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Saturday, 20 January 2018

Never read your reviews

I was once told by an actor of my acquaintance never to read reviews of any work that I had done as they would either over-inflate my ego ... or do it irreparable harm. How right they are!

Looking at the reviews of my PORTABLE WARGAME and DEVELOPING THE PORTABLE WARGAME books on Amazon, I discovered that almost all the reviews gave my books three stars or better. No bad, I thought ... and then I saw that one reviewer had given them a one-star rating ... so I read their review. This is what it said:
I bought the pair of books at the same time after they had good reviews. Upon reading them I found the rules to be overly simplified and too generic to be of interest. The book goes into great detail as to why he chose the rules and is really just extra padding to the book that should really have been a couple of sheets of A4 given out free in a magazine.
At first I was very disappointed ... and then I thought about what the reviewer had written.

The rules were criticised for being 'overly simple and too generic' and yet the blurb about the rules on Amazon states that 'The Portable Wargame has been developed over the past ten years to meet the needs of wargamers who want a fast, easy to learn, simple to use set of wargames rules.' Is it me, or are the rules being criticised for doing what they were designed to do?

Now I know that not everyone wants to understand the thinking that the rule writer has gone through when writing a set of rules, but I know that some do, which is why I included it. It isn't 'extra padding'; it serves a purpose ... and from the feedback I have had, a lot of users have found that it has helped them to a better understanding of the rules and enabled them to develop their own versions.

When I first read this review, my heart sank. I am a realist and didn't expect everyone to rate my books as five-star, (that would have been nice, but ...) but to rate it as only worth one-star really felt like a kick in the guts. Then I re-read the review, and thought about what had been written ... and realised that at no point did the review state anything along the lines of 'I've fought several tabletop battles with these rules and ...'. I came to the conclusion that the reviewer had looked through the books, decided that the rules were not for him, and had chosen to write a review that reflected that. An honest opinion, written in these circumstances, is perfectly valid, even if it seems a bit harsh.

My actor friend was right; I should never read any reviews of work I have done ... but it is very difficult not to!

Interestingly, the same reviewer wrote the following about Neil Thomas's ONE-HOUR WARGAMES (which they gave four-stars!):
I was a little disappointed with this book. The rules for the different areas are basically the same, and come down to roll a single dice and do that much damage to the enemy unit with each unit taking 15 damage before leaving the battle. The best part of the book that saves it are the 30 scenarios that are included.

After spending more time with this book you begin to see that the differences between the different rules make the required feel for the era but keep the same core mechanics. It is possible to play several battles in different eras during an evening.

60 comments:

  1. I just posted a review of "La Ultima Cruzada" on my blog. Go on, I dare you.

    http://wargaming4grownups.blogspot.co.uk/2018/01/la-ultima-cruzada-review.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trebian,

      I dared to read it ,.. and thought that it was very fair. The points you raise are all extremely valid, and if I ever manage to produce a fourth edition, I hope to address them.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    2. Is the danger of self publishing that whilst you get the freedom to produce your vision you don't get an editor to make sensible comments pre-release?

      Delete
    3. Trebian,

      It is something that one has to be vary of, which is why I always send the finished draft to someone else to read and comment upon. In the case of LA ULTIMATA CRUZADA I had the text reviewed by a well-known SCW expert and re-enactor. He made several very helpful suggestions and corrections which considerably helped to improve the book.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  2. I certainly wouldn't worry about that review.
    I've seen some publication myself on the historical front; probably safer as there are less 'braggarts' I wouldn't be courageous enough to publish wargame material. You have been.

    Most wargamers are sound, right-thinking individuals, though many of them, as with most human or organisational endeavours, love the sound of their own voice (or the size of their own font) - just have a look at TMP forums for example. This reviewer has missed the point completely, and is simply being negative for the sake of it.

    The rules do exactly what they say on the tin, and the number of positive blog posts surrounding them are more honest, and those concerned have played the game at least. Having read the works, I immediately see their usefulness for operational WWII. If there are any issues with them, I would change that when I use them for the game - that 'hackability' is a positive, not a negative.

    Take heart in the fact that you have been brave enough to put something out there, for an audience which is not always kind, and with a rules concept which works admirably, and more keenly than such grandiose publications as 'Black Powder' and its ilk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Duc de Gobin,

      Sorry for the tardy reply to your comment, but for some reason it had been put in the spam folder!

