|Quick search of my book shelves this morning|
Growing up in the working class suburb of Midland in the 1970's the local library was very much the place I went to discover the wonderful books, stories and characters that lay within the pages of these tens of thousands of books. One afternoon early in my exploration I came across the section 793.9 (Duey Decimal system was wonderful back then!) about 16 inches of the most amazing books a young boy could come across...how to play with model soldiers in actual battles and campaigns.
Donald Feartherstone, Charles Grant, Bruce Quarrie and Phil Barker became the new prophets Matthew, Mark, Luke and John for this young man and I borrowed those "Gospels" out of the library on every opportunity!
I think the greatest aspect of his writing in my opinion was that I could understand what he was teaching me, I could play games that way, I could build up an army it that fashion and I too could play a wonderful campaign with characters, plots and histories woven with a richness one could take as far as your imagination desired.
I also believe that we wargamers also travel so well and seem to get on with other gamers we meet from all over the globe because our origins into the hobby, at least for gentlemen of my vintage, were so similar. We read the books by Donald Featherstone and company, saw the wonderful figures of Peter Gilder, Phil Robinson and David Mason in the truly inspirational early issues of Miniature Wargames and Wargames Illustrated and dared to dream. We went to clubs where there were always some older gamers from the UK who had migrated to Australia and who regaled us with stories about their weekends at The Enchanted Cottage or the time they were rolled up on the flank by Keith Benson etc.
For me, reading "Solo Wargaming" on the lounge at the library, rain dripping down the foggy windows of the Midland Library and imagining how much fun it would be to be marching to attack a local Hill fort at the head of my miniature garrison just like the pictures in his book, are as vivid a memory now as they were over 35 years ago.
I am guessing that Mr Featherstone wouldnt mind that a single bit! Travel well.