Farragut’s Kornegay,Turkey Creek club fight 30 Years’ War in miniature form

Jerry Kornegay frantically motioned for his Polish unit to run. They disappeared one by one into the dark cover of Germany’s Black Forest. They burst into the German camp. They attacked, thrusting German soldiers through with their swords. The year was 1630. Kornegay was 12 years into the 30 Years’ War.

Kornegay’s Polish unit is Protestant and they’re constantly fighting the German Catholics, even though the 30 Years’ War was over centuries ago.

Kornegay, a Farragut resident, moved his men — half-inch figures — on a tabletop at Hobby Town in Turkey Creek on Saturday, Sept. 2. With the retired Air Force major were the commanders of the Swedes, the French, the Spanish, the Austrians, the Russians and the Ottoman Turks, otherwise known as members of the Historic Gaming Society of Knoxville.

On the table lay the rule book for “By Fire and Sword,” a historical war game. Directing the game was Karl Shanstrom, a doctor from Missouri, who is the distributor for the game in the United States and was in Knox County for the special Saturday event.

“We’re retired mostly so we play on Fridays,” Kornegay said, “but we also play on one Saturday a month. One college-aged kid who’s been participating is about to go back into the army and a high-schooler participates. It’s free and we’re open to the public. We tend to have younger people for special events on Saturday because they’re out of school. The parents will drop their kids off and go shopping.

“We play ancient; we play American West; we play 20th century; we play American Revolution, Napoleonic; [World War]I and WW II airplanes; pirates. We do WW II Navy; we do WW II; we do Japanese Samuri; we do gangsters.

“I have about 100 [figures],” Kornegay said. “A mixture of infantry and cavalry.”

His friend, Ed Bardill, a retired Army officer, 30-year-war gamer, and founder of the Turkey Creek group, has about 100.

“It’s a way of learning history,” Bardill said. “Why did certain things happen the way they did? You have a chance to change history. I’ve won Picket’s Charge on the third day.”

“The easiest way to get involved is to get a copy of the rules,” Karl said. “[Get] an army and pick a country you enjoy playing. The six main armies are listed in the main rule book, but we have an expansion with three new armies and we have a couple stand-alone books.”

Karl said you basically need a rule book for about $60, a starter army from $50 to $75, some paints and some time.

“To play a game you need about 30 figures,” he said, “that cost 80 cents apiece. I’ve got Polish infantry and cavalry and a German mercenary group.”

The participants paint the figures in correct uniform colors, some even dotting on miniscule buttons.

“Painting time depends on how much detail you put into it,” Kornegay said. “I’m 74 years old. I’ve got my WW II British that are solid brown. That takes about half a minute. I’ve got 30 Years War figures I painted separate colors and each figure has five to six colors. That takes longer. We also play with 28 millimeter figures.”

“Game days on Saturdays are open to the public,” Bardill said. “[Visitors] can play. We’ll guide them through. It costs them nothing. I’ll meet interested participants and do a demo game for free at Hobby Town.”