Monday, 13 February 2012

Simulating War

Last week Tim Gow wrote a blog entry on his blog 'Megablitz and more' about Professor Philip Sabin's latest book, SIMULATING WAR. As soon as I read that the book had been published I ordered a copy ... and it arrived in the post today.


The book examines the analytical and modelling techniques used in the design and development of conflict simulations (AKA wargames)and explains how to apply them. It also features several relatively simple simulations (AKA wargames) of specific historical conflicts. These are:
  • Second Punic War: a multi-player political simulation of the Second Punic War
  • Roma Invicta?: a simulation of the first two years of Hannibal's Italian campaign
  • Big Week: a simulation of the US Army Air Force's bombing raids into Germany on 25th February 1944
  • Hell's Gate: a simulation of the Battle of the Korsun Pocket (January and February 1944)
  • Fire and Movement: a grand tactical simulation of an attack by a British infantry battalion during the period 1943 to 1945
  • Block Busting: a simulation of low-level urban fighting during World War 2
  • Angels One Five: a grand tactical simulation of an escorted bomber formation during the Second World War
On the basis of these games alone, this book is well worth buying.

Coming as it does so soon after the publication of John Curry's INNOVATIONS IN WARGAMING VOL. 1: DEVELOPMENTS IN PROFESSIONAL AND HOBBY WARGAMES, one is tempted to hope that this book is the harbinger of a time when wargaming is no longer regarded with a certain degree of derision by people who think of themselves as being 'serious' students of military history.

10 comments:

  1. Looks worth a purchase.

    I've placed my order already!!

    I'm re-writing an old ancient set of rules at the moment as well as collecting Republican Roman and Carthaginian armies.

    I've also written (with friends) a ruleset for use with B17s and B24s over Europe which are due a rehash soon.

    Getting Professor Sabins viewpoint in these areas will be very useful.

    Jim

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  2. Jim Duncan,

    I have used Phil Sabin's 'Lost Battles' rules (actually with Phil, who lives only a few miles away from me) and although I am not a great fan of Ancients, I enjoyed losing to Phil!

    I am giving serious thought to trying out his 'Hell's Gate' game using my Hexon II terrain and Megablitz figures and vehicles, and if I do I will write a blog entry about it.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  3. Looks like another book to add to my collection. Especially interested in the WW2 bomber game. Thanks for the heads up.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

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  4. Pete,

    The book is not cheap but I think that is is well worth the money.

    I hope that you enjoy reading it and playing the various games it contains.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. For what it's worth Bob- I've just read your chapter on 'Innovations in Wargaming', really liked it you make some good points. Should help when I try to write some campaign rules of my own....

    Cheers,

    Pete.

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  6. Peter,

    You are too kind! I hope that you find what I wrote helpful.

    The chapter started life as notes for a talk at COW (the Conference of Wargamers) some years ago. I then turned it into an article that was printed in 'The Nugget', and John Curry liked it so much that he asked if it could be included in this particular book.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. I'll be picking a copy of that up alright.

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  8. Geordie an Exiled FoG,

    I am very tempted to say something quite crude* ... but I am sure that you will find a way.

    As it is written by an academic - a professor no less - perhaps you could pass it off as something you need to study for a possible Open Univeristy course?

    All the best,

    Bob

    *Is that a book in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?

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  9. Conrad Kinch,

    I think that you will enjoy reading it. I certainly am ... and it has already given me a few ideas.

    All the best,

    Bob

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