Nugget 306

I collected the latest edition of THE NUGGET (N306) from the printer yesterday afternoon, and I will be posting it out to members of Wargame Developments as soon as I can … weather permitting! (We had a heavy snowfall last night, and very little foot or vehicle traffic seems to be able to move outside our house at present.)

I have already uploaded the PDF version of THE NUGGET to the Wargame Developments website so that it can be read online or downloaded and printed.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this is the sixth issue of THE NUGGET to be published for the 2017-2018 subscription year, and that members who have not already re-subscribed can do so by visiting the relevant page on the Wargame Developments website.

Other people’s Portable Wargame battle reports: Cavalier 2018

One thing that I really regret about not making it to CAVALIER this year was the opportunity to see Mike Lewis and Anthony Morton running a PORTABLE WARGAME using 54mm-scale figures. Luckily Mike has written a blog entry about the game, and he has illustrated it with some excellent photographs.

As I wrote in a commented on his blog, ‘I was struck by how similar the whole game looked to the battles fought by Joseph Morschauser, who was – of course – the inspiration for my PORTABLE WARGAME rules. Mike’s terrain and figures look beautiful, and I love the very simple but very effective trees and built-up areas. A truly inspiring wargame!’

Reading Mike’s blog and seeing the photographs has certainly given my somewhat lagging spirits a bit of a lift, and when I begin feeling a bit better I hope to stage a PORTABLE WARGAME of my own.

Please note that the photographs featured above are © Mike Lewis.

A great Saturday … but an awful Sunday

Sue and I enjoyed our trip to Bristol. The hotel we stayed in on Friday night was excellent value, their restaurant produced some very good food, and we both slept well. On Saturday I went to the Masonic meeting – which I thoroughly enjoyed – and the after-meeting meal was one of the best I have ever eaten after a Masonic function.

Just after 4.00pm we left Bristol to return home, and the journey was only marred by the fact that I seemed to be developing a rather sore throat, my eyes were beginning to itch, and I kept feeling very hot or shivering. In fact by the time we arrived home just after 7.15pm, it was obvious that I was coming down with a heavy cold, and by I was asleep.

I was supposed to be going to the CAVALIER wargames show in Tonbridge on Sunday, but when I awoke on Sunday morning, I felt awful. The cold had developed overnight, and all I wanted to do was to stay still, keep warm, and not to venture outside into the freezing cold. Unfortunately we had to go shopping on Sunday morning for some food, and driving to the local shops and back confirmed my decision that going to Tonbridge was not a good idea.

Feeling unwell did give me the excuse to sit in from of the TV all afternoon and into the early evening watching THE BRIDGE AT REMAGEN, A BRIDGE TOO FAR, and WHERE EAGLES DARE. It was almost as if the TV channel knew I was going to be ill and would need something to keep my fevered brain semi-active!

I did everything that one is supposed to do when one has a cold. I took aspirin to deal with the headache and to reduce the fever (I cannot take paracetamol as I am allergic to the substance they add to make you vomit if you take too many!), and I drank lots of fluids. It certainly relieved the worst of the symptoms, and by this morning I was feeling somewhat better. As I write – however – it is snowing outside, and before I can take it easy today I have to get the salt and shovel out of the garden store … just in case I need to use it as the week progresses.

A busy weekend

I am paying a flying visit to Bristol today to see an old friend (and fellow wargamer) Installed as the Worshipful Master of his Bristol-based Masonic Lodge. The meeting will be followed by what we Freemasons call a ‘White Table’, which is a celebratory meal where non-Masons (usually wives, other family members, and friends) are invited. My wife has accompanied me to Bristol, and whilst I am in the meeting, she will no doubt be undertaking some retail therapy. She will be joining me for the ‘White Table’, after which we will drive back to London.

We could have stayed overnight in Bristol, but as the weather forecast isn’t good (snow is predicted for Monday) and the CAVALIER wargame show is taking place in Tonbridge, Kent, tomorrow, we decided to drive back home to South East London tonight. With luck (and assuming that the weather is not too bad), I should be able to go to Tonbridge tomorrow … where I hope to meet up with some of my fellow wargame bloggers, buy one or two items for my current projects, and see my PORTABLE WARGAME rules in action!

Looks like I am in for a busy (and hopefully very enjoyable) weekend!

La Ultima Cruzada: Paperback and eBook editions

Since LA ULTIMA CRUZADA was published late last year, I’ve had several requests for both paperback and eBook editions.

Having given it some thought, I’ve decided to see how quickly and easily this could be done, and if it does not require too much work on my part, I hope to be able make them available in the near future.

Royal Arsenal Museum 2017: Smaller and Post-war ships

Whilst looking through the image files on my computer, I discovered that I had not finished sharing the photographs that I took last year during our visit to the Royal Arsenal Museum (or Tøjhusmuseet) in Copenhagen.

