Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Shiny or Functional

I didn't go to the club last night, quite a few guys are on holiday and I was still euphoric about my game on the previous Thursday so decided to sit tight. Also for the first time in years I had nothing wargaming related to do, no painting, no buying online, no delving into the lead molehill, nada. Very strange feeling. There are a few civilian Dark Age bases which I could redo but that is clutching at straws and I am nowhere near ready or brave enough to start another War and Conquest army yet, and too skint to get all those new vehicles for Bolt Action.

In order to make some of the above come true I am really putting some time in on my maps, I can see the end of the tunnel with the Mongol Invasions thankfully as these have been a struggle. In the next day or so I will complete six to do with WWI as they are fairly simple and next week I hope to get a move on with the Folgore Division history. I have been told there are two more 'interesting' projects coming my way in the next couple of weeks so I look forward to them. No word yet on the 18th C stuff but I think the editor was just setting out his store and that work will come in the next few months.

So, shiny or functional, I am talking about rulebooks here, Alistair over at Wargaming Gallimaufry has just produced a review of the new Congo rules by Studio Tomahawk, I really like their Muskets and Tomahawks game and thankfully so do several guys at the club so I do not need to buy anything for that, although I did buy the rulebook just in case. Congo sounds like a great game and should be fun to play, I am sure I will get a closer look at it at the club when Stuart buys it, Stuart if you don't know buys everything, but I was intrigued enough by Alistair's comments on pricing to look it up. The book is a hardback and comes in at £34, yes £34, more than I pay for a large hardback non-fiction tome, yes you get cards and tokens etc. but at the same time you seemingly get a lot of lovely pictures which of course have nothing to do with the rules but more to do with what else you can buy.

My first over the top buy was Dux Britanniarum, it was around £20 when I bought it and is a soft back book with cards, in colour and on shiny paper, the price was put down to the production costs, however when I lost it again and paid £25 for War and Conquest the comparison between the two was chalk and cheese. The WAC book was splendid, yes there were pictures but mainly to illustrate various rule mechanisms, it was hardback and on lovely thick paper, it also had an excellent index, I felt this was worth £20 - £25. I bought the Bolt Action rulebook next, priced at £25 and although it is along the lines of the WAC book it has a lot of pictures which are, well pictures, it did however have a lot of information on how to build your army for the game but sadly lacked an index. I felt a little short changed with the £25 price tag or would have if I had not got it online for slightly less. The new Bolt Action 2.0 is £30 and there is no way that is going cheaper elsewhere for some time to come, so having invested a lot of money in BA I have shelled out the £30, I have a sneaky suspicion I will definitely feel short changed this time, but I am stuck.

Shiny of course came in with Games Workshop and it drives many of the wargame rulebooks we use today, but if the pretty pictures are merely to load up the price I would rather have less and opt for functionality and a fairer price, but hey I'm old school, perhaps that is the difference at the end of the day. For those who may point out that I can perhaps get the same thing online as an ebook or .pdf cheaper, I will just say in the end I will, kicking and screaming, cough up for a book.

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