      I woke up this morning feeling somewhat under the weather, and reading your comment really lifted my spirits. I wholeheartedly agree with the point you have raised, and i could not have put it better myself.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  3. "Memento homo" as was supposedly whispered into the Emperor's ear during triumphs.

    Of course in some sense's the person was right, in the 80's when some hobby magazines routinely published rules of a similar size and complexity, the book could have been a series of magazine articles. He would still have had to pay for them but you wouldn't have been paid at all, the compensation was purely non-tangible, like most hobby blogs.

    A separate publication seems to have various advantages for the consumer over a series of magazine articles.

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    Replies
    1. Ross Mac,

      Very true on all counts. I still have articles from way back in my archive of clippings that contain complete sets of wargame rules ... and I still re-read them every so often..

      I did get paid for most of the stuff I wrote back then ... but not a lot and not that regularly.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    2. Bob, have you heard of DACS? It's an organisation that allows you to receive photocopying royalties from previously published books/magazine articles. You can claim every year.

      Delete
    3. Jfidz,

      I'd not heard of DACS before, but thanks to you I can look into whether or not I would qualify for photocopying royalties. Thanks very much for the information.

      All th best,

      Bob

      Delete
    4. Interesting. The Courier which published MacDuff to the Frontier was clear up front that they didn't/ couldn't pay. WI didn't pay me for rules and article either,only Henry paid.

      Delete
    5. Ross Mac,

      I think it depended upon the editor/owner. THE COURIER was much less commercial than its UK equivalents, and seemed to work much more on a 'for the good of the hobby' basis, rather like the WARGAMER'S NEWSLETTER. WI paid me ... eventually, but only after I suggested that it might be a good idea!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  4. Not to read reviews is pretty standard advice to authors and your experience only confirms that this is a good idea.

    As a reader I normally avoid one star reviews. There may rarely be a good quality review, particularly of non fiction where real problems may be identified – it can be worth checking out long reviews because they actually have real content - but mostly they are useless. When someone writes “Terrible book” but gives no reasons what is the point? There’s no way I’m going to take notice of a subjective judgement by some stranger unless supported by some rational argument. It’s not uncommon for the “review” not even to be a review. I recently noticed one that said “cannot review as only have chapter one. You keep telling me have bought the book today but this is not the case. I am now very frustrated at being unable to read the rest” which is, at best, a customer service complaint and probably results from some silly error on the part of the reviewer which could have been corrected in less time than it took to write this “review”.

    The “author should have written a different book” one star review from which you suffered is also a common trope and often totally unhelpful. In this case though the reviewer did do something useful by saying that “The book goes into great detail as to why he chose the rules” which is actually valuable information about your book, though calling this “padding” is just silly.

    It is a little odd that they gave “One-hour Wargames” four stars when the “overly simplified and too generic” criticism could as easily have been applied to this work. Maybe the extra three stars are for the scenarios?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mike Hall,

      Thanks for your very supportive and valid comments.

      Having been in education for most of my working life, I know how important constructive criticism can be. Even if a student gave me something that was not very good, I'd always tried to write comments that would help the student to improve their work. Comments that just say things like 'disappointing' or 'could be better' are lazy and particularly unhelpful.

      I thought that the review of ONE-HOUR WARGAMES made an interesting comparison with the one written about my books. As far as I can see, the rules in Neil Thomas' book were no less simple or generic than mine, but that the scenarios in that book merited the extra stars, whereas my mini-campaign ideas didn't.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  5. A style that one person loves will be hated by another. This reviewer simply didn't like your style. Really, though, comments on content should relate to the content there and how it compares with the stated aims. In that respect, the review was poorly conceived because the reviewer decided that a ruleset designed to be simple was poor because it achieved that aim! The fact is, any simple ruleset has to be generic - it's the exceptions and qualifications that make most rules complicated. Likewise, end of the day it's how a set plays that decides if it is a good set or not - and you can't comment on that unless you've tried playing it. Of course, that doesn't mean you have to play a game - if I had a set of rules and couldn't work out how they went it would be fair to say 'unplayable'.

    So, basically, it isn't the bad reviews that count in a negative way - it's the bad reviews that have a valid point that matter. Doesn't seem to be the case here.

