Tuesday, 10 August 2010


Recently I have been reading and very much enjoying this:

Marvellously simple, no fancy pictures, just lots of enthusiasm leaking off the pages. Content over style one might say. It's very definitely Old School in presentation, thinking and content, so may not be to everyone's taste, and the models in some of the pictures are less than aesthetically pleasing (ACW boats, I'm looking at you) but to my mind that adds to the charm. There are lots of interesting ideas and passion in here, and a simple love of messing about with toy soldiers and it seems to me that's more important than pretty much anything.
I for one will be subscribing and I urge you to go here and do likewise!

Also the other day I popped into Caliver Books who were their usual charming and helpful selves (though as they were busy and I in a rush I didn't get a cup of tea this time).
I was looking for a copy of Feathestone's Solo Wargaming, but they'd sold out so instead settled on this:
Another reprint from the fine chaps at John Curry Events who appear to be embarked on the noble quest of re-printng all those old wargames books I grew up borrowing from the library (Solo Wargaming is the one I remember most fondly, hence my visit to Caliver).
This one was new to me and consists of a short section of generic skirmish rules followed by a number of different scenarios for different periods from Vikings raiding Saxons to Lord of the Rings (I wonder if New Line Cinema know!) to the far future via Napoleonics and WW2.
The rules themselves look a bit messy to me, though Donald is at pains to point out how easy they are to master while the scenarios seem to be something of an excuse for Mr F to exercise his frustrated prose writing urges - they do go on a bit. Most of them do contain some real gems of historic knowledge and insight into warfare that betray his military background.
The book also suffers a bit from being a re-print - it's clearly been scanned through some sort of OCR software or similar and that results in a few typo howlers and the pictures are grainy and uninspiring. A good edit could have tidied most of the typos up in pretty short order - it all felt a bit rushed and sloppy.
So as a rules manual it fails to stimulate me and the scenarios didn't exactly have me salivating to start any new periods, never mind dust off existing models. However I did enjoy reading it, for nostalgic reasons and because I find most of the books from this period to be quite charming in their slightly homespun way. So, it's no Charge! or The Wargame, but I felt I'd made a good purchase, and who knows maybe one day I'll get some French Foreign Legion and some Mexicans and have a bash at one of the scenarios...

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