In Memorium: Donald Featherstone, 1918-2013

Donald Featherstone (left) at a wargaming convention in the 1960s


Donald Featherstone was a man who left a beautifully lasting image on the wargaming hobby. People who never heard his name are playing games that can only exist because of the life that Mr. Featherstone lived.

Few individuals can legitimately say they wrote the book on any given subject. When it comes to wargaming, Donald literally wrote the book. In 1962 the pivotal title War Games was released and the wargaming world has never been the same.

H.G. Wells may have gotten things started with Little Wars. But, Mr. Featherstone brought wargaming to a level beyond anything imagined at the time. Looking at gaming certain names stand the test of time. People like Wells, Gygax, Arneson, Grant, and Featherstone were the creative geniuses of their day.

Mr. Featherstone was a titan on whose shoulders we stand in our hopes and dreams to achieve the best wargaming experiences we can. He encouraged, inspired, and gave hope to many a gamer.

The English poet John Donne famously wrote “no man is an island, entire of itself;…any man’s death diminishes me; because I am involved in mankind.”

The entire tabletop gaming community suffers Donald Featherstone’s death. His connection to each of us goes beyond his prolific writing. At the root of it all is the intrinsic nature of people to come together for mutual enjoyment and support. We are all connected to one another in this thing we call the wargaming hobby.

As Gary Gygax said “The final word, then, is the game.”

RIP Donald Featherstone, 1918-2013

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To honor Donald Featherstone’s memory I created a project with FirstGiving to donate funds to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Donald served in the British armed forces during WWII and cared, deeply, about those in uniform.

Please consider making a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project (or your favorite charity) in memory of Donald Featherstone.

Hail Caesar Reading List

Previously I discussed my desire to wargame Ancient Rome.  Every wargamer knows that part of the fun is research.  Just like RPGers enjoy reading sci-fi/fantasy to learn more of their setting, and to get ideas for storylines, wargamers read of their desired conflict.

My gaming buddy, and Troll in the Corner author, Adam created an 18th century reading list.  What’s that Shakespeare said about stealing great ideas?  My Hail Caesar reading list isn’t necessarily the best of the best.  That’s not to say the material sucks.

The list is comprised of the items I am reading to learn more about the game, the period, the conflicts, and my focus of Ancient Rome.  To be exact my focus is on Imperial Rome.  But, something tells me I’ll meander into Republican Rome as well.  I may as well read about both while I’m digging through the dusty tomes.

Continue reading “Hail Caesar Reading List”

Wargaming Recon #95: Wargames Magazines with Jasper Oorthuys


Wargames Magazines with Jasper Oorthuys


Jasper Oorthuys is the managing editor for Ancient Warfare, Wargames Soldiers & Strategy, and Medieval Warfare magazines. He steers the course for these highly successful periodicals.

A subscription to Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy is featured in our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. Get 15% off your ENTIRE order at Karwansary Publishers. Use coupon code “wargamingrecon” between July 8, 2013 and August 8, 2013. Order at Karwansaray Publisher’s Website and get your 15% off.

We discuss:

Continue reading “Wargaming Recon #95: Wargames Magazines with Jasper Oorthuys”

GE38: 5 Reasons Ray Harryhausen was Incredible

Ray Harryhausen may not be well known to today’s moviegoers.  But, he was a special effects genius best known for his unique brand of stop motion animation.

Mr. Harryhausen created stop motion characters that explode off the screen.  He was best known for his work with the 1963 film Jason and the Argonauts.  Mr. Harryhausen passed away on May 7, 2013.

In the episode Jonathan says it is Episode 39.  He is wrong.  It is actually episode 38.  Please accept our apologies.


Continue reading “GE38: 5 Reasons Ray Harryhausen was Incredible”

Free Comic Book Day 2013

FCBD2013-FreeI just came back from Free Comic Book Day 2013.

You may have heard me discuss this on GE37: 5 Reasons Free Comic Book Day is Awesome.

Down the street from my house is a New England Comics.  As a child and teen my parents, and those of my friends, would bring my friends and I to NEC to gape and buy the latest issues that our meager allowances could afford.

We loved titles by Image with our emphasis being on Spawn.  Al Simmons made a deal with the Devil and was stuck as one of the Dark One’s Hellspawn…his breed of generals that would lead the armies of Hell in the final war with Heaven.  Beautifully illustrated and written it was more mature than my adolescent mind could handle at the time.

