A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Max Foy's Mad April Prize Competition

It’s been a while since I had a clear-out, so here’s Max Foy’s Mad April Prize Competition. If you can bear it, I’ve gone once again for the photo-detectives format, which has produced a lot of entertainment (for me, anyway) on previous occasions.

First of all, then, here’s the quiz photo. The photo is one of mine, so you won’t find it on Google Image. It was taken in midsummer, in Europe, at about 11:15am, after a fairly strenuous walk up through woods from the town below.

Please, what can you see, and from where was this photo taken (as exactly as you can make it)? Also (and importantly), in a sense, why is it just about all right to die up here?

As ever, I shall judge entries on a totally unfair, subjective basis, and many marks will be available for humour, unnecessary detail and implausible stories – a hilarious incorrect answer is quite likely to score as highly as a glib one-liner giving the correct GPS reference.

The Goodies (I hope this lot is interesting…)


Lot 1 – Signed Copy of Bernard Cornwell’s “Waterloo” – mint

Lot 2 – “Out of Nowhere – A History of the Military Sniper” – Martin Pegler – minor shelf wear, otherwise perfect, clean copy

Lot 3 – “The Sleepwalkers” - Prof Chris Clark’s highly-praised account of the political slide into WW1 – pretty much mint

Lot 4 – Michael Glover’s “The Napoleonic Wars” (exc cond) plus John Keegan’s “Mask of Command” (a little brown around the edges, but decent nick).

Lot 5 – “The Smoke and the Fire” by John Terraine plus John Foley’s “The Boilerplate War” – both in vgc.

Lot 6 – Biographies – Vincent Cronin’s “Napoleon” (goodish cond) plus a paperback edition (vgc) of “The Green Dragoon” by Robert D Bass, an (American!) bio of Bloody Ban Tarleton, the notorious Scouse cavalryman

Lot 7 – Alternative Napoleonic History – David Hamilton-Williams’ two much-criticised works – “Waterloo – New Perspectives” (hbk vgc) and “The Fall of Napoleon – the Final Betrayal” (pbk – vgc). Too much has been said about the mystery surrounding the true identity of DHW, his credentials and his tendency to quote himself as a source. These books are very entertainingly written, provide some challenging interpretations of the history, and – let’s face it – say some things which needed to be said. Keep the salt handy, but these are great fun – don’t make them your standard references, though.

Toys & Games

Lot 8 – A good little Spanish boardgame - "2 de Mayo" (about the 1808 revolt in Madrid) – complete and in exc cond – plus a toy bus(!) – all right, this is the wrong scale for my collection, but a lovely 1/50 1950s-style Corgi Leyland Tiger in Ribble colours (NW England) – complete with COA – the model is mint, the box a little distressed.

Lot 9 – “The Hunters” – excellent Consim Press game about WW2 U-Boat warfare – punched, but complete and in perfect cond.

Lot 10 – “Empire” Napoleonic wargame system (1st edition? – 1990 anyway) plus the companion “Empire Campaign System” – both complete and unpunched, boxes a little scuffed at the edges.

Lot 11 – 6 boxes of Italeri set no. 6030“Battlefield Accessory Set” – a lifetime supply of 1/72 scale gabions, gun positions, temporary bridges, fascines, chevaux de frises and so on. Left over from yet another Grand Plan of mine which was overtaken by events – perfect.

Regulations and Stuff (please do read this bit)

Send entries to me, please, before the closing date (23:00 UK Summer Time, Sunday 17th April) – you can send as email to the address in my profile, or as comments to this post (which I shall not publish). You must be an official follower of this blog, unless you are a regular, non-Google correspondent known to me. If you want to have a go at the competition but you don’t want any of the prizes, please say so and you’ll be entered in Category B…

When the days are accomplished, and I’ve decided which entries entertained me most, I’ll post some names of winners, and we can start a background dialogue of who gets what – I’ll rank the winners, and the top of the list gets first choice (I hope this is going to work). One slightly niggardly rule, if you don’t mind – I’d appreciate it if winners could help me out with the postage – I promise I’ll do the mailing at the cheapest effective rate, but sending parcels of books to Foreign Parts can be a bit of an overhead.


  1. Some splendid prizes there, but I've learnt from experience that it's hopeless trying one of your fiendish photo quizzes!

    Those who are about to try, I salute you!

    1. As you wish, sir, but I'm confident a man of your wisdom and erudition could crack this pretty quickly after a little staring at the picture...

      Regards - MSF

    2. Edwin, this one seems less fiendish than past puzzles...

  2. The Mad Professor has just emailed to congratulate me on the easiest of my photo-puzzles to date...!

    1. The Prof has not ventured to send an entry yet, however.

  3. Martin P draws my attention to the fact that the mask on the cover of the John Keegan book in Lot 4 is obviously wearing RayBans - this hadn't occurred to me, but I'll have difficulty getting that image out of my head now.