Pricing in the Wargames Hobby

I’ve been browsing TMP. Silly of me, I know, but I just have to speak out after seeing yet another thread where people are opining that there is something wrong with companies seeking to make a profit from their wares.

This is patently ridiculous. First of all, it’s the duty of every company to make a profit. Even a sole trader has the right to price his goods and services with the intention of paying his bills, looking after his family and — why not? — taking a nice holiday and driving a decent car. Why should anyone go into business with the hope of nothing but a life of penury? And of course any company, be it private or public, should also have its shareholders in mind when structuring its prices. Shareholders, in the context of the wargames industry, are mostly ordinary people who have stumped up their own savings or taken out loans in order to help bring a company into being. They’re taking a risk – so why shouldn’t they be rewarded? And Lord knows I’m a man who knows something about risk and lack of reward!

The false reasoning of the ranters goes further. So what if company x, y or z charges too much in your opinion? This is, as the saying goes, a free world: nobody is putting a gun to your head to buy a particular miniature, magazine, paint or terrain item. Just skip the advert or put the thing back on the shelf. Move along. You are not forced to buy these products!

I’ve been wargaming a very long time (since 1969) and I’m well-known for having a soft spot for ‘old school’ (I prefer Phil Olley’s term ‘classic’) wargaming, but I’ve never subscribed to the idea that everything should be cheap (let alone free). I can remember the days when being a wargamer was like being a member of a secret society, and good products, be they books, miniatures or ephemera, were so scarce that they were purchased with alacrity. But they were never cheap. In fact, I’d argue that most wargaming products represent good value relative to modern incomes, and there is sufficient competition, ranging from one-man-bands operating out of their garden sheds, through to multinational companies, to ensure a range of choice like we’ve never had before. Where products have become more expensive is largely due to the ludicrous rise in the cost of raw materials, as major powers in the global economy gobble up scarce resources, rather than the avarice of the wargames businessman.

There’s something else at work here too: consumer greed. Some people seem to think they should have access to certain things by right at little or no cost. Pardon? For example, the current trend in decrying full-colour rulebooks with high production standards. I’m really tired of hearing people trash these efforts – the product of a huge amount of work by a group of dedicated people over many months – on the basis that all they want is a black-and-white stapled version of the rules, or a free-to-download PDF, hopefully provided for nothing.

Eh?

This, I’m afraid, is one of those depressing symptoms of the internet age, which has created a culture of expectation that is groundless. It particularly afflicts publishing, where even people who would consider themselves to be ‘honest’ routinely flout copyright laws in relation to music, photography and the written word.

Let’s take an example. There was a furore when Rick Priestley’s Black Powder was first published by Warlord Games. This is a delightful, full-colour, hardback publication, engagingly written, beautifully illustrated with diagrams and lovely photos. It runs to 184 A4 pages plus the hardback covers, with an RRP of £30. You can find it on Amazon for £25.50.

Okay, £30 isn’t cheap, but I would argue that it’s good value. That’s the price of less than two boxes of Perry plastic miniatures; 15 pots of Coat d’Armes paint; rather less than seven flocked Hexon terrain boards; or, if you live outside the EU and aren’t subject to our 20% VAT, a Baccus 6mm army starter pack. As with any of this random selection, you’ll be using the Black Powder rules for many years to come. (Make sure you close the paint pots properly, or they won’t last as long.)*

Now, I can hear some of you grumbling already and of course, you may prefer to spend your money on miniatures or terrain. Then go right ahead! The publishers, of course, took a gamble when they decided on their price that they wouldn’t scare people away in droves and be left with a warehouse full of unsold copies. Ah, you say, it was bound to sell well because it was written by Rick Priestley. Well, bless his soul, I don’t imagine he thinks of himself as the Jeffrey Archer of wargaming (he hasn’t been to prison for a start, and I wouldn’t recommend it to him as a publicity stunt), but it could easily have happened that people thought “Why do I need another set of horse and musket rules?”

