I have been to … Cavalier

I had several good reasons to go to CAVALIER this year, foremost amongst which was to meet and chat with David Crook who writes the ‘A Wargaming Odyssey’ blog.

As usual the Tunbridge Wells Wargames Society organised the show, and the venue was the Angel Centre in the centre of Tonbridge, Kent. Parking was not too much of a problem, and I was inside the venue by just after 10.00am.

There were already quite a few people inside, and I decided to start with a quick look around the main hall.

I then made my way towards the smaller hall where the ‘bring-and-buy’ and several participation wargames were taking place. To get there I had to pass through a lobby area …

… which is where I met up with David Crook. We were able to exchange a few items that were had planned to swap (a box of books for two boxes of Hexon II blue hexes … a very fair exchange in my opinion!) and to have a quick chat about his plans for a Madasahatta-type campaign set in the southern part of the Arabian peninsula.

Whilst we were there we were joined by Alan Abbey (the creator of the BLOOD, BILGE AND IRON BALLS naval wargame rules and the organiser of the annual ‘Broadside’ wargames show that take place in Sittingbourne), who has a new set of American War of Independence rules in the final stages of development.

I then paid a visit to the smaller hall …

… and spent some time looking at the various games that were in progress.

SEEMS (South East Essex Military Society)

Staines Wargamers: HOTT (Hordes of the Things) demonstration/participation games

Maidstone Wargames Society: Road to Homs 1982

North London Wargames Group: Monoontour 1569

Gravesend Gamers Guild: Warmachine

Southend Wargames Club: Helmand Rescue

Tonbridge Wargames Club: Chickamauga Day 2

This game used the latest version of Richard Borg’s BATTLE CRY rules, Hexon II hexed terrain tiles, and 10mm-scale figures.

In a small room adjoining the smaller hall was the …

Society of Ancients: Battle of Trebia 218 BC

… game being run – as usual – by Professor Phil Sabin and …

The League of Gentlemen Anti-Alchemists: Rommel: Our part in his downfall

On my return to the main hall I met up with a group of well-known wargamers and bloggers. (Left to right: David Crook, Postie, Clint, Big Lee, Henry Hyde, and Ray Rousell.)

Inside the main hall there were also several wargames in progress.

Friday Night Fire Fight: Zulu! 1879

Peter Pig: Hammerin’ Iron

Hailsham Wargames Club: Malplaquet 1709

This wargame was staged using hundreds of Les Higgins 20mm-scale figures … and was very impressive!

Deal Wargames Society: Prison Break! Los Banos, the Philippines, 1945

Crawley War Games Club: Trench Raid

This was – as usual – a great little wargames show.


German Commerce Raiders 1914-18

The local branch of Waterstones must have recently had a big delivery of books from Osprey as I found yet another book to buy during my latest visit. It was GERMAN COMMERCE RAIDERS 1914-18, and was written by Ryan K Noppen and illustrated by Paul Wright.

The book was published last year as No.228 of the ‘New Vanguard’ series (ISBN 978 1 4728 0950 6) and covers the cruisers, liners, and freighters used by the Imperial German Navy to disrupt sea-borne supplies to Europe by capturing and destroying Allied shipping. The ships covered include:

  • Cruisers
    • SMS Dresden
    • SMS Emden
    • SMS Karksruhe
    • SMS Konigsberg
    • SMS Leipzig
  • Liners
    • SMS Berlin
    • SMS Cap Trafalgar
    • SMS Cormoran
    • SMS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse
    • SMS Kronprinz Wilhelm
    • SMS Priz Eitel Friedrich
  • Freighters
    • SMS Mowe
    • SMS Wolf
    • SMS Seeadler

Nugget 288

I collected the latest edition of THE NUGGET (N288) from the printer yesterday, and I intend to post it out to members of Wargame Developments later today.

By the time that this blog entry appears, I will have already uploaded the PDF versions of THE NUGGET and THE NUGGET COLOUR SUPPLEMENT to the Wargame Developments website, and both should now be available for members of Wargame Developments to read online or to download and print.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this is the sixth issue of THE NUGGET to be published for the 2015-2016 subscription year, and that members who have not already re-subscribed can still do so if they want to. This can be done by visiting the relevant page on the Wargame Developments website.


Just a few more hexes …

Just over a week ago I ordered a batch of single Hexon II hex terrain tiles from Kallistra, and they were delivered this morning.

I ordered:

  • 10 x Blue single hex terrain tiles
  • 10 x Green flocked single hex terrain tiles
  • 10 x Desert flocked single hex terrain tiles
  • 30 x Desert Transitional flocked single hex terrain tiles

When added to my existing collection, I now have:

  • 30 x Blue single hex terrain tiles
  • 30 x Green flocked single hex terrain tiles
  • 30 x Desert flocked single hex terrain tiles
  • 30 x Desert Transitional flocked single hex terrain tiles
  • 10 x Marsh single hex terrain tiles

This is more than enough to enable me to stage battles on my mini-campaign board as well as being very useful adjuncts to my collection of 6-hex Hexon II terrain tiles.


