Review of ‘Advanced War Games’ book

Jeff Chorney finds inspiration for improved solo gaming in the Don Featherstone book “Advanced War Games.” It’s on the Reviews page.

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9 Responses to Review of ‘Advanced War Games’ book

  1. Dale Hurtt says:

    Excellent review, especially as it is focused on the solo gamer, which is only appropriate. The author notes the primary use of this book, which is to give rules writers ideas to consider for writing their own rules, which is a very old school concept.


  2. John says:

    Your timing couldn’t be better. I was just looking at this on Amazon the other day and contemplating making the purchase. Sounds like it’s worth it.

    If you have read Solo Wargaming or War Games, does the chapter on solo gaming pose anything new he doesn’t cover in those two titles? I own the former and the latter is on my wish list

  3. JAird says:

    I’ll have to dig this out and re-read, it’s been a number of years since I last glanced through it and I find I can’t recall much about it in detail.

    My favourite Featherstone titles, that I’ve read multiple times, are Solo Wargaming (of course !) and Wargame Campaigns.

    I think it’s a wonderful thing that these books are becoming available to a new generation of wargamers – there’s a lot that’s still applicable to today’s wargaming different though the modern hobby is in so many ways.

  4. Jeff Chorney says:

    Hey John,
    In my humble opinion all of Don’s books are good! He seems to build on Solo Wargaming & War Games with Advanced War Games. As he writes with the solo gamer in mind, plus all of his experience over the years, you can’t go wrong with this book. However to save some cash, take the book out on an inter-library loan if you have a library card. Then make a decision to purchase … Jeff

    • John says:

      Hey Jeff,
      Thanks for the reminder about inter-library loan.

      It’s a bit sad that I needed it, seeing as that I have a degree in Library Science.

      Funny, I remember ILL when I’m telling others about the benefits of having a library card, but forget when it comes to my own book searches!


  5. George Arnold says:

    (Rob Morgan submits the following):

    My comment on the “Advanced War Games” review is that, shall we call it a “re-consideration” of all of these valuable Featherstone titles, is long overdue, and the pages of “Lone Warrior” would be an ideal place for this to be published. I’m old enough to have been given his first hardback book “Model Soldiers” with the single (?) chapter on wargames as a birthday present in the early 1960s. I don’t know what happened to it!

    However, my favourite has always been “Naval Wargames” ( well, it would be wouldn’t it!) and of course he published that superb magazine “Wargamer’s Newsletter” for years. I couldn’t afford as a youngster to subscribe, but picked up the odd copy in later years.

    He also wrote some good historical books, “At Them With the Bayonet!” and so forth.

    Incidentally, I hear much of Jack Scruby’s role in the development of wargaming in those halcyon days, but of course I was far too young, a mere teenager, and a continent away, to know what he did. Someone might be out there with the ability to enlighten even veterans like me. He was, I’m told BIG in naval things too.

    –Rob Morgan

  6. Paul Le Long says:

    John Curry’s ‘The History of Wargaming Project’ is in the process of reprinting a lot of ‘classic’ wargames books. There are already several books by Featherstone in this range and I think the intention is to reprint every Featherstone book in the near future. But there are also books available as part of this project by Paddy Griffith, Tony Bath, Charles Wesencraft & others. See for details.

    Many of these reprints have extra sections – for example Tony Bath’s Ancient Wargaming is a reprint of his classic book How to Set up a Wargames Campaign but it also includes his ancients rules, some Society of Ancients stuff, various articles and details of his famous Hyborian campaign.

    I agree with Rob that a reconsideration of Featherstone would be interesting – though I would say that a reconsideration of all of this classic stuff would be interesting – either on this blog through individual reviews or in one great big review of the whole lot. For example I just bought Morchausser’s How to Play Wargames in Miniature – this was originally published in the early 60s but I was struck by just how ‘modern’ the concepts were. I’m sure other LW readers would be interested to know what is available.

    It would also be nice to see reviews of all of this stuff in order to see how the ideas can be adapted for solo play – just because this canon is old doesn’t mean it is of no use to ‘modern’ gamers.

    I have a suggestion: I have a lot of ‘classic’ wargaming books on my shelves – some are tatty old originals bought second hand and others are reprints from the History of Wargaming Project. I’m sure other readers also have large collections. Why don’t we work out what everyone has, and all contribute a couple of reviews to this blog. That would give the blog a bit of a shot in the arm and it would be a good resource for the membership. We could each send a list of our classic books to George and he could assign us each a couple of reviews. It doesn’t take long to review a book so we should be able to build up a decent body of material very quickly.

    What does everyone think?


    • George Arnold says:

      I’d be glad to coordinate something like what Paul suggested. Those interested in sending in a list of classics from their library can forward it to me through the Contact button at the top of the blog page. Individual reviews (books, figures, models, etc.) continue to be welcome too. They’re well read and the blog is building up a nice archive of them.

      Paul’s mention of the Morschauser book reminds me that I’ve got a 1962 first edition of it — well-worn though it is. When I discovered the book as a kid, it provided my first realization that I could have actual rule-driven battle-games with my toy soldiers. It was a step up from rolling marbles across the bedroom floor to see which army on either side of the room could be completely knocked over first. (I suppose you could call that a primitive version of soloing.)

      — George

  7. Jeff Chorney says:

    Some good ideas here. BTW I have H.G. Wells ‘Little Wars’ in PDF. John might be able to help as he has a degree in Library Science. If you troll the internet there seems to be more of the older copies of books starting to pop up on-line (Kindle Reader etc.) For instance, what I do is … I will Google a title with the word PDF behind it. Maybe we could start a digital library/data base. Also Don might be into this idea as well. I am trying to work out a deal with a guy who has some of Stuart Asquith’s books in digital form as well. As long as we get permission from the author and we are not selling the information we don’t violate any copy writes etc. Thoughts ?

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