Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Weekly Update For October 5th, 2014; Bookshelf Memories

One of the forgotten books of the early days of RPGs

It's been a very busy week, here at The Workbench; the warm weather has finally left us, and the cold winds of fall and winter have arrived. I've pulled the long-suffering window air conditioning units out of their summer homes, and done the annual work to get the furnace up and running - filters and what have you. The nice warm electric radiator is in place in my painting area, and I'm spraying primer on figures whenever the outside temperature allows. In short, it's 'painting season', the time when I get the most done.

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We're a month out from the next campaign by Dr. Burns of Dark Fable Miniatures (link to the left), and I'm getting my Litko order for bases in now - I use their pre-cut 'slotta' bases for Mike's figures, as they save me a lot of time and match all of the other figures in the game room. I'll have more on this, as it develops, and some photos as well as we move along in the process.

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I've been spending a lot of time in the basement of late, restocking the shelves and getting things set up for the winter campaign season. I had a very nice moment, thinking of Phil, when I reshelved my copy of "The Crossbow", by Sir Ralph Payne-Gallway; this used to be one of the 'standard works' that we all read, back in the day as new RPG gamers. Phil introduced us to this particular book; he used it as his standard reference for missile weapons in his Tekumel. The Tekumel 'long bow', for example, is actually the Turkish composite version of the long bow, and not the classic Welsh single-stave long bow so familiar to gamers. Sir Ralph gives the details of this fearsome weapon, from first-hand experiments at the Topkapi Palace, and you can get some really useful information from the rest of the book as well. What Payne-Gallway doesn't cover, you don't need to worry about.

I have a suspicion that this book has been largely forgotten, over the years. A miniatures gamer took me to task - quite severely, I might add - for screwing up in my miniatures rules on the range, rate-of-fire, and effect of the Tekumelyani longbow. He assumed, like many gamers, that I had been using the Welsh version, and I'd gotten it all wrong. I demurred, and pointed out that the Tekumelyani weapon is a composite one, and based on the Turkish examples; he told me that I was full of crap, and that there was no such thing. I cited Sir Ralph's book, and he stopped talking to me.

Shrug. So it goes. I do suggest looking at a copy; the book is still in print, and very, very useful!

11 comments:

  1. "I demurred, and pointed out that the Tekumelyani weapon is a composite one, and based on the Turkish examples; he told me that I was full of crap, and that there was no such thing. I cited Sir Ralph's book, and he stopped talking to me."

    Sometimes I feel like this paragraph sums up my entire life.

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    1. Oh, I hear you! It certainly does sum up mine, I tell ya... :)

      - chirine

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  2. This is where you prove you're the better man by walking xaway instead of giving him a poke in the snoot.

    Although the snoot is mighty tempting sometimes.

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    1. Agreed! I simply walked away, and didn't hit him for copyright infringement when he did his cut-and-paste version of my rules - which included a lot of material from Phil, as well. Just not worth it, I thought...

      - chirine

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  3. Thank you, I'll have to try and find a copy of The Crossbow. Are there any other "forgotten books" of the early RPG days we should know about? :)

    -Ed

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    1. You're very welcome! Yes, there are a lot of books that were 'standard' in our game groups here in the Twin Cities, back in the day, and I can do a series on them; I have quite a few of them on my shelves, and I still enjoy reading them. Some of them are:

      Stone's "Glossary Of Arms And Armour";
      Rodger's "Naval Warfare Under Oars";
      Rodger's "Greek And Roman Naval Warfare";
      Engle's "Alexander The GreatAnd The Logistics Of The Macedonian Army";
      Bannerman's "Catalog Of Military Goods - 1927".

      More to come for you! :)

      - chirine

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    2. I look forward to your posts on them. Many thanks.

      -Ed

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    3. You're welcome! Watch this space... :)

      - chirine

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  4. Lots of good stuff to read on that list! Sadly the most exposure many people get is from movies. We all know where that road leads... to the imagination! One of the most realistic sword duels I have ever seen was in a Polish film where 2 Cossacks go at it. the older one is so much more poised, it's obvious he will win. And he does. Not with silly stuff but with two nasty slashes that are ripostes. Just like a real saber is used!

    it seems like every weapon has some opinion about that somebody will argue about until they are blue in the face. Damn silly if you ask me!

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    1. Oh, yes - I agree! I've seen the move you mention - it's great!

      I'll have some movies for you, too! "Thief of Bagdad", both versions, "Alexander Nevsky", and a whole bunch more!

      And I agree with you about the silly arguments, too! I'll try to speak to that, as well... :)

      - chirine

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    2. I've seen the silent version with Fairbanks Sr and it is one of my favorite movies. The scene in the Valley of Fire is one of the most amazing scenes ever shot. Alexander Nevsky is also great.

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