Saturday, 9 May 2009
Achtung, Schweinehund !
Some months ago I stumbled upon a recension of Harry Pearson's book on another blog and felt intrigued to buy it. Summing up it`s an amusing read that combines the biography of a wargamer, snippets about the history of wargaming miniatures as well as entertaining yet thought-provoking anecdotes about our pastime.
Although I´m born about 20 years later than the author in a country whose commemoration and perception of WW II differs, it made me realize that all those bendy plastic Wehrmacht figures my granddad bought me on the fleamarket may have well planted the seed for mountains of lead to build up once adolescence came around. Without the danger of glorification Pearson succeedes in conveying the ways a child gets enthused about the broken reception of one of mankinds greatest cartstrophes and keeps a fascination with warfare throughout the ages that is perserved in adulthood within the at first glance unreasonable and childish medium of tabletop wargmaing and figure collecting. But Pearson doesn´t belittle the fact that our hobby has an entangling nature to it and can grow from harmless escapism to a self imposed isolation.
That said the book wil have you chuckle and nod in agreement continiously. There area lots of gems every one who is into wargaming will recognise and approve of instantly. Thus the author gives a convincing summary of the weird and eccentric habbits of a wargamer without simlpy labbleing him as a socio-phobic geek. Especially historical wargammers will find the information given about the UK's first miniature manufacturers and the exploits of a certain H.G. Wells as well as the introduction of wargaming into the higher ranks of the prussian military interesting.
In short you won't rergret picking it up.