This is an exciting book that I literally could not put down. Oxford educated historian Tom Holland brings the whirlwind last years of the Roman republic to life — turning what normally is a dry recitation of names and places into a compelling drama. The machinations of Pompey, Cicero, Sulla, and, of course Caesar, are as complex and devious as anything imaginable. What stuck me most, however, was the many ways in which the last years of the Republic reflect our own modern society.Best wargaming bit: There are a few absolutely thrilling chapters that describe the rampaging Roman street gangs who, in support of one politician or another engaged in open warfare in Rome. It would make an outstanding game — especially when a politician opens his stable of gladiators, only to be countered by another’s private guard of legionnaires.
Aside from being a great general, politician — and perhaps even a great statesman (his handling of the varioius conquered tribes in Gaul speak to this), Jullius Caesar also was a top notch reporter. His report to the Senate on the campain in Gaul in 58 – 50 BC is one of the great pieces of military literature. While some argue that the works are little more than propaganda pieces, the detail with which he writes makes me think otherwise. Caesar’s style is powerful for its detail, and spare. My guess is that he no more would waste words than he would waste supplies, or political capital.
For miniature wargamers interested in ancient wargaming, this book is a must read. It is one of the few first-hand accounts of ancient warfare that have survived to the modern age. Most other works are second hand, at best.
I just found a new blog written by a guy chronicling his efforts to build a 10mm Warmaster Dacian army.
Chronofus has written a guide to wargaming the Aztecs. This is a major work, with information on the various troop types, and comes complete with color illustrations
The Ancient Battles site offers a nice article on building a Warhammer Ancient Battles mercenary hoplite unit for a Persian army (for use with the Alexander The Great supplement). The author uses a variety of painting techniques, and there are some nice photos.