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4.7 out of 5 stars50
4.7 out of 5 stars
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 2 September 2013
Its sad I know, but I can say that I bought my first wargames figures on 1st January 1974. They were Hinchliffe ECW pikemen; so I have seen a fair number of books, magazines, figure ranges, fads, periods and what might reasonably be termed "tribal allegiances" come and go. One thing that the Hobby has lacked is a reference work that will be of value to anyone involved or interested in wargaming that is of general application , rather than "period specific", yet not so broad brush as to be of little use. This book provides, in one place, an exceptionally useful and helpful source of information for anyone interested in the hobby whether they are just mildly interested or have been involved for some time. It is not only the individual chapters on collecting armies and choosing periods or scale that are interesting and useful but the "Resources" chapter which will help the reader to track down figure and terrain manufacturers. Overall this is a book that I have already used for reference and will undoubtedly do so again. One for the Christmas list, if you haven't already bought it
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 22 January 2014
Henry Hyde writes in the conversational style of 'Old School' Wargamers such as Charles Grant senior and Donald Featherstone and is easy to read. He clearly has a passion for, and deep knowledge of, the subject.

Has he provided 'something for everyone' as has been suggested in earlier reviews? The answer is 'Yes' although there is more in this book for the newcomer to the hobby than the seasoned veteran. For this reason I might be cautious about paying list price for a paper copy and I wonder whether newcomers would feel the same.

Where the book comes into it's own is the fact that I was able to buy it as a e-book (discounted to boot!). Whilst there were some issues with the layout of some pictures and diagrams, these were frustrating but not insurmountable and can be rectified with relative ease should the publishers wish. This was the cause of the mid range rating for the book.

What did work were the annotations and hyperlinks which took you to the intended locations. As a reference guide this book has more to commend it than you may think and I would recommend the digital version for this extra functionality that additionally increases the books appeal to a wider audience.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2013
This book was eagerly anticipated but the product more than lived up to my expectations. It is a quality product, in both look and feel, and a must have for wargamers of every age, experience and ability. It will be viewed as a wargaming classic with the likes of Featherstone and long after Mr Hyde has shed his mortal coil.

Definitely, undeniably, it would be more useful to beginners but its actually nice to have everything in one book for us veterans and there is stuff in there about painting figures, making terrain and scenery and even some rules plus lots of other gems. It is a veritable fountain of knowledge.

I rationalised it as I spend up to £20 on rules that I might or might not play, here is a useful book which I will dip into for years to come. A no brainer really for me. I've read the book cover to cover and it now sits by my bedside to be dipped into when my wargaming enthusiasm might wane.

Inspirational, at times witty, but essential.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2013
I've been waiting for this book for a while and now that it arrived it didn't disappoint. You can see that the guy is not only an incredibly knowledgable and well-connected wargaming afficinado but also a competent graphic designer because the book looks current and pleasant through and through. The writing style is rather smart and casual; certainly not a dry read, and if you heard the author talk about the subject you can easily imagine him speaking the words written in the text. It is a very UK-centric work but then if you are familiar with miniature games you are used to that.

There are chapters to cover almost every aspect of wargaming in such a way that it's basic (as in "not getting lost in a certain aspect or detail") but thorough. In this regard it's as much the one-stop, go-to collection of wargaming concepts as can get. It certainly does what it says on the tin - it's a compendium. If you will you could think of it as a collection of actually useful articles from a loooooong run of a wargaming magazine. And I think I'm not too far off given that the author is the editor of Miniature Wargames. Still, it's all original content, compiled for the book especially with original photos and illustrations even.

I think it's not meant to be read in one go (even though a few very nice days could be spent doing so) but rather than that you go to a specific chapter for reading up on specific purposes. I tried to read the whole thing from beginning to end but didn't manage to do so because I got distracted by the gorgeous pictures.
I think that it's very handy for newcomers to the world of miniatures wargaming just as much as it is to people who just want to take a peek beyond the big "mainstream" GW/PPP/Battlefront games. People who have been into wargaming for a while will also find some food for thought and interesting infos along with some outstanding bits.

It's just a complete work covering all the aspects of this glorious hobby. It even goes into miniatures photography and blogging about your little lead soldiers. Overall, well worth the wait, well worth buying if you're just in the slightest interested in miniatures wargaming.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2013
I have not enjoyed a book about wargaming so much, since discovering Donald Featherstone and the 'Airfix' book range in my local library some 40 years ago. I would spend many happy hours studying those books as a 12 year old and now I have the book that will allow me to obsess once again (although now, as a fifty-something obsessive). An absolutely beautiful book that will be a source of reference for years to come.
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on 26 August 2015
This book has such a wealth of knowledge and advice that I strongly believe that it will benefit both new gamers and old alike. The breadth of topics covered really helped me rekindle my love for what had become a dying interest.

The authors tone is informative but friendly, which helps to make the simpler topics interesting and the more gaming-hypotheticals clear and exciting.

If you buy one book on wargaming this year, make it this one!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2013
First thing I noticed was that this book was a lot bigger than I was expecting for the price, even the retail price. It is a sheer joy to read. Mr Hyde approaches his subject as a work of love, communicating the history (although from a mostly UK pov), the fashions, and the sheer pleasure of a hobby that might seem inexplicable to outsiders.

The writing style is very clear, and straightforward and manages to treat the reader as an intelligent human being. He has managed to steer the difficult path of having a book that will be of interest to newcomers as well as old hands.

In this book you can find out what has been done before, and why, and what the strengths and drawbacks were. There are lots of quite superb photographs so that you can always dip into this again for the sheer pleasure of the visual experience.

The book itself is of good, physical quality and I think that this will be one of the books people refer to in years to come when talking about the classic works on the subject
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 3 August 2013
Henry Hyde's labour of love fills a gap in the literature - returning to the books of the 1970s and 1980s which attempted a comprehensive introduction to the hobby of tabletop miniatures wargaming. This is a beautifully crafted effort to describe the current gaming scene and one which has paid off handsomely, well laid out and covering almost everything you could think of that the beginner would need to know (as well as some stuff which I didn't know, even as an old hand). With an admitted UK focus it covers gaming in the digital age and includes some excellent photos, as well as a brand new horse and musket rule set. Every gamer should put this on their wish list, and if you have even a passing interest in gaming with miniatures this would be the perfect introduction to the hobby.
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on 25 August 2015
Everything you ever wanted to know about war gaming but were to afraid to ask, collected in one volume. And you get a complete set of war games rules included in the book as well!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 5 August 2013
I'll be honest and say I only brought this book as I had some vouchers I needed to spend. Another member of my club recommend this book , so I thought I would give it a shot.

I am very glad I did. This title has something to offer anyone interested in wargaming, wether just starting out or having gamed for years. Even my first flick through had convinced me, that I will be coming back to this book again and again.

It truly does cover every aspect of the hobby and is pitched at just the right level.

If you know someone into wargaming you have just found their Christmas present. If you're the one into wargaming, make sure you tell Santa.

The only potential issue is some of the prices quoted in the text will know doubt become out of date at some point. Nothing that a second edition will not fix.
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