Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Pen and Sword (November 19, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #412,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #91 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Crafts & Hobbies > Toys & Models > Miniatures #1170 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Gaming #5711 in Books > Humor & Entertainment > Puzzles & Games
Let's face it--and Neil Thomas does--few miniature wargamers have the time and table space for the games shown in magazines and put on at conventions, and those who do don't always. Work, family and school get in the way. So what sort of games CAN we play?This is where Thomas stands almost alone. He's scaled down miniature warfare to something which can be done on a card table in an hour or two. The book consists of a short introduction, discussions (with rules) of ten wargaming periods--say three pages of description and two pages of rules each--the mandatory and disposable asides on solo and campaign gaming, the usual "where to find more information" and what really makes the book worth owning--30 scenarios playable in any period discussed, with no more than six units a side randomly selected from a list of ten. A gamer starting with nothing could buy two armies, scratch-build the terrain and be ready to go for a cash investment of under $100.The pieces of the book are free-standing, if you will. The rules could be used with different scenarios, and the scenarios do not require the rules. There are no special basing requirements either way.Limitations. Scenarios are for land warfare only. These are not skirmish scenarios, so the book's not much use for the "Western Gunfight" crowd for instance. There are no "national distinctions" and colonial warfare seems to have slipped through the cracks. The operating (unvoiced) assumptions are that "tanks is tanks"--units of the same type are equivalent--and that six units of one side are a fair match for six units of the other side. This should not keep a wargamer from using these scenarios with rules which make provision for such differences, but he'll have to keep alert to keep it a fair game.
This is a great book for casual gamers and those just starting in miniature gaming. This is very much on the GAME side of the hobby and not the SIMULATION side. There are no specific bases sizes beyond cannons having a frontage of 3 inches and all other units having a frontage of 4 - 6 inches. The rules don't say how many figures to use per unit. This is very far from a tournament rules set and is more like the sort of thing you would do as a DIY project to your own aesthetic standards and where you would produce all the forces yourself or have a few friends agree to a base size that felt right for a three foot square playing area. In short, they take an old school view of the hobby and view your primary objective in playing with toy soldiers to be having fun. These rules are much more like dusting off a favorite board game to play when you have company over than say Warhammer or DBA. The games in the book make a great offering for after class activities and interesting diversions in social studies class. Now, that having been said, the games are VERY basic and the author explains quite well why he keeps things simple and to the point. After years of accepting it as carved in stone that I needed to roll to hit, wound, then check armor saves and morale etc, I have to say that having all units take 15 hits of damage and then get eliminated is a breath of fresh air. Tanks do more damage against tanks, mortars and cannons get bonus hits against infantry. It's that simple. All units fight on until they are eliminated and it is assumed that a lot of those "hits" are morale failures and not just the troops dropping like flies. All the rules follow the same basic structure with period specific modifications to account for changes in warfare.
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