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The Art of Wargaming: A Guide for Professionals and Hobbyists Hardcover – March 1, 1990


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The Art of Wargaming: A Guide for Professionals and Hobbyists + Simulating War: Studying Conflict through Simulation Games + Wargaming for Leaders: Strategic Decision Making from the Battlefield to the Boardroom
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 364 pages
  • Publisher: US Naval Institute Press; 1ST edition (March 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870210505
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870210501
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Phil Dutre on October 22, 1998
Format: Hardcover
From the point of view of a hobby wargamer, the most interesting part is the history of wargames. It goes much further than the typical Von Reissewitz - Wells story. There is almost no mention of miniature wargaming. Only board-wargaming and 'serious' army wargaming are described, but these parts are covered in great detail. Definitely worth reading if your interested in the history of wargaming.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Hung Cheuk Man, Lawrence on January 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The most comprehensive book on the subject Wargaming from an insider -- Dr. Peter Perla. His theoretical approach to the making of this book combines with actual practices make this book an immensely useful and thought-provoking reference as to historical development, principles of designing and analyzing wargames. Mr. Perla is a naval guy and so there is much coverage on the naval game simulation at the start and in the end part of predicting the future use of wargames. If you can pass these rather technical materials drawn from his extensive experience in the Center for naval Analyses since 1977 where he works as a naval operations research analyst, you can find a vibrant, knowledgeable and insightful as to the modern commercial wargames. A lot of these games are covered especially those from SPI, Avalon Hill and Victory Games. You may jump to read Chapter 3 onwards to Chapter 9 if you are a hobbyist yourselves. Perla's book is more scholarlistic and hard to chew on than James Dunnigan's "The Complete Wargame Handbook". But at the same time, this book offers more depth and breadth on the subject. Highly recommended. The book was first published in 1990. Grab a copy of it before it goes out-of-print.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Bruce A Laue on September 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book focuses on the history of wargames. It focuses mainly on war games use by the militaries, with only token coverage of the hobby. To say it only discusses board games, though, is inaccurate. It discusses games from a military viewpoint, without discussing much in the way of game mechanics, in a specific manner. Dr. Perla does discuss the abstraction of game design, and the level of details. He discusses the purposes of a particlur game design, and how this is used to explore a particular set of criteria for a military operation. If that sounds complicated, it is. This book is not terribly complex or difficult to read, but the design of military war games, for the professional militaries, is. He does not go into detail for professional designs, but he does discuss the overall concepts well.
This book is aimed at discussing how war games are designed, applied, and used. It discusses what can be learned from such exercises, and what cannot be learned in a simulation. If you are a game designer, you will learn from this book, but perhaps not as much as you would like. He does not discuss details, but rather concepts, and focus level: is this game designed for a tactical level, or strategic level? What do the designers hope to learn from this simulation?
While this book accomplishes its tasks well, if you are looking for a book on the hobby of war games, it may leave you unsatisfied. It is primarily aimed towards professionals, in my opinion, and those who wish to know the history of "professional" war games.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The first half of the book focuses on the history of wargaming, and is quite informative. The second half deals with concepts pertaining to design and use of wargames in the both the professional and hobby industries. Modern commercial wargame designers could learn a lot from reading this book.
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