Saturday, 5 March 2016

Is it really thirty years?

A few weeks ago I received an email from Stuart Asquith asking me if I would be interested in acquiring his collection of Del Prado pre-painted 25/28mm-scale RELIVE WATERLOO Napoleonic figures. I was interested – very interested – and yesterday I drove from London to Stuart's lovely home in Gloucestershire to pick them up.

The journey took me three hours, and I arrived a few minutes after midday. Stuart was on the doorstep to greet me as I got out of my car, and we began chatting as went inside for a drink. During our conversation Stuart pointed out that we hadn't actually spoken to each other for over thirty years(!), a fact that I found difficult to believe even though it was true. We had first met back in 1980 at the inaugural Conference of Wargamers at Moor Park, and he had attended the next couple. After that we had met on and off over the years – usually at wargame shows – but when Stuart moved to Gloucestershire, we lost touch.

During my visit Stuart showed me his extensive collection of 54mm-scale figures, his beautifully painted 40mm-scale Front Rank American War of Independence figures, and his 15mm-scale Colonial figures. (Stuart blames me for his acquisition of the 15mm-scale collection of Colonial figures – and a recently purchased gridded battle mat – after he bought a copy of my WHEN EMPIRES CLASH! rules.)

Unfortunately I could only stay for a couple of hours before I had to drive back to London, but during my visit Stuart and his family made me very welcome, and I hope to return to see them again at some time in the future.

Besides the Del Prado figures Stuart passed on to me (and there are enough of them to increase my existing collection by a considerable number of units), he very kindly gave me a copy of his recently published book entitled STUART ASQUITH'S WARGAMING 18th CENTURY BATTLES INCLUDING RULES FOR MARLBURIAN WARFARE 1702-1714.


The book has been edited by John Curry and was published in 2016 by the 'History of Wargaming' Project (ISBN 978 1 326 48193 3). The book covers the follow:
  • The 18th Century as a Wargaming Period
  • The Battle of Schellenberg (1704)
  • The Battle of Ramillies (1706)
  • The Battle of Sheriffmuir (1715)
  • The Battle of Mollwitz (1741)
  • The Battle of Soor (1745)
  • The Battle of Falkirk (1746)
  • The Battle of Plassey (1757)
  • The Battle of Minden (1759)
  • The Battle of Warburg (1760)
  • Wargaming Rules for Malburian Warfare 1702-1714 (first published in 1986 by Athena)
The most interesting section of the book is – in my opinion – Stuart's reflections on a lifetime of wargaming, which I hope that everyone will read and reflect upon.

Years ago I owned a small 20mm-scale Malburian wargames army made up of wonderful Les Higgins figures, and having looked through Stuart's book, I wish that I had kept them and not sold them when I did.

16 comments:

  1. Few weeks ago I picked up 98 of the 100 part Osprey component - couldn't resist.

    Actually, one thing that I've never known. I knew a Stuart Asquith at the Warrington club back in the 70s - always assumed they were different people, but thought I'd take this opportunity to ask if you know?

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    Replies
    1. Xaltotun of Python,

      I passed my booklets on to my nephew, who was a wargamer who had an interest in all things Napoleonic. (He now lives and works in Beijing, and I doubt if he has time to wargame anymore.)

      I think that the Stuart Asquith that I know was working in and around London in the 1970s, but it may well be the same person. As Stuart reads my blog occasionally, he might be able to enlighten you.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. Hello Xaltotun,
      Not me I'm afraid - I don't think I've ever been to Warrington to be honest. My life journey has been Yorkshire/Harrow/Cotswolds. Sorry!

      Delete
  2. Sounds interesting may have to invest in a copy , Tony

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    Replies
    1. A.W. Kitchen (Tony),

      I'm no expert on the period, but I struck me as being an excellent introduction to wargaming 18th century battles.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. Thirty years... I just realised the other week that it was twenty years since a significant (and what I think of as) recent event. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, eh?

    On a less sombre note, hope to see some photos of your newly expanded collection very soon.

    Best,
    Aaron

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Prufrock (Aaron),

      Time seems to fly past much faster than we realise ... but its passage is always relative. (I think that someone once wrote that two hours in the company of a beautiful woman seemed to last two minutes whilst twoo minutes in a tedious meeting seemed to last two hours.)

      As to my newly-acquired figures ... well I hope to have some time to take photos of them later this week.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  4. Thank you very much for this post Bob, as I wasn't aware that this book had been published. I've been off and on looking for these rules, and I look forward to the descriptions of the battles as well. I am a big fan of Stuart's writings, so needless to say it has been ordered!

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    Replies
    1. Natholeon,

      Glad to have been of help. I understand that John Curry may well be publishing more of Stuart Asquith's books at some time in the future.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  5. Replies
    1. Tim Gow,

      You know that you want it!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. Steve-the-Wargamer,

      Buy it, buy it, buy it! :^)

      All the best,

      Bob

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  7. I have only spoken to Stuart a couple of times on the phone when he has rung up to order paint but they have turned into long chats about toy soldiers. He was kind enough to send me a copy of his rules for Toy Soldier games.

    I've always been a fan of his writing.

    Mike

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    Replies
    1. Mike Lewis,

      Stuart has a wealth of knowledge and experience, and it is great that he is back wargaming and writing again. My only regret is that I forgot to take my camera with me so the I could photograph some of his collection for posterity.

      All the best,

      Bob

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