In fact, it’s interesting to ask, why didn’t those who bought Black Powder think that? (A topic for another post…)

Could it be that actually, part of the adverse reaction to certain releases, be they miniatures or rulebooks (the two things that seem to provoke the strongest reactions), is due to our own sense of guilt? We’re jackdaws. We all like the latest shiny thing that comes along. We suffer from a shared dysfunction and it irks us when we are forced to make choices. Gosh, I already play (for example) General de Brigade, but that Black Powder book sure looks pretty and the rules sound interesting and I WANT it but I can’t AFFORD it, let alone JUSTIFY the purchase, and what if I discover that I actually prefer BP to GdB? Would that turn my wargaming world upside down? What would my friends think? Would I have to re-base everything?

Then things turn really sour. Didn’t that Priestley bloke work for Games Workshop before? Come to think of it, a whole  bunch of the Warlord lads did. It’s a conspiracy. During their time at GW, they were secretly inculcated into the secrets of creating a business that not only survives, but actually makes money! Some of those Games Workshop products are really expensive! They’re evil! I must resist! But it’s hard! I need to convince myself that I don’t want that damn book – I know, I’ll go online and slag it off, even though I’ve not actually read it! Mustn’t read it, might fall under its spell! Oh, no, it’s affecting me already! Look at all these exclamation marks I’m using! I’m going to explode!

Of course, you could just buy the book if you can afford it (it’s nice to have in the collection) or not, if you can’t afford it or it just doesn’t tickle your fancy. Life goes on. There will be another one along in a minute.

Oh, no – Hail Caesar! What do you mean another full-colour hardback? About ancients? Why isn’t it written in Barkerese and in black and white, text only? Written by that Priestley again? He IS evil! Aaaaarrrrrgggggghhhhhhhh!

[For Ancients ranting balance, you are also welcome to froth at the high production values and cover prices of Field of Glory, Warhammer Ancient Battles, Clash of Empires and now War & Conquest.]

*I’m sure that keen painters out there would argue that those Coat d’Armes paints wouldn’t last years. Trust me, in my case, they would.

29 comments for “Pricing in the Wargames Hobby

  1. Jeremy Sucliffe
    February 4, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    OK £30 for Black Powder. £28 cheapest admission to Manchester United. Both will give an afternoon’s entertainment.

    The next time you Wargame using Black Powder, you’ve already got the rules. Next time you go down to Old Trafford you have to pay again. (And the mathematical advantage for Back Powder gets better ever time you play)

    Seen from that perspective Black Powder is a bargain.

    (N.B. The only set of rules where I’ve had a tant about price and value for money was Shako II with its murky black and white pictures. Otherwise still my pick for Napoleonics)

  2. Richard Hubbard
    February 4, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    I thoroughly agree with you, Henry! Although, personally, I still gip at the price of Foundry figs over others, if I REALLY want a particular set then I buy it at the price on the day…if I can wait (I’m a solo gamer, so mostly I can wait!) I’ll wait for one of their sales and buy then. If I’m buying at the Bring-and-Buy sale I’ll haggle on price, but if I’m buying at the trader’s stall or off his internet site, then the price is the price is the price. I’ll no more expect to alter the price, or the product, to suit ME, than I’d expect M&S to alter their prices. In publishing, it wouldn’t surprise me at all, if we don’t see less being published in the future, both text, music, and film, while the internet robbers have their field-day believing everything should be free… (They’re probably all on benefits, which the likes of you and I are paying for, anyway! Grrrr!)

  3. Nigel betts
    February 4, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    If there is ever a wargame tsar your the man.
    The most sence I’ve read about wargaming in about ten years… Make that twenty.

    How ever I do grumble I can’t get a 15mm AB napoleonic painted army for £25 including postage.

    Keep up the excellent work

  4. February 4, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Yes, yes, and yes!

  5. Der Alte Fritz
    February 4, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    I totally agree with you Henry. Black Powder and similar colorful rules books (Republic to Empire etc.) are well worth the price for the eye candy quality alone. I would imagine that if any of these publications actually made a profit, their owners would be quite pleased. Break-even is often the best case scenario in this hobby.