Shuffle Battleships

Whilst I was in Waterstones a few days ago, I bought a card game entitled BATTLESHIP.

It appeared to be a card-based version of the traditional paper-and-pencil game and although I could not imagine when I might use it, I thought that the component parts might be of use.

Inside the box were eighty eight playing cards split into two colours, red and blue. Each colour has:

  • Twelve coordinate cards (five are ships cards [an aircraft carrier, a battleship, a destroyer, a motor torpedo boat, and a submarine] and seven are ‘miss’ cards)
  • Thirty destruction cards (ten white ‘peg’ cards, twelve red ‘peg’ cards [seven with one ‘peg’, four with two ‘pegs’, and one with four ‘pegs’], and eight ‘power’ cards), and
  • Two reference cards.

Play appears to be quite simple. Before the game starts each player chooses a colour, and then separates their coordinate cards and destruction cards into two separate decks. Each deck is then shuffled, and the coordinate cards are placed face down in a 3 x 4 grid in front of them. They then take the top five cards from their destruction card deck … which is shown below with the portentous name ‘Deck of Destruction’!

One player goes first. (The rules state that this should be the youngest … but as an aged curmudgeon I object to this sort of ageist tosh!). They select a card from their hand and play it. Once the card is played a replacement card is taken from the top of their destruction deck, and the used card is placed in a discard pile.

Players can use white ‘peg’ cards to search for enemy ships. They choose which of the enemy coordinate cards they wish to turn over, play the white ‘peg’ card, and the enemy’s card is turned over to reveal what is there. A white ‘peg’ card cannot normally do any damage to an enemy ship unless it is a submarine, in which case the ‘peg’ card is placed under the coordinate card and not onto the discard pile.

Red ‘peg’ cards can be used to search for enemy ships and to damage them. It is played in exactly the same way as a white ‘peg’ card except that if an enemy ship is revealed, damage is caused and the ‘peg’ card is placed under the coordinate card and not onto the discard pile. Once an enemy ship is revealed, further red ‘peg’ cards can be played in future turns to sink it. (The number of ‘peg’ cards required to sink a ship are shown on its ship card.)

Players can use ‘power’ cards to:

  • ‘Shield’ a ship (i.e. help prevent further damage to an already damaged ship)
  • Discard a white ‘peg’ card from their hand so that they can draw another card from their destruction deck or play two more cards this turn
  • Repair a ship (i.e. remove a ‘peg’ card from one of their damaged ships) and play another card from their hand this turn or draw three more cards from their destruction deck (thus increasing the size of their hand) of which they must play one.

Each type of ship has special powers as well. For example once a player’s destroyer is revealed, all further white ‘peg’ cards that player uses can cause damage to enemy ships in the same way that red ‘peg’ cards do.

I suspect that the game will prove to be quite subtle when played and not quite as simplistic as it at first appears to be. As to the components … well I suspect that they might well have their uses.


Confused? I certainly was!

As I get older, I get more confused … and is doesn’t help when a publisher appears to publish different books with the same title!

Yesterday during a visit to the local branch of Waterstones I saw a book on the Osprey display stand that confused me. It was a recently published book in their ‘Campaign’ series entitled KURSK 1943. Now I knew that I already had a book with that title and published by Osprey on my bookshelves … but I also knew that I bought it quite a long time ago. Being intrigued – and a little bit confused – I bought it … and when I got home I discovered that it was in fact a completely new book.

My original book is actually entitled KURSK 1943: THE TIDE TURNS IN THE EAST. It was written by Mark Healy and was published by Qsprey Publishing in May 1992 as ‘Campaign No.16’ (ISBN 978 1 85532 211 0).

It contains chapters entitled:

  • The Origins of the Battle
  • The Opposing Commanders
  • The Opposing Armies
  • Opposing Plans and Preparations
  • The Battle of Kursk
  • The Aftermath
  • The Chronology
  • A Guide to Further Reading
  • Wargaming Kursk

The new book is KURSK 1943: THE NORTHERN FRONT, and was written by Robert Forczyk with illustrations by Steve Noon. It was published by Qsprey Publishing in September 2014 as ‘Campaign No.272’ (ISBN 978 1 78200 819 4).

It contains chapters entitled:

  • Origins of the campaign
  • Chronology
  • Opposing commanders
  • Opposing armies
  • Orders of battle
  • Opposing plans
  • The campaign
  • Aftermath
  • The battlefields today
  • Further reading

So I have ended up with two very different books with what appears to be the same name from the same publisher.

Confused? I certainly was!


Nugget 288

The editor of THE NUGGET continues to maintain the regular tempo of publishing an edition every four to six weeks, and on Sunday afternoon he sent me the draft of the latest issue of THE NUGGET. I intend check and print it off this morning so that I can take it to the printer this afternoon. I will then be able collect it from them by Friday, and this should enable me to post it out to members of Wargame Developments on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this is the sixth issue of THE NUGGET to be published for the 2015-2016 subscription year, and that members who have not already re-subscribed can still do so if they want to. This can be done by visiting the relevant page on the Wargame Developments website. A printed reminder was sent out with THE NUGGET 283 to all subscribers who had not yet re-subscribed.