Thursday 8 August 2013
Wargaming Compendium, a review.
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.