Jeu de guerre de Ornria

"Postings from the Ornrian Wars", or "Warplay with Plastic Armymen"

A quick out of character moment

I finished reading the John Curry edition of Donald Featherstone's "War Games; Battles and Maneuvers with Model Soldiers". and thought I'd write a short but proper review. To begin with, It's a great effort, and I feel that making these out of print books in a price range I can reach, is an awesome thing. Now on to the critical part; As is common with print on demand press-work there is a decided lack of polish. I noticed several minor typos, and one spot where the formatting seems to have knocked out part of a sentence, typical problems with word-processed documents. Next, the black and white photographs are obviously .jpg files and suffer from compression artifacts and loss of fidelity that comes from low resolution scanning. The pics would have fared better if High Resolution scanning and .tiff format had been used. They are, however, not all bad, in some cases it's actually easier to make out the subject of the image than it was in the original! I think some processing of the image was done, bringing out the stuff that had been lost in dark shadows. So overall it's a bit of a plus! Now a review of content; Wargames is a major seminal work in the toy soldier and wargame hobby. The book is divided into about 5 sections; the first is a brief history of the toy/model soldier and general overview of the hobby as it was 50 years ago. after a brief synopsis of a general battlegame, it moves on to briefly cover campaign games and how to make one's own figures. Then comes the real "meat" of the text. One plus about this new edition is commentary by the editor and various luminaries of the hobby. To begin with, A set of ancient rules based on Tony Bath's original Hyperborian campaign, followed by a sample battle to illustrate how the rules are used. A chapter detailing a nice set of Horse and Musket rules follows, it uses the

Hyperborian Rules for melee, but really stands alone apart from that. I especially favor the mechanic that allows the risking of an Officer casualty. The famous "Battle in the Platteville Valley" scenario follows, a medium sized wargame with balanced forces; 6 infantry Regiments of 20 castings, 2 15 man Cavalry Regiments, and 2 Artillery Batteries (1 gun represents a battery) form each army, thus to play one needs a grand total of ; 240 infantry, 60 horse, and 4 guns with 16 artillerists. a reasonable sized pair of armies! The book moves on to the modern era, with the famous Lionel Tarr WWII rules, and a minor gloss of his solo Stalingrad campaign (eye candy!). Then illustrates the rules with a battle for a crossroads. This is interesting if only for the images which include plaster home-made tanks! An added bonus is that Curry's revision of the book includes the western front equipment that was missing from Tarr's original Eastern Front focused game rules. The book ends with a skirmish rules chapter that is notable primarily for being more in the nature of a set of suggestions. It reminds me very much of a simple Basic Dungeons and Dragons melee. To cap the book is a timeline of publications in Wargaming highlighting the "essential reading" for the serious gamer and toy soldier enthusiast.All in all, as I spent about $20.00 including shipping, I think I got my money's worth! Really, if you only ever buy one book about wargames, this would have to be it. It's certainly on my "stranded on a deserted island" library list!Many Thanks to John Curry, who is engaged in a laudable effort! Well, your mileage may vary, and results may differ, and my opinion is not necessarily reflective of reality, etc....

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