    The same holds true for miniatures – given all that has to go into the production of a figure priced at GBP1.50 or more, from sculptor’s fees, master and production moulds, advertising, the cost of the metal, they are vastly underpriced models. In my book they are a bargain.

  6. Keith Flint
    February 4, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    Henry, considering the subject of the article I had published a while back in Battlegames, you might not be surprised to find I don’t entirely agree with you. Of course if someone goes into business they are entitled to make a profit. Recently, however, I have been thinking that maybe it might be better for our hobby if people weren’t quite so keen to go into the wargames business.

    To take Rick Priestley as an example – obviously an intensely creative and enthusiastic wargamer, with a talent for business and a fair bit of ambition. And as far as I can tell from his writings and forum posts, a nice guy to boot. But how about if he had decided to stick to a non-wargames day job and made wargaming a fun sideline (i.e.a hobby) where he would just try and cover his costs? He might have still gone for a full blown full colour rulebook, or he might have tried something more modest. And maybe instead of making it necessary to spend out on more full colour supplements if you want some ‘official’ views on sub-periods, he might have wanted to share his ideas on how to play BP for free, as downloads. You feel that expecting such things is some sort of fantasy: but surely sharing ideas just for the fun and glory is part of what being involved in a hobby is all about. Such an idea might also be thought to have considerable resonance with the concept of Old School or Classic wargaming. The contrary idea that offering things for free is daft comes from an acceptance that making wargaming your job is natural and sensible and good for the hobby. I’ll take Phil Olley’s ‘Classic Wargamer’s Journal’ over ‘Wargames Illustrated’ any day.

    I think you are right to say that wargames products aren’t, in general, overpriced. I also think you are right when you say ‘there is nothing wrong with companies seeking to make a profit from their wares’. But I am beginning to think that there may be something wrong with too many companies seeking to make a profit out of wargaming. This leads to a hobby where everything has its price. How long before the first copyright dispute over rules ideas, in a hobby where most rules owe something to what went before and rule tweaking is practically a duty to most wargamers?

    The counter argument that wargames companies give us a fantastic choice of products is of course a strong one, and one I have had a lot of time for in the past. Now I’m thinking maybe I could do without so much choice for a less commercial hobby. Yes, I do want stuff on the cheap and I want stuff for free. I have this really naive idea that other wargamers might just want to share their products and ideas with other gamers, with only limited or zero commercial motive. I want to share *my* ideas for free with other gamers. I like the sound of a hobby where the necessary products come from cottage industries, one or two guys producing items for minimal or no profit because they love doing it, because it’s part of their hobby and not a business.

    Of course, much of our hobby is still run along those lines. Long may it continue.

    Thanks for raising such an interesting issue on your blog and allowing foolish ranters like myself to come back with comments.

    Best wishes as always, Keith Flint.

    • Steven the Wargamer
      February 5, 2012 at 9:40 am

      An excellent response (defence???) from Keith and I couldn’t agree more…

      For me the issue is not about profit and price, it’s about being able to buy the rules without having to pay all the extra for the “fluff” – endless pages of “how to”, and pretty pictures, are of no interest – I can see them any time I got to a show… what I want is the rules, perfectly happy for them to be nicely bound, but please drop all the endless endless “eye candy”…..

      • henryhyde
        February 5, 2012 at 10:50 am

        It sounds to me, Steve, as though what you and Keith want (and many others, perhaps) is for the publishers to produce two different products: let’s call them the ‘deluxe’ and ‘standard’ versions, one full of all the hobby stuff and the other a plain vanilla ruleset, perhaps with a few explanatory diagrams/photos? The ‘deluxe’ could remain at around £30, with the simpler version coming it at, say, £10-£15? (Less for a PDF version.)

        This is of course of great interest to me as a man who has nearly finished writing a ‘deluxe’ book — but then, my intention was only ever to write a book about the hobby that happens to contain a set of rules. I’ll be disappointed if the general reaction twists this into “it’s an overpriced, fancy rulebook”, which it was never intended to be. But I’m increasingly thinking that I might extract the main ruleset and produce a much simpler publication just for them.

