Planning Ahead — With Your Help

Reader Jay Arnold has asked me to raise the subject of my next book.

I already have a number of ideas, and would be interested in getting your feedback.

1) A much-expanded version of the “Choosing a period” chapter in the Compendium, somewhat like Don Featherstone’s Wargames Through the Ages but with modern graphics, photography etc. I’ve already got extensive notes for periods up to about 1900. This could either result in another Compendium-like ‘tome’, or be divided into a number of smaller volumes covering Ancients / Dark Ages / Medieval / Renaissance / Horse & Musket / etc etc.

2) A book on wargames campaigns, using my Wars of the Faltenian Succession as an example, but also bringing in historical campaigns and alternative campaign systems, perhaps with contributions from other wargamers.

3) Publish my Shot, Steel & Stone rules as a stand-alone product, with supplements for different periods. I would want to try to keep the sale price of these in line with TooFatLardies products rather than, say, Black Powder, unless there was a demand for a ‘deluxe’ edition. I’m also bearing in mind comments by other gamers like Keith Flint who would be perfectly happy with black & white, ‘under a tenner’ versions.

4) Fiction. I already have part-written fantasy and sci-fi novels in gestation and ideas for an 18th century historical novel/series of short stories. They all have the potential to become series.

Some or all of these ideas could be self-published or e-published as alternatives to traditional publishing.

So, my real need now is to prioritise, and since many of you have kindly purchased The Wargaming Compendium and know my work on the magazine, I’d be grateful for your thoughts and suggestions.

26 comments for “Planning Ahead — With Your Help

  1. Khairudin James Lamb
    August 4, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Hi Henry,

    A bit late in the day, but I would be definitely interested in the stand alone rules set, I have been really enjoying using them & my trainees (10, 8, 6 & 4) are enjoying them as well. If you can make available as a slim line or PDF, I would book in for several copies.

    That said, I am glad you are going for the campaigns. I like the imagination concept & it allows the 6 year old to freely paint light blue shakos on his French Line Infantry…

    No Worries,

    James

    • henryhyde
      August 4, 2014 at 1:05 pm

      James, thank you so much for the feedback! I’m delighted that you are using the rules and having fun with them. I am certainly hoping to create a stand-alone version of the rules, and will be talking to the publishers about my options for this. Keep an eye on this site and my other contact channels (@battlegames on Twitter, the Miniature Wargames Facebook page and my blog here, as well as the site for the book) and I’ll post as soon as I have news on that.

      Meanwhile, that’s quite a battalion of trainees you have there!

  2. Keith Mullen
    June 25, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    The bits and pieces and Faltenian maps in the previous book definitely whetted my appetite for more, a step by step guide on how this world came about and lessons learned would be excellent. I may be out of step in that I’d like to see more fantasy and sci-fi content, not less!

  3. June 22, 2014 at 2:17 am

    Campaigns and table top for solo players, any new ideas to fit with WAS and imaginations would suit me

  4. June 21, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Looks like choosing the campaign option was the right way to go Henry, judging by the comments here. When your other book on the 18th century as a wargaming period comes out I’ll snap it up.

    Wanted to mention the Wargames Compendium,, I had my doubts when I bought it, being something of an old grognard, but it has a habit of coming off the shelf at regular intervals for dipping into and reference. Really glad I have it.

    All the best, Keith.

    • henryhyde
      June 21, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      Thanks for the compliment, Keith, much appreciated.

  5. Bill Thornhill
    June 18, 2014 at 10:19 am

    The campaign book gets my vote Henry 🙂

  6. June 16, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Late to the show due to holidays: But I’d also greatly enjoy a campaign book, especially it’s something like Sidney Roundwood described, covering different types of campaign, from short ladder or narrative ones to larger. Looking forward to reading it!

  7. June 15, 2014 at 4:38 am

    Ditto on the campaign book and I would really like to see more on creating: a place (country, continent, whatever); and maps and map campaigns leading to using figures.

  8. June 14, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Yes, a campaign book would be very welcome. One can never have enough books on that subject!
    For idea’s on content, I think A Harman (among others) has enough suggestions to fill a book the size of another Wargames Compendium!

    I’ll buy it anyway ;-))

  9. June 13, 2014 at 12:53 am

    I would like to see Shot Steel and Stone as a separate pdf or paperback version. That way I don’t damage my copy of the compendium as I refer to the rules.

    As to the subject of a new book , the three areas I enjoyed most were the history of wargaming, choosing a period and of course the campaign section.

    I am happy to hear you are going to focus on the campaign for a new book ,however I would like to see a fair bit of campaign “fluff” on past campaigns. The banter between players and interesting side events are in a lot of ways a more enjoyable aspect of campaigning than the actual battles so some highlights of your Faltenian succession campaigns would be great to see.

    Another idea would be to in addition to campaigns maybe include a good range of some scenarios. In my opinion we need to get people away from the concept of points based battles and more focused on scenarios as outlined in a recent article by Richard or Neil in the magazine. After all, if you are a good study of a particular period it is not hard to design a scenario. People can be lazy in setting up a game and just fall back on a points total resulting in bland same-same battles.

  10. henryhyde
    June 12, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Thanks so much to all of you for your very useful feedback, I really appreciate you taking the time.

