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"What sort of rulebook artwork do you prefer?" Topic

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Midpoint19 Jul 2012 4:25 p.m. PST

What sort of artwork [defined as non-functional wrt rules design/explanation/illustration/clarification] do you prefer in your wargame rulebooks?

1. Uniform/equipment illustrations in the style of Osprey books, ala FoG.

2. Photographs of nicely painted toy soldiers ala Maurice

3. Photographs of re-enactors ala Napoleon at War

4. A mix

5. None

6. Photographs/reproductions of contemporary to period artwork – e.g. Bayeux Tapestry

Sundance19 Jul 2012 4:36 p.m. PST

Really don't need any of it. A few line drawings to illustrate points of the rules is enough.

ComradeCommissar19 Jul 2012 4:37 p.m. PST

4: but only a mix of 1 & 2, no reenactor photos. I'd also add period artwork or photographs .

Midpoint19 Jul 2012 4:41 p.m. PST

Good call Comrade. I'll add that one in!

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2012 4:42 p.m. PST

4. A mix – mostly 2

Yesthatphil19 Jul 2012 4:43 p.m. PST

Actually I am with Sundance … some diagrams to help understand concepts that don't go easily into text alone.

Everything else is just candy. Then again, I know I'm not the market for the glossy sort of thing … I play hundreds of games a year but spend very little time drooling over the pictures in books (and pictures in books haven't inspired me to buy any of the figures featured for … well, since I was a teenager, really and that is some time back*)

*before mobile phones, digital cameras and the internet, as some younger players do remind me from time to time grin

ming3119 Jul 2012 4:55 p.m. PST

1 and 2

abelp0119 Jul 2012 5:12 p.m. PST

I've always thought that the original Fire and Fury and Tactica had a perfect balance of photos and figures to explain rules. Haven't seen that balance since.

Ron W DuBray19 Jul 2012 5:16 p.m. PST

A few line drawings or photos of minis to illustrate points or examples of the rules is enough.

Dave Crowell19 Jul 2012 5:51 p.m. PST

Beyond illustrations of the rules I really don't care what pictures are used in a rulebook. Period artwork is nice when it is available, but the most important thing is that any artwork used be clearly reproduced. I really do not like murky illustrations in rulebooks.

Broadsword19 Jul 2012 6:19 p.m. PST

7: what Sundance typed.

Otherwise 5 (none) or, if art MUST be present, 1 (uniform/equipment illustrations).

Al |

Personal logo Rrobbyrobot Supporting Member of TMP19 Jul 2012 7:26 p.m. PST

Not big on art these days. Like to see explanitory images. If I want to see art I come here.
Once upon a time I would have said different.

fred12df19 Jul 2012 11:46 p.m. PST

I like photos of models figures

But period art or equipment drawings would be good

Ironwolf19 Jul 2012 11:54 p.m. PST

1, 2 or 6.

Lovejoy20 Jul 2012 1:39 a.m. PST

7. Paintings/drawings of soldiers and battles, plus pics of minis.

Tomorrow's War is a decent example.

arthur181520 Jul 2012 2:09 a.m. PST

The only illustrations I personally want to see in a rulebook – as opposed to a book about wargaming/model soldiers – are diagrams to illustrate basing and aspects of the rules such as arcs of fire, what consitutes a flank/rear attack &c.

I'm quite happy for period illustrations or photos of models in games – provided they are based for the rules in question! – to fill occasional blank spaces resulting from pagination, but equally can live with blank spaces on which I can pencil notes, house rules &c.

IMHO the all-time best illustrations in a wargame book were the line drawings by Sinclair in HG Wells' Little Wars.

Griefbringer20 Jul 2012 2:54 a.m. PST

Anything goes, as long as it is well-done.

Actually, I will make one exception to that: Victorian era artwork should not be used for anything other than actual Victorian era subjects. Wargames Foundry version of Medieval Warfare used a bunch of Victorian artwork for illustration, and I found those as rather annoying.

BlackSmoke20 Jul 2012 3:01 a.m. PST

I quite like all the artwork mentioned above. Pictures of battles, pictures of figures, diagrams, uniform plates. It all adds to the richness of a book and breaks up the monotony of endless text. The really pertinent question, though, is how much am I willing to *pay* for all that, as opposed to a plain text rule book?

Yesthatphil20 Jul 2012 3:31 a.m. PST

IMHO the all-time best illustrations in a wargame book were the line drawings by Sinclair in HG Wells' Little Wars.

Ha, ha! But you try telling young people today that …! Great example, Arthur …

Personal logo Lentulus Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2012 4:33 a.m. PST

8 Artwork (which can include photos) providing examples of how to use the rules.

Note that I am onside with more artwork if there is a reasonable chance the book will end up on the shelf of a general bookstore. There are not many rules publishers for which that is a reasonable expectation.

Disco Joe20 Jul 2012 5:50 a.m. PST

1 and 2.

Martin Rapier20 Jul 2012 9:11 a.m. PST

Apart from diagrams to explain the rules, a.d possibly photos of actual gameplay, none. Unless it is a book, and not just a set of rules.

TodCreasey Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2012 9:55 a.m. PST

I like 'em all – but especially painted figures.

Personal logo Dasher Supporting Member of TMP20 Jul 2012 10:03 a.m. PST

Prefer copious photographs of well-painted figures in well-llit, high-contrast, clearly illustrating concise examples of play.
If those are done right, they are all the dramatic inspirational visuals any rules need.
P.S. I loathe "fluff" that does not translate into play.

richarDISNEY20 Jul 2012 10:04 a.m. PST

Anything that has NOTHING to do with John Blanche…
"That needs more skulls…"

pigbear20 Jul 2012 10:52 a.m. PST

Usually 5. 6 if done with restraint.

raylev320 Jul 2012 11:37 a.m. PST

Good photos and graphics are a must, but they should be tied to the rules themselves.

Griefbringer20 Jul 2012 12:51 p.m. PST

On another note, I would like to add that if there are pictures of miniatures shown, then it would be nice if they would be actually based with the rules in question in mind.

Eg. the aforementioned Medieval Warfare (Foundry edition) has lots of pictures of miniatures, but very few of them are actually based on anything resembling the recommended basing conventions for the game.

Whirlwind21 Jul 2012 4:07 a.m. PST


bobm195928 Jul 2012 7:38 a.m. PST

Big fan of pen and ink artwork. Colour pics of figures don't do it for me at all. Painted artwork can be good if done well…like that in "By Fire and Sword".

Altius28 Jul 2012 11:11 a.m. PST

Really not necessary for a good set of rules, but I do like to see a mix of diagrams, uniform prints, contemporary illustrations, and photos of super-nice figures in a game setting. Everything mentioned except reenactors. I could do without those.

billthecat28 Jul 2012 2:16 p.m. PST

…Consistent quality and style.

Omemin02 Aug 2012 5:42 p.m. PST

I'm in the "just give me the art that explains the rule" camp. If I want other art and photos, I know where they live….

Personal logo optional field Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2012 9:18 p.m. PST

I have to say, upon reflection, and as someone who likes low cost rules, perhaps the best answer is "whatever doesn't add to the final cost of the product."

Osprey has a huge library of excellent art work, and they ought to use it since it adds little to the final cost of the product, but for brand X rules public domain works (period photographs, paintings, wood cuts etc.)work just as well.

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