The original Battle was a book by wargame pioneer Charles Grant about WW2 miniatures gaming. As a kid, it was one of my favorite reads. (I think I borrowed it from the local library so often, it almost knew its own way to my house!) I also remember, fondly, playing some games using the rules, and having a great time.

This is an expanded reprint by the grandson of the original author, including material omitted from the book but published in Meccano Magazine. The current author has, apparently, developed the rules, but I have not read this version closely enough to see any changes. However, one definite innovation is the inclusion of a playsheet with a rules summary.

The rules are basic and only have a limited number of game ratings compared to rules from more modern times. If a modern gamer is going to use them, he may want to do some work to expand the listings, but I do not expect that to be a serious obstacle. However, to a real gamer, that is going to be part of the fun. They are certainly usable, and are full of ideas with explanation of the thinking behind them.

One point worth highlighting is that the language used is conversational; this is not a dry set of rules, but an entertaining (albeit sometimes old-fashioned) presentation of material. Very, dare I say it, British, and very well written. We were blessed to have such talents in the hobby.

The reproduction is quite good, though the print on some of the pages is a touch less than perfect – like a 98% grey scale copy. (The original was published in 1970 (!) and Caliver have done a damn fine job of publication this time around.) Everything is clear, readable, and well set out.

For me, the pleasant wave of nostalgia that accompanies my reading has made them a worthwhile purchase. And if I ever do get my act in order, and get my miniatures back out on the table, this book may be partly to blame!

Available from Caliver Books/Partizan Press.