I was sorting out my bookshelves a bit yesterday – trying to identify a bit of space for some new things, and seeing if I have any old things which I could usefully move on. In the process, as ever, I came across a number of books I didn’t even remember having bought, and some of them look pretty interesting!
One booklet which I came across again, having read it a few times, is the Diplomacy and Other Means campaign system. This was written by Ian Hinds some years ago for Anschluss Publishing. I got my copy second-hand through eBay. The book is interesting for a number of reasons – mainly for the holistic approach and the way it works. It is unlikely that I would ever actually play the game, since it does not lend itself at all to solo play and since it requires a lot of paperwork – albeit cleverly thought out paperwork.
The booklet makes reference to Anschluss's Ebb & Flow rules for miniatures wargames to cope with the combat aspcts of the campaigns. I had never heard of these, and did a bit of further research, and found they were still available, from (I think –and if this is wrong then humble apologies all round) Essex Miniatures. I phoned up and ordered the core rule system from them, plus an expansion – Module III, which covers the Peninsular Campaign of 1812-14. Sadly, I received only the expansion module – which is a series of army lists and OOBs, with some detail rule amendments for this particular campaign – plus an apology for the non-availability of the core rule booklet, which was now long out of print.
In the long history of wargame disappointments this was only a minor sadness, so I had a look at what I had received and put it away safely on the “small booklets” shelf, to be revisited periodically when I was looking for more space. I’ve kept a casual eye open for Ebb & Flow on eBay and elsewhere, just out of interest – not that I would be likely to adopt the system, but I sort of collect other people’s wargame ideas in the same way as a saxophonist friend of mine collects obscure minor scales – they might come in useful one day, but – more relevantly – I just like to read them.
Never found them, yet I still see reference to them here and there. Someone’s blog was reminiscing about Ebb & Flow the other week, and there is occasional mention on TMP. I’m still gently intrigued, if anyone has any experience of these rules, or tales to tell.