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Subject: History of board Wargames (books/articles) rss

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Interested in recommendations on this topic. I've read/have what is listed below. I'm not particularly interested in the history of miniatures, though I have read about that.

what I have/have read:

Perla's Art of Wargaming
recent MIT press edited collection Zones of Control
Dunnigan's various work
Playing at the World (mostly D&D but a fair amount of wargame history too)
S&T back issues various articles
Moves back issues, various articles
The General back issues, various articles
Wells, Little Wars
Naval College Press and magazine articles over the years available online
Donald Featherstone's work
EIDT: Sabin's SIMULATING WAR

NOTE: I am also not asking about general military history here--specifically the history of board wargaming.
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Mike Richardson
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A bit dated but an excellent read...



More recent and also a good read (this has stuff on board wargame design)...


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Keith Anderson
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How about this new 700+ page behemoth with contributions from many heavy hitters

Zones of Control: Perspectives on Wargaming (Game Histories)

Its available on Amazon.
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I have and read Nicholas Palmer, The Comprehensive Guide to Board Wargaming, 1977, so it's dated. The above-mentioned version by Palmer may be an updated version.
 
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GamePlayer wrote:
How about this new 700+ page behemoth with contributions from many heavy hitters

Zones of Control: Perspectives on Wargaming (Game Histories)

Its available on Amazon.
Yes, I have read that. See my original post.
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smic wrote:
I have and read Nicholas Palmer, The Comprehensive Guide to Board Wargaming, 1977, so it's dated. The above-mentioned version by Palmer may be an updated version.


It is updated, but still dated. That version was published in 1980.
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Matt Caffrey keeps threatening to release his History of US Military Wargaming, but every time he gets closer he finds something new to add. No idea how close he is to actually releasing it.
 
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adm1 wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:
How about this new 700+ page behemoth with contributions from many heavy hitters

Zones of Control: Perspectives on Wargaming (Game Histories)

Its available on Amazon.
Yes, I have read that. See my original post.


I looked, apparently glanced poorly, through your post 3 times but didn't see it behind "recent MIT press edited collection"

So how is it? I've been toying with buying it...
 
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GamePlayer wrote:
adm1 wrote:
GamePlayer wrote:
How about this new 700+ page behemoth with contributions from many heavy hitters

Zones of Control: Perspectives on Wargaming (Game Histories)

Its available on Amazon.
Yes, I have read that. See my original post.


:D I looked, apparently glanced poorly, through your post 3 times but didn't see it behind "recent MIT press edited collection"

So how is it? I've been toying with buying it...

It has the pluses and minuses of any edited collection: uneven contributions and a variety of perspectives on a variety of topics that may or may not go together.

Also, for my taste I am less interested in articles on recent games so I just skipped those. Still, it is lengthy and even if you discount the articles for which you may have no specific interest, there is quite a lot there for the money. I recommend it if you are interested in writing about wargames, certainly. It follows the high standards of other MIT Press books on game design, of which I own quite a few.
 
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DownriverRick wrote:
smic wrote:
I have and read Nicholas Palmer, The Comprehensive Guide to Board Wargaming, 1977, so it's dated. The above-mentioned version by Palmer may be an updated version.


It is updated, but still dated. That version was published in 1980.


As i mentioned, it is dated, but still worth a read, since the OP mentions he is interested in the history of board wargaming.
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Donald Brent
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I have a similar interest as you and judging from your list, you probably have most of what's out there on board wargaming. And with the addition of Palmer's book, you've certainly covered the major works.

Personally I found Dunnigan's books to be the most informative but in fairness I have not read everything mentioned here.

I'd be very interested if you uncover anything else on the topic.

Don Brent
Phoenix, AZ

 
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Some good stuff in this book.
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pete belli wrote:


Some good stuff in this book.
OP here: do you happen to know if this reproduces the S&T design articles or is something else? I have the S&T design articles but haven't been able to compare them to the t of c of that book...
 
