Saturday, July 3, 2010

Matched Readings and Miscellaneous Figures

Not much time for updates lately, and things have gotten a bit busier on the homefront now that my daughter has gotten a Spanish exchange student staying with us for the summer.  And besides a fast approaching work deadline, I'm busy trying to get a couple of units painted up in time for Historicon. 

I have done a bit of reading though.  The last two books that I finished were the classic, "The Western Way of War", by Victor Davis Hanson, and the newly published "War", by Sebastian Junger.  This made for an especially interesting pair of matched readings.  Hanson's book is just marvelous - I love the "Face of Battle" technique that he uses to try and reconstruct what hoplite warfare was like for the common soldier at the point of the spear, and it makes a very interesting contrast that is still complimentary to the depictions of the tentative nature of Republican Roman combat described by Adrian Goldsworthy in "The Fall of Carthage", and by Philip Sabin in one of his scholastic papers.  I don't have much time to get into this now, but the contrast between hoplite othismos and the interactions of Roman maniples is something I hope to put together for a future posting.

Junger's book is flat out intense, and there is a film documentary entitled "Restrepo" being released soon covering the same material that I'm looking forward to seeing.  It was very eye opening to read about how isolated and intense the combat in Afganistan actually is at the point of contact between the Taliban and elite American units.  The book is non-political, gripping, and fascinating - just a first hand, eye-witness account of men at war.  Reading it right after "The Western Way of War" made me reflect a bit that regardless of how much technology may have changed modern warfare, that for the warrior with a rifle, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Anyway, I do have a couple of pictures of some of my most recently painted units to show.  To the right is an unit of Numidian archers from Corvus Belli.  These will function as the light foot support skirmishers for my Republican Roman army.  Nice figures and commonly available in the USA.  Really easy to paint also.

Also, here is a picture of an unit that I plan to use as Dailami armored medium infantry.  I really want to do a Dailami army in the relatively near future, but I haven't been able to decide on a list that I like yet.  The Dailami and the accompanying Ghilman are so expensive, it is difficult to get more than 11 units in an 800 FoG army, and I don't know how that will play.  Maybe after I use the Republican Romans at Historicon, I'll feel more comfortable with a small unit count army.  These are also Old Glory 15 figures, actually Syrian armored infantry.  I'm not sure that I really like them that much, and I'll probably still be looking for alternatives - maybe Legio Heroica or the new Islamic armored infantry from Mirlition.

Off to Historicon on Thursday, and I should have some AAR's posted soon after of the three tournaments that I plan to play in there.

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