-1 and on, I have one (strip) which is A 118.

    The old Minifigs catalog I have is from 1975-76, it stays so on the front! but it only lists ancient 15s in the range 15A/1 to 15A/40.

    Any ideas on discovering what 15A/41 and on are?

  2. The Siege of Dendermonde brings back so many happy memories for me about Battle and I remember reading the article in Miniature Wargames at a family picnic…

    • Funnily enough, I just added to my collection of Battle for Wargamers last week and was reminded of the ghrill of first reading them. The siege also features in my forthcoming book.


  3. I still have and game with my collection of 25mm SYW Minifigs. I don’t know why but they have a charm of their own in an era before the chunky 25s or 28s came into their own. I’ve often been tempted to sell them to enable me to purchase a larger set of armies but just can’t bring myself to do it.

  4. Oh my goodness! This is the Minifigs catalogue that I pored over for hour after hour, waiting for my first 15mm Napoleonic French figures to arrive… I still have (and use) the figures but I haven’t seen the catalogue in years – thank you – it brought back many happy memories!

  5. And Henry, thanks for uploading that. I love those old Minifigs catalogues. I wish I hadn’t sold off my French Napoleonic 15mm army! A buddy of mine form ‘back in the day ‘ still has his (unpainted) Russian army, which, if I recall correctly, I convinced him to buy to fight my Frenchies… Alas, but it never ‘came to pass’. Still, we ain’t neither of us dead yet, so maybe we will bring some of those old troops to battle?

    • Thanks for your comments, Seb. I still have a fondness for the old Minifigs – in fact, I have two ECW 25mm armies waiting to be painted as ‘one of those things I’ll get around to’…

  6. Lovely, an old Minifigs catalogue!
    I used to have lots of them in the late seventies / early eighties. Unfortunately, many are sold when I stopped wargaming mid eighties.
    I started collecting and gaming again mid nineties.

    Thanks Henry for making this available. I’ve been looking for a Minifigs catalogue since many years, but never found one.

    • Hey Wim, those were my thoughts exactly, partly ’cause my experience was similar. Sort of… I only ever had the one Minifigs catalogue. But like you, it got sold off. Another slight difference, but nonetheless broadly similar: my break from wargaming was about twice as long as yours. What was I thinking? Those were definitely my ‘wilderness years’! Cheers, Seb

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