Simon Hall started collecting toy soldiers when he was 8 and played his first wargame at the age of 11 – after which he was hooked. He was born in Burnley, Lancashire, UK, was an early member of Burnley Wargames Club and a regular at Peter Gilder’s original Wargames Holiday Centre. Like many wargamers, he RPG’d his way through university, and spent too much time at Treasure Trap (the UK’s first live roleplaying group, based at Peckforton Castle in Cheshire … which is now a hi-end hotel). After a slow period with the hobby through his first 10 years of work, he returned to the hobby more seriously in 1994 and joined the UK competition circuit.
After winning the World DBM Championship three times (2000 in Epsom, 2002 in Durban, and 2004 in Rome), he was part of a team of three asked to create a set of rules for Osprey Publishing – Field of Glory. In 2016, he set up The-Wargames-Zone and published Mortem et Gloriam. He also published two board games (Caveman and Colors), launching these at the very first UK Games Expo and at Spiel Essen.
Mortem et Gloriam (MeG) has grown to well over 1000 regular players worldwide. MeG has a strong following in the UK, Greece, Belgium, France, USA and Australia, with regular competitions in each of these countries. The team have developed over 650 army lists to go with the rules. In 2019, MeG won second place in The Ancient & Medieval Wargamer’s Facebook poll, ‘What do you play for Ancients?’, with players especially liking its speed of play and the realistic feel of different armies. The ruleset had its first international World Championships, with players from as far afield as California and Australia joining those from Europe at Simon’s Skull Rollers Jamboree hosted by Battlefield Hobbies.
Simon is interested all periods of military history, encompassing both battle games and 1-to-1 skirmish games, and has built up quite a collection of models and figures ranging from 2000 BC New Kingdom Egyptians through to all the armies of WW2. In 2018, he purchased Lurkio Miniatures from his good friend Simon Clarke, which has an excellent reputation for metal 15mm figures.
In his other careers, Simon was a partner of two leading strategy and management consultancy firms before setting up his own company New World in 2009. He has worked in over 40 countries and 30 industries. He retired from mainstream work in 2016 to allow him more time to focus on his two passions of wargaming and music. Now 55, he lives with his wife Magdalene and his two daughters, Sascha and Esme, near Cape Town in South Africa, rolling skull dice in the sunshine while developing rules.
Take a look around Simon’s wargames room in the short film below…
Praise for Mortem et Gloriam
“MeG is simply the Most Elegant Game ever. Marvelous. Excellent. Genius.” Kostas Konstantoulakis, Greece
“I love the inter-activity of the unique system with its alternate play – it keeps you engaged with plays, counters and bluffs.” Renaud Cordier, France
“A ruleset for all armies – I can use armies I love that I haven’t used in over 20 years.” Peter Cross, UK
“Easy to learn but has depth to satisfy the tournament player, and a big-battle feel like no other system I have played.” Ray Duggins, UK
“La meilleure règle antique-médiévale et le meilleur recueil de listes de tous les temps!” “(The best set of ancients rules and the best set of lists ever!)” Bruno Masson, France
“In 40yrs, MeG is the most enjoyable and historically representative ruleset I have played. Every army has its character. I cannot praise the rule system enough. Carl Taylor, Australia
“MeG has re-ignited my interest in Ancients – projects deferred for a decade have been restarted as well as new ones begun.” James Hamilton (2007 IWF World Champion), UK
“MeG is the only ruleset that has ever got skirmishers right. It puts all troop types – Egyptian chariots, Parthian horse archers or Roman artillery – into their correct historical role” Dean Bedlington, Olympus Games, Australia
“You know this is the best Ancients game you’ve ever played. Let’s get more gamers who know it.” Dave Lauerman, USA
“MeG is renowned for its innovative mechanisms. But the most radical aspect has been the open community that has allowed enthusiasts from all over the world to contribute to perfecting the rules and the army lists – making them the best ever.” Rob Smith, USA
“I’ve never had such fun and felt such army character coming through in games – almost every game is really close” Myako Isaki, Japan