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    Replies
    1. Rob Young,

      Thank you for your comments, I agree with everything that you have written, particularly in the last paragraph. If the reviewer had raised points that I needed to address, I would have found the review - however damning it might have been - helpful.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    Replies
    1. Sun of York,

      To someone who has never tried it, writing wargame rules might well appear to be easy. Anyone who has tried soon realises that what appears to be simple is far more complex ... and sometimes feels like mentally trying to juggle whilst patting your head and stomach at the same time!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    2. Sun of York,

      For some reason your original comment was removed. I assume that you deleted it, as I certainly didn't. Mind you, a comment that someone else made early this morning was notified to me by email, but has yet to appear in the 'Comments' section. Perhaps there is a 'bug' somewhere in the system?

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    3. This was my comment. I didn't delete it (that I know of :-) ).

      "All I know is writing rules is hard. Getting a rule book completed much harder. Actually then getting it published, hardest of all.

      That someone then buys it is good. That they actually play a game using the rules is better. That you then get some positive feedback is just nice.

      Best of all is that you completed the a project. Best I seem to do is get to 80% finished. So I'm impressed. "

      I can now say I'm doubly impressed with all the comments your post has received and your thoughtful responses.

      Delete
    4. Sun of York,

      Thanks for restoring your original comment. I do go back and read comments people have made from time to time as I often find them quite inspirational.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  7. You can never please everyone. Years ago I had a board game published called "The Marcher Lords" about the Norman invasion of Wales. While most of the feedback was positive, I had one poster say it was too easy for the Welsh and another say it was too easy for the Normans. I wish I could've gotten the two of them together to play a game!

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    Replies
    1. David Cuatt,

      How very, very true!

      When the second edition of LA ULTIMATE CRUZADA was published, it was reviewed by two magazines ... one left-wing and one right-wing. They both separately stated that the book was politically biased against their point-of-view ... which led me to think that I must have got the balance about right.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    2. Geordie an Exile FoG,

      If diametrically opposing sides both agree that you are wrong, it would seem to indicate that you have a fairly balanced opinion.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    3. David Cuatt,

      I just realised that I typed in the word ULTIMATE when I should have typed ULTIMA!

      Oops!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  8. Never reading your reviews might be a bit harsh. But just as restaurant reviews, you should never read the 1-star reviews, and never read the 5-star reviews. Go for the middle ones.

    That being said, every review has a message. Whether as an author you agree is a different thing, but at least it shows a discrepancy between what the author hopes to get across and what the reader experienced when reading the book.

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    Replies
    1. Phil Dutré,

      A very sensible piece of advice that I shall try to use the next time I read a review.

      I have no problem with constructive criticism; it is destructive or meaningless criticism that I dislike so much. If a reviewer cannot write or say anything that is helpful to the writer or possible purchasers, then I wonder why they have bothered to write their review. It benefits neither party, although they may get some 'pleasure' from the process.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  9. BTW, if authors complain about non-substantial 1-star reviews, they should also complain about non-substantial 5-star reviews. But the latter rarely happens :-) :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Phil Dutré,

      It's only human nature to abhor the negative reviews whilst basking in the glow of five-star ones! It warms the cockles of the heart (and the ego), especially on a cold January day!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  10. The AAR speak for themselves ;)
    You are generating interest and fun.
    The cost of one of the books comes close to a standard 20mm model .. but you get more "fun" from the actual playing of the game .. so play!

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    Replies
    1. Geordie an Exile FoG,

      Very true ... and judging by what I have seen, Tradgardmastare has a Napoleonic PW battle set up to fight over the next few days!

      If people enjoy using my rules, then my purpose in writing them has been rewarded (although the extra cash is useful as well!). All I wish is that I currently had the space to use the rules myself. (My wargame table is currently under a pile of stuff my wife is selling on eBay. When it is gone, I hope to set up and fight a battle or two!)

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    2. Geordie an Exile FoG,

      True ... but I may be following her example in the near future when I have my annual Spring sort-out.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  11. To me the best written book on wargaming is "Operation Warboard". A large part of that is the chapter of annotations/designer's notes cross-referenced to the rules given in the last chapter. Now I haven't played the rules in 30 years, but that explanatory text while keeping the actual rules cleanly written was a massive help when I was just starting out and had to figure this stuff out for myself.

