This is truly a magnificent volume and with his earlier title - The Wargaming Compendium - form a duo that will the cornerstone of many a war games library I am sure.
Taking part or running a war games campaign can be an immensely rewarding experience. Revisiting such an undertaking with those that took part serves to cement a shared experience in the best possible way - reminiscing over battles large and small as well as the more colourful incidents that inevitably occur in my opinion transcends the actuality of the campaign. In truth it assumes a life and identity of its own, to be spoken of in terms of endearment and enjoyment, usually in spite of any problems along the way.
It is true to say that there are no limits on how large or small a war games campaign should be and indeed, one of the attractions is tailoring the project to suit one’s own ideas and available collection(s). It can be quite an undertaking to organise and maintain and so proper planning of the undertaking is essential.
Henry Hyde has written what I believe will become the standard ‘go to’ work for organising and running a war games campaign regardless of size, period or genre. So far I have merely scraped the surface of this truly epic work but one thought above all has struck me. This work should be viewed as the logical successor to the classic works of Featherstone, Grant and Bath but for the current digital and internet age. In short, it brings the concept of the war games campaign bang up to date and to use a Simon Cowell X Factor phrase, makes it ‘relevant’ for todays gaming audience.
The picture below will do the talking in respect of the contents of this work.
I am thinking that the contents list ticks most of the boxes!
The book is a goldmine of ideas and practical suggestions for pretty much every facet of organising and running a war games campaign, regardless of period, scale or genre. When I say scale I mean the size of the campaign rather than that of the figures or models being used. From stringing some scenarios together right up to the full on creation of an imagi-nation, complete with terrain, government, economic and social background this book has it all and much more besides. It really is a treasure trove of material.
Flicking through the pages I could not help musing over how those stalwarts of yesterday - Featherstone, Grant, Bath and inevitably Eric Knowles - would have viewed this work. I like to think they would have been hugely impressed.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough - well done Mr Hyde, an absolutely outstanding effort!
I mentioned about taking part in war games campaigns and how the memory and shared experiences can provide a rich seam of enjoyment over the years for those that took part. In this particular case the shared experience was of course the legendary Madasahatta campaign organised by the late Eric Knowles and in which many of my life long war gaming friends took a part in.
Looking back over the forty plus years since the campaign was fought I have been truly blessed in the friends that I made from that shared experience and that still form my own, dare I say it, ‘band of brothers’ so to speak.
My copy of the book was a present from Bob Cordery in memory of both Eric Knowles and of the Madasahatta campaign ‘In Which We Served’ that proved to be such a defining moment in our respective war gaming journeys. I have few words to say (blimey, that must be a first!) other than extending my sincerest and grateful thanks to Bob - not only for his incredibly generous gift but more importantly for his continued and unstinting friendship, advice, encouragement and support extended
to me over the course of my various gaming projects.
It is also once again a mental thank you to Eric for Madasahatta and the many other spectacular war games he organised and allowed this skinny young man (I was then….) to take part in. Not to mention planting the seed for my lifelong interest in the Ottoman Turks!
The Logical Extension
Yes it does include the naval dimension and no, I do not have any plans to buy figures for it BUT, I could give the block armies a spin with ‘It’s Getting a Bit Chile’ by the redoubtable Trebian….
The final part of my Father’s Day Amazon gift card arrived along with Wargaming Campaigns - a great start to a Monday morning I can tell you! - and you can see above it is the new release from Helion covering the War in the Pacific. I am looking long and hard at this from the naval perspective as it small enough to be practical as a solo endeavour - certainly from the gaming perspective - and in terms of the ships involved easy enough for me to model myself. Besides, there is the Huascar….
An excellent set of rules and with plenty of background material to kick off an army or two. From the pen of that well known Bon vivant, wit and raconteur Graham Evans aka Trebian
At this stage I have no plans around figures for the land side of the war but this would be ideal block army territory and aside from the Portable Wargame there is also the excellent rules produced by Trebian which have languished for far too long in the rules section of my library (and that actually came very close to being disposed of at one point - I am now glad I hung on to them!) and so need a run out at some point.
All in all then, what with England completing a clean sweep against New Zealand in the cricket, it has not been a bad couple of days!