Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Review of Gone Native by Alan G. Cornett

Author:  Alan G. Cornett.
Title:  Gone Native - An NCO's Story.
Publisher:  Ballantine Books.
Copyright:  2000.
Pages:  292.
Price:  $7.99.

Impressions and Overview:
Gone Native:  An NCO's Story is a fast read.  The author is a former medic who served in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne, the Green Berets, and the Phoenix Program.  Alan Cornett eventually finished up as a senior NCO serving in Western Europe during the 1980s.

However, he had problems along the way.  Cornett admits to serving time in the brig for assaulting an officer and other violations.  He flunked out of college.  Cornett got his draft notice and volunteered for the Green Berets in 1966.  He would then spend seven years in Vietnam.  Along the way, Cornett became fluent in Vietnamese and worked with the ARVN Rangers capturing high level Viet Cong officers in the central highlands.

Overall, it's an interesting account of a senior American NCO with a checkered past.  Recommended.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

28mm 1882 Egyptian Campaign AAR, 21NOV14

Here are photos of my game with Don Cox at a local gaming store in St. Louis, MO:

                                          28mm 1882 British infantry company in line.

                                         28mm 1882 British line advancing.

                                          28mm 1882 Egyptian infantry company firing.

                          28mm 1882 British survivors rout off the board after I failed multiple morale rolls.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Trying to paint 28mm 1870 Franco-Prussian War forces and other nonsense...

My weeks are filled taking care of my father.  He's wheelchair bound and recovering from a stroke.  This hasn't allowed me much time for other things like painting, reading, and writing.

I did get a 28mm British Colonial game using The Sword and the Flame in with a friend Friday evening.  I'll post photos up tomorrow evening when I get a chance.

I'm in the process of painting 28mm FPW figures.  The current unit is the 4th Bavarian infantry regiment.  I have the 1st Turco Regiment to finish once I'm done with the 28mm 1870 Bavarian infantry.  Then it's on another 28mm 1870 French artillery battery.  I'll then be done with all the 28mm FPW armies!  This project has taken over three years.  That's too long...

I've shifted my reading to a book on the Vietnam War called "Gone Native."  I'm about 40% finished.  I need to find sometime and just read it.  "Gone Native" is an easy read and flows easy.  Unlike some Vietnam books I've read, I can read a chapter and come back to the book later on and pick up where I left off.  I'll have an entire review on the blog when I'm done with it...

I've also started learning to read Egyptian hieroglyphs.  I'm working on the first sections trying to memorize the 1 one sign consonants right now.  Once I've mastered them, I'll move onto the next section.  But that's been slow going, too.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Review of A History of Ancient Egypt by John Romer

Author:  John Romer.
Title:  A History of Ancient Egypt - From the First Farmers to the Great Pyramid, Volume 1.
Publisher:  Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin's Press.
Copyright:  2013.
Pages:  475.
Price:  $29.99.

Overview and Impressions:
John Romer's A History of Ancient Egypt is more archeology than history.  Romer starts in seventh millennium BCE and works forward through pre-dynasty Egypt.

This book is more an academic work than a general history.  The author starts off with the agricultural revolution that swept the neolithic Near East.  Building up farming techniques and pottery, Romer argues a case for the differing settlements of the Nile valley.

Unfortunately, there's no military history in this book for your average gamer.  It's more the technical workings of civilization from the neolithic stone age into the early bronze age.  Romer makes a convincing case that the tools that brought about civilization in ancient Egypt were home grown

What helped Egypt succeed was an abundance of agriculture and necessary trade routes.  It also allowed Egypt to became one of the first imperial states in the later part of its long history.  Romer concludes Volume 1 with King Khufu and the Great Pyramid of Giza.

The logistics that went into the construction of these monuments is impressive.  Romer estimates at least ten percent of the population was involved the construction of the first pyramids from 2650-2550 BCE.  About 25,000 men were needed to actually build the structures, while over 5,000 stone masons were employed on site to quarry and carve the limestone with copper chisels.  But those are only estimates.

Recommended reading for the scholarly.  Volume 2 will cover the rest of ancient Egypt from Khufu's death through the Roman occupation, which is due out sometime next year.