Amazed am I ere I made Zama

By Patrick Waterson

Article reproduced here by kind permission of the author.

Often regarded as one of the greatest military strategists in European history, Hannibal would later be considered one of the greatest generals of antiquity, together with Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Scipio, and Pyrrhus of Epirus.  Military historian Theodore Ayrault Dodge once famously called Hannibal the
Hannibal the Carthaginian

The title palindrome is rather like the standard reconstruction of Hannibal’s intentions for the battle of Zama. It looks neat but something is missing.”

The primary source throughout is Polybius (mainly Book XV, reverting on occasion to Book I) – Livy’s version of the battle is too confused and irrational to be of value for this exercise.

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Origins where did it all start?

Where did it all start?

Little wars 1I was first introduced to the world of war gaming at the tender  age of twelve having arrived initially at it’s threshold via a  Märklin model railway which my mother decided, in her wisdom, I should own. I suspect she was mainly motivated in making this generous gift to me whilst harbouring a covert interest in the kind of things that made up a boys world, including their  pursuit of games and other hobbies.  Anyway, to make a long story short,  I soon had miniature locomotive and trucks whizzing around HO scale track which grew in length, and all the while, I steadily enhanced  my layout creating scenery and using other accessories  such as, model houses, stations and industrial buildings, all accompanied by  miniature people etc.   I was aided and abetted in this task by my mother who made me gifts of all these extras at birthdays and Christmas  times!  However, something was lacking, after-all you can only send trains around the layout  for a whilewells2 before boredom sets in………I wanted something more! 


And then I found it, the veritable “Holy Grail” for those possessing a historical interest and wanting to “do history”  with miniature soldiers!  Whilst perusing an issue of “Model Railroader” magazine I came across an article by one, Joseph Morschauser, in which he described how he had created an American Civil War layout on which he reenacted the battles of that period using miniature figures with a set of rules which he had devised!


Best of all he had published his own rules in a book entitled “How to Play War Games in Miniature”  which I duly became the proud owner of!  It is still in my possession today, holding pride of place on my bookshelf.  It was the beginning of a lifelong interest and “love affair” devoted to  “playing with toy soldiers”

robert-louis-stevensonAnother “Victorian Gentleman” worthy of note in our “war gaming universe” is Robert Louis Stevenson, a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer. His most famous works are Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Little mention is made however, of the fact that one of his favourite past-times was war-gaming, to which he devoted countless hours of his life both as a child and as an adult

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Matthews Painting Blog

Plogs of War

The Wombat, Newsletter of the Eastern Province Wargames Group

Stuart Tank
Rodney Wells ECWG Wombat July August 1987


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July August  1987

September October 1987

November December 1987

January February  1988

Shawn Comrie and I have already begun a kind of “collaboration” in  placing useful resources as well on this page.  Your comments, contributions etc. are also invited and most welcome (just use the commenting facility below.)  Let us share the wealth of our knowledge and expertise in our unique hobby!

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A Free Resource which will enable you to chronicle your battles with ease!   Please also feel free to create your own Battle reports for submission to this page!

Send them to me at  and for now I will endeavour to publish them here! We would specifically welcome them! (Don’t let this deter you but please note that all contributions will be moderated to help ensure a high standard.) You can also use the commenting facility to add captions to existing albums for consideration.

Archive of published Photo Albums Here you can post comments  on the photos and download them for your personal collection.

Anglo Boer War Whiskey Siege

Battle of Waterloo (Captions please!)

Memoir-44 Highlights

(more albums to come) * Important note:  should club members feel uncomfortable about specific personal   photos of themselves in these albums, please communicate this to me as soon as possible and I will ensure that they are removed.  Remember your privacy is always respected!

Finnish National Archives (courtesy of Darryn)

Interesting Links:

The Game that can Give you 10 Extra Years

Gaming can make a better World

A Game that Heals

If your curiosity is insatiable and you are academically inclined:

Mouse-over and click on images 2 and 3

Kings CollegeDept War StudiesCauses of War Course

War Studies

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Getting into the Laager

“Getting into the Laager” – by Robin Lamplough

The concept of the wagon circle has a history which stretches back much further than the late 19th century .

By Robin Lamplough


Anyone who has done even a little reading about the British Army’s tank corps during the Second World War will be aware that, while awaiting action or further direction armoured vehicles were often drawn up in a defensive circle called a laager.

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Optio Battle Report – Justin Swanton

By 486 the Western Roman Empire had been reduced to four provinces in northern Gaul: Lugdunensis II, Lugdunenis III, Lugdunensis IV Senona and Belgica II. These were governed by Afranius Syagrius, senator, whose father Aegidius had been supreme commander of the imperial army in Gaul.

To the north in Belgium the young chief of the Salian Franks of Tournai, Clovis, had formed a confederation of all the Frankish tribes on the west of the Rhine with the purpose of defeating Syagrius and conquering Roman Gaul. The two armies met near Soissons to decide the fate of western Europe. Let the thumpery begin!

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