The most expensive wargaming aid?

I’ve been a fan of companies producing electonic copies or rules for some time – I’m all for making wargames rules cheaper and more accessible. The only problem with this is that I have not had a suitably portable device that I could use to view these documents on – I know the iPad has been out for a while now, but I have been more than a little reluctant to shell out the £400 purchase price for this device – and carting a laptop around is somewhat impractical at the best of times.

KT-slate-03-lg__V401625843_This changed for me this Christmas as Santa very kindly delivered a Kindle Fire HD.

There have been several devices that have recently been launched in this price range – I must admit, I was actually more interested in obtaining a colour Kindle rather than a tablet, but I have very pleasently surprised with just how easy the Kindle has been to use.

However, the more vital question is, how good it is at displaying those rules PDFs?

Again, I have to say I am so far very impressed with the whole package. I have many PDF rulesets and they display well – I’m am particularly impressed with the clarity of the Kindle HD screen. I have also tried out several ‘Tablet’ versions of rules, and these work well – though it has to be noted that you have to ensure that these are opened with a PDF reader App rather than the Kindle software, as the navigation links don’t work when running under the Kindle e-reader App.

As an added bonus, publishers such as Osprey now produce books in Kindle format – several of their ‘Raid’ series have been available in the recent sale for as little as £0.99 each – and these work well on the Fire HD.

These benefits are before you even consider using the Fire as a tablet rather than just a colour e-reader.

All in all, the Kindle has the potential to completely revolutionise the way that I wargame – I can now carry around lots of rulesets and several PDF-only rules (such as SoBH) are easily accessible and much more likely to be played (rather than having to print out the rules and then transport several folders full of A4 paper). It also means that I am much more likely to invest in PDF rules in the future.

It has to be noted that several companies are still producing paper-only rules – I wonder if this will change given the new availabilty of cheaper devices?

I’m now looking at using electronic format for other things, such as magazines, so it will be interesting to see how electronically friendly I find the wargames press…

7 Comments on The most expensive wargaming aid?

  1. Welcome to the club! I am an enthusiastic kindle owner and I have four, because I keep buying them when they come out with newer versions. I play BG:FW by YourMoveGames, which you know comes with very tiny rulebooks. You can download the pdf from their website, and that is what I have been using. They are coming out with a new deck this spring, and a revised ruleset that is the fruit of a lot of playtesting will ship with the deck.

    One of the nice features of the kindle, or most e-readers for that matter, is that you can highlight, annotate, and make your own notes. All very useful for us rules fanatics.

  2. My favourite features of rule sets on a tablet pc are the ability to search for keywords and bookmarking. To be able to travel with half a dozen rule sets under your arm in one simple unit is also handy.

  3. I got a Tablet PC for Christmas and have been using it to read PDF rules as well as surfing the web, updating my blog, posting pictures online etc.. Very versatile and (speaking as a geek) great fun.

  4. I’m also one of the legion of people who got themselves a tablet this christmas. Went for a more expensive one than required I suppose but then I also plan to have it with me at conventions and shows to be able to show pictures of miniatures to people and so on and I think that it’s a good alternative to my really heavy laptop.

    Anyway, I immediately shoveled my “wargames rules” folder over to the new device and started reading rules on it. Very satisfied with it so far. I’ll have to see how well it works in the field but searching terms and setting bookmarks helps a lot. I think I’d still prefer regular books for the most part but then in certain cases they add to the weight carried considerably (40k, 6th edition) and it’s nice having a bunch of rules with you all the time. 🙂 I think I’ll like the little fella.

    Thanks for the quick review and the heads up on the e-Ospreys!

  5. “It has to be noted that several companies are still producing paper-only rules – I wonder if this will change given the new availabilty of cheaper devices?”

    I hope Peter Pig read this, as I’d love to purchase a tablet PDF version of the new Square Bashing ..

  6. Wlecome on board the tablet crew!!. I have an iPad since Christmas 2011 and it’s the best ever eloctronic purchase I’ve made. I not only have all my rules sets uploaded (mostly TooFatLardies) but also pdfs of all nature and many hundred books of my favourite gaming periods, in addition to music, photos to help me painting my models, podcasts (like yours), access to Internet everywhere. Well done, you will not regret having taken this step

  7. Alan Charlesworth // January 9, 2013 at 12:55 // Reply

    I have had an iPad and a Kindle since they were released. But its still quicker to flick through paper rules when trying to find a particular point once you know the rules.

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