Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Star Wars The Essential Guide to Warfare - a not-quite review...

So, my copy of Star Wars - The Essential Guide to Warfare [link to buy] came today! And yes, it is as awesome as it sounds.

All in all, it's a history of warfare in the Star Wars universe, with 21 chapters organised chronologically from the rebellion of the Rakata (pre-KOTOR) right through to Darth Krayt and the new Sith order.

Each chapter covers a particular period of time (or aspect of warfare within that period), such as chapter 7: 'Begin, the Clone War does' or Chapter 15: 'When the Empire struck back', and has 'factual' information (illustrated gorgeously throughout) as well as a variety of sidebars, such as 'War Portraits' of noted individuals and communications between key characters (my favourite so far being one from Admiral Ackbar to his niece about how the Rebel Alliance has to put their trust in people that could technically be categorized as mass murderers in order to succeed).

Now, the meat: how useful is this book to me as a wargamer? It's a little lighter on hard and fast force organisation information than I'd like, although that's more to do with the fact that the Rebels are a ragtag bunch than anything else (although it does have organisational information for Stormtroopers and the Imperial Navy, which is handy as trying to work it out by trying to count them onscreen whilst watching the films is difficult and makes you wonder whether George Lucas was even considering the verisimiltude of the military orgaisations he was portraying). [aside - worse comes to worse, I'm fairly sure the old WEG miniatures game rulebook had suggestions as to how the rebel forces were organised, even though it's old enough to probably be non-canon now...] Most of all though, it's useful as a source of inspiration: there's lovely art throughout, with everything from Imperial propaganda posters to Darth Talon (red Twi'lek Sith with tribal tattoos), there's plenty of eye-candy to make me want to paint and convert things. Also, at 246 pages long, there's enough scenario fodder to keep a gaming group in ideas for a fair while...

Now, I've not read the entire thing cover to cover yet, so these are just my first impressions from flicking through looking at the pretty pictures and looking up things that were of immediate interest to me (like the aforementioned force organisation of the Imperial Army), but it's certainly got me pepped up to get some Stormtroopers ready for repainting (well, that or play some Star Wars Battlefront, we'll see how my attention span goes).

Also femtrooper pin-ups like this:

and this:

Are canon. Although the actual lady Stormtroopers don't approve, with reasoning like "As for going into combat with a bare midriff, I wouldn't recommend it". Glee!

I was looking for some sort of image that would encapsulate how I feel overall about the book, but it turns out that googling 'Boba Fett approves' and 'Boba Fett thumbs up' brings up some fairly weird stuff, including a blog devoted entirely to Star Wars themed porn. Which is probably as good a point as any to end this post on.


  1. for the Alliance military organisation, you could take a gander at this page from the Wookiepedia, which has information gleaned from (mostly) canon sources: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Alliance_Army

    1. Haha I'm an eejit, that's exactly what I was looking for - what's worse is that for the last week or so I've been visiting Wookieepedia daily and didn't think to look on there :s

  2. Sounds wonderful! I love the Star Wars universe, but need another distraction like a whole in the head. This is going to be very hard to resist!

    1. Give yourself to the Dark Side, it is the only way you can save your friends!