Many years passed and I’m delighted to return to NEC Norwood.  New managers and a new store layout opens up the store.  The location is in the center of town.  You cannot miss it today.  Superheroes stand at the intersection with signs saying “Free Comic Book Day” and arrows pointing towards the store.

Below are some pictures of my loot.  NEC allows people to take 2 free comics from the table, 2 free comics from a box of older, and presumably harder to move, titles along with a copy of the special 2013 issue of the Tick.  NEC created the Tick, which you may have seen in the 90s on TV on the Fox channel.

FCBD2013-GI-JoeOn top of that NEC is running a few special deals.  They offer 30% off any title from their racks.  These are current comics but ones that are not the newest arrival.  I snagged two G.I. Joes titles.

They are also donating 100% of proceeds of specific Marvel titles to One Fund Boston.  Marvel titles excite me and any chance to help out a good charity is something I cannot pass.

  • The Avengers #1
  • Fantastic Four #1
  • Fearless Defenders #1
  • Incredible Hulk #1
  • Thor #1
  • X-Men #1

FCBD2013-One-Fund-BostonThe new manager asked me if I wanted to pay full price or discounted (these titles were from the 30% off rack) for the Marvel books.  He said they offer both to customers and either way they’ll donate 100% of what is paid to the fund.  I eagerly said I’d pay full price.

I walked into the store with expectations of fun and hope that this would be a positive experience to bring me back to NEC as a regular customer.  I left with many amazing books and happiness in my heart.

Have you been to FCBD?  What titles did you pick up?  Tell us about your local comic book store and why it is awesome.


Wargaming Recon #90: Henry Hyde Editor of Miniature Wargames now with Battlegames


Henry Hyde Editor of Miniature Wargames now with Battlegames.

Henry Hyde reveals lots of amazing news to the Wargaming Recon audience before anyone else!

Editor Henry Hyde is back to discuss the upcoming release to his book, the Wargaming Compendium, and his role as the newest editor of Miniature Wargames magazine.

Henry first appeared in Episode 58: Henry Hyde and Battlegames Magazine, which is in our list of Top 10 Most Popular episodes.

We also discuss:


  • Jonathan doing a 3 mile walk to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis – DONATE HERE
  • 100th episode plans
  • You can Sponsor an Episode for $5. Get full details here
  • Atlantic Publisher’s change of position for digital subscriptions
  • Release date for Henry’s Wargaming Compendium
  • Wargaming tables, Salute, and imagi-nation campaigns
  • View from the Veranda with Neil Shuck, podcaster of Meeples & Miniatures


Troll in the Corner Podcast Network


Indie Talks – bi-monthly on Wednesdays covering independent games, film, television. Includes many interviews. Hosted by Trollitc owner Ben Gerber.


Monsters of the Shattered World – monthly on the last Saturday. Story of a young scholar encountering strange animals on another world.

”Growing – monthly on the 2nd Monday. A podcast that discusses parenting as geeks and using those skills to raise the next generation of awesome people.
Promos for the TCPN podcasts appear at the end of the show. Many thanks to Jeremy Kostiew, Troll ITC’s logo designer, for the amazing logos. Check out his portfolio at Proudly Sponsors Wargaming Recon


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Wargaming Recon #89: More Secrets of Wargame Design


Wally Simon’s More Secrets of Wargame Design Volume 2.

Imagine a booklet answering your questions on game design. It inspires you to modify your favorite game rules to suit your needs. That’s what this booklet does.

Editor Russ Lockwood is back to discuss the 2nd installment of the Wally Simon series of Secrets of Wargame Design. Pick up your copy of Wally Simon’s More Secrets of Wargame Design Volume 2 from On Military Matters in the US/Worldwide or Caliver Books in the United Kingdom.

We also discuss:

Continue reading “Wargaming Recon #89: More Secrets of Wargame Design”

Wargaming Recon #88: Save the Higgins Armory


Save the Higgins Armory Museum.

Imagine a place where you get first hand experience with military history. A place more incredible than anything you could imagine. That place is the Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts and it is closing for good on December 31, 2013..

We share the news about the closing and why the museum needs to be saved. The Worcester Telegram & Gazette has an interesting article on the closing. The article covers the reasons behind the closure.

A Save the Higgins Facebook page is raising awareness of the closure in the hope of keeping the incredible museum open.

Adam of the Fencing Frog Blog wrote us a wonderful message, which we read in the episode, as to why the Higgins should stay open. Visit the Higgins Armory Museum website to plan your visit before the museum permanently closes.

We also discuss:

Continue reading “Wargaming Recon #88: Save the Higgins Armory”

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