        My point is this: as a writer, I (and others like Rick, for example) live in hope that a book that covers the hobby more generally might just be picked up by a newcomer to the hobby in the same way as we picked up Grant, Featherstone et al when we were young. It may be a delusion, but I’d like to believe it was a noble one.

        But I come back to my main point that the publisher publishes the book they want to publish, and if it doesn’t suit your taste, then don’t buy it — but why complain about it? I’m trying to understand why a viewpoint like yours is so prevalent in this hobby. As a creative person, I enjoy illustrated books and admire pleasing graphic design and, as long as the rules are also up to scratch, I don’t object to the priceline. I am puzzled when I see people react as though the publishers were somehow wrong to make the thing look pretty in the first place — it just doesn’t make sense to me. Is it that you are more scientifically-minded and just want the pure data? Could it be that in fact, there are distinct personality types at work here that may never be reconciled?

        There’s the old adage that you can’t please all the people, all the time, and it seems to me that as far as this type of book goes, you won’t please some of the people any of the time.

        • Keith Flint
          February 5, 2012 at 11:22 am

          Very fair points Henry. You are probably right about personality types – my expectations and ambitions in the hobby are clearly more mundane than yours, and those of others such as RP and the creators of the excellent wargaming sites you recommend on the left of this very page.

          Why complain about products that don’t suit my taste? I guess I’m used to thinking of wargaming as ‘my’ hobby, and so will seek to provide an alternative view when I see developments in the hobby that I am not entirely happy about. I can at least indicate to people such as yourselves that more ‘vanilla’ tastes are still out there.

          Best of luck with the book, BTW. “Extract the main ruleset and produce a much simpler publication’ for people like me? Now that would be brilliant. Looks like it’s destined to be successful anyway.

          Cheers, Keith.

        • Nigel Jones
          February 11, 2012 at 9:23 pm

          As a manufacturer or writer you surely have to make a choice on where you wish to ‘place’ your product and hope that it is successful. Sometimes you will get it wrong and sometimes you nearly get it right.

          You can may wish to produce a Terminator at $6million or an Avatar at $310 million but whichever way you can be pretty sure that someone somewhere will say that Terminator ‘could have been’ so much better if only they had done this…… or that they shouldn’t have made Avatar in 3D as wearing those glasses in the cinema gave them a headache!

          No one publishes a rule book or figures with the intention of having either their business or their labour of love slated by others.

          As one venerable gentleman seller told me at Salute last year ‘I do these figures in XXX scale and if you don’t like it you can go somewhere else!’ Admittedly this is an Alan Sugar attitude (without perhaps the business acumen) but he has a point.

          When a friend had his first book published he said to me that the biggest thrill was hearing postive feedback from people he had never met. For him the royalties were secondary (but he wouldn’t turn them down).

          If I don’t want to pay £25 for the hardback version of George RR Martins saga Game of Thrones I can always wait until a friend has read it and then tells me the plot or alternatively I re read Alan’s latest book on the Kindle and smile when I seen the name check.

          I suggest that if anyone can provide manufacturers with a pipeline to a cheaper raw materials they would be very popular indeed ! If you still think they are overpriced then buy second hand or take a deep breath and explain to the wife why the holiday to the Bahamas will have to wait another year

  7. February 5, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    OTOH, the argument against certain expensive publications is that the cost is not justified by the content i.e. pretty pictures raise cost for their own sake and do not add to the quality of the explanation of the rules.

    However, as I can tell you from experience, of the hobbies I am involved in, wargaming is by far and away the cheapest. So perhaps the hobby is populated by people who have little money to spend on their passion, which is why they moan all the time about the cost of things?

  8. February 5, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    I don’t have a problem with the prices that companies put on their goods. As you say, there is no obligation on you to buy it at that price.
    I say that because we all have the right to haggle. The displayed price is the price the seller wants but we as consumers have the right to ask for a lower price. Of course the seller has the right to stay with the original marked price.
    In the end the choice lies with the customer.
    The hobby is still good value, it’s only that the value we have as individuals is exactly that – individual.

