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The theme for Williamsburg Muster 2019 is High Adventure - Warfare and Conflict between the Great Wars (1919-1939)

The period between 1919 and 1939 may sometimes be overlooked by wargamers and historians. After all, two of the major events in the 20th century took place prior to 1919, and after 1939. Those, of course are the Great War, and then the follow up act, World War 2. It is a mistake, for wargamers, to ignore this period in between, as there are lots and lots of historical incidents and history that make for good military studies and the source material for military and adventure gaming.

Starting, of course, with the Russian Civil War, a tremendous conflict that has many wargamers as devotees, with rulesets, miniatures, board games, and lots of historical material. Related, however, are the wars between the nascent Russian Communist power and her neighboring nation states. If one is willing to stretch a point, and include “what if’ scenarios, then Russia dealing with the remains of Turkey, or vs. a revitalized US or other powers from the West might be interesting gaming, but most of the western allies were depleted from the great war. The relations between Russia and the Chinese Warlords of the east is a very interesting study, see the great book Setting the East Ablaze by Peter Hopkirk.

China and Spain went through civil wars during this period, and each has its own flavor, as well as many different possibilities for wargaming. The rise of mechanized warfare was happening at this time, so aircraft and motorized vehicles (including armoured cars and tanks) are becoming more and more prevalent.

The strange naval arms race that took place against the backdrop of the Washington Treaty is a very interesting thing to consider for wargaming. But also, land operations in faraway foreign stations. Think of the Sand Pebbles, or events involving German colonial stations in the Far East. The American expeditions into Nicaragua and Haiti are also examples of small wars that can inspire great wargaming.

The final days of the British Empire (before it’s inevitable collapse during and following the Second World War) make for great scenarios and wargaming possibilities. Afghanistan is, as usual, always a ripe location for gaming in this time period.

Also, pulp type adventures are on the rise at this time period – think of fictional stories like Raiders of the Lost Ark, or Tales of the Gold Monkey. These were based, in a small way, on some of the real life exploits of adventurers like the American Roy Chapman Andrews, hunting dinosaur remains in Mongolia (with an armed expedition driving Dodge motor cars in the Gobi desert, and encountering local bandits and worse). The much neglected movie, “The High Road to China” is also great fodder for ideas.

The rise of Japan in the east in the 1930s brings with it all sorts of adventure and wargaming ideas, and even more so with a little imagination, and a little bending of historical possibilities.

We wanted to focus on this period for our 2019 convention, as the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Interwar period. We hope to see some gaming set in these different milieus – come along for the history, and for the wargaming!

A theme for our convention doesn't mean that those are the only games you'll see - far from it. But it gives us a time period to think about, and also something for Game Masters to focus on, if they are undecided.

Will we have our usual WW2, Ancients, Civil War (American and English) and other periods well represented? Of course. But take time to look for those Middle Ages games that are being run. They are ALWAYS fun and interesting.

Williamsburg Muster 2019
February 15-17, 2019
Williamsburg, Virginia

2019 Theme:
High Adventure 1919-1939