Wednesday, September 4, 2013

RIP Donald Featherstone (1918-2013)

My own small Featherstone collection
Apparently Donald Featherstone died yesterday of a fall at his home. He was 98 years old.

For those who don't recognize the name, Donald Featherstone is one of the founding figures of modern miniatures wargaming. He wrote more that 40 books on the subject, edited War Game Digest, held the first wargaming convention in the UK, and generally inspired literally generations of gamers. Certainly the fathers of the roleplaying side of the hobby owe him a huge debt.

His books (pictured) were the first I ever bought on the subject of miniatures gaming, at a used bookstore for the princely price of $2 each. I've never met him and never corresponded with him, but I will still miss him.


Chris Strasser said...

Thanks for the update. He probably had influence that I never saw but took for granted.

Herb Nowell said...

Wow, that is a sad passing but I'll admit if you'd asked I would have said he had already passed.

That green, white, and black version of Wargames is one I sought out through interlibrary loan circa 1980 and hand copied all the rules before returning it ( I couldn't afford the $0.10/sheet the copies would have been ). Those copied pages are long lost but I remember them (and the relief that melee and moral rules were the same for all periods), the Hyperborean campaign description, and the use of flats for ancients.

While not nearly as influential as D&D or hex and chit gaming to my involvement in this hobby I think it's significant that I thought I had to get into minis a little to be in the hobby and that the starting point for that should be Featherstone.

You could do worse even today.

Edward Wilson said...

That green-white-black cover Wargames is the first wargaming book I ever bought and it started me off on a journey. I still have it. I loved the use of flats for ancients as well, particularly as I'd never seen them before.

The Degenerate Elite said...

Very sad news. I am in a Featherstone and Joe Morchauser Napoleonics kick currently.

He leaves an impressive legacy.