COW acquisitions

Although there are no trade stands or an official ‘bring and buy’ at COW (the Conference of Wargamers) attendees do bring stuff to the conference to sell, give away, or swop. This year I did rather well and acquired quite a few items.

I obtained two books published as part of the ‘History of Wargaming‘ Project from John Curry. They were MORE WARGAMING PIONEERS: ANCIENT AND WORLD WAR II BATTLE AND SKIRMISH RULES BY TONY BATH, LIONEL TARR AND MICHAEL KORNS: EARLY WARGAMES VOL. 4 (ISBN 978 1 291 19817 1) and DONALD FEATHERSTONE’S WARGAMING COMMANDO OPERATIONS AND REFLECTIONS ON WARGAMING: LOST TALES VOLUME 2 (ISBN 978 1 291 39891 5).


MORE WARGAMING PIONEERS: ANCIENT AND WORLD WAR II BATTLE AND SKIRMISH RULES BY TONY BATH, LIONEL TARR AND MICHAEL KORNS: EARLY WARGAMES VOL. 4

This book is split into a foreword, three main sections, and an appendix:

  • Foreword
  • Lionel Tarr’s Modern Wargaming Rules for 1939-1945
    • INTRODUCTION
    • ANALYSIS OF THE LIONEL TARR GAME
    • RETASOL TARR’S SOLO WARGAMING CAMPAIGN
    • WARGAMING STALINGRAD
    • THE LIONEL TARR PERISCOPE
    • THE SPACE SIZE CONTINUUM BY CARL REAVLEY
    • THE BATTLE OF HOMARD 1956, AN EARLY EXAMPLE OF A BATTLE REPORT BY CARL REAVLEY
    • THE BATTLE OF WAL, A SECOND EXAMPLE OF AN EARLY BATTLE REPORT BY CARL REAVLEY
  • War Games of the Middle Ages and Ancient Times by Tony Bath
  • Modern War in Miniature (1966)
    • PART ONE: INTRODUCTION
    • PART TWO: THE RULES FOR THE PERIOD 1939 TO 1945
    • EQUIPMENT
    • SIMULATION CHARTS
  • Appendix: An early Portuguese Wargamer – Backyard Wars of the 1920s


DONALD FEATHERSTONE’S WARGAMING COMMANDO OPERATIONS AND REFLECTIONS ON WARGAMING: LOST TALES VOLUME 2

This book is split into a foreword, an introduction, three parts, a list of the books written by Donald Featherstone, and an appendix.

  • Foreword by Stuart Asquith
  • Introduction by John Curry
  • Part 1: Introduction to the British Commandos
    • THE BRAVEST OF THE BRAVE
    • CHAPTER 1: AN OVERVIEW OF THE HISTORY OF THE COMMANDOS
    • CHAPTER 2: TRAINING THE COMMANDOS
    • CHAPTER 3: EQUIPMENT
    • CHAPTER 4: OPERATION CAULDRON (1942)
    • CHAPTER 5: THE ASSAULT ON FLUSHING (1944)
    • CHAPTER 6: BRITISH LESSONS FROM COMMANDO OPERATIONS
  • Part 2: Rules and Scenarios for Commando Operations
    • CHAPTER 7: MEMORIES OF AN EARLY COMMANDO WARGAME
    • CHAPTER 8: THE FIRST MEGA GAME
    • CHAPTER 9: THE CLASSIC COMMANDO SCENARIO: THE RAID ON ST NAZAIRE
    • CHAPTER 10: FIBUA RULES
    • CHAPTER 11: WORLD WAR II WARFARE RULES
  • Part 3: Reflections
    • CHAPTER 12: DONALD FEATHERSTONE ON WAR (1939-45)
    • CHAPTER 13: DONALD FEATHERSTONE’S YEAR (1962)
    • CHAPTER 14: DONALD FEATHERSTONE ON WARGAMING (1927-2010)
    • CHAPTER 15: DONALD FEATHERSTONE ON VISITING BATTLEFIELDS
    • CHAPTER 16: DONALD FEATHERSTONE IN THE MEDIA
    • CHAPTER 17: DONALD FEATHERSTONE ON THE LATE PADDY GRIFFITH
    • CHAPTER 18: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF A WARGAMER
  • Wargaming and Military History Books by Donald Featherstone
  • Appendix

I also acquired some Minitanks from Tim Gow and John Armatys with the intention that they will form part of the forces that will be fielded in my Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War Campaign project.

