Sunday, 8 March 2015

A post of bits or a bit of a post

Yes, it’s been a bit since my last post, but it’s an ill wind eh? Been doing lots of life things and good works and still been able to chug along with the painting and play testing for the impossible dream of an ideal set of Napoleonoic rules with the major difference this time that I think I’m nearly there. Just a case of consolidating all my thoughts and ideas cribbed from other rule sets and getting it all down on paper. Should be over by Christmas – where have I heard that before?

Finally happy with my skirmishing and the handling of cavalry, but I’m still mulling over thte command and control aspect. It’s really a question of hitting a comfortable point between The Thousand Foot General, IGYG and (alleged) simultaneous movement and most of this centres around issuing and acting upon orders. Not a fan of ‘pips’ or card driven mechanics and I think that laboriously writing our order sheets each move is a no-no. I’m sliding towards issuing orders to each, say, division at the start of the game and allowing the commanders to operate within a set of standing orders (like the old WRG style and others) and then changing orders as required and transmitting them by physically moving a courier figure across the table to the officer concerned. There’s another ‘timetable for the orders to be interpreted and acted upon (or ignored) to add to the flavour. I want to get away from the psychic general style of game and introduce the ‘pain in the arse’ field officer who can’t or won’t do as he’s told. 

Of course, this has all got to dovetail with a solo version as well, so no problem there really. In the meantime, keep painting the figures, talking of which, I found another couple of faces:

 . . . and some more Woodland Indians:


Sunday, 15 February 2015

Diplomatist Books – an unashamed recommendation.

Living the life of a gentleman of leisure (I wish!), the sudden realisation that weeks have slipped by unnoticed is an amazing experience, albeit far too common in my case. I haven’t been idle though, even on the wargames front, though books have been a major distraction. I don't have a friendly local bookshop (and likely soon won't have a friendly local library either!) so I can only spend my readies at Waterstones or such places as Amazon or The Book Depository, all of which are soulless and give me an uncomfortable impression of a dystopian existence, though maybe without the squalor and overcrowding. So, enter a certain Edwin King, Le Grand Fromage of Diplomatist Books.

Diplomatist Books is an online book dealership with a very attractive list of available titles but, as Edwin is also the author of the 'Thoughts of a Depressive Diplomatist' blog, it’s not just your typical online bookseller. The blog itself is certainly worth reading (this is a genuine plug) and the bookshop site is well worth a visit. Don’t go straight away though cos I’ve got my eye on a couple of things and I needs me spends first.

Anyway, to the point. Most (though probably not all) Napoleonic fans will be familiar with John Gill’s trilogy on the 1809 Danube campaign: three hefty volumes which are packed with information yet surprisingly easy to read; not in the J.K. Rowling or Philip Pullman sense, but you get my drift. I’m a proud owner of the set, but I missed another of his books, ‘With Eagles to Glory’, which deals with Napoleon’s German allies (forced or otherwise) in said campaign. 

Naturally enough, although it’s not hard to get hold of, I thought it was an item to covet but not essential, so whenever I spotted it I remembered I hadn’t got it yet. And lo, it appeared at Diplomatist Books! Quick as a flash, I nabbed it, which brings me to another point about Mr King.

Since Christmas, I’ve bought a couple or four, or maybe five (you know how it goes), books via the net and I’ve been pretty unimpressed with the packaging and, in two cases, the resulting condition of the books when they arrived. Contrast this with ‘DB’: I’ve had a couple or three books, all of which have arrived in excellent condition. They weren’t packed in armour plate, but they were packed sensibly, which seems to be beyond the ken of some booksellers.

So, there, in a typically long winded way, you go. A good source of books with a list of titles you don’t see everywhere. I’m probably cutting my own throat by drawing attention to Edwin’s bookshop, but I do think it’s worth a mention – that’s the kind of nice guy I am (honest!)

Friday, 16 January 2015

Win a piece of art!

Go immediately to
and enter the competition to win this (which is pretty damned good):

Details and entry rules are here.