Sunday 22 September 2013

Where did that come from?

I know, I know....but I can resist anything except temptation....

By now most readers of the blog will have gathered that I am a very single minded and determined person, not easily swayed by anything other than chosen path I happen to be on at the time....

I know, only kidding!

Today has been a pleasant day for a number of reasons. To begin with, I spent the morning at the Skirmish Plastic Soldier fair at Sidcup in Kent - originally planning to pick up some bits and pieces for my old toy soldier WW2 based collection. Despite some earnest rummaging I did not manage to get anything I set out to but I did come away with some cracking ideas that I will share in due course. I met up with some Skirmish stalwarts in the shape of Fran and Postie from the Rejects, Clint and Bob Cordery - with whom I spent a very pleasant half hour or so discussing projects many and varied.

We discussed the advantages that Postie would have if he was to get some air conditioning in his den (if only to avoid certain wargamers taking their clothes off when the temperature rose!) and also the the fact that as wargamers get older they appreciate their creature comforts rather more....

Bob was on fine form and regaled me with tales of his huge collection of Roco vehicles and the plans he has - as well as the Aladdin's cave that is his shed that, the contents of which are soon to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting public, once he has hacked his way, Indiana Jones-like, through the undergrowth to find it.

Those very nice people from Pilum Painting were present, eager to chat and listen to me droning on about my latest bout of project insanity as was also Dave Lanchester of David Lanchester Military Books who, as usual, managed to have a couple of items I simply could not do without.

The book you see in the picture above is just one of those and is something obscure even by my standards - but what an absolute treasure trove it is! Although it is less than 90 pages long this slim little hardback really punches above its weight in terms of the information contained therein. Lets see now, a usual checklist of a good book for a wargamer has the following:

  • Maps
  • Line drawings
  • Colour uniform plates
  • Organisation
  • Orders of Battle
  • Campaign history
  • Biographies of some of the leading personalities.

Ron Weaver's book has them all covered and the colour plates are really good. The uniforms look like formal late Napoleonic types and there is plenty of colour to be seen as each of the Swiss Cantons had their own armed forces and uniforms. It would be easy enough to raise armies for this 'period' if needed but I have a rather different agenda with the contents of this book. There is much be inspired by - but to what end?

Well, that is an easy one to answer. I have absolutely no intention of fighting the Swiss Civil War of 1847, not now, not ever but that will not stop me using this book as a guide to some central European 'imagi-nation' type action. Off the top of my head you could merge some of the cantons into nations, call the entire country a continent, flatten some of the mountains, enlarge the lakes so you could factor in the naval dimension and away you go!

Now if only I could somehow add a Turkish frontier (possibly via Austria) this could work out rather nicely.

Joking aside, the potential for me with this is rather alarming albeit in a good way.

As a postscript, Switzerland has featured rather a lot for me recently so I am wondering if a higher power is at work - I have large business deal in the offing through work and centred on Geneva, Chelsea were beaten by a Swiss team at football during the week and now this....

Cue the X Files music....


tradgardmastare said...

A superb choice of book and one you will really enjoy.It is an excellent,inspirational read & I really like the illustration of the chap with the spikey club- just crying out to be modelled!

The Angry Lurker said...

A pleasure as always David

David Crook said...

Hi Trad,

This is a really good book and the spikey clubman would be a good figure to tackle! For me the great thing about this book is not just the history - it is the potential it offers that is really exciting!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Fran,

And you sir! I really like the Skirmish show - it has a nice relaxed feel about it and is not too time intensive.

All the best,


Andy said...

Great to see you again, and enjoyed hearing about your new project as I've been following that part of your blog with interest.

After our chat I have to admit I was eying up the various toy soldier stands whilst thinking...'I wonder.....'

As I mentioned in our chat I think using plastic 'Patton' style tanks for both sides in tan and green would look great and give the right feel.

Can't wait for the next installment.

Anonymous said...

Why not fight the Swiss Civil War?

Isn't that why you went to the blocks?

David Crook said...


You know what? I think you might have something there - perhaps not the entire war but I will fight the only major action using the blocks.

That is a good call!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Andy,

It was great catching up with you and I think the idea of using Pattons has a certain whimsical charm - but I will have to take the wheels off!

All the best,


Ray Rousell said...

Well I couldn't make the show and I still got 2 new books to add to my collection....good ol' Postie!

David Crook said...

Hi Ray,

Well done Ray! Postie is a legend and I hope his commission for acquiring the books was not too high....

All the best,


Conrad Kinch said...

Not wargaming the Swiss Civil War?

That doesn't sound like you.

David Crook said...

Hi CK,

You may think that....but I couldn't possibly comment...;-)

All the best,