The Pony Wars collection

I was asked about the Pony Wars collection quite a few times over the last few years and a final enquiry from the other side of the pond galvanised me to put up some photos of the collection.

These were used as one day games between the Napoleonic and WWII to my knowledge. Peter Gilder used a simple set of rules that allowed the Cavalry to move around in troops, with dismounted options to engage the “Hostiles”. The Plains Indians worked on a rotation basis, with clouds of warriors appearing and disappearing as the cards (used to determine occurrences) and the cavalry intervention played it’s part.

All sorts of scenarios were devised by Peter and enjoyed by many attendees at the Wargames Holiday Centre over the years.

There are 130 Indian Mounted warriors, colorfully adorned with warpaint, 105 mounted Cavalry and 100 dismounted, the man himself, Custer. 8 Scouts, 8 mules, a gatling gun, 6 open order cavalry men, 5 settlers wagons, 6 Teepee’s and the Fort. (someone is bound to ask)

So for nostalgia sake, here they are in all their glory.

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10 Responses to The Pony Wars collection

  1. JJ says:

    Jeez! I remember these guys from early Miniature Wargames under Duncan MacFarlane. One of the Indian chiefs even made the front coveted cover photo.
    Not my bag but the one day games must have been a welcome breather from the “heavy” Napoleonic slugfests.

  2. Steve says:

    Hi – I was always lead to believe that Peter used “Pony Wars” with the random generated Indian enemy as the basis for his Sudan rules…. some more stuff here…..

    • Mark Freeth says:

      I believe you are right, I have play sheets that are identical, where one side says Indians and the other mahdists.

      Great fun!

      Thanks for the blog link by the way, very good!

      I hope you enjoyed the images.


  3. Brian Southwell says:

    Great memories!

    Remember in the early days at Scarborough. You would end at 5 – rush to the hotel for dinner – be back for 7.30pm to find Pony wars or similar set up and play till 10.30!!!!
    Great fun

    Bloody exhausting for Peter though, not that we thought about that at the time!

  4. Huw Jones says:

    In the first decade of the Wargames Holiday Center, starting in 1980, the gaming was based around a week holiday, I don’t recall there being weekends until the late 80s.

    I used to go there 1-3 weeks a years every year 1980-89, not been since, one day though, soon hopefully.

    The weekly games would normally be a mixed bag, depending on what the players agreed on, normally Napoleonic, sometimes an Amercian Civil War, occasionally a WW2 game.

    Sometimes there would be a specific period week or a campaign week.

    There would be three one day games, then a big 2 day game.

    After a few years, Peter brought in the third day as the Sudan game on the mixed weeks, if the players agreed, all the players on one side, Peter throwing the dice for the random Sudanese side.

    A few years later he decided to use the same rules, for the pony wars, same set up.

    I never went back to the holiday center at night though, I only played there in the daytime.


  5. Dean Whitehouse says:

    Mark.These are great to see in all their glory. Thank’s for posting them. I’ve had a quick look at them before on visits to the WHC. Also remeber them as a younger lad from Scarborough days. And from the early Miniature Wargames.
    I love all the advancements in figures within the hobby over the years. But i still believe that Gilder’s figures have never been bested for animation and flavour. As lots of your collecrtion shows. Even though the troopers are a bit Hollywood, they give a great idea of what they were like. Particularly like the dismounted trooopers. Blasting away with the Colt’s after the Sharp’s carbines have all jammed. And still probably not hitting anything!!!
    And of course, the Airfix fort. Great.
    Never mind the old age excuses. Get a loads of carry outs in and get some games on in the evening!
    Better yet, how about a ‘Colonial’ weekend for the diary? There’s Pony wars, Sudan, Zulus, Indian Mutiny and Sikh wars. Period in the morning, one in the afternoon. March along the Nile, Relief of the Residency, or Get That Other Napoleon Sorted (by the Zulus!).
    Now, that’s the whole Flashman Canon covered……………..
    Great stuff.


  6. Dean Whitehouse says:

    Apologies. I blame sausage fingers for the poor grammar and spelling.
    Anyone who’s seen my figure painting will back that up……………

  7. Norman Asquith says:

    Have a heap of 15mm Pony Wars troopers and Indians. Know of any buyers ? Not expecting much for them.

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