Getting your priorities right

Over the past few days I have had lots of time to think. There is usually not a lot to occupy ones mind whilst sitting at a sleeping relative’s bedside … and since last Friday I seem to have done quite a lot that. I have used the opportunity to do some serious thinking about my wargaming priorities … and have made several short, medium, and long-term decisions.

In the short-term I want to finish play-testing my nineteenth century land/naval wargames rules. This will include another battle between the Rusland Navy and the Fezian coastal defences, and with a bit of luck I might manage that within the next week or so. I also want to re-visit my MEMOIR OF BATTLE and MEMOIR OF MODERN BATTLE rules, if only because they will give me a break from my PORTABLE WARGAME rules.

In the medium-term I want to get some models made and figures painted for both my nineteenth century and Interwar/World War II projects. For the latter I have to decide between:

  • Using 15mm-scale vehicles with 20mm-scale figures (my current plan … but one that may well be subject to change OR
  • Using individually based 20mm-scale figures and vehicles OR
  • Using 20mm-scale figures mounted on multi-figure bases and individually based vehicles that are compatible with my existing MEGABLITZ collection.

In the long-term I hope to:

  • Re-fight the MADASAHATTA Campaign … or at least a version of it;
  • Build up at least one 54mm-scale FUNNY LITTLE WARS army;
  • Stage an Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War campaign.

These are my current priorities … and all I have to do is to try to achieve them. On paper they look quite simple and easy targets to reach – given enough time – but I suspect that in reality they might be a bit more difficult to attain.

Nugget 259

The editor of THE NUGGET emailed the original of the latest issue (N259) to me on Sunday, and I took it to the printer on Monday morning. I intend to collect it from the printer on Thursday and post it out to members of Wargame Developments over the weekend.

This issue is the fourth of the new subscription year, and if any regular blog reader would like to subscribe, they can do so via the link on the Wargame Developments website (click here).

… of Mice and Men

The journey to the hospital took nearly ninety minutes … and when I got there, it took me nearly thirty minutes to find somewhere to park. That done it then took another thirty minutes to find my father.

He had been admitted to the A&E Department by ambulance, and was initially assessed and sent to the Minor Injuries Unit … who then passed him on to the Major Injuries Unit. They decided to send my father for an MRI scan of his head and for some chest X-rays, after which he was allocated a bed in the Medical Assessment Unit. They only problem was that when I arrived I had to follow this trail to find him.

By the time I finally found my father had had the cut on his head sutured and dressed, and was lying on a bed attached to a saline drip. A nurse was trying to take his blood pressure, but the pressure cuff was leaking air, and after several attempts she had to try to find a monitor that was actually working. Eventually she found a functioning blood pressure monitor, and his blood pressure was taken and the results were recorded.

I then sat with my father for over an hour before an assistant brought drinks round for the patients … but she was unable to supply the tea my father wanted in a beaker (there were none available) and he had to try to drink it through a straw from a normal china mug. This proved impossible for him to manage as he could not sit up.

Nurses regularly checked on my father’s condition, but it was not until after midday that he was seen by a doctor. The doctor had no idea that my father had been admitted to the same hospital for a fall only five days previously or that he had been prescribed antibiotics for his urinary infection. There was also no record of the medications that my father was taking, despite a list having been given to the hospital on the previous Friday. After examining my father and looking at the results of the scan and X-rays, the doctor decided that my father needed to be given yet another antibiotic intravenously to combat the chest infection that he seemed to be suffering from. She also told me that she expected that my father would be discharged later in the day, but that this would be subject to approval by the relevant consultant later that afternoon.

As soon as my father had fallen asleep after his examination, I took a break to contact the members of my family and my father’s care home to appraise them of his condition. Whilst I was away from his bedside, some food had been left for my father to eat … but because he was asleep it was left to go cold and uneaten. I tried to get my father to eat something, but he found it too difficult as his false teeth had been left at the care home.

Just after three o’clock in the afternoon the consultant arrived to examine my father. I had to repeat everything that I had told the junior doctor earlier in the day … even though she was standing there with the consultant. He decided that my father might be suffering from emphysema, but the fact that my father had not smoked since the late 1940s and had never been exposed to dangerous airborne particles seemed to indicate that this was unlikely. The consultant eventually decided that my father was not going to be discharged today, and would most probably be kept in hospital for at least two days.

As my father had not been admitted with any of the things he would need for a protracted stay in hospital, I contacted his care home and agreed to collect everything that he needed from them. I also used the break to eat a somewhat belated lunch and to have a drink (my first since leaving home).

On my return to the hospital I found my father was still asleep. His intravenous drip was checked and changed, and sandwiches were brought round for the patients. I managed to get an egg sandwich for my father as it was the only one on offer that he could eat without his dentures. After over an hour of sitting with my father, trying to keep him calm, I asked the nursing staff when it was likely that my father would be taken up to a ward, but I was informed that a shortage of beds meant that it was unlikely to happen until tomorrow.

By this time I was feeling very tired (and somewhat stressed), and as visiting time was coming to a close and my father was sound asleep, I left the hospital and went home. I contacted my brother, and he offered deal with the hospital and visit my father tomorrow so that I could have some rest and recuperation. After today, I certainly need it!