I also bought some 15mm-scale Napoleonic infantry and cavalry … because they took my fancy!

This is a pathetic reason to buy some figures … but having done so I am now awaiting Richard Brook’s soon-to-be-made-available Napoleonic wargames rules. These are designed to be used with 15mm-scale figures … so it might not be such a stupid purchase after all.

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I have been to … Cavalier

Cavalier is a smallish annual wargames show held at the Angel Centre, Tonbridge, Kent, and if it is at all possible, I always try to attend it. It is organised by the Tunbridge Wells Wargames Society, and this year part of the proceeds are going to be given to Combat Stress, a charity devoted to helping veterans and ex-service personnel suffering from psychological injuries and mental health problems.



This show is usually the first I attend each year, and it always gives me the opportunity to meet and talk to some of the many wargamers I know. This year was no exception, and amongst those that I met and talked to were David Crook (with whom I did a swap; a box full of unmade Zvezda Russian and German infantry and artillery for a large collection of Axis and Allies Miniatures: Angels 20 aircraft), Kenny Smith, Nigel Drury, Peter Grizzell, the ‘Rejects‘ (including Postie, Big Lee, Ray Rousell, and The Angry Lurker), and Henry Hyde (the current editor of BATTLEGAMES and the recently appointed editor of MINIATURE WARGAMES/BATTLEGAMES).

Henry was able to show me the layout he intends to use when he takes over as editor of he ‘new’ magazine, and I must admit that I was very impressed. It looked clean and easy to read, and it appears to be more content-driven and less full of pretty pictures. On the strength of what I saw I will be giving very serious consideration to taking out a subscription for this publication.

Wargames shows are an excellent opportunity to see new products, and Cavalier was no exception. I resisted … just … buying a whole load of stuff from the Plastic Soldier Company. The range that they offer is constantly growing, and had I been able to get to the rack of kits that I wanted to look at, I probably would have bought some. (The reason why I did not manage to get to the rack was due to three chaps who stood in front of it for over ten minutes discussing which kits they were going to buy. In the end I left them to it … but I did notice that they were still there when I walked past later.)

I did make a couple of purchases. I bought a couple of mini starter packs of World War I 20mm-scale figures from Tumbling Dice (these are going to be used as Hungarian Infantry and Russian Militia in my projected Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War campaign) and a book from Dave Ryan of Caliver Books. The book was THE CHACO WAR by Adrian English (Published by Partizan Press [2013] ISBN 978 1 85818 657 3), and it is the second edition of the book originally published by Spellmount in 2007. The original was entitled THE GREEN HELL, and was a paperback; the new edition is a hardback and has been revised and had numerous photographs and illustrations added to it.


There were a number of demonstration/participation games on show, including:

A Very French Civil War (SEEMS)
As usual the ‘boys’ from SEEMS came up with a novel twist on a popular theme. In this case it was a clash between the forces of the Left and the Right in 1930s France, and the action was centred upon the town of Clochemerle.




Brave Little Belgium 1940 (Crawley Wargames Club)





Patton’s Charge 1946 (Friday Night Firefight)
A hypothetical battle between US and Soviet forces in the aftermath of the Second World War.


Drop the bridge (North London Wargames Group)
An interesting wargame about a Soviet airborne attack on a vital bridge.



Square Bashing (Peter Pig)


The Battle of Crimisus 340BC (Society of Ancients)
Another battle from Professor Philip Sabin’s book, LOST BATTLES. Professor Sabin was at the show running the wargame.



Operation Deadstick (Maidstone Wargames Society)
This game was about the seizure of the bridge over the River Orne early on the morning of D-Day.


Dixie 1863 (Staines Wargamers)
This was a recreation of Pickett’s Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg, the famous ‘high-water mark of the Confederacy’.