  9. Andrew Fielden
    February 6, 2012 at 10:24 am

    I couldn’t agree more with your post here Henry. This is something that never ceases to amaze me as the proponents of the it should be free brigade appear to live in a different world to me.

    It seems to me that the general thrust of the counter argument is that it is hobby for me therefore it should be a hobby for those that supply me. If you were to apply this to other hobbies then in many cases they would be radically different or maybe not even exist. Golf, for most people, is a hobby but I don’t think that anyone would suggest that the clubhouses and courses should be maintained and organised by a group of members. It is an expensive business and the cost to play the game is reflected in that. The staff of most golf clubs however are hardly raking it in, for most it is a labor of love which is what I would suggest is happening in the wargaming world even for the full time manufacturer.

    The Great Satan in this argument is Games Workshop and it is true that they pay main board directors a significant sum. It is also true to say that those who wont pay £25 – £30 for a rule book would not be seen dead contributing to GW’s coffers. Fair enough but the thing is that what they did worked and it worked for many many young gamers who would never have been interested in a stapled black and white print and sourcing their figures from many different sources as well as having to work out what the heck colour scheme to paint.

    I am coming back to gaming myself after many years absence thanks to the Great Satan who captured the heart of my son a few years ago and I have no problem with the costs – heck compared to sailing and ice hockey it may as well be free. I personally do not like GW games but I do like the way they packaged the product and made it accessible. That some folks have learned how to make it interesting to the world at large from having worked at GW then all the better.

    As a footnote, my son now plays 28mm WWII and has a collection of Bolt Action minis, I myself am leaning towards ‘Classic’ gaming and am once again casting my own Prince August figs. So for those of you who claim that GW brings no one into or back to the hobby you now know at least 2… I know many many more.

  10. Pete
    February 11, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Let’s not forget that this is a marginal hobby and one that is often done “in secret” from the other half (otherwise known as SWMBO). I’ve known guys to sneak packages into the house when their partner is in another room. One guy even had to ask for money each time he made a purchase! Often there is little money left for such things as the latest glossy rule book or blister pack of figures. When I returned to gaming in the mid-90s, I bought my first few lots of micros in secret and used to save up the pennies each fortnight (I was on the dole at the time, so was paid fortnightly) and then place an order via the post by sending cash! Ah those were the days…

  11. Arthur Harman
    February 16, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    I think the issue some people – including myself – have with the ‘new generation’ rulebooks is the fear that the large format, hardback, profusely illustrated books will become the ‘norm’ and that there will be no place in the hobby for slimmer, cheaper volumes devoted simply to well-thought out rules and ideas without the ‘eye-candy’ and potted historical background material.

    When I started wargaming rulebooks were exactly that; they contained little or no historical background – it being assumed that anyone interested in wargaming historical periods/battles would research them elsewhere – nor instructions on how to paint figures and construct scenery. Consequently, rules were relatively inexpensive compared to armies of figures, so one could afford to experiment by trying a new set and discarding it if it proved not to one’s taste. I certainly can’t do that with rulebooks at c.£30!

    Black Powder is beautifully presented, but contains only one set of rules, albeit with additional rules for particular eras within its general theme. Paddy Griffith’s Napoleonic Wargaming For Fun, however, has rules for at least six games portraying different aspects of the period; similarly, Neil Thomas’s Introduction to Wargaming has rules for rules for all the different popular periods in one volume. For me, the approach of these two books is preferable because i get not one set of rules, but several, for about half the cost. I was disappointed by Mr Thomas’s book on Napoleonic Wargaming because it contained only one set of rules and was padded out by historical background material I did not need, as was Grand Battery.

    Perhaps a distinction should be made between books about wargamimg – such as your own – which rightly include illustrations, advice on painting, terrain &c., and rulebooks which are simply intended for reference during play, The latter, in my opinion, should be as concise as possible without resorting to ‘Barkerese’ and ideally fit in one’s pocket, because the best rules are the ones that can be learned and played without constantly poring through the rulebook!.

