Friday, January 30, 2009


From the readpile
Top of the pile now is Matthew Parker's Monte Cassino: The Story of the Hardest-fought Battle of World War Two. This is a very readable book, with lots of detail about the grim conditions soldiers faced in the cold and wet mountains of 'sunny' Italy during 1943-44. It's another book to feature Spike Milligan's war memoirs as source material. I wonder what Spike thought about that? Did he even know? But this isn't about the mad Milligan. No, it's about the Abruzzo.

Regular readers might remember the Millefoglie alla 'guardiese' I've served up a couple of times. It turns out that the Abruzzo, where that dish has its origins, was the scene of a major operation to break the Gustav Line in January 1944, as the Allied armies closed in on Monte Cassino. At the heart of the manoeuvre was the French Expeditionary Corps (FEC). Their attacks through mountainous conditions shocking even to German Gebirgsjäger Russian front veterans played a significant role in rehabilitating the tattered reputation of French soldiery.

C3i, Combat Commander, completism, and contentment
C3i is GMT's house magazine, published by Rodger MacGowan, whose work I first encountered on the covers of Squad Leader and Panzer Blitz, to name 2 notable examples. I recently ordered several copies direct from GMT, mostly because I wanted the Combat Commander scenarios contained therein. The magazines arrived earlier this week, after a quick jaunt across the Atlantic.

In the best traditions of house magazines, C3i comes stuffed to the gizzards with stuff to add to your games; that's counters, cards, and extra maps as well as new scenarios. There's even a complete mini WW2 wargame in 1 issue. The magazine itself is serious reading for real grognards, of the kind to be savoured over the long periods between each new edition. Very impressive all told.

Badger's coming round for the old grub and games tonight, so maybe we'll visit one of my new C3i CC scenarios as well as paying our 2nd visit to the PTO. Time will tell. ;)


Hancock.Tom said...

This blog is really good. You should consider cross posting your articles or at least posting links to this blog in a blog on fortress ameritrash. The gaming related stuff you are writing here is very well written and we would love to have the content, winky and all. ;)

"A bit political on yer ass!" said...

Hello Hancock.Tom. Thanks for your kind words. Y'know, I do already post links to RD/KA! in my F:AT blog page (can't link to it right now because the F:AT's down due to exceeding its bandwidth limit). I can't see me cross-posting to be honest, because I'd want people to visit my actual blog as much as possible, as you would expect.
John ;)

PS. I will defend the honour of my winkie!

Hancock.Tom said...

Well I totally understand wanting to keep your content on your own blog as much as possible, since that is something we consistently fail to do on F:AT but we are trying to improve.

I enjoy your contributions on our site too, despite our occasional disagreements.

"A bit political on yer ass!" said...

Thanks again for your kind words. I am encouraged by what you said about my contributions to F:AT. There are some people there who simply want to ignore exactly how long I've been a member and the content of most of my posts, preferring instead to see an imaginary creature who suits their own private daemonological needs. ;)