One of the unexpected gifts at Christmas came from my father, a long-time simulationist wargamer, who bought me the wholly non-simulationist book on wargaming which I’ve been enjoying digging into today.
The Wargaming Compendium by Henry Hyde is a treasure! While I have only progressed slowly in reading this highly informative and detailed text, I’ve been entranced by the wonderful combination of ideas and photographs. It’s entirely the sort of book I would have wished to have been given as a young man, and it’s a delight to have received it now.
Of particular interest to me has been the chapter on the history of wargaming, written with a particular focus on the tabletop miniature wargaming with which the book is primarily concerned. I found the British author’s reference to iconic texts and wargamers helpful in revealing to me how many of the foundational writings were both on my father’s shelf and read by teenaged me. It is curious that my father was so apparently anti-miniatures while he owned so many books on the topic.
I find myself drawn into contemplating a re-evaluation of the miniatures hobby for the first time, really, since I left Games Workshop some 17 years ago. Perhaps it is time to advance into historical wargaming territory again, especially given my love for miniatures and the craft around it. Either way, I am enjoying the journey into the foundations of my hobby.
Of note is the way in which Hyde casually claims D&D as a wargame in the early chapters of the book. This is, of course, accurate… but it’s also interesting to consider the elements from wargames that have found their way into roleplaying games. The chapter on the core concepts of wargames has given me much to ponder.
Overall, a good read and I hope to plow my way through it as we cross into the New Year.