  12. February 24, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Having wargamed for nigh on 45 years, from the days of Airfix plastic figures through Leeds University Wargames Club and the (almost) overwhelming advent of D&D, to the resurgence of tabletop play, computer games and on to the wonders of the internet; there have always been conflicts between expense and enjoyment.

    One of my greatest joys was free, with Bruce Douglas’s Known World campaign, born out of Sheffield, nurtured via Leeds and eventually worldwide, with nothing but pen, paper and a penchant for beers and curries at wargames conventions (admittedly, that was at a cost).

    Paying a price for excellence (but naturally shopping around e.g. Amazon or eBay) is natural and so £25 for Peter Snow’s “To WAR with WELLINGTON” (384pp) is a good investment, especially since the local library shrugged at the suggestion that it might be available. Contrast that to a mere £10.99 for Alessandro Barbero’s “The Battle” and that comprehensive insight into the battle of Waterloo is a bargain.

    The first 15mm Napoleonic army that I bought, painted by an Oldham lad, was a Prussian cocktail that cost £100 in the early 1980′s, to-day it would cost 5 or 6 times that, and most likely sit in a box for 99% of the time.

    But, everything is relative and there are accessible intenet/play-by-email wargames for free, or minimal cost, some as introductory scenarios that pale after a while and others that offer a good game experience and a diplomacy community to boot.

    As Henry stated so eloquently, a business, or even a hobby,has to make ends meet and the game system that I purchased last year was not for altruistic reasons, but to reward my enforced early retirement with a recouping of outlay and perhaps, given time, the opportunity to develop it to meet the ever changing computer platforms/offer more scenarios.

    If it only ever offered free play, it would stagnate, and moreover there would be a tendency for players to have minimal commitment to playing on when suffering setbacks. The trick in this case, once the current free playtesting is over, is for free basic play and a small cost (say) £1.50 ($2.29 ish) for perquisites giving enhanced play, which can be contrasted with another fledgling system using turn-based online play that set its stall at $1.00 per turn at all times.

    People can easily rail even at these “pocket money” pricings, and yet may well spend £40 to £50 on an XBox game, or buy a set of tabletop rules, that subtely induces you to part with more and more cash as army lists, or “improved” versions are issued.

    To close, a thought: it is interesting (and a topic of debate?) that WRG 5th was a super set of rules IMHO, but the migration to 6th, 7th thence DBM and DBMM has always involved cost, and frequently rebasing of cherished figures, with charges (no pun intended) of “Luddite” if challenging the improvement as uneccesary?.

    Good Gaming!

  13. Eamon Honan
    February 24, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    I’m with Timothy on this one. The Labourer is worthy of his hire.

    Buy the book or do not buy the book, but don’t begrudge the work that went into it.

    • February 29, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      I can’t help thinking that people may be missing the point a little …. I don’t disagree that the more modern style rules sets are probably accurately priced, it’s a free market after all…. the issue is with the content….. I’ve been wargaming for a long time, I know how to paint the little metal men (so don’t show me – and if I wanted to know there are a host of wonderful blogs where people do step by step examples of a plethora of styles), I get my history from a book/research (so don’t give me a potted/summarised history), I guess what I’m asking for is a rule books that is that – a rule book – you can charge what you like for it, you can design it how you like, hard covers, soft covers, don’t care… I guess I just object to having to pay the extra for stuff I don’t want when all I want to do is try the rules…. :o)

      Henry has it right ‘deluxe’ and ‘standard’ versions please… I suspect however, purely a guess, that given this few people would go the deluxe route – which deprives the manufacturer and author of a potential revenue stream….. how many are brave enough to chance selling more copies overall though, than fewer more expensive copies?? As a cynic I would say that “stuffing” the product with fluff is purely an excuse to inflate the price.. :o)

      One final thought – when I look back at the stand out rule sets that seem to have dominated in recent years – how much is the fact that DBA etc were (relatively) simply packaged, and cheap, a cause of their success??

  14. Cort N
    March 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Henry,

    I know nothing of the flap at the miniatures page. I generally agree people should make a profit otherwise there would be no product. I do find Black Powder is bad example. It is a example of the gold plated hammer. A hammer cost $10.00, and gold plated hammer cost $50.00. It is still a hammer.