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I would also suggest:

Lost Battles: Reconstructing the Great Clashes of the Ancient World (Philip Sabin)
War Games: A History of War on Paper (Philip von Hilgers)
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Andrew Taylor
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While slightly outside the scope of what you might be looking for you could also look at this

Hobby Games: The 100 Best edited by James Lowder.

While it includes RPGs, CCG, Euro & family games, ~30 of the 100 games are wargames in a broad sense (A&A, Battle Cry, Twilight Struggle up to Squad Leader, Here I Stand, Terrible Swift Sword, etc). There is a brief 3-4 page description of each game and why the contributor's thought they stood out.
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Gian Carlo Ceccoli
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My modest work:
http://www.lafeltrinelli.it/libri/ceccoli-g-carlo/simulazion...
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James Lowry
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Playing at the World

It is primarily about the birth of RPGs, but of course that includes a lot of mini and board wargaming, including a trace-through of Chess variants that led towards Kreigspiel.
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adm1 wrote:
NOTE: I am also not asking about general military history here--specifically the history of board wargaming.


There's Creveld's book
https://www.amazon.com/Wargames-Martin-van-Creveld-ebook/dp/...


The caveat - I know a LOT of wargame designers, academics, theorists, professionals, etc, and I have yet to find one who likes this book
I'm throwing it out there for you in the interest of completeness, not as a recommendation cool
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bayonetbrant wrote:
adm1 wrote:
NOTE: I am also not asking about general military history here--specifically the history of board wargaming.


There's Creveld's book
https://www.amazon.com/Wargames-Martin-van-Creveld-ebook/dp/...


The caveat - I know a LOT of wargame designers, academics, theorists, professionals, etc, and I have yet to find one who likes this book
I'm throwing it out there for you in the interest of completeness, not as a recommendation :cool:
Thanks for this link. I did not know of this book. Why is it that the people you know don't like it? A matter of accuracy or just the slant of the book or something else? Just curious.
 
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adm1 wrote:
pete belli wrote:


Some good stuff in this book.
OP here: do you happen to know if this reproduces the S&T design articles or is something else? I have the S&T design articles but haven't been able to compare them to the t of c of that book...


Hope this Table of Contents info helps...

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Thank you for the T of C. I will check and report back for anyone else who has the same question. Much appreciated!
EDIT: well this t of c looks to be some overlap and maybe some different or reworked material from the articles I have. Probably not enough new and different material to track the book down but certainly a great resource if you dont have the original pieces.
 
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adm1 wrote:
bayonetbrant wrote:
adm1 wrote:
NOTE: I am also not asking about general military history here--specifically the history of board wargaming.


There's Creveld's book
https://www.amazon.com/Wargames-Martin-van-Creveld-ebook/dp/...


The caveat - I know a LOT of wargame designers, academics, theorists, professionals, etc, and I have yet to find one who likes this book
I'm throwing it out there for you in the interest of completeness, not as a recommendation cool
Thanks for this link. I did not know of this book. Why is it that the people you know don't like it? A matter of accuracy or just the slant of the book or something else? Just curious.


It sucks!

He takes an extremely loose idea of "wargaming" as covering virtually any physical or abstract conflict that isn't actual war. And then uses that as an excuse to fill fully 1/3 of the book with detail about gladiators....

Only the beginning of the sins. It's really awful. I recycled my copy rather than risk inflicting it on some other poor soul.
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Something not on your list is former Avalon Hill employee Rex Martin's Ph.D. dissertation:
Rex A. Martin, Cardboard Warriors: The Rise and Fall of an American Wargaming Subculture, 1958-1998 (August 2001) (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Pennsylvania State University), microformed on UMI Microform 3020503 (Univ. Microforms Int'l).


It's available from ProQuest:
http://dissexpress.umi.com/dxweb/search.html
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Rindis wrote:
Playing at the World

It is primarily about the birth of RPGs, but of course that includes a lot of mini and board wargaming, including a trace-through of Chess variants that led towards Kreigspiel.
yes I mention this in my original post and in fact say the same thing about it
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Confessions of an 84 Year Old Teenager by Thomas N. Shaw

Early history of Avalon Hill.

https://www.amazon.com/Confessions-84-Year-Old-Teenager/dp/1...
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