The best laid plans …

I had planned to fight a wargame today (Return to Naverona) but I had just finished writing the scenario when I had a ‘phone call from my brother. My father had fallen for a second time in five days and was about to be taken to hospital to have his cuts treated.

I am currently eating my breakfast before I set off for the hospital. Hopefully the accident that occurred earlier this morning on the M20 and that has caused traffic congestion all over South East London will have been cleared by the time I set off, and that my journey will take no more than an hour.

Doing a swap

Whilst I was at Cavalier 2013 yesterday, I met David Crook in order to swop some bits and pieces with him. I gave him a box full of unmade Zvezda 20mm-scale figures and artillery … and he gave me some model aircraft from the range manufactured for use with the Axis and Allies Miniatures: Angels 20 collectible game.

The aircraft were:

  • 4 Hawker Hurricanes
  • 4 Supermarine Spitfires
  • 2 Messerschmitt Bf109s

I now have quite a fleet of 1:100th-scale model aircraft, some of which I intend to repaint so that I can use them in my planned Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War campaign.

I have been to … Cavalier

Cavalier is a smallish annual wargames show held at the Angel Centre, Tonbridge, Kent, and if it is at all possible, I always try to attend it. It is organised by the Tunbridge Wells Wargames Society, and this year part of the proceeds are going to be given to Combat Stress, a charity devoted to helping veterans and ex-service personnel suffering from psychological injuries and mental health problems.

This show is usually the first I attend each year, and it always gives me the opportunity to meet and talk to some of the many wargamers I know. This year was no exception, and amongst those that I met and talked to were David Crook (with whom I did a swap; a box full of unmade Zvezda Russian and German infantry and artillery for a large collection of Axis and Allies Miniatures: Angels 20 aircraft), Kenny Smith, Nigel Drury, Peter Grizzell, the ‘Rejects‘ (including Postie, Big Lee, Ray Rousell, and The Angry Lurker), and Henry Hyde (the current editor of BATTLEGAMES and the recently appointed editor of MINIATURE WARGAMES/BATTLEGAMES).

Henry was able to show me the layout he intends to use when he takes over as editor of he ‘new’ magazine, and I must admit that I was very impressed. It looked clean and easy to read, and it appears to be more content-driven and less full of pretty pictures. On the strength of what I saw I will be giving very serious consideration to taking out a subscription for this publication.

Wargames shows are an excellent opportunity to see new products, and Cavalier was no exception. I resisted … just … buying a whole load of stuff from the Plastic Soldier Company. The range that they offer is constantly growing, and had I been able to get to the rack of kits that I wanted to look at, I probably would have bought some. (The reason why I did not manage to get to the rack was due to three chaps who stood in front of it for over ten minutes discussing which kits they were going to buy. In the end I left them to it … but I did notice that they were still there when I walked past later.)

I did make a couple of purchases. I bought a couple of mini starter packs of World War I 20mm-scale figures from Tumbling Dice (these are going to be used as Hungarian Infantry and Russian Militia in my projected Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War campaign) and a book from Dave Ryan of Caliver Books. The book was THE CHACO WAR by Adrian English (Published by Partizan Press [2013] ISBN 978 1 85818 657 3), and it is the second edition of the book originally published by Spellmount in 2007. The original was entitled THE GREEN HELL, and was a paperback; the new edition is a hardback and has been revised and had numerous photographs and illustrations added to it.

There were a number of demonstration/participation games on show, including:

A Very French Civil War (SEEMS)
As usual the ‘boys’ from SEEMS came up with a novel twist on a popular theme. In this case it was a clash between the forces of the Left and the Right in 1930s France, and the action was centred upon the town of Clochemerle.

Brave Little Belgium 1940 (Crawley Wargames Club)

Patton’s Charge 1946 (Friday Night Firefight)
A hypothetical battle between US and Soviet forces in the aftermath of the Second World War.

Drop the bridge (North London Wargames Group)
An interesting wargame about a Soviet airborne attack on a vital bridge.

Square Bashing (Peter Pig)

The Battle of Crimisus 340BC (Society of Ancients)
Another battle from Professor Philip Sabin’s book, LOST BATTLES. Professor Sabin was at the show running the wargame.

Operation Deadstick (Maidstone Wargames Society)
This game was about the seizure of the bridge over the River Orne early on the morning of D-Day.

Dixie 1863 (Staines Wargamers)
This was a recreation of Pickett’s Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg, the famous ‘high-water mark of the Confederacy’.

Medieval Siege (West Kent Wargamers)

Denmark 1940 (Deal Wargames Society)
This game illustrated the incredible modelling skills processed by some wargamers, and included some wonderful vignettes.

This was an excellent show … and I am already looking forward to next year’s.

Gerard de Gre’s Ancient Wargame Rules … as modified by Charles and David Sweet

I finally managed to finish transcribing these rules (including the special rules and Army Lists) this afternoon, and they can now be downloaded via the link from this blog’s Free Downloadable Wargame Rules page.

I have also added a link to Gerard de Gre’s Napoleonic Wargame rules (as modified by Charles and David Sweet) from the Free Downloadable Wargame Rules page.