Nugget 297

The editor of THE NUGGET sent the latest issue of the journal to me last night, and I hope to take it to the printer later today or tomorrow morning. With luck this will mean that it can posted out to members of Wargame Developments by next weekend.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this is the sixth issue of THE NUGGET to be published for the 2016-2017 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 trip to Bristol

My wife and I usually go to Bristol once a year so that I can visit a Bristol Masonic Lodge or Holy Royal Arch Conclave. We set off on Friday afternoon at 2.00pm, and after a long drive through pouring rain, we reached our hotel just after 6.00pm.

We had booked a room at the Victoria Square Hotel in Bristol …

… which is located in the Clifton area, and which is only a ten minute walk from the Bristol Masonic Temple building in Park Street.

The building that houses Freemasonry in Bristol was destroyed by enemy action in 1940, but was rebuilt to its original plans in 1957. It is a truly magnificent building, with a very imposing entrance hall …

… and equally impressive Lodge Rooms or Temples.

On this occasion I attended a meeting of the Matthew Chapter No.9688 of the Holy Royal Arch, and I was thus able to see Bristol Workings at first hand. (Bristol is a Masonic Province in its own right, and uses Ritual that is very distinctively different from that used almost anywhere else in England and Wales. Bristol Workings, as the Ritual is called, is always worth seeing, and once experienced it is never forgotten.)

The meeting started at 11.00am, and afterwards the wives and partners of those attending the meeting were able to join us for an excellent lunch in one of the building’s airy dinning rooms.

We finished eating our meal not long after 3.15pm, and by the time we had returned to the hotel and collected our car it was almost 4.00pm. We then set off for home, and we back indoors by 7.15pm, having had a somewhat less fraught journey back.

Ships of the Nationalist and Republican Navies during the Spanish Civil War: B-class Submarines

Built at Cartagena between 1916 and 1923, the design was an improved Holland-type. They all served in the Republican Navy.

Ships’ characteristics:

  • Displacement: 491 tons surfaced; 715 tons submerged
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 210’ 4” (64.1m)
    • Beam: 17’ 4” (5.6m)
    • Draught (on surface): 11’ 3” (3.4m)
  • Maximum Speed: 16 knots (surfaced); 10 knots (submerged)
  • Armament: 1 x 3” (76mm) (1 x 1); 4 x 18” (457mm) Torpedo Tubes (2 bow, 2 stern)
  • Complement: 28

B1 was scuttled at Cartagena at the end of the Civil War.
B2 was scuttled at Cartagena at the end of the Civil War.
B3 was scuttled at Porman at the end of the Civil War.
B4 was scuttled at Porman at the end of the Civil War.
B5 was sunk by Nationalist aircraft off Malaga on 12th October 1936.
B6 was sunk by the Velasco off Cape Penas on 19th September 1936.

Errata … but nothing major!

Mea culpa!

A couple of minor errors in the text of my PORTABLE WARGAME book have been pointed out to me, and although they are not significantly serious, I thought that I would bring them to the attention of anyone who has bough the book.

  • On page 65, in the sentence that reads ‘However, because it could not retreat, the Egyptian Infantry unit lost 1SP … and was wiped out!‘, I have inadvertently typed in Infantry when it should have been Cavalry.
  • On pages 59 and 65 I appear to have given the attackers their +1 bonus because they were attacking an enemy unit in the flank, but did not apply the -1 penalty to the attacked unit. This does not make a different to the outcome of the Close Combat, and was due to me forgetting to apply the penalty in the heat of tabletop battle! As such this seems to be a blatant case of Cordery’s First Rule of Wargame Design (see page 96 and the note on page 102), and means that I should consider removing the penalty from the rules. That said, the penalty is there to reflect the fact that a unit that is attacked in the rear or the flank will have to fight at a disadvantage, just as the unit that is attacking them will have an advantage.

I am sure that other minor errata will emerge in due course, but I hope that they will not ruin anyone’s enjoyment of the book or understanding of the rules.

Who is buying which version of my book?

In response to a comment made yesterday, I looked at which versions of my PORTABLE WARGAME book were selling, and what regions of the world were buying it. The results looked like this:

Sales by version (i.e. eBook, paperback, and hardback)

I had expected that the sale of the eBook would do well, followed closely by the paperback, with the hardback coming quite some way behind … but the figures prove those assumptions to be wrong.

Sales by region

I had expected the percentage sales in the UK to be much greater than they are (closer to 90%), with a few sales in the US and Australia … and not many sales outside that area. Again my assumptions have not proven to be as accurate as I had expected, and sales seem to be much more geographically spread than I could have imagined.

An amazing response!

When I sat down to write my PORTABLE WARGAME book I hoped that it would be popular enough to sell a few dozen copies. You can therefore imaging my surprise when earlier today its sales reached to one hundred mark!

Besides the very positive responses that I have had from numerous wargamers, what I find particularly interesting is the fact that the sales are fairly evenly spread across the various editions of the book. I had expected that the eBook and paperback versions would sell fairly well, and that the hardback might sell one or two copies, but the sales figures show that they are all selling well.

I’d like to thank everyone who has bought a copy in one or more of the versions. It has encouraged me to give very serious thoughts to writing a follow-up book (or even two) that will cover developments of the rules and possibly the naval version as well. If I do they will not appear for some time … but you can be sure that I will keep my regular blog readers informed of my progress!

What’s in a name … : The answers

The answers to yesterday’s quiz are:

  • Colonel Hilary Bicks (Bicks Pasha) is a simple and rather obvious reversal of the first letters of the name of the man initially sent to catch and punish the Mahdi. William (i.e. Billy) Hicks became Hilly (= Hilary) Bicks.
  • Sheikh Muhammad Sherif is a slight variation on the name Sheikh Muhammad Sharif, with whom Muhammad Ahmad bin Abd Allah (the Mahdi) stayed and studied for seven years before he rose to prominence.
  • Oberst Wilhelm Frederickson’s name is ‘borrowed’ from a character in Bernard Cornwell’s SHARPE novels, Major William Frederickson. The latter was a half-English Westphalian who was known to his men by the nickname ‘Sweet William’. In the books he suffered a serious facial wound that had destroyed his left eye and broken his jaw as well as knocking out several teeth. This resulted in him having what appeared to be a permanently smug look on his face. When in battle he was reputed to take out his false teeth (all of which had been taken from dead French soldiers) and remove his wig and eye patch.
  • Colonel Pavel Strelnikov’s name is a combination of the name Pavel Pavlovich (‘Pasha’) Antipov (an idealistic young left-winger who is married to Larissa (‘Lara’) Antipova in Boris Pasternak’s DOCTOR ZHIVAGO) and his alter ego Strelnikov (from the Russian word strelok, which means gunner, shooter, or marksman), the name he adopts when he becomes a leader of the Revolutionary forces during the Russian Civil War.