Tuesday, 13 September 2016

A progress report on my Portable Wargame book

I have begun work on my proposed book about the PORTABLE WARGAME. I plan to make it an A4 soft cover book, and it will probably be printed by Lulu.com. Although that means that I will make less profit, it will make it available via online book sellers such as Amazon.

So far I have sketched out the book's basic structure and have begun work on the opening chapters. At present I have drafted out the following chapters and sections:
  • Introduction
  • Some basic rules
  • Definitions
  • Grids: Hexes and Squares
  • Units … and how to represent them on the tabletop
  • Exhaustion
  • Turn Sequence
  • Movement
  • Combat
    • Types of combat
    • Indirect artillery fire combat
    • Direct fire combat
    • Close combat
    • Resolving the affects of combat
  • Weapon ranges
I am also adding diagrams to explain some of the definitions, and will use photographs to illustrate the various ways in which units can be represented on the tabletop.

I hope to make steady progress with this book, and don't expect that it will be finished before Christmas at the earliest.

26 comments:

  1. Good to see you getting to grips with this.

    If I may, could I suggest a couple of scenarios might be a holy and wholesome addition to the text. I often find that a decent scenario can make a lot of an authors assumptions and thoughts clear in a way that a set of does not.

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    1. Conrad Kinch,

      I hope to be able to include some scenarios and a few 'blow by blow' battle reports to help players understand how the rules work. The only problem is keeping the size of the book within reasonable limits.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. Firstly, reasonable limits! Nothing succeeds like success. Secondly, why not a mini campaign...

      Delete
    3. Conrad Kinch,

      Perhaps ... but that might be better off being in Volume 2!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  2. Great to see you making a start on your 'Portable Wargames' Book with an outline of the Main Topics- so far so good Bob. May I suggest that if possible could you include one of your Battles illustrated in miniature and explain how the Rules work - on a turn by turn basis...it may go a long way to allow your readers to get the gist and flow of the Rules. Best wishes. KEV.

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    Replies
    1. Kev,

      I hope to do exactly what you suggest and for the reasons you state. The only major constraint I have to work within in the size of the book I will end up with. Too big and it might well be too expensive for the market the book is aimed at.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. Replies
    1. Barry Carter,

      I still have quite a way to go as yet ... but I hope to get it finished before Christmas.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  4. Sounds a splendid way you have mapped out for your book.I wonder if you are going to include a brief history of gridded wargames in the introduction?
    Alan

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    Replies
    1. Tradgardmastare,

      I hadn't considered including a brief history of gridded wargaming in the introduction ... but now that you have suggested it, I will give the idea some serious thought.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  5. Very good news about the book indeed. Sorry the black dog has revisited you. You have always been refreshingly open and honest about your depression which is so impoetant in challenging the stigma associated with depression and other mental health problems. I too experience depression and am approaching the third anniversary of what was described as a "serious and extreme" attempt to kill myself. Make of that what you will ! Still breathing though, enjoying family, indulging in the joy and forgetfulness of toy soldiers, back at work and involved in developing and implementing suicide prevention strategies. You are bang on, trying to control the uncontrollable is an exercise in self defeating futility. Bst of luck completing the portable wargames book.

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    1. Chris Platt,

      I'm glad to hear that you are getting better. It's a slow process but I'm sure that you'll get there in the end. I certainly found that the support of my family and friends helped me, and wargaming helped as well.

      Very early on in my illness I decided to be quite open about it. The reactions I got were interesting, and varied from very supportive behaviour from some to downright fear and hostility from others. I certainly learned who my true friends were as a result.

      A different sort of reaction came from fellow sufferers who had previously kept quiet about their illness. Quite a few of them felt able to publicly talk about it for the first time once I had 'gone public'. Several of them told me that doing so had helped them to recover their confidence.

      Working on projects like this book helps me to keep the Black Dog at bay, and even if I don't sell a single copy, the effort will have been worth it.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  6. If you are worried about the size/cost of the book, keep it to one scenario with AAR and plan a 2nd volume full of scenarios. This later volume could include a short treatise on how to generate scenarios for the rule set. Looking forward to it! I am 82 today, so don't procrastinate!
    Dick Bryant

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    Replies
    1. Dick Bryant,

      Happy Birthday!

      I had not considered the idea of splitting the book into two parts, but it is an excellent idea and something that I will give serious consideration to.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  7. Have you looked at RPGNow or The other 'family member' sites at all? They handle rules as well as RPG games and allow PDF and published rules to be sold to the public. You may find it better than Lulu both for options and costs. From a user point of view I love the way I can buy a set of rules and then get update notifications and downloads without hunting blogs etc. For news.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ABD,

      I must admit that I have not heard of RPGNow before, but thanks to your suggestion I will find out more about the service they offer.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  8. Bob, I'll second Tradgardmastare's comment that you should give an outline of the history of gridded wargames to explain the place of the PW in the tradition. Good luck with the book! Arthur

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    Replies
    1. Arthur1815 (Arthur),

      I'm certainly going to give the suggestion serious consideration, and I'll include it if there is room.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  9. Good to see a wargaming project taking shape .. will watch with interest

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    Replies
    1. Geordie an Exiled FoG,

      Hopefully the project will be complete by Christmas.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  10. Bob, given that you admired the Portable Wargame board I built a couple of years ago, would you like some further pictures for the book? It is still very much in active use and you would be very welcome to use the pictures if they are useful

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    1. Ian Dury,

      I'm glad to read that you are still using your Portable Wargame board, and would love to include some photos of it in action if that is possible.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  11. Bob going back to Connections .. the last session of hobbyist wargamers, do any of the other have blogs too?

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    Replies
    1. Geordie an Exiled FoG,

      As far as I know, none of the other people at the meeting of the hobby wargamers write blogs.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  12. Hi Bob,
    The sister site to rpgnow is wargame vault and is probably a better fit.
    Regards
    Steve

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    Replies
    1. Steve,

      Thanks for the additional information. It has been of great assistance.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete