Saturday, 27 December 2008

1938: A Very British Civil War - The Source Book

Having spotted various posts on the Gentleman's Wargames Parlour on a British Civil War in an alternative 1930's and having an interest in the inter-war period this booklet was a must.

Solway Crafts and Miniatures have published the source book by Dr Rob Jones, Steven Mortimore and Simon Douglas and are making it available through their eBay shop. The 48 page booklet is glossy with colour photographs and illustations throughout (although the resolution of some of the images could have been better - a little blurry for my liking).

The source book, which is not rules specific, provides a background for an alternative history where Edward VIII did not abdicate and caused a constitutional crisis leading to a civil war. The run up to the conflict is nicely laid out and then short sections are included on each of the various factions covering their organisation, arms & equipment, uniforms and rule possibilities. These are then followed by 10 scenarios, a couple of pages of just photos, suggestions for figures and a quick "Over to You" section.

This is a fascinating period of history and the booklet provides a background and sufficient information for a few games; however, it clear the intent is to provide a jumping off point for gamers to develop their own specific ideas focussed on their own particular areas of interest.

I did find the sections on each faction are a little repetitive in places but the inclusion of illustations for the various flags and banners was a lovely touch and the photos, which are mainly of painted 28mm figures certainly demonstrate the possibilities.

I really enjoyed the ideas included in the source book and it has certainly got me thinking about gaming in the 1938 world. I found the book provided just enough information for me to make it useable (give me the kick start I would need to actually get a game to the table) but no so much as to constrain any creative ideas of your own.

If you are looking for an alternative to the historical conflicts of the period and would like something closer to home then this may be the book for you. It retails for £10.99 plus £1.50 P&P.


  1. Bought the book myself - fantastic stuff. It provides enough detail to inspire, but not to hinder your own "what ifs".
    I also bought several of the flag sheets from Solway. Unfortunately they suffer from the same pixelated blurr as the images in the book. Particularly the more complex flags such as the Communist banners. I would be very keen on buying more if Solway redo their ranges with hand-drawn variants. Until then however I wouldn't recommend them unless as templates to create your own.

  2. Thanks for the tip - I was a little on the fence about whether to do my own flags or get their's.