Sunday, April 21, 2013

Strategie & Taktik: Des Spiels mit Bleisoldaten

Here's a period curiosity, an old book about playing wargames with toy soldiers. Kindly offered as a free download from, located here.

Unfortunately, I can't read much of the German text in the old script and apparently neither can the translation program cope with the pdf format.  Perhaps that's no great loss as according to the forward by Ralf Wlaka, the author's rambling ode to playing wargames with toy soldiers doesn't really live up to what seems to be promised by the cover. In other words, Dr. Floericke's musings don't hit the mark for anyone looking for a useable set of wargaming rules.

Still, from what I can superficially glean from the text and the attractive drawings of flats or home cast figures of the day, combined with some formation diagrams, battle maps and OOB's, it's the sort of  book I'd like to read regardless of how dated.

Oddly enough, Strategie und Taktik dates to 1917.  I have to share Mr. Wloka's puzzlement about the timing, publishing a book about playing wargames with tin soldiers in a Germany suffering from blockade and beaten down by three years of horrendous casualty lists. He puts it rather well, "Perhaps this work is also just a good indication of how little real war - contrary to the opinions of the war-game opponents - has actually to do with the Zinnsoldatenspiel."


  1. Fascinating! A translation would be most welcome. I wonder if this had been in the works earlier? If not, one is reminded of Paul's teacher urging the boys to sign up in All Quiet.

  2. Very curious ! pity not translatable

  3. Glad that you found it of interest, guys. Floericke has a modest Wikipedia page in English. He was a naturalist, several of his books on zoological subjects are referenced, but not this one.


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  5. Dear Steve, I could translate that for you. It is an easy, old-fashioned german as you find in instructional texts in old school books. If you are seriously interested, just give me 2 weeks.

  6. Dear Peter,

    Good to hear from you. Thanks for the information, interesting that it's written in simple textbook style, perhaps intended for younger readers.

    Yes, it would be wonderful if you can do the translation. I know that I and others not proficient in German would really appreciate it. Any additions to the English library of Old School wargaming literature are welcome even if it doesn't rival H.G. Wells.

    No rush, whenever you can make time for it would be fine.