Friday, 14 March 2014

What to do and how to do it....

Following on from my previous post I have given a lot of thought as to what the collection will need to be trimmed down to. I have decided what is 'out' as opposed to 'in' and the really funny thing is that how easy it was to be quite logical and, well, ruthless even about the whole process. I used as a decider for each of the periods I have amassed books for the very simple criteria - would I ever game this period using figures?

I should perhaps qualify that by adding that would I ever buy and paint figures to game the particular period in. It is a very crude yardstick but will suffice for my needs. I then took a long hard look at the library on a period by period basis and came to the following conclusions.

Ancients - For me this is the Greek and Persian wars, the Punic wars and the wars of the later Roman republic - up to Actium. Both the naval and the land side have an appeal and I would be prepared to raise armies DBA style when the mood takes me. I already have 1/1200th scale ships for the period so this will be staying. I have something in mind for the land side that will be revealed later in the post.

The Arab Conquests up to Manzikert - This period nearly fell by the wayside but was rescued simply because of my interest in Arab military history and a fondness for Viking-style raids. I could easily see myself building up DBA armies, possibly even warbands for Saga at some point (especially as Gripping Beast have some plastic Arab infantry on the go).

Taking the collection as a whole there is in fact very little change. I was never that enthusiastic on the whole Alexander the Great and the Successors thing; nor was I was a great fan of the Roman Empire.

The Crusades via the Middle Ages - This is one of things that I would have loved to have tackled (the Crusades especially) but there is absolutely no chance of me ever painting figures for it. Not now, not ever! Luckily my collection reflects this and so there are only a handful of titles to be disposed of.

The Renaissance - This was a very tricky one for me - mainly due to the Ottoman Turks and the Barbary Corsairs. If I am honest I love the idea of this period more so than the effort involved to amass armies (and navies) for it. In my opinion the armies need to visually impressive with lots of figures to really stand out and sadly my skills with a paint brush would not be up to the task. I thought long and hard about this one but in the end this section of the library is now going and is consigned to the memory. My interest in the Ottoman Turks is undiminished but cold practicality must prevail.

The 18th century - Again, this is a tricky one for me as I have fought many really interesting 18th century games and let us not forget the Charge! effect. I just cannot see myself acquiring armies for anything from the period as the painting would be beyond me - and I would want a lot of figures to make it look right. I will keep my copy of Charge! though - the word according to Young and Lawford is impressed upon my soul. Everything else though - is going

The 19th century - I am disposing of my pre-1815 Napoleonic titles with one exception and shall also be offloading a few titles on the ACW. Other than that it will all be staying. There is a more than sufficient variety of wars during the century to keep me in gaming ideas for many years to come - both from the land side and also the naval dimension.

1900 to 1945 - Not much to tell with this really - I have that which I want to keep and so the disposals are quite limited.

With all of the above my intention is to game all of them using the blocks and then upgrade the key areas with figures and models as and when the mood takes me and I have the time. I shall press on with the Ancient block labels and have taken the rather radical decision to look long and hard at the ideas contained in Phil Sabin's book Lost Battles as the gridded rule set contained therein has some really interesting ideas I want to play around with.

There, that wasn't so bad was it?


Francis Lee said...

Like pulling a plaster but a damn big one!!!!

Archduke Piccolo said...

Not attempting to influence your decision, but your posting - particularly your mention of Barbary pirates, reminds me of an article I read as a schoolboy. It was titled 'The Corsairs', and I found it in one of the hard-back 'Girl's Annual' type of book belonging to my mother. She must have been given them in her own youth in the 1940s.

'Considering' what a schoolboy might expect to find in a book for girls, this article was a bally exciting read, fiece engagements between 'Christian' galleons and Barbary galleys. Waylaid by pirates loaded to the gun'les with men swarming over the sides, the galleon's crew defending with the ferocity of desperation - I really wish I could have kept that article...

Ray Rousell said...

It's always good to have a clear out!

David Crook said...

Hi Fran,

Certainly the idea of disposing of some elements of the collection had me feeling somewhat bilious but I am glad I have made the decisions I have.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Archduke,

I had a similar 'moment' as a young lad with a picture of a Pathian horse archer in full flight in a history book I owned. It just really struck a chord - so much so that I acquired the figures for an army years later and even painted up a few dozen horses for it (Minifigs as I recall).

I have just had to man up and up and be realistic about what I want to do and more importantly, what I am likely to be able to!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Ray,

I like to think of it as being in focus - although I shall have see how long my resolve holds when at Skirmish tomorrow!

All the best,


Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

It was not the massacre I feared ;)

Note to self via David, must do something Naval (20th century)

David Crook said...

Hi Geordie,

The main loser was the Renaissance part of the collection but with some key components sitting in other periods. Although the remaining list still looks a long one it has the big advantage of being doable in some fashion.

Note to Geordie via self: Yes I know!

All the best,