    Even to this day I like to know what the author was thinking there Even if it is so I can decide they are wrong and this is how I am changing things to fit my view of how it should be.

    And, yes your books were as advertised. The other day I read reviews of a box of 1/700th scale airplanes meant for an aircraft carrier model. Multiple reviewers complained that the planes were too small (actual size of the models, not underscale). What did they think 1/700th scale meant? And 30 models for $7.00 or so?

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    1. Stu Rat,

      OPERATION WARBOARD was - and still is - an excellent book. This is in no small part due to its writer - Gavin Lyall - being a professional writer. The rules are so well explained that it is very difficult to find fault with any aspect of them.

      Whenever I think about buying a set of wargame rules, I look for the designer's notes.before I do. If there aren't any, the chances are that I won't buy them.

      1:700th-scale model aircraft are small? You shock me! I'll have to go and have a lie down to recover from the shock!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    2. I think Operation Warboard is the only set of rules I've ever bought because I enjoyed the author's fiction. As you say an excellent work but it only served to confirm what I'd learned from using the rules from Don's Wargames, namely that I don't really enjoy WW2 games (just a matter of personal taste.)

      And speaking of Don's book, one of the things I really liked about The Portable Wargame was the way your battle reports followed Don's approach by illustrating the nitty gritty of the rules operation down to the outcome of individual die throws. This was a huge help 50+ years ago when I first started playing and I still find it useful today.

      Delete
    3. Mike Hall,

      I used to feel that same about Napoleonic wargaming as you do about WW2 ... but I am gradually coming around to seeing why people enjoy the period so much.

      Thanks very much for your kind words about my battle reports. They say that a picture paints a thousand words, and if you combine relevant images with brief but informative text - which is my approach - people understand what has happened far better. It still works today, and I'll continue to use this approach for as long as I think it works.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  12. Bob, have you heard of DACS? It's an organisation whereby you can claim photocopying royalties for stuff you've ever had published. Might be worth looking into as you can claim every year.

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    Replies
    1. Jfidz,

      Thank you very much for the extremely helpful link. I did reply to your comment ... but for some reason it was sent to the spam folder!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  13. You have to chuckle at some reviews, though I expect it's not quite so nice when its your own work that is the subject! A review I recall for one board-game said something like "Giving one star to balance all the hype." Another, for Phil Sabin's ancient warfare masterpiece, Lost Battles, said "Major disappointment. I'd rather play [boardgame x] for real insight, and [boardgame y] for fun"!

    But perhaps best of all was the review of Led Zeppelin's first album, which included this gem of a passage:

    "In their willingness to waste their considerable talent on unworthy material the Zeppelin has produced an album which is sadly reminiscent of Truth. Like the Beck group they are also perfectly willing to make themselves a two- (or, more accurately, one-a-half) man show. It would seem that, if they're to help fill the void created by the demise of Cream, they will have to find a producer (and editor) and some material worthy of their collective attention."

    So you're in good company!

    Best,
    Aaron

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    Replies
    1. Prufrock (Aaron),

      I do wonder sometimes why people write reviews ... and what they hope to gain from them.

      Not long ago a café in Lewisham (about five miles from where I live) was given a bad review by a customer because they could not supply him with the exact blend of herbal tea that he wanted because it was out of stock, even though they offered him an alternative. What annoyed the café owner in particular was not that the very negative review was written, but that the writer sat in the café and used the café's own free WiFi link to do it!

      I have read the review of Led Zeppelin's first album through three times ... and my impression is that it wouldn't have mattered what they had put on it, the reviewer was not going to like it!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    2. Bob,
      I don't think you should let yourself be bothered by that review: it's clear the writer simply didn't want the style of wargame you set out to create. He basically said, to misquote Abe Lincoln, 'People who don't like this sort of thing, will find this the sort of thing they don't like.'
      I suspect the extra stars for Thomas's OHW were, indeed, for the scenarios; I have read many comments that whilst not greatly enamoured of the rules, the buyer found the scenarios very useful.
      .
      I don't think it will do your books any harm

      I suspect there are two kinds of reviews: ones which try to inform readers about the subject, and those where the reviewer's main aim is to produce an entertaining piece read, albeit at the expense of the subject, and - perhaps - to show off.

