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
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.