The first miniatures wargaming rulebook I fell in love with was The Ancient War Game by Charles Grant. Published in 1974, Mr. Grant’s book was clearly and cleverly written, nicely illustrated, professionally published, and hard bound. From his book I also found that I had a strong preference for rule sets that are results-oriented rather than process-driven, and that read more like cheerful conversations than technical manuals. As a result, I have never had any nostalgic affection for rule sets that are dry, densely written, poorly illustrated, and/or amateurishly produced.
Now some 40 years later, my criteria for a rule set remains very much the same. The rules should be engaging for me to read, highly enjoyable for me to play, and should allow my tabletop troops to engage in tactics and behaviors that complement written accounts of historical tactics and battles. And it is of equal importance to me that the illustrations, layout and production values of the rulebook should add to, rather than detract from, the visual spectacle of my miniatures wargaming.
In my hobby-related purchases, I am much more interested in value than cost. So if I take great pleasure in reading, perusing and playing with a particular rulebook, then I consider it to be an excellent value, regardless of the actual purchase price. On the other hand, I will consider a rule set that holds no interest for me to be a very poor value, even if it has a low price – or if it costs nothing at all. I am also not a ‘rules collector.’ If I find that I no longer have any interest in a rulebook that I own, then I will sell or give it to someone else, for whom it does have some value.
Naturally and obviously, YMMV. Fortunately for all of us, today there are hundreds of different rule sets available in a wide variety of writing styles and production values, which can appeal to all manner of different wargaming tastes, styles and preferences. The fact that many of these rulebooks and systems do not match my own personal preferences has never bothered me in the slightest. C’est la vie. Vive la difference!
- This reply was modified 5 years, 4 months ago by A Lot of Gaul.
"Ventosa viri restabit." ~ Harry Field