Tuesday, 13 January 2009
I don't imagine that anyone reading this blog will be unaware of the Wargame Companion, indeed most of you will have had a copy for some time. I hoarded mine till Christmas and spent the holiday with it at my elbow.
I have been wargaming for 43 years now so you will not think me blase if I say that I very rarely see or read anything that really stops me in my tracks. However this book did just that. It was the way that the sheer enjoyment of the hobby leapt from every single page. Of course it made me want to jump up and start painting Spencer Smiths like mad, but fortunately my painting table was packed away for Christmas guests so I was forced to just sit and think.
And what I thought was, why am still not doing the things that are most important to me. If I am run over next week I doubt I will lie under the bus wheels regretting that I never got around to finishing that 3rd regt of Napoleonic French Dragoons so that I could field an independent cavalry corps of dragoons in 1813. I might however whisper, (Citizen Kane like) 'Stadden, Royal Welch Fuzileers' when I think of the hopelessly expensive unit I coveted for so many years and never ever got.
Well you get the point anyway! So my New Year resolution is that I will paint and model only those things that I really want to do, and the best structure for this will be 18c fictional armies. Those who read the book will remember that these differ from imaginary armies in that they are a mix of real and imaginary units brought together solely at the whim of their creator. In Brigadier Youngs case he mixed his old regt, the Bedfords, alongside imaginary 18c German states and if he liked the figures then he brought in Napoleonic reinforcements as needed.
Then a few days ago I got a copy of Brigadier Grant's brand new wargames book and what a splendid read it is. It is like a gale of fresh air blowing away the dust and revealing the Grant rules and army in all their shiny splendour. I urge you all to buy this one it is a perfect compliment to the Wargames Companion in that it displays the rules and armies in all their relevance to what we do today.
Raid on St Michel describes a mini campaign fought by the author and Phil Olley is a joy from cover to cover and is just published by Caliver Press. I regret that I cannot tell you the price as my copy was a gift from the author, but it is worth every penny.
(Note to self: must try to avoid this constant and repulsive name dropping in 2009.)