Will I get a chance to wargame soon?

Whilst I was driving back from Herne Bay this afternoon (Yes! You guessed right! My wife and I have yet again been doing some more house clearing today!) I began to think about the last time I actually managed to fight a wargame; not write blog entries about wargaming; not plan a wargame; not write a new draft of some wargames rules; not sort out my toy/wargames room; no … actually fight a wargame.

The answer is … longer ago that I thought. In actual fact it was Wednesday 7th September … nearly three months ago! No wonder that I am feeling a bit jaded and in need of my wargaming ‘fix’.

Mind you, my wife and I have had a lot of things to deal with since September, and it is little wonder that I have not been able to set aside enough time to actually get some terrain and figures together and fight a battle. That said, we seem to be coming to the end of that period of our lives, and the prospects are beginning to look a bit brighter. I hope to get my toy/wargames room sorted out by this time next week … and then I hope to celebrate with a wargame!


Work on my toy/wargames room continues

Now that I have just about got the storage system sorted out, I am now turning my attention to what I know will be a much more drawn out part of this big ‘sort out’ … the books!

These are currently stored in IKEA bookcases that cover two walls of my toy/wargames room plus about a metre of a third wall. They were originally arranged by theme (e.g. all the naval books were kept together) but over time this has become somewhat confused. Over the past few years books have tended to be put on shelves that had space and not necessarily together with books covering similar or related topics. The big ‘sort out’ should go some way to remedying this.

I may well end up with some books that are surplus to requirements. If I do I will probably dispose of them via eBay or as gifts. Any revenue generated by the sale of books will be ‘recycled’ to pay for future wargames projects … I hope!


Memoir of battle revisited

The arrival of the COMMAND & COLORS: NAPOLEONIC dice in this morning’s post spurred me on to actually redraft my MEMOIR OF BATTLE rules into a similar format to that I used for the latest version of the PORTABLE WARGAME 2 rules.

The new draft of MEMOIR OF BATTLE is downloadable in PDF format from here.


Recent purchases

I recently mentioned that whilst I was in Norfolk I bought some model aircraft made in China and sold in the UK by Red Box Toy Factory Limited under the trade name ‘Motor Max Sky Wings’. I bought a pack each (for £2.99 each) of two single-engined Yokosuka D4Y Suisei dive-bombers and twin-engined Kawasaki Ki-45 Toryu fighters.

They look generic enough to me to be usable as single and twin-engined bombers in wargames set in the late 1930s and early 1940s … and that is how I plan to use them.

This morning’s post brought I further purchase, this time from overseas. Some time ago I decided that I would like to revisit my MEMOIR OF BATTLE rules, and that it might not be a bad idea to get some additional pre-marked dice. As I could not find a supply of any spare BATTLE CRY! or MEMOIR ’44 dice I opted to buy five sets of COMMAND & COLORS: NAPOLEONICS dice from Valley Games.

Despite reading some pretty poor reviews about these dice I decided to take a risk and order some … and I am quite satisfied with what was delivered. They will certainly be suitable for what I have in mind, and have saved me the bother of having to try to make my own sets of dice. (I have sufficient blank dice but not the patience to mark them up with suitable symbols.)


Inspiration drawn from other wargamers: Robbie Rodiss’s Spencer Smith Cavalry

I recently mentioned that I had been sent some very nicely painted Seven Years War Spencer Smith Miniatures (both plastic and metal). They had been sent to me by Robbie Rodiss (AKA rob3rod) of the Independent Wargames Group, and I promised that once I had enough space on my wargames table that I would photograph them.

Well here they are!

I have not played any wargames set in the eighteenth century for a very long time … but these figures have certainly encouraged me to think about doing so … but not in the near future!

Yet again, thank you Robbie for these wonderful figures.


Medals … are now mounted

Yesterday was very busy, but this morning I decided that come-what-may I was going to mount my father’s and my maternal grandfather’s medals in some small display frames that I had.

I labelled each display frame with the recipient’s name and rank as well as listing the medals each had been awarded.

In addition I added some details of his service record to my father’s display frame as well as his National Fire Service badge and the regimental badge worn by the officers of 53rd (Worcestershire Yeomanry) Airlanding Light Regiment, Royal Artillery.


Medals

One of the things that my father gave me before his dementia reached the state that it is now in was his World War II medals (and unit patches). He also gave me my maternal grandfather’s medals as well, and it was only this evening that I was actually able to sit down and look at both sets of medals in detail. The results were very interesting.

My father’s medals are the War Medal 1939-1945 and the France and Germany Star. The NFS badge came from his time as a volunteer fireman in the National Fire Service (he served as a volunteer before being ‘called up’), and the reproduction Airborne patches are reminders of his time as a member of 6th Airborne Division. The Chindit patch was given to him after his post-war service in Burma (he did not serve with the Chindits but did later serve with the Chin Hills Battalion) and the ‘Charging Elephant’ was the symbol of the 4th Army Corps, to which he was posted but which was disbanded before he joined it.

My maternal grandfather’s medals illustrate both the length and variety of his services. He was a per-war Territorial Sergeant Major in the Royal Artillery, and served in France as part of the BEF (British Expeditionary Force). He was wounded during the retreat to Dunkirk, and was lucky enough to be amongst those who were evacuated.

Once he had recovered from his wounds he became a Ship’s Regimental Sergeant Major. He joined a small group of senior Army Warrant Officers who served aboard troopships. Their role was to provide a permanent on-board Army presence on the troopships, and their job was both administrative and disciplinary. As a result of this service, my grandfather was awarded a fairly unusual set of medals. These include:

  • The War Medal 1939-1945
  • The 1939-1945 Star
  • The Italy Star
  • The Atlantic Star
  • The Burma Star
  • The Pacific Star (which I don’t think that he should have been awarded as he already qualified for the Burma Star. What he should have been awarded was a clasp to the Burma Star.)

I hope to put these medals into a couple of small cases that I can have on display somewhere in my home. They will serve to remind me of both my father’s and grandfather’s military service during World War II.