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Stephen Maher "Steve" (GB)
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Edgehill: The Battle Reinterpreted
Edgehill: The Battle Reinterpreted
Price: £10.79

4.0 out of 5 stars will always be hard to beat and this is where you enter the Bovril area of you either love this book or hate it, 8 Jan. 2016
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Okay, who has read Peter Young's Edgehill 1642 and thought "this won't be as good"? In truth Young's book, because most will have read it first, will always be hard to beat and this is where you enter the Bovril area of you either love this book or hate it.
It all depends what you want from the work. Someone has suggested that there are too many tables and details and not enough on the battle itself which is a fair comment from the reviewer. But I like all the details. I am an amateur historian but also a wargamer and most wargamers love to get the details right. So for me knowing that the land rises here or there, was probably ploughed, good going for horses or not, is actually helpful.
I think the problem comes with the writing itself. Detail will always rob the flow of text. I read the work and there were times when I ended up thinking "Come On!" as the details appeared within text explaining the charge of cavalry or the advance of infantry tertios. I have written articles on various battles and actions (including the Washita where the amount of detail is based on conflicting written accounts).
In a way I always think the best way to explain a battle in book form is to split the book into parts. Young knew this and is why his books continue to sell on Amazon long after his death. Young explained the battle and then followed up his narrative with his evidence. It was there if you wanted to delve deeper. The amount of detail here could have been presented in three parts - the battle narrative which needs to be interesting, accurate and flowing and can be based on any new evidence found; all known evidence which can be challenged or shown that it can have different meanings to those presented in earlier works (like Young) and the new findings presented by the investigators/authors which are actually quite interesting in this new interpretation.
So, for me, I liked the detail but the presentation of the work is not going to thrill those out for a read. It really is for the people with a deep interest in the English Civil War and Edgehill as a battle. Hence the four, not five stars. There must have been a lot of investigation into the work but it really does feel that you get bogged down in the Edgehill mud and I think this really is a fault of the writing. Presented in parts would have allowed for an exciting account of the battle backed up with separate existing evidence and new discoveries allowing those readers, like me, who would love to delve and trawl through this and perhaps investigate themselves. Therefore the work is flawed and probably will not appeal to many readers, especially those used to Peter Young's work which really do inspire us to read. I hope the authors re-edit the work. I think it needs it. personal view but it's my review.


Dba 2.2 Simple Ancient and Medieval Wargaming Rules Including Dbsa and Dba 1.0
Dba 2.2 Simple Ancient and Medieval Wargaming Rules Including Dbsa and Dba 1.0
by John Curry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.95

5.0 out of 5 stars like DBR, is about generalship and tries to ignore ..., 8 Jan. 2016
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Having used DBR for my English Civil War, I have delved into the Wars of the Roses. Having purchased the Poleaxed orbits for the classic battles of the WotR, there is a handy conversion in the second Poleaxed volume to DBA. DBA at first appears way to simple. The writers suggest that you can learn the rules halfway through your first game and I won't argue with that. DBA, like DBR, is about generalship and tries to ignore the need for paperwork (I do keep a count of elements (stands) lost) or the over-the-top information like is a unit steady or within a point of breaking which no general would have time to notice. Elements are lost when they are lost - it's a table-top game system with possible surprises, where if something can fail in your master plan, it happens when you least expect it instead of predicting failures or success. This makes for a very fluid, subtle and often devastatingly quick defeat or victory so, if you have no reserve of knights, Men-At-Arms or bows, it's pretty much over. The use of Psiloi as skirmishers at first appears to be useless unless you read the DBA rules carefully. Psiloi can occupy flank areas or support your billmen. They can end up being the royal pain in the you-know-what when you expect, as the royal general, to wrap up the flank and demolish the enemy.
Okay, enough of the rules. The book is only as good as you allow, or want it to be. At first reading it seems repetitive until you look closer and see that the rules are split into competition rules, big battle rules and campaigns. There are suggested Army lists which are as useful as you want them to be. You can feel tied to the reason that opposing armies would not face each other unless they were equal in points but, researching real battles, we know this was hardly ever the case and so the rules really do push you towards competitive equality where the Army lists are essential.
Being me, I prefer hitting the history books (and aye, the Poleaxed Army lists) to refight the famous bloodbaths at St. Albans, Barnet or (when I get enough figures) Towton and DBA is superb. Don't expect handy photographs to break up the text (there is an example battle between Romans and Hannibal's Carthaginians again played as a competition game) and, to be honest, photos of figures in battle always makes a good rule book (if you have Fire & Fury you'll get my drift) but DBA covers such a long period I can understand why they did not include photographs. I could see me as a medieval player rolling my eyes at photos of ancients in my rule set so we can't really complain.
So it's five stars from me for a long-standing rule set which continues to be the main rule set still used (allegedly) by gamers and competition organisers and it's hard to argue with the claim. If you look online, there is a cracking DBA computerised site which sets out army lists for competition games based around the famous battles including those mentioned by me.
Finally, I would say, read the rules and seek the advice of gamers. I was at a loss as to what to do with Psiloi elements and thought they were a total waste of time and paint until I found a superb online introduction on the usefulness of Psiloi and, when I used them as suggested, I found myself nodding when they went into action and finally got it. So the rules really have subtle elements which means you end up learning something new with each game. Enjoy it.


