I can't say 2009 is off to a roaring start. I've pretty much stuck to some personal goals of painting for at least and hour a day. I've gotten some War of 1812 figures done, and am presently making progress on a militia unit for Space 1889. I haven't ordered any new figures, or spent any money on anything I don't need.
However, I haven't done any gaming either. I missed out on Drumbeat last weekend because I helped Casey move. I am going to ConQuest on the 17th, but I confess a lack of enthusiasm. The most lively game activity I'm presently involved with is the Space 1889 campaign, but even that is covered by the Shastapsh blog. Go figure.
I have read two great books that are related to two of my projects. The first is Alexander deConde's This Affair of Louisiana. De Conde wrote the book some thirty years ago during that "blame America" episode, explaining that America throughout its history has been an imperialist nation. One can do whatever one wants with that, but the importance of the book is that it laid out the seriousness of the diplomatic and potential military conflict between the United States and Spain over Louisiana, New Orleans, and its disputed border. It firmly establishes a basis for a series of hypothetical scenarios from 1794 to 1807 or so.
The second book I'm actually not finished with, With Zeal and Bayonets Only: The British Army on Campaign in North America, by Matthew Springs. I'm about a third of the way through its 300 pages. It is a scholarly analysis of the British army and its performance in the American Revolution. Springs discusses war aims, strategies and tactics, and I'm hoping he'll make clear the kinds of formations the British used. Particularly I'm hoping he'll clarify my question whether the British widely used the kinds of open formations Tarleton employed at Cowpens throughout the Southern campaign.