Saturday, August 16, 2014

Book Review: More Wargame Terrain by Tony Harwood

Title: More Wargame Terrain (Dampfpanzerwagon Guide No. 2)
Author: Tony Harwood
Year: 2014

I've recently received a copy of Tony Harwood's More Wargame Terrain in the mail. I must say I've been a follower and fan of his work for a while now, particularly through his blog. As (hopefully) my own blog will show, building wargames terrain is a passion of mine and something I can appraise with some degree of credibility. All this aside, in order to do this publication justice I'll take a step away from my own bias as much as possible, and hopefully provide some valuable insights to you, dear reader.

Not having a copy of the first volume, it is difficult to say how closely More Wargames Terrain picks up where its predecessor left off. However, in Harwood's introduction he states that Guide No. 2 can be read in isolation, and I would have to agree. Amongst the 116 pages there are very clear instructions and ample photos and diagrams to take on one of the eight projects. And although there are some more advanced techniques, the language and photography used, and the overall direction throughout the guide, make this certainly achievable to any novice.

Anyone familiar with Dampf's Modelling Page will notice the care Harwood takes in showing his projects develop, and this is very well captured within the pages of More Wargames Terrain. However, for someone who has been building terrain for some time, there are ample techniques and effects employed to provide something new and challenging.

Is there a drawback to this book? The only thing I can suggest as an addition would be something of a "gallery" or a larger spread of a wargames table, and there is already a hint of that of the back cover. This is really just a suggestion. The book is a complete success.

The trend in wargames terrain today is, like most "things" in the modern world, geared towards economising time and money. You see this in the continual flow of laser-cut terrain and 3D-printed playing pieces which provide players with something that can literally be slapped on the table. But that isn't for everybody. What this book represents, I think, harks back to an earlier time where cardboards, paddle-pop sticks and found objects were the building blocks of the wargames table, awaiting a personal touch - whatever that looked like - and that is something worth conserving.

More Wargame Terrain can be purchased by inquiry on the Dampf's Modelling Page blog.