Friday, August 2, 2002

Wargame Campaigns

Wargames Campaigns by C.S. Grant is a broad work covering the many aspects of wargaming campaigns of any era. Being so broad, though, it lacks depth in any particular area.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction-- 'Why Have a Campaign?'
  2. The Start Point
  3. Maps
  4. Movement
  5. Armies
  6. Playing Mechanics
  7. Personalities
  8. Casualties and Hospitals
  9. Prisoners
  10. Recruiting
  11. Weather
  12. Rivers, Boats and Bridges
  13. Politics
  14. Finances
  15. Campaign Diaries, Journals and Book Keeping
  16. Scenarios, Settings and Ideas
  17. Postal Campaigns
  18. Orders and Communications
  19. Campaigns at Sea
  20. Campaigns in the Air
  21. Random Happenings
  22. Technology and Wargame Campaigns
  23. Computers and Campaign Wargaming
  24. The Use of Board Games
  25. Seiges in Campaigns
  26. Other Aspects
  27. End Piece
  28. Bibliography

At 153 pages and 25 chapters, plus intro, end piece and bibliograph, each section has an average of about 5 and a half pages. This is short, and I really noticed this while reading the book. It does give a very broad view of wargaming campaigns, though, and would be a good introductory book.
As an example, consider the Politics chapter. It weighs in at exactly five and a half pages. Grant first gives an introduction stating that Politics in a campaign are a very optional area, although very useful in campaigns with an umpire. Then there is a full page giving an example chart to generate the random political climate for the ruling government and opposition in a country. Another page gives a sample chart to generate randomly the relationship between two countries. Grant then gives a paragraph on alliances, a few sample conspiracies, some repercussions of civil unrest, an overview of investment, commerce and industry, and ends with a very brief summary. This is enough to get you thinking about these aspects of your campaign but, like the rest of the book, you rarely get to see examples of these topics used in an actual campaign.
Overall, it's a worthwhile book as long as you're looking for an overview of wargame campaigns. It left me, however, feeling my appetite had only been whetted, not satisfied, and that this is an area that could use a larger, more in-depth work.
Wargame Campaigns
C.S. Grant
C & S Publications, 1995
ISBN: 0-9525146-0-5

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