The Liebster Awards are doing the rounds at present - I was nominated some days ago and have rather churlishly failed to respond until now. All I can plead is the exigencies of the service, which have kept me away from hearth, home and laptop, for the last few days. My phone certainly serves as a blog reader, but it is a poor means of actually writing an entry. Pardon gentles all - to be honest, I was just numb with cold and tiredness when I got home and did little more than eat and let Mrs Kinch pour me into bed.
Firstly, I am reliably informed that Liebster Awards means "favourite blog". I don't speak hun, so I shall have to rely to PanzerGruppenBossen Tim "Siegfried" Gow's translation as he apparently does. This, I think we can all agree, only makes him more deeply suspect.
But firstly the critics said,
FireyMonkeyBoy showing his years, Stokes's hairline is fighting a valiant rearguard action.
(Tim Gow was unavailable at the time this photograph was taken - or may be disguised as a stick)
The critics said,
"Mostly focused on 1/72 napoleonics, Kinch's graceful writing expresses the best of old school gaming. Pipe in hand, he sets out to give the French a good kicking, and if a glass of port or three are ingested along the way, all the better." - FireyMonkeyBoy
Wargaming, alcoholism and xenophobia - MonkeyBoy cuts to the very heart of this endeavour.
"Conrad Kinch's excellent blog provides a safe haven from reality. Game reports and figure painting posts are interspersed with travelogue and silliness." - Tim Gow
Sniff - I feel one of Joy & Forgetfulness's strengths is a commitment to gritty realism. I see myself as the Brecht of the wargaming world.
A well-written, entertaining, and sometimes hilariously funny wargaming blog written by one Conrad Kinch, noted wargamer, pipe-smoker, author, and legal scholar. His wargaming-related scribblings have appeared, among other places, in Battlegames and the sadly defunct Classic Wargamer's Journal.
Sadly defunct indeed. It was a great magazine - I always enjoyed it. Legal scholar? Forsooth!
My thanks to the critics.
The rules are as follows,
"Copy and paste the award on your blog linking it to the blogger who has given it to you.
Pass the award to your top 5 favourite blogs with less than 200 followers by leaving a comment on one of their posts to notify them that they have won the award and listing them on your own blog.
Sit back and bask in that warm fuzzy feeling that comes with knowing that you have just made someone's day!"
Now as it happens, there are quite a few Leibsters going around and I did actually sketch out a short list while I was incommunicado, so what I've done is pick five (which wasn't easy) and added honourable mentions for the chaps I would have picked, had they not gotten one already.
Firstly, Lee at NapoleonicTherapy. Lee is a gifted painter and a man who knows what he wants. But unlike some other gifted painters, he plays game (lots of games!) and that is the crux of the matter so far as I'm concerned. A cracking blog - heartily recommended.
The Mad Padre needs no introduction. Less "Jam & Jerusalem" and more "Skirmish Wargaming & Salvation".
Ross McFarlane - quite simply the man is an inspiration. There are days I just want to strand him in a scrap metal yard. I guarantee within two weeks, he'll be playing the War of 1812 using homemade Britains knockoffs cast from moulds made of out of old sparkplugs and prayer. A chap of infinite invention.
Donogh McCarthy more than anybody keeps me honest. He restrains my crazier impulses ("We need to build a four storey twelve foot long space hulk") and supports my slight less cracked ideas ("We can do Gettysburg in a day right?"). Mrs Kinch refers to him as my "Wargaming Wife."
Alfront or Dr Stephen Cullen if you want to use his stage name writes, "War Diaries of a Little Englander." This is a blog of shreds and patches, gardening, wargaming, modelling and politics mixed with humour. I've no idea what Alfronts actual views are, I'm beginning to think he may be some manner of anarchist, but either way it's an interesting read.
This is a collaborative blog and to be honest, I view that sort of thing as being very similar to interpretive dance or sociology, that is some sort of bizarre confidence trick that is aimed at avoiding real work. What you actually get is a blog that chronicles the modelling and gaming of a British Civil War in 1979. Written with a light touch and tremendously evocative of time and place, Winter of '79 is a class act.
Ben's ancestors were transported to the Antipodes for stealing a pig and yet, despite dodging venomous beasts and the daily trips to something known as "The Thunderdome" (which I believe is a chain of local supermarkets) he manages to write a wonderful blog devoted to Napoleonic wargaming and painting. One wonders where he finds the time.
Deep in my curmudgeonly soul, I have a very soft spot for Warhammer 40,000, specifically Rogue Trader. I had an Imperial Guard army in the dim and distant past and we got eaten by Genestealers with monotonous regularity. It's probably one of the few science fiction games I'd still play given the chance. Tales from the Maelstrom is a collaborative blog by some fellas who enjoy the semi-roleplaying anarchy of Rogue Trader and seek to recapture that particular genie. And snooks to anyone who says it isn't "official!"
I haven't played Dungeons & Dragons in nearly twenty years and I still find FrDave's project fascinating. He is an Orthodox cleric apparently (damned if I know what flavour, Russian, Greek or Romanian) who loves Dungeons & Dragons and has been exploring his faith through the medium of roleplaying games. I always find his posts of the lives of saints interesting.
Harry Pearson is the author of Achtung Schweinhundt, a book that I really enjoyed. If you don't have it, buy it or get a loved one to do so, Christmas is coming up after all. I got four copies from family and friends the year it came out. His blog over at Parum Pugna is concerned with Ancients specifically ancient Ancients, Hinton Hunts, Rose, Garrison, etc. The battle reports are always a highlight for me. He may write the Guardian, but overall he's a good egg.
Three Blogs that I wish were updated more often, so I just went ahead and nominated them anyway - it might poke them into posting.
John Curry is one of the unsung heroes of our hobby. Editor, Maid, Chief Bottle Washer and Chief Petty Officer of the History of Wargaming Project, John spends his time collecting and republishing old sets of wargaming rules, books about the hobby and generally squirreling out information of interest.
I have never regretted buying one of his books.
Old John is a friend who I met through the Old School Wargaming list and is now a regular face at the larger Irish conventions. He combines wargaming with being a spiv and would probably give Harry Lime a run for his money, should the old boy take a break from flogging penicillin and decided to move some Hinton Hunts "Only one previous owner boss and he always rolled sixes." Old John has a sideline in 20mm metal figures, most of which you can see on his blog.
Arquinsel's Project Arnhem blog has been sadly quiet for several months, he does however manage to write about putting kits together in a manner that doesn't make me despair, which is an achievement enough. His wardrobe leaves something to be desired though. There's a lack of tweed and corduroy that gives one pause.