Game of Thrones

While driving around the country yesterday I listened to the first 5 hours of the audiobook “A Song of Ice and Fire”, better known as volume one of “Game of Thrones”.

Today, with a mountain of ironing to process, I watched the beginning of the TV series. I have seen it before, but with the original writing in my head it made much more sense. The production, locations and characters are superb, and as close to the book as one can achieve for an entertaining TV series.

I particularly like the opening sequences (developed as the story progresses) depicting mechanical gearing operation, indicating the background political mechanics, and which is later reflected in the pseudo-mediaeval castle backdrops.

One problem with the audio book is the allocation of British Regional accents to characters, and particularly the lack of consistency. I am not sure that I am in favour of using regional accents to identify characters, even if Westeros has similarities to Britain in its geography. But when a character who speaks with a Lancashire accent for three chapters suddenly becomes Welsh and a scotsman migrates to Yorkshire at the same time I start to question the production values.

“Bomber” – the wargame. Part 1

I have been preparing for an all-day wargame on 27th December with a group of chums.  We have a table about 16ft x 7ft to play with and almost invariably our games concentrate in about a quarter of the table.

So I have planned a game which will force the players to cover the whole length of the table.  It is based on Len Deighton’s novel “Bomber”.  Players will have to fly one or more Lancaster bombers from their base in England to bomb a German town and return home safely.  The twist is that each player also has the possibility of deploying a night fighter to attack the other players.

I have finished my draft of the rules ready for the playtest next Thursday.  This is an evening game so I am using a shorter table to rduce flying time.  On Thursday we will be bombing dams.  The rules are necessarily quite simple to speed up the game.

The concept is similar to an adventure game in that each aircraft has a crew with different ability levels which they need to roll against for success in shooting, flying, navigating, etc.

The unusual game mechanism is the bombing run, which is done with tiddlywinks to intruduce a bit of skill and fun.  In the main game points will be awarded for hitting factories, railway yards, etc. and deducted for such things as churches and hospitals.

Report on the playtest with some pictures to follow later.


Three suggested novels, and a request

I am currently watching the DVD of the TV series: “Fortunes of War”, based on Olivia Manning’s novel.  It led me to wonder whatever happened to the novel I used to own depicting the fortunes of a New Zealand artillery battery during the Greek and Cretan campaigns of The Second World War.  I have no idea what the book was called or the author, but if it rings a bell with anyone, please let me know.

in return, I rcommend the following novels, which deal with the preparation for, and subsequent battles of Normandy in 1944.

Warriors for the Working Day, Peter Elstob, 1960

Death of a Regiment, John Foley, 1959

and reverting to the 1940 campaign in France, Tramp in Armour, by Colin Forbes.