Neil Fox, SEEMS, and the Portable Naval Wargame

One person I forgot to mention in yesterday’s report about CAVALIER was Neil Fox. He was at the show with the other members of SEEMS (South East Essex Military Society) putting on their TABLETOP TEASERS ON TOUR game.

I have know Neil on and off for the best part of thirty-five years. We met at Eric Knowles’s shop NEW MODEL ARMY in Manor Park, East London, and have kept in somewhat erratic contact ever since. Whenever I see that SEEMS is putting on a game at a show I always make sure that I say hello and – if time and circumstances allow – stop for a chat.

I had a brief talk to Neil yesterday, but as I went to leave he suddenly announced that he had something to give me. He handed over a plastic wallet in which was a copy of the SEEMS modifications to my Ironclad version of the PORTABLE NAVAL WARGAME. It appears that they have been using the rules quite a bit and have modified them specifically for the American Civil War … and are going to use the rules in a game that they will be taking to shows in the near future.

I look forward to seeing the rules in action, and it will given me an even greater impetus to look out for a SEEMS presence at the wargames show that I attend.

8 Comments on “Neil Fox, SEEMS, and the Portable Naval Wargame”

  1. my goodness you sparked some memories with that post.
    I spent most of my late teens frequenting Eric knowles shop. I first visited it when it was called “Mikes' models”, a soldier and model railway shop. Mike really started my wargaming addiction and sold me my first metal figure a French Napoleonic officer by mini-figs. Later when Eric and Ivy took it over, I used to feast my eyes on Eric's imagination colonial figures and later still when they did casting for ros heroics and navwar in the cellar I loved delving the depths for each new goody they produced. Yeap the first brick in the lead mountain was bought there and I still have unpainted minis I bought there almost half a lifetime ago. Thanks for that memory Bob!

  2. Chris says:


    Would SEEMS be OK with your posting their ACW modifications here?

    Best regards,


  3. Robert De Angelis,

    We must have been going to Eric's shop at approximately the same time … and I am amazed that we never met there! (We may have done, but I don't remember doing so.)

    Eric's massive colonial armies and 1:1200th-scale ships were used in the MADASAHATTA campaign, and it really set me on the road to serious but fun wargaming. I did not buy my first metal figures there (my first 20mm-scale figures were Crimean War infantry and cavalry from Hinton Hunt) but I did buy a lot of figures from Eric over the years.

    I am glad that my blog entry brought back some pleasant memories.

    All the best,


  4. Chris,

    I will try to find out if they object to me publishing their amended version of my rules.

    All the best,


  5. Bob
    That was the first thing that crossed my mind when you mentioned it. My first memory of meeting you personally was in the first 4 sessions of COW when I was heavily into computer aids for tabletop gaming teamed with a guy called Paul Marks (who I have sadly lost contact with). It could well be because I only gamed at the shop in Mike wall's days. My gaming was done with a small group of friends from work and college. During Eric's time I used the shop at lunch time weekdays on breaks from senior school and later college. The colonial games I believe were weekend sessions. That would I believe (if my memory serves) be in the mid to late 60's

  6. Robert De Angelis,

    My first memory of you is also meeting you at an early COW … and your sessions on computer aids for tabletop gaming led me to buy my Sinclair Spectrum, as a result of which I learned how to write simple programs in Basic. From there I eventually moved on to use and then teach IT … so meeting you helped develop my career along paths it would otherwise probably not have gone along!

    As a matter of interest, Paul Marks is still a member of WD, and lives in St Neots, Cambridgeshire. If you would like to get in contact with him, let me know and I will pass on your details etc.

    Unlike you I only went to the shop a couple of times when Mike Wall owned it. My regular attendance did not start until the mid-1970s (by which time I was living and working in Woolwich), and the MADASAHATTA campaign took place in the late 1970s. The battles were fought one evening each week, with the occasional weekend battle thrown in when it was going to be a big one.

    I have great memories of Eric’s shop and the wargames I fought there.

    All the best,


  7. Hi Bob

    sent you a pm on your e mail

  8. Robert De Angelis,

    I will pass the information on to him later today.

    All the best,


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