Saturday, 20 February 2010

The Book Fairy...

...has been busy leaving goodies under my pillow recently.  It's been a bumper month for reading material. 

In painting terms, this month has been quiet on the Napoleonic front.  Our club is having a games day on the 27th, and I'm slated to put on a WW2 game pitching my 20mm Russians against Japanese in Manchuria using the Blitzkrieg Commander rules.  There has been quite a lot to prepare- finishing up tanks, minis, and working on terrain- so I have put the Napoleonic wars on hold until then.  I can do this without feelings of guilt, as gaming is gaming!

But being put to one side is not the same as being forgotten, and indeed there have been a number of developments which are making me itch to get back with "the program".

First off,  I did a book trade with "Greystreak"- an active member of the WD3 and La Bricole forums.  He is a fellow Russian army aficionado, and is of course a painter très extraordinaire as many of you probably well knowIn exchange for me sending him a duplicate copy of Wirtschafter's From Serf to Russian Soldier, he sent me a copy of Gill's 1809- Thunder on the Danube.  

I already have Gill's earlier book on With Eagles to Glory, and as with the previous book Thunder on the Danube is an excellent read- almost enough to make me want to do the Kaiserliks in their helmets.  But discipline shall prevail.

Secondly, this past week I received some completely unexpected gifts from my good friend Kris.  Kris is an ex-pat Canadian who is now living and working in Frankfurt, Germany, and is an old gaming colleague from way back when we were wargaming at Dave Smith's place up in North Vancouver.   

We are veterans of fights over many a miniature battlefield, and the last time I visited him in Germany we had a great time touring an actual 1:1 scale battlefield; that of Bergen, fought in 1759 during the Seven Years' War (and which resulted in a victory for the French- Bravo!)

Kris has a considerable collection of figures from the Seven Years War and the Thirty Years War,  and now it seems that he has caught the (invariably terminal) Napoleonic virus.  

It must have been a particularly virulent strain of the bug as clearly it was leaving him feverish; he was kind enough to order me not just one, but two books.  The first was Russia Against Napoleon: The Battle for Europe, 1807 to 1814 by Dominic Lieven.  I received a note saying this one is on the way, and I'm really looking forward to reading it. 

When I learned he had sent me a copy, I was of course at a loss for words, and then- as if one book wasn't generous enough- it turns out that he also ordered me another which I received just the other day.  

And I haven't yet been able to put it down:
It didn't take me long to see why he thought it worth sending me.  Quite aside from the most deliciously fattening eye candy- wargames pornography, in fact- these are a set of rules very much in the spirit of the games our group used to play back in Vancouver.

The basing conventions are very flexible, and I'm already looking to trying them out with some of my Napoleonics, or even some ACW figures I have kicking around with no current purpose in life.

Thanks so much, Kris- your generosity is very much appreciated!  I can see these rules may be getting a lot of use with our club here in Tokyo!
*****
Finally, I've been in correspondence with the editor of what I consider to be the best wargames magazine out there about the possibility of an writing an article for his mag.  It will be a nice change from the work-related writing I do, so I look forward to the challenge!

 *****
Update- I just answered the doorbell to find a courier standing there with my copy of Lieven's Russia Against Napoleon: The Battle for Europe, 1807 to 1814Some good reading for me ahead, but first I've got to get that WW2 game ready to go!

 

1 comment:

Docsmith said...

Hi Robert - a bit of reading to do eh? I've just done the same and my copy of Black Powder is on order! I've read both the Gill books - he really is an excellent writer and very careful with his sourcing so they're pretty accurate accounts as far as I can tell.

Between bouts of furious brush work, there's nothing like settling down with a nice glass of 'medicinal' and a good book!

Cheers,
Doc