Monday, 20 August 2012

Ray and Fran's 20 questions

Life's slowing down a bit after holidays (I hope you enjoyed the pictures I posted, it was a fun way of updating whilst on the move) and a festival. I hope to have more spare evenings to write posts.

But before resuming normal service, Here's my take at the 20 questions by Ray and Fran

Favourite Wargaming period and why?
Pffff, that's mostly dependent on whether the rules are cool. I'd still love to do Great Paraguyan War and the Risorgimento Wars (1848-1870).

Next period, money no object?
Money is not the problem, as I've made clear from the start. Time is. So money would be spent on getting good painters to do useful stuff and with no time/money constraints I could splash out on terrain and fringe miniatures, like camp followers, wagons and civilians. That's what I always stayed clear off.

Probably I'd prefer a skirmishing period with lots of opportunities for scenario's. When Foundry came out with the beautiful Darkest Africa range, I had this fantasy of doing a campaign with explorers, carriers, slave traders, shady business men, some wild animals and of course a many war parties, both European and African. Add to this terrain and buildings for savannah, desert and rain forest, fortresses and huts...

Oh well. That or a Skaven Mordheim warband with loads of interesting monsters and adventurers for endless roleplaying fun.

Favourite 5 films?
Big Lebowski (that's just like... your opinion, man!)
Once Upon A Time in America (the scene where the kid eats his cake while waiting for the prostitute)
Cross of Iron (My platoon? You are my platoon now)
Once Upon a Time in the West (So you found out you're not a business man after all? Just a man)

Favourite 5 TV series?
I haven't owned a TV in 20 years, so it'll be old stuff:
The Young Ones
Saphir and Steel
Ren & Stimpy
Jan J de Bom, voorheen de kindervriend
Twin Peaks

Favourite book and author?
Terry Pratchett - Discworld series

Military history:
Martin van Creveld - Supplying War, not because it's the best book, but because it broke the ground and opened my eyes to the subject of logistics
Archer Jones - The Art of War in the Western World, shaped my view of military history and gave me a framework
Lawrence Keeley - War Before Civilization, shows how politics and graft are a small price to pay for peace

Historical atlasses:
Westerman's Grosser Atlas zur Weltgeschichte, shaped the world for me. I can still draw blind maps of the German states at various points in time. Or classic campaigns and battles. All learned from this book. It also inspired my paper on the Brandenburg West Indian Company (which you probably hadn't heard off).

Jan de Vries - European Urbanization, 1500-1800, I still love those maps of urbanisation at various points in time. Opened my mind to historical geography.
Charles Tilly - Coercion, Capital and European States, AD 990-1992, on the link between warfare, urbanisation and state formation. Notice the link to Van Crevelds Supplying War!

Greatest General? Can’t count yourself!!
I have a fascination with Wavell, and his challenges in 1940/1: Western Desert, East Africa, Iraq, Syria, Greece, Crete. Probably not the greatest, but those are not always the most interesting.

Favourite Wargames rules?
Science vs Pluck
Bag the Hun (1st Edition)

Favourite Sport and team?
(field) hockey. I sort of support/follow Fiorentina in the Serie A, QPR in the Premier League, the Canucks in the NHL, England in cricket.

If you had a only use once time machine, when and where would you go?
The Big Bang, to go out with a bang!

Last meal on Death Row!

Fantasy relationship and why?
Cameron Diaz. That smile

If your life were a movie, who would play you?
Michael Fassbender

Favourite Comic Superhero?
Dylan Dog - Indigatore de l'incubi

Favourite Military quote?
"C'est magnifique, mais c'est ne pas la guerre" - French General Bosquet, while watching the charge of the Light Brigade at the battle of Balaclava.

Historical destination to visit?
Inca remains and battlefields of the Wars of Liberation in the Andes

Biggest Wargaming Regret?
All the unfinished projects

Favourite Fantasy job?
Corporate PR at Barclays Bank - a challenge

Favourite Song, Top 5?
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - The Lee Shore
Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter
The The - Kingdom of Rain
Neil Finn - Try Whistling This acoustic version on some radio show
Beatles - Dear Prudence
Wilco - Impossible Germany

Favourite wargaming moment!
Kirovograd megagame, January 1994. A life changing experience that got me hooked on megagaming.

The miserable Git question, what upsets you?
Don't get me started


  1. That's the problem with lists. Not 8 hours after you write this post, you already find out you've missed a crucial book in your top books list. This has been corrected now. Lawrence Keeley, my apologies

  2. Great answers but some disturbing ones, no TV for 20 years and Hemlock, nice blog Jur and I will be back!

  3. LOL! It is a bit less disturbing than that. I have had access to TV through other people so I have kept up exposure, and I've managed to view most of the new Battlestar Galactica series, which should be in the list as well, on DVD.

    The hemlock is a reference to Socrates' last dinner. Although I hope never to be in that position, I hope I have the courage to face death with my convictions intact if it ever gets to that point.

    Thanks for dropping by!

  4. Oh the uncanny resamblance with the actor casted to play you !!

  5. I'll take that as a compliment

    But watch your drink ;-)

  6. General Wavell was an interesting choice. He certainly did some amazing stuff against a rather poor Italian opposition. I remember he got removed for being a little too bold or maverick or both.

    I agree with "On Logistics" book. That certainly opened my eyes to the role of logistics in war.

    I was slightly surprised by Science v Pluck, a clever little Cameron game about technology in late 19th Century. I hadn't known you would like it so.

  7. Not sure we're talking the same Science vs Pluck game here, or I'm unaware of mr Cameron's involvement. This one originated in the 1980s and is mostly role playing.

  8. Some great choices Jur, I quite fancy the Paraguyan War or one of the Wars of Independence in South America. All them colourful uniforms. Sapphire and Steel, that brings back memories..........

  9. Thanks Ray,

    as said, it was a hoot to answer them. I've already seen over a dozen people answering the questions, so it really has hit a sweet spot with people.

    It is probably the most successful survey among wargamers ever. You should collect all the responses and write a post about it. Great insight into the state of wargaming.

    1. Its been a lot of fun reading other peoples answers and we also found new bloggers like your self!


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