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Wargames Handbook, Third Edition: How to Play and Design Commercial and Professional Wargames Paperback – January 3, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0595155460 ISBN-10: 0595155464 Edition: 3rd

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Wargames Handbook, Third Edition: How to Play and Design Commercial and Professional Wargames + 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

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse; 3 edition (January 3, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595155464
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595155460
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,097,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jim Dunnigan is the founder of Simulations Publications, Inc and went on to design over a hundred games and publish over 500. He continues to advise the US government and foreign governments on wargame design and development.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 79 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 27, 2001
I have an earlier edition of this book, and thought that this one would bring things up to date. However, the author is stuck somewhere during the 1970's through the early 1990's. He apparantly hasn't heard of games like TOAW from TalonSoft, or the Close Combat series from Atomic. He even mentions GEnie (wastes several pages instructing his readers how to play online games there) and refers to PC's as "IBM compatible". The maps he uses in his example game have been reduced in size, and to top it all off, there's no index (no real need for it--there's not much useful information here). This book is just hopelessly out-of-date. I wish that I wouldn't have to give it any stars. I wonder if Dunnigan actually revised this book himself, or that the publisher hired some hack to do the job. TWO THUMBS DOWN!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael Dorosh on October 12, 2012
The book, taken in context, delivers important information. Other reviewers have unfortunately missed contextual information that will properly judge the worth of the book. The author has designed and published more commercial board wargames than anyone else, which in itself is not a qualification for writing a book - but certainly is not a disqualification. The book provides key statistics, demographics, and other information regarding the early days of commercial wargaming which are not to be found in the available literature anywhere else. The book is well organized and laid out and covers a broad array of topics. It is true that because of the complexity of the topic, and the breadth of the hobby in the current era (today, including such things as first person shooters, card-driven games, online computer-assisted board games, etc.), complete, comprehensive coverage of the entire scene would be difficult. I'm not sure the book really needs to be a catalogue of every type of game in order to be successful. Well-written and a good historical look at if nothing else the first decades of the commercial board wargaming hobby.
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By David Sweetman on May 22, 2014
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While the contents are excellent, this book had poor layout/printing. Although the layout may have caused the errors, the lack of proofing is the basic problem. The author is too good to have a printer mess up his work. Packaged well and shipped on time.
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For those of you new to wargaming and national defense the books author, James F. Dunnigan, was for several decades the most prolific wargame designer internationally and a successful writer and commentator on national defense. The book is an odd mix of dated information (last updated in 1999) and timeless insights, information that seems like filler and complex concepts explained with succinct clarity. It is worth of at least skinning by anyone interested in national defense and of study by anyone involved in defense analysis or wargaming.
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22 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Pope on February 10, 2002
I think the other reviews for this book are a bit harsh. I've given this five start just to balance their rating, I would say it is worth about 3 1/2 stars really.
I will agree that the so called "update" of the book just isn't so, especially in the computer area, where it age certainly shows. However, from a history point of view, the book is great. If you keep in mind the author is one of the significant contributers to the paper wargame era on the 1980s, then you can enjoy this book for what it is.
By the way, it's nice to read the paper version, but the whole book is freely available on the internet at the author's website.
With so few books on wargaming available in print, this book is worth reading if you want to see how it was in the "good old days" of wargaming, when there was a large number of gamers. If you want up to date information on wargaming, you won't find it here.
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