Tuesday, 7 July 2009
Above from top to bottom: The Ribat (or religious fort) at Sousse, ruins of Roman Carthage x 2, El Djem x 2. The last two taken in 2008
A new enterprise idea reared its head while I was kicking my heels in Tunisia...a book. Not just any book but an historical one. 'Sit down that heckler at the back shouting, What a novel idea!' Something Mongol, I thought, falling back to my favouritest military period of all time to date. Then I had more thoughts about what's already been done and what was still available. So I made a few notes and came up with -what I think is a workable idea- about one of the most brilliant but as yet largely unwritten about strategic campaigns in history. So there it is. Using my own not too small collection of Mongol material plus the huge resources of Britains Library system I should be able to put something together.
Still painting. So far the unit of Chin heavy cavalry is painted and stuck down awaiting base colours and the last of my Chin infantry -a unit of crossbow men- is alongside the camels mentioned earlier, both awaiting undercoating. After that who knows, maybe some 10mm Ancient Gauls. This is for two reasons, a) While in Tunisia I visited Carthage and was impressed immensely, even though most of the stuff was Roman, so a Carthaginian Army is on the cards; and b) I already have a number of Roman cohorts painted to receive them. (I also have 3 x 500ml plastic water bottles with authentic Arabic writing on them filled with Tunisian sand ready for the bases. Anorak or what! Or could it be the purist in me? You decide.)
Another wargaming project for the future is a Khwarizmian Army in 10mm, (actually a generic Middle Eastern Army that will go from the Saracens to the Mamluks and possibly beyond a bit), again inspired by the visit to Tunisia. Hence the pictures of the Ribat at Sousse.
Who said wargamers have butterfly interests? Whoever it was got it bang on, especially if one is painting for oneself. Anyway, any unfinished projects will always get picked up again further on down the timeline of my wargaming life. I mean I have figures that havent seen the light of day in decades, then all of a sudden I get an urge -if you know what I mean- and off I go again at another tangent. Then again, I also have historical books that I have never read in periods that I don't know much about or I'm not interested in...yet, the day will come I assure you. Out of 900+ military books I've probably read somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 of them, the rest gather dust until they become required reading.
On another completely different note I now have three parts of the beginning of a collection. When MO went to Rome he managed to smuggle back a small piece of the Colluseum. When in Tunisia last year I 'borrowed' a small piece of the El Djem Amphitheatre and this year I found a small piece of Carthaginian rubble in my bag when I got home. I would like to stress that as a dedicated afficianado of history, these pieces were not removed from any structure but were found lying on the ground.