Thursday, December 31, 2015

Book Review: Men of War

I recently finished reading "Men of War" by Alexander Rose (not Axl Rose), a Keegan/Face of Battle style look at American soldiers in battle in three different eras (AWI, ACW, WW2).

Rose focuses on three different battles to show the experiences of the common foot soldier - Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, and Iwo Jima.

I can't recommend this book.  The Bunker Hill chapters were good (around 100 pages), the Gettysburg chapters were a bit "eh" (Gettysburg is perhaps too familiar to me for this chapter to hold much interest), while I found the Iwo Jima chapters (the largest section of the book at around 150 pages) to be very dreary and depressing.  Rose focuses very heavily in the Iwo Jima chapters on casualties, shell shock, gore, and morbid descriptions of wounds and death.   After about 2 pages of that, my attitude was "OK, I get it....", but the theme continued throughout the chapters.

Rose is an excellent writer, and the book reads easily.

Overall, I'd have to give it a 2.5 stars out of 5.   Way too much graphic description of wounds in the Iwo Jima chapter.   Actually, Rose did seem to spend an inordinate amount of space describing wounds and death throughout the book.  Maybe if that level of traumatic discussion interests you, this book would be more interesting.  I think we all know how horrible war is, but this book grinds that fact into you.

His stated goal was to do a book similar to Keegan's "Face of Battle" focusing on the US soldier.  I feel like the resulting book is a pale comparison to "Face of Battle".

I do know that I'll never game Pacific island campaigns.  Maybe something in Burma, etc., but the island battles seem so predetermined once air/sea superiority was established.  But that's just my opinion!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Project Update

Wow.....I am tired!

Worked until 8:30 tonight putting in kitchen cabinets.  We now have approximately 60% of the kitchen cabinets in, with only the base cabinets on one side to remove and replace with the new cabinets.  Of course, once those cabinets are removed, I have to finish off installing the 1/2 of the kitchen hardwood floor remaining.    The goal is to have the kitchen floor done before Christmas, and possibly the cabinets done before 2016.   After that, we have to wait for the countertops to be fabricated/installed and the backsplash done before the kitchen is 100% useable again.

The scope of this project has been daunting.   Ripped out 100% of all the floors in the house, put hardwood throughout the house; new hardwood stairs upstairs and downstairs, new handrails and ballisters, 3 new bathrooms, new cabinets throughout the house, removed 4 windows, changed another window, added lights in the family room, added some kitchen lights, all new kitchen, new fireplace.....and other stuff I can't even remember.

Looking back, I now think "what were we thinking!".   We've been working on the project since April of 2014.

Did I mention that I'm tired?

I'm really looking forward to getting back to games in 2016.   I've been picking away on ECW armies, and they are sooooo close to being ready to hit the table.   I'm also wanting to finish up a WWII set of rules, and an Field of Battle campaign system.   Those are basically finished, but need final tweaking (WWII) and writing (campaign system).

I'm eagerly looking forward to the Bronco vs. Raiders game tomorrow, and another win for the Brock Osweiler led Broncos.  I've been enjoying watching a QB play that doesn't trip over his walker when he's dropping back to pass.