Sunday, November 30, 2008

GENERAL: Bi-monthly book update

After showing some uncharacteristic restraint in my last book update I inevitably succumbed and bought a raft of new Games Workshop publications.

Codex: Space Marines and the Warriors of Chaos army book were obvious buys; I always collect each 40k codex on release and the Warriors are my only Fantasy army. I haven't read either properly yet, although I have built some lists for my Chaos army. I'm sure to read both over the coming couple of months so I'll review them in my next update.

I bought both of the Forge World hardbacks while I was down at Warhammer World at the Gauntlet Tournament. I was hoping to finish the Siege of Vraks book in time for this update but I was 20 pages short. Again, I'll report back on that next time around. I've only had a flick through the Modelling Masterclass book so far but it looks great. It is heavily illustrated with tonnes of cool examples and I'm sure to get a lot of tips from it. The problem with the Forge World books is their size; you'd never carry one around with you to read on the bus, for example, so you can only read it at home and you really have to set time aside to do it. I always struggle to choose between painting, modelling, updating my blog and reading.

Mechanicum was a late addition to my shopping list and will hopefully be a lot easier to devour as it is a paperback. It's top of my reading pile.

So far I've only told you about the books I haven't read, so what the devil have I been up to?

Well, my schedule has been positively crazy over the past few weeks so I just haven't had the time to dedicate to any kind of gaming activity at all. I have done some reading, though, it's just not been specifically gaming related.

I have included Fighter Boys, which I picked up cheap in Oxfam, because I read it in part to inform my Aeronautica Imperialis games. In that regard it was pretty handy as it covered the origins of the RAF, it's organisation and discussions on the merits of different equipment, weapons and planes. It was superb at conveying the feel of being a fighter pilot because the author went out and interviewed them. He also read their journals and diaries from the time.

As well as the personal stories, the book also described the wider conflict and the role the fighter pilots played in the second world war. The political capital garnered by the politicians at the time regarding the RAF struck me as very 40k in particular.

The book wasn't so special in it's narrative momentum, though. I guess that's because the author was a journalist not a novelist, and it is after all a factual account. The sheer scale of the author's research was on show at all times and sometimes it was a bit overwhelming. More than once I lost track of who was who and what they had done.

Nevertheless I'd recommend this book if you are at all interested in the Battle of Britain.

After that dry, thick, factual book I moved straight on to American Gods by Neil Gaiman. This was a birthday present which I started reading while on holiday and I've been feeling the guilt as it lay on my bedside cabinet unfinished ever since. I won't report back on this book as it has nothing to do with my gaming but at over 600 pages it will stop me from reading other books for a few weeks.

I don't know if anybody else out there does this but I go through bouts of starting lots of books at once. Over the last couple of months I was simultaneously reading five books (Fighter Boys, American Gods, Imperial Armour 6: Siege of Vraks Volume 2, the Warriors of Chaos army book, Codex: Space Marines) and then I decided I'd had enough and concentrated on one novel at a time. Fighter Boys is out of the way and American Gods will be next, then I'll probably show some discipline for a couple of books then I'll splurge again. Very strange.

Anyway, onto the lists.

Books read.
  • Fighter Boys

Books bought.
  • Mechanicum
  • Imperial Armour 6: Siege of Vraks Volume 2
  • Imperial Armour Model Masterclass Volume 1
  • Codex: Space Marines
  • Fighter Boys
  • Warriors of Chaos army book

Books wanted.
  • Red Fury
  • Planetkill
  • Titanicus
  • Imperial Guard Omnibus Volume 1

Here's what I already own and still need to read:
  • Imperial Armour Three: The Taros campaign
  • Liber Chaotica
  • Storm of Chaos
  • Imperial Infantryman's Primer (Damocles Gulf edition)
  • The Life of Sigmar
  • Faith and Fire
  • Dark Apostle
  • Cardinal Crimson
  • Warriors of Ultramar
  • Dead Sky, Black Sun
  • 13th Legion
  • Kill Team
  • Annihilation Squad
  • Space Wolf
  • Ragnar's Claw
  • Grey Hunter
  • Soul Drinker
  • The Bleeding Chalice
  • Crimson Tears
  • Soldier
My aim is to beat these lists until they hurt in time for my next book update. I want to read at least five of those publications on the list and add nothing to it.

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