Thursday, 8 August 2013

The Wargaming Compendium

First a confession: during all of my wargaming life I have found it difficult to resist the urge to buy wargaming books. If an author put the word 'wargame' in the title of a new book, chances are that I would buy it … but in this case resistance was not only futile … it was totally unnecessary!

When I heard some time ago that Henry Hyde was writing a new wargames book, my ears pricked up. Any new book about wargames is always welcome … and one written by Henry was bound to be a cut above the rest. Well today my copy of THE WARGAMING COMPENDIUM (published by Pen and Sword Books [ISBN 978 1848842212]) arrived in the post … and if the cursory look through it that I have so far managed in anything to go by (and that cursory look took over two hours!), I am not going to be disappointed.

The book is very well illustrated, and the quality of the photographs is – as one would expect – very high. It is divided into eleven sections, and these are:
  1. Basic Concepts of Wargaming – Understanding how wargames work
  2. A History of Wargaming – A brief overview of how the hobby has evolved
  3. Choosing a Period – A gallop through military history and beyond
  4. Something to Fight For – Creating battlefields for your miniature armies
  5. Assembling Your Forces – Planning, purchasing, painting and organising your forces
  6. From Small to Large – Duels, skirmishes, large battles and campaigns – with rules!
  7. Shot, Steel & Stone – A complete set of horse and musket era rules
  8. Learn by Playing – A small battle explained, and how it links to a campaign
  9. Other Aspects of Wargaming – Naval games, air wargames, role-playing and more
  10. Advice for the Digital Age – Digital photography and blogging
  11. Resources – Books, museums, manufacturers, wargame shows and more
This is no lightweight book (it is – after all – 520 pages long!) and I know that I will want to take some time to read it thoroughly. That said, I have already read several of the shorter sections, and enjoyed what I read … and learnt a few new things as well!

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