      Best wishes, Arthur

      Delete
    3. Arthur Harman (Arthur),

      In truth I read the one-star review in the hope that it would enlighten me ... but it didn't, it just annoyed me.

      I think that your assessment of the reviewer's point-of-view is pretty well spot on, as is the reasoning behind his star rating of OHW. He doesn't like simple and generic ... but does like someone else to set up his scenarios for him.

      Judging by the feedback and continued sales, the books fill a niche ... and I take a lot of pleasure in the knowledge that they do.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    4. Just to add to Arthur's comment: I think that there is a 3rd type of Amazon review - particularly for fiction - which is not really a review at all but just a "I give it five stars" (or whatever) contribution where the "reviewer" is trying to raise or lower the overall ranking in the knowledge that once the number of reviews gets high enough few of them will actually be read but that you can still help an author you like by upping their "score".

      Given that many readers will just look at the overall average this is not a bad thing but it does mean that any thoughtful reviews will get lost in the noise.

      Delete
    5. Mike Hall,

      Do many people really write reviews like that to inflate a book's star rating? I've heard of the occasional instance, but I didn't know how prevalent it might be.

      I have written a few reviews, but I've always tried to be balanced in what I have written, and to award a star rating that reflected my genuine opinion.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    6. Quick answer: I think there are plenty of reviews like that, though I’d not describe them as an attempt the “inflate” a book’s star rating but rather as an attempt to give the book what the reviewer thinks of as the “right” score without the bother of having to really think about what to put into a review. You probably associate with a better class of reviewer.

      I rarely write book reviews as I find it hard work to set down why I think a title is good (particularly for fiction - non fiction is somehow easier to review.) In addition, I’m not happy with the way Amazon’s star rating system works in practice. Ideally, I’d only give five stars to exceptional books (maybe 1 in 100 or less) and most books I liked would only get three stars. However, reviewers generally seem to give high scores much more freely than I’d like and following my approach would tend to hurt authors whose books I’ve enjoyed by pulling down their average score.

      There are certainly plenty of people who are only interested in posting a “score”. This is particularly the case where the work is politically contentious: Hilary Clinton’s recent work acquired a shedload of one star reviews which were posted well before anyone who’d not had a review copy could have read the work. These were no doubt written by her political opponents (and were not normally by verified purchasers.) These were soon nuked by Amazon who do sometimes act in such cases, though I’m not sure whether the equivalent five star ones put up by her supporters were removed. There have also been successful twitter campaigns to generate spurious one star reviews for fictional works which have offended against one of the ever changing rules of political correctness (“cultural appropriation” is currently “in”, though logically and philosophically it’s a pretty empty idea.)

      Where political or other contentions are not involved there are still a lot of one line reviews which tell you little or nothing about the book but let you know what the reviewer felt about it. A not untypical example of a five star review, which I’ve just plucked from Amazon.com: “I love this book. It was an awesome read. Cant wait to read the next one” (sic). My assumption in such cases is that the writer just wants to affirm how much they liked the book by giving it five stars. It’s up to you whether you find this kind of popular vote useful, though there needs to be plenty of reviews before I’d even think of taking it into account.

      Delete
    7. Mike Hall,

      I suspect that I might have been guilty once or twice of writing short reviews of fiction books that I liked and giving them a five-star rating, but usually with new writers who need to be encouraged. That's my excuse, anyway!

      I have heard of case where someone has reviewed their own book and given it high star ratings ... and reviewed the books of 'rival' authors and given them very poor ratings. Luckily this seems to be relatively rare, and usually gets spotted.

      I agree that granting five-star ratings should be exceptional, but coming from an education background where Ofsted rated 'satisfactory' as not being good enough, I can see why aiming for a minimum of four-stars has become the norm. I think that it is accepted nowadays that having an even number of rating categories (e.g. 1 to 4) makes reviewers less likely to opt for the middle and to commit themselves to somewhere either side of the middle.

      I don’t tend to read books by politicians, but knowing the febrile atmosphere in the US, I can see why the Clinton book would have attracted lots of negative ratings by supporters of her political opponents. (As an aside, I did wonder how the recent publication of Michael Wolff’s FIRE AND FURY might have affected both the sales and star ratings of the wargame rules of that name.)

