December 15, 2015

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: The Wargaming Compendium

The Wargaming Compendium
Pen & Sword Publications

From the publisher:
Wargaming is a fascinating, engrossing and exciting pastime that encompasses a wide range of different talents. In the course of pursuing his hobby, the average wargamer uses the skills of artist, designer, sculptor, illustrator, historian, librarian, researcher, mathematician and creative writer, as well as the more obvious ones of general, admiral or air marshal for large games, or perhaps lieutenant, commodore or squadron leader for skirmishes.

Not only is wargaming a pursuit which calls upon many skills, but it also covers many aspects of combat, spanning the history of our planet. With science fiction gaming, we plunge into imagined worlds many thousands of years into the future and a fantasy gamer, of course, deals with eons of imagined history, as anyone who has read The Lord of the Rings will know.

A wargamer may find himself recreating an encounter between a handful of adversaries one day, or a massed battle involving perhaps hundreds of miniature troops the next. Moreover, it is possible to play wargames that recreate warfare on land, on sea, in the air or, in the case of science fiction, even in outer space.

This book aims to demonstrate the wonderfully varied hobby of wargaming with miniatures, looking at the broad scope of what it has to offer as well as detailed explanations of how to get involved, including comprehensive rules for gladiator combat, Wild West skirmishes and the horse and musket era, as well as lots of advice for anyone new to wargaming. Whether you’re a complete newcomer to the hobby, or a veteran of many years, you’ll find plenty in The Wargaming Compendium to entertain and inspire you.

Henry Hyde's Wargaming Compendium is an impressive package. It is an attractive hardcover, full color book clocking in at roughly 500 pages and 3 pounds.

The Wargaming Compendium gives a complete introduction to the hobby of wargaming with miniatures, especially suitable for the newcomer but also containing sufficient depth and breadth of information to attract the more experienced gamer. Packed with color photographs, maps and diagrams, the book is a visual treat, but one built on the solid foundations of a highly literate and engaging text that does not 'dumb down' the hobby. Every aspect is explained clearly and in a way that both informs and entertains, with plenty of personality, gentle humor and a lightness of touch. 

The contents include a brief history of the development of wargaming, choice of periods from ancients to sci-fi, the question of scale (not only of miniatures, but the size of game from the smallest skirmishes to epic battles), terrain, buying and painting miniatures, creating scenarios for wargames, running a campaign, solo wargaming and so on. It also incorporates simple wargaming rules covering all periods of history as well as fantasy and science fiction gaming. These rules will have optional mechanisms allowing them to be used for very small games with just a few figures, or much bigger games with several regiments or brigades on each side.

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 organizing 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

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