Saturday, 1 October 2016

My Portable Wargame book: An update

Since my last update I have managed to do a bit more work on my PORTABLE WARGAME book.

To date I have managed to draw and add numerous explanatory diagrams to the chapters entitled Grids: Hexes and Squares and Definitions, and I have begun work on a chapter entitled A brief (and incomplete) history of gridded wargames, which is taking me somewhat longer than expected to write.

It was original plan to have this book completed by Christmas, but I suspect that I am going to have to extend that deadline into the New Year.

Below are some examples of the explanatory diagrams that I have drawn:

A diagram that shows the adjacent (and non-adjacent) grid areas on a squared grid.
A diagram that shows examples of lines-of-sight on an offset squared grid. In this example the Unit has a direct line-of sight to A and B, but the hill and the woods interrupt the direct lines-of-sight to C and D.
A diagram that shows how measurement or movement are made through the sides of the grid areas making up a hexed grid. In this example the measurement or movement is 2 grid areas. The grey lines show how the measurement or movement takes places through the sides of the grid areas and not the corners.

21 comments:

  1. OK, I don't understand why Unit to B in the offset square gird isn't an obviously clear line of sight. The line passes through two clear squares into a clear square, doesn't it?

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    1. Nobby,

      You are quite right! I managed to copy the wrong caption over from the book when I added the diagram to the blog entry.

      Thanks for pointing out the error. I will correct it in due course.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. Nobby,

      I have corrected the error, and I hope that the diagram and caption now make sense.

      Thanks again for pointing out the error.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. Bob,
    Good to see you are now tackling this large Project of writing and illustrating your Book- Best Wishes with it. Regards. KEV.

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    1. Kev,

      Judging by previous experience, the writing is not going to be the difficult part; its producing the explanatory diagrams and taking the relevant photographs that takes the time.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. Glad to hear you are photographing it yourself.

      I find it terribly annoying when a book just uses generic photos that bear little if any relationship to what the book is describing. Of course most of us have enough experience to judge that it's just meant as eye candy, but for some one fairly new to the hobby it must be very confusing and frustrating.

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    3. Stu Rat,

      I know exactly what I mean ... and I can assure you that the photographs I intend to use in the book will be relevant to the section they are in.

      Due to cost considerations the photographs will be reproduced in greyscale. I would love to make them colour, but it would make the production cost - and therefore the price - exhorbitant.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. Do you really need a diagram to illustrate what is and what is not an adjacent square? Isn't it blindingly obvious?

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    1. Mike,

      I wish that diagrams like this weren't necessary ... but experience tells me that even if I describe it as clearly as I can, I will still get emails asking to explain exactly what adjacent means.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. It is blindingly obvious. Adjacent (adjective): next to or adjoining something else.
      Which makes the diagonal squares adjacent to the centre square.
      When I came to wargaming three years ago at the age of 65 the first big problem was understanding the language. Wargamer's use of words did not necessarily fit with standard English definitions. The good writers: Asquith, Mersey, Cordery, and a few others, seem to be aware of this and explain by diagram.
      I will say nothing of the deified ruleset writers for fear of offending their hordes of followers. :0)

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    3. Nobby,

      What might be blindingly obvious to most people, isn't to some ... as I have found out over the years. Hence my attempts to use simple but explicit language when writing my rules ... and lots of diagrams!

      All the best,

      Bob

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  4. I'm looking forward to see what comes out of this project. Apart from some board war games I have never used gridded games, myself. But I am bound to say that what you and Ross of 'Battle game of the Month' have shown strongly suggest that I might be missing something!

    By the way, I thought I had invented the 'offset squares' thing as a hex field substitute. Seems that there are other great minds out there... :-)

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    1. Archduke Piccolo,

      I know that gridded wargames are not to everyone's taste, and it took me a very long time to realise their potential.

      What converted me was the realisation that they speeded up play (e.g. no more need to measure everything; no more arguments as to whether this unit was in range of that unit) and made it possible to simplify ones rules. In the end my battles have become something akin to 3D board wargames, with units of toy soldiers etc replacing cardboard counters. They therefore have the aesthetic appeal of the traditional toy soldier wargame with simplicity of a board wargame.

      I think that the concept of a grid of offset squares has been around for a long time. I certainly remember seeing a game that used such a grid in my youth ... and remember dismissing it in the way that one does when one is young and convinced that one knows all the answers. How wrong I was!

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. I first heard about using an off-set square grid back in 1967, a very long time ago indeed, and it probably wasn't new then, either!

      Best regards,

      Chris

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    3. Chris,

      I think that was about the time that I first came across the offset square grid ... and as you comment, it was probably not new even then.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  5. I can see the point and need of the adjacency diagram because some systems would consider the diagonal adjacent and others not.

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    1. Norm,

      I once remember having a very long conversation with Phil Barker about the need to be absolutely clear about what one meant when writing rules. He made the point that if you did not do so then there was always going to be someone out there who would misinterpret what you meant. Every since then I have tried to make my rules as clear as I possibly can, and used words, diagrams, and examples wherever necessary.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  6. Bob,

    Something you might mention in your book about offset squares: many people think they are equivalent to a hexgrid - and that's true if you count movement from adjacent cell to adjacent cell. But there are subtle differences in the line-of-sight lines - they do not cross the same equivalent cells in the hex version or the offset square version of the grid. Whether this is important to the rules in use is another question, but from a geometric point-of-view, it is something worth mentioning ...

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    1. Phil Dutré,

      I certainly became aware of those differences when I began to draw my diagrams, and the effect on things like lines-of-sight and arcs of fire are very noticeable.

      I must admit to having a preference for simple squared or hexed grids, and have never been comfortable with grids of offset squares. They seem to work when movement etc. is up or down the grid, but less well when it is across the grid.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  7. Dear Bob,
    Have just Blogposted about this curious set of grid square rules which are basically wartime chess or draught with handmade DIY counters, thought it might appeal to your DIY side: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/alfred-lubrans-action-diy-wartime-chess-game-rules/
    Hope they are of interest. Enjoying your blog as ever!
    Mark, Mr MIN Man of TIN blog

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    1. MIN ManofTin (Mark),

      Thanks for the link. I will visit you blog later today as any grid-based wargames are of interest to me, and this one sounds particularly interesting.

      I'm pleased that you enjoy reading my blog, and hope that you will continue to visit it regularly.

      All the best,

      Bob

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