Tuesday, 14 May 2019

The Napoleonic Library snapshot

One side of the wargames room has this wonderful bookcase built by fellow wargaming mate Steve

Many years ago I decided to commence cataloguing my collection of books in my library and thought it best to start at the largest section - Napoleonic.  As you can imagine it is always a task that takes discipline and a meticulous attention to detail.  That can be hard when miniature figurines and fighting table top battles are calling your name sooooo close to where you are completing "homework"!

Then of course I had my eureka moment.

Digital photography can be everyone's friend, including the lazy wargamer!

So without any further adieu a few shots of the Napoleonic bookcase shelves including some generic wargaming and uniform tomes.

A few favourites here.  Eltings Swords around a Throne is a cracking read.

On this first shelf are quite a few very good books that helped the young aspiring wargamer that was me understand the period a little better with every page.  Rogers "Napoleons Army" was a pick up at an early wargaming show put on by Mike W and Phil C many years ago.  A second hand book trader attended on the first night and was out of stock very early in the piece.  A few here that I have only skimmed through.  John Eltings book was a great holiday read by the pool in Kalabarri on an early holiday to the north of the state with Fiona many, many years ago.

The Oman's are an interesting collection.  They seem to divide Peninsular purists but I enjoyed them
In the very early days of our having purchased our first home together and starting with a new company these purchases were one a month from Boffins Bookshop in the city.  It was always great seeing the salesman Les and grabbing another volume on a Friday mid-month.
The same applies for this wonderful Greenhill Books collection.  Boffins was a godsend.

I actually managed to grab quite a few of the Greenhill books when Fiona and I were on holiday in England many years ago.  A great second-hand book agent selling from his home in Maidenhead.

I know people have strong opinions about Peter Hofrescher and on a personal level its not good at all.  His writing though is first class and the topics he covered were just as controversial.

On the shelf above is one of my favourite books on my favourite Napoleonic General Prince Eugene.  I religiously read this while still in high school while I was building the Army of Italy in 15mm for Empire III games at the Napoleonic Wargaming Society.  John Gills books are so informative and the often, at that time, ignored contribution of German units during the period gets a very good going over.

Well the Napier's are a must for anyone interested in the Peninsular chaps.  Christopher Duffy's books are sensational and are so well written that the most complicated scenarios and strategies are broken down and made understandable

More John Gills on the 1809 campaign and those wonderful Petre's. Gosh Marshall MacDonald also gets some space!

Arnold's books are a sensationally written, deep in detail and some great sources.  He is a wargamer as well so an added bonus.  The two volume set of the KGL was a great find at a long gone bookshop in Swanbourne called Burridges.

Fiona bought me my first copy of Chandlers Campaigns of Napoleon and it is a favourite.  The Folio Societies three volume set alongside it is a very nice piece of printing and publishing

Great set of books.  The CS Grants are wonderful.

Some crackers here.  The Anatomy of Glory, both first editions.  One purchased at Foyles in London for 100 quid!  What was I thinking.  The three part 1812 volumes were great reads whilst travelling between Perth and Sydney.

The famous Nafgizer trilogy on 1813 and the tremendous Polish books from Karabella on the Grand Duchy of Warsaw units.  They are the only reference you will ever need if collecting and painting Polish troops in the Napoleonic period...Murawski Miniatures of course!

Lots of general stuff here.  Remember when Funckens and Ospreys were nearly our only source for painting guides!

Great shelf here - the wonderful Military History Press volumes and the Bucqouys

Eltings, Adkins and H&C

Digby Smith aka Otto Von Pivka was always a favourite book from the UWA Library.  I jumped at the chance to buy my own many years later for $5.00.

I promised that I would rad Tolstoy's "War and Peace" cover to cover and over the course of six months travelling between Sydney and Melbourne short-haul flights I did.  The last 60 pages of Tolstoy postulations were hard work but the rest was pure magic - ahhh Natasha!.

Everyone loves a Blandford

Wargaming books - how much fun it was to discover these in the Midland library as a boy and then get a chance to slowly find copies for sale in second hand bookshops across the globe

Wargaming in History from Ken Trotman books are worth their weight in gold for we gamers

If you are anything like me I am always drawn to another gamers bookshelves to see what absolute treasures they may have and flick through the pages of long sought after volumes.  I hope that for some of you seeing the spines of some old favourites may bring some fond memories as they do for me everytime I walk up those stairs.

Best wishes until next time.

Monday, 6 May 2019

Empires Eagles and Lions and the equisite artwork of Mike Gilbert

Hows that for detail? The regular contributors and wargamers within the NJAW can be seen in the drawing.
Regular visitors to this particular blog will know of my genuine affection for the now defunct Empires, Eagles and Lions Wargaming Journal from the wonderfully productive and creative group known at the time as the New Jersey Association of Wargamers.