    This afternoon, I had a conversation with Phil Sidnell, my editor at Pen & Sword, after which I started preparing notes and the jacket for:

    Wargaming Campaigns

    I have an idea about how long it’s going to take me to write – but I’ll leave that as a surprise. Set your calendars, folks! 😀 Needless to say, Amazon won’t get a sniff of the front cover until I’m good and ready…

    The other book ideas won’t be going to waste – I’ll probably self-publish some of them and seek alternative publishers for others (such as the fiction, since that’s not P&S’s forte).

    Once again, many thanks.

    • June 12, 2014 at 10:55 pm

      Henry,
      I was going to vote for the campaigns book, too, so I’m very pleased to discover you’ve chosen that subject for your next book. I agree with Sidney Roundwood: offer a variety of campaigns, from very short, culminating in just one battle (campaign as back-story for one-off game), to longer, ongoing types. Cover different game structures, from Matrix/argument games, via highly stylised campaigns with very simple rules (eg the Generalship Game in Paddy Griffith’s Napoleonic Wargaming For Fun,) in which battles can either be fought out on the tabletop or resolved more simply), siege games, to conventional map and written/email/telephone order games.
      Offer generic, non period specific structures/rules and or simple examples of scenarios for a variety of popular periods – but, please, no SF, traditional fantasy (any medieval system would suit) or anything ending in -punk, please!
      I would be happy to contribute, help in any way that I can..
      Good luck with this project!
      Arthur

      • henryhyde
        June 13, 2014 at 1:34 am

        You should know by now that I am very inclusive by nature, Arthur, so of course I AM going to include fantasy, sci-fi and other genres. Ignoring things like D&D, where characters grow in their abilities from adventure to adventure would be very blinkered and, frankly, stupid. Sci-fi also has some great RPGs like Rogue Trader. But fear not, I shall certainly be covering some of *your* fringe favourites from the world of WD and may even call upon you to contribute something! 🙂

  11. June 12, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Hi Henry! I think that a campaign guide would be very welcome. I’d certainly buy one! Wargames campaign books have always been treasured by the hobby – the classics by Don Featherstone and Tony Bath, excellent additions by Charles Grant and Stuart Asquith, and more recent material by Richard Clarke with At the Sharp End. And many, many others. You really should add to this stable! Cover different scales of campaigns – from simple ones for a weekend, to long ones for over a year, from historical to imagi-nations, to fictional/ literary to complex logistics based ones. Lots of wonderful illustrations from your campaign diaries please! And above all, perhaps – go into detail about what works, what didn’t work, problems and solutions. It will no doubt take a while, but it would be a wonderful book. Very best of luck choosing what you do!

  12. darragh
    June 12, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Campaign book please 🙂

  13. June 12, 2014 at 8:24 am

    If you publish the “Choosing a Period” expansion as separate booklets, they will likely be purchased by those who already have an interest in the specific period that each one covers. This will preclude the happy circumstance of some gamer having their fancy taken by some other chapter of the “Tome” while browsing outside of their usual subject matter.

    Beyond that, I have little advice to give someone who obviously failed to absorb the lesson offered by the epic struggle to complete The Compendium. Since you insist on subjecting yourself to that burden yet again, I would suggest only that you choose the option that calls most to your heart of hearts. Write the one that you feel simply must be written, and it will make the burden light and the journey short.

  14. alan verrall
    June 12, 2014 at 8:21 am

    I agree a campaign book would suit me ,but 1860 to 1900 not much is written about apart from American civil war , lots of small skirmish wars could that be put in

  15. Iain
    June 12, 2014 at 7:23 am

    I read the magazine each month, I have a copy of the book and I’ve played the rules. Have you considered writing a book on the subject of gardening?

    Oh, OK then. I think you should go for a combination the ‘rules’ and campaign options. The rules are excellent and deserve a wider distribution – perhaps a pdf version for those who want the basics and a full colour jobbie for those who like pretty pictures. A ‘pike and shot’ and ‘modern horse and musket’ supplements would be great but I wonder if they would have enough substance to them with including stuff on campaigns.

    Please don’t make me ready science fiction or fantasy books.

    Iain

  16. June 12, 2014 at 7:10 am

    I agree with the other chaps, a campaign supplement based on your Faltenian world would be really interesting!!

  17. June 12, 2014 at 6:52 am

    I would suspect the Campaign book would be the popular choice.

  18. dexey
    June 12, 2014 at 6:27 am

    The choosing a period would be good as an overview followed by details of different periods which could be separate volumes.
    My need is for skirmish scenarios that easily translate to the medieval period and could be included in a medieval campaign.
    Any rules need to be playable solo, for me.

  19. June 12, 2014 at 6:22 am

    I’m obviously of the Keith Flint school of rules writing, black and white and under a tenner works for me as well 🙂
    Personally I’d say that we need a successor to Tony Bath’s ‘Setting up a wargames campaign’

  20. June 12, 2014 at 5:43 am

    For me the campaign book wold hold the most interest

  21. June 12, 2014 at 1:14 am

    I’d LOVE for you to publish your Wars of the Faltenian Succession. Way back I wrote you a multi-page e-mail with my thoughts on what you had published on the subject originally in Battlegames. To this day the Faltenian Succession inspires me to wargame. If you think it best to write about it in terms of a book on wargame campaigns, then I think that is the best thing you can do.

    PLUS, the way I see it is that a book on wargame campaigns/Faltenian Succession would serve to expand on what you’ve written in the Compendium instead of duplicating/crossing over/competing with the content in there. Any readers who own the Compendium would benefit from a more focused look at campaigns. The subject allows you to add a lot of value to readers while covering a variety of topics from Imagi-Nations, campaigns, solo-gaming, etc.

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