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  14. It struck me recently that there's a whole range of standard rule criticisms made by both reviewers (and gamers) that deserve to be picked apart, e.g. judgements about realism, complaints about common mechanisms across multiple periods, claims that games leave too much to the chance factor, the somewhat puritanical disdain for 'eye candy' and more. These sorts of arguments sound so authoritative and compelling at first sight but there are usually counter arguments to all of them. I started to assemble a range of blog posts on these issues, but they're beginning to get rather polemical so I'm not sure whether to pursue that.

    Richard

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    1. Doctor Phalanx (Richard),

      A very interesting comment, and thank you for writing it. Thinking about what you have written, I recognise all the standard criticisms you have listed, but never thought about how prevelant their use is.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  15. I'm not sure that I would subscribe to the view that one shouldn't read reviews on one's own work, it seems a natural thing to do and I suppose it tests the fear that you may have got something wrong or missed something out and that there will always be some enlightened soul who will only be too happy to tell you.

    On the subject, I am always reminded of two cases, both relate to boardgames. On one, the battle of Stonne 1940 was done and much heralded ..... until someone said 'where is Panzer Lehr'! and in another case concerning the Korean War, the lovely map had a large reservoir on it, which unfortunately appears on modern maps ..... as it was built after the war!

    I know from some of the stuff that I have done, the fear of being found short is tangible.

    HOWEVER, it has to be said, the man has paid his money and so is entitled to a voice.

    I generally try to abide by a mantra that I will accept all reviews and comments with good grace - not always easy, but often it is counter-productive to do anything other than that.

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    1. Norm,

      One reason why I get at least one other knowledgeable person to read my books before I publish them is to try to avoid any real howlers. In the case of LA ULTIMA CRUZADA, one of the readers did pick up on something that I had missed, and it did require a re-write of a section ... which was much better as a result.

      Constructive criticism is something that helps a writer, but this review seemed to boil down to 'the rules are too simple and too generic', 'the rules would have been better if they had been free' (which, of course, they were before the book was published), and 'OHW is three times as good because it has scenarios'. Such comments are not at all helpful or constructive as far as I can see.

      As you comment, the purchaser has paid his money and is entitled to his opinion ... and I assume that he is not the individual who contacted me by email for a full refund because he had discovered that the rules had been available online before the book was published and felt that he had been swindled (his words, not mine!). I asked if he had contacted the seller first for a refund … but he has yet to reply.

      I do try to read reviews (both my own and other people’s) with a good grace, but sometimes I wonder why a ‘reviewer’ has bothered to write their comments. I did get a three-star review for THE PORTABLE WARGAME from a reviewer who was disappointed that the book did not live up to their expectations, but in that instance I did not feel slighted because I felt that their reasons for writing the review were justifiable. In the case of the one-star review I felt that the reviewer did not like the book for the very reasons I had written it … to provide users with a simple, fast, and generic set of wargame rules that they could use ‘as is’ or modify to their heart’s content.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  16. 'I assume that he is not the individual who contacted me by email for a full refund because he had discovered that the rules had been available online before the book was published and felt that he had been swindled'.

    Words fail me!

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    1. Norm,

      I wish that I could say that this was unique ... but it isn't.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  17. Hello Bob,

    I have just been listening GLB in the Connections audio downloads from teh Connections Website

    A salient point is that when something appears simple and easy to play "That's a GOOD thing" as opposed to complex and unplayable leaving the reader/player thinking "this is beyond me" and gives up

    As GLB said there is genius in simplicity that works and the only way you know if it works is if you play

    I bet you didn't see any AAR from the guy
    But respect for the guy in the first place buying the book and reading .. PLAY .. then communicate. It is what Phil Sabin refers to "Active Learning" and it has the power to move mountains.

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    1. Geordie an Exiled FoG,

      I suspect that you - and GLB - are right. I think that the reviewer might have enjoyed using the rules in my book, but never actually tried them for himself.

      I understand that at the forthcoming CAVALIER show in Tonbridge, my 19th century PW rules are going to be used by one of the groups running a demonstration game. I'm hoping that it will help to 'spread the word'.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  18. Replies
    1. Geordie an Exile FoG,

      I was rather pleased when I heard that this was going to happen.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete