Google’s searchable archive of LIFE magazine images provides a few images of board, or paper, wargames, as opposed to field exercises:
Dated 1915, the image is captioned:
Group of English gentlemen and soldiers of the 25th London Cyclist Regiment playing the newest form of wargame strategy simulation called “Bellum” at the regimental HQ.
One battalion of the 25th shipped off to India during World War I and later served in the 3rd Afghan War—though sadly, without their bicycles.
And, of course, the RAND Institute makes an appearance:
Scientists play at war strategy in mock air and missile battle to clarify problems of offense and defense.
Talk about a deluxe map . . . though those counters don’t look clipped, and having beverages right on the map is a definite wargaming faux pas.
I’m sure there are a few more good wargaming images in that archive.
(Images from Google’s LIFE Magazine archive.)