Wednesday, 6 November 2013

A to Z Blogger Book Review


Prompted by a bumper-load of new books and the example of Monseigneur Rosbif, I thought I'd have a go at my Book A to Z. 

  • Author you've read the most books from:
Undoubtedly Terry Pratchett! The first 25 Discworld novels had me laughing my behind off, out loud, in public, says it all doesn't it? I cannot exactly point out what group of characters are my favourite but Wyrd Sisters is definitely my favourite of the series.

The latest book he co-wrote "The Long War" is lying on my bedside table waiting to be finished but other books are far more attracting at the moment... Why is this? I don't know but it seems Pratchett's condition is seriously affecting his ability to build in layer upon layer upon layer of storylines and punes or plays on words ;-)

  • Best sequel ever:
I'm guessing the Battletech novels by the esteemed Michael Stackpole, Lauren Coleman and several others. These bring such a depth to the background of a great tabletop game that this has drawn me in closer then the mini's or the game-play would ever succeed to do on their own.
  • Currently reading:
Part one of the Star Wars Dark Nest trilogy, as well as Pratchett's The Long War as well as From Eylau to Friedlund.
Front Cover
Yes people: I read several books at once, probably because my interests and concentration are like a butterfly: flying all over the place

  • Drink of choice whilst reading:
Tea, no doubt in my mind, mostly Lady Grey by Twinings!
  • E-reader or physical book:
I have Samsung Galaxy Tab thingy on which I have about 30 Battletech novels and around 100 Star Wars novels (thanks Tobs!). Still I'd prefer a real book over the electronic wannabe any time!

  • Fictional character you would probably have dated in high school:
Jeeze, well I really wouldn't be able to say since most of the books I read don't feature that much real life women, I'd go with Daenerys Stormborn or Thuvia of Mars. But whether they´d see me standing beside the road I seriously doubt.
  • Glad you gave this book a chance:
Goblin Quest by Jim C. Hines, was a real laugh but looked like another Hobbit rip/off, which in a grand way it is!

  • Hidden book gem:
Soldiers of the Napoleonic Wars by Hourtoulle. I got this from my parents and it is probably my favourite uniform-plate-book.The colours and the composition of the plates are just brilliant!

  • Important moment in your book life:
Salamanca by Rory Muir this book is just SO complete in it's description of the battle that when I was looking for a battle to depict in a 1:72 diorama and stumbled along this gem I just knew in an instant it had to be Salamanca 1812!
  • Just finished:
The Rebel Force, Star Wars series by Alex Wheeler

This is a series depicting the lives of Luke, Leia and Han in between A New Hope and ESB. Am not impressed but read on anyway, I'm that compulsive in my reading...
  • Kind of book you won't read:
Literature with a capital L: it always gives me the impression I am missing the point. A book might seem to me to depict the life of a man and his dog and actually be about his existential angst or whatever...
  • Longest book you've read:
The Silmarillion surely felt like the longest book, but I gather I', supposed to count pages, well in that case it's probably the Dune series by Frank Herbert.
  • Major book hangover because of disappointing endings:
The Han Solo Trilogy by A.C. Crispin: it was just a dumb 80's cartoon or fantasy book with just such a bad bunch of plot twists, like you can't do anything cool with the Galaxy far far away that you have to drag in unbelievably silly fantasy aspects to keep it interesting? And the end of the third book reads: The Beginning (because that's where A New Hope starts).
  • Number of bookcases you own:
- 3 IKEA Billy's containing "Hobby" books,
- 2 of the same containing "Normal" books
- 1 of the same containing Youth books from when I was a small lad.

