Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Donald Featherstone, March 20, 1918 - September 3, 2013

Woke up this morning to a note on the Too Fat Lardies list (and confirmation on Wargames Illustrated's Facebook page) of the passing of Don Featherstone.

Most gamers of my era, I suspect, cut their teeth on his prolific output of wargaming books: I certainly did, blessed by the fact that whoever did the buying for our village library clearly thought it was a good idea, as there were at the very least copies of Skirmish WargamingWar Game Campaigns, Solo Wargaming, Advanced Wargaming, several of the Tank Battles In Miniature series, and probably others. I don't think I ever actually played anything from any of the books (except for a hazy memory of the school club using the Wild West rules from Solo Wargaming), but... oh, the inspiration. And the sense of 'where the <deleted> does he get all those figures for periods Airfix don't make from?' :D

He was a leading light and inspiration in the hobby for many years, editing War Games Digest, running the first UK wargames convention... The list goes on. His books and thoughts on the hobby probably permeate everything we do as wargamers, even now, even if you're too young to have heard of him or only play Warhammer,

Happily, many of his books are being republished via John Curry's History of Wargaming project. I do strongly commend them to anyone who hasn't read them: the rules may be of their time, but the concepts and ideas behind them are still as inspiring as ever.

RIP, and thank you, Don.

8 comments:

  1. Yes a sad passing of an inspiration to a our generation.

    He inspired us to write rules as well as play them.

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  2. Yes a sad passing of an inspiration to a our generation.

    He inspired us to write rules as well as play them.

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  3. A sad day for the hobby, I always loved his Solo Wargaming book in particular.
    If immortality is measured by the lives you touch, he will indeed live on for many years to come.

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  4. Well said Mike. Rest in Peace, Don.

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  5. I can only agree. A giant of the hobby whose influence is incalculable.

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  6. A sad day indeed, the father of modern wargaming and well-known across the world

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  7. I somehow thought he'd outlast me! He's always been around since i first began gaming. I think I'll miss him more than any other of the pioneers.

    At least he was spared the indignity which often accompanies old age, thank God.

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  8. He was an inspiration to me, and his work encouraged me to write my own rules. Our local librarian also had the good sense to stock his books. He'll be sadly missed.

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