More than a few Command scenarios have been based on a book entitled The War That Never Was by Michael Palmer. When I read the book myself, I developed the following opinions about it:

-The War That Never Was is very good as a “foundation” for Command scenarios, thanks to its extreme detail.

-However, the same details make it very bad as an actual novel.

Want long, encyclopedic details of various military units attacking each other? Then it has that. Want specific details of every ship? The book has that. But want that story told with any degree of personal immediacy, any amount of emotional, as opposed to mechanical detail? The book doesn’t have that. Want characterization-as in any characterization? Nope.

The book has a similar setup as Operation Sealion by Richard Cox, another  novelization of a wargame depicting the titular never-was “plan” by Germany to invade the British Isles in World War II.  (Spoilers: Germans lose big). Third-person omniscient, figures are given in extreme detail, but personalities aren’t.

It is just the published version of a dull, overly literal Let’s Play/After Action Report. Using it as a scenario reference can work, and many players have made good scenarios out of it. But as a book-it’s not very good at all.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.