For a few years now I've been trying my luck anytime I meet a general.
I thought it would be easier to recreate a battle using real soldiers, rather than Lego ones.
So I bat my eyelashes, and ask if I can borrow theirs. The eyelash batting is very important, but not so far particularly successful.
I've asked over a dozen generals (some four star, two former Chiefs of Staff), but none can spare a mere 10,000 men to recreate Gaius Marius' war against Jugurtha. A few have played with my Lego soldiers, one or two suggested playing other things, but no army has materialised.
I was thinking earlier today about General Ann E. Dunwoody, the first female four star general, and decided I was going about this the wrong way. 'What Would Ann Do?' - I asked myself. She's in logistics.
Well ... the truth is that it would be hard to get enough men to re-create Marius' and Jugurtha's armies, let alone outfit them. If we assign the creation of a military uniform to Marius' German Wars, and just standardisation of weaponry to the Jugurtine War, that helps.
What I suspect would be impossible to get would be permission from both the Algerian and Tunisian governments to fight a few battles in their countries ... just to test a hypothesis.
The real issue is where did the Jugurtine War take place?
We know that it was to the west of the Roman territory around Carthage, but how far west? Most scholars think it took place in what is modern-day Algeria and parts of eastern Morocco. A few think that it was mostly confined to what is now Tunisia.
Having looked at the land, the topography, Tunisia makes sense to me - if one more or less accepts Sallust, then Marius could not have marched from Utica, fought a battle in Morocco and then marched straight back again. Common sense suggests that the battle sites in a relatively short campaign were closer together rather than thousands of miles apart.
That Jugurtha was feared by the Romans as another Hannibal also suggests that their territory was similar if not the same - so again, that would mean the Punic lands around Carthage, in modern Tunisia.
So having given it a great deal of thought, and having trudged through too many fields, I've decided that the Jugurtine War and its major battles were probably fought in Tunisia not Algeria.
Now I just need 10,000 men, and permission from the Tunisian President, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, to recreate a few battles in Tunisia .... we needn't bother President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria.
[The Lego Roman soldier in the photo was created by T.J. Roth.]