Sunday, November 11, 2007

Europe Wrap Up

Oh well, home again. The house is now mostly back in order and the jet-lag is mostly overcome, thanks be to Allah.

So, what were the highlights?

For me there were the museums - The Vienna Military History Museum, The National Army Museum in Chelsea, the Imperial War Museum to name a few. I was fascinated by all that I saw in these places, especially by the Prussian trophies in the Vienna Military History Museum. Seeing Frederick the Great's suit of clothes in the German History Museum nearly knocked me flat on my backside, too.

The downside to these museums is that you are generally not allowed to take photographs of the artefacts, but I got past that in most cases simply by buying the guide-books. I'm still waiting to take delivery of a number of these as I did a very big couple of mail-homes of books when Amy and I were in Hay on Wye, so they are still bobbing homewards via surface mail!

I was very interested in the Neolithic remains (although as to whether they had any wargaming potential...) in the Orkneys; especially Skara Brae on Orkney and the Broch I saw on one of the other islands. Couple this with the Housesteads and Vindolanda sites (and the inevitable purchases of guide-books) and I was pretty happy overall.

Unexpectedly for me though, I found that the museums and "sites" did not hold my interest in the way I thought they would. I'd look at an item, go to myself "Oh, 4oo-year-old armour, how interesting" and then move on. It's strange, but I was really finding that I'd rather read a book! I need to think a bit about this.

I'll put up some photos in the next few days as I get them sorted out.


Bluebear Jeff said...

Welcome back, Greg. I very much enjoyed your posts while on your trip and look forward to seeing more photos now that you're home.

Also, of course, to see some more photos of your troops.

You've been missing our "Proxy Battles". There is a good write up of the first one here (about the third post down -- Battle of Offenbach):

The run-up was lots of fun. Currently we are getting ready to run the Battle of Tippelbruder . . . where Stagonia is most vilely intending to burn down the town because of some objections that Koenig Maurice has with the David-the-tailor (uniform templates).

Numerous Imagi-Nations sent small contingents and now half a dozen countries are trying to organize against the evil column.

Arthur (of Frankzonia) will play out the game and let us know how it turns out.

Perhaps Alzheim will get involved in the next fight.

-- Jeff

Snickering Corpses said...

You know, one possibility on the "rather read a book" is simply that the books usually include a story surrounding the subject, which draws you into it and gives you context and something to hold onto. Museums can be done this way, but many aren't, and the artifacts are simply isolated glimpses without the context and story to draw you in.

MurdocK said...

Lifeless collections of artifacts are sterile and lacking in the one essential ingredient that will bring it all 'alive'!


Which is probably why large re-enactment events get better press overall than the dusty, sterile museum.

Bluebear Jeff said...


In answer to your OSW query, I've answered it there; but just to repeat, get a copy of issue #8 of "Historical Miniature Gamer" magazine.

There's an article by Steve Winter that is dead on target for helping you solve that problem.

-- Jeff

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Welcome Back Greg,

Glad you and Amy enjoyed yourselves. It was fun following your travels via the other blog you set up. Good to see you back here too.

Best Regards,


abdul666 said...

totally off-topic reg. this post, but a question is piercing me: are you the very same Greg thatalmost promised us, in message#3015 on SOCDAISY (Fri May 28, 2004), to open a 'modest' website devoted to the nhalt-Bootcamp v. Saxe-Weinbar campaign? And what about Soubre-Whelm?


Bloggerator said...

Dear Jean-Louis,

I am no longer a member of that group, but places such as Anhalt-Bootcamp and Soubre-Whelm are the lineal ancestors of the Duchy of Alzheim.


Greg Horne

abdul666 said...

Thank for the reply, Greg;

Did you design 'original' (i.e. fictitious) uniforms then?
Could you share with us?


Bloggerator said...

Not at all Jean-Louis,

The closest I have ever come to designing fictitious uniforms was when once I toyed with the idea of two fictitious states, one with pastel coloured uniforms and standards bearing foliate designs and cornucopae and mottoes such as "Peace Makes Plenty", "In Vino Veritas", "Make Love Not War" and so on.

The other state would be grimly dark in uniform colour, standards bearing Roman numerals rather than insignia and mottoes such as "Blood and Iron".

I was playing about in my head with the idea of having these armies meet on a field literally for the pleasure of their aristocratic owners that was laid out like a sport-ground complete with a neat field of turf, laid out with white tape. This would be in the fore-court of a large Louvre-like palace.



Anonymous said...

I has been fun reading your comments on the travel web. Shame you didnt get more from the stones in the ground, perhaps you might try trevelling less and seeing more next time, I mean that in the nicest possible way. I live not far from the Reindeer in the Cairngorms. there is so much more to see, you missed Fort George, an intact Vaubanesque fortification from 1756 - it still houses soldiers. Come back again and I'd be happy to show you around Culloden too! We could play toy soldiers as well!

Bloggerator said...

Hello Matt, I did at least get to Fort George - but time being limited didn't post on it at the time. Be assured that I took LOTS of photographs. It was terriffic to go there; I felt as though I really increased my understanding of how such a place "worked" if you take my meaning.

I agree with you 100% on travelling less and seeing more. And I wish I'd known you were about, I'd have loved a game!