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Sunday, 11 February 2018

Small Wars: New Perspectives on Wargaming Counter Insurgency on the Tabletop

It seems to be my week for acquiring new books. On Friday the latest addition to John Curry's 'History of Wargaming' Project arrived ... David Wayne Thomas's SMALL WARS: NEW PERSPECTIVES ON WARGAMING COUNTER INSURGENCY ON THE TABLETOP.


I have known the author ever since he joined Wargame Developments many years ago, and he is a regular attendee (and session provider) at the annual Conference of Wargamers. As a result I have seen in operation (and taken part in) some the games featured in this book, and I can assure anyone who buys and uses the rules therein that they will enjoy some thought-provoking and well-designed games.

Besides a Foreword written by Brian Train (who is probably the foremost designer of counter insurgency board wargames), the books has six separate rules for COIN games:
  • Company Level Actions in the Early 21st Century: Boots on the Ground (by John Armatys)
  • An Isolated Outpost: Six Months in the Sahara
  • Soviet involvement in Afghanistan: Eight Years in a Distant Country
  • Counter-Insurgency in South West Africa
  • The Irish Troubles 1920-21: Flying Column
  • LBJ’s War 1965-68: Good Morning Vietnam!
The book also contains an extensive list of COIN games and rules as well as a five-page bibliography.

The book is published by the 'History of Wargaming' Project, and costs £12,95 plus postage and packing (ISBN 978 0 244 65183 1).

22 comments:

  1. Looks like an interesting read. I've known Brian Train for years, and he was an inspiration for me as a game designer.

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    Replies
    1. David Cuatt,

      I met Brian Train at Connections UK 2017, and managed to take part in one of his games and a design session that he led. He is a very nice chap, and I hope to see him again this year.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  2. Got my copy- a review will be forthcoming on my blog.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pete.,

      I look forward to reading your review in due course.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  3. Urgh. Bob...I'm running out of shelf space and I've already blown my wargaming budget.

    This is going to have to go on the wishlist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Conrad Kinch,

      I have a similar problem ... but it doesn't seem to stop me buying more books!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  4. You are tempting me Bob! Bad man, keep up the good work!

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    Replies
    1. Geordie an Exile FoG,

      Be tempted ... be very, very tempted ...

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  5. Just gawn and bought it sir, this time on the kindle so I can sneak a peek when I am on the move ;)

    Liked it so far :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Geordie an Exile FoG,

      I don't think you'll be disappointed.

      Read and enjoy!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    2. Hey, it is a GOOD one!
      I AM going to play these as well a go tootling through back issues of the Nugget

      It is a 'bite' nice size for the kindle version :)

      Delete
    3. Geordie an Exiled FoG,

      I thought that you'd like it!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  6. If Brian Train is the foremost designer of these games, it's because he has gotten lost and is wandering around out in the wilderness by himself.

    Never fear Bob, I shall be at Connections-UK in 2018! Looking forward to seeing you again.

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    Replies
    1. Brian Train,

      Don't sell don't sell yourself short! Who else is out there doing half as good a design job as you?

      I'm looking forward to seeing you at Connections UK in September. With luck I might have a chance to take part in one of your games this time.

      All the best,

      Bob

      PS. Did you ever do any follow-up to the design session that you facilitated at last year's conference?

      Delete
    2. Bob,

      I know I am always busy, but I don't know if what's coming out is always good (usually I do, though).

      I have been thinking intermittently about our design session, and in the winter ran into someone who had made a start on a similar topic. I'm a little busy right now getting something launched on Kickstarter (soon), but after that should be able to get some actual work done towards having something real to show at the conference!

      Delete
    3. Brian Train,

      It's better to be too busy than to be idle!

      In a world where loads of other short-term problems seem to dominate people's thinking, I think that that particular session flagged up something that we should begin planning for. Better to have a poor plan than no plan at all. (Brexit comes to mind for some reason!)

      Good luck with your Kickstarter project,

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    4. I found it interesting for that reason too, though I think there will be some more urgent items popping up in the near future.
      Poor plan > no plan at all, yes.
      And
      "Plans are useless; planning is indispensable."
      - Eisenhower

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    5. Brian Train,

      I know that 'no plan survives first contact with the enemy' ... but not having a plan is far worse!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    6. Brian Train,

      I've just had an email about Connections UK 2018 ... and I see that you are one of the two keynote speakers! I also note that the 'High North' is still a topic of interest.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete