I was thinking about yesterday's post during the drive to school this morning and realized that I also revisit certain favorite articles from time to time. Yes, there are a few pivotal articles in my collection of old Miniature Wargames and Wargames Illustrated magazines that fire my imagination (thank you Mick and Keith) again and again. Surely, it must be the same for many of you.
Off the top of my head, there are two articles that appeared in Minature Wargame #6 and #7 by a guy named Mark Clayton called "Tolstoy and Morale". Any of you remember these? In a nutshell, Clayton used his reading of Tolstoy's War and Peace as a basis for simplified morale rules for Napoleonic era games. At the time, I found these so stimulating, that I decided D&D was no longer that interesting (I was about 16-17). Within days, my new passion became Napoloeonic figures, gaming, and history, and I've never looked back.
Never ended up actually using Clayton's morale rules in a game, but I still revisit his articles 2-3 times a year to refresh my memory and to mine his approach for interesting ideas. Come to think of it, with a little reworking, Clayton's framework might just work for battles between Stollen and The Electorate of Zichenau. . .
The other two articles I reread a couple of times a year appeared in Wargames Illustrated in February and July 1989 respectively. Patrick Burke, a professional illustrator from Maryland, USA, described his approach to transferring the Avalon Hill boardgame Waterloo to the tabletop, using 15mm miniatures in the first article. In the latter, Burke detailed his painting technique. Both articles featured various close-up photos of his finished figures displayed on the table top.
Needless to say, I was instantly captivated. Why? Well, anytime someone discusses painting techniques, it's an interesting read. But when those same techniques and the rationale behind them are presented against the backdrop of Waterloo-era Napoleonics -- Well, I'm almost beside myself with joy! Particularly since Burke used many of the same 15mm ranges that I was painting at the time -- MiniFigs, Battle Honours, Jacobite, Essex, etc. I did not try to copy Burke's painting style, but I'd like to think that my own techniques improved considerably as I worked on subsequent units of troops. Anyone know anything about Mr. Burke? To my knowledge, he never published anything else on the subject, and Google hasn't turned up any new information on him.
Finally, there was an article extolling the virtues of 18th Century wargaming by C.S. Grant in the 1983 Miliary Modelling extra issue entitled "Battle", or something close to it, that I periodically dig up and enjoy. As you might expect, Grant Jr's writing style and description of table top actions just leave one bristling with enthusiasm for the period and its campaigns. No surprise there!
There are a number of other articles that I can think of, but I was not good about hanging onto many of my old Couriers and Miniature Wargames. Sad to say, I foolishly thinned these out several years ago, before moving to Norway to continue my graduate studies in the late 1990s. Wish I hadn't done that now.
But enough about me. What about you regular visitors to The Grand Duchy of Stollen? Do you have any favorite old wargaming magazine articles from years passed that you revisit time and again? I'd like to know.