Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Winning the Mental Game

Enjoyably keeping a large painting project going for several months (if not years) really requires a mental game working in the background. Having a good pile of reading goes a long way towards keeping the enthusiasm for The Project at a high level. Though my collection of references for ECW are minimal at the moment, I'm having to rely on primarily internet resources (re-enactors and wargamers) for uniform and battle information, I did find this book at the local town library and so far its is pretty good as a general history that is rich with detail and gives a great sense of the period and its characters so important in bringing life to a gaming experience. Since I'm "across the pond" the ECW is a more distant period to collect than might be if I was going in the American Civil War direction. So I'm finding the period more exotic but because of that, very compelling! I've also got my eye on the Partizan Press offerings but at the moment every spare cent has to go buying more metal! That can lead to some missteps in the colors of uniforms, flags and such so I have to be prepared to backtrack occasionally as my knowledge of the period improves. Fortunately the ECW was prior to strictly uniformed armies and I can chalk up any mistakes to the scarcity of records from the period...and just enjoy the pageantry that I am able to produce with the references at hand. Having a set of rules already in hand helps with basing decisions so at least that direction is taken! I've also found that the website of the "Sealed Knot Society" has a good list of the units they re-enact with a basic color reference for coat colors of the various regiments. Many of the regiments also have websites with flag information that helps complete things at least to my "game table" satisfaction.

I really love the research end of the hobby so I know this period will provide many satisfying hours of digging in order to find (for example) the flag of "Haselriggs Lobsters" (... anyone knowing this one...please post!).


tidders said...

I've slowly picked up reference material for the ECW. The Partizan press offerings are tempting. I'll do a list on my blog of what may be useful. For uniforms best ones to get for starters are from the Osprey series.

I'll have a dig round in my stuff and see if I have got the standard for the Lobsters; I'll post it on my blog if I find it.

-- Allan

littlejohn said...

Thanks Allan, I seem to vaguely remember their flag but I'm not sure.

Bluebear Jeff said...

I fully understand your desire for research . . . because I too want to know a lot more than I do.

By the way, 'On Military Matters' carries most if not all of the Partizan Press books:


So you don't have to get them from the UK . . . unless you want to. Also it is a good idea to recall that most libraries will borrow books from other libraries is you ask . . . it is known as the 'inter-library loan' program. It isn't much good for gaming books, but quite useful for histories.

I confess to being a few thousand miles west of you (and a bit north). I'm on Vancouver Island off the coast of British Columbia, Canada . . . and all but one of the bookstores here had no idea of what the "English Civil War" was . . . and the exception thought that it was the "War of the Roses" . . . go figure.

Of course where I lived before (central California) the biggest bookstore in the area (part of a national chain) had a large "Military History" section.

The only problem was that the earliest conflict it covered was the American Civil War (and very little of that).

When I asked (and perhaps a bit sarcastically) if that's when military history started, I got a strange look. I said "Haven't you ever heard of people like Hannibal, Julius Caesar, William the Conqueror, Marlborough, Frederic the Great and Napoleon?"

The manager's reply was that nobody was interested in "those dead guys" and went on to say that they weren't important or relevant in the real world.

So I stopped shopping at Borders.

Gee, I got sidetracked. Remember that if you get a uniform color wrong, all you have to do is change the flag to a different unit to make it correct.

-- Jeff

Bluebear Jeff said...


I am now going back over all of your old posts. (It is fun to watch how your project has progressed).

Anyway if you have not yet read it, might I suggest you try to obtain a copy of "All the King's Armies" by Stuart Reid.

I'm currently reading it and it is very good. I'd suggest trying for an inter-library loan first . . . but if you can't get it that way you can always get it through Amazon.com.

-- Jeff

PS, I'm really enjoying your old posts.