The Face of Battle By John Keegan

Keegan is an instructor at Britain’s Sandhurst Academy (the equivalent of West Point in the United States) who is writing some of the best military history today. He often is a commentator in documentaries on The History Channel. In The Face of Battle, Keegan writes about what war must be like for the common soldier at Agincourt in 1415, Waterloo in 1815, and the Somme in 1916. There are some striking similarities in their experiences.

The Face of Battle : A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme

Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose

In this classic oral history, Stephen Ambrose follows Easy Company of the 506th Airborne from their training to the end of World War II. It’s an easy-to-read, compelling account of men at war. I came away from this book greatly admiring the men of Easy Company. This book was the basis of the hit HBO Television series “Band of Brothers.” In many ways, this book reminded me of the classic Cornelius Ryan works like A Bridge Too Far and The Longest Day. Ambrose has taken criticism for some factual errors in his work, but the reader must remember that this is an ORAL history, and the memories of the men involved may have dimmed with time.

Band of Brothers : E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest

Wargaming In The World Of The Difference Engine

James Clay has written a fine article on wargaming in the world of the Difference Engine.

For those who don’t know, The Difference Engine is a novel by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling that takes the reader to a Victorian world in which Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine drives cybernetic steam engines. While I did not enjoy it as much as Gibson’s Neuromancer, it still was a good read.

Age of Blood — Second Edition Miniatures Rules

Age of Blood is one of the best set of rules available for free on the internet. Heck, its one of the best available at any price. Designed by Tom Hinshelwood, the second edition rules offer a complete game and campaign system for the age of Vikings.

Age_of_Blood_2nd_Edition

Tom writes:

Age of Blood is a skirmish-level battle game in which players take control of bands of Vikings and lead them on bloody adventures in search of loot and glory. These rules contain all the information you will need to know in order to play either one off games or complete campaigns. The game is designed for use with 25mm or 28mm miniatures, though any individual based model from 15mm to 40mm can be used. Play is possible with any scale but distances and measurements would need to be proportionately reworked. Age of Blood�s focus is on the fantastical aspects of Viking history and as such is more concerned with the legends and heroic sagas then trying to depict a realist view of the era. These rules are loosely set in the 9th Century, though the supernatural is prevalent in many aspects of the game including fate, magic and monsters. If desired though the supernatural elements to the rules can easily be ignored so that the game can be played as a purely historical wargame.

Other Age of Blood Resources:

 

Sky Pirates Rules

Glenn McClune offers SkyPirates:

a game where you battle flying pirate ships against each other in the skies of the world. It is played on a hex map with ships taking up about 2 hexes. The game is completely and totally free – I was originally planning on finishing and selling it, but I really don’t have the time to dedicate to the project, so have decided it would be a waste to throw it all out.

I wrote Sky Pirates to be a fairly complex game where two people would duke it out in the skies to prove who is the best. The game is less dice-reliant than most current wargames, and drives home the neccessity of skill instead of pure dumb luck.

Overall, this is an original game in an original world – however, I find I no longer have the time to dedicate to truely finishing this game, so I felt it would be a shame for it to die without ever entering the gaming community, so I present it, in a quasi-finished form. If you love this game, add to it. I would love to see people building new ships and desgining more stuff, I would also be happy to read over anything sent to me about the game.