Friday, August 24, 2012

Twenty Questions

This seems to be the season of the twenty questions.  I thought I would look into this, myself.

1.Favorite wargame period?
Tempted to say 'historical', but I'll go with 'Horse and Musket: 1700-1865'.

2. Second favorite - money no object?
I've added some pictures to liven up a rather ... erm ...
 monochromatic posting.  Here is the Hildberghausen Infantry
of the army of Trockenbeeren-Auslese.

World war two.  Just by the way, I like to translate these into slightly alternative worlds in order to be less trammeled by actual historical events.

3. Favorite 5 films (no particular order):
Ben Hur
Terminator 1 and 2
Three Musketeers (the whole 2 movies made in the 1970s, with George MacDonald Fraser credited with the screenplay. It was intended as one movie but ended up being two.  As  a movie enthusiast, G.M. Fraser rather enjoyed shoving in every cliche he could!)
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring  (that Balrog rocks, man!  So close to the way I imagined it as makes no difference)
Once Upon a Time in the West
OK, that's 6.  Couldn't decide which to leave out...

4.Favorite TV series:
Last Train to Surbiton
Avengers (especially when Emma Peel was part of the team)
The Wild, Wild West
Big Bang Theory
and a special mention to the Royal Shakespeare Society, especially the Wars of the Roses plays,
Henry VI (Parts 1 to 3) and Richard III.  Such an engaging villain as Good King Dickon you could never hope anywhere else to meet.
Trockenbeeren-Auslese Cavalry and Artillery.

5.Favorite Books and/or Authors.  I'll go with the latter.  But I'll subdivide...
George MacDonald Fraser (especially, but not only, his Flashman novels);
C.S. Forester
Patrick O'Brien (the film-makers who butchered his Master & Commander ought to have been lined up against a wall and shot)
Terry Pratchett
Harry Turtledove (some fine alternate histories)
Children's Literature (a special interest)
Diana Wynne Jones
J K Rowling
Margaret Mahy
Philip Pullman (For His Dark Materials trilogy.  Helps if you have read Milton's Paradise Lost and know the stories of Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty).
Brian Caswell
(These are just the Fantasy writers - there are plenty of very good ones around: a very rich genre these days)
Steven Runciman (The Crusades in 3 volumes)
Charles Oman
Steve Keen (Debunking Economics)
Naomi Klein (Shock doctrine)
D.S. Freeman (for his ACW books)
Wargames Books (Classics)
Charge! Brig. Peter Young and Lt. Col. C. Lawford
The War Game Charles Grant
War Games Don Featherstone
War Games Campaigns Don Featherstone
Guide to War Gaming George Gush
 Battle Gaming Terry Wise.
There are a good many others I could have included in this list...

6. Greatest general?
The usual:  Napoleon Bonaparte (up to 1809, after which I think he was getting rather sick of it all, to be honest), Alexander the great, Julius Caesar, Duke of Marlborough.

7.Favorite Wargame Rules?
My own.  Command Decision 2 for WW2.

8.Favorite Sport and team?
Two more Imperial infantry regiments.
Sport: tennis.  Roger Federer (long ago, an admirer of Rod Laver)  I'd follow cricket as well, bu the New Zealand team has been so woeful these last several years.
Football: Barcelona and Man U. ( Yeah, OK.)
Rugby:  All Blacks, Crusaders, Canterbury (Taranaki a close second)
League:  Queensland for State of Origin; Wigan for North Hemisphere league (not that I see it often).
U.S. Football: Green Bay (not that I watch this anymore, since ESPN went pay TV)
Unfavorite sports: Baseball and Basketball.  Yick.

9. One-time trip by time machine?
Back to visit me at age 12, so that I can 'know then what I know now.'

10.Last meal on Death Row?
Scotch fillet beefsteak fried rare with onions and pan fried chips; eggs fried sunnyside up optional; cabbage and peas done the way I like them; a pepper sauce over all.  For dessert: passionfruit flavoured ice cream with maple syrup, if it's summer, else bread and butter pudding with lotsa raisins, currants and/or sultanas, and dates, half drowned in cream.  Washed down with ordinary gumboot tea, unless I am in the mood for a Speights Old Dark.
Who needs paradise?

