The great virtue of the Web these days is that anyone can post a page on it with a minimal amount of effort. That is also the bad thing about cyberspace. There are billions of web pages just waiting for visitors, and finding what you want among these is no easy matter. If SearchEngineWatchís information has any accuracy, the best one can do with a single search tool are the three billion pages indexed by Google and Fast Search. There is hope, however, for those seeking anything useful on the Web in a reasonable amount of time. This is the rise of specialty search engines. These sites resist the temptation to list everything, and instead focus on a single sliver of human endeavor. In short, they have done the preliminary sorting for the researcher.
One can find engines dedicated to virtually anything, and British Wargames has done its part with The Wargames and Military History Search Engine. This particular tool is still in its infancy but they plan to have all wargame and military sites listed. The owners have constructed a framework for a comprehensive directory for all gaming genres and periods of warfare, as well as a mechanism for registering new sites. As with any good specialized Web index, the directory is searchable. As an added touch, everlasting prestige can be won through a site of the month contest.
British Wargames has other features besides the engine, including TO&E data for nations that fought in Europe in World War II, miniatures articles, and bulletin boards. The site has an event calendar, game and club news, The Wargames and Military Banner Exchange, and hosts the FAQ for the comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical usenet group. It plans to have historical articles and chat rooms in the future. So far, British Wargames is a Web locale in its early stages of development, but its future looks good. Check on it in a year or so.
Peter L. de Rosa
Note: The original version of this review appeared in Strategist 30 (April 2000):3, under the title "Internet Review: British Wargames." The Strategist is the newsletter of the Strategy Gaming Society.
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