on 24 March 2013
*NB This book does not deal with miniatures wargaming*.
A delightful read, packed with illustrations of board and parlour war games, many of which I had never heard of. Lewin demonstrates that war games can be instructive as well as entertaining, and I was intrigued by the inventive ways in which games designers have sought to combine those two aspects over hundreds of years.
on 26 January 2013
I found this to be a hugely enjoyable and thought-provoking book with lots of new insights into war games--and big bonus--it's superbly and lavishly illustrated in full colour.
Some of the games described go back to the times of the Napoleonic Wars, and each one has a summary of how it was played--I found this to be really informative. The book gives a window into the wide range of ideas which the inventors introduced in their attempts to combine a degree of realism with playability.
Many of the earlier games had very fine and colourful pictures on the boxes and boards, showing scenes of warfare, and the book does full justice to these.
One chapter deals with war games in ancient and medieval times. Some of these, I believe, have now almost vanished from sight, including William Fulke's pioneering and elaborate strategic game of 1578, when two armies fought across a river in order to lay siege to the opposing castle.
The book also covers "official" war games, some used for army and naval training since the 19th century, and others in more modern times for simulating nuclear conflicts. It's truly chilling to realise that such games are being used today for predicting the outcomes of future wars.
I felt that this book was highly informative, interesting, and excellent value for money--I highly recommend it!
on 1 April 2014
Superbly researched, superbly Illustrated and written with a deep knowledge of the subject and a love for it. Occasionally getting a little bogged-down in the minutiae of game-play mechanics (as an enthusiast would) for the casual reader maybe, but for anyone interested in games or board-games, anyone interested in War-gaming or Military toys any student of social history &etc...a vital read and one you should have on your shelf, as you will dip into it again and again.