    Cort N

    • henryhyde
      March 2, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      Interesting idea for a metaphor, but I don’t think it works. I don’t spend ages looking at a hammer or getting inspiration from it, or picking it up years later, absorbed by fond memories or entertained by it. A hammer is a tool used by a carpenter to produce something. A book like “Black Powder” is a finished product. The parallel would be the computer, software and camera — or typewriter or pen and paper — used to produce the book.

      Mind you, being both a technology and stationery freak, you’d no doubt find me gazing lovingly at them too… :)

      • Cort N
        March 2, 2012 at 4:56 pm

        Henry,
        I draw inspiration from history books and magazines like yours. The rules are just a means to express what I have read about in those books and magazines. I have fond memories of the games that my friends and I have played. To use your metaphor, the rules are the software to conduct a game. It sets the specifications, parameters and framework for the games played. Rules should be,in my opinion, be considered living documents. I think maybe that is why wargamers are always waiting for version 2.1002983484738 to come out.

        Cort N

      • Cort N
        March 2, 2012 at 6:07 pm

        Henry,

        I was just sitting here wondering why rules in the past do not make a lasting impression on me. I like you am a older wargamer (For me around 1963). It just dawned on me. All our games in the past where run with a judge. The players did not know the rules or knew them. 80% of the time the rules where homebrewed. I have the old classic books, but they where used for reference only.

        Cort N

  15. Osbad
    March 7, 2012 at 10:22 am

    “I’ve been browsing TMP.”

    See. there’s your problem right there. It’s the internet, it’s full of opinions. Most of them rubbish. All best ignored. Including this one.

    Otherwise who’s the nuttier fuitcake? Someone who gets all bent out of their tree complaining about prices, or someone who gets similarly mishapen complaining about those who complain about prices? At least the former are complaining about a factual item (“the price”), but the latter are complaining about something much less meaningful (“his opionion of the price”) and so even less worthy of comment.

    Something I have learned over the years that there is not much less worth reading on the web than the comments and responses of random pundits. That goes for Blogs, Forums, the BBC, whatever. Sure there is gold to be mined there, but it’s for the professional, not the amateur to tread warily in such waters.

    And of course, there’s the massive irony in this post. :)

    Chill, dude. (As my daughter keeps telling me…)

    • henryhyde
      March 7, 2012 at 12:32 pm

      Hmmm, thanks for that particularly spiky reply, Paul.

      There was always the option, as you indicate of course, for you not to comment on something you don’t find worthy of comment, but this would no doubt have led to such a vortex of irony that you might have imploded.

      All I would say is, bluntly, it’s my blog and — as a professional, both in terms of being involved in the wargames industry and as a writer — I’ll write what I like and I’m happy for people to join in the discussion as long as they stick to the point.

      And do people really still say “chill, dude”? Good grief. :)

  16. Mick
    March 21, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Hi while I agree with what Henry has said and that everyone needs to make a profit can I just add, that as a gamer of little means I would just like to buy a rule book. I do not want one full with lovely pictures and other fluf.
    All I want is a good set of rules with clear diagrams. why should I have to buy a book 80 pages long when the rules only take up 30.

    Regads to all
    Mick

  17. Arthur Harman
    March 21, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    My sentiments exactly, Mick!

    Though I would prefer the rules – excluding designer’s notes, examples &c., to take far fewer than thirty pages!

  18. Mick
    March 24, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Hi Arthur
    They we’re numbers I just used, not anything specific.

  19. Mike Leese
    March 25, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    I Like Charge!
    I wish it had all been in colour.
    I also liked Newbury rules 1st to 4th. editions
    Age of Eagles fore very large battles.
    However I just like Battalion level games.

    Mike

    • Mike Leese
      April 11, 2012 at 12:21 pm

      In the pre-computer age I typed out or hand wrote the nuts and bolts of a rule book.

      Perhaps a .pdf file sold by e-mail would suit Mick.
      You can look at all the colour pictures, read all the introduction’s and then print in black and white just thje bits that you need.

      Mike

Leave a Reply