11. Fantasy relationship?

12. If my life were a movie, who would play me?
Jim Parsons.

13. Favorite comic superhero?
Jules Feiffer used to have an occasional strip in Playboy Magazine (probably shown in other publications as well) with a character who would transform into a superhero when he uttered the word 'hurt.'  I can not for the life of me recall the superhero's name, nor find any clue trolling through the net.  Otherwise: Darkwing Duck.  Maybe Pro-Junior (Robert Crumb)

14.  Favorite Military Quote:
'Don't worry.  They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist---'  Maj-Gen John Sedgwick at Spotsylvania Courthouse, May 1864.
As for coolest military endings, this has to be the winning entry.  A certain French rural nobleman was leading a revolt against the King of France some time in the 16th or early seventeenth Century.  Having defeated a royal force sent out to put down the rebellion, the Noble rebel paused.  About to issue orders, and to make himself heard, he lifted the visor of his helmet with his pistol... his loaded pistol...

15. Historical destination to visit?
Khevenhuller dragoons.
The true sites of Megiddo and Kadesh.  I have an idea about Megiddo that might explain why the name of that battle (a.k.a. Armageddon) has given its name to the final battle between God and evil.  It seems to me that the psychological impact at the time must have been so immense, it left an imprint that persists to this day.  Upon whom?  Those who lost, and they must have been the Hebrews...

16.Biggest wargaming regret?
Not knowing there was such an animal as wargaming (qua hobby, with actual figures and vehicles and stuff) until I was 23.

17. Favorite fantasy job?
Wargaming for a living.  I gather there are people who actually do this.  They must live in countries that have large populations.

18.Favorite songs (top 5)?
Unable to narrow down to 5 'favorites', I just made a random selection from a much larger list of favorites.
In no particular order:
Desolation Row Bob Dylan
When the Levee Breaks Led Zeppelin
Telegraph Road Dire Straits
Gimme Shelter Rolling Stones
Won't Get Fooled Again The Who

19. Favorite Wargame moment?
Can't think of one.  How sad is that?

20. Miserable Git Question: What gets right up my nose?
What follows is, quite frankly and avowedly, a rant.  Yep.  Strong stuff.   Avoid if you have a delicate digestion, a nervous disposition or a predisposition to sick headaches.  Don't bring the horses too close.  Keep dogs, cats and other pets indoors.

Imperial Horse on parade.
- Politicians.  I don't give a rat's rump what colour.  They're all worthless.  I wonder how many of us when voting find themselves actually voting for, rather than against.  I mean, truly.  Not bally many, I'll be bound.
An exception might have been Democrat voters at the last U.S. Presidential election.  Poor schmucks - but I was fooled, too, as was just about the whole planet.  Republican voters earning less that a zillion a year might think they are voting for something, but if so we are looking here at a working definition of 'chump'.

- The Politicians and their Fat Cat mates who for near on thirty years, the theft covered by a bogus economic shibboleth and a vicious socio-political program of wealth redistribution from the have-not to the haves, systematically plundered the commonweal for their own private profit at the expense of the livelihoods and such meagre wealth as possessed by the many.  We knew all along we were being bilked but lacked the means to do a blind thing about it (the Unions, hands still held out for their annual subscriptions, ducking for cover whilst bleating 'We're trying to save jobs' and failing even to look like approaching  this mediocre and unambitious aim).    The vultures have yet to come home to roost, but when they do I hope its the bloated corpses of the whole wunch of larcenous criminals, fraudsters, thieves and hired assassins they feed upon, rather than the emaciated bones of the commons they robbed.  So there, with knobs on.

In concluding this questionnaire, I have departed from my policy of abstaining from political ... erm ... discourse.  At that, I've cut it short lest it get completely out of hand.  I propose never again on this blogspot to write about such matters.


  1. Given some of the discussions we've had, I think you were quite mild in the delivery of your opinion of Politicians.

  2. dont worry mate, I know that many other bloggers will rise up to aid your call!!! I do, me and a mate are really pissed off with the Gov.

    20 years ago teachers and politicians were paid the sane, I dont think it was the teachers that set them selves ridiculous wages since then!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Thanks guys. It's probably just as well you didn't get to see what I had wasted the best part of an afternoon typing, before deleting all but the first paragraph, and confining myself to just one more...

  5. Some forthright views there! All this is very revealing...

    1. Ye-e-es... I was afraid it might be...

    2. well at least I'm a happy 'chump' then lol

    3. When I get all atwitter and blistered, I do try to retain a sense of humour. In any case, I've been a whole deal more fortunate than a hell of a lot of people...

    4. humor is a must I've survived two wars and two marriages, and 20 years of government service
      and still maintained my iconoclastic New Yorker
      out look...)

  6. As we Antipodeans are apt to say: Good on you, mate!