In an apparent bout of stupefying boredom at work, Fran and Ray came up with 20 questions to serve as a Geek Rorschach Test for the rest of us. Being a natural contrarian I've tried very hard not to succumb to this blatant Nerd-Bating but hey, its Saturday, the weather's crap, I don't want to do any chores, so I'll gladly attempt The 20 Questions...
1. Favorite Wargaming Period and Why?
The Napoleonic period for a variety of reasons:
- The three military arms: infantry, cavalry and artillery were almost perfectly balanced, with each arm having a significant impact on operations without any single one overpowering the others. I think this makes for very interesting military history (and great gaming). Also, naval warfare was terrifyingly gorgeous, brutal and decisive.
- The period created an amazing suite of memorable personalities, most of whom would probably not have risen to prominence without 'The Corsican Ogre' being on the scene. To name but a few: Wellington, Haydn, Kutusov, Talleyrand, Dumas, Ney, Tolstoy, Bernadotte, Goya, Nelson, Beethoven, Cochrane, Charles, Blake, Murat, Pitt, Jackson...
- The Napoleonic period had a certain brutal purity about it. For the most part the wars were limited in nature - generally only the combatants were affected and the reason for the wars was typically based on the bold-faced acquisition of power (as opposed to the irreconcilable issues of religion or ethnicity).
- Pre-industrialized war could be amazingly beautiful in its scale and grandeur. The uniforms were stunning and are great fun to research and paint.
2. Next Period with Money Not Being an Object?
Napoleonics in 3mm, at 1:1 scale, with the room (hall) to array them in. Fuck, now that would be amazing.
3. Favourite 5 Films?
|'The Duellists'. IMO one of the most cinematically beautiful opening scenes in film.|
In no particular order:
- 'The Duellists'
- 'Blade Runner'
- 'Master and Commander'
- 'Cinema Paradiso'
4. Favourite 5 TV Series?
|Kenneth Branagh as 'Wallander'|
Again, in no particular order:
- 'Breaking Bad'
- 'I, Claudius'
- 'Piece of Cake'
5. Favourite Book and Author?
I think we should have 5 like the other media. So, on that unilateral decision here are my 5:
- 'The Lord of the Rings' by J.R.R. Tolkien
- 'The Warlord Trilogy' by Bernard Cornwell
- Only the first three books of 'The Song of Ice and Fire' series - Martin has cocked up the rest.
- 'The Seven Men from Gascony' by R.F. Delderfield
- 'The Pity of War' by Niall Ferguson
6. Greatest General?
Though it is very tempting to go with Boney I really have to say that, in my opinion, Robert E. Lee is the greatest general. In making war he exhibited the capacity for brilliant strokes of controlled violence and yet had a deep sense of humanity - he knew when to stop.
7. Favourite Wargames Rules?
'Spearhead' by Arty Conliffe. Simple, elegant and intuitive.
8. Favourite Sport and Team?
Team: The 1986 La Vie Claire team at the Tour de France featuring the famous internal power struggle between Bernard Hinault and Greg Lemond.
9. Time Machine. When/Where Would I go?
This is a hard one. Even though I'd like to have been with the lads at Waterloo I really think I'd like to go back and visit with my grandparents when they were young. Talk about their life, their thoughts and aspirations and let them know that it all turned out Ok. That would be pretty cool.
10. Last Meal on Death Row?
Ha! Takeaway (literally) curry, with an extra portion for the Devil (or St. Peter, depending on circumstances / luck).
11. Fantasy Relationship and Why?
I hate to be a sop but I'm pretty darned happy (and lucky!) in my present circumstances. ANYWAY, as our prurient minds like to ponder on these weighty subjects I think that IF there was an alternate universe to play around with these kind of fantasies I'd have a small hareem with the following lovely women as partners (Hey, it is a FANTASY):
Ava Green (My favourite Bond Girl)
Helen Mirram (THE Grande Dame)
Christine Lagarde (French Finance Minister - I know, it seems odd but I think she's pretty hot.)
12. If my Life were a Movie who would play me?
Yeah, I know I'm flattering myself (but this is what this is all about, right?) but I'd pick Edward Norton.
13. Favourite Comic Superhero
The Punisher. When I was a kid it seemed that everyone was into these weirdos leaping about in funny suits. Nope, not me. The Punisher was the shizzle. He's a very simple antihero: an incredibly angry man with lots of ordinance and the will to use it. He doesn't fuck about trying to put people in jail - he just puts them in the ground. There's a certain beautiful clarity to that.
14. Favourite Military Quote
'The graveyards are full of indispensable men.' Charles de Gaule
15. Historical Destination to Visit?
16. Biggest Wargaming Regret?
Not buying more 40K crap in the 90s so I could sell it at a gross profit today.
17. Favourite Fantasy Job.
|The power of visualization... Nope, I still don't have the job. (It would probably help if I could at least speak French...)|
Chief Curator of the Musee de l'Armee in Paris
18. Favourite 5 Songs / Pieces of Music?
At this time and in no specific order:
- 'Lippy Kids' by Elbow
- 'Night Swimming' by REM
- 'Va, Pensiero' by Verdi
- 'Tower of Song' by Leonard Cohen
- 'Nelson's Mass' by Hayden
19. Favourite Wargaming Moment?
Hosting a game and stepping back to see all the guys having a good time.
20. What upsets Me?
Oh hell, don't get me started. Ok, here's a big one: While we've produced some pretty stellar individuals, humanity as a whole is pretty reprehensible. As a species we are incredibly selfish, we take far too much and give very little back - its quite appalling.
Other than that I find taxes, teenage angst and parking tickets really make me snap my crayons. I'm a bit of a grump really. 'Hey, you! Get off my bloody lawn!'
Thanks Fran and Ray! This was quite a lot of fun, but now I have to get to those chores I've been avoiding all day...