Books, Mags, Websites
Following on from Wally Simon’s SECRETS OF WARGAME DESIGN: A Tabletop Toolkit of Ideas, Analysis, and Rule Mechanics (Volume 1), Russ Lockwood (of MagWeb fame and now the Center for Provocative Wargaming) has now published a second work in the series entitled: Wally Simon’s MORE SECRETS OF WARGAME DESIGN: A Tabletop Toolkit of Ideas, Analysis, and Rule Mechanics (Volume 2). Wally Simon was one of the founders of the Historical Miniatures Gaming Society (in the USA), and as a statistician he used his mathematical skills to analyse probabilities within wargame mechanics. With 25 years of work to draw on, this is the second in a series of ‘best of’ booklets that explore the nuts and bolts of wargame design as seen through his eyes, via the articles he wrote over the last 40 or so years.
Russ Lockwood has just published a booklet entitled: Wally Simon’s SECRETS OF WARGAME DESIGN: A Tabletop Toolkit of Ideas, Analysis, and Rule Mechanics (Volume 1). As you may know, Wally Simon was one of the founders of Historical Miniatures Gaming Society (in the USA), hosting the first meeting in his basement. A statistician by trade, he used his mathematical skills to analyse probabilities within wargame mechanics. “Wally’s Basement” at the HMGS Historicon conventions is named after him. With 25 years of work to draw on, this is the first in a series a ‘best of’ booklets that explore the nuts and bolts of wargame design as seen through his eyes.
This is a short occasional update on the publishing progress of the History of Wargaming Project. The project has gone digital and about 20 of the books/rules are now available as e-books from the iBook Store, The Nook, or from www.lulu.com. The rest of the back catalogue will be converted in due course. Peter Perla’s Art of Wargaming, a book about the professional use of wargaming (as well as much interesting material about the history of wargaming), is now out in paperback. Donald Featherstone has seen his novel Redcoats for the Raj, back into print and he has completed a new novel, The Badgered Men. Donald Featherstone’s classic book Air War Games has now been updated and is now [again] in print.
In addition to documenting the history of wargaming, I play games professionally. In about two weeks [late May], a new book Dark Guest, training games for cyberwarfare will be in print. I co-authored it with Tim Price MBE.
I recently purchased a copy of Waterloo from Warhammer Historicals – partly because it was on 50% discount, but also partly because initial feedback was quite positive about it’s production quality and content. I’ve had it for a few days but to date have only managed to skim read through it so as yet haven’t looked into the actual game mechanics in detail – but I can say production quality is superb – and on a par with Kampfgruppe Normandy (although Waterloo is not such a ‘heavy’ book.
However John Michael up in Canada has played through a quick introduction to the rules on his Fuentes de Onoro (Wargaming in 28 mm and sometimes smaller) blog – it’s an interesting read and there’s some interesting points illustrated. I have yet to get through the rulebook in detail (and will post my thoughts here once I do) – meanwhile based on John’s feedback in his post above the unit rosters look a bit busy and complex, actually I didn’t pay too much attention to these when I first browsed the book, but it looks like a bit of info to track (including specifics about battalion officers I overlooked previously), so you may not want to be managing more than half-a-dozen units normally.
Sam Mustafa has made an initial announcement of his much awaited new rules scheduled for release early in 2012. These are focussed on the linear warfare of the 18th Century (specifically 1690 to 1790) and named after the famous French Marshal Maurice de Saxe. The rules look to include some new innovative thoughts utilising action cards and feature a “Succession Wars” campaign. And they have been built with Imagi-Nations in mind as well, featuring flexibility of unit ratings and even troop scale! Finally a reason to dust off my boxes of Wargames Factory plastic figure boxes and get on with building my War of the Spanish Succession (WSS) armies – Marlborough here I come! You can download a copy of Sam’s flyer in PDF, about Maurice: War in the Age of Gentlemen and ‘Philosophes’ 1690-1790 here from Wargaming.info. Or you can read more from Sam at the Honour Games website and/or download the flyer from the Honour Games Download Page.