Monday, January 21, 2013

Strategos in the Twin Cities

Twin Cities gamers of the late 1960s found inspiration for their wargaming systems in a pretty unlikely source: Strategos: The American Art of War (1880), a work by Charles A. L. Totten. Strategos was a military training wargame modeled on the German precedents of the nineteenth century, and was therefore not designed with entertainment in mind. By modern standards, it is unwieldy, pedantic and dull.  Famously, Dave Wesely adapted the rules of Strategos to the Napoleonic era, reducing them from the two volumes of Totten down to just twenty-four pages in his Strategos N (1970). But the Napoleonic era was only one of the settings that local gamers fitted to Strategos, and Dave Arneson himself authored two Strategos-based wargames.