Press Release: Wally Simon’s Secrets Of Wargame Design

Russ Lockwood has just published a booklet entitled: Wally Simon’s SECRETS OF WARGAME DESIGN: A Tabletop Toolkit of Ideas, Analysis, and Rule Mechanics (Volume 1). As you may know, Wally Simon was one of the founders of Historical Miniatures Gaming Society (in the USA), hosting the first meeting in his basement. A statistician by trade, he used his mathematical skills to analyse probabilities within wargame mechanics. “Wally’s Basement” at the HMGS Historicon conventions is named after him. With 25 years of work to draw on, this is the first in a series a ‘best of’ booklets that explore the nuts and bolts of wargame design as seen through his eyes.

Wally Simon's Secrets Of Wargame Design - Volume 1 CoverPress Release: SECRETS OF WARGAME DESIGN: A Tabletop Toolkit of Ideas, Analysis, and Rule Mechanics (Volume 1) From the Center for Provocative Wargaming… For decades, Wally Simon helped shape miniatures wargaming through Potomac Wargamers Review — his monthly photocopied newsletter that analyzed the mechanics of wargame rules. First published in the 1970s, PWR ran monthly through August 2002, delving into the nuts and bolts of how rules worked — and how they did not. Published rules, home-grown rules, and even his own rules came under scrutiny as he created, destroyed, and tweaked rules mechanisms to try and ‘produce a game which keeps all players continually busy and interested in what’s going on.’ In Volume 1, we offer an introduction to ‘Wally Rules’ and a dozen of his best articles pulled from the pages of PWR. Stuffed full of ideas, concepts, and rules mechanics covering wargaming action across all eras, they offer provocative wit, wisdom, and imagination to help you tweak an existing set of rules or create your own rules to make a better wargame.


  • Wally Rules: The Search for Tabletop Perfection
  • ACW Telescoping Battlefield: Battleline Melee, Reaction Points, and the d6 Crowd
  • Renaissancing The Rules: Support, Rally Zones, and River Crossings
  • Revolutionary Morale: Reaction Levels, Cards, and AWI Battles
  • The Parade Ground Indian Mutiny: Loyalty Quotients and Rally Points
  • Pushing Panzers in WWII: Barbarossa Ho! Thunder From The Sky Artillery
  • The Theory Of Melee: Routs, Rallies, and ‘Rithmetic
  • Card Movement Systems: Wild West Gunfights and British Colonials
  • Ancient City Fight: Gridded Play, Reinforcements, and a Melee Template
  • Ancient Country Fight: Nodes, Battle Boards, and Command Points
  • Great Napoleonic Thoughts: National Characteristics and Quantitative Playability
  • Big Picture Siege Game: A Variable Time Strategy Idea
  • Sixth Sense For Sequences Of Play: Options, Consequences, and the Future

Edited by Russ Lockwood; 60 pages; 2012; Retail Price: US$19.00. Available from On Military Matters.

Update: Volume 2 Available.

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