Sunday, July 26, 2015

A blog prize and some insight

I recently won a blog giveaway from Jon at the Palouse Wargaming Journal.  Jon is one of those very generous gamers that you always hear about.  He has personally broadened my hobby horizons, beyond the first class content of his blog.

The prize I selected was Henry Hyde's The Wargaming Compendium; a book I've heard a lot about, but never seen.



My impressions of what I was getting were based on the cover (I know, never judge...) and the brief statements of bloggers "this is great!". I was quite surprised with the weight of the book when it arrived.  I immediately saw that it was not what I had expected.  From the cover I had expected something of a coffee table book, lots of big pretty pictures and some text.

That would have been fine, but this book is so much more than that.  I'm pleased with the surprise.  There are 518 pages of content here.  I'm American.  I did not grow up reading Grant and Featherstone. Those books are not found in libraries around here.  This book seems to be very much in the tradition of the earlier authors, as it's been described (and as it is in this book).

I'm only three chapters in.  Chapter 1 described what wargaming is; basic concepts for beginners.  Chapter 2 is a history of wargaming, almost entirely from the point of view of the British.  This is very much a book about British Wargaming with only passing mention given to Americans and Germans.  This is not a problem, just look at how many of the gaming companies are in Britain.  It does leave the field open for an American and German equivalent though.

Chapter three talks about choosing a period.  Again, the author chooses to limit his coverage to historical gaming, with just a few pages on fantasy and science fiction.  He covers Valdemort Games Workshop and its place in the gaming sphere, but talks predominantly about historical gaming.

I'm enjoying the book.  It gives me a taste of the tomes that you Brits are always blathering on about as part of your gaming formation.  It's up to date and relevant.  I'm always interested in history and there are some things about the hobby that I've taken for granted.  I now understand why they are the way they are, and that there were other choices made that didn't work out for various reasons.

Even with the hefty page count it has you can tell that Hyde wishes he had more space to cover some things in more detail. This book is going to be eating my free time until I finish it.

12 comments:

  1. Glad you like the book. I have a copy and think it's great. It is very much old school and like sitting down with your grandfather as he tells you about the hobby he loves.

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    1. That's a very good description Martin.

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  2. Aaron, first thank you very much for the kind comments. Your words mean much to me.
    Second, Hyde's book definitely is UK-centric. I enjoyed that perspective and British historical perspective.
    If you have ever listened to Meeples and Miniatures podcast featuring Hyde in "On the Veranda" you would recognize that the tone of his book very much follows his excitement and devotion to the hobby.

    Pleased to hear that you are enjoying the book. It really is packed with interesting information. Destined to become a classic in my mind.

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    1. I'm enjoying it very much. So far it's living up to the hype. Thank you again.

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  3. Nice win! It is a great book - looking forward to reading my copy in detail when we are on the same continent next year :-)

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    1. I'm sure there's a long list of things you are looking forward to when you get back to Oz. It's always been part of the fun of being away for me; re-appreciating all of the things I took for granted.

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    2. Absolutely. Just like getting home from deployment, I'll probably just take a couple of months to pack and touch my stuff. Once the house it in order and I can be released for Hobbies that is!

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  4. Congratulations and what a wonderful prize. I have a copy, but haven't really done it justice yet.

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    1. Thanks Michael, I do feel very lucky to have won this, since I probably wouldn't have bought it for myself. I hope you have the time soon.

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  5. It's a great book - enjoy reading it :)

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  6. Sounds like a very interesting read.
    cheers

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