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The Wargaming Compendium Hardcover – 18 Aug 2011
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"It is as complete a guide to the hobby of wargaming as you can currently get. Provides some excellent clarity for the newbie. Beautifully illustrated with 26 illustrations by Bob Marrion of troops of the period. Layout and production values of the book are quite superb. Lavishly illustrated with colour photographs which cover every detail discussed by the author. The rules have lots of diagrams and counters as required and there are a number of maps from the author's campaigns. It all adds up to a great package." Wargamer
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As a wargamer of a similar vintage to the author the best I can say about this book it that it not covers many of the wargaming developments since the late 1960s to the time of writing but also passes on the best of this on into the current (and future) arena. I enjoyed the reminder of rules and books of the past and the acknowledgement of how these have all contributed to a lesser or greater degree to what wargaming is today. 'Written on the shoulders of giants' would be a great way of describing this book as the author readily acknowledges how wargaming's early pioneers have helped to fashion and forge the hobby we enjoy today.
The sections on historical periods, army sizes and figure scales are all routine fare but the author describes them simply, eloquently and with many pertinent observations - both of actual games in progress and his own set up. There is practical advice and examples of painting, terrain making, designing rules and creating campaigns for a variety of periods. A wide variety of photographs of games and historical uniforms as well as diagrams, 'how to' sequences as well as list of figure manufacturers, wargames shows and modest but useful bibliography - not to mention some of the author's own rules, complete the book.
The Kindle version is really handy to have alongside the hardback version as it means that the various links can be more readily accessed. I have not mentioned the paperback version as this is not a medium I use where other options are available. In fact I have now also picked up a hardback version for my own collection.
I really enjoyed this book for a number of reasons. There was little contained in the pages that was new but what is contained therein represents a new baseline to start from for anyone considering embarking on the wargamer's path.
In essence the author has taken what could be described as an 'old school' style of wargames book and has made it the 'new old school'.
I highly recommend this book and am looking forward to the author's forthcoming volume on campaigns in wargames (which will be of similar size!).