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"Miniature photos or graphics / artwork on rules covers?" Topic

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27 Oct 2015 10:37 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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884 hits since 29 May 2015
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Comments or corrections?

MH Dee Inactive Member30 May 2015 11:38 a.m. PST

Was just idling milling this over do you prefer photographs of miniatures or artwork (painting etc) on the covers of rules?

I was thinking this after seeing the cover of the new Spearhead WW1 rules. I much preferred the old artwork cover. I'm not sure exactly why I prefer artwork on rules covers, guess it's because some mini photography is often less evocative of a period than an nice painting. And especially period stuff -I really like the DBM covers, nicely minimalist too.

Well? Anyone have a preference?

Mako11 Inactive Member30 May 2015 11:44 a.m. PST

Either is fine by me, as long as it looks nice.

I like nicely drawn, line art too.

Giuseppe Rava Sponsoring Member of TMP Inactive Member30 May 2015 11:48 a.m. PST

Artwork, guess why? :-)

clibinarium30 May 2015 11:53 a.m. PST

There was a time I'd have said miniatures, but now that the internet is full of pictures of nice minis, I prefer to see good artwork on the front.

KTravlos Inactive Member30 May 2015 12:19 p.m. PST

Artwork indeed!

MH Dee Inactive Member30 May 2015 12:22 p.m. PST

Period photographs too – the Battlegroup covers are gorgeous.

warwell30 May 2015 12:37 p.m. PST


rjones6930 May 2015 12:54 p.m. PST


Mute Bystander Inactive Member30 May 2015 2:38 p.m. PST

Pictures of miniatures belong in book and online but for rule books I prefer art unless it is exceptionally evocative pictures of miniatures in a game.

45thdiv30 May 2015 5:07 p.m. PST

Artwork for the cover, but i think miniatures in the body of the rules to show examples of movement or such.

(Phil Dutre) Inactive Member31 May 2015 1:42 a.m. PST

Artwork but most artwork used on wargaming covers or boxed sets is rather unimaginative. Usually it's the stereotypical bunch of guys preparing for an assault or charge (or maniacally unloading their guns on some invisible target), with one guy frantically shouting while looking "in the camera", and lifting his arm up to motion the others forwards. Especially FOW and Bolt Action are prone to these stereotypical depictions.

That kind of cover looks more like a comic-book cover from the 60s.

Why not use real artwork? I.e. actual historical paintings that depict how contemporary artists saw the conflict?

I think wargaming books should take more inspiration from books on military history rather than from comic books or video games.

Ottoathome Inactive Member31 May 2015 4:54 a.m. PST

I'm with Phil on this one. On my rules for the 18th century "Mon Dieu, tout saif un sixe!" I use two paintngs of Frederick the Great and Napooleon. The first is by Pesne, the second by David of Napoleon in his study. On the rules for the 17th century (Todo meno sei) I use Velasquez' The Lances. On the 16th century (Tutto trani una sei" it its from the Renaissance.

My campaign rules for the 18th century have a photograph, of a porcelean figure of Madame Du Barry dressed "alla Turca" with a masque in her hand.

I agree with you Phil when you say "I think wargaming books should take more inspiration from books on military history rather than from comic books or video games.

I made the "Du Barry" picture the logo for this week's "The Weekend" convention. After all with the theme of "The 18th Century the Wars of Lace and Mistresses" what would be more appropriate.

I don't know about you but I'd much rather be Contretanzing with DuBarry than marching about some muddy field.

But in the end, what I REALLY think is that a set of war game rules is an instruction manual and no different than one that tells you how to change a tire on your car or operate a can opener. I'd eliminate the art entirely and just use it to better explain the game. I put the art in it simply because I like art -- real art, and if I can squeeze it in as filler- that's the filler I use.

MH Dee Inactive Member31 May 2015 6:55 a.m. PST

I would agree that period artwork fits it quite well, and I really don't like the FOW cover art either – to me it looks almost distasteful, and a little too Hollywood.

Interesting about rules being an instruction manual – I quite like the development towards rules as books, something that is nice to read, use *and* have on your shelf. It's fascinating that wargamers can be so aesthetically inclined towards the miniatures, yet not feel the same about the other tools of the hobby.

Weasel31 May 2015 10:40 a.m. PST

Art is expensive, photos are not :-)

Giuseppe Rava Sponsoring Member of TMP Inactive Member31 May 2015 11:50 a.m. PST

The art boosts the sales and makes your item unique.

rjones6931 May 2015 12:14 p.m. PST

I quite like the development towards rules as books, something that is nice to read, use *and* have on your shelf.

I completely agree, MH Dee, with the concept of a rules set as a book. And as you put it so well, as a book a rules set has both utilitarian value – you read and use it – and aesthetic value – it looks nice on the shelf.

And there's not an inherent contradiction between utility (the "instructional manual" aspect) and the aesthetic aspect.

It's like a well-designed family automobile, for example. It's a means of transportation, and so the fundamental factors are the automobile's safety, performance and reliability. That doesn't mean, however, that the car can't also be pleasing to the eye, and be designed with that aesthetic consideration in mind. It doesn't have to be flashy, and certainly should never be vulgar or tasteless, but it certainly can be designed to be beautiful.

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