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  • 'A Near Run Thing'...

    Just got a copy of this book written by David Howarth, I first read it in 1968 when I was eleven! This book lit the touchpaper on a magnificent obsession that's led to a collection of over 4,000 wargaming figures at the last count. Ranging from the Airfix immortals of yesteryear, who fought Waterloo on a regular basis on a six foot square sandtable, to the latest Perry masterpieces. I built a huge collection of books which I sold as interest in Napoleonics waned when I discovered the delights of the fairer sex, replacement of which has nearly put me in the spike!
    I'm looking forward to finding out if 'A Near Run Thing' has stood the test of time, so I'm of for a read...

    cue sound of the Tardis de-materialising!

    The long toll of the brave
    Is not lost in darkness
    Over the fruitful earth
    And athwart the seas
    Hath passed the light of noble deeds
    Unquenchable forever.

  • #2
    Which scale do you use? 28 mm?
    "Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier" - Samuel Johnson

    "Kerls, wollt ihr denn ewig leben?"

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    • #3
      All of 'em to Rogg. We've got armies in 6, 15, 20, 25, 28 up to 30mm. For skirmish games we've got 54mm Airfix, Britains and Timpo...

      sad innt!?

      The long toll of the brave
      Is not lost in darkness
      Over the fruitful earth
      And athwart the seas
      Hath passed the light of noble deeds
      Unquenchable forever.

      Comment


      • #4
        I re-read it for the umpteenth time a couple of years ago and I will read it again I'm sure. It's probably dated for the purist, based as it is on the Siborne model of events - the main focus being centered on the crossroads, La Haye Sainte and Hougoumont with Plancenoit as a sideline. But in terms of unfussy, yet poetic writing I feel it's unequalled. It doesn't take sides and the action and major phases of the battle are largely taken from first hand accounts, notably the rank and file wherever possible. I sometimes read the final couple of pages alone. De Lancy dying in his new wife's arms a few days after the battle, the burial parties finishing their work, the armies, victorious and vanquished having moved on. Waterloo returns to being a sleepy hamlet. Still the best book I've read on this momentous battle.
        I should mention that I read it first a couple of years after you, probably after having seen the movie, and the mood of the book remains what I consider the most 'Napoleonic'. Most accounts are from the perspective of a modern narrator. Although Howard is too he delves without effort into the Georgian mindset - in many ways an alien world and makes us comfortable there. The opening chapter, the dawn of the 18th, with Mercer, Kincaid and others scrounging around for food and trying to dry their clothes is as evocative a piece of writing as I've ever read.
        Last edited by Compans; 25 Oct 12, 14:13.

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        • #5
          My daddy has it in his library. I'm borrowing it this weekend, after reading this.
          Will no one tell me what she sings?--
          Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
          For old, unhappy, far-off things,
          And battles long ago:
          -William Wordsworth, "The Solitary Reaper"

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          • #6
            Really good book, one of my bibles
            An 18th century Imagi nation blog set in England/

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            • #7
              After reading all of you I bought this book.

              "To hell wars Grudges and parties ! As our fathers Sing in real friends, The clink of glasses Roses and lilies. The clink of glasses Roses and lilies."

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Von Richter View Post
                All of 'em to Rogg. We've got armies in 6, 15, 20, 25, 28 up to 30mm. For skirmish games we've got 54mm Airfix, Britains and Timpo...

                sad innt!?

                Do you mix the scales in one game? I toy with the idea of starting to collect an army in 28mm...

                What set of rules do you use for skirmishes?
                "Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier" - Samuel Johnson

                "Kerls, wollt ihr denn ewig leben?"

                Comment


                • #9
                  No, not in games, sometimes in a photo session we've experimented at mixing scales, with varying results. For skirmishing we like to keep it really simple and have adapted the Wild West 'Rules With No Name', which seem to work pretty well for us simple souls!


                  The long toll of the brave
                  Is not lost in darkness
                  Over the fruitful earth
                  And athwart the seas
                  Hath passed the light of noble deeds
                  Unquenchable forever.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Von Richter View Post
                    No, not in games, sometimes in a photo session we've experimented at mixing scales, with varying results. For skirmishing we like to keep it really simple and have adapted the Wild West 'Rules With No Name', which seem to work pretty well for us simple souls!


                    No matter how you look at it, It's still 'playin wiv toy sowjers'.

                    Paul
                    ‘Tis said his form is tiny, yet
                    All human ills he can subdue,
                    Or with a bauble or medal
                    Can win mans heart for you;
                    And many a blessing know to stew
                    To make a megloamaniac bright;
                    Give honour to the dainty Corse,
                    The Pixie is a little shite.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It allus has been wiv me.. even when I was runnin' about wiv a rifle in mi' 'and and bits of grass sproutin' out mi' 'at.
                      The long toll of the brave
                      Is not lost in darkness
                      Over the fruitful earth
                      And athwart the seas
                      Hath passed the light of noble deeds
                      Unquenchable forever.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Von Richter View Post
                        It allus has been wiv me.. even when I was runnin' about wiv a rifle in mi' 'and and bits of grass sproutin' out mi' 'at.
                        So you are telling me that you ran around the 'ooloo' wiv a baccy tin full of Heroic and Ross 4mm figures ready to skirmish every time you slummed in yer slitty?

                        Paul
                        ‘Tis said his form is tiny, yet
                        All human ills he can subdue,
                        Or with a bauble or medal
                        Can win mans heart for you;
                        And many a blessing know to stew
                        To make a megloamaniac bright;
                        Give honour to the dainty Corse,
                        The Pixie is a little shite.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Wot I can tell you is mi' memory's going!
                          Not so long back I was waxing lyrical about Sergeant Ewart's charger at Waterloo being called Rattler. I've known that for over forty years, only I 'aven't because re-reading this book I've rediscovered that Rattler was, in fact, the mount of Corporal Dickinson of The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.

                          The long toll of the brave
                          Is not lost in darkness
                          Over the fruitful earth
                          And athwart the seas
                          Hath passed the light of noble deeds
                          Unquenchable forever.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Dickson.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Compans View Post
                              Dickson.
                              Like I said, mi' mind wanders these days...

                              18968101.jpg

                              The long toll of the brave
                              Is not lost in darkness
                              Over the fruitful earth
                              And athwart the seas
                              Hath passed the light of noble deeds
                              Unquenchable forever.

                              Comment

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