Medieval Siege (West Kent Wargamers)


Denmark 1940 (Deal Wargames Society)
This game illustrated the incredible modelling skills processed by some wargamers, and included some wonderful vignettes.












This was an excellent show … and I am already looking forward to next year’s.


Gerard de Gre’s Ancient Wargame Rules … as modified by Charles and David Sweet

I finally managed to finish transcribing these rules (including the special rules and Army Lists) this afternoon, and they can now be downloaded via the link from this blog’s Free Downloadable Wargame Rules page.

I have also added a link to Gerard de Gre’s Napoleonic Wargame rules (as modified by Charles and David Sweet) from the Free Downloadable Wargame Rules page.


Gerard de Gre’s Ancient Wargame Rules … as modified by Charles and David Sweet

I had the potential to waste quite a lot of my time today waiting for our new washing machine to arrive. The delivery ‘window’ was 7.00am to 7.00pm(!), as a result of which I was up by 7.00am waiting for the delivery truck to arrive. I waited … and waited … and waited. I did not want to start anything that I could not stop doing immediately, and so I could not do any painting or modelling, and fighting a wargame was just not possible. In the end I decided to do something that I could leave and return to once the washing machine had been delivered and I had installed it. My choice was to transcribe the Ancient rules used by Charlie and David Sweet.


Some time ago Dick Bryant – the former editor and publisher of THE COURIER – had sent me scans of the Ancient rules that had been devised by Gerard De Gre and modified by Charlie and David Sweet. They had been published in THE COURIER back in the 1970s, and like their Napoleonic counterparts they had been ‘lost’ to the general wargaming public for many years.

Dick had already given me permission to re-publish them via my blog, and I have spent time today transcribing them. Unfortunately the scans that Dick sent me appear to be incomplete, and until I have the missing pieces I will not be able to make them available in a downloadable format that potential players can print off for their own personal use.

The rules are interesting in that they use small catapults to simulate the fire of their ancient full-size equivalents and dice to adjudicate the outcomes of light infantry ‘fire’ (i.e. javelins, bows, slings, etc.) The melee system is very similar to that used in the Napoleonic rules and uses six alternative melee deployments (Melee Deployment Indicators or MDIs), each of which has different strengths and weaknesses.

So in the end my day was not a total waste of time. I feel that I managed to achieve something, albeit incomplete. And for those of you who might be interested, the washing machine was finally delivered at 4.45pm, and I finished installing it by just after 5.00pm.


The Portable Wargame Ancients version: the correct corrected third draft

Yesterday I wrote that ‘It always pays to proof-read anything before you make it public … .’ The only problem is that I managed to do exactly the same thing yet again … and yet again I have Steven Page to thank for pointing out my error!

The corrected CORRECT third draft of the rules can be downloaded here.


The Portable Wargame Ancients version: a corrected third draft

It always pays to proof-read anything before you make it public … and yesterday I failed to do that.

What I managed to do was to ‘publish’ the wrong draft of my PORTABLE WARGAME: ANCIENTS rules. It was not until Steven Page queried something in his comment that I realised what I had done.

Image © Dorling Kindersley Ltd

The CORRECT third draft of the rules can be downloaded here.

Sorry for the mistake. I will try to make sure that I don’t do it again!


The Portable Wargame Ancients version: a third draft

I had a bit of spare time today and so I sat down and produced a third draft of the PORTABLE WARGAME: ANCIENTS rules.

I have made a few changes that I think will improve them somewhat. The changes can be summarised as follows:

  1. The rules have been re-written so that they can be used with a squared grid rather than a hexed grid.
  2. Infantry are now divided into three types: Heavy Infantry, Light Infantry, and Missile-armed Light Infantry.
  3. Cavalry has reverted to just two types: Heavy Cavalry and Light Cavalry.
  4. Light Infantry and Light Cavalry may move diagonally as well as orthogonally.
  5. Missile-armed Light Infantry are at a greater disadvantage in Close Combat than they previously were.

This latest draft can now be downloaded from here. Any helpful feedback would be gratefully received.