Thursday, October 30, 2008

Can I fight Depression?

The Canadian situation in Afghanistan is looking more and more hopeless.

I really, really hope that at least one senior officer is starting to pay attention to all of this and is considering an 'alternate' way out?

Is no-one paying attention?

The despicable slide into Imperium is getting depressing...

View this:

SHRUB and Co are now trying to get 'immunity' for themselves!

Nuremburg notwithstanding!

Wake-up folks, the gates to freedom are getting pushed closed...will the lock be put on before action takes hold?
Excellent Commentary:

From Der Alte Fritz:

One major difference vis a vis your analogies is that every four years, the US peacefully changes power. (In Rome, changes in power were usually done at the tip of th sword). We are about to do so again, and I dare say that under President Obama, American foreign policy is about to take a new direction.

Americans do not want an empire, we would rather go home and let the world the rest of the world take care of its own problems. The free world gets a "free ride" on the coat tails of American security and pays not a cent for the privilege. That's my 2 cents worth of wisdom.

In response I would like to say first that I think all game players are better at internal visualization than those whom do not 'game'.

Next I want to take you gamers to the time 'before' empire in Rome. The Republic, more accurately the late republic around 133BCE to 91BCE. This is the time when political changes were being pushed by the brothers Gracchi, while these reforms were not taken on at first the city state of ROME had to acceed to the formation of a 500 member Italic Senate at the end of the Allied war and this was the 'end' of the city state period.

The next changes came faster, and faster. From Sulla to Caesar was less than one lifetime...88BCE to 59BCE.

Now I ask those whom desire to answer:

What were the thoughts in the hearts and minds of the average "ROMAN" living in Tarentum, or Ostia, or ROME?
Was it a desire to rule the known world?
Was it to dominate the LATINS forever and through that domination march vast armies across continents (Africa, Europe and Asia) ?

Can we honestly say that some new empire is not or perhaps has not already been formed?

Take some time to Think.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A new take on an old Canadian War Poem:

In Afghan’s fields the poppies blow

between the landmines row on row

that mark Death’s place,

and in the sky

the unmanned drones bravely buzzing fly

scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead.

Short days ago we lived felt dawn saw sunset glow

loved and were loved, and now we lie

in Afghan’s fields.

Take up our quarrel with which foe?
To drug lords whose flailing hands we
at tribal weddings throw
the torch ; what Rights do we hold high?

As we break faith with those who die

shall we not sleep,

while poppies grow

in Afghan’s fields ?

Letting Us Forget

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Two very interesting videos about the reality of 'the die':


I have a very old set of dice that have extremely sharp corners and I still like them best!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Moving the chess pieces...

Who is really watching the board?

According to army times:

Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.

Some other blogs are speaking out about this:
Infoshop News
Common Dreams

The sad part about all of this is I have written, in other places, about all this before.

I see the current President, one G.W. Bush as a re-incarnation of Lucius Cornelius Sulla, the one whom did 'take power' in Rome in the year 88 BCE.

If there is one thing that I have found true about many of the tabletop game players, especially the ones that play historical games; it is that they do have a 'grasp of history'. Perhaps greater than the grasp of so many of our contemporaries, whom do not see the understanding of history as of any great value, nor of intricate study of these men and women of the past.

One thing to consider when looking at events like those unfolding around us now...did the average Roman citizen in 458 CE really understand why the capitol had been moved to Revenna, and who Odacer really was? Did the average man in the street in Brundisium have a concept that the Roman Empire was dead?

I think not.

There was an "Emperor" Charlemagne in 800 CE.

Only in 1806 did the "Holy Roman Empire" finally end, when a Corsican bandit demanded that the "Emperor" Francis II lose his title to it.

Has a new piece begun to move now on our 'real life' board?

Are we even noticing it?
Grandfathter of Revolution.

We are often challenged in our tabletop games, especially when they are historically based, by having to take on the part of a 'villan'.

Recently I have been gaming much about the Imperial French years, 1804-1808. I have made a study of the roots of the French Revolution, which generated the soldiers and leaders which went on to conquer a continent.

The spiritual root of the French Revolution and the financial spark for it could be said to be the American Revolution, or the 'War for America' of the 1770's.

The child of that American Revolution was a new Republic.

In the minds of some this Republic is gone.

The heavy action started with the "Patriot Act" and now has accelerated with the passing of a financial bill, which according to at least one commentator has given the US President his own bank account, funded by the state.

I have studied much of the French Revolution and the chaotic situation that developed in 1792-96.
I have studied the removal of the Weimar Republic of 1932-3.

The recent events in the United States and my discovery of these videos have brought me to the point of needing to speak out.

Understand the past so as to affect the future.

For all my American friends and readers, this is real, this is now.

This is your time to act.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Congress of Erfurt.

From 27th September to the 14th of October 1808 the Emperor of France 'entertained' the Tsar of Russia in Erfurt.

There were balls, concerts and hunting parties, including one such 'hunting party' that went out after tame rabbits. When the hunters arrived the rabbits mistook them for their handlers and rather than running away the rabbits charged towards them, when the hunters went to attack their tamed prey the rabbits then split into two wings and flowed around the 'hard point' of the hunters and enveloped them from both sides. Hussars were then employed to beat away the vermin whilst the hunters beat a retreat back to their coaches, 'hunting' was done for the day...

Bonaparte appeared to have the plan to 'dazzle' the Russians and get the needed support to keep Austrian war-hawks from sharpening their talons. A tacit show of support was all he really got in the end as it was the Russians who were holding the better hand by 1808. Spain was erupting and going to take away all the gains made by the Grande Armee in the Iberian peninsula.

This image from the Napoleon film is good, showing Tsar Alexander with a smirk while Bonaparte seems to already be nursing his 'ulcer'...

Great Creative Force

While we may celebrate the military minds of the past well on the tabletop and in our writings, we should also keep in mind that great music was also created during these terrible times of war.

The 5th


Fire in the north.

Not only were the French busy in Spain and Portugal, their 'allies' in Russia were busy in Finland, and Norway.

A great northern war was raging across the frozen forests north of the Baltic.

I have plans to try and get Pete, of Duchy of the North fame, to get into some battles, but so far the summer work schedules have eaten both of our time.

Perhaps when it is more wet we shall see blue and green come to clash on the tabletop.

For now here are a couple of vignettes that I found on the web to tantilize you with.


The Spanish 'Revolution'.

Bloody attacks and equally vicious reprisals were the mainstay for the time from 2 May 1808 until the French were expelled in 1814. Neither side was doing anything remarkable, just the typical guerilla force striking out whenever the French felt 'safe' and having nasty counter-attacks coming against mostly civil targets by the Imperial forces.

This appears to have been a clip from the Napoleon series that was done in the early 2000's featuring Christian Clavalier as Napoleon and having other notables such as Gerard Depardieu, playing Fouche, and John Malkovitch in the role of Talleyrand.

Makes one wonder if the modern leaders have ever even heard of history, much less paid any attention to it...
Vimeiro 2008, a re-enactment.

So now the re-enactors are heard from on Vimeiro.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Convention of Sintra.

Many after-effects came from the much reviled (in Anglo-allied circles) Convention of Sintra.

One of the effects was the recall of the three generals, Burrard, Dalyrmple and Wellsley.

Sir Arthur survived the inquiry, no doubt due in part to such propaganda as is seen here.

Sir John Moore remained in Portugal, trying to take the battle to the French in Spain...