A couple of second hand books have arrived from www.paulmeekins.co.uk. "Practical Wargaming" by C.F.Wesencraft was a book I used to borrow on a regular basis from the local library. I remember copying out by hand the rules from the chapter "The army corps in action" into an old school exercise book. These rules had 3 based figures representing a battalion and allowed for larger battles to be played. Up until then my plastic Airfix napoleonic figures all represented the traditional 1:30 ratio of the time where one figure represented 20 actual men.
I bought the book for two reasons. First was for a bit of nostalgia, and second was the high praise the book gets in further reading appendixes of Neil Thomas's books. Having read a number of the chapters you can see some of the influences. Here are a couple if quotes about rules that stood out for me in the early part of the book:
"Very few dice are required for the games described in this book. I have seen the day when I have fought battles in which I have had to throw thirty of forty dice in what were called saving throws, having already thrown seven or eight dice to see if any hits were scored. What a waste of time when the result probably boiled down to a mere handful of kills in the end. Obviously it was the rules that were at fault. Time is everything to a wargamer. Rule 1 of any game should be: if it wastes time, throw it out!"
"Often unnecessary details are added in the name of accuracy, resulting in time being spent on trivialities that only delay the eventual outcome of the battle."
"The effect of weather on a battle can be crucial and yet in the main is ignored by the average wargamer."
The second book "Napoleon's Campaigns in Miniature" by Bruce Quarrie was purchased to help me with settling up a napoleonic campaign. Having quickly flicked through the book, it is jammed packed with details on organisation, lines of communication, medical services and prisoner of war, attrition and desertion, etc... All looking very useful to shape some simple rules to govern a small campaign, and also to provide a background narrative to the campaign games.