My current Enthusiasm involves a return to the origins of another hobby — miniature wargaming. H.G. Wells’s Little Wars an Floor Games were the foundational texts for adults to engage in warfare employing tiny metal models.
For a modern day re-imaginging of Wells’ rules, along with a plethora of ancillary accoutrements, Padre Paul Wright’s Funny Little Wars is highly recommended. The rules for battle are all there, both for using little Wellsian cannons (that really shoot) and modern day dice-rolling. There’s a points system for assembling balanced opposing forces in a rainbow of hues (Red=Britain, Black=Germany, &c.).
I particularly enjoy the little touches — aircraft for reconnaissance (never combat)… rules for caring for wounded in field hospitals… sartorial suggestions and culinary guidance for players new to a more civilized style of gaming.
The soldiers themselves — old fashioned 54mm tin soldiers — are breathtakingly dear (in two senses — cute, as well as, you could never afford them) but Padre Wright provides Ætheric addresses to purveyors of plastique proxies. I, myself, have chosen a Different Path, about which more anon.
Even if you never make it outside to gaming in the garden, Funny Little Wars is a delightful read and contains a bit of history about the origins of wargaming. I’ll keep Readers up to date as my Enthusiasm unfolds….