A week to go!

It is now just a week until COW2013 starts … and I am really looking forward to it.

I spoke to my co-organiser – Tim Gow – earlier today, and it seems that everything that needs to be done has been done, and that if anything unforeseen crops up, we can deal with it.

We also discussed the Operation Vijay session that we are putting on at COW2013. Tim is providing the ‘toys’, including some wonderful 1:300th-scale aircraft, several small-scale model warships, and enough suitable 1:300th-scale Megablitz units to represent the Portuguese and Indian troops that took part. All that I need to do is to add the finishing touches to the briefing packs that will be given to each side … and then everything will be ready for the session.

Looking backwards to go forwards

It has been said that if you could test hindsight, it would always have 20/20 vision. We can all be wise after the event … but how many of us nod sagely, say that we could see it coming … and then do something similar ourselves? I know that I do … and the past few days have given me the opportunity to look backwards so that I do not repeat the mistakes of the past.

I recently decided to go back to basics, and to re-examine (and re-use) Joseph Morschauser’s FRONTIER wargames rules. As a result I have fought a series of play-test battles that I thoroughly enjoyed, and each battle has taken me a bit further down the road towards my goal … which is a simple set of fast-play rules that use a gridded playing surface.

Now I have been down this road before, and I decided that it might be a good idea if I re-read the relevant blog entries I wrote at the time. What I discovered was that I got side-tracked at various stages as I tried different ideas out, and that I ended up in several developmental cul de sacs.

This exercise in hindsight made me realise that unless I keep going back to the original rules that Joseph Morschauser wrote to double check that I am staying in line with his basic design philosophy, I am in danger of repeating my earlier errors. This has helped me to formulate my ideas for the future developments I want to make, and with luck I will be writing blog entries about my progress as it happens. Even if I fail to achieve my objective this time around, at least I will be able to look back at some time in the future and realise where and why I went wrong!

Even more Black Watch Highlanders!

Today’s post brought some more additions to my Funny Little Wars army … some more Black Watch Highlanders (or proper soldiers, as Tim Gow would say!).

I now have 12 of them, including two officers, and they look mighty fine ‘on parade’.

I am sure that they will be the backbone of my Highland Brigade, and will serve with distinction alongside my other Highlanders, the Seaforths.

As I expect most of my Funny Little Wars battles will be fought using half-size units, I decided to see what the Black Watch looked like as a half-size battalion/regiment.

Not bad, eh?

(The two ‘missing’ figures will probably serve on the Brigade or Divisional Commander’s staff. The officer will be an aide de camp and the piper will no doubt entertain the Officers’ Mess on formal nights … and scare the willies out of the enemy the rest of the time!)

PS. I did buy some more Seaforth Highlanders via eBay … but they have yet to arrive.

COW2013 Programme and Timetable

With just over a week to go before COW2013 takes place over the weekend 5th – 7th July, it was vital that I collected and posted a copy of the COW2013 Programme to everyone who will be attending. I did this today, and with luck it should be with attendees by the end of June.

I also had the COW2013 Timetable printed A0 size so that it is ready to pin up on the session board as soon as I get to Knuston Hall on the evening of Friday 5th July.

Copies of both of these documents are available in PDF format as downloads from the Conference of Wargamers page on the Wargame Developments website.

Beware: It’s a scam!

For a variety of reasons I was not able to check my emails, read Feedly, etc., this morning, and have only just managed to do so.

I was surprised to see the following in my email inbox:

The reason why I was surprised is because I am not an O2 customer … so I did a search of the ‘phone number (+447126558000) … and got all sorts of warning messages. It appears that this is a scam, and that it is intended to get you to contact a premium rate telephone number where you will be asked all sorts of personal questions so that you can ‘hear’ the non-existent voicemail message.

Needless to say, IT’S A SCAM and I strongly advise any of my regular blog readers who receives a similar email message to just press the ‘delete’ button.

Warship 2013

The second package that was delivered this morning contained the latest copy of WARSHIP. This is Volume XXXV of this annual publication and it is edited by John Jordan and published by Conway (ISBN 978 1 84486 205 4).

This edition includes:

  • Editorial by John Jordan
  • Rebuilding the Australian Cruiser Squadron 1930-1939 by Peter Cannon
  • The Fourth Fleet Incident and the Fibuki Class by Hans Lengerer
  • The ‘Semi-Dreadnoughts’ of the Danton Class by John Jordan
  • The Battle Cruisers Lion and Tiger at Dogger Bank: The View of the Ship’s Medical Officers by Matthew Seligmann
  • Modern European Offshore Patrol Vessels by Conrad Waters
  • The Unlucky Destroyer Espingole by Philippe Caresse
  • The Soviet Aircraft Carrier: the Interwar Projects by Richard Worth and Vladimir Yakubov
  • Securing ‘The Ripest Plum’: Britain and the South American Naval Export Market 1945-1975 by Jon Wise
  • Toulon: The Self-Destruction and Salvage of the French Fleet by Enrico Cernuschi and Vincent P O’Hara
  • Russia’s Coles ‘Monitors’: Smerch, Rusalka and Charodeika by Stephen McLaughlin
  • Warship Notes
  • Naval Books of the Year
  • Warship Gallery

I am looking forward to reading this book at my leisure over the coming weeks, especially as there are one or two articles of particular interest to me.

Another six and eightpence!

No sooner had I written my earlier blog entry of today about my latest additions to my Funny Little Wars army when the doorbell rang … and a courier delivered two more boxes of 54mm Britains figures!

The latest additions are twelve Welsh Guards …

… and the eleven Seaforth Highlanders.

Some of these figures are over thirty years old, and have one or two minor painting errors or chips … but for the moment I intend to use them ‘as is’.

I have some more Highlanders that are yet to be delivered, and when they arrive I will try to arrange a ‘parade’ of all the Britains figures I have recently acquired.

Send another three and fourpence … better make that six and eightpence!

Not one but TWO packages arrived in the post today … and one of them contained two boxes of Britains 54mm figures to add to my growing Funny Little Wars army.

One box contained six members of the Black Watch …

… and the other ten soldiers of the York and Lancaster Regiment.

I now have the beginning of an Army Red … although I will have to come up with a ‘proper’ name for it in due course.

As to the other package … well more of that later!

Send three and fourpence …

Some further Funny Little Wars recruits arrived in this morning’s post (the first of several tranches I hope to receive this week!) and they have joined the ranks of my US Marines.

I now have 22 US Marines … which is enough figures to form a full-size Funny Little Wars Battalion/Regiment (the two terms are interchangeable in Funny Little Wars) or a small two-Battalion/Regiment-strong Brigade for half-size Funny Little Wars battles.

I have several more ‘units’ on order, including some Black Watch and Seaforth Highlanders (the latter being in campaign rather than parade dress), members of an English Line Infantry Regiment (the Yorks and Lancs), and some Guards (Welsh Guards to be precise).

Rest assured, as and when they arrive, they will be featured on a blog entry.

Additions to the COW2013 programme already!

The metaphorical ink was hardly dry on my very recent blog entry about the COW2013 programme when two more sessions were added!

They are:

I’m a Christian. I’d like to suggest that you need to put on Catholic Specs to see Western military history more clearly. For most of our recorded history, Britain was Catholic. Yet even our military historians have a blind spot about this.

NEWBURY 1644 (Phil Steele)
An ECW toy soldier game with historical commands and restrictions.

I suspect that there might be even more ‘new’ sessions to come, but once I have taken the programme to the printers I will not be able to add them to it.