Thursday, February 20, 2014

Panthers and Concubines

Ah, I thought that post would get your attention.

This Monday saw me and RabbitMan with a shared day off, and we decided to throw down our Normandy kit again and pit his new and terrifying 17pdr AT guns against my new and terrified Panthers.   James has written a cracking good bat rep which you can find here.   Without question, the stars of the game were his two loveable Newfoundlander gunners who turned the tide for the good guys, despite the return of the dashing and sinister Dynamic Panther Man.   I must say that while all the attention currently is on its sexy skirmish-level younger sibling, Chain of Command, the more I play IABSM the more I like it.  The intelligent modelling of friction and leadership, and the sense of a battle being a near-run thing, makes it really entertaining.   In our game on Monday, my tanks charged a section of 17lbers while one was still hooked on to its transport and the other had used all of its actions pivoting.  The whole game hung on which unit’s card would show up next.  Das ist verrückt as a German friend of mine liked to say.

And now for the concubines … and no, this isn’t me getting on the wargaming blogging bandwagon of showing scantily clad young women (Paul Foster and Loki, I’m looking at you guys).

Flanking bonus for concubines.

Several days ago I saw a piece in the New Yorker magazine on a TV series, Magnificent Century, that has apparently been burning up Turkish TV screens for some years now.   It’s set in the 1500s and focuses on one of the great figures of Ottoman history, Sultan Suleyman.   There’s a brief commentary on it by Elif Batuan here, if you’re curious, with some fascinating comments on how the show intersects with Turkey’s complicated identity and desire to be a major power in the 21st century.   After watching the first episode on YouTube, I found it a bit of a soap opera, with much attention paid to a spunky Russian slave girl who finds herself a Sultan’s concubine and throws herself into the role (and Suleyman’s arms), but there’s also some court intrigue, some history, and lots of eye candy.   I would say it’s a few notches up in class and credibility from that dreadful Tudors series of a few years back.  While it is set in the Renaissance, I think it will be useful for ideas for painting my 18th century Ottomans.

Have a look and see what you think.  Be warned, though, that it’s tricky to watch if you are painting or modelling, as there are a lot of subtitles.  There are also apparently four years of shows, each almost two hours in length, if you can track them all down.

13 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. There did appear to be Janissaries lurking in the background. Alas, while there are many episodes on YouTube, only the first appears to have English subtitles, and I don't think I'll be able to learn Turkish anytime soon. :(

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  2. Thank you kind Sir, not sure whether the reference is a compliment or insult ;)

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    Replies
    1. Loki, more of a pastorly "oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Will these boys ever grow up?" look I expect.


      Padre - I believe it's best to be careful not to confuse panthers and concubines in the dark :)

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    2. Andrew - the answer to that question depends on what your conscience tells you.
      Tamsin - a concubine slips into your bed, a panther crushes you in your bed under your house.

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    3. my conscience is clear a man needs some folly in life, look but not touch, unlike Eve who not only touched but ate the damn thing too and got us all in a right old mess ;)

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  3. I think the Sultan also gets a +2 for a Really Big Hat.

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    Replies
    1. Concubine Flanking Bonus AND Really Big Hat Bonus. He is definitely a Boss.

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  4. I watched the beginning and will revisit later.
    I too have 18th Century Ottomans partly on the painting bench. I have used them in Syldavians versus Bordurian games. I really ought to finish some more units as they look good in action...

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    1. Ottomans look so cool on the table. Both charming with all the fancy dress and deadly with all the armour and sharp stubby things. I like them more and more.

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  5. Plenty of time for you to jump on the bandwagon Mike. Fran makes me do it!

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    Replies
    1. Pleading bad company is no excuse, young Paul. :)

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