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The Art of Wargaming: A Guide for Professionals and Hobbyists
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The Art of Wargaming: A Guide for Professionals and Hobbyists

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  34 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Traces the history of war games, looks at how they have been used by the Navy War College, and defines the fundamental principles of designing, playing and evaluating war games.
Published March 1st 1990 by US Naval Institute Press
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Peter Perla stands in a fairly unique position. A veteran hobby gamer, he also served in several positions which enabled him to observe and consult upon professional wargaming. A perennial guest speaker at game conventions and various war colleges themselves, he straddles the fence between an intellectual hobby and an analytical approach to military doctrine and policy. I read a portion of this book when it was first published, but largely skipped over the portions describing professional wargam ...more
Dated now, but outstanding. The author first gives a solid, if a tad dry, history of the development of both professional (i.e., used by governments to train military people or test strategies being considered) and hobby (played for self-education and fun) wargames. This includes those using miniatures, various more abstract maps and unit counters, and computerized versions.
From there he goes on to provide a straightforward guide, a checklist of sorts, describing the processes of planning, devel
As a "guide for professionals and hobbyists" I think it's probably of more use to professionals. As a hobbyist I did find the history of wargaming interesting, but the sections on designing and developing wargames seemed much more aimed at the professional.

In this sense professional refers to those who play wargames for a living, not those who make them. In other words, military officers and others who use wargames in their profession.

Admittedly, I last read this book around ten years ago. Since
John Carter McKnight
Two excellent books in one: an exhaustive history of military and hobby wargaming, with deep insights into cyclical pressures on the industry, and a good manual of game design and development. Sometimes an excessive level of detail, but an overlooked and invaluable resource for academic games scholars and developers/designers alike. Absolutely worth tracking down and at least reading the chapters of direct interest.
Brian Ridge
It is a bit dated, but good. I enjoyed his remarks on the history of wargaming the most. Lot of nifty info in there...
Bill Bruno
An informative book. One caveat, the books talks about being a guide to professionals and hobbyists for a reason. The professionals he talks about are military professionals and much of the book is taken up with wargaming as a military training exercise.
A bit weedy. Nice history section, though.
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