Despite the oppressive heat and humidity of this morning SWMBO and I managed to go to a small boot sale not far from us this morning and I managed to pick up a couple of titles on the wars of the Duke of Marlborough. I have to say that this period is not one that I am hugely familiar with; nor is it one that I would ever attempt to game using figures but having these two titles in the collection is as good a start as any should that change over time. Certainly it would have possibilities for me using the block armies (and I have some really attractive troop labels I could use) so I may give it some thought in around ten years time at the current rate of progress!
David Chandler needs no introduction from and I am aware that he also wrote a companion volume on the campaigns of the Duke which I shall try to track down at some pint - perhaps with Richard Holmes's biography of the Duke as well, if only because I always enjoy his books.
James Falkner has written a couple of titles on the period and this one complements Marlborough's Wars rather nicely. As far as figures are concerned the troops are not quite as ornate as later in the century but are probably still too much for my painting inclination!
Friday saw the arrival of two of the parcels I am waiting for - the Spartans (in the box above) expansion for my Command and Colours Ancients set up (I have already labelled the blocks contained therein!) and my two WW2 Naval forces for the RN and the Km in a scale I have not previously used. The models are from MY Miniatures - MY Miniatures 1/4800th Ships - and are scaled at 1/4800th so the Bismarck comes out at around 2" long. I have chosen this scale for a number of reasons. To begin with, for WW2 games played on a 6 x 4ft table they look 'right' for the scale distances involved. I did not want to go down the road of using 1/6000th simply because they strike me as being too small (although closer to being in scale) and, tellingly, they are more expensive. Mention of cost brings me to the next point - the two fleets I acquired came in at £25 including postage and I have all the ships types I a likely to need although when I tackle the Mediterranean I will need a few others for the RN, not to mention the Italians. Detail-wise the models are OK and the types represented are clearly identifiable and so once painted, based, named and 'flagged' will look very attractive on the new and larger Hexon area.
For the Spartans, as mentioned above, I have already labelled all the blocks and so once the missing two dozen blocks arrive from Mr Gow that I am short of the entire collection will be complete. I have also found out that I can buy copies of the rules and charts from the expansions direct from GMT so this will be really handy - the only one I will be unable to get is for the Greek and Eastern Empires expansion.
Finally, a few weeks ago I picked up a copy of Barry Strauss's book - Masters of Command, Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar and the Genius of Leadership. The book covers careers of the three named and follows the story of each at a similar stage throughout for comparison purposes. The author has managed to write a fast paced study of each of the above and draws a number of parallels in terms of the key stages of their military journey. I really enjoyed the novelty of this approach and the end result is a thought provoking book that I thoroughly enjoyed.
The final picture on this post shoes the handicap under which I have been labouring in order to write this post - Minnie, the youngest of our three cats has adopted the office chair as 'her chair' so this means I have to work around her. Remind me, when dealing with a feline exactly who owns whom?