Wednesday 28 May 2014

Tabletop Games

Ok, well the previous posts clears the Old School games out of the way, and I can get into the meat of the next stage of this blog.

Tabletop Games, had been a new comer to the wargames scene in the early 70's, Kate told us (new boys) that the company had grown out of Bob's dissatisfaction with the currently available wargames rules for the Napoleonic period that he playing at competitive level at that time.
Quite what his beef was with the sets they were using I never got to the bottom of, ask him and you get a mumbled responses about "riflemen lying down" and the only way you could "kill them, was with Lancers..."  quiet why this got at him I have no idea... but it did, so when in 1973 Bob won the National Napoleonic title, and I assume, as part of team, was invited to host the following years tournament, he threw away the old rule set and wrote his own.

Bob's rules for Napoleonic warfare were used at the 1974 National Championship.At first they were just given away to competitors, but reaction must have been favourable, because shortly after they were being published by the infant Tabletop Games.
Cover by Rodger Heaton

Tabletop in seems was a partnership at its inception, Bob of course wrote the rules, and the other Partner, Rodger Heaton did all the illustrations.
Kate also told a tale about Richard Butler being there at the start of the company, but not becoming a partner in the business at the last moment because of the finance necessary.
Richard would later go on to write his own set of Napoleonic wargames rules used for National Championship games, To the Sound of the Guns, which TTG published, and Bob and He would remain firm friends.
Richard was one of the few people who wouldn't stop when arriving at the shop, he'd hustle on through to the back rooms without stopping, not even noticing the bemused wooden-top shop assistant sitting on the stool, with his speechless mouth open...

When or how the split with Rodger occurred I don't know; all the early games (series 1 & series 2) had an address given as Ruddington, which is a couple of miles outside central Nottingham, which I'm assuming is his, and all these early games, and many of the early rule sets published, used his illustrations as covers, or scattered though-out the text. By the late 70's Rodger seems to have dropped out of TTG leaving Bob and Kate as the sole proprietors, to run the business from the home on Acton Road in Arnold.

OK then, back after a short break, with the early TTG micro-games, and all the other products of the late 70's and early 80's

Interested in reading Bob's Napoleonic rules?
Check them out here on Scribd.