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Tabletop Wargames: A Designers' and Writers' Handbook

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  20 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Unlike chess or backgammon, tabletop wargames have no single, accepted set of rules. Most wargamers at some point have had a go at writing their own rules and virtually all have modified commercially available sets to better suit their idea of the ideal game or to adapt favorite rules to a different historical period or setting. But many who try soon find that writing a co ...more
Published September 16th 2016 by Pen & Sword Books
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Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I don't know if I would say that I'm a fan of any of Rick Priestley's games but I can say I found this book informative. I would definitely recommend it to any insipiring game designer.
First, let me tell you what this book is not. You will not find a detailed analysis of various wargames and a disection of their rules. You will also not find a formulaic approach that descibres how to develop a wargame as a series of steps or some kind of flow chart.

What you will find instead is a thoughtful redu
David Cuatt
Dec 17, 2020 rated it liked it
I was rather disappointed by this book. There was a lot of theory and even math which made it look like game design is more of a science than an art. I was hoping for more actual examples of rules and scenarios, perhaps even some templates to help organize your thoughts when starting to write. Also, the emphasis throughout the book was on designing games for publication and following what's popular right now. My interests lie in tried and true historical gaming and scenarios, not in using points ...more
Matt Midlock
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Fantastic but light game design overview from Rick Priestley of Warhammer fame. The weight of the book was perfect for me and gave a little insight into designing wargames and the kind of things that are important and what to think about when designing.

I'll never create a wargame but I'm curious about the process and this book gave good insight without getting bogged down in too much detail or statistics. It's a quick read and would most likely be a perfect depth for gamers curious about the de
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
More a 3.5.
A very good overview of wargame design. Written much like a decent rulebook, with some top dry humour sprinkled in. It lacks in detailed critical analysis of any particular system, historical or personal insight into the development process of any of the games the authors designed, not to mention gossip or scurrilous opinion. However, its narrow focus provides a fantastic entry point into a deeper understanding of the fundamentals of a wargame design. Required reading for anyone in the hobby, hi ...more
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Rick Priestley is a miniature wargaming designer.

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“Napoleonic naval wargames are less satisfying because so much of an encounter involves sailing in parallel lines while players roll dice at each other - and then the British win.” 1 likes
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