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Thursday, 8 August 2013

Wargaming Compendium, a review.

Moving on from my last post regarding reading material, I was lucky enough to receive my copy of Henry Hyde's WARGAMING COMPENDIUM from Amazon over a week ago.
 Some people complain about Amazon,but I couldn't fault their service. I have had this book ordered for months, and they kindly sold me it at the original ordered price of £16.00!
 Anyway, I should firstly confess I have only read the first six chapters. It is a very large book of over 500 pages, and I only read when I go to bed, so my time is limited.
 First impressions are very good.
 I must confess, I am a bit biased as I had a run in with Mr Hyde over two years ago, and I wasn't impressed with his rudeness, however I wont let it detract from his efforts.
 The idea is a very good one.
 The majority of wargamers are of an age that they assume everyone knows what wargaming is about, the scales, rule ideas and general concepts including how to collect and paint figures.
 This is a flawed assumption, and if we wargamers want things to carry on and actually grow then we need to be able to point new gamers in the right direction. This book fills that void admirably.

   Mr Hyde, starts with a brief history of the hobby, a good place to start, and then leads the reader through various books etc. that helped shape the hobby. This again is a great idea, as hopefully newer gamers can explore these ideas. I particularly liked his recommendation of Achtung Schwienhund, one of my favourite wargaming books.
 He then leads us methodically through choosing a period, and how to create battlefields. These seem pretty obvious to veteran gamers, but if you are just starting out, this is great.
 From there the book leads us to assembling our forces, scales costs etc, all obvious but a good way to educate a new wargamer.
 I am currently on the chapter regarding campaigns, skirmishes, etc using rules.
 Again basic ideas, but very relevant.
  Amongst the detail in the book is the influences of Games Workshop, fantasy etc, and also the current trend in rules.All very relevant.
 Would I recommend this book, from reading just the first six chapters,with another five still to go?
 Yes I would.
 Although it doesn't have the style of Charles Grant and the Wargame, or the panache of Peter Young and Charge. It definitely has a place in the wargamers library.
 
 If I had obtained this book in the mid 1970's I would have read it to death.
 All you need to start wargaming is there.
 Most importantly for fathers looking to get their children into the hobby, or for a person attempting to interest a friend or neighbour then this book should help a lot.
 The book currently retails for £35.00, but at least it will be relevant for a few years unlike some similarly priced rules.
Any criticisms? Henry Hyde names figure manufacturers, and I know there are a great number.
 However, regularly citing Perry, Warlord, Victrix, Bacchus tends to point new persons naturally in that direction.
 As regards great value for new wargamers, one can not look past Old Glory and Irregular Miniatures.
 Still only a minor gripe.
 Definitely worth a punt, but I still think Mr Hyde was rude.



10 comments:

  1. An unbiased and candid review - fair comment, I think. To be honest, given the back story, I'd have given the book a swerve, so I think you've paid HH a complement to begin with.

    However, I'm a bit long in the tooth to part with anywhere from £22 to £35 to be told something I already know. It does seem popular with 'veteran' gamers though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gary, the price is going to put a lot of people off, but Im certain that in a couple of months the price will have dropped.
      Thanks Robbie.

      Delete
  2. Robbie- A good review- tells me there is nothing there for me, I've never quiet "got" wargamibng books once you get past the classics and while those are on myshelves i now rarely refer to them.
    I suppose I don't really have a "WARGAMING" library its mostly History and Art . I'd love to know who will buy this other than the already converted- I can't see much of John Q Public dropping 30 quid. Auntie Mable may not drop the same amount for young Tarquins Birthday- even if she can find a copy - especially as he wants X-BOX Vampire Killers Bloodfest vol 27 ..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andy,
      I would love to have a poke through your library, I'm certain there are some books in there that you don't care for. How about a Savory at a knock down price?
      Thanks Robbie.

      Delete
    2. Robbie I'll keep my Savary thanks..and Skrine and Boney Fuller. Though I do have a few doubles in my Almarks collection.
      Even though I'm off gaming funny hats I'm keeping the books as I might get interested again.... nut in 40mm perhaps...

      Delete
  3. Thanks for the review, I'd never even heard of this tome before.
    I suspect there will be little of value in it for me though like you I may have considered it years ago. I thought the price at £16 was very reasonable and may have even had me having second thought on purchasing it, but if its current retail price is over £30, I'll definitely be giving it a miss.
    I reckon it's aimed at the "grown-up" GW fantasy wargamer wanting to get into historic wargaming. It seems to be the typical overpriced glossy type of thing for those with too much money they would buy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now Joe don't be a cynic, I know you'd spend £30.00 to see the black and white's, and that cant be much fun.The book is not bad honestly.
      Thanks Robbie.

      Delete
  4. I bought it out of curiosity and am glad I didn't pay full whack for it. Some nice pictures but now I've read it not sure I will ever refer to it again.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Colin,
    you can always put it in the toilet, and read it at your leisure. I find I do my best reading on the throne.
    Thanks Robbie

    ReplyDelete

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.

My 6mm Napoleonic set up.
Austria 1809.

Austrian Hussars

Austrian Hussars
Hinchliffe figures

Austrian Grenzer

Austrian Grenzer
Austrian Grenzer

Smoggycon 2013

Smoggycon 2013
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Smoggycon 2012

Smoggycon 2012
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Smoogycon 2009

Smoogycon 2009
My French getting another beating