My apologies to the Gentlemen of the Mess for my recent absence from these pages. I am afraid that I allowed myself to get temporarily overloaded, a fact I shall be addressing and changing shortly.
I am involved in not one, but two playtesting groups at the moment and both have possible import for the readers of this blog (at least the gamers among you). One involves taking an established set of later 18th century brigade-level rules and "backdating" them to do earlier linear warfare (at the moment only as far as the AWI, but more is possible). This looks promising as a possible set for the 9 Years War and the WSS. I am but one of several players worldwide participating in this playtest and, once I get properly started, should be able to minimize my time. The second involves a very successful US set of Ancients rules that has already been successfully modified and demonstrated for the ECW. It allows single-player play at the corps-level or multi-player play at the brigade-level. I am working with the author and a select group (including the chaps who successfully modified it for Italian Wars and ECW), to modify it and "tweak it" further to allow it's use for the period from 1640 to 1680, in other words, from a French perspective, from Rocroi to the Dutch Wars.
I'm not at liberty at this time to name either set of rules, but they are both recognizable. In the modification of the Ancients/ECW set, when they are ready, experienced gamers will recognize bits of gaming philosophy and theory borrowed from Gush, Wise and Millward among others, but in a novel way that produces a very pleasing multi-player game that can be resolved in 2 1/2 to 3 hours. I think many will be pleased with the outcome.
I am still continuing the 15mm figure review and have been lax with it lately, partly due to obtaining all the required samples (and figuring out who's "in" and who's "out"), and partly to forgetting some family commitments that conflicted with both my painting and my aforementioned playtesting efforts.
I am also continuing work on the "Resource Guide" and have received Dan Schorr's "select" bibliography. I should receive Curt Johnson's when his own family commitments free up after August, but I still haven't received anything on reenactment sites from some of the folks I was counting on.
And finally, should I feel the need to place blame for this scheduling fiasco anywhere, well, yesterday I celebrated the anniversary of my birth, so "Sir William the Aged" is now more "Aged". I celebrated in typical style, with presents received, good wishes from some close friends and family, and a "private" celebration with that noted elixir that the monks of Saranno, Italy, began producing centuries ago in 1525 (or two young lovers, depending on which legend you believe). It made me feel quite "religious" in it's own way!
By the way, for any prospective spouses and/or parents out there, have at least one Son, as they are consistently the ones who seem to remember that this is the appropriate present for a man of age and refined tastes. No doubt the same is true for aficionado's of fine Scotch's and Bourbon's as well. At least the Wife remembered to gift me with Spinal Tap's new release, "Back From The Dead", complete with "pop-up" vignette of the lads and their famous mini-Stonehenge set. And, like any true child of the 50's, I shared my religious experience with the spirit of the monks (or lovers) by watching the new "director's cut" of Woodstock on it's 40th anniversary, a gift from my two Daughters to accompany the original VHS copy and the original "enhanced" DVD I already had.
And no, I was not there 40 years ago, though not by my fault. I was caught "red-handed" by the parents sneaking out the window with my backpack and map, apparently (and probably quite stupidly in retrospect) prepared to navigate my way from Texas to upstate New York no less (never tell a 17-year old girlfriend your plans, they can't keep secrets)! However, I did manage to hike from Texas to Atlanta, Georgia, the following year for a similar event and survived, but more on that at a later date.