My first experience of wargaming came when I was seven years old and other children brought in unpainted lead figures and fought battles by bashing them together like conkers, and maneuvered using the shapes on the top of a drainage inspection cover as a gameboard.

The figures themselves were endlessly mysterious, and in their presence the common manhole cover became the beachhead of another world; an arena where the champions of playful young gods did battle on the grids and diamonds of a cosmic chessboard, or leaping between crowded archipelagos of iron islands rising from a sea of dust.