As a teenager growing into a young man in my wargaming infancy the journal was a great source of information, discussion and entertainment.  At the time I was very much enjoying Scott Bowden's wonderful Empire III rules and the journal was a great read.

Mike used to paint as well - very amusing advertisement in EEL 29.

Of special attraction was the sensational line drawings and illustrations of the incredibly talented Mike Gilbert.  I wanted to share this wonderful cover so that many of today's gamers who may not have heard of Empires, Eagles and Lions could see some wonderful pieces of artwork.

Ill be occasionally adding a new drawing on the blog just to show how talented Mr Gilbert truly was.


Thursday, 18 April 2019

"Gallic Hopes dashed once again upon Roman Rocks" - the very latest battle of "To the Strongest"

The battle rages at the NWS last night

Wednesday night was a great opportunity to set out my latest re-basing effort against the might of Steve's Polybian Romans in a battle of everyone's favorite ancients rules "To the Strongest" by Simon Miller.

I had been inspired by Simon's enormous efforts to get his massive Gallic army ready for Salute so I thought that a measly 130points should be obtainable within a three week period for myself.

I had acquired a reasonably sized Gallic force over the years and had played the odd game with Warhammer Ancients Battles.  However they had sat in a box for a longtime, occasionally seeing the light of day purely for motivational purposes.

However no more!

They are now re-based on Simon's irregular shaped bases from his store and I think they have come up pretty well.  A few spears and shield to replace and a few more accoutrements on some bases but they are pretty much 99% complete.

So to the game.

The extreme left wing of the Gallic hordes

From the bottom of the photo three deep warbands in one central command

The great Carlo the Terrible, terribles command of four warbands including one of Gaisati

Mad and naked fanatics with edged weapons are never a great combination for civil order

Look at all those Victory Medals in the camp in the background.  You wouldn't possibly believe how
quickly they can disappear!

Steve's central command and what a stunning collection of figures they are.

Spanish flanked by Velites and Hastati - beautifully painted by Big Chris

So the battle was set with 130 points a side.  Far easier for the Gauls than the Riomans I would suggest in terms of allocating units.

Steve has put together these very effective bases for TtS so he does not need to re-base his old figures.
How good are these!

I do like how these lads turned out.

Ready to rumble with those Latin types over yonder plain.

These bases are slightly wider than my normal 12cm and I do like the way it fills the grid square

Lines of Hastati and Principes

Gorgeous command figure on the Roman right flank

An eagle eye view of the Gallic cavalry commander

Following excellent early chit drawing the Gauls rushed forward to try and prevent the Romans anchoring on rough terrain

Early Cretan bow fire made their mark

The Gaisati, armed to the teeth, take the rough ground and inflict early damage on the Scutarii

Typical Steve manages to withdrawal without a problem...bastard!

Despite mighty fighting across the line the exchange of ranks proves most effective as one of the central warbands is easily disposed of.

On the Gallic left very early success in causing damage has not translated to destroyed Roman units

A very sticky situation for the great Carlo the Terrible,terrible. 

By some miracle the Gaisati mange to turn but its all too late...

So the battle raged on...and then it was over.

The Romans were steadfast and effective in their maneuver, line exchanges and ability to pass the critical saves whilst the Gauls were...well...Gauls!

Once again a fantastic and fun game with a great collection of figures and even better like-minded friend and gamer.  Great fun indeed.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

TtS - Classical Indians battle Alexander

Some particularly keen pachyderms in front of my newly crated Indian camps

Another fantastic nights gaming at the NWS saw 1430points a side of Classical Indians versus the might of Macedonia.  Its amazing how restricted and selective you need to be when putting together an army of only 130 points, especially when you are fielding forces with so many points invested in either Elephants or Veteran Pike!

The left wing of the Macedonian army comprising some Companions, light cavalry and Cretan archers

The Indians in the centre

Three units of Raw Longbow - they would fight well.

Maharajah Carlo looking resplendent in a yellow hair scarf!

Steves wonderful pike blocks

More of the same...bloody wonderful Foundry models

Veteran Pike the lot of them!

Steve advanced rapidly in order to reduce the space between our two forces and attempt to weaken my missile power.

On the Indian right companions make their way across rough ground

Later in teh battle - a bit out of sequence-more Companions do their worst!

Stay in that rough ground gentlemen
The fire was fierce but not all that effective unfortunately

After quite a few rounds of combat the phalanxs withdraw...the lucky bastards!  The elephants continue their pursuit on the twice hit blocks of Macedonians.

Lonely out here.
Aaahhh- the dreaded "Double 1" chits when the enemy is absolutely at your mercy!
It was another sensational game which Steve was willing to concede to me rather generously at around 9.15 pm.  For my part, I would much rather had been the Macedonian commander as I thought he was most certainly in teh best shape.

Another great fun night playing some sensational rules.