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Below are my five most recent miniatures related photos. These used to be freshly painted miniatures only, but now include game photos as well.

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Recent books read

April 9, 2007 9:37 PM - Posted by Alan - Category:

I thought I’d bore you all by recounting some of the recent books I’ve finished, which might be of interest to all right thinking wargamers.

First, S M Stirling’s excellent post-apocalyptic trilogy set in Oregon, which tells the tale of a world where suddenly one day electricity, gunpowder and other similar technologies stop working. Catastrophe follows but, happily for the wargaming enthusiast, small groups survive and start to find ways of coping with a world riddled by plague, cannibals and bandits. In fact, the three books tell the story of enterprising individuals who start to develop societies, gather resources, learn technologies, fight evil etc etc. I won’t go into detail, because that would ruin what is in fact a well told tale. Anyone who has played Age of Empires, or a good build and conquer pbm game will enjoy this. It is well written and much less right wing and dogmatic than some of his books. And the title? ‘Dies the Fire’.

Second, very different, a fascinating account of the Long Range Desert Group’s activities, ‘Providence their Guide’ by David Lloyd Owen, who become the big chief of the group. Well written and enthralling, I learned a lot about the LRDG in the North African campaign and also, which I confess that I didn’t know, their activities in Albania and Yugoslavia once Rommel had fled and left the Afrika Korps to abject surrender. I bought my copy from the amazing military bookshop in Erpe, De Krijger, but I’m sure you can find a copy on Abebooks.

Last, assuming you’re not interested in the various detective novels that have been consuming my limited time on this earth, is a very amusing autobiography of a (very British) wargamer, Harry Pearson, called ‘Achtung Schweinehund’. Great, but I wonder how well it translates to other cultures. It is very much a story of English childhood in the 1960s and 1970s and its repercussions on apparent adulthood later on in life. Hilariously funny in places, stridently dogmatic in others but what of course wins the day is a mention of our one and ‘own’ (I say this as an ex-pat who struggles daily with the Dutch language) ‘Crisis’ convention and the glory days of Bart’s Schild en Vriend club. Definitely recommended to English readers of a certain age. Maybe it helps others understand the oddities of that race and generation?

Comments on this entry

I read ‘Achtung Schweinehund’ over the last 2 days, and it was a very funny read. The book starts off with a bit of very typical British boyhood culture from the 60s and 70s, but many aspects of it were very recognizable, even for a Belgian boy growing up in the 70s. I also fondly remember the toxic fumes of White Spirit in my bedroom while painting Airfix kits, and the episodes describing boys running around ‘You’re dead. No, you’re dead.’ are very recognizable as well.

Of course, I never read Commando magazine, and therefore was not properly schooled in the comic-version of WW2, but there are Belgian equivalents which are close enough, although they are mostly medieval in nature and not related to WW2. A few weeks ago the DVD-box from the old series ‘Het Zwaard van Ardoewaan’ was released. After it aired on Wednesday-afternoon in the 70s, we all ran out wielding our self-made wooden swords, shouting ‘I am Morholt, Lord of Ardoewaan’. A few weeks ago, I spend an entire night watching all episodes again, and the fond memories of boyhood sprang up once again.

About two-thirds of the book are much more about ‘adult wargaming’, and to that part, I think all wargamers, whether British or not, can relate very well. The atmosphere at conventions or hobby-shops is described with a proper dose of humor or irony, and more than once I was laughing out loud, thinking, ‘Yep, that could have been .’

Anyway, a very enjoyable quick read, and a very good tongue-in-cheek description of the wargaming hobby.

April 12, 2007 11:28 AM - Posted by Phil