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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Meanwhile...

Tony was round again yesterday, but we'd both had busy days so we didn't get any serious scheming done. Instead we just chewed the fat, and talked a bit about what Tony might run for World D&D day. Tony's never run D&D3 before. He hasn't even played it. But, as I pointed out, there is just so much stuff available for free download online that he should find it fairly easy to put something together in time. Here's hoping anyway.

While out being busy myself I had some time to kill before an appointment, so I popped in to a local 2nd hand bookshop. I made a lucky find: The Battle Book, by well known military history writer Bryan Perrett. One look, and I knew I was buying it.

Subtitled Crucial Conflicts in History from 1469BC to the present, this is one of those books that is an unexpected boon to the GM. At its core are summaries of 500 battles from history, the earliest being Megiddo in ancient Egypt in 1469BC, the most recent being the 1st Gulf War in 1990-1. These are presented in the form of tables containing information such as: date, war, and campaign; commanders, forces, and outcome. There is also a brief account of each battle too.

Another nice feature of the book are its appendices, one of which gives a chronological index of the various battles by the war in which they occured. Testing this out, I looked for the Thirty Years' war, which is contemporaneous with The Adventures of Felix Mephisto, Gentleman. There I found that the battle of Rocroi took place only last month in the campaign, as a result of which France replaced Spain as the continent of Europe's leading military power- consequences which I doubt have become fully manifest a mere few weeks later.

I'm a fan of encyclopedic overviews in general, finding that the scope of the overview usually makes up for the lack of detail. This is exactly what The Battle Book does, giving any GM running historically-based roleplaying campaigns information adequate to most purposes, including searching out more detailed accounts in libraries or online should that prove necessary. Should you see a copy of this book, I would recommend taking a good look. ;)
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