Lossen (Mine Vessel)

Tumleren and Hvalrossen (Torpedo Boats)

Daphne (D1) and Havmanden (H1) (Submarines)

Willemoes (Torpedo Boat)

Søløven (P510) (Fast Torpedo Boat)

Lommen (P567) (Fast Torpedo Boat)

Olfert Fischer (F353) (Corvette)

Peder Skram (F352) (Frigate)

Flyvefisken (P550) (Patrol Boat)

Narhvalen (S320) (Submarine)

Delfinen (S326) (Submarine)

Ingolf (F350) (Ocean Patrol Vessel)

Daphne (P530) (Patrol Boat)

Bopa (MHV90) (Coastal Patrol Craft/Home Guard Cutter)

Hjortø (MHV85) (Motor Minesweeper/Coastal Patrol Craft/Home Guard Cutter)

Toy Soldier & Model Figure Magazine Issue 231

The most recent issue of TOY SOLDIER & MODEL FIGURE magazine contains an article by James Delson* about using his huge collection of 54mm figures to fight large-scale wargames.

He starts his article with the following statement:

Playing toy soldier wargames on a grand scale is one of the collecting hobby’s greatest pleasures. Each step in the gaming process has its own rewards, ranging from the creation of opposing armies to setting them up in realistic environments across an expanse of floor, table or lawn, and then maneuvering a wide array of troops through the final goal of fighting out the ensuing battles.

I suspect that this resonates with quite a few wargamers, regardless of the size of figure that they use.

The article then goes on to describe how he set up a particular battle that involved 2,000 Barbary Pirates, North African mercenaries and European freebooters in a fortress taking on 6,000 British, American, and Bombay Marines, Highland infantry regiments, British infantry regiments, and a thousand-strong force of ‘characters’ called ‘Harold’s Rangers’. (‘Harold’s Rangers’ include Cyrano de Bergerac, Harold Godwinson, Richard Sharpe, James Brooke, Zorro, Richard Francis Burton, and Horatio Hornblower to name but a few!)

The figures are mounted on wooden battens (a twelve-inch x one-inch batten can take twelve figures), four-inch square six-figure bases, or three-inch square two-figure bases which are moved around on twelve-inch square company bases. There are even larger twenty-four-inch square bases that can take four companies for use in very large wargames!

The article gives no indication as the rules that are used, but more information on that score can be found on The Toy Soldier Company website, where you can buy a copy of HAROLD’S RANGERS GAME RULES.

* James Delson is the owner of The Toy Soldier Company.

A birthday present from an old friend

It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago, and a good old friend of mine – Tony Hawkins – sent me a copy of GLADSTONE, GORDON AND THE SUDAN WARS: THE BATTLE OVER IMPERIAL INTERVENTION IN THE VICTORIAN AGE as a present.

The book was written by Fergus Nicholl, and is a reappraisal of the roles played by both men in the Sudan Crisis. As such it is a nice counterpoint to the generally accepted view that Gordon was the hero and Gladstone the villain, whereas the truth is not at all that cut-and-dried.

I am about halfway through reading this book, and I must admit that it has certainly given me pause for thought at times. I’d certainly recommend it to anyone who wants to have a better understanding of the political situation in the UK at the time, and it would be ideal reading for anyone who ever wanted to take part in the SAVE GORDON! Matrix Game.

GLADSTONE, GORDON AND THE SUDAN WARS: THE BATTLE OVER IMPERIAL INTERVENTION IN THE VICTORIAN AGE was written by Fergus Nicholl and published by Pen & Sword Military in 2013 (ISBN 978 1 781 59182 6).

Coincidentally, General Charles Gordon was born in a house on Woolwich Common, …

… and less than half a mile away in Whitworth Road is the site where Gladstone gave his last speech to his Greenwich constituents on 30th November, 1878. The site is now occupied by Eglinton Primary School, and a plaque commemorating the event …

… is fixed to one of its walls.

Nugget 306

The editor of THE NUGGET sent the latest issue of the magazine to me last night, and I plan to download it today, check it, and then take it to the printer by Wednesday morning. If everything goes according to plan and there are no delays, it should be printed and posted out to members of Wargame Developments by early next week.

IMPORTANT: Please note that this is the sixth issue of THE NUGGET to be published for the 2017-2018 subscription year, and that members who have not already re-subscribed can do so by visiting the relevant page on the Wargame Developments website.

The current state of play

As far as sorting out the storage in my toy/wargames room is concerned, that part of the operation is now complete, and the room now looks like this:

(These photographs were taken starting at the door and going around the room in a clockwise direction.)

The next stage of the sort out will involve:

  • Going through each of the white-fronted draw units and sorting out what needs to be retained and what need to be disposed of;
  • Going through each of the stacked Really Useful Boxes and sorting out what needs to be retained and what need to be disposed of;
  • Re-arranging the contents of the white-fronted draw units and Really Useful Boxes so that it will be easier to find and access.

I am not sure how long this will take. For example, my Napoleonic collection is stored in quite a few of the Really Useful Boxes, and in their case all that is required is for them to be stacked so that each nationality is together. On the other hand, my World War II collection is spread between both types of storage and is rather jumbled up, and sorting that out is likely to be a long task.

I intend to take a few days break before I tackle this next stage as I know that the next issue of THE NUGGET will be due for publication very soon, and I need to make sure that I have the time to check it before taking it to the printer and sending it out to subscribers.