Gloucester & Newbury 1643: The Turning Point of the Civil War
Gloucester & Newbury 1643: The Turning Point of the Civil War
Price: £5.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read but glawed, 17 Dec. 2015
the book reads well and Jon Day plainly has a passion for the subject. His desling of Gloucester and the march to Newbury is well presented. My criticism concerns the battle itself and some of his claims including his view that a watercourse on Wash Common was so deep it channelled the Royalist cavalry into a narrow passage to attack the right wing of Essex's army. No accounts prior suggest this and you have to ask why the Parliamentarians then extended their flank so far south if the ravine proved to be such a barrier. Research should suggest a more modern reason why the ravine exists today including flood and drain controls. I also question a suggestion that the Royalist foot may have still been using the Swedish brigade system abandoned after Edgehill as being too complicated and I cannot believe that the London Trained Bands, while under cannon fire ran towards the Royalist guns to take cover under the ancient tumuli putting themselves effectively behind the Royalist front line. Put this aside its a good read but I found myself shaking my head several times.


Brilliant PowerPoint 2013 (Brilliant Computing)
Brilliant PowerPoint 2013 (Brilliant Computing)
by Mr Steve Johnson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for beginners and those who will use presentations ..., 18 May 2015
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Excellent book for beginners and those who will use presentations to add some interest to your slides. Another recommendation is to follow the triple-6 rules - no more than 6 bullet points to a slide, no more than 6 words to a bullet point and keep each slide to under 6 minutes or risk a slumber party. The inclusion of colour plates brings it all to life. I use it for reference on specifics having got some knowledge of Power Point.


The Siege of York: The Great and Close Siege of York 1644
The Siege of York: The Great and Close Siege of York 1644
by L.P. Wenham
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great work with plenty of references and I found it ..., 24 April 2015
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Great work with plenty of references and I found it worthwhile while tracing the named locations on a trip to York. Anyone with a passing interest in the English Civil War and the Battle of Marston Moor will find this highly interesting. It is a work of reference so do not expect another Peter Young style. The writing is fact based and lacks the insights and, dare I say, the opinions of Young which made his books stand out.


Operation Phantom Fury: The Assault and Capture of Fallujah, Iraq
Operation Phantom Fury: The Assault and Capture of Fallujah, Iraq
by Dick Camp
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 3 April 2015
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Arrived in time and exactly what I wanted.


The Dharma Bums (Penguin Modern Classics)
The Dharma Bums (Penguin Modern Classics)
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars You either love him or don't, 16 Mar. 2015
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Kerouac. You either love him or don't.


Big Sur (RSMediaItalia Modern Classics Illustrated Edition)
Big Sur (RSMediaItalia Modern Classics Illustrated Edition)

5.0 out of 5 stars You either love him or hate him, 16 Mar. 2015
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It's Kerouac. You either love him or hate him.


The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man
The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World's Most Wanted Man
Price: £4.70

4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 16 Mar. 2015
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I knew the story having watched a television program but the book adds some depth.


Agile Project Management: QuickStart Guide - The Simplified Beginners Guide To Agile Project Management (Agile Project Management, Agile Software Development, Agile Development, Scrum)
Agile Project Management: QuickStart Guide - The Simplified Beginners Guide To Agile Project Management (Agile Project Management, Agile Software Development, Agile Development, Scrum)
Price: £2.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 2 Mar. 2015
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It's okay and makes me want to look further into Agile management and I will do so.


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