  • One book you've read multiple times:
Lord of the Rings, by Tolkien

Do I need to explain? No I didn't think so. That said I have read almost all my Pratchetts several times as well and most of the Battletech books are up top their second read too. Yes I eat them!
  • Preferred place to read:
LOL! Just like Mr Rosbif, the place I read the most is the toilet, the place I prefer to read at though is my study. It's just that I would like a decently comfy chair to do the reading in...
  • Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you've read:
"No Worries!" 
The Last Continent, Pratchett, Doubleday
  • Reading regret:
That I probably won't be able to finish all the books I want to read before I leave this world...
  • Series you started and need to finish:
See above
  • Three of your all-time favourite books:
In no particular order:
- "The Lord of the Rings"
- "Wyrd Sisters"
- "I am Jade Falcon!" 
  • Unapologetic fanboy for:
The John Carter books by Buroughs.
  • Very excited for this release:
Nothing really...sorry!
  • Worst bookish habit:
Starting to read a book and before it's done starting to read two more...

  • X marks the spot - Start at the top left of your bookshelf and pick the 27th book:
"Agincourt"by Juliet Barker, funny story this. As it happens I saw a documentary on Discovery or National Geographic about her work and she was telling a convincing story of her take on events in said battle. The book was at that time not available here in the Netherlands so when visiting London I went to Waterstones and there it was and down-priced as well. As it happens without noticing I bought a signed copy left over from a signing session she had done at this particular Waterstones store.  
  • Your latest book purchase:
See my post on the Crisis!

  • Zzz snatcher book (the last book that kept you up waaay too late:)
I am actually a bit ashamed by this but that had to be the Hungergames books... as a read only the first one is actually pretty good, the rest is meh meh, but I just had to know how it ended...

Well that's my book-review 

Cheers Sander

Listening to: Nothing, had to keep my wits to write the above ;-)

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Crisis 2013


As announced, yesterday (Saturday November 2nd) I visited the Crisis Gaming Convention in Antwerp organised by the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp. Travelling with my brother was an immensely pleasing experience as always and since he and my dad have a knack of always finding the perfect parking spot we had a place just in front of the Hall's entrance.  As is my wont on events like this I head out like a headless chicken and forget to ask for handouts or explanation from the demos I attend and so just snap the camera away any old how. I have spoken to many old friends and even some new which is always pleasing.

Some general views of the proceedings in no particular order:

These guys were displaying an incredible Blood Bowl stadion:

Level of terrain and detail was enormous this year:

And here's our Friend J-W (aka Pijlie) getting the 8th Army kicked out of Africa by the Jerry's, while attending the Too Fat Lardies Demo.

There were a bunch of guys doing an absolutely stunning two storey Warmachine game which was just so beautiful it took a great deal of time to really appreciate and see all the details put in.

As always I stopped for a nice chat with Crush the Kaiser gurus Paul and Ian and Ian's lovely wife. Martin, from dropped by but sadly we I never got to speak with him longer since I was in a heated discussion at the moment. We'll make it up Martin!

This table really made me realise I need to start painting French Line Infantry regiments

As J.W. has stated in his blog this Japanese/ Samurai demo-game took my breath away the terrain is just amazing in its details:

There was a HUGE AWI or FIW table complete with heaps of boats which also drew a big crowd and was immense fun to look at:

This Dropzone Commander table also caught my eye for it's unusual and nicely done scenery:

Well that about rounds up my pictorial report, more pictures are available at the TSOA Facebook page. All that remains for me to do at this stage is show you the day's booty. I must say that this was one of those few times where I returned with 1/3 of my budget still in my wallet... not that I wasn't tempted to spend it but: I managed to remain in control.

Yep believe it or not but I only ended up buying two blisters of old  West End/ Grenadier Star Wars figures: Cloud City Charters and Rebel Operatives and NO other miniatures... correction I also bought a FFG HWK290 but since it comes painted and all it doesn't count.
I specifically went over board with books this year some of them I had been looking for for some time like the "British Sieges of the Peninsular War" and "Wellington 1812". Rounding the lot up is paint and a load of bases, both regular Victrix bases as well as Microart slate bases for my John Carter figures.
The only other big purchase were a box of KR X-wing trays which I have already loaded up and stored.

It was a great day even if we had a flat tire on the way back!

Cheers Sander

Listening to: "immersion" by Pendulum